Honda’s adorable Prologue has CarPlay. Why buy the Chevy?
Unveiled for the first time in all its L.A.-designed cuteness, Honda’s Prologue EV is the latest fruit of a partnership between Japan and Detroit, in which Honda builds a vehicle around a battery platform made by General Motors.
The tie-up is but one of many spurred by a surge in EV demand, as Aaron Robinson wrote back in July of 2022. Toyota and Subaru is another. Though the Prologue is later to market than either of its Japanese counterparts, hopefully the Honda avoids the infamy gained so quickly by the Toyota, whose wheels had a propensity to fall off. (We suspect excess paint in the lug nut recesses.)
If you’ve seen the Blazer EV, you’re looking at its cousin. We’ll cut to the chase: You want the Honda over the Chevy, because the Honda has CarPlay. (GM is dropping the system from all its vehicles beginning with the 2024 Blazer.) The iPhone mirroring goes further than before, too: As Apple promised back in 2022, you can project phone-derived navigation on multiple screens in the same car, in this case, onto the Prologue’s 11-inch digital instrument cluster (it comes standard).
Honda’s calling the Prologue its “first volume EV.” Honda probably wants the Acura ZDX, which is also GM Ultium-based, to sound all the more exclusive. Still, we expect Acura to make as many as you want to buy. The highest trim of the Prologue, the Elite, wears the biggest rims a Honda ever has: 21 inches.
The Prologue will start “in the upper $40,000s,” says Honda. For that figure, into which we have not calculated any incentives, you get a genuinely attractive vehicle, one that is significantly bigger than a CRV and roughly the same size as a Passport. Range is estimated by Honda at 300 miles, a figure likely based on the less-powerful of the two powertrains: The single-motor front-wheel-drive one. Honda will also stick a motor on the rear axle, if you want all-wheel drive, with 288 hp and 333 lb-ft of torque. We’re guessing the FWD version makes less, because Honda was silent on the matter.
The main thing to know, if you’re fine with the price and the power but concerned about the livability of an EV: You’re going to need a smartphone, and the HondaLink app. Honda has partnered with just about everyone you possibly can in the EV charging space, including Tesla, Electrify America, EV Go, and the multinational consortium including Stellantis. Your smartphone essentially becomes your credit card—the thing you need in-hand every time you want to “fill up” your car on the go. In short: When your dealer is bothering you to download the app, listen—it isn’t a promotional gimmick.
The best way to charge an EV is, of course, while you sleep at night. Honda has included three charging packages into the price of each Prologue, depending on how prepared your house (or rental property) is for an EV. All the packages equate to about the same value, and you’ll chose the best one based on whether or not you want money towards the installation of a charger at your house. In that case, Honda Home Electrification would love to help you. If you already have a charging setup at home, Honda will toss you $750 of public charging credits and send you on your merry way.
The Prologue will go on sale in early 2024. It will be built somewhere in the U.S., as you’d expect, and bought mostly by people in California, who will probably adore it.