1997 Honda Prelude

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$1,046–$10,138 Inventory Prices

Key Specs

of the 1997 Honda Prelude base trim shown

1997 Honda Prelude Road Test

Tom Strongman
I knew there was something different about Honda's Prelude Type SH when I hustled it up my favorite piece of abandoned road faster than I have ever in another car.

There are two models of the all-new Prelude, but the Type SH is the most interesting from a technical perspective. It uses ATTS, or Active Torque Transfer System, to help take corners with more stability and control than would normally be found in a front-wheel-drive sports coupe. ATTS is not a traction control system, which limits the power sent to a spinning wheel, but a drive-torque distribution system that takes torque from the inside wheel and transfers it to the outside wheel so it actually rotates faster when the car is in a turn. The faster-turning outside wheel helps the vehicle turn with greater stability.

To understand how it works, imagine sitting in a wheelchair. When you hold the inside wheel still and push the outside wheel, the chair turns immediately. Conceptually, ATTS does the same thing.

In normal driving the system is nearly invisible. I noticed that the test car seemed to turn into corners a bit more enthusiastically than a regular car, but that is about it. However, in a controlled environment, it does allow you to go consistently faster through turns with less fuss.

Honda often uses the Prelude to showcase new technology, as it did with the VTEC engine and four-wheel steering, which is why ATTS has been used here. I would think this technology might have application to any ... Read more

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Latest Reviews


This was the best car I ever owned!

by Blythe08 from Guerneville, California on August 22, 2017

This car ran forever, it had incredible MPG and it was super sporty and fun to drive. She took corners like a dream and I never had a problem with her dependability! Read full review


I will miss this car!

by Not a car enthusiast from Detroit, MI on January 12, 2014

I'm selling my first car, the '97 Prelude (with 123,000 miles) after 8 years of reliable performance. I'm only getting a new car because the heat core is broken and I need something a bit bigger. This ... Read full review

Safety & Recalls


The 1997 Honda Prelude currently has 5 recalls

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