1988 Honda Prelude Reviews - Page 8 of 12

1988 Honda Prelude Si 2.0 4 cylinder from North America

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2004
Engine and transmission 2.0 4 cylinder Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Dealer Service marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.2 / 10
Previous carFord Mustang


A four banger that will not die


The only problem I have had with this car has just happened. The electric fan is dead and the clutch is going. The valve seals in the cylinder head are going too.

General Comments:

I have put an average of 30,000 kilometers a year on this car since I purchased it. I have drag raced it and red lined the gears on many numerous occasions. In other words I drive the bag of it and it still runs great. What a great car. You have to give Honda credit. They make indestructible cars.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th July, 2003

1988 Honda Prelude Honda 2.0 liter Si 4ws 2.0 liter 16v fuel injected from North America

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 2.0 liter 16v fuel injected Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.8 / 10
Distance when acquired25000 miles
Most recent distance289000 miles
Previous carVolkswagen Type II


The best performance car I have ever owned


Things that were not my fault:

Power steering hose (was odd, and expensive,) power steering pump at 222,000 miles, most recently was the rear upper control arm bushing wore out. I change ALL (and I stress the word all) fluids regularly, and have not had a lot of parts wear out without my help... replace your timing belts!! I can't stress that enough! I didn't, and it cost me a new top end. Replace it at every 70,000 or so, and you'll be fine. I had that repair, and minor repairs you'd expect. At 180,000, my car began burning oil due to cylinder wear, and I was losing 1/2 quart every 3 or four tanks of gas - not too bad, but then drive it at 110 mph for an hour without checking the oil...ya, so I had to put an engine in and it was all my fault. It still drove, though, on 3 cylinders for more than a month, and actually still had a lot of power... an amazingly technologically advanced in design, and modernized older car.

General Comments:

This is the best car I have ever owned, and is as fast as anything out there on a winding highway. My family has owned 4 Honda Preludes: I have inherited two of those. The first one, a 1981 Prelude, I inherited (and partially paid for) when a lady hit me in an intersection. It was a dependable car, but not really high performance engine. The two 1985s were higher performance engines, but not the precision handling machines I want in a prelude. The 1988 prelude si with fuel injection and 4 wheel steering is the best Honda Prelude that Honda ever made. It can outperform a corvette (I know this from experience) on the right roads. I'd put its handling characteristics in the same class as a Porsche, and maybe even better, because of the low center of gravity.

I drive the hell out of mine, on winding desert highways at speeds in excess of 120 mph for extended periods of time (in between towns - I slow down for you small town folks in your neighborhoods, of course) and you just can't do that in any other car I ahve driven... the low center of gravity, the engine is plenty fast and strong.. this is a fast car not because of its engine, but because of its handling characteristics, which makes it a dream car for people who like to feel the road, yet have total control. Watch out for deer! At 3 am in the middle of the desert, you can easily lose track of speed in this car and find yourself at speeds over 110 mph without really feeling it in a corner. The steering and transmission are tight, small movements, and you have control with this car. The engine is like a Honda motorcycle engine, and doesn't redline until about 7,000 rpms. This means you can rev it way up, and the higher rpms is where you get your horsepower with this engine/transmission combination. This car flies out of corners, and brakes responsively before them. The superior handling characteristics and high rpm power is the secret to this car's speed. People who like to drive will enjoy this car. I can't say enough good things about how much I love this car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th June, 2003

23rd Jan 2011, 22:02

I own a 1988 Prelude Si 4ws, I have owned many turbo JDM cars. I at the moment have a 1994 WRX, heavily modded. This car has great low speed cornering and control, as well the engine has great low revving torque. That is COMPARED to your average cars. Porsche? Corvette? They would absolutely roll this car out on a straight or a winding road.

For how old and heavy the car is.. it's a pretty damn good performer. Compared to your average cars these days.. it still manages to keep up. But true JDM sports cars? It would never stand a chance.

The only thing about this car that is truly amazing is how well it handles for a stock car. My WRX is a monster.. so I know just how much better a properly set up car can be, And it's a lot. The small tires on the Prelude tend to lose grip very easy at higher speeds.. but it needs the smaller tires for faster acceleration because of the lack of power. The 4g preludes with h22 vtecs and 4ws, I could only imagine is an amazing template for a true sports car. Please do not put it in the same league as porches and Corvettes... I highly doubt a Porsche or Corvette would even bother racing a 1988 Prelude.

Average review marks: 8.0 / 10, based on 51 reviews