In-depth reviews

Honda e:Ny1 SUV review

“The Honda e:Ny1 is confusingly named and priced, which distracts from its virtues as a decent all-around EV”

Carbuyer Rating

3.8 out of 5

Owners Rating
Be the first to review
Price
£44,995 - £47,195

Pros

  • Contemporary design
  • Smart interior
  • Five-years free servicing

Cons

  • More expensive than rivals
  • Limited regenerative braking
  • Small boot and no frunk

Verdict - Is the Honda e:Ny1 a good car?

Honda’s first electric SUV is a good effort and more usable than the smaller Honda e. It looks pretty good, offers a decent driving range, drives well and has one of Honda’s best interiors yet. Considering its small-ish size, it’s even fairly practical and should suit anyone swapping over from a more conventional family hatchback or crossover. The main downside is the price, because at around £45,000 the e:Ny1 looks seriously pricey, especially given that its on-paper stats lag behind some of its cheaper and larger rivals. Honda’s finance deals don’t help much either, making the Honda tricky to recommend.

Honda e:Ny1 models, specs and alternatives

The Honda e:Ny1 is the Japanese manufacturer’s first all-electric SUV, and only its second EV model to launch in the UK, following the city car-sized Honda e. It will slot into Honda’s predominantly hybrid model range right beneath the larger Honda CR-V, but somewhat awkwardly, it’s similar in size to the Honda HR-V, making Honda’s burgeoning SUV lineup a bit more confusing than is ideal.

While the Honda e:Ny1 also looks somewhat similar to the HR-V, it’s actually based on new underpinnings with enough room for its sizeable 69kWh battery. This is matched with a front-mounted 148bhp electric motor, giving the e:Ny1 the zippy around-town performance we’ve come to expect from EV models. 

Its ultimate range figure of up to 256 miles may disappoint some potential EV buyers, and is some way off the 319 miles of the Hyundai Kona Electric. A peak charging speed of 78kW is also some way off the class best, but Honda claims it has prioritised sustained fast charging, without too many peaks or troughs throughout the charging process.

Along with the Kona Electric, the e:Ny1 faces a number of rivals in one of the most competitive classes for EVs. It will need to fend off the Jeep Avenger, Peugeot e-2008, Citroen e-C4 and Vauxhall Mokka Electric.

Trim levels are Elegance and Advance, with the former starting from around £45,000 and the latter around £2,000 on top of that. Standard kit includes a 15.1-inch central screen that’s far better than Honda’s old infotainment displays, synthetic leather seats, heated front seats and wireless smartphone charging. The £47,000 Advance gains a panoramic sunroof, navigation and more extensive camera views.  

Trim levels

Power options

  • Elegance
  • Advance
  • Single motor (148bhp)

Honda e:Ny1 alternatives

The small electric SUV class is becoming one of the most hotly contested there is – it’s the heartland for many buyers nowadays. The e:Ny1 isn’t short of rivals, then, which makes it all the more surprising that Honda has priced it above most competitors.

Electric motor, drive & performance

“The e:Ny1 performs well and has neat handling, but the ride is a little firm and braking regen could be stronger”

Despite its similar size to the Honda HR-V hybrid, the e:Ny1 is quite different underneath, making it possible to house a 69kWh battery pack. This is much bigger than the battery found in the Honda e – the brand’s only other EV thus far – and its claimed range of 256 miles is also roughly double the distance. 

This doesn’t quite propel the Honda to the top of the charts in the SUV class, though; the Hyundai Kona Electric can manage 305 miles despite its 65kWh battery being slightly smaller, while the MG4 SE Long Range posts a 281-mile range figure. The e:Ny1 looks more competitive against rivals like the Vauxhall Mokka Electric, because even the latest version with its bigger battery can only manage 252 miles.

The Honda’s peak charging speed of 78kW and 10-80% top-up time of around 45 minutes is also behind class leaders. Honda does, however, say it’s concentrated on making e:Ny1 charging speeds consistent, with fewer changes in speed during the charging cycle. The LED strip above the charging port is also a neat touch, pulsing from left to right as the car charges and capable of indicating several messages, while it’s easy to keep track of the state of charge using Honda’s app, too.

Like any EV, the e:Ny1 should prove cheap to run, with low-cost taxation for company car drivers, VED (road tax) exemption until 2025 and free access to areas with tariffs like central London. A bigger stumbling block is likely to be its price – starting from around £45,000, the e:Ny1 is far more expensive than some of its key competitors. The MG4 SE Long Range starts from around £30,000, while the Mokka Electric is closer to the Honda at £39,000, but that’s still £6,000 less.

Very few people pay cash for a new EV of course, though Honda’s PCP finance deal offer of £500 per month (with a £5,000 deposit, and 10,000 miles per year) is similar to that of the larger, more family-friendly Tesla Model Y. Honda is at least throwing in another cost-saving perk called the ‘Five Year Care Package’, which includes five years of free servicing, a five-year warranty and five years of UK and European roadside assistance.

Model 

Battery size

Range

Honda e:Ny1

69kWh

256 miles

Insurance

If you thought EVs were entirely cheap to run, that might not be the case when it comes to getting an insurance quote. Despite having just 148bhp, the e:Ny1 sits in insurance group 43 out of 50 – a band we’d normally associate with high-performance sports models and hot hatches. Electric models do tend to sit in higher groups, but the entry-level MG4 starts in group 27, while the Vauxhall Mokka Electric and Citroen e-C4 start in group 22.

Electric motor, drive & performance

“The e:Ny1 performs well and has neat handling, but the ride is a little firm and braking regen could be stronger”

The e:Ny1 is a mixed bag on the road. On first acquaintance it felt like Honda had worked its usual magic, with similarities in feel to the excellent Honda Civic. It leans slightly more in corners owing to its taller stature, but the e:Ny1 feels admirably agile and boasts precise and well-weighted steering. Road noise is somewhat more evident than in the Civic – possibly because of its quiet EV powertrain – but the ride quality on UK roads is quite jittery at lower speeds, taking some of the shine off the car’s behaviour.

There’s some room for improvement when it comes to the Honda’s regenerative braking too, because even if you use the steering wheel-mounted paddles to adjust it, it reverts back to the default setting after a short while. The only way to stop this is to choose Sport mode, but this mode feels rather pointless in a family EV, and there’s no way to make the regen anywhere near strong enough for one-pedal driving.

0-62mph and top speed

In the age of potent EV motors, the Honda’s 148bhp power output sounds rather meagre, yet it’s able to cajole the e:Ny1 from 0-62mph in a decent 7.6 seconds. That’s quicker than you’d expect for an equivalent small petrol or diesel SUV, and the e:Ny1 feels suitably nippy around town thanks to its 310Nm of near-instantaneous torque and lack of gearchanges. In fact, it might be a bit too nippy for its own good – there’s enough power going to the front wheels to tug at the steering out of junctions, and we found leaving the car in its softer Eco mode helped tame it a little.

Model 

Power

0-62mph

Top speed

Honda e:Ny1

148bhp

7.6s

99mph

Interior & comfort

“A large portrait screen gives Honda’s infotainment a shot in the arm”

Honda interiors have a reputation for being hard-wearing, if a little uninspiring. That changed with the Honda e, which featured a somewhat retro-inspired interior mixing faux-wooden trim with lots of screens spanning the dashboard. Rather than copying this, the e:Ny1 goes its own way, and instead seems to take aim at the Tesla Model Y and Ford Mustang Mach-E. It features two large digital screens for a modern look, but material quality is only average.

Infotainment and navigation

The dashboard is dominated by a large 15.1-inch portrait display, which is big enough to be divided into three areas. The top portion shows navigation or Apple CarPlay and Android Auto when your smartphone is connected. Below this is a customisable section for apps, while the bottom portion shows climate controls, and the touchscreen is nicely responsive to inputs. Sometimes it can be a lot of information all in one place, but it’s a big step up over Honda’s previous software. Unlike the Model Y, there’s also a 10.25-inch driver’s display, clearly showing the car’s speed and other important driving and safety information.

Elegance trim includes plenty of equipment – as you’d expect for a car costing well over £40,000 – like heated front artificial leather seats, dual-zone air conditioning, a wireless charging pad, power mirrors and folding mirrors. Given that Advance only costs a few thousand pounds more, it’s likely to prove the most popular, with desirable features like a panoramic sunroof, heated steering wheel, hands-free tailgate and premium stereo. 

Using the My Honda+ app there’s also a Digital Key, which can allow up to five people to lock, unlock and start the car and it’s free for the first year of ownership. 

Key features

Elegance

  • 15.1-inch portrait display
  • 10.25-inch driver’s display
  • Synthetic leather upholster
  • Heated front seats
  • Wireless charging pad
  • Keyless entry
  • Privacy glass

Advance 

(Elegance plus…)

  • Panoramic sunroof
  • Heated leather steering wheel
  • Premium audio system
  • Powered hands-free tailgate
  • Parking Pilot with multi-view camera

Practicality & boot space

“Rear passenger space is good, but the Honda e:Ny1 doesn’t have the biggest boot”

The Honda e:Ny1’s pricing puts it in a slightly tenuous position, because despite being priced to compete with larger models like the Skoda Enyaq, the e:Ny1 is similar in size to models including the Hyundai Kona Electric. 

Luckily there is quite a bit of room for passengers in the back of the Honda, so they won’t feel short-changed at least. Its fairly tall roofline means rear head and knee room is pretty good, and the feeling of backseat space is boosted by a flat floor without a hump running through it. 

Size comparison

Model 

Length

Width

Height

Honda e:Ny1

4,387mm

1,790mm

1,584mm

Hyundai Kona Electric

4,355mm

1,825mm

1,570mm

Vauxhall Mokka Electric

4,151mm

1,791mm

1,531mm

Kia Niro EV

4,420mm

1,825mm

1,570mm

Boot space

The e:Ny1’s small stature does have an impact on boot space, which at 361 litres, is around 20 litres less than you’ll find in a family hatchback like the Volkswagen Golf. It’s also quite a bit down on the 466 litres in the Hyundai Kona Electric. It does closely match the MG4 (363 litres) and beat the Vauxhall Mokka Electric, however. 

The space itself is accommodating thanks to its simple rectangular shape, and folding down the rear seats increases space to 1,176 litres. Because the electric motor is under the SUV’s nose, there’s also no front storage ‘frunk’ space to accommodate soft bags or charging cables.

Boot space comparison

Model 

Boot space

Honda e:Ny1

361/1,176

Hyundai Kona Electric

466/1,300

Vauxhall Mokka Electric

310/1,060

Kia Niro EV

475/1,445

Reliability & safety

“We don’t expect Honda’s EVs to be any less reliable or safe than its ICE models”

Honda has an excellent reputation for engineering and reliability, so we wouldn’t be concerned about buying any of its cars. That’s even the case when you take into consideration that this is Honda’s first-ever electric SUV – it’s not like the brand is any stranger to electrification with its hybrid models, let alone its all-electric Honda e city car.

The brand’s 18th place out of 32 manufacturers in our Driver Power survey is only a middling result, but the fact it came 10th for reliability is more positive. It’s backed up by the fact only 15% of Honda owners reported a fault within the first year – a lower proportion than rivals Kia and Mazda (25%), along with Peugeot (19%) and Hyundai with 21%.

Safety

Independent testing body Euro NCAP is still to crash-test the e:Ny1, but we’d expect it to perform well; whether it can manage five stars like the Honda Civic remains to be seen. Honda’s ‘Sensing’ suite of active safety kit is fitted as standard to both trim levels, and includes autonomous emergency braking (AEB), blind-spot warnings, lane keeping, traffic sign recognition and ‘Road Departure Mitigation’.

Which Is Best?

Cheapest

  • Name
    150kW Elegance 69kWh 5dr Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Auto
  • Price
    £44,100

Most Economical

  • Name
    150kW Elegance 69kWh 5dr Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Auto
  • Price
    £44,100

Fastest

  • Name
    150kW Elegance 69kWh 5dr Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Auto
  • Price
    £44,100

Andy is Carbuyer's managing editor, with more than a decade of experience helping consumers find their perfect car. He has an MA in automotive journalism and has tested hundreds of vehicles.

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