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Published date: April 18, 2023

Honda City RS e:HEV: Driving Impressions & Review

Honda City RS e:HEV: Driving Impressions & Review

Meet the Honda City RS e:HEV! Our EV expert PJ gives his thoughts on what it is like to take this not-so-traditional electric car out for a drive.

The Honda City RS e:HEV in red
Table of contents

What’s it like to drive the Honda City RS e:HEV?

The Honda City RS e:HEV is technically an electric car, but not in the traditional sense of the term. Yes, at its core, the City RS e:HEV is a hybrid. However, the way it works is not exactly like a parallel hybrid―such as a Toyota Prius, for example. Instead, it is a series hybrid, where the purpose of  the engine is to generate electricity for the motor to run on. Therefore, the battery for a vehicle such as this one is much smaller than that in a full-blown electric vehicle. In other words, the City RS e:HEV is an electric car with electric motors, but you fill it up with gas. Yet there is no charging port to be found anywhere on this car.

Honda City RS e:HEV electric motors

All of these attributes mean that the Honda City RS e:HEV has a unique driving character. At low speeds, its torque and power delivery are fit for an electric car. The sensation of engine braking is stronger than that in a full petrol car, so it automatically slows itself down. The feel can be described as akin to the “low” regenerative braking mode on a full electric car. However, it can be quite disconcerting to press the accelerator pedal. Given that the engine is generally not directly powering the wheels, a driver can hear the engine noise, but this noise does not necessarily directly translate to more movement. Additionally, when stopped, the engine can rumble to life in order to keep the accessories running, which is not a feeling normally experienced in an electric car. This is due to the car using its internal combustion engine  as a generator.

Which features can I find in the Honda City RS e:HEV?

In terms of the interior, the Honda City RS e:HEV is very spacious for a subcompact city car, and it boasts various innovative technological features. One of our favorite features is the LaneWatch camera, which displays a video feed in the gauge cluster when activating the turn signal. This shows you what is in the lane next to you, before switching lanes, ensuring that you have the space you need to make a maneuver.

Honda City RS e:HEV LaneWatch camera

From a performance standpoint, the Honda City RS e:HEV is not going to blow anyone’s socks off. However, its acceleration is perfectly adequate, and delivers a healthy burst of power. Put simply, its performance is fit for any urban environment. In terms of dynamics, the steering has a light and traditional feel.

Honda City RS e:HEV cameras

For individuals in markets where charging infrastructure is not as developed, the City RS e:HEV reduces energy consumption and embodies many driving enhancements associated with EVs, without the inconvenience of charging. Therefore, it provides a serviceable option for a technology-minded consumer, who is more EV hesitant but wants to get an idea of what it would be like to drive an electric car.

Honda City RS e:HEV spacious trunk

Overall, the Honda City RS e:HEV offers a very complete package, and is nimble to drive around the city. It is a stepping stone in the right direction―one that will lead drivers to a new generation of mobility.

Tech Specs for the Honda City RS e:HEV

What about the tech specs? Here they are for the Honda City RS e:HEV:

  • Powertrain : 1.5L Sports intelligent Multi-Mode Drive (i-MMD)
  • Power: 109 PS
  • Torque: 253 Nm

Check out PJ's live reactions driving the Honda City RS e:HEV in our Youtube channel.

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