Used 2001 Honda Prelude

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2001 Honda Prelude
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2001 Honda Prelude

Pros

  • Superior handling, excellent refinement and build quality, unique ATTS technology.

Cons

  • Limited headroom, conservative interior design, four-cylinder can't match torque of V6 competition.

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Edmunds' Expert Review

An aging but still capable sport coupe.

vehicle overview

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.

2001 Highlights

Floor mats, rear child seat-tether anchors and an emergency trunk opener are added to the '01 Prelude. Two new colors, Electron Blue and Satin Silver, are also available.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2001 Honda Prelude.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

Should have been a 2 seater
pablogyds03, 09/27/2012
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!
prelude power
CRIS, 12/04/2009
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.
2001 Electron Blue Prelude
Jon, 09/24/2015
I have had my Honda prelude for just about a week now and I am just in love with it. I love having the rare blue color, as well as the already "hard to find" car. The V-tec is awesome and addicting! The seats are quite comfortable, but I wouldn't bring it on long trips with more than two people. It does take 93 octane, but it dosent cost to much to fill it up. You get average gas mileage, so don't expect it to be in the 30-40mpg range because it is about 27mpg. I have always wanted one of these cars and now I finally got one and it is a fantastic car! I got lucky and only paid $4000 bucks for mine with 134k on it, (usually they're around 5 or 6). I highly recommend buying a prelude, I get looks everywhere I go. All the reliability of a Honda in a cool, fun, affordable sports car.
Japanese Interpretation of Italian Sports Car
silver02m5, 05/01/2014
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).
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Features & Specs

MPG
19 city / 24 hwy
Seats 4
4-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
195 hp @ 6600 rpm
MPG
20 city / 25 hwy
Seats 4
5-speed manual
Gas
200 hp @ 7000 rpm
MPG
20 city / 25 hwy
Seats 4
5-speed manual
Gas
200 hp @ 7000 rpm
See all Used 2001 Honda Prelude features & specs
More about the 2001 Honda Prelude
Used 2001 Honda Prelude Overview

The Used 2001 Honda Prelude is offered in the following submodels: , . Available styles include 2dr Coupe (2.2L 4cyl 4A), 2dr Coupe (2.2L 4cyl 5M), and SH 2dr Coupe (2.2L 4cyl 5M).

What's a good price on a Used 2001 Honda Prelude?

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Find a used Honda Prelude for sale - 11 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $13,360.

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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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