1997 Honda Prelude Si 2.2L from Australia and New Zealand

Summary:

...wish it had a bigger engine!

Faults:

Rubbers around doors came out, in the area you grab to open/shut the door. Marine grade silicone did the trick.

General Comments:

Pros: Pretty nippy for a 2L (wish it had a bigger engine :D) Handles very well and makes a nice noise with after market exhaust tip fitted. Interior styling is well appointed. Tiptronic gear change is quick for fast overtaking. Big boot for small car and has fold down rear seats. Great looking car!

Cons: Not the most comfortable seats. Annoying rattles/noises from certain areas of the car (rear window lining, central locking tab)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd February, 2010

7th Nov 2010, 01:18

Hey guys, a quick update. 95,000km has rolled round on the clock. Just got the car back after a service. The mechanic is quite impressed with the condition of the engine.

One bad note. ABS light came on last week. I tested the brakes and it seemed like the ABS wasn't working. (Usually you can feel feedback in the brake pedal, and also the tires screeched) Since last week the light has turned off. I haven't tested the brakes. It all feels the same, in terms of braking ability. Might have to get it checked out.

3rd Jan 2011, 18:38

Small update:

Well my Prelude is gone, rolled it twice and crashed into a bank at 120 KPH (going too fast around a corner in the rain). Good thing is I'm completely fine. The car is very rigid and took all the force. I came out of it with a sore neck and that was it.

For the short time I had this car, I was very happy with the way it performed. I wouldn't hesitate to buy another one.

I crashed my Prelude at 102,000k. Still no problems with the car up until the crash. But now unfortunately I don't have it anymore.

Very happy to have owned one.

30th Sep 2012, 06:26

Another update:

I sold the car for parts to a guy off a trading website. When he came to pick up the car, it started first time (after a battery recharge); this was after a year of inactivity in its crashed condition. The guy drove it onto his trailer and took it home (despite the rear axle being pushed forward and the front wheels pointing inwards).

Absolutely amazed at this car. It was said that Honda over engineered it; I'm glad they did.

1997 Honda Prelude BB9 Si 2.0i SOHC F20A4 98kW from Estonia

Summary:

Got to love it

Faults:

Suspension is getting squeaky on Estonian roads. However in Estonia most roads are something that Western-Europeans haven't seen for decades in their countries :).

I managed to damage the drivers door handle simply by pulling it very fast (was in hurry).

Both rear wheel bearings replaced. It is typical for Honda to fail close to 250 000 km in Estonia (had a Civic which had the same issue). It is thanks to rough roads.

It is typical for Hondas with mileage above 250t km too have some vacuum leaks. Not sure if it's the EGR system that leaks or the vacuum lines. Sometimes the engine is low on power, but as it warms up, it gets back spicy again.

General Comments:

Engine slightly underpowered. In the upper range it does not have the typical Honda "blow-u-away" power. If it had 10 more kilowatts, it would be perfect.

For a sports car - very economic. In the city 9... 9,5L/100km. With total street hooligan behavior managed to get 10,9L/100km. On the road slightly above 7l/100km.

Gearbox has very short gear ratios. It is nice for racing, but on road it's annoying: 3500RPM at 120km/h makes a lot of noise (compared to BMW).

Reliability is excellent except for the stiff suspension, which cannot handle manholes very well (has not broke down, but already squeaks).

I push the engine to 5kRPM each time I drive to work with it. Simply cause there are few places on the road which are too fun to skip :). The engine has not shown any signs of fatigue, nor has the body get any less stiff.

The steering is shortly said "cool". It is possible to get controllable 4 wheel drift with it. Simply tip the brake pedal in a curve for second and shortly after accelerate - there it goes.

The car is very firm. Since it does not have the power of serious sports car, you can replace the fun with simply driving through every corner with speed above 50km/h. People who are inside the car for the first time get very pale when I accelerate slightly more aggressively in the corners. It tends to under-steer from some point, but it is slightly over-steering when the engine is at full throttle during cornering. The car turn radius is not comfortable for parking. Without 4 wheel steering, it's problematic.

Brakes are powerful. Too powerful for winter time - each sharper braking on snow causes the ABS to kick in. Same is with throttle response. Honda engineers have made the throttle valve cable wheel so small that it acts like a motorbike. It is good for playing with throttle in racing, but accelerating on snow is complicated.

I would conclude that it is obvious that the stability, cornering ability and brake power is meant for the 2,2L VTEC engines. The 2,0L engine is not evil enough to use them all.

German Prelude enthusiasts claim that if one swaps the inlet manifold and exhaust manifold with the ones from H23 engine (direct bolt-on), the F20A engine gets power above 110kW. And accelerates something between 8,2..8,5 seconds to 100km/h. The stock is 9,1 seconds. I am going to try this swap in the near future.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th September, 2009