1997 Honda Prelude

  • 1997 Honda Prelude Base Coupe

    Base Coupe

    • MAX MPG
    • SEATS
    • ENGINE
      2.2L I4
    • MSRP
  • 1997 Honda Prelude SH Coupe

    SH Coupe

    • MAX MPG
    • SEATS
    • ENGINE
      2.2L I4
    • MSRP
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1997 Honda Prelude Review

A safe, fun car for commuting.

Reviewed by Automotive on


The 1997 Honda Prelude serves as a sporty coupe manufactured by Japan-based Honda, and it falls into the same class as the Chrysler Sebring and the Ford Mustang. The first generation debuted in 1978. The name Prelude refers to the fact that the coupe represents Honda’s first ever sports car developed from the extremely popular Accent chassis. Although two transmission choices remain available for this vehicle, the five-speed manual transmission comes standard on both models. The Type SH actually only offers a manual transmission. This new version also comes with Honda’s new Active Torque Transfer System, which marks one of its many appealing features.

The Range

Body Styles: coupe
Engines: 2.2-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: five-speed manual, four-speed automatic
Models: Honda Prelude, Honda Prelude Type SH

What's New

The Prelude goes through a complete makeover for 1997. The top-of-the-line Type SH offer’s Honda’s new Active Torque Transfer System.


The exterior design of the 1997 Honda Prelude looks sleek and sporty. With a rounded front end and clean lines it turns heads. Standard exterior features for both models of the Prelude include 16-inch alloy wheels, remote trunk release, power windows, power exterior mirrors, and a power moonroof. A rear spoiler remains optional on the base and comes standard on the Type SH.


The 1997 Honda Prelude has a basic interior design that looks very similar to other Hondas. The Prelude comes with bucket seats covered in cloth upholstery. Other standard features include a clock, a leather-trimmed steering wheel, air-conditioning, and an AM/FM/CD audio system. A CD changer and leather upholstery remain optional for all models. It feels quite cramped in the rear seats with rear headroom totaling 35.3 inches and rear legroom measuring in at 28.1 inches.

Performance & Handling

The 1997 Prelude offers impressive performance and handling. The 2.2-liter, four-cylinder engine produces 195 horsepower and 156 lb-ft of torque. Power brakes, cruise control, and power steering provide standard features for the 1997 Honda Prelude. Equipped with Honda's Active Torque Transfer System (ATTS), the Prelude has improved rear-drive cornering abilities. It also sports an upgraded suspension designed for more aggressive driving.


Standard safety features for the 1997 Honda Prelude include four-wheel anti-lock brakes, driver and passenger front airbags, and power door locks. A rear window defroster, intermittent windshield wipers, and an anti-theft alarm system also come standard. Fog lights remain optional for both models, for extra visibility during foggy or low-light conditions.

EPA Fuel Economy

Honda Prelude: 22/27 mpg city/highway
Honda Prelude Type SH: 22/27 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • New look
  • More luggage space
  • Audio system
  • Safety features

You Won't Like

  • Limited headroom
  • Unexciting interior
  • Lack of engine choices

Sum Up

A safe, fun car for commuting.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Chrysler Sebring
  • Ford Mustang
  • Mazda MX-6

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