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.
Edmunds' Expert Review
An aging but still capable sport coupe.
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.
|Overall||undefined / 5|
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Trending topics in reviews
- handling & steering
- reliability & manufacturing quality
- driving experience
- wheels & tires
- road noise
- ride quality
- climate control
- sound system
- maintenance & parts
- fuel efficiency
- electrical system
- emission system
Most helpful consumer reviews
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!
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.
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.
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). As the car ages, the gap between it and the average modern car is certainly growing (for better or for worse). It always feels connected to the road, and it always feels on its toes, but the lack of engine flexibility is becoming more and more obvious. Think Ferrari 308 versus Ferrari 488. I now have a Civic Type R, and the difference in flexibility at lower revs is night and day.
Features & Specs
2.2L 4cyl 4A
|MPG||19 city / 24 hwy|
|4-speed shiftable automatic|
|195 hp @ 6600 rpm|
2.2L 4cyl 5M
|MPG||20 city / 25 hwy|
|200 hp @ 7000 rpm|
|SH 2dr Coupe|
2.2L 4cyl 5M
|MPG||20 city / 25 hwy|
|200 hp @ 7000 rpm|
Is the Honda Prelude a good car?
Is the Honda Prelude reliable?
Is the 2001 Honda Prelude a good car?
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
What are the different models of Honda Prelude?
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?
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.
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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.
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