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.
Throw a different fascia on it and you have what Subaru should have done for their first EV. I like it (pending pricing/specs)….
Which is to say, God the Solterra toyobaru is hideous and underwhelming…..
Honestly I kinda dig it. I’ve been a Toyota person for ages but this might win me over to Honda, particularly if they stick with the busyforks as their only EV offering.
I’ve been following both the Blazer and Equinox with interest for a while. I’d pick this over either of those.
A really nice, clean design. Go Honda. I love those wheels as well.
I hope they offer it in cool colors.
The CRV and HRV used to be available in green and orange
I prefer the styling of the Ioniq 5 from Hyundai. To my eyes, it is a sharper looking design. This looks like they are trying very hard to make it look like it is a gas vehicle, while the Ioniq to me looks like an electric.
“Honda generally plays pretty safe with their styling, and that’s very much in evidence here.”
Safe is an understatement. I believe the Honda design team is hunkered down in a radiation-proof bunker with 4 yrs. worth of food and water.
I am genuinely disappointed with the number of comments saying how nice it looks! Sure, it’s “nice” in the nondescript-you’ll-lose-it-in-the-Whole-Foods-parking-lot sort of way. I mean, I get that Honda tries to appeal to moms who wouldn’t find “TheAutuopian” if you typed the complete url into their browser and hovered the mouse right over the “GO” button. But I expect true enthusiast to be so bored by this design that they fall asleep mid-posssttttttttttttzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz….
Thank you for not bashing it for 4 paragraphs even though it’s a bit of a safe design.
This looks like my jam.
Looks fine, but is also further proof that “handsome” is journalist shorthand for “bland, but I want to say something that sounds nicer”.
The stuff coming out of Honda lately is starting to remind me of 80s/90s Japan again, and I mean that in the best way possible. Restrained design is the best Japanese design…it’s purposeful, but clean and elegant. Whenever they try to get too emotional, it quickly turns into a hot mess express.
I’m liking this more elegant Honda. If only Toyota could get back there too.
I think you might be a coupla years younger than I…
When I got my first car, it was 15-17yr old by then.. and it was a CB7 Accord (A 92 Accord.)
They used a man over machine design ethos. Ya had a 5spd stick, a coupe, sedan, hatch or wagon.
Ya had Honda doing.. specific Honda Engineering things:
Like ya couldnt lock yourself out of the car through the driver side. Ya had to have the key.
Now, Honda doesnt have anything thats “HONDA”.
A 92 Accord would run circles around the 10-11th gen.
Is this one of the first instances of a manufacturer using lowercase letters for their brand badge? I really dig it, but it was the first thing I noticed on that rear end shot.
Edit: I guess it’s not (Jeep, Ford) but it just looks so different. Maybe it’s just because of the font and kerning
Honda has also been using this mixed-case text on the Honda e (which we don’t get in the USA), but it’s A LOT bigger on the Prologue.
Nice. Love that this is a normal car with reasonable styling and a mostly reasonable interior. Wish more companies would follow vw’s lead and make the 2wd models rwd tho.
Screens. Why the heck do we bother with these things that are going to be obsolete in 2 years when everyone carries around a phone that’s almost always current!? Just give me a good connection to the audio system (3.5mm and latest Bluetooth revision) and a reasonable place to put my phone for if I need nav.
All of these new EVs have over the air updates, so the infotainment IS always current. Plus they have wireless Apple carplay and Android auto which basically puts your phone on the screen.
I actually dig this. Rear view especially.
I like the Honda script on the back but, it looks like there are 4 different font types on the rear end and that bothers me.
I noticed that too, and I am not generally nit picky about stuff like that. It makes the otherwise clean straightforward design look needlessly busy.
Yeah I think it would look better if the removed the elite badge and then wrote “P r o l o g u e” across the width of the tailgate under the license plate in the new font.
That looks…really comfortable, actually.
Now give me a small Honda generator in the frunk for emergency charging capability.
“It’ll be eight inches longer and five inches wider than a CR-V”
God damn it, this will probably also be 5k+ lbs. The current CR-V is already needlessly big for a single-person commute or a couple without kids. Just give me an EV HR-V, please.
Don’t forget that the smallest wheel size will probably be 20+ inches as well. Congratulations Honda, despite the packaging advantages that should be present with an EV, you managed to fit a 2 row cuv into the wheelbase and length of an extended length 3 row minivan from 30 years ago. Just like many of the other obese EVs coming out, it’ll probably be 50% heavier than a Bolt/Kona/Leaf, with only 20% more usable space, cost 2x, and be far less efficient.
It’s a midsize crossover, not a compact. It’s literally a reskinned Blazer EV, so it’s an analogue for the Passport.
You’ll need to wait for a CRV equivalent EV.
I think this looks amazing and is exactly what I would want out of an EV. Almost all of the first wave of EVs are overstyled, wonky looking, and mostly controlled by screens and haptic nonsense. They come with a learning curve on top of the learning curve driving an EV already has. They’re complicated for the sake of being complicated.
Honda, as conservative as ever, knows their audience. The people that buy Hondas want something basic that’s going to run forever and give them as few headaches as possible. Cool performance cars notwithstanding, Honda prints money off of making appliance cars that feel old the day they arrive, because that’s what many people want.
In that regard, and for people like me and many others who want an EV that just feels, works, and looks like a normal car, this is great. Just look at all of those BUTTONS! And the restrained-for-2022 screen set up. When you compare this to the absolute train wreck that the Solterra/BZ4XQRZ69420LOL are it’s no contest.
They’ll sell em in droves. Well done Honda.
I agree, mostly. Hopefully, there are other color combination options. But I’m on my second EV now. First was a Kia Niro EV. It was tiny, but really functional and practical. Worked like a normal car, mostly. Second is the ID.4 Pro S. It’s REALLY nice, but just overly done and impractical. We’ve been waiting more than a year for a software update. Hate that you have to use a touchscreen to adjust the AC blower.
But that said, we’ve love having EVs and watching them evolve. We’re getting close to the point where EVs are just going to be “normal” cars, and I’m excited for it. Once they realize that most of the electronics in modern cars of the past 20 years were excellent, we can stop overdoing the displays and simplify the interfaces again. Nothing really wrong with modern CR-Vs or Pilots. Why can’t they just make an electric version that’s mostly the same thing with a different drivetrain? My ID.4 lease will be up around the time these are coming to market. Seems like we maybe found our new ride.
I respect you for being willing to put up with the ID.4’s interface technology. All the screens and haptic stuff are a dealbreaker for me personally and the fact that VW is seemingly moving all of their cars in that direction is nuts to me. I took the Golf R off my list earlier this year mainly for that reason, but also the markups. It’s overpriced at MSRP and laugh out loud absurd at 15k over it.
I was cautiously optimistic when articles started popping up about a new infotainment being tested in the MK8 Golf and subsequently disappointed when the pictures of the testers that were spied pretty much only had a bigger screen. Seems like VW is going to die on this hill, and people will either adjust or look elsewhere.
Unless you know the future, the phrase should be “Seems like VW is willing to die on this hill…”
But if they stick to their current heading, they deserve to die there. We deserve better than “touch screens can cut a few dollars from our hardware costs, so we must use as many touch screens as possible!”
Not to rag on the idea but given Polestar themselves said it doesn’t make environmental sense to buy a new EV over a normal car until you have done about 72000kms in it wouldn’t it be best to hang onto the ID4 until its dying breath? I know its cool having a new car every now and then but surely one of the main reasons for going EV is to actually help the environment
Absolutely. I recently rented a 2019 Hyundai Kona EV (through Turo – a fantastic app/service) and my wife and I were very pleasantly surprised. The Morning Dump a few days ago got it right – Hyundai is hitting it out of the park. For a ~$30K entry-level EV, it was surprisingly plush, had buttons and knobs in all the right places, a not-too-large screen, and exceedingly well implemented driver assistance features. The lane-keeping was the best I’ve ever experienced: it never felt like the car was trying to drive for you but instead just gave you a very gentle nudge and then gave up. Anyway, it was the most “car like” EV I’ve ever driven – miles better in every way than any Tesla I’ve ever driven or ridden in. With products like that and this Honda, it’s great to see that common sense is prevailing in the EV sphere.
I think the Kona is an awesome package across the board but I’m obviously biased
“the visual of fresh fallen snow on the mountains was used to inspire the exclusive charcoal and light gray interior color.”
Uhhh, I’ve never seen fresh-fallen snow look like charcoal…
The styling is nice, if unassuming. And I do like that they seem to be setting their EV range apart using that new typography, which looks very nice, IMHO. I totally misread “new-rugged” as “non-rugged”, and I think that’s a better descriptor, anyway. Not all vehicles need to be 3-days beard-growth “rugged”. And let’s all give three cheers for buttons and knobs! I’m glad to see the “everything on a tablet” approach is already going by the wayside. I’ll definitely be looking for more on these for a future EV purchase.
damn you spell check!
double-damn the lack of an edit function!
Snow does not equal gray or charcoal. So I also have a hard time understanding their color scheme? Unless they mean the outside is white like snow and then after you get cold you head inside where you burn charcoal to stay warm?
Thinking of the mountains around Tahoe, the grey may be coming from rocks poking out of the snow.
Nice imagery and all, but grey is grey and white is white. Gimme a nice blue with a chestnut interior.