The Prelude that replaced a car of the same name in early 1992 was a case in point. Here was a car with avantgarde styling, four-wheel steering and state of the art 'VTEC' engine options, yet the buyers who were most drawn to it were only those trading their old Preludes in for more of the same. The BMW buyers that the marque coveted remained unconvinced.
Nevertheless, when the time came for yet another all-new Prelude in mid-1997, Honda continued the formula. The base model satisfies those who want a no-nonsense personal coupe, while the 2.2 VTi appeals more to the enthusiast. For the 1999 model year, the VTi's output went up from 185bhp to 200bhp, gaining as it did the more potent 2.2-litre VTEC engine from the Accord Type R.
Whichever model and whichever shape appeals to you, if image isn't an issue, a used example is a particularly clever used buy. Honda's reputation for quality, reliability and rock-solid resale values is richly deserved. The Prelude was eventually phased out in 2000.