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 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.
I bought my prelude brand new in 2001, the last model made SE.. this car is amazing, affordable, fast and great handling. Its not very roomy but whatever, its a great ride and stops on a dime. I'm over 200,000 km and it still drives like new. I have always babied it and never had a problem. My biggest expense was timing belt and water pump for a 1000 bucks, my crank pully was damaged. I did wait way to long to change my timing belt, I changed it at 195,000 so lucky it didn't brake, it had cracks all over it. A little tip, if you own a prelude and have a problem, only take it to honda, its to hard of a car to work on and anyone else will screw it up.
handling, take off and stopping..
winter tires, good ones, michelin or bridgestone and its like a TANK in the snow..
Excellent car and value, a blast to drive! Original stock tires weren't great. Stock stereo is good and puts out decent volume, but the bass is more "mid bass," not low bass. Just over 100K miles and no problems. By some miracle, no tickets, either! Don't ask me how I know this, but there is a fuel cutoff at 7,800 rpm. Would be nice to have a rev limiter, instead. Like other comments, a 6th cruising gear, RWD, 200 lbs. lighter, and 40 more hp would also be on my wish list. My car should last another 10 years at least...maybe by then, a new Prelude will be in showrooms.
Engine, engine sound, 5sp manual tranny and clutch are nice and smooth, sporty handling (for a FWD car).
No V6, though, please. It would just make it more nose heavy. We also have a 2004 V6 Accord Sedan (5sp auto)...the V6 is nice and smooth, though (240hp, 210 lb. ft. torque), but it's a bigger car, weighs more, and is only maybe a tenth or two faster to 60 and in the 1/4 mile...