Used 2001 Honda Prelude


Pros & Cons

  • Superior handling, excellent refinement and build quality, unique ATTS technology.
  • Limited headroom, conservative interior design, four-cylinder can't match torque of V6 competition.
Other years
List Price Estimate
$2,512 - $5,723

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Edmunds' Expert Review

An aging but still capable sport coupe.

Vehicle overview

The aptly named Prelude has always been a symbol for great things to come. Honda has long used the Prelude to showcase its latest technological developments. Remember Honda's four-wheel steering system, designed to give drivers better control in tight corners? It first debuted on the '88 Prelude. In 1993, the Prelude was also one of the first Hondas to receive a VTEC engine, originally introduced in the 1991 Acura NSX. In 1997, Honda continued this tradition by equipping the Prelude SH with the Active Torque Transfer System (ATTS).

ATTS is designed to give the front-wheel-drive Prelude rear-wheel-drive cornering ability while retaining the wet-weather benefits of a traditional front-wheel-drive car. The system works by monitoring the car's speed, steering angle and yaw rate to determine whether the car is following the driver's intended course. In a tight, fast corner, the system works by increasing torque to the outboard front wheel, which in turn increases the vehicle's yaw rate, giving the driver better steering response. Basically, it neutralizes understeer for those times when the corners get a little too tight. What will they think of next?

Both trims of the Prelude are powered by the 2.2-liter four-cylinder VTEC engine that, when coupled with the manual transmission, cranks out 200 horsepower at 7,000 rpm and 156 foot-pounds of torque at 5,250 rpm. Equipping the Prelude with the automatic transmission reduces horsepower by 5, but the torque remains the same. Base models are available with either a manual or automatic transmission, but if you want the high-tech Type SH, you better like rowing your own gears, since it is available only with the five-speed manual gearbox. The four-speed automatic features a sequential SportShift that gives the driver the option of selecting his own gears, similar to Porsche's Tiptronic. Both the base and Type SH models get standard four-wheel ABS, which pulls the car down from speed quickly.

The Prelude comes standard with a six-speaker audio system, power moonroof, adjustable steering column and a height-adjustable driver seat. Also standard is a state-of-the-art anti-theft system that uses a digitally coded radio signal to ensure that the key you use is the one that came with the vehicle.

After receiving harsh criticism for the fourth-generation's funky interior, Honda took a conservative approach to the dashboard layout of the current Prelude. It is disappointing to note that Honda went so conservative that there's nothing to distinguish the car from a late-80s Accord.

Despite the interior shortcomings, the Prelude is an outstanding sport coupe that offers the latest technology at a reasonably affordable price. Unfortunately, its sales numbers have been falling in recent years, and now the Honda S2000 and an upcoming redesign for the Acura Integra threaten to make the Prelude redundant.

2001 Highlights

Floor mats, rear child seat-tether anchors and an emergency trunk opener are added to the '01 Prelude. Two new colors, Electron Blue and Satin Silver, are also available.


Overallundefined / 5

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2001 Honda Prelude.

Average user rating: 4.9 stars
78 total reviews
5 star reviews: 91%
4 star reviews: 8%
3 star reviews: 0%
2 star reviews: 1%
1 star reviews: 0%

Trending topics in reviews

  • handling & steering
  • engine
  • appearance
  • value
  • reliability & manufacturing quality
  • interior
  • transmission
  • driving experience
  • comfort
  • acceleration
  • wheels & tires
  • spaciousness
  • brakes
  • road noise
  • seats
  • ride quality
  • climate control
  • safety
  • visibility
  • sound system
  • dashboard
  • maintenance & parts
  • fuel efficiency
  • lights
  • electrical system
  • warranty
  • technology
  • oil
  • emission system
  • doors

Most helpful consumer reviews

4.75/5 stars, Should have been a 2 seater
2dr Coupe (2.2L 4cyl 5M)
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!
4.75/5 stars, prelude power
2dr Coupe (2.2L 4cyl 5M)
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.
4.5/5 stars, Fun car!
2dr Coupe (2.2L 4cyl 4A)
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.
5/5 stars, 2001 Electron Blue Prelude
2dr Coupe (2.2L 4cyl 4A)
I have had my Honda prelude for just about a week now and I am just in love with it. I love having the rare blue color, as well as the already "hard to find" car. The V-tec is awesome and addicting! The seats are quite comfortable, but I wouldn't bring it on long trips with more than two people. It does take 93 octane, but it dosent cost to much to fill it up. You get average gas mileage, so don't expect it to be in the 30-40mpg range because it is about 27mpg. I have always wanted one of these cars and now I finally got one and it is a fantastic car! I got lucky and only paid $4000 bucks for mine with 134k on it, (usually they're around 5 or 6). I highly recommend buying a prelude, I get looks everywhere I go. All the reliability of a Honda in a cool, fun, affordable sports car.

Features & Specs

2dr Coupe2.2L 4cyl 4A
MPG 19 city / 24 hwy
Seats 4
4-speed shiftable automatic
195 hp @ 6600 rpm
2dr Coupe2.2L 4cyl 5M
MPG 20 city / 25 hwy
Seats 4
5-speed manual
200 hp @ 7000 rpm
SH 2dr Coupe2.2L 4cyl 5M
MPG 20 city / 25 hwy
Seats 4
5-speed manual
200 hp @ 7000 rpm
See all Used 2001 Honda Prelude specs & features


Is the Honda Prelude a good car?

The Edmunds experts tested the 2001 Prelude both on the road and at the track. You probably care about Honda Prelude fuel economy, so it's important to know that the Prelude gets an EPA-estimated 21 mpg to 22 mpg, depending on the configuration. And then there's safety and reliability. Edmunds has all the latest NHTSA and IIHS crash-test scores, plus industry-leading expert and consumer reviews to help you understand what it's like to own and maintain a Honda Prelude. Learn more

Is the Honda Prelude reliable?

To determine whether the Honda Prelude is reliable, read Edmunds' authentic consumer reviews, which come from real owners and reveal what it's like to live with the Prelude. Look for specific complaints that keep popping up in the reviews, and be sure to compare the Prelude's average consumer rating to that of competing vehicles. Learn more

Is the 2001 Honda Prelude a good car?

There's a lot to consider if you're wondering whether the 2001 Honda Prelude is a good car. Safety scores, fuel economy, cargo capacity and feature availability should all be factors in determining whether the 2001 Prelude is a good car for you. Check back soon for the official Edmunds Rating from our expert testing team Learn more

How much should I pay for a 2001 Honda Prelude?

The least-expensive 2001 Honda Prelude is the 2001 Honda Prelude 2dr Coupe (2.2L 4cyl 5M). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $23,600.

Other versions include:

  • 2dr Coupe (2.2L 4cyl 4A) which starts at $24,600
  • 2dr Coupe (2.2L 4cyl 5M) which starts at $23,600
  • SH 2dr Coupe (2.2L 4cyl 5M) which starts at $26,100
Learn more

What are the different models of Honda Prelude?

If you're interested in the Honda Prelude, the next question is, which Prelude model is right for you? Prelude variants include 2dr Coupe (2.2L 4cyl 4A), 2dr Coupe (2.2L 4cyl 5M), and SH 2dr Coupe (2.2L 4cyl 5M). For a full list of Prelude models, check out Edmunds’ Features & Specs page. Learn more

More about the 2001 Honda Prelude

Used 2001 Honda Prelude Overview

The Used 2001 Honda Prelude is offered in the following submodels: Prelude Coupe, Prelude SH. Available styles include 2dr Coupe (2.2L 4cyl 4A), 2dr Coupe (2.2L 4cyl 5M), and SH 2dr Coupe (2.2L 4cyl 5M).

What do people think of the 2001 Honda Prelude?

Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2001 Honda Prelude and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2001 Prelude 4.9 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2001 Prelude.

Edmunds Expert Reviews

Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2001 Honda Prelude and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2001 Prelude featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

Our Review Process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.

What's a good price for a New 2001 Honda Prelude?

2001 Honda Prelude 2dr Coupe (2.2L 4cyl 4A)

The 2001 Honda Prelude 2dr Coupe (2.2L 4cyl 4A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $25,040. The average price paid for a new 2001 Honda Prelude 2dr Coupe (2.2L 4cyl 4A) is trending $23,072 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $23,072 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $1,968.

The average savings for the 2001 Honda Prelude 2dr Coupe (2.2L 4cyl 4A) is 92.1% below the MSRP.

2001 Honda Prelude SH 2dr Coupe (2.2L 4cyl 5M)

The 2001 Honda Prelude SH 2dr Coupe (2.2L 4cyl 5M) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $26,540. The average price paid for a new 2001 Honda Prelude SH 2dr Coupe (2.2L 4cyl 5M) is trending $24,480 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $24,480 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $2,060.

The average savings for the 2001 Honda Prelude SH 2dr Coupe (2.2L 4cyl 5M) is 92.2% below the MSRP.

Which 2001 Honda Preludes are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2001 Honda Prelude for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2001 Honda Prelude.

Can't find a new 2001 Honda Preludes you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a new Honda for sale - 3 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $14,879.

Why trust Edmunds?

Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.

Should I lease or buy a 2001 Honda Prelude?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Honda lease specials