Honda e vs MINI Electric: in numbers
Fancy a posh electric city car? Well, your luck's in. The new Honda e and MINI Electric offer rather different takes on the high-end, compact electric car, yet there are significant similarities. Both are three-door hatchbacks that major on offering a high-tech, high-class finish with a fairly low driving range and striking retro-modern design.
However, looks are subjective, so you can make your own mind up as to which of these chic electric cars you think looks best by taking a look at the galleries and videos below.
Before that, here's how the important numbers stack up:
|Honda e||MINI Electric|
|Price (after PiCG)||£28,500 (est)||£24,300|
|Official range (WLTP)||125 miles||144 miles|
|Layout||RWD, single motor||FWD, single motor|
|Max. charging speed||100kW||50kW|
|Fast charge time (20-80%)||20mins||35mins|
|7kW charge time||6hrs||5hrs|
Powertrains and performance
One of the biggest differences between the Honda e and MINI Electric is that the Honda gets rear-wheel drive as opposed to the more conventional front-wheel drive of the MINI. Honda chose to do this in order to improve the e's packaging and also to give it the smallest possible turning circle to make it better suited to city driving.
It worked, too, since it has a turning circle of under nine metres, which is right up there with a Smart ForTwo; it really does feel like it's turning on its own length. Which isn't to say that the MINI won't be as good to drive around town – the figures suggest it'll have slightly better performance – but the Honda's light-footed response certainly impressed.
Prices and equipment
Looking at the key figures on these two cars it certainly seems that the MINI has one up on the Honda, not least thanks to the price. At the moment, the Honda's pricing and equipment is yet to be confirmed, but it certainly seems likely that it'll be substantially more expensive than the entry-level MINI Electric.
Mind you, the MINI will be offered in three different trim levels where the Honda will be very high spec as standard, so when Honda releases the final details of its electric city car then it may be a closer match for the MINI with equipment factored in. A mid-level MINI will cost £26,400, while a top-spec car (which gets leather upholstery, larger infotainment screen and more) costs £30,400.
The MINI also has the edge in terms of driving range, although it's worth pointing out that it's only lower-spec cars with small wheels that will achieve the maximum range of 144 miles. Opt for bigger wheels (you don't have to have the distinctive alloy design pictured here), and the official range drops to 124 miles.
Ultimately, we'll have to get these two enigmatic little cars on UK roads for a back-to-back test before we can make a final decision on which one's best. The good news is that both will be in showrooms at the beginning of 2020, with deliveries starting in Spring, so we don't have to wait long to find out. In the meantime, take a look at our videos on the cars below...