1988 Honda Prelude Si 2.0 litre, 16v, DOHC from Australia and New Zealand


I wouldn't drive anything else


Soon after I got the car the transmission seemed to slip.. It would be going fine in 1st, then it hit second and the revs would fly up and yet the car had no power, then go to third and take ages to accelerate.. Took car back to dealer (twice) and ended up doing a gearbox reconstruction.. feels pretty much perfect now..

Busted CV joint at about 100,000k's.

And the rubber thing around the CV joint tore at about 101,000k's, my mechanic said a rock must have flew up and did it.

Seems to be a lot of road noise from the interior.

Lots of chips and scratches in body (don't know what the hell the previous owners did to it) but apart from that the body looks as new.

Replaced timing belt at 102,000k's.. I've heard too many stories of the timing belt brake and the car needing a new engine. Cost me about $400 (aust) plus some oil seals in the engine were replaced (just to be safe)

General Comments:

This is my first ever car, and I have to say I'm very pleased with it, I don't think i'll drive anything, but a Honda from now on.. I treat this car better than I treat myself.

I couldnt believe I found a 15 year old car with only 96,000 clicks (confirmed). I payed a little over $6500 with a 3 year warranty.

Sleek look on the outside and excellent Interior and dash. (People love the pop-up lights for some reason) Plenty of room in the front (I'm about 6'4) but the backseats are pretty much non-exsistent. Heaps of boot space.

Having all the power options in the prelude I don't think I could handle anything else (sunroof, windows, mirrors)

Great acceleration from start too, can beat pretty much any other 4 banger (within reason) at lights.

Great feeling when your coasting at about 60k/h and decide to gun it.. The gear kicks down and you shoot off like a rocket. The Sports mode is a bit of a rush too, your flying along hitting about 6500 rev's (in an automatic mind you) then you decide you better do the sensible thing and put it back into drive.

With all these things combined with the 4 wheel steering, driving never gets boring, I sometimes make excuses to go out and drive it "err, don't we need more milk"

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th September, 2004

1988 Honda Prelude S from North America


Great reliable rust bucket


The car is very rusty.

I had to replace the hose - from gas cap to tank.

Oil Leaks - I will have to replace the oil pan because that is starting to rust through.

The driver side window keeps falling off the track.

General Comments:

Other that the rust the car is a pretty good vehicle.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd September, 2004

1988 Honda Prelude S Coupe 2.0 Naturally Aspirated from North America


Honda has made another quality poor-man's sports car



General Comments:

I purchased my prelude from a 25 yr. old sloppy bachelor (6'5, 230lbs) for $600. Needless to say, he had not changed the oil for the last 6,000 (yes 6,000 miles) and had been climbing in and out of the passenger side door. the driver's side was not shutting and had been bungee corded for so long there was a permanent indentation where it connected to the headrest and the seatbelt guide. Before I had bought the car, I had asked him about the automatic sport transmission that he had commented on earlier in our meeting. I didn't know that they all came stock with it even on the cheapest model, the S Coupe (which was what I was buying). He explained it like this: "The S mode helps you go up hills. If you're going up a hill, put it in S mode and when you give it gas the engine will reach about 4,000 RPM. This car goes up any hill like a champ". I then asked him about the S4 button which is located on the shift console. he told me it was for when you are going up a big hill like a mountain pass on the interstate.

I wasn't too impressed, but I needed a car, really wanted a sports car and everything on it worked. Oh, did I mention that it had 120,000 on it. the condition of the deal was that he and I would drive to Portland, OR and purchase it there. So I had my first sports car, almost no money and an interstate 5 trip of 300 miles. let me tell you, I kept the transmission in drive the whole time, and about half way through the journey I found that my sunroof was quite convenient for flipping people off. Well only after the motor homes, vehicles pulling trailers and ignorant older folk had exited the fast lane.

It was not until I was driving with a Honda enthusiast before I understood the car the way I do now. We were driving through the countryside on a two-lane road and he slapped the shifter into S Mode. After about 2,000 miles later I lost one of my nine lives, though not much happened to the car. The trunk lid was indented by the tree that stopped our backward slide down the side of the cliff. Other than a tree print in the rear end there was no other damage on the car whatsoever. not bad for hitting a left-right curve at 70 miles an hour.

Well this just goes to show that kid's and sports cars don't mix. At least kids that are unexperienced in rally driving and have not really learned much about the roads in their area, like me. So for any parent who reads this and is contemplating the fulfillment of their son or daughter's measly request. Don't be a silly rabbit, sports cars aren't for kids. Now for the rest of you that are reading this and are tired of hearing me ramble on about me being foolish. This Honda has barely over 100 horsepower, (not even that to the front wheels). Anybody wanting a real exhilarating ride should look into the Prelude SI of similar body style or a 1992 Acura Integra and up.

This car will go when you floor it. Hell, it will go to red line and then give you a jolt of the automatic shift kit off of every stop sign if you really want it. But with a car that hesitates, and or is unresponsive exactly when you don't want it to be, you will get bored quick. Though the drive train and engineering does have a redeeming factor, which you will most probably spend more time enjoying. The S Mode.

This car's only real power and excitement is between 3,500-6,000 rpm. S3, the first sport gear will probably take you to about 85 MPH before redlining, from there you can press the handy S4 button and you have a whole new power band to enjoy. Though after that you will probably get up to 100 MPH and climbing and realize that the car's fate and your life are slowly becoming less and less in your control. This is about time that you slap it back in drive and slow down to avoid getting that $300 speeding ticket you can't afford without payments to the court. After my accident and countless questions from concerned family that saw the round mark in the rear, I gave it to a friend of mine and extinguished an existing debt. Oh yeah, it's got one of those steering designs that doesn't really clue you in to the fact that 5 MPH faster around that corner and you'll be visiting the coroner.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th September, 2004