1988 Honda Prelude Si 2.0 litre from North America
Tons of zip, sporty handling, and unbelievable reliability
Only one thing ever went "wrong," meaning other than ordinary maintenance for its age and mileage. The automatic transmission had to be replaced twice during the car's first year, both times under warranty. It's third has worked flawlessly since.
Apart from that, the major repair items have been as follows:
- Front half shafts replaced at 8 years/48,000 miles due to noisy constant velocity joints (replaced the axle boots as well)
- Rear muffler replaced at 8 years/50,000 miles
- Front right ball joint replaced at 10 years/60,000 miles due to it drying out and squeaking
- Alternator replaced at 15 years/79,000 miles due too bad voltage regulator
- Water pump and thermostat replaced at 8 years/50,000 miles for preventative maintenance purposes at the same time the cam belt was being replaced as part of the standard maintenance schedule
- Rear quarter panels refinished at 15 years/78,000 miles due to rust behind rear wheels
- Minor rust (about 2-3 inches wide) above windshield area
- Roof liner started to come loose, beginning at 8 years, each time it was easily fixed with contact cement and never recurs in the same place
- Air conditioning temperature sensor replaced at 12 years/65,000 miles due to compressor cycling off prematurely
- Trunk leaks sometimes in heavy rain. Has done so since new. Can't figure out where it's coming from so I live with it as the car's one quirk.
The Prelude Si is the most reliable car I have ever owned. It starts first time, every time regardless of the outside temperature. On a -10 degree morning, my Volvo -- the car from hardy Sweden -- wouldn't start. The Honda started with one crank!
It's easy to maintain for a do-it-yourself mechanic -- tune-up, valve adjustment, brakes, belts, etc. At 16 years/82,500 miles the engine performs every bit as strong as when the car was new. It doesn't burn a drop of oil.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 26th February, 2004