People don’t like change. They resist it, they fight it, they eventually relinquish, and everything usually turns out fine. Honda knows that customers sometimes need to be eased into change.
The 2024 Honda Prologue is the poster child for transitioning into the full electric vehicle (EV) lifestyle. Honda has made it as easy and painless as possible. It looks like a traditional SUV, inside and out, if still a futuristic one.
They also wanted it to feel and sound like a Honda. The development team included engineers from Japan and Ohio, as well as the styling team at the Honda design studio in Los Angeles. The collaboration began remotely during the pandemic, but it became a hands-on, in-person project where they aimed at creating an electrified vehicle that delivers Honda’s fun to drive dynamics.
“As the launch product into the growing world of EVs, the Prologue’s importance for Honda and its electrification efforts cannot be overstated. Initial impressions are very positive, and while not groundbreaking, the specs we know so far are on par with the segment and expected price point,” Paul Waatti, manager, industry analysis at AutoPacific told Newsweek.
“Despite its co-development with General Motors and similarities to the Chevrolet Blazer EV, Honda adeptly designed Prologue as a Honda through and through, and it’s arguably a better execution overall . Honda could have gone with a wildly futuristic persona like many EVs have taken on; instead, Prologue segues current Honda designs with a cleaner, more modern interpretation of the brand’s EV era — a gentle way to ease its typically more conservative buyer base into new technology.”
Those specs include a 300-mile range in its most efficient front-wheel drive setup. The 2024 Honda Prologue also offers all-wheel drive with two motors making a total of 288 horsepower (hp) and 333 pound-feet (lb-ft) of torque.
The Honda Prologue is about 8 inches longer and 5 inches wider than the company’s popular CR-V. That makes it a little bigger than the Honda Passport and a little smaller than the Pilot. The Prologue only has two rows of seats, leaving lots of cargo space in the rear.
“We kept our styling simple, which is part of the Honda DNA and we also provide a very open and spacious architecture that is very easy to get in and out. You don’t have to learn the car you don’t have to learn the interior. It’s there it will adopt you and support you,” Jon Wong, Prologue development leader said at a press conference.
“Every touchpoint and what you see feels like a Honda. Sound is so important to the driving experience of a Honda, especially an all-electric Honda, that we created a sound file to share with audio suppliers and worked closely with them to create a seamless acceleration feel and in sport mode. The sound we came up with isn’t just unique. It’s distinctly Honda.”
The cabin will also look familiar to Honda buyers. It features a simple, horizontal layout with the main 11.3-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto at the center. An 11-inch digital cluster is also standard. It has Google Built-in architecture meaning Maps and Assistant and the Play story are all there.
Google Maps can be displayed on either screen and recommends charging based on travel time. It can even estimate the charging time required to reach the destination and initiate preconditioning, which speeds up charging. Honda says the Prologue’s 85-kWh lithium-ion battery pack can recharge 65 miles of range in about 10 minutes.
Honda handles the biggest pain point of EV ownership with three charging solutions that can be purchased with the vehicle. The Honda Home Electrification options include a home charging station where Honda helps you find a pre-vetted local installer and gives the buyer a $500 installation credit along with a $100 public charging credit.
Buyers can specify a portable charging kit that comes with a $300 public charging credit and $250 for electrical installation. If those don’t work or the buyer doesn’t have a place to plug in Honda will give them $750 in public charging.
“Honda wants to make the transition to EV more accessible by offering three charging solution choices to fit buyers’ needs. Aside from the high price tags of most EVs on the market, AutoPacific’s data show charging concerns — at home or on public networks — as the second largest barrier holding consumers back from buying an EV,” said Waatti.