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E'S ELECTRIC Honda has created one the coolest and cutest cars on the road today

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The new Honda e

The new Honda e

Honda's latest offering is a joy, inside and out

Honda's latest offering is a joy, inside and out

The 'Charge Yellow' paint job is spectacular

The 'Charge Yellow' paint job is spectacular

The futuristic interior

The futuristic interior

Wing mirrors are so 2020

Wing mirrors are so 2020

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The new Honda e

Thankfully, the new the EV hasn't strayed far from the concept car unveiled three years ago...

A lot has been written about the Honda e in recent months. I was invited to the launch last October and got a few hours to take it for a spin, which was amazing. But not enough. It had such an impact, albeit brief, on me that I included the gorgeous motor in my 'top cars of 2020' list in December.

So when the Japanese car giant asked me would I like a full week in it I jumped at the chance. Seven whole days to fully appreciate what they have tried and achieved here.

How refreshing that a major car company took a concept car and actually turned it into an everyday urban car that could signal a big shift in people's views about EVs. Usually the mad designs never get past the prototype stage but thankfully the e made it to mainstream production.

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Honda's latest offering is a joy, inside and out

Honda's latest offering is a joy, inside and out

Honda's latest offering is a joy, inside and out

Unlike a lot of other car companies who design an EV and then try to wedge in as many batteries as they can to offer buyers to highest range possible, Honda flipped that when they took on the e by declaring from the beginning that it would be a 220km range EV. Meaning what you see here was built around the battery.

And look what the designers came up with - easily the coolest and cutest car on the road today in a beautifully contradictory manner. Honda has gone all retro in design. It is a wolf in sheep's clothing because to look at it you have no idea how high tech and impressive it is inside.

The only exterior feature that tips the cap to futuristic motoring are the cameras on the side of the car where you would normally see wing mirrors (more of that later).

The look is as retro as they come. Cute, fun, weird, futuristic, beautiful, amazing? Whatever superlative you want to throw at the new Honda e go right ahead. You might even think it isn't that attractive (you'd be wrong) but you have to admit this car is a breath of fresh air.

The fully-electric compact car is clearly designed first and foremost to appeal to style-conscious urban drivers. And if the outside doesn't convince you of that, then the inside quickly will.

Forget traditional car dash layouts. This is like a multi-screen interactive rocket ship. There are eight different screens strewn across the front of this car each with their own function, five of which sit side by side on top of a delicious wood-effect dashboard. There are four interactive touchscreens in the middle (two of which are interchangeable), with a standard display screen behind the steering wheel and the best bit - two mirror screens on either end of the row that act as your wing mirrors. Yes, you read that right. Wing mirrors are so last year.

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Wing mirrors are so 2020

Wing mirrors are so 2020

Wing mirrors are so 2020

Honda has installed HD cameras on the outside of both the driver's and passenger's door that transmit live pictures to the interior mirrors. The first time I merged with a motorway I doubted the tech and looked over my shoulder. But soon I was a convert. The lack of mirrors coupled with the crease-free panelling on the outside also adds to the unique minimalist look.

The final screen to shout about is the rear-view mirror which is also a mirror screen that takes its signal from a camera at the rear. That takes a little longer to get used to.

Such is the level of tech in this car that the onboard computer has a memory. That means that when I picked up the car with 90 per cent battery it told me my range was only 125km. That was because my car had been driven by several different motor journalists over the last few months and the rigours of test weeks meant the battery thought I would only get 125km on 90 per cent. But in truth, there is a real range of just under 220km and anyone lucky enough to buy one of these beauts won't own a car that has been pulled and dragged by giddy motor journalists before them.

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The futuristic interior

The futuristic interior

The futuristic interior

As a motor journalist you get used to driving fancy, expensive cars but it is rare that you receive as much rubber necking and queries from onlookers for a car that offers change of €30,000. That is how 'wow' this car is.

Front and rear LED lights are just old-school circles. No fancy lights show. No angles or curves; just circles. And it really works.

If you are buying one of these you want to wear it like a badge of honour so don't go for the 'modern steel' grey paint job. Go big or go home. There are two colours that will make it pop even more, called 'charge yellow' and 'crystal blue' that are far more befitting of this tyke.

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The 'Charge Yellow' paint job is spectacular

The 'Charge Yellow' paint job is spectacular

The 'Charge Yellow' paint job is spectacular

In conclusion, if you are looking for a big, bold car with space for lots of kids and comfort on long journeys then look elsewhere. If you are planning to drive long distances, then this isn't for you.

But if you are looking for an EV that will give you 220km (and can be fully charged in 31 minutes on a fast charge) in real range that is possibly the nicest looking car on the road today and comes with bucket loads of street cred, then get along to a Honda dealer right away.

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