2026 Sony Honda Mobility Afeela First Look: If This is The Future, Driving Ain’t In It2026 Sony Honda Mobility Afeela First Look: If This is The Future, Driving Isn’t - SUV VEHICLE

2026 Sony Honda Mobility Afeela First Look: If This is The Future, Driving Ain’t In It2026 Sony Honda Mobility Afeela First Look: If This is The Future, Driving Isn’t


Over the past four years we’ve seen more than a few teases from Sony and Honda, touting an upcoming autonomous EV. According to Afeela’s spokespeople, this new joint venture of Sony and Honda (referred to as Sony Honda Mobility) promises to bring an entirely new paradigm to the automotive experience, and after our first in-person look at the new vehicle, there is a whole lot to unpack in that regard.

Characterized as the progeny of a marriage of equals, Afeela is supposed to deliver the reliability and thoughtful ergonomics we’ve come to expect from Honda, along with the innovative electronics for which Sony is known. And frankly, between the two of them, they seem to have accomplished something the financial might and technical wherewithal of the legendary Apple Computer could not. This is an all-new—from the ground up—take on the family EV sedan. Slated to go into production in 2026, the model has yet to have a designated nomenclature, so for now, we will just refer to it as the Afeela.

Sony And Honda’s Afeela Brand Is The Perfect Amalgamation Between The Tech And Mobility Worlds

While Sony will focus on the tech, Honda will work on the mobility side and production of the future EV, due sometime in 2026

2026 Sony Honda Mobility Afeela First Impressions

My experience with the car was in the center court of an upscale suburban shopping mall in Santa Clara, California—the beating heart of Silicon Valley. Walking past the Armani, Bulgari, Cartier, Omega and Prada storefronts, I was struck by the notion my hosts were implying Afeela was right at home in that rarefied, pleasantly fragranced atmosphere. And indeed, the sedan’s understated exterior design subtly whispers quality and refinement—if not exactly style and distinction.

One gets the impression—and rightly so—that Sony Honda Mobility is more interested in the user experience than impressing people on the street with the opulence of the automobile. Still, there is an exterior styling standout to mention. Afeela hosts a reconfigurable digital screen where the grille would be on an ICE-powered car. This can be programmed with different themes, as well as messages of the owner’s choice. Personally, I can think of one particular benefit of this when trapped behind someone squatting in the far left lane driving 10 MPH below the speed limit. However, I’m told there will be a profanity filter, so…

The Afeela Is All About Riding In A Car, Not Driving One

I can’t comment on the driving experience, as the car was a static display. However, during my time with the Afeela, it became quite evident that Sony Honda Mobility is more interested in keeping the occupants of the sedan entertained while the Afeela pilots itself on the highway. To that end, I’m told the car will be capable of Level 3 autonomy. Long story short, more emphasis was placed upon the car’s ability to sedate its occupants with digital media experiences, than its propensity for thrilling drivers with dynamic performance.

Afeela, The Honda And Sony Partnership Arm, Aims To Produce A Full Lineup Of EVs

An SUV, a second sedan and an autonomous van could complete the lineup by the end of the decade

2026 Sony Honda Mobility Afeela Electric Drivetrain

The presentation I experienced was long on features and short on specs. However, doing some digging on my own, I’ve learned the powertrain will consist of a pair of motors, one each for the front and rear wheels. I’ve seen unofficial quotes of 180kW for those motors, which could make them capable of delivering as much as 240 horsepower each. I’ve also seen unofficial quotes of a 91kWh battery pack, capable of accepting 150kW charging. This should keep recharge times relatively short, though Sony Honda Mobility is currently mum on that point—as well as the projected range. Judging from the cut lines in the front fenders, the car will feature dual charging ports, so it won’t matter what side you’re on when you pull into a charging station.

Sony Honda Mobility Afeela Key Specifications

  • Level 3 autonomous driving
  • 150 kW fast charging
  • Dual motors
  • Multiplexed widescreen
  • PlayStation compatability

Interior Design And Comfort

A digital screen spanning the entire width of the dash dominates the passenger compartment. My tour guide explained, and this is a direct quote, ““We at Sony Honda Mobility aim to evolve mobility into an interactive entity to create experiences that move people to redefine the relationship between humans and mobility.” I was like, “Uh—okaaaaay…?”

In other words, a product presentation specialist was shepherding me along. These are the beautiful people you see at auto shows who recite their spiels about cars from a prepared script. Try as I might to get him off script, he doggedly returned to his prepared remarks. The good news is, much of what he had to say was useful.

For example, the wide screen is multiplexed, so it can display three different things simultaneously. Operational data is displayed on the portion of the screen behind the steering yoke (no “wheela” for Afeela). The other two-thirds of the screen can be given over to navigation, movies, video games and even karaoke. A touch screen, it’s responsive to swipes and pinch movements. You can also move its various elements around wholesale.

A touch sensitive pad in the lower dash, parallel to the driver’s yoke, controls climate functions. The yoke also has buttons for volume, changing audio tracks and vehicle information. The center console hosts a dial similar to BMW’s iDrive, which presumably will provide a secondary interface for all the goings-on of which the screens are capable. These controls were inoperable at the time of my visit.

All in all, the ergonomics and comfort of the interior were quite good. I did find the back seat to be a little shy on legroom when the driver’s seat was adjusted for my 6’1” frame, but other than that, it’s nice. Honda’s influence is quite evident in this area.

Technology And Ease Of Use

As you may have gathered by now, Afeela is all about tech and this is where Sony’s influence is most prominently felt. Customization of the car to your unique preferences, as well as prepackaged themes based on Sony properties, of course, is achievable. Choose one of those; the interior lighting, as well as the color schemes of the screens, adjust accordingly.

Red and blue lighting, along with a spider web motif, appeared on the panoramic screen when my guide called up the Spiderman theme. This also showed up on the screen at the front of the car. He then demonstrated how the Gran Turismo theme triggered engine sounds like those of a racing car. Another pair of screens, fitted to the back of each of the front seats reacted similarly. I was told all screens in the car are capable of displaying different content. This means the kids won’t have to fight over who gets to choose what they watch.

Audio, Courtesy Of Sony, Features Prominently

The Sony audio system features 360-degree spatial surround sound capability, including speakers mounted within the front seats. There’s also a Karaoke app to support family sing-alongs. And, of course, PlayStation capability is included, as evidenced by the somewhat less than subtle placement of the game controller in the cubby beneath the dash.

Cameras galore festoon the Afeela

Cameras galore festoon the Afeela, though my guide was at a loss to tell me exactly how many. These are capable of functions such as facial recognition to open the doors automatically when you walk up to the car—which is a good thing because no conventional door handles are to be seen. They can also spot pedestrians you might miss while engaged in a film or video game. Another pair of cameras can serve as rearview mirrors. However, I was told U.S. regulations don’t permit those to be the sole means of watching your six, so conventional mirrors are mounted on the front doors as well. Naturally, over the air software updates are supported. And, Afeela is giving independent developers the ability to create apps and content for the car’s operating system.

Cargo And Storage Space

I was politely refused permission to open the front and rear trunks. Nor was I granted an audience with the interior of the center console storage compartment. These areas were stated off limits until the production model is ready for review. However, the usual array of door pockets is present. And, judging from the family-friendly nature of the car, it’s a safe bet there will be enough storage capacity to support a family road trip.

Afeela Exterior Overhead-1
Sony Honda Mobility Photo

Final Thoughts

Afeela points to a future in which cars will do the driving while we are left to amuse ourselves with a curated diet of digital entertainment options. While that panoramic screen was touted as being positioned to avoid driver distraction, it’s hard to imagine how all that movement and color won’t occasionally draw the driver’s eye. This tells me Sony Honda Mobility isn’t looking at Afeela as a driver’s car. They’ve built a passenger car—literally. And, truth be told, a large segment of the population will probably find that endearing enough to buy into it. Pricing was not disclosed, nor was a specific sale date.


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