1997 Honda del Sol Reviews - Page 3 of 4

1997 Honda del Sol S 1.6L OHC from North America

Model year1997
Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership1997
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 1.6L OHC Automatic
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.2 / 10
Distance when acquired3 miles
Most recent distance75026 miles
Previous carToyota Corolla

Summary:

It's the best car I've ever had!

Faults:

Fan motor was wired backwards from the factory... this made the A/c cut out. This was fixed immediately by service dept.

General Comments:

We bought the car new in February 1997 and have enjoyed it immensely for the past 8 years. This has been one fantastic little car, and I've had many. Fun to drive, cheap to keep. It NEVER gives a day of trouble. The trunk is a cave, considering the size of the car. I have a trailer hitch on the car and pull a hot dog cart with it. No problem! I intend to drive this car for the next 10+ years. I think it's a classic! I only wish the Honda engineers would have designed a better cup holder. I did CIVIC carpet hook for the drivers' side, which cured the problem of the mat slipping under the gas pedal all the time.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 31st March, 2005

1997 Honda del Sol Si 1.6 from North America

Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership1997
Most recent year of ownership2004
Engine and transmission 1.6 Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Dealer Service marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.2 / 10
Distance when acquired6 miles
Most recent distance67000 miles
Previous carOpel GT

Summary:

My del Sol is one of my best friends!

Faults:

When we first bought the car new from the dealer, the air conditioning didn't work. The dealer fixed it, and we haven't had trouble since.

No other troubles! Honda makes super-reliable cars!

General Comments:

Car handles very well. It has tight steering and stays snug on the road.

Targa top is a fantastic feature. The roof stores tidily in a rack in the trunk. Extremely convenient and gives the car a super sporty look!

Could use a little more power when carrying a second person.

Sun visors cannot be moved to the side to block light entering from driver's or passenger's windows. I must use all sorts of substitutes to block the sun from these directions.

Cup holders are pretty useless, but who cares when the car is this sharp-looking?

Unlike some of the earlier del Sols, 1997 models have convenient buttons that release the trunk latch and lock and unlock the passenger's door from the driver's side of the car.

My del Sol's roof has never leaked.

Extremely roomy trunk has as much storage space as my mother's huge Cadillac!

Sleek, sporty overall appearance has not become outdated, and del Sols are still the best-looking cars on the road!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st September, 2004

1997 Honda del Sol VTEC 1.6L DOHC VTEC from North America

Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership1997
Most recent year of ownership2004
Engine and transmission 1.6L DOHC VTEC Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.8 / 10
Distance when acquired10 miles
Most recent distance58000 miles
Previous carHonda Civic

Summary:

A smile is waiting after every S-Curve

Faults:

AC compressor failed after roughly 1-2 months, replaced under warranty. Later replaced again under manufacturer recall.

Rear engine mount failed after roughly 6 months. Replaced under warranty. Has been fine ever since.

Seats were replaced a year ago due to extreme wear on the driver's seat next to the door. Replacement seats came out of a 92-95 Del Sol, which are constructed of different cloth. So far so good, but it did take years for the previous problem to develop, but the "new" seats are immaculate.

Currently in need of replacement suspension bushings on the driver's side (passenger side is showing signs of wear, while multiple bushings on the driver's side are actually torn), I believe primarily due to auto cross and track events. Taking freeway off-ramps at greater than recommended speeds couldn't have helped.

General Comments:

While better than the '96 Civic EX Coupe 5-speed I traded in for this, only a little of the '87 Civic CRX Si shines through in the Del Sol, which I had traded in on the Civic (just couldn't live with the mushy EX suspension).

It is a very heavy car for it's size, which deters from handling and straight-line performance. That it does as well as it does in the twists seems very remarkable to me.

While a very fun car to drive in stock form, when shod with summer-only tires the thing handles like it's on rails. With minor suspension modifications it reached >1G on the skid pad. In combination with stock disc's & calipers, it was no longer possible to lock the tires in a straight line (n corners you can, with effort, get the tail to wag in a very controlled fashion).

Winter has proven equally a blast, when the summer tires are transplanted with 185/65R14 Winter-only tires. While I initially tried out Blizzaks, their 75% uber-soft tread compound left me buying a new set of tires after 1 year due to warm Chicago winters. Traditional snow tires have lasted multiple years and provided reasonable dry performance and very good snow & ice performance for the few days a year when I need it.

The added weight the Del Sol gained by lopping off the roof seems to have helped it dig into the snow during winter months. This is literally the best handling winter car I've ever driven, and I grew up in Detroit in a family who worked for the Big 3. And remember - an SUV is not a car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th July, 2004

Average review marks: 8.5 / 10, based on 12 reviews