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Honda Prelude Review Australia | Features, Specification, Price

Honda Prelude Review Australia

The Honda Prelude is a sports car that was produced by Japanese car manufacturer Honda until 2001. The Prelude story began in 1978, with a car-based largely on the Honda Civic of the time but utilizing the power of the Accord and a five-speed gearbox (or three-speed ‘Hondamatic’ auto). As a result, an early two-door coupe wasn’t the technological powerhouse it became in later years, with MacPherson struts at both ends, a carburetted 1.6-litre four-cylinder, and a top speed of 98mph. However, the styling and innovation behind it, with a distinct three-box silhouette and a passenger layout closer to a 2+2 than a full four-seater, laid the groundwork for later Preludes.


The Prelude was the first Honda model to offer a power moon roof as standard equipment, this became so integral that eventually, it became a Prelude trademark. According to Brock Yates of Motor Trend, the first generation of the Prelude "…is, by any sane measurement, a splendid automobile. The machine, like all Hondas, embodies fabrication that is, in my opinion, surpassed only by the narrowest of margins by Mercedes-Benz. It is a relatively powerful little automobile by anybody's standards." Honda's reputation for quality, reliability and rock-solid resale values seems to be richly deserved.


The Story Behind the Car:

The Honda Prelude turned to high technology and increased luxury to attract buyers, variously offering technologies. These include ABS, computer-controlled injection, double wishbone suspension, and of course, Honda’s VTEC engines. Like its predecessors, the fifth-generation Prelude (which was first introduced by Honda in 1997) always had keen engines.


Thanks to the then-latest development of Honda’s four-wheel steering, it also possesses an agile chassis, and of course, has Honda’s characteristic dependability on its side.. As prices of earlier models increase with time (becoming classics), the final Prelude is also now among the most affordable ways to get behind the wheel. Though 2.2 models with the manual gearbox seem to be more desirable in the market and are therefore the most valuable.


The Car:

The fifth-generation model was 35 mm longer in the wheelbase, 25 mm higher thanks to a taller roofline, and 105 mm longer than its immediate predecessor overall. All of that led to a more comfortable ride for those consigned to the rear seats, and a larger boot for the luggage they wanted to take with them. Along the way, Honda’s engineers were able to increase the rigidity of the body.


 It put in thicker sheetmetal, more spot welds, and heavier load-bearing members, along with redesigned side sills and rear bulkhead. All of which added up to greater safety and reduced noise, vibration, and harshness. These flagship versions feature Honda's variable valve timing engine and the noise it makes is great - particularly in the case of the earlier VTEC unit used on older cars.



In its fifth-generation model, Honda offered a choice of two engines. Both are 2.2-liter double overhead camshaft 16 valve four-cylinder units with fuel injection, one with Honda’s renowned VTEC variable valve timing system.


 ✓ Engine: 2.2L (2156 cc) four-cylinder Petrol. 118kW-143 kW Power at 7000 rpm. 212Nm Torque at 5250rpm.

 ✓ Acceleration 0-100km/h: 8.2 s

 ✓ Transmission: 4-speed automatic or 5-speed manual

 ✓ Body Type: Coupe

 ✓ Fuel Type: Petrol

 ✓ Fuel Capacity & Consumption: 60L at 7.6L/100km (extra urban) a 9.5L/100km (urban)

 ✓ Steering Type: Power Steering

 ✓ Front Suspension:

 ✓ Rear Suspension:

 ✓ CO2 Emission:

 ✓ Service Interval:

 ✓ Warranty: 3 years (after first registration) or 80000 km.

 ✓ Fuel cost per fill: $88.00


Additional features include:

 ✓ Vehicle Control: ABS (Antilock Brakes)

 ✓ Security: Central Locking - Remote/Keyless Engine Immobiliser

 ✓ Climate: Climate Control

 ✓ Driving: Cruise Control

 ✓ Sun visor: Vanity Mirror for Passenger

 ✓ Power Windows: Front only

 ✓ Rear View Mirror: Manual Anti-Glare

 ✓ Windows: Heat Insulated - Side Windows

 ✓ Speakers: 6 Speaker Stereo



Since the Prelude was discontinued by Honda worldwide in 2001, there isn’t an option to purchase a new Prelude. However if you’re looking purchase a used model, there are multiple options. As we have discussed before, the older generations are increasing in price so the fifth generation Prelude is currently amongst the cheapest to buy. A 2002 Model would factor in at about $3,740-$6,600.


 ✓ 2002    $3,740-$6,600

 ✓ 2001    $3,740-$6,600

 ✓ 2000    $3,740-$6,600

 ✓ 1999    $3,740-$6,600

 ✓ 1998    $3,300-$6,600

 ✓ 1997    $3,300-$6,490


Replacement Parts:

(Approx. based on a 1996 Prelude 2.0 - ex Vat) A clutch assembly is around $433, an exhaust system is about $600. Front brake pads are about $100 whilst those at the rear are also around the same price. A front headlamp is about $410, an alternator about $580, a radiator about $315 and a starter motor about $485.



In Australia, the safety performance of Honda Preludes manufactured between 1983 and 2001 was assessed in the Buyers Guide to used Car Safety Ratings 2006, which was published by the Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA) (a New South Wales, government agency). This publication concluded that the level of occupant protection in Preludes from 1983 to 1996 was at an "average" level, while in Preludes from 1997 to 2001 is "significantly better than average."


honda Prelude Reviews

“Fun car to drive. Great in the summer with moon roof. His/her shifter is helpful in the winter to down shift. Love the look and sporty style.  Great endurance and long lasting. Ac and heat powerful. Great cruising machine. Handles good.”


“1999 brand new car when I got it then I started modifying it. Owned it for 12 years ran great even after replacing motor and trans to F20B and T2T4 swap. The whole car was modified at first for car shows and then later on as an autocross and track car and it definitely was setup for it.” 


“The fifth-generation Honda Prelude is by far the top of the line Honda boasting an H22a4 DOHC V-TEC motor this thing can get up and go. Depending on model whether it is the base or the SH which is equipped with ATTS (Active Torque Transfer System) will rip you through any corner you want.” 


”Honestly my prelude was my second car. I bought a 1997 star for $2000 with a lot of issues but driving it you would have no idea she handles beautifully. The parts are pretty cheap compared to a lot of other cars they're so easy to fix. I’ve put quite a substantial amount into fixing it up mechanically and definitely worth it!”

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