1982 Honda Prelude Base 1.8 from North America


Great reliable, unique car


Had to replace left rear control arm due to rust.

Rusted through floor in back. It should be pointed out thought that this is a 21 year old car that has spent 20 years by the beach.

Replaced brake master cylinder.

Replaced starter.

Previous owner replaced rear axle, clutch, exhaust.

General Comments:

For a 21 year old car it is great, especially since it is a Honda. Runs like a dream, but no performance machine.

Handles great, brakes well.

Not the most comfortable of cars, as it is about the size of a bathtub, and the backseat is really just an extended trunk.

Only paid $700 for it, as it was a beater, but it NEVER left me stranded or had major problems that wouldn't be expected from being by saltwater.

Still gets 25mpg city/28 highway.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th August, 2003

1982 Honda Prelude Base 1.6 from North America


An absolutely indestructible car


I did a complete suspension overhaul when I first bought it: control arm/ball joint assemblies on both sides, axles on both sides, tie rod end on passenger side. This was all due, however, to an extended period of inactivity before I purchased the vehicle. Spent a total of $400 on parts, did all the work myself.

Since I've been driving the vehicle, I've replaced the entire exhaust system. (again, primarily due to the inactivity) This was about $450 to replace.

Some carburetor problems, easily solved with a good cleaning.

Broke the front sway bar. Easy fix again, with a used replacement costing about $30, and a couple hours of wrestling.

General Comments:

This is an amazingly rugged car. If you know a fair bit about repair, an older Honda is a wonderfully dependable vehicle. The parts are cheap and most are very easy to replace in the driveway (I've even done a few repairs right in the parts store's parking lot)

I wouldn't know about the creature comforts. I bought mine with nothing but a driver's seat.

The only complaint I really had was replacing the axles. The spring clamps make pushing these monsters back into the transmission a nightmare.

All in all, this is a wonderfully rugged old gem that requires very little maintenance (Honda recommended oil changes every 7500 miles!!!)

If dependability is the number one priority, this is your car. I've heard that this hasn't changed much in 20 years of Prelude construction.

I look forward to joining the 300,000 mile club next year!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th January, 2003

11th Jul 2005, 01:23

My Prelude only has 186,000 miles. To see another Prelude owner reaching 300,000 miles sighs relief under my breath.

-Starving (financially) college student.

10th Apr 2009, 20:49

My 1982 Prelude has 383,000 miles, many of which have been on rough rural roads. It still gets 34 mpg and doesn't even leak or burn oil. I bought it with 77K on it and have changed oil religiously every 3,500 miles. I can vouch for its rugged nature. It's been the best investment I've ever made!

1982 Honda Prelude 1.6 liter 90hp from North America


Best car I've ever owned


Replaced clutch twice.

The setup on the rear brakes is mickey mouse.

Drivers seat wore out on the cushion.

Replaced drivers inner door handle 3 times

Wheel wells and fender bottoms rusted out.

Went through 3 mufflers and 2 sets of pipes.

General Comments:

Great on gas mileage when tuned up.

A great car for the money!

Corners incredibly, especially with good tires.

Very dependable if you keep up the maintenance.

Good acoustics if you have a good stereo.

To bad the American model had a more powerful engine. (1.8 liter)

Passenger side mirror an option, as was a/c.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd November, 2002

1982 Honda Prelude 1.8 from North America


An utterly dependable and somewhat sporty car from the 80's


The clutch slave cylinder wore out at around 160000 miles.

The rear break drums and cylinders wore out at 175000 miles. This is simple wear, however, the repair job cost 300 dollars.

One of the ball joints wore out at around 150000 miles.

Both outer CV boots broke, replacements were very inexpensive.

Now at 192000 miles, what I believe to be the original clutch is finally worn out.

General Comments:

This car is extremely reliable.

With almost 200000 miles the engine burns no oil.

The sunroof on this car is huge, it feels very similar to the open top feeling of a targa when the windows are open.

I am 6'2" and the drivers seat has always been very uncomfortable.

Engine is only adequate, it feels best when shifts are at 4000 or less, unlike modern Hondas.

Transmission linkage feels more direct than that in subsequent Preludes.

Honda dealers and mechanics have always been very good with the car. Most are very interested by it, as most generation 1 Preludes have completely rusted.

Handling is good, even though the suspension is from the stone age. Light weight and sporty tires are the reasons.

Braking is the worst area of performance on this car. A 2000lb car should stop shorter than it does.

These are excellent, if unusual and funny looking cars. As with most Hondas, if anything does go wrong, it is never serious and very easy to diagnose and fix.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd May, 2002

28th Jun 2002, 18:00

Wow! I had a 1982 Prelude that I lost to an accident with a Volvo in July of 1990 -- I STILL miss it!!! What a great, fun car. Thoroughly enjoyed your review. I've thought about buying another one, but in San Diego I just can't find one in good condition.

Please, never take your great car for granted and enjoy it!