Honda e:Ny1: Bold, dynamic and elegant

Honda e:Ny1: Bold, dynamic and elegant

The Honda e:Ny1 is the second fully electric car offered by the Japanese brand, this time targeting the European compact family SUV segment.

It is also the first model to be sold using the manufacturer’s “dealership-lite” approach – its first foray into direct customer selling. Rebecca Adamson, Honda’s UK head of automotive, told AM earlier this year that customers who still wanted to visit a dealership to buy a new electric car wouldn’t actually see any difference.

Honda said it looked at all strategic options when it came to the business model: from adopting a full franchise center to a full dealership position, and after consulting with franchisees, announced plans to develop the artificial dealership model from late 2023 largely as a pilot to be implemented. Eventually moving Honda’s entire new vehicle lineup to direct-to-consumer transactions.

The manufacturer has also been vocal about insisting that with all its investment in battery electric vehicles – and with profitability still a decade away – it has been forced to focus on eliminating cost. Honda has certainly not had a wide choice of new cars in UK showrooms in recent memory. Its Jazz, Civic, HR-V, CR-V and Honda e have now been joined by the electric ZR-V, e:Ny1 and the next-generation CR-V in plug-in hybrid and plug-in hybrid forms – almost doubling the planned line-up.

Therefore, Honda has deliberately sought sustainable profits allowing its retail network to determine display sizes, and following a six-year rationalization programme, it currently has 121 operating retailers, which will reduce to 100 over the next 18 months in Her quest for optimal representation. Including multi-brand locations and authorized repair locations.

How long it takes the manufacturer to transition to a full dealership approach will be interesting, as will the success of its electrification ambitions.

Honda E:Ny1Honda E: Ny1

The e:Ny1 uses Honda’s newly developed front-drive e:N Architecture F platform – which will become the basis for the entire B-segment EV family going forward. However, it bears some resemblance to its hybrid cousin the HR-V with a similar coupe-like roofline, measuring 1,584m tall, 1,790m wide, and slightly longer at 4,387m, with a 2,607m wheelbase.

When it comes to color options, customers can choose from Aqua Topaz, along with Platinum White, Crystal Black, Urban Gray and Vermilion Red at launch. If you’re interested in your brand identity, you’ll see that the e:Ny1 also features Honda’s new EV identity – a white “H” badge on the front that serves as a wild visual homage to electrics, plus a new sans-serif typeface for the brand name on the back that heralds a new era for the manufacturer .

High-quality cabin materials are available in black or light gray synthetic leather, depending on the exterior color. The Advanced Series models feature smart stitching, while the Elegance Series seats come only in black, complementing the light gray roof color of the version. The car also comes with stylish 18-inch alloy wheels as standard.

The e:Ny1 has a maximum boot capacity of 361 liters – good for its size – which increases to 801 liters to the window line with the rear seats folded down, and up to 1,176 liters when loaded to the roof.

The new center console with gear selector buttons is functionally designed, as is the electronic handbrake switch and wireless charging pad. Honda’s Drive Select system is unique and requires a pincer-like motion which can help less dexterous drivers – although, with that said, we found the hood latch set too far back which can lead to some frustrating grappling. The flush door handles add to the sleek look, and while they’re aerodynamically impressive, we wondered if all passengers would find them easy to use. Swings and carousels…

Honda says the arrangement of the electric drivetrain components, including battery placement, allows it to create more space in the cabin. The advanced version complements this feeling of spaciousness with a panoramic roof that increases daylight. However, the two-piece detachable rear canopy proved interesting. Honda says that by retaining the manual, it eliminates the need for electrical components, increasing rear headroom and the glass area above. When opened, said sunshade dropped alarmingly, falling inches from the rear passengers’ faces. A worthwhile ambition but one that can be problematic at the same time – especially with bored young children in the back.

The interior is carefully designed. It’s understated in terms of standout features although the 15.1-inch central touchscreen split into three areas: air conditioning controls at the bottom, information and menu displays in the middle, and map/smartphone mirroring at the top is the most impressive piece. . resistance.

The system enables simple integration of third-party apps, including wireless Apple Car Play and wired Android Auto, while in-car Wi-Fi allows all occupants to stay connected on the go. The infotainment system is very intuitive and easy to use. Interestingly, the removal buttons remain physical buttons on the bottom of the controller.

Honda says the 10.25-inch digital instrument panel embodies the car’s clean, uncluttered design style although we found the upright angle of the screen disconcerting at first although this doesn’t seem to affect visual reference during actual driving.

Shipping and range

The latest battery management technology delivers an impressive WLTP range of up to 412 kilometers (256 miles), with fast charging capabilities enabling a 10-80% charge in approximately 45 minutes using the DC fast charger and CCS connector. This charging method also allows up to 100 kilometers of range to be added in just 11 minutes, and when using a standard domestic AC charger, 10-80% of total charging capacity can be achieved within six hours.

One of the standout features of the e:Ny1 is the unique status indicator system that allows you to check the charging status remotely as a wide black bar appears just below the hood line. The horizontal bar gently pulsates from left to right during the charging process, creating what Honda calls a “digital heartbeat” effect.

Once charging is complete, the bar will remain lit to indicate that the battery is fully charged and will flash red to indicate any charging errors. Once charging is complete and the cable is disconnected, the car emits a farewell chime and sends the driver a charming ‘wink’. Neat – and something that could make charging a less stressful experience for the novice EV driver.

The e:Ny1 uses Honda Connect for easy charging, whether at home or at a charging station. This can be done from within the vehicle or remotely using the My Honda+ smartphone app which provides valuable information such as remaining charge, charging status and charging timer.

It offers a wide range of features, allowing users to lock, unlock and start their vehicle. Climate control settings can be adjusted and scheduled to have the car warm or cool before you start driving. The app also allows drivers to monitor their trips, check their car’s location, and share their destination with friends and family.

Safety features

The Honda e:Ny1’s central touchscreen is home to the navigation, clock and camera displays, which are prioritized at the top as the most prominent location in the driver’s line of sight while the middle level hosts the ‘Driver Assistance’ area which presents the car’s status including useful car apps and settings in Easy to navigate.

The e:Ny1 features Honda SENSING’s current suite of safety technologies as standard, enhancing overall crash performance and additional driver assistance systems including some smart cameras and sonar technology.

The front camera system is a wide-angle camera with an impressive 100-degree horizontal viewing angle. Working with a high-speed image processing chip, this system dramatically improves object detection accuracy for safety features such as collision mitigation braking. In addition to the front camera, there is another camera placed at the back as well as one on each door mirror, providing a comprehensive 360-degree view of the advanced version.

The camera-based system is complemented by 12 sonar sensors discreetly placed around the vehicle: four on each of the front and rear bumpers and two on each side, which collectively work in tandem to enable the e:Ny1 to identify road markings and road edges without lines as well as other road users. .

Honda’s safety strategy also extends to high-voltage electrical components that are automatically deactivated in the event of a collision.

Driving ability

As a compact electric crossover, the e:Ny1 performs well – exactly what you’d expect from the Honda brand’s reliable quality. Its ride is fairly firm, which is typical for heavy electric SUVs – although Honda believes it has reduced a significant amount of weight compared to similar electric vehicles in its class.

The three-in-one integrated drive, which combines the powertrain, electric motor and transmission, weighs just 77.4kg and is positioned over the front axle. The high-performance 150 kW engine achieves 92% efficiency, delivering 310 Nm of torque equivalent to 2,788 Nm at the wheels, accelerating the car from 0 to 100 km/h in 7.6 seconds, and reaching a top speed of 160 km/h. .

To combat the annoying acceleration found in some electric cars, Honda has fine-tuned the e:Ny1’s acceleration, providing a fun and stable driving experience by mapping the car’s acceleration to match the acceleration of a gasoline car. After driving the car in each performance mode, there was little evidence of body roll and the driver could easily feel the center of gravity. Braking was particularly interesting in Sport mode, where the e:Ny1 seemed to lack the tactile feel that a Honda traditionally provides.

The e:Ny1 offers three pre-configured driving modes: Sport, Normal and Econ Drive to customize the vehicle’s performance settings to balance driving dynamics and efficiency. Eco mode focuses on conserving energy by reducing throttle response and intelligently managing auxiliary systems such as air conditioning, heated seats and steering wheel, allowing for more economical driving. We found the throttle response soft in this mode, and the lack of intimidation here should give drivers new to EVs something very reassuring as they make the transition to higher torque and achieve that compromise between performance and cabin comfort. Switch to Sport mode and the 201-hp, 229 lb-ft electric motor takes full effect and delivers lively acceleration.

Outstanding features

  • The front of the car features an innovative rotating mesh panel that allows access to the car’s charging port – its central location allows for easy charging from both sides of the car.
  • The large central touchscreen takes center stage, providing the driver with simply displayed status monitoring and a comprehensive range of infotainment features.

Honda E:NE: Verdict

Honda’s high-performance e:N Architecture F platform – which makes its European debut with the e:Ny1 standing for “front engine, front wheel drive” – ​​will soon become the pioneer of alternative platforms featuring all-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive configurations, all built on the same basic principles. : High-density, high-efficiency central battery combined with high-power compact drive systems.

However, it will have to compete with rivals in the market at a similar price point such as the £45,000 Toyota bZ4X, the more affordable Peugeot e-2008, the Hyundai Kona Electric, the Kia Niro EV, or, at the pricier end, the Mercedes EQA and Single-engine version of the Volvo XC40.

The e:Ny1 is a competent electric SUV and represents Honda’s serious entry into the electric vehicle market within its segment. It fits into the Honda family well and will please Honda enthusiasts and those new to the brand who need the confidence to make their first transition to electric vehicles.

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