The First Act in Honda’s EV Transformation
The term “prologue” in books or movies refers to an opening act, a taste of what is to come. In the context of the Honda Prologue, the brand’s first all-electric vehicle in North America, it refers to the first step in the company’s path towards electrification. With a goal of introducing 30 new electric cars globally by 2030, with sales of over 2 million units, Honda has ambitious plans for electric – and the Prologue SUV is a serious statement of intent.
On paper, the Prologue ticks all of the boxes to be a sales success. A spacious, rugged-looking midsize SUV built on an EV-specific platform shared with General Motors, it will have an anticipated EPA range estimate of 300 miles, and the ability to rapidly fill up on Level 3 chargers. It has attractive exterior styling and a gorgeous, spacious interior that fits in beautifully with the rest of Honda’s lineup. And it will have a starting price in the upper $40,000 range, before the application of government incentives.
Honda Prologue: State of the Art EV Tech
The Prologue is built on a dedicated electric vehicle platform and component set co-developed with General Motors which also underpins vehicles like the upcoming Chevrolet Blazer EV and Cadillac Lyriq. Because it was designed as an EV first, the Prologue has an incredibly spacious cabin for its footprint, as well as a low center of gravity thanks to its “skateboard” battery. A multi-link front and rear suspension setup should deliver a sporty driving experience as well as impressive comfort and refinement.
Under the floor of the Honda Prologue is an 85-kWh lithium-ion battery pack that can recharge at speeds of up to 155 kW – meaning it can take on approximately 65 miles of range for every 10 minutes of charging. The pack powers either a single motor (for front-wheel drive Prologue models) or dual motors (in all-wheel drive configurations). In all-wheel drive form, the Prologue’s total power output is an estimated 288 hp and 333 lb-ft of torque. While those numbers aren’t very impressive these days in the context of huge electric outputs, they are still more than most gasoline SUVs – and contribute to the Prologue’s impressive range.
Prologue offers a nifty “active sound control” function that generates seamless, expansive sounds that are linked to the vehicle’s acceleration and deceleration. Switching into sport mode enhances the sound experience while also stiffening up the steering response, sharpening the throttle, and increasing braking power.
To make switching to electric easier, Honda is also offering a couple of bundles via its Honda Home Electrification division. There is a very fast 11.5-kW home charging station that comes with a $100 public charging credit as well as a $500 incentive for home installation. A 7.6-kW charger comes with a $300 public charging credit and $250 incentive for home installation. (You can also purchase a home charger and get a home installation estimate here.)
Honda also says it is targeting the top IIHS Top Safety Pick+ rating, along with a NHTSA 5-star crash test rating. The Prologue comes standard with the excellent Honda Sensing suite of driver assists, including the company’s first use of rear cross-traffic braking, blind zone steering assist, and rear pedestrian alert.
Smart, Easy-to-Use Cabin
In addition to being exceptionally spacious, thanks to a wheelbase stretching over 120 inches, the Prologue’s interior is modern and sporty in design, and nicely finished with high-tech materials and finishes. The clean and simple setup emphasizes horizontal lines, and unlike a lot of high-tech EV cabins, still has physical knobs and switches for the most commonly-used functions.
There are also two high-definition digital screens: an 11-inch digital instrument cluster sits next to an 11.3-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Prologue is also Honda’s first SUV with Google built-in, giving live access to Google Assistant, Google Maps, Google Play, and more. The Google Maps functionality is particularly noteworthy: it can estimate the charging time required to reach a destination and can automatically initiate pre-conditioning of the battery, to reduce charging times and improve convenience.
Passengers are equally well-catered to in the Prologue, with up to 136.9 cubic feet of interior space. Notably, the space between the front and rear seats is exceptional, and the rear seats recline for greater comfort. Behind the rear seats, there’s 25.2 cubic feet of cargo space, which expands to 57.7 cubic feet when the seats are folded flat; there’s also an under-floor storage compartment at the rear.
There are also numerous storage bins and cubbies for everything a family might want to take with them, and USB-C charging ports everywhere so passengers can keep their devices charged. Massive cupholders can accommodate 32-ounce bottles, and the center console has a space-saving wireless smartphone pocket.
Honda Prologue: Design
Conceived at Honda’s design studio in Los Angeles, California, the Prologue feels modern and high-tech, but also rugged and substantial. It is low and wide, anchored by wheels of up to 21 inches in diameter – the largest ever offered on a Honda vehicle. While its length is similar to the Honda Passport, its wheelbase gives it as much interior room as the much larger Pilot.
Honda’s engineers worked hard to tune Prologue’s aerodynamics for exceptional efficiency and range, while reducing wind noise. Even the wheel surfaces and the curvature of its rear spoiler minimize wake and reduce vortex to improve range and refinement.
The Prologue is also the first Honda with the company’s new name badge, a stylized typeface that looks much more clean and modern. The new badging, in line with other Honda electric cars globally, highlights the company’s commitment to electrification, which will lead to 100 percent zero-emissions sales by 2040.
Indeed, Honda recently entered into a joint venture with six other automakers to create their own high-speed, brand-neutral charging network in North America, adding 30,000 high-speed charge points at over 1,350 locations by 2030.
The first stations on the new network will open in early 2024 – about the same time as the first Prologues will be delivered to their first owners in the U.S.