Honda e Wins German Car of the Year 2021 Award

The tiny little electric Honda city car is the first ever Japanese car to bag this German award. 

Honda has recently made automotive history in Germany with its Honda e being crowned the ‘German Car of the Year 2021’. An award previously bagged by the Porsche Taycan in 2020 and by the Jaguar I-Pace in 2019, this cutesy Japanese hatchback is the first ever Japanese vehicle to win this prestigious title. 

Not to be confused with the best car made in Germany of 2021, the German Car of the Year is actually for the best car on sale in Germany over the last year, which was decided to be the little electric Honda. 

Comprising of a panel of leading German auto journalists, the jurors also awarded the Honda e with a win in the ‘New Energy’ category. Other category winners included the Volkswagen Golf in the Compact category, the Volkswagen ID.3 in the Premium category, the Polestar 2 in the Luxury category and the BMW Alpina B3 in the Performance category. 

This latest win come ahead of the ever increasing number of accolades for this tiny Honda EV. Having already been named the ‘Best of the Best 2020’ in the car category at the Red Dot Design Awards, not to mention being currently on display at the world-renowned Red Dot Design Museum in Essen, Germany, the e has also claimed top honours in various year-end awards from various automotive publications all across Europe, and even from further afield.

Then again, these awards do come as no surprise as Honda e has been waxed lyrical by the motoring media ever since the concept version of it first debut in the 2017 Frankfurt Auto Show. Auto journalists globally over the past year have been in awe at its cutesy aesthetic, innovative interior and willing performance, that is even before touching on its amazingly small turning circle and nippy handling. 

Its diminutive size and an equally diminutively sized battery pack however put many buyers off the e, who instead turn to its other longer range and more spacious rivals, which are also incidentally a significant margin cheaper too. Thus this EV city car, despite its critical acclaim, never did quite become the sales success in Europe that Honda had hoped it needed to be. 

Nevertheless, while the e was not a commercial success, it did manage to reinvigorate the Japanese automaker’s lineup. It may not be a fire-breathing supercar like the NSX, or a manic hot hatch like its Civic Type R, but the little e can have a little slice of the credit in bringing dyed in the wool petrolheads towards embracing the electrified future. Now let’s just hope Honda Malaysia bring it in soon, because I, for one, can’t wait to have a go in one. 

PRESS RELEASE: Honda’s first battery electric vehicle for Europe, the Honda e, has been named ‘German Car of the Year 2021’ in the country’s prestigious annual Car of the Year Awards, becoming the first vehicle from a Japanese brand to do so. The car also won in the ‘New Energy’ category.

This is the latest in a series of prestigious accolades to be given to the Honda e since its launch in Spring 2020, including the top honour in the Red Dot Design Awards.

The German Car of the Year awards are decided by a jury of leading German car journalists. The panel tests and reviews the latest cars, ranking them according to their usability, driving characteristics, market relevance and level of innovation. The winners of five categories – Compact, Premium, Luxury, New Energy and Performance – then go head-to-head to decide an overall winner.

“For Honda e to be the first Japanese car to be awarded German Car of the Year is a great honour and one we are incredibly proud to receive”, added Katsuhisa Okuda, CO & President of Honda Motor Europe. “Customer and media response to the Honda e since it was first unveiled has been overwhelmingly positive. The Honda e is a perfect example of a product with a unique design, featuring cutting-edge technology and advanced intelligent connectivity to keep owners connected with their everyday life. We are very thankful for this award.”

“Honda e represents a new type of mobility where the car plays a central role in creating a “seamless connection” between various facets of life.”  commented Tomofumi Ichinose, Honda e Large Project Leader.

“Honda e was also developed to be the best urban commuter in response to environmental issues, especially in city areas. Development of Honda e was a big challenge, however at the same time, it was fun to envision a beautiful and brighter future in which Honda e plays its part. Team members and I are delighted to receive this award, a recognition that the vision this car represents has value.”

This latest award for the Honda e follows notable success and recognition from across Europe. In the UK, the Honda e triumphed in Autocar’s ‘Britain’s Best Car’ Awards 2020 in the ‘Best Car Tech’ category, and it was recently named ‘City / Small Car of the Year’ in the News International Motor Awards 2020.

In Germany, the Honda e has also added a EuroCarBody 2020 award from Automotive Circle to its German Car of the Year title, just months after receiving two prestigious Red Dot awards for outstanding design, including top ‘Best of the Best 2020’ honours. The Honda e has since been on display at the world-renowned Red Dot Design Museum in Essen, Germany.

In Belgium, Honda’s urban electric supermini has been nominated for an Autogid Magazine award, in the ‘Electric Small’ category, and is also in the running for ‘Hungarian Car of the Year’, after being named the ‘Most Exciting Novelty/New Car’ by last year. Elsewhere in Europe, the Honda e has been nominated in Spain’s Axel Springer Motor Awards in the ‘small cars’ category and in Italy it’s in the running to be named Quattroruote’s ‘Car of the Year’. Meanwhile in Denmark, the car has been shortlisted for Denmark Car of the Year 2021.

The Honda e was launched earlier this year and is an important model in Honda’s commitment to electrify 100% of its European mainstream models by 2022. Setting new benchmarks for contemporary car design and advanced e-mobility, the Honda e has been designed without compromise with a focus on functionality and usability. It features a seamless, sleek and modern appearance, with cutting-edge technology and advanced intelligent connectivity to keep owners in sync with everyday life.

Joshua Chin

Automotive journalist. Professional work on and Personal writing found at Instagram: @driveeveryday

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