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300-mile electrical SUV begins below $50,000

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If you happen to’re lured in by the likes of the Hyundai Ioniq 5 or Kia EV6, and even the Ford Mustang Mach-E or Tesla Mannequin Y, the 2024 Honda Prologue merely isn’t for you.

That’s since you gained’t discover design overtures successfully remaking the form of the automobile round an EV skateboard platform. Or splashy styling themes that look drawn from gaming or music. Or a minimalist interface. Or super-fast charging. Or a frunk. 

What DO you get? In a personal, in-person preview earlier this month arrange by Honda, I bought a primary have a look at the Prologue, in addition to the prospect to sit down in it, fold the seats down, and ponder the place this mannequin suits in. 

With 300 miles of vary in its base kind, and a value beginning within the higher $40,000 vary earlier than any EV tax credit score, the Prologue goes to be a success, I predict—if GM could make them shortly sufficient.

Sure, the Prologue can be constructed by GM—seemingly at its Ramos Arizpe, Mexico, plant, alongside the Chevy Equinox EV and Blazer EV. Up to now the ramp-up of the Cadillac Lyriq EV, from a special plant however utilizing the identical large-format Ultium cells, has been very sluggish.

2024 Honda Prologue

2024 Honda Prologue

  

An EV to woo CR-V Hybrid drivers, not the Tesla crowd

The rationale Honda will promote each Prologue it may possibly make, shortly, is easy: Honda designed the Prologue as its gateway EV. The time is true, and whereas a cautious, fiscally accountable CR-V Hybrid driver may hesitate to shift to a mannequin that adjustments each interface level of what a automobile is, the Prologue pushes forward and adjustments every thing unseen and beneath, whereas evolving the look, the interface, and the driving attributes—and the value—simply sufficient to make it the correct step ahead. 

However again to sizing this up as an efficient EV: It’s precisely what it must be. The Prologue appears to be like like a household automobile via and thru. Its door openings are large and entry and exit are simple. Raise heights for cargo are additionally reasonably low, and the rear seatbacks flip ahead and again with one hand. 

2024 Honda Prologue

2024 Honda Prologue

2024 Honda Prologue

2024 Honda Prologue

2024 Honda Prologue

2024 Honda Prologue

Legroom is sprawl-out lengthy entrance and rear, and the one factor lacking is that within the outboard positions of the again seat, headroom will verge on tight for taller folks. However with good seat help, rear climate-control vents, 45-watt USB-C ports entrance and rear, a rear 110-volt AC socket, and large cupholders able to coping with large Nalgene bottles and espresso cups, the inside is a welcoming place. 

The Prologue is softly contoured and doesn’t take any dangers with its “neo-rugged” look and blacked-out accent trim—and, seemingly, an extended hood than it wants—however the method pays off on the skin. There’s not an ungainly angle across the automobile, and the proportions look nice. 

2024 Honda Prologue

2024 Honda Prologue

2024 Honda Prologue EV specs: Coronary heart of the household market

At about 192 inches lengthy and 78 inches extensive, the Prologue is a dimension bigger than the CR-V however a dimension smaller than the Pilot—corresponding to Honda’s Passport or a Jeep Grand Cherokee in size and width however very completely different in different proportions. Constructed on an extended 121.8-inch wheelbase—the identical wheelbase because the Cadillac Lyriq—the Prologue is simply 65 inches tall. And as you first lay eyes on it, it seems much more low-set and lengthy, till you discover that it’s sitting on a blacked-out lower-body portion, representing the battery pack. 

The Prologue is, as Honda places it, a automobile “co-developed with GM.” What this implies is that whereas Honda began with GM’s Ultium battery and propulsion technique—and basically all of the fundamentals of the platform—Honda designed the “high hat,” or every thing above it. There are a couple of exceptions right here and there, in switchgear just like the shift lever and the OnStar button, however for essentially the most half the Prologue actually looks like a Honda automobile inside. 

2024 Honda Prologue

2024 Honda Prologue

2024 Honda Prologue

2024 Honda Prologue

2024 Honda Prologue

2024 Honda Prologue

Throughout three completely different trim ranges—EX, Touring, and Elite—Prologues get a single-layer battery pack with 85 kwh usable. The permanent-magnet motors and the inverters are from GM’s Ultium toolkit. Twin-motor all-wheel-drive variations of the Prologue make 288 hp and 333 lb-ft of torque. Single-motor variations have the motor mounted in entrance, driving the entrance wheels, and Honda isn’t but offering output numbers. 

Why is the motor in entrance? Honda says it’s partly for packaging effectivity and the motor configuration it sought right here and what was obtainable from GM, whereas additionally for maximizing effectivity and vary. And it factors to how its cousin, the Acura ZDX, opts for a rear-wheel-drive-focused structure. Entrance or rear, automakers do disagree on whether or not front- or rear-wheel drive is greatest

2024 Honda Prologue

2024 Honda Prologue

Is that Regen on Demand?

All variations trip on a four-wheel impartial suspension, with struts in entrance, in addition to four-wheel disc brakes. Honda says it did numerous the steering, suspension, and chassis tuning to ensure it felt like a Honda on the highway. Simply to the left of the steering wheel there’s a single regen paddle (sure, we immediately considered GM’s Regen on Demand) that Honda says will toggle via brake-regen modes. It’s nonetheless deciding on one-pedal driving. Via Sport, Regular, and Econ modes, drivers will even be capable to change driving attributes in a manner not not like Honda’s present hybrid autos.

2024 Honda Prologue

2024 Honda Prologue

I didn’t get any probability to tinker with the Prologue’s interface, as there have been solely renderings of it displayed on the screens of the prototype I crawled round. Whereas the present Accord Hybrid will get Honda’s newest infotainment system utilizing Google Constructed-In, the Prologue advances it a step with out it feeling in any respect overseas. Its 11.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system provides full Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, however natively it provides some helpful EV twists. The system’s route-planning will faucet into Google’s newest charging station performance and the automobile’s effectivity knowledge, serving to drivers plan charging waypoints and preconditioning the battery pack prematurely for max cost fee on arrival. It additionally permits a full-screen Google Maps view. 

Individually, the gauge cluster will provide reconfigurable shows, and there’s additionally a full-color head-up show on high Elite trims. 

2024 Honda Prologue

2024 Honda Prologue

Honda Prologue charging

Street-trip charging breaks aren’t going to be significantly temporary, however brief sufficient for the occasional highway journey. With its CCS port, the Prologue can fast-charge at 155 kw, good for gaining 65 miles of vary in simply 10 minutes, or to get from 20-80% in 35 minutes. An 11.5-kw onboard charger for a minimum of a number of the lineup will be capable to absolutely cost the battery in about eight hours. 

Honda does plan to supply a alternative of a number of completely different charging offers with the Prologue. Each buyer will be capable to select between an 11.5-kw residence charging station plus $100 charging credit score and $500 set up incentive, a 7.6-kw cell charger plus $300 charging credit score and $250 set up incentive, or a $750 charging credit score. Set up may be lined up via a brand new Honda House Electrification service, and Honda factors to the high-speed charging community it’s creating with six different automakers and set to begin in summer time 2024. 

2024 Honda Prologue

2024 Honda Prologue

Honda hasn’t but outlined pricing, past that entry value. EX and Touring variations will provide single-motor front-wheel-drive or dual-motor AWD variations, whereas the highest Elite can be AWD-only. The bottom EX comes with heated entrance seats, an influence driver’s seat, dual-zone local weather management, and 19-inch wheels. The Touring provides Bose premium audio, a moonroof, leather-based upholstery, a reminiscence seat, and different trim upgrades. And the Elite provides perforated leather-based upholstery, accent stitching, a heated steering wheel, and ventilated entrance seats plus 21-inch wheels. High Elite variations (the one seen in all these pictures) can be provided in three completely different inside themes, together with a darkish espresso-brown hue—probably an attention-grabbing match with the North Shore Pearl debut shade, impressed by Lake Tahoe.

2024 Honda Prologue

2024 Honda Prologue

Setting the stage for “pure” Honda EVs

The corporate has been pondering forward concerning the Prologue and its goal buyer, and to carry onto them for simply the correct time it’s been providing two-year CR-V Hybrid leases.

What it comes right down to is that the Prologue is Honda’s gateway to a brand new era of EVs. To interpret that one other manner, we are able to anticipate Honda’s upcoming devoted EVs, set to reach round 2025 and constructed on the corporate’s personal e:Structure, to be one other stable step ahead in design, interface, and driving attributes.  

2024 Honda Prologue

2024 Honda Prologue

The Prologue can be obtainable nationwide. It’s seemingly going to take a realistic method, although, emphasizing areas through which EVs are going to promote shortly and the place they’re incentivized however not shying away from sending some to each area. 

Now will Honda be capable to promote the 70,000 a 12 months it initially mentioned that it was planning on? We’re going to must go ask GM on that one. 

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