1997 Honda Prelude VTi-R 2.2
Reliable, comfortable cruiser with VTEC YO!
Rear tail light leak - easily fixed with silicone.
Intermittent air conditioning recently - the compressor kicks on cold when I don't change the temperature of the climate control, and only switch on or off; most likely something easy.
Shock knock - only really was loud to a picky person, was a factory recall and an easy free fix without disassembling the suspension.
Brake pads lasted 170 000 km and 15 years! The rotors were still alright when I changed them.
Clutch at 180 000km, and the friction material was still alright; it just broke from a quick gear shift.
Oil usage - If driven hard, be prepared to be filling up with oil as often as fuel LOL.
Side window frames prone to fade, but I fixed mine for free, headlights fade somewhat.
The Prelude is a great value for money sports touring car; I call it that as it's between sporty and luxurious. Preludes are great cars to drive daily and are very comfortable, I've driven 100's of cars, and had jobs driving cars, and getting in the Prelude is still one of the most comfortable; that is probably my favourite thing about the car, and cruise control is very handy.
The car handles pretty well considering its setup so soft. The suspension could go with being a tad stiffer to someone who is used to less body roll around corners, but the chassis feels solid and the car is very planted. On a rough twisty road the car just swallows the bumps and is hard to unsettle. It's setup to slightly oversteer on lift off, and the rear will glide as you trail brake through corners. It also is one of the best front wheels I've driven in the wet, as it has double wishbone, and the softish suspension would help.
Brakes are good when upgraded, but it could definitely go with bigger brakes for the size of the car.
Engine wise, it comes with a H22, which makes similar power to turbo engines of the era, and makes good torque once power comes in at 5200 RPM, but still of course lacks the torque of turbo cars; it's more comparable to a smaller V6 as far as torque and acceleration. The engine and cabin are fairly quiet, engine especially, until high revs, and then it's louder and throatier, and wants to keep revving to 8k.
Anywhere from 8 litres per 100km to 10-11 litres per 100km, depending on how it's driven.
I've only really had to do general maintenance like timing belt, clutch, spark plugs, leads, most oil seals and oil changes. Other than that, it's been pretty good and the most reliable car I've owned so far. Biggest let downs are the lack of torque at low revs and the amount of oil it uses. The car is driven hard most days, so will use more oil than most. H22's use a material on the piston walls that make it consume oil. My car has perfect compression and blows no smoke, unlike most Preludes, but still uses oil.
If taken care of they are great, but they wouldn't take kindly to misuse, so buy one with lowish km and good service history, and you will be good to go. Preferably change the timing belt and tensioner, as the tensioner will fail if the previous mechanic left it out, and won't last long. I've done all my own work on this car, and it's been pretty cheap, as parts are all over the net. The clutch cost $300, timing belt was $400 with manual tensioner swap etc etc.
Wrote this review really tired, but I'm sure I brought up most topics, excuse some of the bad grammar, hopefully this helps someone in the future!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 22nd October, 2013