Automotive

The Prologue EV Is a Return to Simple, Sensible Honda Design


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Image: Honda

Honda’s first big EV bet here in the States will be the Ultium-based Prologue, an SUV built atop General Motors technology. It’s due to arrive in 2024, but we’re getting an extra early look at it today, as Honda’s just revealed a small collection of exterior and interior photos.

“A young team of designers set out to create a modern and fresh SUV,” Honda’s press release reads, “with clean and simple surfacing. Neo-rugged was coined as the design direction, bringing the harmony of nature’s elements to the exterior and interior of Prologue.” Marketing jargon aside, I agree “clean and simple surfacing” applies to what Honda’s done here.

Image for article titled The Prologue EV Is a Return to Simple, Sensible Honda Design

Image: Honda

The Prologue calls back to the automaker’s design throughout the ’90s and early part of the 2000s, before we got stuff like the Accord Crosstour, 10th-gen Civic and last-gen Acura TL. Attractive, proportionally correct, and unfussy to the point of being slightly forgettable. But in a good way! The sort of car you look at and think to yourself, “that’s smart.” Never trying too hard to be cool — that used to be the Honda ethos.

Image for article titled The Prologue EV Is a Return to Simple, Sensible Honda Design

Image: Honda

There’s nothing particularly distinctive about the Prologue’s exterior from the A-pillar back, but there’s also nothing you’d directly confuse for another brand’s work. The taillights do carry plenty of Range Rover Evoque influence, but Honda’s put its own stamp on them — quite literally, with the new, futuristic Honda:e logotype spanning the center of the heckblende. The rear quarter angle looks really good, though you just know that window is going to be like peering out of a mail slot.

Image for article titled The Prologue EV Is a Return to Simple, Sensible Honda Design

Image: Honda

Honda says the face of the Prologue is inspired by that of its electric city car we sadly don’t get to drive here, but only insofar as there’s a glossy black plastic bar bridging the LED lamps, where a grille would ordinarily be. I’m a bigger fan of the wheels. Yes, they’re comically large at a whopping 21 inches, but they look like they’ve been pulled off a concept car, rather than a production-intent machine.

Image for article titled The Prologue EV Is a Return to Simple, Sensible Honda Design

Image: Honda

We get fewer pictures of the Prologue’s interior to ogle, but there’s also less to talk about. You can go one of two ways with EVs: do what Toyota did, and differentiate them in confounding, obtrusive ways for their own sake; or make a normal car with sensible ideas. Honda chose the second way, and I think that’s the right way to be. Note what looks to be range and performance information that’s been blurred to the left of the speedometer on the instrument cluster display. Honda’s still keeping those details close to its chest.

Image for article titled The Prologue EV Is a Return to Simple, Sensible Honda Design

Image: Honda

So that’s the Prologue, or at least all we can see of it for the moment. It looks like a completely reasonable sport utility EV, but as always with these early reveals, I have to wonder if the people who are impressed today will still be a year-and-a-half from now, when these actually start roaming the streets. What do you think? Sound off in the comments.

Image for article titled The Prologue EV Is a Return to Simple, Sensible Honda Design

Image: Honda

Image for article titled The Prologue EV Is a Return to Simple, Sensible Honda Design

Image: Honda



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