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Jürgen Pander, DER SPIEGEL:

“Hello Niko.”

Niko Bünten, video journalist:

»Hello Jürgen.

So, what do you look like?

Wasn’t there enough for a hat, or what?”

Jürgen Pander, DER SPIEGEL:

»It's cold in the car.

I turned off the air conditioning to save electricity and gain range.

And besides, these things are a symbol here.

Namely, the manufacturer of the electric car apparently didn't really listen to some customer requests.

Today we're taking the Honda e:Ny1 for a spin.

And first of all, you get stuck with this strange name.

The three letters E, N, Y stand for the terms “Energize”, “New” and “Yourself” and the number one for Honda’s first electric car on a new platform.

There was already an electric model from Honda, from 2020 the small car Honda E. But it has since been discontinued because it hardly sold.

Too expensive, too short a range.

The e:Ny1 is supposed to make everything better.

And that – beware, spoiler – only partially succeeds.

But let's start with the positive.

The shape and format of the car are pleasing, compact and significantly less intrusive than many other family SUVs.

The car has five doors, five seats and, which is practical, it has a large loading hatch at the front.

It can be opened from the inside with a button or from the outside with this button here.

It is lit.

Here are the charging ports.

And up here there are two more lights that glow or pulsate white, blue or red depending on whether the car is charging, has finished charging or is having problems charging.

And the keyword “loading” is the first point of criticism.

The battery with a storage capacity of 68.8 kilowatt hours can handle up to eleven kilowatts of alternating current.

This is normal or up to 78 kilowatts of direct current, which is below average, can be charged.

And in our test car there was also the fact that during several stops at the quick charger in this weather, i.e. single-digit temperatures, the battery barely drew more than 50 kW of energy.

And if you still have a longer distance ahead of you, that can be a test of patience.

Honda argues that the charging power is always coordinated in such a way that the battery is protected as best as possible and thus extends its lifespan.

That is understandable.

However, this also wastes the life of Honda users.

We have no time to lose.

We'll go inside now and look around.

If you look around a bit here in the Honda e:Ny1, you'll quickly notice the design, workmanship and equipment that fits.

The controls are clearly arranged, the all-round visibility is fine and the seats are very comfortable even on longer journeys.

Honda has come up with something special for the portrait-format, central touchscreen.

It is divided into three parts.

The top section always shows the navigation information or the content from Android Auto or Apple Car Play.

In the middle area there are the different selection tiles for the on-board computer, for example, or for setting music.

And down here, you can always see the touch surface for the air conditioning.

Below in the center console we have the buttons that operate the one-speed reduction gearbox.

A little further back is the toggle switch for the three driving modes “Eco”, “Normal” or “Sport”.

And here on the side there are two large cup holders.

Actually, they are bottle holders, because as you can see, a normal-sized coffee mug literally sinks in here and it's a bit of a fiddle to get it out.

Not a very practical solution, but we'll leave it as it is for now.

We're going for a spin.

Niko, get in.

The driving experience in the Honda e:Ny1 fits perfectly with the appearance of the car.

The car drives comfortably, quietly and the performance is completely sufficient.

However, this impeccable driving behavior comes up against the previously mentioned weakness in fast charging and an irritating deviation in the range from the standard value.

The standard value according to WLTP is 412 kilometers.

However, when we disconnected the car from the charging station this morning, the on-board computer only showed 330 kilometers with a 100 percent battery level and two days ago in the same situation with a full battery level it was only 244 kilometers.

And we haven't yet been able to achieve the WLTP average consumption of 18.2 kilowatt hours per 100 kilometers.

We have now driven around 800 kilometers and our average consumption is exactly 20 kilowatt hours per 100 kilometers, always in “Eco” mode and almost always with the air conditioning switched off.

Because there is no heat pump for this car.

And the air conditioning really eats up the range.

You can see this here when I turn on the air conditioning.

We now have 267 kilometers.

Now I switch on the air conditioning and, hey presto, we only have 198 kilometers left, i.e. around 70 kilometers of range, which is, so to speak, diverted from the air conditioning.

That's around a quarter, 25 percent.

Pretty steep.

There is nothing to complain about in the back seats.

The space is really generous here at the front and also upwards.

The floor here is flat throughout and we have two USB-C ports.

This is the trunk: 361 liter capacity.

There is a movable loading floor, including a bit of storage space underneath, for example for the charging cable.

And if you fold down the rear seat backs, the loading volume increases to 1,176 liters.

There is no storage space under the front hood, no “frunk”.

That's why we don't look down at all, we just go for another lap.

The Honda e:Ny1 is a car that leaves you perplexed.


Because on the one hand the car is sophisticated, well thought out and well made, but on the other hand it reveals major weaknesses that one can only be surprised about with an established manufacturer like Honda.

Especially since the e:Ny1 is a completely new electric car and competes in a segment where there is strong competition.

We like: The intuitively operated infotainment system, the comfortable driving experience and the spacious back seat.

Negative points are the weak fast charging performance, there is no heat pump for the car and the large discrepancy between the official and actual range.

Niko Bünten, video journalist:

“How much does the car cost here?”

Jürgen Pander, DER SPIEGEL:

»The Honda e:Ny1 is available from 47,590 euros.

And our test car with basic equipment but special paint costs 48,380 euros.

So Niko, now we just have to clarify who can wear the ear warmers on the return journey.

Niko Bünten, video journalist:

“Yes, I already have a hat.”

Jürgen Pander, DER SPIEGEL:

»Okay, then I'll put it on real quick.

And the air conditioning stays off.”

Niko Bünten, video journalist: