Is this the best small sport coupe you can buy? The answer to that question depends on how much you want to spend. And how you define the word best. Turbocharged versions of the Toyota Supra, Nissan 300ZX, Mazda RX-7 (which is turbo only) and Mitsubishi Eclipse/Eagle Talon twins all offer more power and quickness. And with the exception of Eclipse/Talon, all have rear-wheel drive, making even the non-turbo versions a little more agile in terms of absolute handling. But the Supra, 300ZX and RX-7 are all far more expensive than even the top of the Prelude line. The Prelude price range puts it into the same league as less expensive entries such as the Eclipse/ Talon, Ford Probe, Mazda MX-6, Toyota Celica and Nissan 240SX. Measured against the Probe, Talon and the others mentioned, the Prelude is a standout. Like just about every Honda made, it's a superb piece of engineering - innovative, competent and beautifully finished. So if you're after real sport-coupe virtues - precise handling, lively performance, distinctive good looks - and $30,000 represents the absolute limit of your budget, the Prelude is tough to top. Our model, the Prelude VTEC with anti-lock brakes (ABS) and leather trim, sells for close to $26,000.
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