Honda e:Ny1 review
The Honda E:Ny1 is not only confusing for its name, but also its high price - a shame, given how accomplished it is in several areas
- Tech-filled interior
- Good to drive
- Spacious cabin
- Limited range and charging
- Odd regenerative braking
- Very expensive
|Wallbox charge time
|9hrs est (0-100%, 7.4kW)
|45mins (10-80%, 78kW)
Honda e:Ny1 verdict
Its name may be rather convoluted, but the Honda e:Ny1 is actually quite a likeable EV. Honda’s first electric SUV offers a comfortable ride and is surprisingly agile, channelling the personality of the hybrid-powered Civic in the way it drives. The interior is attractive, with an impressive infotainment setup – and the rear seats are pretty spacious, too.
The catch? With prices hovering around £45,000, the e:NY1 is much more expensive than similarly-sized competitors, while its 260-odd-mile range can’t compete with the likes of the Tesla Model Y. All of this seems like a bit of a misstep and a repeat of the desirable, but fatally-flawed Honda e; with a motto like “The Power of Dreams” and a pair of hideously overpriced electric cars, we fear Honda may have been caught napping in this current r-EV-olution.
Details, specs and alternatives
The Honda e:Ny1, ridiculous name and all, is the Japanese giant’s second EV, following in the footsteps of the dinky Honda e city car. This time, instead of going after other tiny electric cars like the Fiat 500 and MINI Electric, Honda is targeting buyers of small electric SUVs such as the Jeep Avenger, Vauxhall Mokka Electric and Kia Niro EV.
Similar in style and size to Honda’s own HR-V, the e:Ny1 sits on its own bespoke underpinnings, with all cars getting a 69kWh battery which returns a mediocre range of 256 miles. There’s only one electric motor setup, too: the Honda e:Ny1 is powered by a 148bhp front-mounted motor, which gets it from 0-62mph in 7.6 seconds.
The theme of simplicity continues as the Honda e:Ny1 is offered in just two trim levels in the UK. Starting from £44,995, even the entry-level Elegance model is awfully expensive for a mainstream offering in this class. Still, it comes well-equipped as standard, with all cars getting a massive 15.1-inch touchscreen, as well as a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster – more on those later.
Honda reckons it’s the top-spec Advance model that’ll be the big seller in the UK, though. This gets luxuries like heated seats, sat-nav, a 360-degree camera, and a panoramic sunroof.
Range, battery size & charging
For what is a relatively small SUV with such a large battery, it’s a shame the Honda e:Ny1 can only manage 256 miles on a single charge. In comparison, while the similarly-sized Peugeot E-2008 (248 miles) can’t quite go as far as the Honda, but it only uses a 51kWh (useable) battery. With this in mind, it’s fair to say the e:Ny1 won’t be making our list of the most efficient electric cars anytime soon.
Also a bit of a disappointment is the e:Ny1’s maximum rapid charging speed of just 78kW; while Honda says a 10-80% top-up is possible in 45 minutes, the less-expensive Volkswagen ID.3 boasts 135kW rapid charging and can do the same in just 28 minutes.
Running costs & insurance
Let’s not beat around the bush: the Honda e:Ny1 is hideously expensive compared to its other small electric SUV counterparts. The Jeep Avenger, for example, starts from around £10,000 less than the Honda, while even a larger and longer-legged Tesla Model Y can be had for around the same money as the e:Ny1.
Things aren’t all bad though; the e:Ny1, like all electric cars, falls into the lowest 2% Benefit-in-Kind tax bracket – company drivers could be paying as little as £180 per year. EVs are also exempt from road tax (VED), the London Congestion Charge – for the time being, at least – and don’t have to pay to enter ULEZ, too.
Performance, motor & drive
In the past we’ve lauded Honda for how well its cars drive; the new hybrid-powered Civic is one of the most engaging cars in its class, while the dinky Honda e is a fun, zippy city car. The new Honda e:Ny1, on the other hand, feels pretty relaxed and composed when driving at higher speeds, but around the towns and city streets where it’ll inevitably spend the majority of its time, it feels rather jittery and unrefined.
First things first, the e:Ny1’s steering is perfectly weighted and balanced – a Honda trademark – while there’s very little body lean whenever you throw the car into a fast corner. However, the suspension tends to jostle around over bumps and the electric motor is pretty loud and obtrusive. There’s no doubting the performance it offers, though; the sprint from 0-62mph takes 7.6 seconds – faster than many rivals in this segment – with the instant delivery of all 310Nm of torque providing a satisfying thump in the back whenever you floor the accelerator.
Despite its mediocre range, the Honda e:Ny1 seems perfectly suited to motorway driving. However, one area we think could be improved is the regenerative braking setup. This only allows for full one-pedal driving in its highest setting, yet the system likes to revert back to the standard mode after a while. Leaving the car in Sport mode does alleviate this issue, but it’s an annoyance nonetheless – especially when you’re pootling around town and the instant get-up-and-go of Sport mode isn’t entirely necessary.
Interior, dashboard & infotainment
The interior of the Honda e:Ny1 is very different from its smaller sibling, the Honda e – for better and for worse. While it can’t quite match the flair and wow-factor of the Honda e, the e:Ny1’s cabin makes up for it in terms of tech and ergonomics, with material quality only average for the class.
Everything now centres around a huge 15.1-inch touchscreen and while a lack of physical buttons is usually an issue, frequently-used functions like the climate controls are located on a fixed point at the bottom of the display, making them easy to access while driving along.
The screen itself feels pretty futuristic and makes the 10-or-so-inch displays found in rivals like the Hyundai Kona Electric feel a tad small. There are a few too many sub-menus in the Honda, though, and while we found the additional 10.15-inch digital instrument cluster to be clear and easy to read, we wish it was more configurable.
Boot space, seating & practicality
|Boot space (seats up/down)
Despite being priced in-line with larger electric SUVs, like the Nissan Ariya and Skoda Enyaq, the Honda e:Ny1 is, in fact, more similar in its proportions to cars like the Smart #1 and Jeep Avenger. That being said, rear head and legroom is good; you can easily transport four adults in the Honda with no complaints, while the flat floor means that while it’ll be pretty tight, it’s possible to carry a fifth individual for short journeys.
With a capacity of 361 litres the Honda e:Ny1’s boot is smaller than the 400-odd litres available in the Kia Niro EV, but is still roughly the same as what you’d find in a run-of-the-mill petrol family hatchback. It’s a nice and square shape, though, making it easy to load items like a single full-size suitcase, while you can also fold the rear seats down to expand the load area to a total of 1,176 litres.
Reliability & safety rating
Japanese cars are renowned for their reliability and Honda models appear to be no different; though the brand placed a middling 18th out of 32 manufacturers in our 2023 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey, only 15% of respondents reported a fault with their car within the first year of ownership – quite a bit below the industry average.
It’s worth mentioning that while we don’t have any reliability data on the e:Ny1 yet, with the former in mind and also the fact that EVs should, in theory, be more reliable than petrol cars given their fewer moving parts, the electric SUV shouldn’t cause owners too many problems.
Euro NCAP is yet to conduct its industry-defining safety tests on the e:Ny1, but we expect it to pass with flying colours – just like its Civic sibling did recently. The e:Ny1 comes equipped with Honda’s ‘Sensing’ suite of safety aids, which includes things like blind spot monitoring, autonomous emergency braking, lane-keep assist and an automatic speed limiter. As mentioned, top-of-the-range Advance cars also get a multi-view camera system for easier manoeuvres.