Honda is revamping its range of offerings as the new era in electric mobility approaches, but it’s also keeping some tried and tested models.
With 13 of the top 20 UK models now SUVs in a sector that has grown to almost 56% of annual registrations, Honda could not ignore what buyers want.
It’s city-car Honda e has been joined by the e:Ny1 compact SUV bringing more room and range for families. It will also assist Honda in selling 22% electric models across its range as mandated by the EU from early 2024.
It arrives with five years servicing and warranty along with UK and European roadside assistance over the same period.
Honda e:Ny1, which has already been taken to mean Honda Anyone, will be sold in Elegance and Advance versions, with the more expensive model getting glass roof, parking pilot, powered tailgate, multi-view camera, upgraded audio and heating wheel.
Elegance models cost from just under £45,000 while the Advance is approximately £2,200 more with black standard colour and white, red, grey or topaz £650 more.
With the newcomer, customers get e:progress, an over-the-air charging management programme which works with existing home chargers to always use lower costs, clean and green-energy at off-peak times and there is a special deal for a customer fitting a home charger for the first time.
Honda say the newcomer can cover over 250 miles range with it taking 45mins to be boosted from 10-80%. It features a water-cooled battery for optimum consistent power delivery so its life should be extended.
Although having a profile similar to the larger HRV and using the same doors, the e:Ny1 sits on a new platform with 150kW/ 204ps front motor drivetrain and battery housed low under the floor to maximise interior space.
Top speed is approximately 100mph and 0-62mph takes 7.6 secs.. On our brief test of country roads an a bit of motorway we saw power drain at approx. 3.7 m/kwh, suggesting a real overall range of about 200 miles.
The 15.1 inch infotainment screen dominates the console and is packed with features, maybe too many for some tastes, but the mode controls are simple.
It has reasonable pickup, steers and stops well, with safe and surefooted handling, a fairly good ride over all but the worst surfaces and was roomy. Most of the time it was quiet except when coping with poor tarmac and under hard throttle the motor could be heard whining away.
Alongside the e:Ny1, Honda UK decided to give us a taste of the latest CR-V, now in its sixth generation (below) and sold as an all-wheel-drive hybrid or, for the first time in Europe, front-wheel-drive plug-in hybrid which we tested.
It is the first Honda in Europe to offer a comprehensive all round safety and driver assistance system called Sensing 360.
We managed on a short 40 miles drive to ease it over 61.6mpg with a mixture of country roads and motorway.
Seats were big, comfortable and had electric adjustment infront with split loading and reach setting in the back. The loadbed floor was about knee-height, wide and long with a good basic capacity which more than tripled.
The familiar HEV powertrain in the CR-V has been refined and efficiency improved while the PHEV comes with a larger battery giving up to 50 miles pure electric range, ideal for many commuters in charging zones.
The newcomers have revised high performance lighting both ends and different grille openings to distinguish them apart together with a longer wheelbase and wider stance to give rear seat passengers more room as well as increased luggage space.
Up front is a 2.0 litre Atkinson-cycle petrol engine with high pressure fuel injection, stronger crankshaft and advanced catalyst for smoother performance and longer life with lower emissions.
The HEV is the latest updated Honda system with twin motors and automatic transmission giving smoother and higher performance, together with revised gearing including a new low range ratio.
The changes have given the HEV a 0-62mph time of 9.4secs and maximum 116mph, about 42mpg overall and lower emissions of 151gkm.
Our PHEV model had the enlarged 17.7kWh battery to give the 50miles ev distance which combined with the petrol engine produce a possible 353 miles range overall from a fully charged battery and fuel tank. It takes about 2.5 hrs to fully charge the battery.
Sensing 360 is a system of wide angle front camera, millimetre-wave radar and four corner radar transceivers effectively looking around the vehicle all the time for danger and alerting the driver. It works in conjunction with intelligent cruise control, jam assist, collision mitigation, lane assist and now automatic parking assistance.
Inside, Honda has updated the look and feel of the cabin with new colours and textures, upgraded seats, given more adjustable legroom in the rear and the PHEV has an extra under-floor loading space. It has also been fitted with a more powerful tailgate motor to reduce opening time.
There are four versions of the CR-V; Elegance, Sensing 360, Advance and Advance Tech 2WD PHEV. Prices rise from £45,895 to almost £54,000.
Our CR-V PHEV was very smooth, quiet and roomy, particularly in the rear, and the loadspace was very useful from 617 to 1710 litres.