Used 1996 Honda Prelude Si

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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.

1996 Highlights

This is the last year for the current-generation Prelude.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1996 Honda Prelude.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

1st Honda, finally!
n_stemp,10/02/2004
1st off this forum has been VERY helpful to me. I researched ALOT of cars for hrs upon hrs and I had no doubt that I wanted a Honda, I found a few preludes, on line, and the one I purchased was 400 miles/8 hrs (round trip) away from where I live! I made trip to test drive and fell in love, bought it right there on the spot! I had to have a friend drive me back to pick it up on another day. This car is VERY fun to drive, I've been in my Dodge intrepid ('95 3.3 ltr) for 4.5 yrs, it is more comfortable.. but that's to be expected. I test drove 3 NEW honda'a ('05 accord, 04 civic ex, 04 civic lx) and this car ('96!) out peerformed all 3! new cars don't have the balls anymore.. fuel efficiency?
Incredible Car
Hookedup Honda,06/04/2002
This car has been a custom heaven for me. All I have done is change the front bumper and put on some 17inch aluminum wheels and I get more people asking me what kind of car it is than I did when I had a Camry with $2,000 worth of body work. The layout of the car is basic, so all of my stereo modifications have been simple to install and design
Love the 'lude
The Forsaken,07/01/2002
I always loved the styling of the 92-96 preludes, I don't care what edmunds says. I bought mine with about 88,000 miles on it. Over 100,000 now with no problems at all. A fast car with an insanely wicked stock growl. oh and it's curb weight is 2,866lbs NOT 3,866 as stated in one of the other reviews. I'ts not a freakin Camaro for crying out loud.
One of my favorites
SnoopDoug,07/29/2002
I have driven everything from old muscle cars, to new Vettes and even a '96 Viper GTS. I must say that I love this car, overall, more than those. At least for the money. I get 31MPG with the A/C on!! How can you beat that? I have always loved how the car looks too. It's just got an "evil" look when viewed from the front.
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Features & Specs

MPG
19 city / 24 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
160 hp @ 5800 rpm
See all Used 1996 Honda Prelude Si 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 Si Overview

The Used 1996 Honda Prelude Si is offered in the following styles: Si 2dr Coupe.

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Can't find a used 1996 Honda Prelude Prelude Si you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Honda Prelude for sale - 8 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $10,475.

Find a used Honda for sale - 11 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $24,453.

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Find a used certified pre-owned Honda for sale - 6 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $23,279.

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Should I lease or buy a 1996 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
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