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Hands-On With the 2025 Sony Honda Electric Car: Yes, We Played PS5 Inside

Let the Good Times Roll

First things first: Does it have a PlayStation in it? The short answer is yes and no—no PlayStation, but you can play PlayStation games in the car. The longer answer can be found here.

Our second order of business was to ask about what makes it go—and, just like at CES, Sony Honda Mobility provided no answers. No technical data and not even the barest hints about the machinery. It’s obvious from the structure that the battery is in the now-typical location under the floor, and we can see disc brakes peeking out from behind the wheels, but SHM had no further information for us. Sigh.

For those who are still reading, we can tell you a lot about the interior. We got plenty of time to sit in it, touch and feel the interior bits, and fiddle with some of the technology.

Clean Sheet

Of course, before we did that, we needed a minute to stare blankly at the Afeela concept’s unadorned sheetmetal, because it doesn’t have any door handles. Oh, and speaking of the unadorned sheetmetal, one of the SHM reps explained the humble styling, which we lamented in our First Look: The goal is to put the emphasis on the Afeela’s software rather than its hardware. Um, OK. We also noticed the lack of seams for an opening hood. When we asked what was going on under there, SHM again had no answer, but a rep did tell us that a frunk is TBD.

Back to the doors: Turns out the Afeela uses cameras to recognize approaching occupants and open the doors automatically. This feature wasn’t yet implemented, so our hosts opened the doors with a phone app. (The concept car also has buttons hidden in its fender arches.)

More on the Inside

We hopped in, settling into the Afeela’s leather-and-suede driver’s seat. Synthetic, of course; no animals were harmed in the making of this upholstery. Sony Honda pointed out the faux suede on the door panels, a recycled (and very convincing) material developed by Honda.

Once sitting behind the steering wheel, we couldn’t help but notice we weren’t sitting behind a steering wheel. The Afeela has a steering yoke, but what we don’t know is what lies behind the yoke. Is it a proper variable-ratio drive-by-wire steering system, which we got to try on a prototype of Lexus’ RZ electric SUV? Or is it just a yoke attached to a conventional steering system, which we found silly and useless on the Plaid version of Tesla’s Model S? No firm answer, though the SHM rep did opine that only a variable-ratio system would make any real sense.

The rest of the control layout is EV-contemporary: Lights and wipers on the left-hand column stalk, shifter on the right. The steering wheel—sorry, yoke—has buttons that appear fairly conventional, with push-to-talk and stereo controls on the left side and cruise control to the right. Mandatory button controls (hazards and defrosters) are at the center of the dash, flanked by seat-heat and climate controls. And above all that: Screens, screens, screens.

The Afeela has the expected digital driver’s display, and to its immediate right is an ultra-wide screen split into center and passenger zones. At the dash’s outer edges you find small screens that replace the side-view mirrors. We’ve seen these before on concept cars; SHM told us it anticipates regulatory approval for the cameras by the time the Afeela goes on sale in 2026.

Screening Regimen

Another nifty feature is the ability to set themes, which change the screen backgrounds (including the instrument panel), the color of the interior accent lighting, and even the piped-in electric motor sounds. No surprise all of the themes we saw were based on Sony Entertainment movies, games, and franchises. We asked if owners will be able to create their own Afeela themes; Sony Honda Mobility said there is no decision yet, but the system will be open to developers for content creation. Sounds like the PlayStation Store will be coming to the Afeela electric car.

It can be a long reach to the center screen’s outer edges, so the Afeela also has a large control dial mounted between the seats at the front of a power-adjustable armrest. No surprise the big dial turns with the same high-quality precision of the volume dial on a Sony sound system.

Soundgarden

Speaking of sound, the Afeela will feature Sony’s 360 Reality Audio system, developed as a competitor to Dolby Atmos. Although Sony would not reveal the number of speakers, it did point out a set of speakers located in the seat, just below the headrest. The system in the concept car, Sony said, could only provide surround sound for the driver, but we saw similar speakers in all four primary seating positions.

Get in Back

And speaking of those other seating positions, we also spent some time in the back seat, which we found big and supportive, exactly as you’d expect from a company that makes several products best enjoyed from a couch. Legroom was good, and the view out the panoramic roof was lovely, but the seat was surprisingly short on headroom, a consequence, no doubt, of the Afeela’s high floor and swoopy roofline. There are screens, of course—big ones, strapped to the front seat backs, with similar functionality to the center and passenger screens up front. They struck us as surprisingly conventional; we expected something a bit more immersive (VR headset, anyone?), but apparently Sony Honda Mobility still wants kids to spend time looking out the windows. Nothing wrong with that.

Bottom line, we mostly liked the Sony Honda Mobility Afeela concept car’s interior. It delivered the multimedia experience we expected, with car controls that (yoke aside) are fairly conventional and straightforward. Like the rest of the car, the Afeela concept’s interior strikes us as realistic and producible. Sony plans to take orders in 2025 with initial customer deliveries in 2026, and we should see something closer to a production car long before then. Aside from some desperately needed rear headroom, we’ll be happy if there aren’t too many changes from the concept.



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