Honda Del Sol

The Honda Del Sol is a two-seat roadster based on the Civic platform. Produced from 1993 to 1997, this open-top vehicle made for fun was meant to compete with the Mazda Miata and the Volkswagon Cabrio of the same time period. It was an interesting design as a convertible because it doesn’t have a retractable roof, but instead a light-weight aluminum panel that is easily removed for that open-air freedom type of ride. This roof panel stores in a special rack in the trunk. At an original base price of around $15,000, it makes for a reasonably-priced sports car aimed at the childless, younger market looking to drive a fun car and enjoy a less responsibility-filled time of life.

More on the Honda Del Sol
Honda Del Sol Origins

While the Del Sol wasn’t intended to have a NASCAR-worthy top end, it does offer a fair amount of performance oriented driving for the sake of enjoying the drive.

The name comes from the words meaning, ""the sun,"" and that should give clear indication of the design’s intentions. This sporty little vehicle isn’t practical, made for grocery runs, or intended for moving the group on road trips. It’s solely conceived for a driver that wants to have fun and feel its performance. This is a car you'd drive on a sunny day, while going to the beach or driving the winding coastal roads.

Given the reliability and durability of the make, these fun-in-the-sun roadsters are still around and can be obtained at very reasonable used prices. As such, it makes for a great car for somebody who doesn’t need passenger room and wants roadster feel and performance without seriously denting the savings account. The Del Sol effectively replaced the CRX that was discontinued right before the introduction of the roadster’s introduction. Like the CRX, the Del Sol makes for a well-priced second car.

About the Honda Del Sol

The Del Sol is a sports car at heart and has the lines, body curves, and aerodynamics that one expects from a car of this type. The design features that prevent the wind from affecting the driver and passenger when the roof panel's off are an unexpected benefit. The steep rake of the windshield, combined with the shape and placement of the side mirrors, controls the flow of air around the interior. Then the rear Targa bar and wide B-support pillars minimizes the air flow behind the occupant’s heads. This makes the Del Sol one of the few roadsters that can be driven without a top and the occupant’s hair won’t get mussed.

There are three trim packages that were used: S, Si, and Vtec. The S has the basic 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine from the Civic that produces 106 horsepower. Moving up to the Si package gets a 1.6-liter four-cylinder 127-horsepower SOHC Vtec engine. Added with that on the Si are a beefier suspension and aluminum wheels. The Vtec featured a 160 horsepower engine and anti-lock brakes. With Honda trim packages, there aren’t options. If you want the aluminum wheels, you have to buy a Si, if anti-lock brakes are desired then purchasing a Vtec is the only choice. Unlike competitors in this class, the Del Sol is a front-wheel drive. All packages have a five-speed manual transmission with the four-speed automatic being the only non-package option.

For a small and sporty roadster, the Del Sol has a surprisingly roomy interior. Comfort and style are the emphasis here. The instruments are all analog, and everything is easy to reach and conveniently placed. The Si includes power windows and locks. Aside from that upgrade, there wasn’t much difference with interior features from one package to the next. While the Del Sol has a nice and welcoming interior, it isn’t overly-loaded with gadgets from its time period. This keeps with the roadster mentality where the drive matters more than the luxury.

The longer wheel base creates a comfortable ride with confidence inspiring handling in the curves. The drive quality is good enough to cause a lot of comparison and debate between the Del Sol supporters and the Miata devotees. In this regard, that being the better of the 1990s roadsters, the Del Sol is quicker with better braking and slightly better handling. It also features hard-top capability and more storage space. It really is personal preference as to what aspects of the roadster are more important, but the Del Sol seems to be the choice for someone who wants a peppy and fun ride with reliability and resale value.

Honda Del Sol Evolution

In 1994, there were a couple of updates to the Del Sol. Dual airbags and anti-lock brakes became standard. Also, a Vtec edition was added with a 160-horsepower twin-cam engine.

In 1996, the base S model was updated to a 106-horsepower, 1.6-liter engine, with a five-speed manual shift or an automatic transmission. All versions were received a designed front bumper and air dam.

Select a Honda Del Sol Year

1997 Honda Del Sol

Coupe, Sports

The 1997 Honda Civic is an entry-level vehicle that offers a solidly performing vehicle for a very low price tag.

1996 Honda Del Sol

Coupe, Sports

The 1996 Honda Del Sol, also called the Honda Civic CRX Del or the Honda Civic Del Sol, serves as a two-seat, targa-top car manufactured by Honda.

1995 Honda Del Sol

Coupe, Sports

Production of the Honda Del Sol began in 1993 and ended in 1997.