1997 del Sol

Consumer Reviews
1997 Honda del Sol

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Reviews Summary

4.5 out of 5 stars

4.5

15 Reviews
4 out of 5 starsComfort
4.3 out of 5 starsPerformance
4.5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling
3.9 out of 5 starsInterior Design
4.5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4.7 out of 5 starsReliability
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1 - 10 of 15 reviews

5 out of 5 stars

My mid-life crisis

by sas_man from Indianapolis, IN on July 13, 2010

Actually, this car is my mistress. I found her a litle over a year ago and have enjoyed the 'affair'. My wife and I like to go for drives on the weekends with the weather isn't too hot. I'm 6'6" and easily fit in the car. In many ways I feel like I'm putting on an article of clothing when I get in to the car. Dead solid reliability with quick and responsive handling. The power is a bit anemic, but who wants to race when just driving is this fun. The interior design is very simple with nothing luxurious or extraneous. Be sure to get one with air conditioning or you'll roast like a turkey on days above 85 and sunny.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
3 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsReliability

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

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5 out of 5 stars

Best hardtop convertible for the $$

by Honda Lover from Mountain View, CA on March 20, 2010

I've owned two Honda del sols ('93 and '97), and loved both. They've had regular maintenance and never left me stranded. I love the versatility of having a hard top, yet having a convertible. And since the convertible top stores on a rack in the trunk, you are ready in case of sudden rains. Small, low to the ground, and cute, it's built for smaller people. Since it's basically a Honda Civic underneath the 2-seater compartment, it's affordable. One more thing: my first del sol was hit by a pickup truck while I was stopped in 4 lanes of freeway traffic. Though the car was totalled, with both the front and rear ends crushed, I was protected by the passenger compartment which was completely intact; only the rear window smashed. (Photos available ;) Thanks, Honda!

3 out of 5 starsComfort
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsReliability

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

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5 out of 5 stars

A Rare Find...

by TBob from Dallas, TX on January 16, 2012

I have now owned two of these cars (97 DOHC VTEC and a 97 SI) with very few complaints about either. I originally found this car because I was searching for a small, affordable, dependable, fun-to-drive second car for a long daily commute. At 6'3" tall, I quickly found out that my options were VERY limited. In fact, this was the ONLY model of car that fit that bill. Four years and tens of thousands of miles later, I can say that I have been completely satisfied with these cars, with a few exceptions. On the plus side, the list is long: Gas mileage is great (VTEC gets 28-30 on the highway, SI gets 32-34), comfort is fantastic for a tall guy, sportiness is unbelieveable(moreso for the VTEC with it's bigger engine and stiffer suspension), dependability is as good as it gets, maintenance costs are LOW and styling is remarkably good for an older car of this class. And best of all, you get a hardtop and a convertible, all in one (with an amazingly engineered roof-storage system in the trunk that hardly impacts the already generous space available in the LARGE trunk). On the negative side, the list is short. Like some of the older Del Sols, the roof on the Si leaks slightly, which was solved by installing custom seatcovers (made of the neoprene type material). Typical of Hondas, these are loud on the highway (not unbearable, but VTEC is louder and less fuel efficient due to its lower gearing and larger engine). Other than that, the only problem is finding a good one, as these are becoming more and more rare. Overall, I would recommend the Si over the VTEC, if I had to choose one. The gas mileage is better and maintenance is cheaper (when it's rarely needed) due to the abundance of parts available since so many more S's and Si's were produced than the somewhat rare VTECS). Also, 1997 is the best model year, as many of the upgrades/improvements of the VTEC were added to the Si in this last year of production. Overall, these cars (both the Si and the DOHC VTEC) are rare gems of a vehicle for so many reasons. It's just too bad they stoppe making them. If it meets your needs, start your search now-the hardest part about getting this car will be letting go of it someday. It offers so much in a car for so little ($).

4 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsReliability

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

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5 out of 5 stars

Unbelievable!!!

by Sol Man from East Coast on April 3, 2008

Unfortunately, it seems the other reviewer is talking about a specific car and not the Del Sol in general. While early Sol's (93-95) had problems with roof and trunk leaks, the 96 & 97 Sol's fixed those problems and are fantastic little vehicles. High 30's to low 40's gas mileage on the highway. Comfortable enough for 10 hours behind the wheel. Sporty and light enough to have fun, but huge trunk, great gas mileage, and a rock solid reliable engine make it practical, too. Too bad the 93-95 models got such a bad rap or else Honda might still be making these fantastic cars.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsReliability

Purchased a New car

Does recommend this car!!

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4 out of 5 stars

The most practical convertible out there!

by del Sol Fan from Portland, OR on April 21, 2008

I unfortunately lost my 1997 del Sol to an uninsured driver that hit me and totaled it out last year. But I'm still in withdrawals and looking for a new one to purchase. I had this car for three years before the accident and LOVED it. The safety of hardtop and built in roll bar make it much more practical than Miatas or other similarly sized convertibels, but it still gives the open air fun. Handled fantastic, a little anemic on the power side, but good with the low weight of the vehicle. I'll buy another in a flash when I find one in good condition!

4 out of 5 starsComfort
3 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling
3 out of 5 starsInterior Design
4 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsReliability

Purchased a Used car

Does recommend this car!!

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5 out of 5 stars

I bought mine new in 1996....

by JK from Birmingham, AL on February 2, 2012

I bought my first car in 1996. It was Honda Del Sol S. The V-Tec and Si were tempting but I was on a budget so I settled on the S model. I have never regretted it! I had to give up a few of the luxuries that the pricier models had, such as power locks and cruise control, it still had AC (which still works after 16 years!). You don't need cruise control with this car anyway, its too fun to drive! I have over 237k miles on this car and besides basic maintanance, I have only had to replace the O2 senser, which I did myself, and the starter needed a little work but I didn't actually have to buy a new one. All in all, a VERY dependable car, and like another reviewer said, it has NEVER left me stranded and still starts on the first crank every time. Very comfortable, safe, dependable, with all the fun of a convertable while still having a hard top, I consider buying this car (and keeping it) to be one of my best decisions. Hopefully you get the chance to enjoy one! P.S. 237k miles and still on the original clutch!

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsReliability

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

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5 out of 5 stars

Best Cars I have ever owned

by Del Soul from toms river, nj on January 3, 2011

I have owned two 97 Del Sols... I have had an SI which I sold on craigslist with 236K miles, and now I have a VTEC which I bought in 2008 with 85K, and it now has 135K miles... The VTEC is a more fun (it have s stick and more Horse power). But the SI gets better gas milage. I believe, from my experiance, that the SI requires less maintenance. But the fun factor of the VTEC can't be under estimated... I can spin the wheels in three gears... When it snow I have to start out in second gear so I don't spin my tires. The Del Sol has a huge trunk which is great. The floor mats, visors and lack of cup holders are the only negatives. The VTEC has anti lock braked in 97, and it has a bigger brakes than the SI. I have broken 4 antennas, which are expensive to replace. All hondas are good cars, what makes the Del Sol special in the hard top convertible and its affordability...

4 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling
3 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsReliability

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

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4 out of 5 stars

Another Mid-Life-Crisis purchase, lol

by rmrc from Virginia on May 22, 2013

I guess you could call my DelSol another Mid-Life-Crisis purchase as compared to a previous review. For quite a few years, I?ve been toying about buying some type of small manual-shift sports car. The last stick-shift car I had was back in the late 60?s. I?ve looked at Miatas, MG?s, Triumphs, ect. and none of them really made an impression. I just happened to stumble upon a DelSol a few months ago and was immediately impressed with the removable targa roof and powered rear window. A perfect convertible that wasn?t a rag top. Extremely easy to remove and store the roof-top in a "huge" trunk with it?s own storage rack for a car of such a small size. Add to this the excellent reputation Honda has with it?s Civic platform and the affordable price they can be purchased for basically convinced me that a DelSol was in my future. I was lucky enough to find a nice low mileage, one owner 97 SI out in Utah which I had shipped back to the East Coast. Needless to say I?m extremely happy with the car and currently doing a series of upgrades to her. She?s a real keeper!

4 out of 5 starsComfort
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsReliability

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Having fun

Does recommend this car!!

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5 out of 5 stars

The best Honda ever made that was forgotten!

by HondaMan1989 from Jacksonville, Florida on August 16, 2017

Honda should have never ditched this car. Period. They only should have given it more horsepower and made it a RWD. These cars are the best of both worlds if you want a convertible but do not want all of the headaches that come with one. If you are into tuner cars and love a Honda then every Honda made from 1993 on to 2001 technically has a motor that can fit into this car without much trouble or without any effort at all basically. This Del Sol Model has a very well known nickname though... "Del Slow". This is where the weight combined with the puny 1.6L D series that came with it was stuck behind the curtain while Acura's Integra had the 1.8L that everyone now swaps into what should have been and OEM engine in the first place. Besides the motor these cars handle VERY well for the year it was made and considering it's a basic Economy Class commuter car. I have now driven a Del Sol with Manual & Power Steering and it's not that noticeable of a difference. If you sums up what this car lacks the Pro's to me outweigh the Con's for what this car is and what should have been. If Honda ever starts reproducing this car again I will most definitely buy it off the lot

3 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling
3 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsReliability

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

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5 out of 5 stars

Owned 15 del sols....and counting

by Bill the biggest del sol fan! from Myrtle Beach, SC on March 11, 2018

It's the ONLY car I drive. Got my first sol in 2000 and never looked back. I currently have THREE del sols! The first is a red 96 auto daily driver with 220k, faded paint, lots of dings and dents but mechanically perfect. It's great for the grocery store where people love to door ding your car with a shopping cart. Second is a newly repainted white 97 SI 5 speed with 135k. This one i drive on occasion because is looks quite respectable and is fun for weekends or showing off. I never leave it unattended in a grocery store parking lot. The third is a true museum piece! It's a red 1997 SI, 5 speed with ONLY 4, 231 ORIGINAL miles!!! Stunning car. I think it's gotta be the lowest mileage sol in the U.S. If you wanna see a video of it, go to YouTube and type in: del sol RED. Yes,it could be placed in a Honda showroom with the brand new cars and it would rival them all. Obviously, I never drive this car....only for show. In summary, if you don't own a del sol....you're missing out.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsReliability

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

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