Retro Comparo: 1992 Honda Prelude Si Vs. 1992 Acura Integra GS-R
1992 Honda Prelude Si / 1992 Acura Integra GS-R
- The Prelude had a driver’s airbag while the Integra still had the annoying motorized seat belts. So tell us again why Acura positioned themselves as the upscale leader in technology?
- Despite the Integra being the smaller vehicle, adults could actually squeeze into its back seat, a feat nearly impossible in the Prelude.
- The Integra’s dashboard is basic, functional Honda, while the ‘Lude has the controversial-for-its-time wraparound black light bar in the dash, only a small portion of it being filled with gauges — half analog, half digital. I think the dash truly proved to be “futuristic.” You could put two (or maybe three) LED screens in its expanse, like the dash in the Mercedes-Benz E300.
- The Prelude’s interior was more luxurious than the Integra’s, but its ingress and egress was a pain-in-the-back compared to the Integra.
Join the conversation
- JohnTaurus on Apr 02, 2017
I must say, I would pick the Integra for myself. The next gen Prelude was my favorite. I drove one like that 1992, I didn’t like the dash at all. Felt like it was trying to hard. They absolutely nailed it with the following generation, IMO. I still want a 97+ manual Prelude. It would be my Grand Touring car. No lowered suspension (Hondas are low enough from the factory), no fart can muffler, no gaudy wheels. I would upgrade the wheels to some newer Accord stocks, but that’s about it. Great article.
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- Brajalle on Apr 03, 2017
I owned a 5spd 96 Prelude SI – I loved the 4th gen’s body style and roominess inside, it did have a bit too much body roll though. Great vehicle, shame it was totalled. It’s replacement (and my current DD) is a 5spd 99 Prelude SH with 96k purchased almost a decade ago with 22k miles. It felt similar enough to the 96 that it just seemed like an evolution. I will say that the the VTEC/H22 engine is an absolute blast vs the H23. The H23 isn’t a bad engine, but the H22 is where the Prelude really hit it’s high note. If it wasn’t for the fact that you compared ’93 model years, I would have cried foul in this review for omitting it! The 5th gen has a bit better body roll too, and although I prefer the styling & interior room of the 4th gen over the 5th, it’s really just a more polished & refined vehicle. It hits that sporty/DD niche better than almost anything I’ve seen since. The major downside has been oil consumption (about 1qt/mo) – that’s about it. There’s been normal maintenance and mechanical issues of course, but it’s never been more than about $400-600/yr for the last 5 years – including tire purchases. I’ve noticed increasing road noise as the car’s weatherstripping and exterior door fringe has aged (actually the weatherstripping itself looks ok), and while I wouldn’t call it loud originally, it’s not as quiet as most other newer cars. It’s also got a bit more vibration than it used to, if I recall other posters the problem is probably partially old engine mounts and that this year’s work includes replacing the distributor. The rear spoiler has paint issues, but the car, in every other metric, is still something I’d call well engineered & aging easy. I’m dreading the day I have to replace it. PS – I appreciate an above posters comment comparing the Prelude to the 86/BRX – I’ve lusted after that, but not sure I’d give up that much ride quality.
- JohnTaurus on Apr 04, 2017
@brajalle Well, every Honda I’ve had seemed to have oil consumption issues, I just figured it was normal for them. My 1989 CRX and my 1995 Accord (both under 200k) were the worst. Also interesting is the rate at which Accords (not sure about Prelude) seemed to go through CV axles. Both had to be replaced on that 1995 Accord well before 200k. My 1995 Taurus (approx 231k as of now) still has the factory CV axles, no torn boots, no clicking. Of course my Taurus is still on its original transaxle, although I realize its more of the exception than the rule in that case. It uses a little over half a quart between changes (I typically run it 5k miles between oil changes, sometimes more or less). I believe most of that is from the seeping valve cover gaskets and oil pan gasket, not being burned as with the Hondas (the black film on the CRX’s rear bumper on the muffler side was a dead give away that it was not leaking, but being burned).
- Chicagotony on Mar 28, 2020
Just stumbled onto this article during the Coronavirus lockdown. Great article and trip down memory lane. I owned a dark metallic blue 94’ si Auto with the 2.4 non v-tech motor. One of the few, if any articles I’ve read that review the 2.4, and not the 2.3 v-tech motor. I paid $15k for it in 97’ with 20X miles on it. Traded in my 91’ teal Crx-si that I just broke the timing belt on. Another great car. I remember the car being unique, not a lot of them on the road and at 25 years old at the time, was much welcomed. The 2.4 was an enjoyable engine, long power band, throaty, with good torque at lower RPM’s. Stereo system was better than average I recall, with decent bass. And, the best part (I suppose) is that my future wife saw me driving that Prelude prior to us starting to date, and still reminds me of being impressed by that car.. Over 20years later, mission accomplished!
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