Used 2001 Honda Prelude SH


Pros & Cons

  • Superior handling, excellent refinement and build quality, unique ATTS technology.
  • Limited headroom, conservative interior design, four-cylinder can't match torque of V6 competition.
Other years
List Price Estimate
$1,067 - $2,432

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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 Used 2001 Honda Prelude SH.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Best car...EVER
SH 2dr Coupe (2.2L 4cyl 5M)
I have owed many cars. I have owned an '87 Prelude. I sold it with 459,000 miles on it, never had a major problem. I now have a 2001 Prelude SH. I put 80,000 miles on it already. I love it. It is by far the best car ever made by Honda.
2001 Prelude Type SH
SH 2dr Coupe (2.2L 4cyl 5M)
I remember first seeing this car indoors at a Honda dealer when it first came out in 1997 and my goal was to one day own one(I was around 12 years old). I was in love with it. Prior to that, I really liked the 94-95 Honda Accord 2 door. I owned the accord for around 5 years. I have had the prelude since October 2008. I love the car. It's a bit slow for 200 hp and 22 mpg, but it's fair enough. If I were to buy one again, I'd go with the base over SH. Base is lighter. This is a unique, classy car not like most of the other cars out there. The main concern I'd have with buying one is how well it was taken care of. A lot of these owners have driven 'em hard. Car maintenance is everything.
Best Honda ever made
SH 2dr Coupe (2.2L 4cyl 5M)
I just bought this car, and it is by far the best Honda I have ever owned
Fantastic Sports Coupe
SH 2dr Coupe (2.2L 4cyl 5M)
This car is fun to drive. I have an HKS exhaust put on by the previous owner and an AEM Cold Air Intake. It produces a boomy, racy tone under full throttle but is reasonably quiet under moderate acceleration. Power is good in the upper RPM range. VTEC engages at around 5100 RPM and you'll know it when it does. Car is comfortable and you won't be seen every time you turn your head. A decade into its life span the car still looks fresh. Handling is OUTSTANDING! Gas mileage on premium is 20 City & 25 Hwy. I've seen as high as 26-27 driving conservatively on the highway. 5 speed is crisp and fun to drive.

More about the 2001 Honda Prelude

Used 2001 Honda Prelude SH Overview

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

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

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Can't find a used 2001 Honda Prelude Prelude SH you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

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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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