Used 1998 Honda Prelude

Style:
1998 Honda Prelude
List price range

Pros

  • Lots of power, distinctive styling, and room for four

Cons

  • Limited headroom. The Accord has a more attractive interior.

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Edmunds' Expert Review

vehicle overview

The aptly named Prelude has always been a symbol for great things to come. 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 continued 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. Basically, it neutralizes understeer for those times when the corners get a little too tight. What will they think of next.

All Preludes are powered by a 195-horsepower VTEC engine that cranks out 156 foot-pounds of torque at 5250 rpm. 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, or you simply love to drive, this car must go on your shopping list.

Top consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1998 Honda Prelude.

Great car!
josh1189, 10/18/2012
I bought my 1998 Prelude Base Coupe 4sp. manumatic with 74K miles on it in 2006 as my first car. LOVED it! It was the best car I ever owned. In the year that I had it, I only replaced the O2 sensor. Not bad. The reason I had to get rid of it? It cost me too much to keep it. I was only 17, not making much money and couldn't afford the low profile tires (stock wheels, mind you), the premium fuel and, of course, the insurance company ate me alive. I didn't do my homework before I bought it. So, if you can afford the cost of ownership, this will be a great car.
honest 1998 honda prelude review
wuhantang, 3/10/2014
i've owned the car for 2 years, bought it at 200,000km and drove it till 280,000km. as with all cars with high mileage, you must look at what the previous owners did for maintence. in the case of my prelude, EVERYTHING started to break down from leaking raditors to starter problems. My cost of ownership was high, BEWARE its hard to find a prelude that is in good condition.
My Baby
StClingin, 2/1/2010
I own the tiptronic model, standard 2.2L, no fancy wancy vtec. Overall the Prelude is a beautiful car, thankfully the previous owners kept up the servicing and didn't thrash the living daylights out of it. My model is completely stock, straight out of the box, and I am very impressed. Tiptronic is great, you have the choice of just cruising around town in auto mode, or slapping the stick over to the side and drive it like a manual, changing gears without lifting the throttle - an added bonus. Great for open road cruising (Auckland to Cape Reinga and back (done 950+KM in two days) Excellent car. No nonsense. Safe. Reliable. End of story. Buy it!
As Honest as I can write...
darealreview, 4/17/2012
I bought this car with 256000km's (159000 miles) on the car and finally bought a new car. It currently has 320000 kms (199000 miles). I'll be honest, Ive never driven a brand new Prelude, but from what I can see, considering the milage was high, it still booted, vtec'd, and sound like a fast sportscar. from 256000 to 320000 kms, i only worried about oil changes and gas. i had a couple of small things that had to be changed - fan belt, rotors, and exhaust. These are all 'maintenance' issues. This car is a soldier, and I abused the hell out of the car, and it just wont die. It is rusty as hell, and so now that I bought my new car, my prelude satisfies the carefree in me.
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Features & Specs

MPG
20 city / 24 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
195 hp @ 7000 rpm
MPG
20 city / 24 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
195 hp @ 7000 rpm
See all Used 1998 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 1998 Honda Prelude
Used 1998 Honda Prelude Overview

The Used 1998 Honda Prelude is offered in the following submodels: , . Available styles include Type SH 2dr Coupe, and 2dr Coupe.

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