Honda has always been a sort of undercover electric vehicle pioneer. It’s been at it longer than most automakers, yet it’s not usually thought of when it comes to EVs. But the brand had the first non-lead-acid-battery-powered EV back in 1988, the Honda EV Plus with its nickel-metal hydride batteries, and it was first to have a hybrid to market in America, the Insight, even before the Toyota Prius. Honda is not new at this. Now the company has got its first all-electric SUV coming out, the Prologue, and it’s just shown us what the car looks like. It’s pretty safe, but handsome, and I think that’s a new approach to the Honda logo on the rear. Let’s look.
Oh but before we dig in, let’s talk about the name for a moment: Prologue. It’s impossible to think about this name and not be reminded of the Honda Prelude, because I’m not sure any other automaker is so fond of naming cars for things that happen before the main thing starts. Unless Suzuki released a car called the Appetizer I forgot about, or if there’s maybe a Chevy Prequel or a Ford Antecedent.
Here’s the 2024 Honda Prologue! It’s um, fine. Honda generally plays pretty safe with their styling, and that’s very much in evidence here. It’s clean and absolutely inoffensive, maybe even handsome in a quiet way. It’ll look right at home among Honda Passports and CR-Vs and Pilots, no problem.
The design language is called “Neo-Rugged” by Honda, though I think there’s more neo than rugged in there, though perhaps those wheels, arguably the most daring aspect of the design, qualify. I do like the black mirrors, though, something that you’d normally associate with a low-spec car, but I think they work well here to carry on the extra bits of black detailing.
At the rear, the biggest surprise is the new Honda typography/logo, which is clearly derived from the Honda e city car’s branding. It’s modern and clean as well, and I think complements the overall design well, making it feel a little more novel than if Honda had just slapped on their ensquared-H badge like they normally do.
I like the rear lighting, integrated with the full-with black bar there.
Proportionally, it’s very much a mainstream SUV. It’ll be eight inches longer and five inches wider than a CR-V, so it’s not small. Honda’s press release is thin on any technical details, but I’d guess there’s a large flat battery under the floor of the middle of the car, and Honda mentions the “ample interior space” but no mention of anything like the availability of a frunk under the hood.
We actually do know about the tech, though, because this Honda is built on GM’s Ultium EV platform, part of their joint deal announced earlier this year. With this in mind, power is likely to be either a 241 horsepower FWD version, or a 342 horsepower AWD version, though the Ultium Drive system does offer some degree of variation in there, like an additional 83 hp AWD assist motor.
Range will likely depend on how many battery modules are used (Ultium allows between six and 24) so I guess we’ll have to wait and see what Honda tells us they put in there.
The interior is also clean and safe, no real surprises (except maybe for those two rows of buttons under the 11.3-inch center stack display), and Honda’s PR people do a lot to spin some meaning into a white car with a gray interior, saying
The Prologue will be available in an exclusive North Shore Pearl exterior color which was inspired from the natural beauty and colors near Lake Tahoe in California. Moreover, the visual of fresh fallen snow on the mountains was used to inspire the exclusive charcoal and light gray interior color.
Yes, yes, very inspired. White and gray. Who’d they hire for this out-of-the-box color design concept, Ansel Adams?
Whatever, it looks nice and clean and all that. Plenty of people want just this kind of thing, so good for them.
Pricing has not yet been announced, either. Unless Honda somehow does something to really impair the range, I suspect you’ll be seeing plenty of these around come 2024.