It's Been a Good Ride with the Prelude

Tuesday, August 21, 2012 by Cy Chowattukunnel

I got the check today! Someone from Tennessee is buying my 1998 Honda Prelude SH, my third 5th-generation Prelude. I love the vehicle's styling - I see it as modern interpretation of the Avanti II.

Between the Tacoma, old ECOdiesel and the future BRZ, I can no longer keep this vehicle. Well, my loss is the new owner's gain.

Prelude drivers are an eclectic bunch. Most love the Prelude for its combination of styling, durability, longevity and overall handling. Back in the day, the Prelude SH was deemed the "Best Handling Car" under $30,000. So when it's time to get tires for your fifth-generation Prelude, make sure you pick the right ones.

Fifth-Generation (1997-2001) Honda Prelude 205/50R16 Summer Tires:

If you're in a warmer climate and absolutely love driving curvy roads and put relatively low miles on your Prelude, then consider the following options: Dunlop Direzza Z1 Star Spec, BFGoodrich g-Force Sport COMP-2 and the Bridgestone Potenza RE760 Sport.

205/50-16 Extreme Performance Summer Dunlop Direzza Z1 Star Spec $148*
205/50R16 Dunlop Direzza Z1 Star Spec
205/50-16 Ultra High Performance Summer BF Goodrich G-Force Sport COMP2 $115*
205/50R16 BFGoodrich g-Force Sport COMP-2
205/50-16 Ultra High Performance Summer Bridgestone Potenza RE760 $99*
205/50R16 Bridgestone Potenza RE760 Sport
  • When I sold the vehicle, I had the Dunlop Direzza Z1 Star Specs installed on the car. I love its dry grip, steering response and adequate wet grip for the category. What is the tire's weakness? The noticeable tread noise and somewhat rough ride on bad roads. 
  • Compared to the Z1 Star Spec, the BFGoodrich g-Force Sport COMP-2 offers less dry grip, better wet grip and slightly better road manners. 
  • Relative to the COMP-2, the Bridgestone Potenza RE760 Sport offers better ride compliance, a slightly less crisp steering response, less tread noise and a non-directional tread pattern. This non-directional tread design allows for rotation in an "X-Pattern" to avoid noisy heel-and-toe wear.

Fifth-Generation (1997-2001) Honda Prelude 205/50R16 All-Season Tires:

The fifth-generation Prelude's low ground clearance makes it less then ideal for the Snowbelt region. If you prefer an all-season tire for light snow traction and/or better wear, and are willing to give up some dry grip and steering response, then consider these Ultra High Performance All-Season tires: Kumho Ecsta 4X, Continental ExtremeContact DWS and General G-MAX AS-03.

205/50-16 Ultra High Performance All-Season Kumho Ecsta 4X $89*
205/50R16 Kumho
Ecsta 4X
205/50-16 Ultra High Performance All-Season Continental ExtremeContact $113*
205/50R16 Continental ExtremeContact DWS
205/50-16 Ultra High Performance All-Season General G-Max AS-03 $99*
205/50R16 General G-MAX AS-03
  • The Kumho Ecsta 4X provides crisp steering response for its category, decent dry grip and good wet traction. What are the concerns for this tire in the Snowbelt? It's unproven in the snow, and its predecessor, the Kumho Ecsta ASX, was average in light snow conditions.
  • Continental ExtremeContact DWS tires offer similar strengths with good snow traction, but after driving on the Ecsta 4X and the ExtremeContact DWS in separate comparison tests, the Kumho Ecsta 4X has a little crisper steering response. 
  • With a good steering response, the General G-MAX AS-03 provides less dry grip when compared to the Kumho Ecsta 4X and less snow grip compared to the Continental ExtremeContact DWS.

With so many great options to choose from, I'll definitely miss being a Prelude owner!

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