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1988 Honda Prelude

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1988 Honda Prelude
$ 2,400-2,400
January 4, 1988
The best-selling Honda Prelude isn`t the least expensive S version or the most responsive 4WS Si (four-wheel steering version), but the Si, a compromisebetween the low and upper end in Honda`s sports coupe line.

We`ve driven the S (Autos, Nov. 22) and 4WS models (Autos, Sept. 28) and now have gotten the Si.

Prelude has undergone a styling change for 1988 though it retains thefamiliar look and low, wide stance. Prelude is built on the same 101-inchwheelbase and is 175.6 inches long, 6.5 inches longer than `87.

Though the S is powered by a 2-liter, 12-valve, 4-cylinder, carburetedengine that develops 104 horsepower, the Si sports a 2-liter, 16-valve, fuel- injected 4 that develops 135 h.p. The 12-valve is EPA rated at 22 miles pergallon city, the 16-valve at 23 m.p.g.

With the 16-valve engine, the zero-to-60-mile-an-hour claim is 8.5seconds with 5-speed transmission, 10 seconds with automatic. With the 12-valve it`s 10.1 seconds with manual, 11.1 with automatic.

The S is aimed at those who want a sporty looking car with fairly sportyhandling but don`t want to be intimidated by a powerful engine. Looks andimage are important. The 4WS version is for those who want the looks plusadded performance and have the money to experiment with high-tech engineering. The Si is in between. It has optimum power to get from point A to pointB, but once at B, it can`t make a U-turn as though it had been picked up andturned around. All Preludes feature finger-tip power steering that makesmaneuvering easy, but 4WS is the ultimate.

The Si we drove was equipped with a smooth shifting 5-speed manual andfeatured double wishbone suspension front and rear to cradle you over roughroads, plus four-wheel power disc brakes for sure-footed stopping.

Standard equipment also includes AM-FM stereo with cassette, automaticpower antenna, power brakes and steering, radial tires, power tinted moonroof with shade, adjustable steering column, dual remote mirrors, reclining bucket seats, intermittent wipers, quartz clock, trip odometer, retractableheadlights, tinted glass, rear window defroster, body side moldings, mudguards and deck-fuel filler door release latches under the driver`s seat.

The Prelude Si starts at $16,645 with 5-speed transmission, $17,345 withautomatic. That compares with a base price of $13,495 for the S with 5-speedand $14,195 with automatic, and the 4WS Si at $17,945 with manual, $18,645with automatic.

    Expert Reviews 1 of 2

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