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Honda Prelude 1997-2002



  • only1harryonly1harry NYPosts: 1,140
    Well, I 'm waiting to see what the next Type-R is like (or RSX..) in '02.
    Being a GSR owner the Prelude is not much of an upgrade for me and nor do I have $$35-45K to spend on Bimmers or S2000. My next car would be in the mid to high 20's and hopefully the next gen. Type-R won't disappoint.
    I 'm very spoiled since I 've upgraded the suspension and my GSR handles the same as my brother's '98 Type-R, I can't see myself driving 4-dr sedans even if they call them sports sedans. It's very hard for a sedan to match a light coupe's handling.
    If the next Integra is faster than today's ITR and handles better, it will most likely be my choice, especially since I race a lot (on the track).
    '99 Integra GSR
    '06 Civic LX coupe
    '11 BMW 335i coupe xDrive
    '13 Honda Accord sedan (wife's car)
  • Well, comments here plus the photos and description of the new RSX have convinced me that I had might as well make the trip to test drive the Prelude.

    I really don't like the look of the RSX... it looks basically like a gussied up civic... and I understand that there is no double wishbone suspension anymore!!! Inconceivable!!

    The interior looks neat, but the shape, expecially from the rear, looks absolutely terrible in my eyes. To each his own I suppose, but it sure has made the decision easier, and I won't have to wait for anything now.

    Boy, I wish that Nissan Z car was available sooner.... oh well, probably out of my price range anyway.

  • I am looking at purhcasing a '97 model Prelude with 27000 miles. Anyway, since that was the first year for that bodystyle and level of engine tuning, I was wondering if problems that come with early prodution would be included.

    Also, anyone ever tried pulling a 750 pound trailer with a 5th generation Prelude?

  • I think the Prelude is more refined than the Integra. I've also driven both extensively (own the Prelude, friend owns the Integra). Actually, depends on your definition of refined (sorry, I hate it when people do that). Most people, I think, though, would agree that the Prelude has a more solid feel to it than the Integra in terms of driving noise and interior comfort unless you're in the back.

    In terms of body roll, etc. only1harry, with all due respect, you can't compare a car with modded suspension to one with stock suspension. I'm pretty sure that stock for stock, the Prelude has a more rigid chassis than the Integra, as well as less body roll when cornering. The Prelude is so fat and wide, it's kind of unfair to compare the two :)

    I do like the GSR a lot, though, so i'm just pointing these things out for the benefit of the guy who's asking the questions.
  • I currently own a Honda del Sol and am beginning to look for something new. While the Prelude looks good, I'm wondering what people think about the new Mercedes coupe that just debuted. It will be under $30k and have the super-charged engine from the SLK. Any thoughts on if it's worth waiting for that, or just go with the cheaper Prelude now?
  • jk111jk111 Posts: 125
    I doubt you can find one for under 30 grand. MB dealers is going to make a killing by selling the car with add ons. Just the same way with the 3 series. You can get a base 323 for 27 grand, but none of the BMW dealers have a 323 with out add ons. I guess that is why IS300 is a real close competitor to the 3 series right now.

    Prelude is a little more refined than the teg, but the teg is also 7-8 years old. The next gen of integra should be a lot more refined. I really want to see what the next gen of teg is like. Currently I am looking at Celica GT-S, but I am leaning towards the next gen of integra if it offers the same of better performance ..
  • I have a 97 Prelude in "Clean" almost "Outstanding" condition (by Edmunds definition for calculating TMV) and 39000 miles. Edmunds says the car (Clean) is worth 14,100 or (Outstanding) 15,100 or thereabouts. Plus, I live in Albuquerque, NM. I want to trade it for a 2001 Accord EX/V6 because we're about to have a baby and both our cars need to be able to carry a baby. Not a bad move, Prelude to Accord EX.

    Anyway, I've been laughed out of 2 dealerships on both accounts (1) the price I want for my car (one will generously give me 11,400, the other wouldn't give me a price when I told him the laughable Edmunds TMV) and (2) the price they want to sell me the Accord for (well over 1000 off of Edmunds TMV). What is the deal? Has anyone had any recent experience with either of these issues?

  • I am only one example, but my experience with my 97 (STD, not SH) has been excellent. I bought it new and have not had a problem, very solid. I have to sell it now (Read: post 97) but not because I want to. Since you are in the market, what are you willing to pay to give me a baseline. Read my post 97 to see what dealers will pay for them and compare that to what they are selling for. Let me know what price range is "fair" to you.

  • I've also been thinking about trading in my Prelude (1998) for a new Accord V6. I feel like I've been able to find good deals here in Atlanta.

    Edmunds says my Prelude is worth about $15k trade-in and I was offered (after haggling) $14.6k. Not bad.

    And I can get the 2001 Accord V6 for almost invoice. Of course, I go Griffin Honda outside Atlanta, instead of the dealers in the city. Better prices in the country. And more competition, perhaps, than New Mexico.

    Don't let those $#!@ dealers take you over a barrel!

    Good luck,
  • shmangshmang Posts: 297
    change (manual) transmission fluid with a 5spd Prelude if the shift is smooth? Or is there a manufacturer schedule to change manual transmission fluid?

    My car just turn 30K and I am wondering if I need to change it or not. If yes, can someone give me some advise on how to drain it? (I kind of know how to fill/add fluid but have no idea on how to drain it.)

    Thanks in advance.
  • only1harryonly1harry NYPosts: 1,140
    check out Edmund's pictures and brief article on the new Acura RSX (Integra) which should be released as a '02 model as early as the summer. I 'm not crazy at all about its looks but that 2.0L 200hp motor should more than outperform the Celica..
    '99 Integra GSR
    '06 Civic LX coupe
    '11 BMW 335i coupe xDrive
    '13 Honda Accord sedan (wife's car)
  • jk111jk111 Posts: 125
    2 liter 200hp sounds good. But I wonder if they are going to reserve that for the Type R? But if they are going to make a rsx GSR with 200hp, count me in!
  • leftonlefton Posts: 8
    I changed my mtf at 10k. Soon, it will hit 20k and I will again. The drain plug is located at trans low point on pass side. Takes about 2 qts. I use only Honda mtf. Hope that helps, Doug
  • shmangshmang Posts: 297
    Thanks, Doug!

    Now I can drive it for another 7k without worry about it!
  • mrnsx1mrnsx1 Posts: 2
    Hi there,

    while we are on the subject of Manual Transmission Fluids, my car will reach 45k miles in about 2 months and I wanted to get the MT and coolant changed. I know Honda makes a big deal about putting only Honda brake fluid, coolant, transmission fluid in the owner's mantel. Just wondering 1.) if we really need to put only Honda products in the Prelude, or if I could just take my car to Jiffy Lube and just get them to do it with whatever product they put in there.
    2.) Is the Honda dealership the only place to buy those Honda made fluids?

  • I looked at an excellent 1997 black over gray cloth 5 speed standard coupe Saturday that was offered at an asking price of $13,500. The car only had 32 thousand miles on it and had complete documented service history.

    I still have no idea why it was so cheap. It was offered at a small Ford dealership in a backwoods Alabama town, so maybe they have no idea what good cars are really worth, or they just despise the Prelude in favor of the Mustang.

    Either way this was a great deal, but I still don't have the cash (need to sell a 10 year old SUV privately first).

    Being the first Prelude of it's generation that I have driven, I think my debate of the Prelude vs. Integra has been settled.

    Also, has anyone ever tried pulling a trailer of about 600-800 pounds with a Prelude?
  • only1harryonly1harry NYPosts: 1,140
    This is definitely not the Type-R. The next
    Integra (RSX) Type-R is supposed to have 220-225hp. The Civic Type-R has already been announced in Japan and will have a 215hp motor. Japanese magazines have talked about a full production 200hp Integra (GSR) coming out for a while now. The only thing that we 'll definitely not get is those 18" wheels. The RSX will most likely have 16 or 17" ones. Hopefully the torque will be around 150ft-lbs or so and from the looks of it, although looks can be deceiving it still looks small and light. I 'd say around 2700 to 2750lbs, I hope! Hopefully it will come with a nice SS exhaust (GSR doesn't come with a SS one), at least 2-2.25" wide. I estimate it to be in the low to mid 6's 0-60 because the new i-VTEC engines are supposed to be lighter than current generation VTECs.
    '99 Integra GSR
    '06 Civic LX coupe
    '11 BMW 335i coupe xDrive
    '13 Honda Accord sedan (wife's car)
  • Hey, all you Lude fans--I need the straight scoop on a couple of questions I have about this car--base model.

    1. How does this car performs in the snow? About like any front wheel drive car?

    2. Is the 2001 model year the last year? Any thoughts about what that will do to resale values 4-5 years hence?

    3. The Carsdirect price is $300.00 over invoice. Is this realistic? High? Low? I'm in the St. Louis/Southern Illinois market)?

    4. How is the comfort of the car for a long (say, 400 mile) trip down the interstate?

    All comments will be appreciated. Thanks.
  • mono1mono1 Posts: 7
    I own a '97 Prelude Sport shift and recently purchased Pirelli P7000 Super sport All-season tires. I live in Chicano, IL and we have had a great deal of snow this year. This car is terrible in the snow with these tires. The EM tires did a better job, but nothing amazing by any means. I seriously can't believe how poorly the car performs in the snow. It is dangerous to me and I also own a 2000 Ford Mustang T. My Mustang stops better than the Prelude in the snow. As far a starting from a dead the stop, the Prelude again is terrible. Put it this way, I can be at a green light lined up next to another front wheel drive car on a snow-packed road and the other car will take off like a bat out of hell compared to my Prelude. By the time we reach 25 mph the other car is easily three car lengths ahead of me. I can't believe how poorly these tires perform on a car such as the Prelude which has very little low-end torque. My Mustang has twice the amount of torque and much more at low rams. and it does slightly worse in the snow, but that is to be expected. The Mustang has more torque and it's rear wheel drive.
  • mono1mono1 Posts: 7
    I realize the owner's manual says that this fluid will last something like 75K, but I have a hard time believing that. Any thoughts on when this should really be changed?

    Remember I said I have an automatic trans. with 40K.
  • asethiasethi Posts: 76
    I've got the Pirelli "winter sport" winter tires on my (98, 5-speed) prelude, can't be much happier. No problems driving thru snow at all. During the last storm here in MA, i drove in up to 8 inches of snow without any problems. The good thing I've noticed about these tires is that they are very predictable and provide reasonably good handling for winter tires. Good grip on wet and dry as well.

    mono1, I was in your situation before I got these tires, I know what you're talking about. But still, your all-seasons should not behave so bad, I had performace summer tires. What tire pressure have you got in your tires? Try reducing it by 2 psi and see..
  • jkidd2jkidd2 Posts: 218
    I have owned several Honda's, an '81 Civic Wagon, '91 CRX Si, a '96 Integra GSR and a '99 Prelude. I bought all of them new. The CRX was the best car I have ever owned. I traded in the CRX for the Prelude. Having always had great experience' with Honda's, I decided to stick with a good thing. I looked @ the Accord Coupe, but decided it was too popular. I bought the base model Prelude with a 5 speed tranny because I wanted the extra 5 horses the manual has over the auto (200 vs. 195 bhp). I also didn't want the trick suspension the Type SH comes with.
    I guess I bought this car too late in life. No doubt about it, it is a great car to own, if your about 22, single and short. Living in a large city (Houston) with dreadful traffic, the 5 speed (though sweet) has been a poor choice. In the City, I rarely get out of 3rd gear because of the heavy traffic, so the constant shifting and clutch work grows tiresome. Quickly.
    Inside, the front seats are comfortable (firm & supportive)in a grippy/sturdy black fabric. You have a choice of interior colors as long as its black. Switch gear and instruments are clear and have that great "quality" feel to them. Considering the Preludes price, it would be nice to have had automatic climate control. The air conditioning and heat perform well, although the switchgear design is an older looking slider design vs knobs.
    Getting into and out of the car isn't easy for my 39 year old body. The drivers seat comes with a manual height adjuster, which I have found to be useless since headroom is lacking no matter how I adjust the seat.
    With the 5 speed, if you have anything other than a small can in the cup holder(s), the drink will be in the way of shifting the gears. I always end up putting the drink between my legs!
    The back seat is not as bad as your told in most reviews (as long as your under 5'8). Getting in and out of it is a chore, but the front passenger seat slides forward to allow easier entry. There is even 1 cup holder back there!
    The base stereo CD sounds great to me!
    The option list for this car is limited. It comes standard with what I consider the basic "luxury" items, power windows, locks, mirrors, and moonroof. You can't get leather, the previously mentioned automatic climate control, a garage door opener in the visor and side airbags.
    Truck space is good (considering) and you can lay the back seat down providing even more room.
    Handling is this cars forte. Its ride is above par for a small sporty car, and it feels stable on most road surfaces. Road noise is fairly limited and much less than in our Integra.
    I read complaints about lack of low end power in Honda's. I wouldn't want it any other way...I love to "VTEC" my car...the feeling of being thrown back into the seat when it kicks in is nearly orgasmic (I said, nearly).
    I like the exterior design. I love the front end, especially the headlights. Side profile is good too, its low and sleek and the alloy wheels are sharp (not hard to clean either)! The rear end is a let down. Its not ugly, just boring.
    The exterior sheet metal FEELS delicate. I am careful not to park it near other cars for fear of getting door dings. The paint is easily marred by rocks thrown by those damn SUV's and trucks...
    A few quality issues have surprised me with my car. The weather stripping around the windshield is constantly coming out of place. I have taken it to the dealer on more than one occasion. All they do is put tape on it and let it sit in the sun, which never works for long.
    My "H" on the back trunk feels like it could fall off @ any minute.
    It rattles! Rattles began cropping up shortly after I bought it. This is the first Honda I have ever owned that has rattled this bad. I have taken it back to the dealer three times, first they oiled the moonroof gear, then attempted to tighten the PLASTIC (on a 25k car!)roof liner. Last time, they changed the back left strut. Now the same sound is coming from the right rear!
    These are all minor nit picks that have added up to a somewhat less than stellar experience in the 25 months I have owned the car.
    I hate to say it...but its been my least favorite Honda I have owned. I'm looking to trade it in soon. If Honda would bring back the CRX, I would be first in line to buy one!
  • If you're going to be doing a lot of driving on snow, you definitely want to get good snow tires. I have a set of Michelin Arctic Alpins on my Prelude. I've driven on fresh snow, packed snow, and even on ice, and I've had no problems at all. (I haven't driven through heavy snow yet, so I can't comment on that.) All-season tires just don't compare...
  • Since you guys are talking about tires, I woulk like to contribute mine too. The original tires are very bad on the wet weather. I am living in CA and never experience my Lude on snow, but I can image how bad it would be. Could not understand why Honda did not use other tires type since the Prelude has been out there for almost 4 years already. They must have heard the feedback about these bad tires.
  • mono1mono1 Posts: 7
    I have my tire pressure at 30 psi per the Honda recommendations. I did play around with different tire psi and noticed no difference. I almost wonder sometimes if my tire store actually put on Pirelli Summer Tires instead of the All-season. Do you have any idea how I could tell the difference? I think the tread patterns are the same.
  • asethiasethi Posts: 76
    After all you do have all-season and not really winter tires, so I'd not be sure what to expect of them in snow. You can go to the pirelli web-site and check what tires you have. My winter sport pirellis have the new DOT approval "snow flake in a triange" mark on then. You should also try talking to the place you got the tires from and see if they can change them or something.

    By the way, I think the recommended psi for the prelude tires is 32 and not 30 (correct me if I'm wrong)?
  • canadianclcanadiancl Posts: 1,078
    Your post could have been written by me! I echo 90% of what you feel. I too have owned many Honda products over the years. Never had a Lude, but always wanted one. School, budget constraints, family, kids, etc have always precluded buying one. Finally at the grand old age of 40, bought myself a 2000 SH. And it was a letdown. It just wasn't as fun as I had envisioned. Yes, city driving with the stick was a pain. The tranny also felt notchy. Much tougher to climb in and out of at 40 then at 25, especially when wearing a suit and top coat. Previous car was a '95 Maxima. Missed the quiet power, room, Bose stereo, and other creature comfort items not offered on the Lude. Didn't think I would, but I did. I mean for Chrissake, for the money they charged for the SH, couldn't Honda have included climate control, a power driver seat, gas struts for the hood, and at the very least, an interior dome light in the middle of the roof where it should be!
  • That's hard, but I would go with an Audi A4 1.8T Quattro. That thing can handle like crazy. Or more likely a 3.2 CL Type S. Fast, smooth, and luxurious. I don't like Auto's but I think it will do. Plus, It will spank any current 3 series (except M3) so it's a good choice.
  • shmangshmang Posts: 297
    Are you kidding us? The 1.8T is slower than a BMW 325, not to mention a 328, 330. Even with the Quattro, it is still just a sporty SEDAN. its performance is decent, but it is still not even in the GSR, Prelude, Celica GTS's category, not to mention spanking BMW 328, 330... The handle of 1.8T is just so, so...

    Although with the same price, you get more luxury, but when talking about performance(stock that is), 1.8T cann't hang with a GSR that came out 6 years ago.

    Back to the Prelude. Yeah, even with the base, they should add some features like gas struts for the hood, climate control, leather seat as an option(Although personally, I don't care about leather...) I always wonder, how much those will cost? like another $300 or less. Anyway, I don't know what Honda is thinking about!
  • There's going to be a new trim level starting March 1 in Canada. The SE will be $500 canadian more than the current base and will add leather seats, leather shift knob, carbon fibre trim, and the SH alloy wheels ... more or less the discontinued SH without the ATTS and spoiler.
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