Used 1996 Honda Prelude

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1996 Honda Prelude
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Edmunds' Expert Review

vehicle overview

Usually, when a carmaker introduces a model with unusual styling, we assume that the styling will grow on us, becoming attractive as the rest of the carmakers introduce models with similar styling themes. Since we first laid eyes on the Prelude in the fall of 1991, only two cars have dared tread where Honda designers did when creating the current-generation Prelude. The new Supra's roofline and greenhouse share the Prelude's proportions, and the Lincoln Mark VIII sports an interior as radical as that found in the Prelude. Needless to say, we still haven't grown accustomed to, or very fond of, this Honda's looks, inside or out.

Underneath the questionably attractive sheetmetal is where the Prelude shines, at least in Si and Si VTEC form. The Si gets a 160-horsepower 2.3-liter twin-cam engine; the Si VTEC a 2.2-liter twin-cammer good for 190-horsepower. The VTEC motor is sweet, with a high redline and rev-me-red personality, but it costs an extra $3,000 and reduces the Prelude's acceleration times by a scant half a second over the Si. We don't think it's worth it.

A deeply slotted dashboard greets the front passengers, running the length of the cowl and housing a combination of digital and analog gauges. At either end is a speaker housing and chintzy-looking speaker grille. The design provides an ample amount of interior room for the front passengers, but compared to Honda's previously-brilliant interior layouts, this one is cheesy and ineffective.

The frontal styling is downright ugly, and the alloy wheels look as though they were heisted from a Saturn SL2. The Prelude is a fun car, with reliability that is nearly matchless. However, we think Honda blew it with this version. The 1988-1991 Prelude was nicer to look at, more user-friendly, and less expensive. No wonder they hold their value so well.

Top consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1996 Honda Prelude.

Amazing Car
Tom McGean, 5/1/2010
This is an amazing vehicle. First car I have ever owned, I got it when I was 16. Dropped suspension and a shift kit makes this baby fly and it handles like a pro. I love flying into parking lots and putting the car into a space at 30 mph. Blows my friends mind. Hilarious to crush Mustang Cobras and VWs at stop lights. Very rare and hard to find car that looks fantastic. Interior is cramped, don't expect to make any trips over 30min with someone in the back seat without them complaining incessantly. Gauges are a little silly, and the glare at night can be tough, but the lighting can be lowered. Looks sick with some interior neon and a Kenwood though. All in all, a fantastic car
Prelude S : Best for the price!
DjChaz, 5/12/2002
I purchased my car about 2 weeks ago, and it has been awsome so far. Got the car for $7,500 with 65,000 miles (a steal of a price) and so far so good. Car is very fast for a 2.2L 135 HP engine, and has so much potential with a few upgrades. It is still an eye turner (almost everywhere I go people ask about the car) If you want a long term, cheap, reliable sporty car, either get this or an Integra (harder to find at a really good price)
honda prelude
Mr. Wonka, 8/28/2002
This is a beautiful car. tilt wheel, cruise control power windows, power locks, power sunroof, CD stereo, DOCH engine, 5-speed
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Features & Specs

MPG
19 city / 24 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
190 hp @ 6800 rpm
MPG
19 city / 24 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
160 hp @ 5800 rpm
MPG
21 city / 26 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
135 hp @ 5200 rpm
See all Used 1996 Honda Prelude features & specs

Safety

IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    0

More about the 1996 Honda Prelude
Used 1996 Honda Prelude Overview

The Used 1996 Honda Prelude is offered in the following submodels: , , . Available styles include VTEC 2dr Coupe, Si 2dr Coupe, and S 2dr Coupe.

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