2024 Honda Prologue: Seduction and Differentiation

Strong points
  • Smooth and comfortable ride
  • Good range and reasonable energy consumption
  • All models are eligible to the federal incentive
Weak points
  • Average performance
  • Limited headroom in the second row
  • Small trunk and no frunk
  • Several issues with ergonomics
Full report

The new 2024 Honda Prologue was created with two goals in mind. The first is to attract as many customers as possible as the first 100% electric SUV ever made by Honda. The second is to successfully differentiate the Prologue from General Motors, which provides the Ultium platform, battery, motors and running gear.

The closest vehicle in GM’s lineup is the Chevrolet Blazer EV. Both SUVs share a lot of components, but there is not a single Honda part in the Blazer. Engineers and designers at the Japanese automaker made a point to create enough separation with the GM-developed chassis and hardware because it was out of the question to sell a rebadged GM product in Honda showrooms.

That’s the reason why Honda designed a unique body for the Prologue and gave it specific suspension and steering calibration. The main idea was to deliver a true Honda-like driving experience. The Honda reps we talked to during the press launch also explained to us that, even though the electronic architecture is the same, Honda and GM could develop their own software separately.

Photo: Julien Amado

Eligible to Federal and Provincial EV Rebates

Unlike Chevrolet, Honda will only sell all-wheel drive units in Canada. A front-wheel drive Prologue is available in the U.S. but won’t cross the border. The base price is almost identical in Canada: the Blazer EV LT AWD is priced from $59,999, while the Prologue EX starts at $59,990 (MSRP).

This is smart, because the Japanese SUV qualifies for the federal EV incentive of $5,000. Actually, every Prologue model does.

Moreover, customers in Québec and British Columbia can get provincial incentives. However, in La Belle Province, the rebate of $7,000 is only available for EX and EX-L models. The top-line Prologue Touring ($69,990) is too expensive.

Photo: Julien Amado

Closer to the Ground

The Prologue is a two-row midsize SUV just like the gas-powered Passport, but has reduced ground clearance and a lower roofline. Inside the cabin, there’s adequate headroom in the first row, but not so much in the second. Legroom is generous no matter where you sit thanks to a long wheelbase.

Drivers will easily find a proper position behind the wheel, and the seats are very comfortable. According to Honda engineers, the metallic seat frames are the same that GM uses, but the padding and covering are different. For our part, we found them to be comfy after driving for two hours non-stop.

The dashboard is typical Honda design, although it does not feature a honeycomb mesh insert like in the Civic or CR-V’s cabin. The infotainment system works well and is much more attractive than the stark interface in other Honda products.

Photo: Julien Amado

There are some issues with ergonomics, mind you. The left stalk on the steering wheel controls the turn signals, front and rear wipers and indicator lights at the same time. That’s too many things for proper operation. We would have preferred a more intuitive layout. Also, the lack of manual controls for the headlights is deplorable: you have to navigate through the infotainment system to find them. Finally, a look into the rear-view mirror reveals a tight rear window that compromises visibility.

Inside the cabin, fit and finish is not as good as we expected for a vehicle that costs just shy of $70,000 (as tested), especially the centre console which is made of cheap and scratch-prone plastic. The other plastics used for the glovebox and door panels didn’t convince us, either. Furthermore, the piano black surfaces already had some blemishes despite the odometer only showing 500 km. On the other hand, we didn’t hear a single rattle during our road test. In other words, the cabin may not be very pretty, but at least it’s nicely built.

Trunk space is not impressive for a midsize SUV, and the load floor is pretty high. The base EX model offers 714 litres of cargo room, while the more luxurious EX-L and Touring are limited to 671 litres. Once you fold the seats, you get 1,634 litres in the EX but only 1,443 litres with the EX-L and Touring. By comparison, a Honda Passport can fit 1,430 litres of cargo… when all the seats are up.

Photo: Julien Amado

Comfort First

At first, we were surprised by how powerful the Honda Prologue’s regenerative braking system was. The most aggressive setting is simply too much, which makes driving less smooth. And on a snowy or icy road, the wheels can lock during one-pedal driving. In our opinion, the medium setting (which can be selected via the centre display) is the best, slowing the vehicle down efficiently without disturbing passengers.

As we continued our road test, we noticed that the Prologue emphasizes comfort above all else. Granted, we drove on slick California roads that were in far better condition than ours, but the suspension and seats are super comfy. We also appreciated the quiet cabin, which once again was partly attributable to the slick pavement.

The dual motors combine to generate 288 hp and 333 lb-ft of torque, which is decent enough for daily driving including merging onto highways or overtaking slower cars. Of course, it’s not even close to some fully electric rivals out there that are more like rockets on wheels. 

Photo: Julien Amado

With regard to the chassis, the Prologue has no sporty aspirations. It feels heavy and a bit clumsy in corners. Meanwhile, steering is good but no more than that. So, if outstanding performance and impressive handling are at the top of your priorities, the Prologue will disappoint you. Otherwise, it could be a good daily driver for a family.

Fitted with an 85-kWh battery, the Prologue can handle a maximum output of 150 kW at a DC fast-charging station, allowing it to recover approximately 100 km of range in 10 minutes. With a single charge, EX and EX-L models can travel up to 452 km in ideal conditions, while the Touring model offers a total range of 439 km.

We drove a U.S.-spec Prologue Elite, which is the same as our Touring in Canada. During our 270-km trip, the energy consumption displayed on the instrument cluster varied between 21.5-26 kWh, with an average of 24.8 kWh. That would have given us around 340 km of range, which may sound disappointing, but it’s important to note that heavy rain forced Honda to change the planned route. Except for a few kilometres in the city of Healdsburg, we mainly drove the Prologue on highways. And as you probably know, when driving at 110+ km/h, the battery empties faster. Given these conditions, the range announced by Honda seems realistic to us.

Photo: Julien Amado

Availability Could Be a Problem

One last thing we need to talk about is availability. If the Honda Prologue interests you, remember it will be difficult to get one. Honda Canada prioritizes Québec and British Columbia because of strong EV demand and incentives in those two provinces. We’ve also been told that all 2024MY units have already been sold, unless a customer withdraws their order.

The first deliveries are scheduled in April for the 2024 Prologue. And if you order one right now, it will likely be a 2025 model.

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