If you are looking for something that follows the "typical Honda" model, then you should look elsewhere.
Pretty much everything about this car, from the low roofline, to the seating position, to the engine character screams Italian.
All Hondas need to be revved up to make power, but this one
is even more extreme.
Even the design of the valvetrain, with the valves set into "buckets" in the head is identical to that of an Alfa Romeo.
The seats are comfortable and supportive , but be prepared to extend your arms while your legs straddle the wheel if you are over 6 foot.
The build quality is excellent, but the low production numbers show in only average reliability (not Honda-typical).
Great fit and finish, screams at high RPMs, classic Honda interior and instrumentation, great seats, looks great, more reliable than Euro competitors
Only average reliability,
20 MPG on premium-only fuel, actual power feels far below advertised, feels like you are steering from the back seat (like a BMW Z3), tiny back seat
I owned this car with the auto/man transmission. The car was great I had it lowered on springs. The car was really fun and sounded great with a small 12in sub. It was definitely one of the best cars I've owned. The only complaint was the transmission. They don't last very long.
I bought this car to replace my 1986 Prelude, I was fresh out of college and landed a good paying job so an upgrade was in tail. Initially I was in the market for an Acura Integra GSR which are hard to find Clean title and Stock (Which is what I wanted). While out Kicking tires at some dealerships I found a 01 Black Prelude 5spd. I took it for a test drive and was sold before I even hit 3 blocks, took it back and bought it with 113k. Purchaced the car in 2007 ended up totaling it in 2011 but it was super reliable only oil changes, tires and tune ups. it had 236k when I parted from it. I miss this car and it was a blast to drive on my 60mile commute especially passing people. Gotta love VTEC!
Bigger back seat
Bring back the prelude, Honda used to be synonymous with racing but their line up is really depressing there hasnt been a really good sports car -accord v6 6-pd in their line up since the s2000.
In my teens i bought a 4thGen Si Prelude for practically nothing with over 100K on it and i drove it to 230K until it was totaled while parked w/ the only problem being that it burned oil (not leaked.) Then i purchased an '01 Base model and at 1st was disappointed because i couldn't find an SH, though shortly after i realized that seats and the ATTS, wheels and a spoiler were not really worth it the extra bucks and found my car at Buena Park Honda with only 40K on it. That was five years ago and i still haven't reached the 100K mark but i'm close. The 5thGen changes gears not nearly as smooth as the 4th. and sadly this Prelude burns oil also between changes.
It is super quick and takes corners with ease. Probably would've been much more popular if it'd been RWD but at the end of the day it is simply a sports car, not a race car which it is constantly confused with. No other car on the road has the looks of the Prelude. it's comfortable on long trips.
my 5thGen Prelude burns oil. All my friends Preludes burn oil also, some at ridiculous amounts between oil changes (something to ask if you plan on buying one). If you are a coffee drinker and this is your daily car it will by far be the first thing you notice while on the way to work, changing gears, with the coffee in the cup holder. I do a lot of multitasking with steering, and holding my coffee in my hand. MPG could be alot worse but also better for such a lightweight vehicle, then again it's 2.2 liters and a Civic is roughly ?1.6? give or take.
MPG all depends on how you drive it and more importantly (as with any car) how you brake.
This car is fun to drive. I have an HKS exhaust put on by the previous owner and an AEM Cold Air Intake. It produces a boomy, racy tone under full throttle but is reasonably quiet under moderate acceleration. Power is good in the upper RPM range. VTEC engages at around 5100 RPM and you'll know it when it does. Car is comfortable and you won't be seen every time you turn your head.
A decade into its life span the car still looks fresh. Handling is OUTSTANDING! Gas mileage on premium is 20 City & 25 Hwy. I've seen as high as 26-27 driving conservatively on the highway. 5 speed is crisp and fun to drive.
ATTS (Automatic Torque Transfer System) in the SH is a blast. This car is great in curves. I have taken on ramps at twice the posted speed limit and all this car does is grip the road. Never any torque steer or tire squealing going through the curves. I've owned heavier more powerful cars (Lexus GS430) and I will take this over them.
Great reliability. Have it maintained by the dealer or a Honda specialist. Mine is all original with the exception of the CAI and the muffler.
I would love to see Honda bring back the Prelude. Add modern options that are in the parts bin. Bring back ATTS make a 4cylinder and a 6 cylinder version. Manual transmissions, lightweight, great power trains, side airbags, modern electronics, etc. Just dig in the crates and bring out all of the best stuff Honda has to offer from the last decade and update the car.
The Prelude is not a soulless car like many Asian automotive appliances. It's a throwback to the days of the Preludes, Supra's & NSX when there were Asian coupes that were a blast to drive and reliable. Bring that back and until then I will drive my Lude!