While most of the automotive industry has been shouting about electrification for years, Honda has been slower to the draw. The Japanese auto giant has one model on the way, however, in the upcoming Prologue EV. Based on General Motors technology, the SUV will feature sleek styling, upscale tech, and a roomy interior with a pleasing design. The Honda Prologue EV is coming soon, so let’s take a look at what you need to know about Honda’s first mass-market EV in the United States.
The Honda Prologue is a GM EV Underneath
Honda worked with General Motors to make the Prologue a reality, which may be disappointing to die-hard fans of the brand, but the SUV likely wouldn’t exist without the partnership. The Prologue will use GM’s Ultium technology, which means that it will be very similar to the Chevrolet Equinox and Blazer EVs underneath. Interior tech, such as the infotainment system, will also be slightly different as a result. The upcoming Acura ZDX will also share the technology.
The Honda Prologue EV Has a Unique Design
Honda designers in Los Angeles used virtual reality tools to mold the Prologue’s unique exterior shape. Calling it “neo-rugged,” Honda said the SUV is low and wide and noted that the 21-inch wheels are the largest ever offered on one of its vehicles. Though it rides on a GM platform and shares much of the other automaker’s tech, the Prologue’s look is 100 percent Honda.
Prologue Buyers Get Charging Credits
The Prologue promises a range of 300 miles from an 85kWh battery pack. The system can recover 65 miles of range in ten minutes and will be able to use Tesla’s Supercharger network. Honda also inked deals with Electrify America and EVgo to provide charging services to Prologue owners, further bolstering its access across the country.
At the same time, Prologue buyers get charging credits that range from $750 for public charging to $600 in home charging credits toward installing a Level 2 charger. Buyers can also opt for a $300 public charging credit and up to $250 toward a home charger. Electrify America is giving Prologue buyers 60kWh of free charging to start.
The Honda Prologue EV Will Offer Decent Performance
The Prologue will be available in front- and all-wheel drive configurations. Honda hasn’t detailed output numbers for the entry-level powertrain, but the dual-motor configuration will deliver 288 horsepower and 333 pound-feet of torque. While those are modest specs on paper, electric motors provide torque from the start rather than needing engine revs to deliver peak torque. That makes them feel much livelier and quicker than they would otherwise. It should also make the Prologue an excellent urban commuter, as the electric power makes zipping in and out of traffic a breeze.
Honda Gave the Prologue High-End Tech Features
Honda has improved its infotainment technology in recent years, and the Prologue benefits from that work. It gets an 11-inch digital gauge cluster and an 11.3-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The top Elite trim adds a 7×3 full-color head-up display. Conveniently, Honda included a handrest to enable steadier infotainment selections while driving. Top trims add a Bose stereo system with 12 speakers that Honda said was specifically designed for the Prologue’s cabin. All models get USB-C charging ports and over-the-air updates for the infotainment system.
While large, feature-rich screens are noteworthy, the bigger deal with the Prologue’s tech comes from Google. The SUV offers Google built-in, which brings Maps, Google Assistant, and some features from the Play Store. Google’s services also integrate with the vehicle’s battery monitoring system, and Maps can reroute to accommodate charging stops as needed.
The Prologue will Have an Upscale Interior
Honda’s interior design has taken massive steps forward in recent years, with the newest Civic, Accord, and CR-V bringing stunning cabins at reasonable price points. The automaker promises the same for the upcoming Prologue, saying that the SUV will get upscale materials and a design reminiscent of its other recently redesigned vehicles. Honda moved the gear selector to the steering column, which freed up space in the center console for giant cupholders that it said could carry 32-ounce bottles and for the first pocket-type wireless phone charger.
Without the need to accommodate bulky gas powertrain components, the Prologue’s interior is open and spacious. There’s no transmission, so the large hump in the middle of the floor is gone, which makes a considerable difference in the feel of the cabin. Honda offers different interior finishes and colors depending on the trim, including black and charcoal for the EX trim, leather for the Touring trim, and perforated leather for the Elite trim.
Honda is Targeting Top Safety Scores for the Prologue
Though it hasn’t been tested yet, Honda said it’s targeting top crash-test scores for the Prologue. That means a five-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and a Top Safety Pick + award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Honda said the SUV would get a raft of first-time features for the brand, including rear cross-traffic braking, blind zone steering assist, and rear pedestrian alerts.
The Prologue will Have a Somewhat Reasonable Starting Price
We don’t know the full spectrum of Prologue pricing, but Honda said the SUV will start in the upper-$40,000 range. That won’t make it the cheapest EV to exist, but it’s also not an outrageous amount. Honda’s decision to utilize General Motors technology means the Prologue will be built in North America, giving it federal tax credit eligibility. Changes to the credit structure in 2024 also mean that buyers will be able to use them toward the purchase price of the vehicle rather than waiting until the end of the year.
Honda Has Other EVs Planned
Beyond the Prologue, Honda has a range of other electric vehicles in the works, including one with electronics giant Sony. The automaker has also said that it plans a line of affordable electric vehicles soon, including smaller, cheaper cars that could compete with the Chevrolet Bolt EV and similar models.
When it lands, the Prologue will be a compelling option in a growing sea of strong contenders. Its price point and brand name will likely do wonders for its popularity, and GM’s Ultium technology should give it a solid platform to build success. Initial deliveries of the EV are scheduled for early 2024, but the first round of production is likely spoken for already. In any case, another electric option is a good thing for buyers and should be a good thing for Honda as it looks to get its zero-emissions vehicle programs on track.