1997 Honda Del Sol

  • 1997 Honda Del Sol Base Coupe

    Base Coupe

    • MAX MPG
    • SEATS
    • ENGINE
      1.6L I4
    • MSRP
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  • Review

1997 Honda Del Sol Review

A sporty version of an American favorite.

Reviewed by Automotive on


The 1997 Honda Civic is an entry-level vehicle that offers a solidly performing vehicle for a very low price tag. While it does not have as many amenities or as much power as many vehicles on the market, it does a good job getting people from point A to point B. It also manages to accelerate decently, turn well, and be fairly comfortable to ride in without breaking the bank in the process. The engine, while only a small 1.6-liter four-cylinder model, does generate a fairly solid amount of power, which helps propel the fairly small Civic without too much effort.

So, for many drivers, it came as a shock when Honda looked at this model and decided it would make a good two-seater convertible with a heavy focus on performance. The result of this is the Del Sol, a sporty and surprisingly quick convertible with a very modest price tag. It might not have much in terms of interior amenities, but it makes up for this by being fun to drive. It's quite capable of filling the role of a weekend roadster without breaking the bank. The Del Sol VTEC is the most impressive, coaxing a surprisingly high amount of power from the relatively small 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine installed in it.

The Range

Body Styles: convertible
Engines: 1.6-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: five-speed manual, four-speed automatic
Models: Honda Del Sol S, Honda Del Sol Si, Honda Del Sol VTEC

What's New

The 1997 Honda Del Sol receives no alterations compared to the previous year’s model.


The 1997 Honda Del Sol is a small, compact two-seater convertible, measuring at 157.7 inches long. It has a graceful, sporty design that might seem quite at odds with its Civic predecessors. Furthermore, a hard top with roof panels is standard equipment.


The 1997 Honda Del Sol is like other vehicles in its price range and very light when it comes to features. Power windows are the only feature that is standard on all models. Even the higher-end VTEC has a pretty small features list with cruise control, power locks, power windows, power mirrors, AM/FM radio, and a cassette player as standard equipment. Air-conditioning is only available as an optional feature, regardless of model. Overall, there is nothing unusual about the light amenities when compared to the competition.

Performance & Handling

The 1997 Honda Del Sol has good performance that holds up well against the competition. Despite having the same-sized engine, each model gets a different amount of horsepower. The 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine is capable of delivering 106 horsepower in the S, which, while not quite great, still delivers adequate speed and acceleration. The Si is capable of delivering 127 hp of power, resulting in a marked improvement over the S. Finally, the VTEC is the most impressive model, capable of coaxing 160 hp from its 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine. As a result, the VTEC has, by far, the best acceleration and top speed in this model lineup. Regardless of model, it handles itself well in turns, allowing it to maneuver quite easily.


All 1997 Honda Del Sol models come with dual-front airbags as standard and the VTEC comes with standard four-wheel anti-lock brakes.

EPA Fuel Economy

Honda Del Sol: 24/32 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Sporty design
  • Low price tag
  • Amazing gas mileage

You Won't Like

  • Tough competition
  • Power steering is optional equipment

Sum Up

A sporty version of an American favorite.

If You Like This Vehicle

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