The 2024 Honda Prologue Is A Nice EV Crossover, But An Unknown Quantity

By automotive-mag.com 9 Min Read

There is a lot to like about the 2024 Honda Prologue, the automaker’s first long-range, US-market EV. For starters, it’s quite handsome, with a low, wide stance, a long wheelbase, and understated styling. Its dedicated EV architecture contributes to an incredibly spacious interior, the tech is well-integrated and unobtrusive, and the driving experience is one of smooth comfort. And yet, none of this may matter.

Honda, like other Japanese automakers, was late to the EV game. In order to get electric cars on the market quickly, Honda entered into a partnership with GM to use The General’s Ultium EV platform. So while the Prologue wears Honda badges and unique bodywork, it has a lot more in common with the new Chevrolet Blazer EV than any Honda. The same Blazer for which Chevy imposed a stop-sale over software issues that, at the time of publishing, has been in place for two months. 

Quick Specs 2024 Honda Prologue Elite AWD
Battery 85.0-Killowatt-Hour Lithium-Ion
Motors Front Permanent Magnet Synchronous / Rear AC Induction
Output 288 Horsepower / 333 Pound-Feet
Range 273 Miles
Base Price $57,900 + $1,395 Destination

This is also the same Blazer that earned a DNF in a test by our sister site, InsideEVs, and the same one that has proven extremely problematic in the long-term test fleets of both Edmunds and Consumer Reports. The Ultium platform also underpins the Cadillac Lyriq, which has experienced software issues of its own, in addition to a glacial production ramp-up.

With the Prologue, Honda got its short-term EV solution, but one that lives under a cloud of uncertainty.

Pros: Refined driving dynamics, Handsome Styling, Spacious Interior

Honda brought us out to California’s Napa Valley for a brief test of a pre-production Prologue. Emphasis on brief. We only had around an hour and a half behind the wheel – about half as long as we’d expect on one of these media programs – on a route through the mountains and on the 101 freeway. The only model available to drive was the top-trim all-wheel drive Elite, which carries a $59,295 MSRP and promises a 273 mile range. (The base, front-drive Prologue starts at $48,795 and has 296 miles of range.)

It’s a shame that GM’s problems overshadow the Prologue because it’s a fine car. Unless you know what to look for, it doesn’t strike as immediately being a GM product. John Hwang, project manager for Honda’s Ultium-platform cars, explains that while the Prologue uses GM switchgear, the interior design and layout is all-Honda. So, relatively understated, sensible, and easy to use. Unlike so many EVs, there’s actual knobs and switches for climate control, and the dashboard isn’t dominated by an enormous infotainment screen. It’s a refreshing change of pace, and one that will please Honda fans.

(The only weird interior detail is that there’s no dedicated exterior light switch, like with other new GM productions; Lights are controlled through the infotainment touchscreen.)

2024 Honda Prologue Elite AWD

Immediately, the Prologue makes a good impression on the road, too. It’s got the quiet refinement you’d expect from an electric car, and 288 horsepower and 333 pound-feet of torque give it good off-the-line acceleration, if not neck-snapping thrust. Honda hasn’t released a weight figure for the Prologue, but the Ultium cars are quite heavy and we know the base Blazer EV weighs 5,337 pounds. 

Despite its size, the Prologue never feels lumbering, and it rides smoothly. Hwang tells Motor1 that Honda specified its own springs and dampers for the Prologue, and they provide the comfort you’d expect from a large, premium-priced SUV. I haven’t driven the Blazer EV yet, but I have time in the Lyriq, and the Honda is similarly comfortable to the Cadillac. My colleague from InsideEVs, Kevin Williams, also tells me the Prologue rides better than the sporty Blazer.

Other than springs and dampers, the Prologue uses the same hardware as the Blazer, though Hwang says Honda put a unique tune on everything. The accelerator-pedal mapping is smooth, though slightly more aggressive in Sport mode, and all the one-pedal drive modes are well calibrated. 

The Prologue’s steering feels strange, though. The best descriptor I could come up with is “gloopy.” There’s weight immediately at turn-in, but sterling effort never seems to build as you add in more steering angle. Sport mode just requires more effort to steer the Prologue, but doesn’t make the process of steering the vehicle feel any more natural. In fact, it’s the opposite. 

If you want a sportier EV for about similar money, get a Kia EV6 or a Ford Mustang Mach-E. But, the Prologue has a considerable edge in space for not much more money. And complaints about steering aside, the Prologue doesn’t drive in a way anyone’s going to find objectionable. One of Honda’s big target customers for the Prologue is….existing Honda buyers. If you’re coming out of a CR-V Hybrid into this, it should feel familiar.

The Ultium platform has the flexibility for front-, rear-, and all-wheel drive. Hwang says Honda chose front-wheel drive for its base models because it provides a more traditionally Honda driving experience. In all-wheel drive models, the rear motor is much smaller than the front, so the car feels primarily front-wheel drive.

2024 Honda Prologue Elite AWD

Cons: Uncertainties Around GM Ultium Platform, Slower Charging Than Rivals 

I think Honda did a good job with the Ultium architecture, and people at the company say they’re not concerned with GM’s recent reliability issues. 

“The software, at the root, is the same, but we’re on different branches, so any of the lessons learned from the Blazer are applied to this program,” Hwang says. 

There’s an advantage in following the Blazer (and the Lyriq and Hummer). Also encouraging is the fact that the Prologue seems to use a simpler infotainment system than the Blazer, with a smaller screen that’s more like what you’d get in, say, a Tahoe.

Still, one imagines that people at Honda are worried. Why wouldn’t they be? The Prologue might be a stopgap, plugging a hole in the lineup until the automaker’s own EV platform is ready, but it’s still wearing a Honda badge. And that means something. Dependability, reliability, quality. If the Prologue doesn’t deliver, does it dent Honda’s reputation?

2024 Honda Prologue Elite AWD

I think a wait-and-see approach is best here. The Prologue is a very likable car. It’s refined, handsome, and very spacious. Not memorable as a driving experience, but I think that’s fine given the segment. 

Plus, Honda expects it to qualify for the $7,500 EV tax credit for both lease and sales – one clear advantage of building on the GM apartment – so the price should be reasonable. But how do you ignore Ultium’s problems? A Honda should always be a safe bet, and right now, the Prologue doesn’t feel like one.

Share This Article
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *