Review: Honda e:Ny1

From £44,995

Before we begin let’s deal with the elephant in the room. The Honda e:Ny1 is pronounced ‘ee-en-why-one’. Frankly, why it’s not simply called a Honda HR-V Electric is another matter, because it’s almost identical to its hybrid sibling, but there you go. Jump to the ‘Exterior’ and ‘Interior’ sections of this review below if you want to read about the differences.

For now, it’s worth placing the Honda e:Ny1 into its market segment because this family-sized car is up against the likes of the Kia Niro EV, MG ZS EV, Hyundai Kona Electric, Jeep Avenger and Volkswagen ID.4.

As standard, the Honda e:Ny1 comes in Crystal Black Pearl, but five other colours are available, including Vermillion Red Pearl, Obsidian Blue, Aqua Topaz Metallic, Urban Grey Pearl and Platinum White Pearl.

Additionally, Honda has kept things simple with the e:Ny1, by offering just two trim levels – Elegance and Advance.

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For peace of mind, the e:Ny1 comes with a five-year “care package” which includes a five-year service plan, five-year warranty and five-year roadside assistance.

It’s well equipped too, with all models getting Honda Sensing as standard – a full suite of advanced safety and driver assistance features including Lane Keeping Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, Collision Mitigation Braking, Blind Spot Information, Road Departure Mitigation and Traffic Sign Recognition, plus front and rear parking sensors, and a reversing camera.

We drove it on a variety of roads and motorways in the South West, to find out whether this newcomer could compete with its better-known competitors.

>  Review: Honda CR-V ePHEV

2023 Honda e:Ny1 side view

Honda e:Ny1 – Exterior

You’d be forgiven for thinking the all-new Honda e:Ny1 looks familiar. That’s probably because it shares its body with the Honda HR-V – a full hybrid small SUV.

There are some differences to separate the two, such as the e:Ny1’s blanked-off front end (hiding the charging port) and different bumpers – front and back.

From the side, the siblings share the same, distinctive coupe-esque sloping roofline, while the rear end is almost identical, except that the EV has the word ‘Honda’ spelt out across the tailgate instead of a badge.

Apart from all that, the Honda e:Ny1 is a classic crossover shape with short overhangs, high sides and good ground clearance.

2023 Honda e:Ny1 interior

Honda e:Ny1 – Interior

Inside, the Honda e:Ny1 is a cut above the HR-V, thanks to a technology upgrade. There’s a massive 15.1-inch portrait touchscreen in the middle and a 10.25-inch digital driver’s display as standard, along with dinky buttons for selecting gears.

The HR-V has to make do with a 7.0-inch digital driver display behind the steering wheel and a 9.0-inch landscape infotainment touchscreen, plus a lever to change gear. As you’d expect in an SUV, the driving position in the e:Ny1 is fairly high, but you don’t feel as perched as you do in some rivals.

It’s easy to get comfortable because you get electrically adjustable seats as standard, and the steering wheel has plenty of movement.

There’s good visibility and plenty of tech to help you out when parking. Front and rear parking sensors are standard, and if you upgrade to Advance trim, you get a reversing camera and Honda Parking Pilot – a system which gives the car the ability to park itself.

> MG ZS EV review: No-nonsense and affordable EV

The touchscreen is a joy to use, but ultimately, there’s still far too much major functionality that has to be accessed via prodding and swiping, taking your concentration away from the road. A common problem these days, but surely there’s a happy medium with some physical buttons for essentials?

Rear legroom is impressive, but taller passengers may struggle for headroom. The e:Ny1’s boot is a good size, but not class-leading. Entry-level Elegance takes 361 litres and Advance 344 litres. Fold the 60/40 rear seats there’s a 1,176-litre (1,136-litre) load capacity.

Sadly, Honda’s famous Magic Seats haven’t made it to the e:Ny1, so no folding the rear seats up like cinema chairs, allowing you to carry tall items in the footwell.

Overall, the cabin has a quality, modern feel, with more of a wow factor than the HR-V.

2023 Honda e:Ny1 interior

Honda e:Ny1 – Performance and economy

The Honda e:Ny1’s powertrain combines a 201bhp electric motor and a 68.8kWh battery (61.9kWh usable), giving a claimed range of up to 256 miles.

The drive is via the front wheels (there’s no 4×4 option), while 0-62mph acceleration is 7.7 seconds.

With a maximum DC rate of 78kW, charging speeds are modest for a brand-new car. All the same, it can be charged from 10-80% in about 45 minutes via a 100kW charger. Or to put it another way, around 60 miles of range can be added in as little as 11 minutes.

> Hyundai Kona Electric review: Impressive all-rounder

There’s no heat pump for the battery, and as we discovered, this is one of the reasons why the e:Ny1 is not at its best during the cold winter months. In mixed driving, we managed a decent efficiency of around 3 miles/kWh which gives a real-world range closer to 190 miles. That figure should rise if most of your journeys are urban-based.

However, even when fully charged we didn’t see anything near 256 miles on the dashboard. What’s more, as soon as you switch on any form of heating, the indicated range drops by around 20%.

That said, if most of your driving involves short journeys, then the e:Ny1’s range is acceptable. And even on a long journey, it’s fine as long as you’ve done a bit of planning.

There are three drive modes (Econ, Normal and Sport). Econ reduces throttle response, prioritising energy conservation by adjusting the air conditioning and heated seats etc, Sport gives it maximum beans, but as ever, Normal offers the best balance of efficiency and performance.

Honda reckons it’s mapped the acceleration of the e:Ny1 to mimic that of an ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) to cut down on travel sickness, which it claims is common with EVs.

We’re not sure it’s as big an issue as over-aggressive brake regeneration. All we can say is that the acceleration of the e:Ny1 seemed fine to us, especially in Econ mode. However, if you’re heavy with your right foot the front tyres struggle for traction, especially in wet conditions.

Finally, you can adjust the levels of brake regen via steering wheel-mounted paddles. Even at their strongest setting, one-pedal driving is out of the question though.

2023 Honda e:Ny1 boot

Honda e:Ny1 – Handling

The Honda e:Ny1’s suspension is a tad on the firm side (par for the course with electric SUVs), but thankfully the resulting ride is comfortable and it handles surprisingly well. It soaks up the lumps and bumps well and it’s only on the poorest surfaces or over speed bumps that it loses its composure.

Yes, there’s some body lean in more challenging corners, but it delivers a pleasant drive with quick and accurate steering.

Ultimately, the e:Ny1 is at its best driving around town, where it’s nippy and refined, while its tight turning circle, sensors and a rear-view camera make manoeuvring a doddle.

So, the e:Ny1 won’t win awards for driving engagement, but we suspect most buyers will be happy with the package as a whole.

> Which electric car is right for me?

2023 Honda e:Ny1 rear view

Honda e:Ny1 – Verdict

Easy to drive, well equipped, comfortable, safe and practical, the distinctive Honda e:Ny1 is a competent electric family SUV. However, this sector is fiercely competitive, and sadly for Honda, there are rivals with similar packages offering more range for less money.

Honda e:Ny1 – Tech Specs

Price: £44.995
On sale: Now
Engine: 68.8kWh battery
Power: 201bhp
Transmission: Single-speed
Performance: 0-62mph in 7.7s, top speed 99mph
Weight: 1,730kg
Dimensions: L/W/H 4,387/1,790/1,584

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Easy to drive, well equipped, comfortable, safe and practical, the distinctive Honda e:Ny1 is a competent electric family SUV.
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Range

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Comfort

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Dynamics

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Fast Facts

Price

£44,995

Battery Capacity

68.8 kWh

WLTP Range

256 miles

Maximum Power

201 bhp

Torque

228 lb-ft

0-60

7.7 secs

Top Speed

99 mph

Boot Capacity

361-
1176 litres

Pros and Cons

Easy, comfortable drive
Well equipped
Peace of mind
Top infotainment system
Disappointing real-world range
Expensive
Modest charging speed
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