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Honda Prelude 1997-2002



  • Hey guys... checking back in with everyone.

    I absolutely LOVE my Prelude. I have had no problems whatsoever with it as far as the rattles on the inside or the cluck in the suspension. It handles like a dream and has balls to blow away just about anything I want. :-D

    However, all is not perfect. Traveling home from work this past Sunday night I was attacked by a flying deer. It came diving from the left side of the road and struck my silver beauty on the front-right side, doing about $3000 in cosmetic damage. Figures I only had the damn thing about a month too. Oh well. She'll be all better soon enough.

    By the way... can anyone point me to a place where I could pick up silver/aluminum gauges to replace those in my car currently? I can't seem to find them anywhere and I've looked into alot of sites. Thanks for your help!
  • sfonesfone Posts: 3
    Now that the Prelude's imminent demise is official, I'm seeing newspaper ads for new ones at invoice or even less. The rap on the car in the past has been its cost/value ratio -- not that it wasn't a great performer, but you paid a lot for what you got. At MSRP that argument was valid, but with the lower price the equation seems more favorable. I realize that the money I save now will be lost when the time comes to part with the car, but I intend to keep it a while (I bought my current Civic new in 1992 and it now has 134K mi). So, with all that in mind, plus the other iron that's recently/about to come on the market (WRX, RSX, SE-R, etc...), is the Prelude a good buy?
  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    I bought my '01 at about $150 over invoice with options at wholesale cost and free installation. For about $23k and change I got an outstanding car. I have pretty much zero complaints.

    Having driven the WRX and as of the weekend a RSX-S I'd also point out that the Prelude still feels like a very different kind of car. It has a lower center of gravity, better visibility and still has the best steering and shifting of any car under $50k. (In my opinion.) It's worth the money if the feel and aura it provides is what you're looking for. It's a BMW 5-series in high revving V4 2+2 coupe form.
  • sfonesfone Posts: 3
    That's high praise. Did you cross-shop the WRX and RS-X before you bought? What was the driving experience in those like compared to the Prelude? I'd be curious to hear more detail. It sounds like you got a great deal.
  • upevilupevil Posts: 1
    In case anyone wants some more info on the 'Lude here are some very informative and helpful sites:

    I sold my 2001 Toyota Celica GT and bought a '97 Prelude Type SH and really have no regrets.. I love the Prelude and the fact that not very many people have them is nice..

    Regarding the intake question earlier.. the Prelude comes with a stock intake that is practically a Cold Air Intake already so getting a short ram type intake is actually detrimental .. unless you go with an AEM CAI or something similar, just gettin' a K&N Filter should help you out fine.. :) You will, however, lose some low-end torque with an AEM CAI setup.

    Hope this helps.
  • scsolarascsolara Posts: 47
    I just bought a 1991 Prelude and need help finding sites related to the Gen3. I want to turn it into an auto cross car, so I am looking for performance modification. Engine, suspension, etc. Thanks in advance.
  • jkidd2jkidd2 Posts: 218
    I believe if you go to, they have a section for each generation.

    I believe does too.
  • jk111jk111 Posts: 125
    I don't know if you guys remember about my debate awhile back.. choosing between lude, rsx-s, wrx and celica GTS. After lots of searching, I decided on the celica GTS.. but guess what, they don't have any 6spd manual! so I went back to the basics. At one point I really wanted the prelude (always wanted a prelude.) But I just can't stand the thought of me driving something brand new that will be discontinued this year. Finally I decided to plop down the extra cash for a wrx. So far is has been great. I guess I am not brand loyal but performance loyal..haha.
  • hgileshgiles Posts: 66
    I have a 98 Prelude SH, and I don't blame you one bit for getting the WRX. It is a great car. I wouldn't buy a car either the year it was being discontinued. I still love my prelude though.
  • shmangshmang Posts: 297
    So, why you guys will not buy a car that will be discontinued? I am not trying to argue, but just want some thought from you, so PEACE!

    IMO, if the car discontinued (and will be back in 2003 with a replacement - due to Honda), what is the big difference with a model change? Does a discontinue means the last year's car would be worse in quality or what? I am pretty sure get service and parts would not be an issue since Prelude shares a lot of parts with Accord, CL and there are tons of aftermarket shop for Honda, still remember the CRX (discontinued in 91), it is still very easy to find parts and keep maintenence of it a non-issue.

    Am I missing something?
  • blacktalonblacktalon Posts: 203
    I had the opposite reaction. Since I knew that the Prelude would be discontinued, I wanted to make sure that I got one before they went away.

    I missed my chance to get a new GSX when Mitsu replaced the turbo AWD Eclipse with the tamer, less exciting V6. I didn't want to make the same mistake with the Prelude...
  • cason66cason66 Posts: 3
    Bought a brand new '97 non SH. Traded in my '94 Cobra. 5th Honda I've owned. Best handling car that I've ever owned(saved my life once)BUT!!! It was the most poorly assembled Japanese car I've seen. It rattled from day one(underneath the rear window), it leaked some kind of black goo from the windshield/A-pillar seals and somehow would not hold air in any of the tires. I tried 5 times over 2 years to get the problems resolved to no avail. Engine,trans.,brakes, all that was great-just beware-even Honda makes some subpar stuff occasionally.Wife has a 99 EXV6 4 door. It also is sub-par by Honda standards-lease is up in Dec.and I think we're gonna try a maxima or v6 Altima next time.
  • shmangshmang Posts: 297
    Cason: Sorry to hear your story, you must got a bad one. I have a 99 Prelude that is very well assembled, not a drip of leaking even in pouring rain, only occationally rattles when the temp. is like 30F or below. The tires are great. I pump air to 36 psi after the 1st oil change(3500 miles) and check frequently and every time it is 36 psi (give or take 2 b/c of temp.) I checked it again 2 weeks ago and it was 38 psi, amazing! After 30+k (now the car has 35.5K on it), the tire pressure are the same and I will change to another set of tires soon, so put in air once and drive to death for me!

    Is this just me or what? Anyone what to share your experiences here?
  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    Just saw this message. No, I bought the Prelude a couple of months ago but I did drive the WRX first. It was fast fast fast. There is no question about that, but I needed a car with a little more polish and the WRX just didn't fit the bill. Like someone else said, the WRX did not feel like a $25k car, the Prelude did. Also, I wasn't sure if I could see the WRX in my driveway four years from now, but I'll always be damn proud to own a Prelude. I don't know many cars that inspire loyalty as much as the Prelude did; I know people who have '80s models sitting dead in their parking lots after 12 or 15 years of use because they can't bring themselves to junk them or sell them. Time will tell whether the WRX invites similar passion.

    As for driving experience versus the lude, both the RSX and WRX are much quicker and feel a lot lighter. The WRX felt a lot more agile than the Prelude but the RSX did NOT. By no means was it bad but I think I'd be more confident in aggressive driving in the Prelude. The WRX interior sucks, lose switchgear, poor ergonomics, and the visibility wasn't quite what I was used to at the time. The RSX interior was much more lux than the Prelude but in retrospect the Prelude seemed to get everything right whereas the RSX has some ups and downs. The Prelude has better visibility, better styling, seems to have a better stereo despite being hush-hush-Honda-OEM versus hey-i'm-Bose, a better dash waterfall and a more business-like interior. The Prelude is the car the Men-in-black would drive if they drove asian 2+2 coupes.

    I will not take the $$$ hit to trade in a 5th gen Prelude for a WRX or an RSX, but instead will save the money and enjoy it until my spot on the M3 list arrives in a couple of years. I recommend the same to others. The RSX and the WRX are both steps up, which is to be expected since the Prelude is basically a 5+ year old car at this point. The fact that it still outdoes these two wonderful coupes in some ways speaks volumes about the Prelude's overall package and it's a shame that wonderful platform will sit idle from here on out. I think the WRX and RSX are great cars but they are not enough of a step up to make me want to pay to part with the Prelude. That M3 on the other hand...
  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    Anyone know if a 5th gen convertible prelude? I've seen conversion jobs done on 2nd and 4th gen preludes and sometimes think the 5th gen would make for a sweet convertible... oh well, idle dreams...
  • softtowersofttower Posts: 10
    To jk111: I have a good advise for you. Since you've always wanted to get Prelude and now you're concerned about the resale value of it (it's being discontinued), go and get a used one as I did.

    Here's the plan: find the slightly used Prelude (year 99, less than 30K miles) for about $16-17K. You'll save over 6 (five) grand on it, comparing to new Celica or WRX, and it will be practially new and still under the factory bumper-to-bumper warranty. I got my Prelude a year ago and it was 17 month old with 18K on odometer, 'new car scent' and aftermarket leather seats. I bought it from a women who got pregnant and hadn't been driving it for some time. I paid 18K and still think it was a pretty good deal. Last week I went to a Honda dealer for maintenance and took a new Prelude for a drive. Guess what: I didn't feel the difference, my car looks as shiny as a brand new one plus it has two-color interior and leather.

    My personal oppinion is: never underestimate a used car market. Take your time and just wait for a good deal: look at the person who's selling, take a test-drive and you'll save a big $$$.

    I'll probably get my RSX (or WRX) in about a year or two. For $17K or something like that.
  • jk111jk111 Posts: 125
    softtower, got my wrx already. But I would love to have a prelude as a second car. I was thinking about get a used miata a couple of years from now, always wanted one but it is not practical at all if that was my only car.
    Another reason why I choose wrx over others is because of interior space. The 2+2 design will not allow me to haul extra passengers around.
    M3? man those things are expensive. I don't think any of them are going less for 5 grand over msrp right now. People are actually bidding for a spot to get one for 3-4k. I mean, it is a really damn good car and all, but is it worth 55-60k? I don't know.
  • kmaximkmaxim Posts: 6
    Forgive my ignorance, but I am new to this
    website and would like someone to tell me
    which vehicles are designated by RSX and WRX.
  • softtowersofttower Posts: 10
    Acura RSX and Subary Impreza WRX
  • jkidd2jkidd2 Posts: 218
    jk111, too late now, but did you know you can get an RSX with a 6 speed?
  • I had initially deposited and ordered a 325ci 5 sad, two weeks later I found myself inside a honda dealer and drove off in a prelude sh. I've had it for 1 month. Its a blast to drive compared to my 98 maxima se which the lease was coming to an end. I have 1700 miles and do not regret waitting 2 extra months for the 325.
  • shmangshmang Posts: 297
    "I have 1700 miles and do not regret waitting 2 extra months for the 325. "

    So, are you still getting a 325? or you just saying it is b/c of the waiting that you can make a better decision?
  • jk111jk111 Posts: 125
    yep, actually looked into buying a rsx-s. But time frame didn't allow me to do it. I was impressed about the rsx tho. But as a daily driver, a 4wd vehicle is better suited for NJ winter weather for me.
  • Hi everyone out there...

    I'm looking for a good, reliable, and fast car. I've been looking into coupes for the past month, and I was wondering if a used 1997 Honda Prelude typeSH was a good car to buy/find. I know a used car wouldn't be over 20,000, or even 15,000 at that. So say if I found a 1997 Honda Prelude w/ a spoiler, sunroof, and ABS, with the rest only standard equipment(is the ATTS optional?), So I can put all of my own stuff into it. And the mileage was about 50000 or less. What would be a good price for the car? Can some litterate car people help me out with this question? It would be greatly appreciated.
    Very Kindly,
    The World Iz Myn
  • jk111jk111 Posts: 125
    check out kelly blue book. ATTS is standard on Type SH. But standard Prelude does not have ATTS as an option.
  • trish17trish17 Posts: 3
    Is there anyway to take the stickers off the front visors? I asked Honda dealer and he was clueless in July.
  • softtowersofttower Posts: 10
    KBB is a crap. Their prices are extremely unrealistic, I suspect that used car dealers pay these guys to lie us about used car prices. The good formula will be: "KBB price minus $3K".

    I bought my 98 Prelude with all factory options + custom leather with 18K miles for 18K more than a year ago. KBB quoted something like $21K for a car like mine.

    I think you can get 1997 loaded Prelude for about 13-16K depending on milage. I've seen 97 Preludes with more than 80K miles on them. I wouldn't get one of those even for 12K. On the other hand, my car still has only 24K miles and I won't sell it even for 16. ;-)))
  • So let's say I found a 1997 Prelude with about 62000-80000 miles on it...what would be the price range for one of those w/ a Sunroof/Moonroof whichever one, ABS, and a spoiler. All the rest standard options?
  • ashenashen Posts: 3
    Try NADA Guide online for prices. That's what most banks use for figuring used prices, so it's probably pretty fair. In my experience most dealer use Black Book. It gives the lowest trade-in value, but the highest retail value.
  • what is the most inexpensive 1997 Type SH Prelude that anybody has ever heard of?
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