The 1988-1991 Honda Prelude was the third generation Prelude, and a lot like the second. Styling and engineering changes were evolutionary rather than revolutionary, with one exception -- four-wheel-steering. Honda was the first to offer what was once thought to be the next big thing.

The 1988 Honda Prelude Si 4WS coupe, part of the 1988-1991 Honda Prelude line of cars.
1988 Honda Prelude Si 4WS coupe.  See more pictures of classic cars.

Parking maneuvers were much easier with the tighter turning circle made possible with all four wheels steering. On the road, the 1988-1991 Honda Prelude had to be pushed hard to notice an advantage from 4-wheel steering. Most buyers chose not to spend the $1,300 to steer all four wheels.

The old carbureted engine soldiered on through 1990. The fuel-injected 2.0-liter gained dual-overhead-cams and power rose to 135-horsepower. A 2.1-liter 140-horsepower engine was added in 1990. The extra power was needed because the Prelude was gaining weight with each redesign.

Pluses
of the 1988-1991 Honda Prelude:
  • Oddity value of available four-wheel-steering
  • Still pleasant to drive with either steering system
  • Honda dependability
Minuses of the 1988-1991 Honda Prelude:
  • Four-wheel-steering might be hard to repair
  • Softer and heavier than previous Preludes
  • Still unexciting
Production of the 1988 Honda Prelude:
52,541

Production of the 1989 Honda Prelude:
42,882

Production of the 1990 Honda Prelude:
37,814

Production of the 1991 Honda Prelude:
27,672

Specifications of
the 1988-1991 Honda Prelude:
Length, inches: 175.6
Weight, pounds: 2,840
Wheelbase, inches: 101.0
Price, new: $13,495-$19,200 (U.S.)


Engines
for the 1988-1991 Honda Prelude:

TypeSize
Horsepower
Years
ohc I-4119 cid
104-1051988-1990
dohc I-4119 cid
1351988-1991
dohc I-4125 cid1401990-1991

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