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Driving

What is it like to drive?

The e:Ny1 has its sensible shoes on, but there are a few surprising compromises with the drive. The ride is quite firm (which isn't unusual for a car like this) and it gets uncomfortable on more unsettled roads (which obviously doesn’t happen in the UK).

Also, the steering can feel odd: there’s a variable ratio set-up here that has a light initial turn and weights up suddenly as you head through a corner.

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What about the numbers? 

The 61.9kWh of battery (that’s the useable figure – it’s 68.8kWh altogether) is packaged under the seats and cabin floor, and makes for 256 miles of WLTP range. It’s middle of the pack, but will still cover the vast majority of journeys. We got around 4mi/kWh out of the e:Ny1 on mixed roads (not too much motorway in there, admittedly), which is very respectable. 

Is it slow?

The 0–62mph time of 7.6 seconds is less than one might have expected from an electric crossover, but then this Honda isn't pitching you a Civic Type R alternative here.

Honda says it's keen to cut down on the travel sickness it claims is common in electric vehicles – they’re all too fast, apparently. So it has tuned the acceleration to mimic that of a petrol-engined car, with a more linear pick-up of speed rather than the rollercoaster take-off we associate with a lot of EVs. 

We can’t speak to the travel sickness, but the throttle is appreciably more sedate. The e:Ny1 will still scramble its front wheels out of a junction in Sport mode, but you’ve really got to go for it, rather than being taken by surprise by the instant slug of torque.

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Any niggles? 

The regen – and this is an issue across all of Honda’s electrified products – is infuriating if you’re used to other vehicles that let you choose how much retardation you want from the e-motor. In Normal and Eco modes you jiggle the steering wheel paddles to change the level of recuperation, but by the time you get to the next corner it has reset to Honda’s auto mode. 

The maximum regen setting is also not strong enough, with no B mode selectable from among the transmission buttons in the central part of the dashboard. So you’ll find yourself dashing to the brake pedal to get the extra bit of slow-down you were expecting from the car. 

We also found that the steering wheel adjustment wasn’t to our liking – the rake is flexible enough, but the reach is sadly lacking, meaning quite a reach for your arms unless you move your seat further forward. A strange thing to encounter on a brand new platform.

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