2001 Prelude New Car Test Drive
The Honda Prelude gives the enthusiast driver some sweet toys. Its twin-cam VTEC engine sounds great and builds revs with abandon more suited to a motorcycle than a car, while world-class handling rewards spirited driving down a twisty road.
But the Prelude last saw a redesign in 1997, and its age shows. Interior and exterior styling may seem bland in a trendy, fashion-conscious segment that now includes the aggressive-looking Toyota Celica.
Still, the Prelude remains a top contender among hot sport coupes. It is roomy, powerful, and technically sophisticated. It's the best Prelude Honda has ever built.
The two primary decisions you need to make when choosing a Prelude are: whether you want the automatic, and whether you want the SH model's high-tech handling setup. Fortunately, you can't make a mistake here because all three are brilliant cars - for different reasons. All three come with the 200-horsepower VTEC engine. They share one level of interior trim, so there are no base or upscale models and there are no options.
Equipped with the 5-speed manual, the Prelude retails for $23,600. With the 4-speed Sequential Sportshift automatic, it retails for $24,600. The Type SH, which comes with Honda's Active Torque Transfer System, goes for $26,100 and is only available with the manual gearbox.