Autos

the match of electric city cars

Newly landed in the all-electric segment, Honda and Mini offer two city cars with fairly similar characteristics but with a very different philosophy. Which one is the best? That’s what we tried to find out in this exclusive video comparison.

On the technical level, our two rivals have many points in common. Both are equipped with permanent magnet electric motors. At maximum power, however, the advantage goes to the Mini Cooper SE which packs a block of 184 horsepower against 154 for the Honda e in the Advance configuration of our test model.

On the battery side, the values ​​between the two models are quite close. Count 32.6 kWh for the Mini and 35.5 kWh for the small e. On the recharging part, the Electric Mini has the advantage of an onboard charger of 11 kW where the Honda e is limited to 6.6 kW. In fast charging, both models receive a Combo connector for an 80% recharge carried out in about 30 minutes.

Honda e AdvanceMini Cooper SE
Max power113 kW / 154 hp135 kW / 184 hp
Couple315 Nm270 Nm
0-100 km / h8.3 s7.3 s
Max speed145 km / h150 km / h
Drums35.5 kWh32.6 kWh
AC charging6.6 kW11 kW

Journalist-tester for Automobile-Propre, Maxime Fontanier took the wheel of the two city cars.

Very different philosophies

Marked by their rounded shapes, our two competitors display a fairly similar size. A little smaller, the Mini is 3.85 m long and 1.750 wide against 3.89 and 1.752 m for the Japanese. The comparison ends there because the aesthetic choices are radically different between the two models. Where the Mini traces its lines to the rest of the thermal range with a few specific elements, the small Honda e has a unique design.

Honda e AdvanceMini Cooper SE
Unloaded weight1545.6 kg1440 kg
Length3,894 mm3850 mm
Width1,752 mm1750 mm
Height1512 mm1450 mm
Wheelbase2530 mm2500 mm

Inside, the two models are also poles apart. The Honda has a very Japanese atmosphere with wood paneling and a set of three large screens complemented by standard retro cameras. The two touch screens – the first for the driver and the second for the passenger – have many features and integrate compatibility with Apple Car Play and Android auto. The ergonomics are rather well thought out with USB ports and all the necessary storage. In the end, the atmosphere is very Zen, the presence of the panoramic roof offering a beautiful light and a feeling of additional space.

In the Mini, the atmosphere is more confined. The driving position is much sportier, our top-of-the-range “Yours” finish incorporating leather bucket seats. We are better installed but lower than in the Japanese. On board this Cooper SE, we feel like in a small kart. This is the Mini spirit! The atmosphere is also less technological. Digital, the instrumentation is completed by a head-up display device and a small touch screen capable of being divided into several parts, all with Apple Car Play and Android Auto compatibility.

On the chest level, the Mini wins the match. Where the Japanese is content with a volume of 170 liters cluttered by the wheel arches, the small British offers a capacity of 211 liters as well as a double bottom to store the charging cables. Modularity is also superior with a folding bench in two parts where that of the Honda e folds in a single block.

Access to the rear seats is more practical on the Honda e, which benefits from a 5-door configuration. Once installed, you have plenty of legroom, a flat floor and two USB sockets, all with better elbow width than in the Mini.

In the back of the Mini, you feel more crowded and you have to contort yourself to get on board. The legroom is more limited than on the Honda and the presence of the central tunnel penalizing.

Configured as a five-door, the Honda e is much easier to access than its rival.

Driving

If it is slightly smaller, the Mini is less manoeuvrable than the Honda e. In question: a turning radius given for 10.7 m against only 9.2 m for the small “e”. In town, the Honda e is much smoother and benefits from significantly lighter steering. You obviously have to get used to the retro-cameras, which are imposed as standard, which is not easy at first.

In terms of regenerative braking, both models offer multi-level adjustment. However, the ergonomics are superior on the Honda since everything goes through the paddles on the steering wheel with a device that can be controlled in a much more intuitive way.

When it comes to performance, we didn’t feel much of a difference between the two models in urban use, with the Honda e making up for its lower power with higher torque than its rival.

With almost 100 kilos less than the Honda, the Mini wins the match on the small country roads. Lower, firmer, it takes very little body roll and even positions itself as one of the coolest Minis we’ve tried. While its philosophy is less about driving fast, the Honda does not have to be ashamed of its performance. The steering is still just as light, even in sport mode, and its small turning radius gives it very good handling.

On motorways and national roads, the Honda regains the advantage. Less comfortable than its Japanese rival, the Mini displays more rolling noise and air noise above 110 km / h.

In terms of consumption, the Mini was the most frugal in this comparison with an average of 16 kWh / 100 km against more than 20 kWh / 100 km for the Honda e. Note that our two test models had the same 17-inch tire assembly.

A more affordable Honda

Rather premium, our two competitors are clearly not the most affordable of electric city cars. The Honda e is, however, a little more affordable than its rival. In the high-end Advance finish of our test model, the little Japanese girl is billed at € 38,060 excluding bonuses, which is almost € 3,000 less than the Mini Cooper SE, offered at € 40,800 in its Yours version.

At the entry level, the gap narrows slightly. Where the Honda starts from € 35,060, the Mini goes down to € 37,600 in its GreenWitch finish. Note that the Honda e is limited to a 100 kW engine in its entry-level version.

Price excluding bonus
Honda e Advance – 154 hp€ 38,060
Mini Cooper SE Yours – 184 hp40,800 €
Honda e – 136 hp€ 35,060
Mini Cooper SE Greenwitch – 184 hp€ 37,600

To conclude

A Honda e for comfort or a Mini Cooper SE with more response? In the end, our hearts balance for the Honda e. If the Mini remains more fun and better finished, it leans in front of the five-door configuration, the turning radius and the best comfort of the little Japanese in a city segment where responsiveness and driving pleasure remain secondary criteria. .

And you ? What is your favorite? Please feel free to complete the survey below and share your thoughts in the comments thread …

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