1994 Honda Prelude 2.3i 4WS 2.3 petrol from UK and Ireland
Power. Handling. Looks. Affordable
An intermittent fault with the 4 wheel steering system became apparent soon after I got the car. Honda dealer diagnostics concluded the 4WS control unit was faulty. £1,600 for a new one! Luckily the car was still under warranty.
There is some unnerving brake judder when braking at high speed (over 100mph). It appears this is quite common with this model, and can usually be rectified with a de-glaze and clean of the front brakes.
Otherwise nothing has gone wrong with the car.
Okay, so maybe you're thinking of buying an affordable coupe with a bit of go. You're looking at Toyota Celica, Vauxhall Calibra, Audi Coupe? Well look no further than the 4th generation Honda Prelude. Tastefully anonymous and understated, yet a thoroughbred beast with performance and handling to trounce any opposition in it's class.
Mine is the 2.3i manual. Which I consider to be the best of the three models available (well I would, wouldn't I!) The 2.0 is adequate, but not inspiring. The 2.2 vtec is the fastest of the three, and is an awesome motor, but needs winding up to get the full force of the vtec system. The 2.3i is 0.6 seconds slower from 0-60 than the vtec, but it feels like it'll do it all in 4th gear!
The handling is superb. I don't know why Honda's 4 wheel steering system isn't on every car! It truly is a revelation at low and high speed, giving the car exhilarating poise and balance however hard you push it, and a turning circle better then my old Mini!
The exterior styling looks great, but it isn't just for looks. It's lightweight, low and wide because the performance and handling brief dictates it. Interior is functional and comfortable for two, but no more than two! The back seat is a token gesture.
All in all it's a great car. Turbo's and V6/V8's may be sportier, but this is a practical, affordable everyday car that will guarantee a grin every time.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 24th October, 2003