Used 1997 Honda Prelude Type SH

1997 Honda Prelude
List price range
1997 Honda Prelude


  • A fresh new look, lots of power, and more luggage space than last year's model.


  • Limited headroom. The interior is less exciting than the one found in a 1987 Accord.

Used 1997 Honda Prelude Type SH for Sale

Honda Prelude 1997 Type SH 2dr Coupe
51 miles
Used 1997
Honda Prelude
Type SH
ListNot Listed
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Edmunds' Expert Review

vehicle overview

Honda has long used the Prelude to showcase their latest technological developments. Remember Honda's four-wheel steering system, designed to give drivers better control in tight corners? It first debuted on the 1988 Prelude. In 1993, the Prelude was also one of the first Honda's to receive a VTEC engine, first introduced in the 1991 Acura NSX. In 1997, Honda continues this tradition by showcasing their new Active Torque Transfer System (ATTS) in the Prelude Type SH.

The Active Torque Transfer System is designed to give the 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 the if 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. In addition to the ATTS, the Prelude Type SH gets an upgraded suspension that encourages aggressive driving.

All Preludes are powered by a 195-horsepower VTEC engine that cranks out an impressive 190 foot-pounds of torque at 6600 rpm. Although these numbers are greater than last year's, the current Prelude doesn't appear to be any faster through the traps due to its increased weight. Base models are available with a manual or automatic transmission, but if you want the high-tech Type SH model, you better like rowing your own gears; it is only available with a five-speed manual gearbox. The five-speed manual is a carryover from the previous Prelude, but the new four-speed automatic features a Sequential SportShift that allows drivers the option of selecting their own gears, similar to a Porsche Tiptronic. Base and Type SH models get standard four-wheel antilock disc brakes that pull the car down quickly from the Prelude's estimated top-speed of 140 mph.

After receiving harsh criticism for the previous-generation Prelude's funky interior, we weren't surprised to see that Honda took a conservative approach to the dashboard layout of their new sports coupe. We were, however, disappointed to notice that they took an approach so conservative that when seated behind the Prelude's steering wheel, there is nothing to distinguish the car from a late-eighties Accord. Come on guys, you can do better than that, can't you?

Despite the interior shortcomings, and the much-maligned headlamps, the Prelude is an outstanding sports coupe that offers the latest technology at a reasonably affordable price. If you are a gizmo hound, this car must go on your shopping list.

1997 Highlights

The Prelude is totally redesigned for 1997. A base model is available with a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic gearbox, but the top-of-the-line Type SH model, featuring Honda's new Active Torque Transfer System, can only be had as a manual. Both the base and Type SH Preludes feature last year's VTEC engine which produces 195 horsepower for 1997.

Top consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1997 Honda Prelude.

Excelent performance vehicle
I bought this car used from a dealership. I hunted this car for 3 months and was actually on my way to Delaware(from NJ) when I saw it. The performance you get for the money paid is excelent. I drove it on highways, cities, mountains, in any conditions possible including a blizzard and it never failed me.
1997 Type SH
I purchased my type SH new in 1997. I just put a new clutch in at 239,500 or so miles. The interior is like new. I need to address some very minor rust on rear wheel wells and that is all. I had to extend my clutch petal by an inch or so to make the car more comfortable. Other than that I love this car. It is so comfortable and fun to drive and gets 26 MPG at very aggressive driving speeds. If you can find one that has been taken care of buy it.
Nothing comes close
I bought my SH brand new and basically drove the wheels off of it. It is by far, the best handling vehicle I have ever driven. It was more than enough power and the engine is a true gem. The drive train is refined and a step above anything in the Honda lineup even till this day. The Acura TSX/RSX comes close but I still prefer the Prelude overall. I sold it with over 300K and have regretted it ever since. I am currently looking for another one! If you have a chance to pick one up..just do it.
Prelude Type SH with ATTS is amazing!
I've had my Honda Prelude Type SH for almost 6 years now and LOVE it! It's been a joy to drive every day! Honda's Active Torque Transfer System is truly amazing! This comes only on the Type SH model. This feature basically makes the OUTSIDE wheels on a turn go FASTER than the inside wheels, and can transfer up to 80% of the torque to those wheels. The result is almost NO understeer and amazing road-hugging ability. This has to be one of the best-handling cars on the market. It's been 100% reliable, no problems, except a slight rattle around the moonroof. Honda is so incredibly reliable!
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Features & Specs

N/A city / N/A hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
195 hp @ 7000 rpm
See all Used 1997 Honda Prelude Type SH features & specs


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

More about the 1997 Honda Prelude
Used 1997 Honda Prelude Type SH Overview

The Used 1997 Honda Prelude Type SH is offered in the following styles: , and Type SH 2dr Coupe.

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Should I lease or buy a 1997 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
Check out Honda Prelude lease specials