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Honda CRX

thelthel Posts: 767
I can't help thinking that this is car that has a following out there even though its hatchback form is long gone in the US. So, does anyone have any CRX experiences that thhey would like to discuss?

Personally I am in the market for one to use as a commuter to relieve the gratuitous mileage on my 2002 Accord EX (8,000 miles in the last 4 months). I only commute about 24 miles one-way but I like to drive my Accord on the long road trips to the lake, etc. and have been just piling on the miles.

The CRX sounds like a fun (5-speed), reliable mode of transportation with a hint of practicality (hatchback and good mpg). The hard part is finding one in good shape for under $3000 in my area. I also am not real knowledgable about engines. I know where the radiator, dipstick, and spark plugs are but I don't think I could tell a good CV joint from a bad one by looking or detect elctrical problems.

Hope to get a discussion going.


  • I bought a brand new 85 CRX back in July 1985 from Sisley Honda in Toronto and drove it home to St. John's, Nfld. I loved that car and miss it to this day (traded after 2 1/2 years for something more "practical" ...). That car was some of the best fun I've ever had!
    Honda should jump on the "retro" band-wagon and bring back the CRX ... I'd bet it would sell like hot cakes!
    Anyone know if there's a 1/18th scale die-cast of the CRX available?
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    Don't one myself, but one of my close friends had a Honda Crx up until a couple months ago. She bought it new and drove it almost a dozen years... it was still running well at 225K miles when she sold it for just under 2k.

    You said: "The hard part is finding one in good shape for under $3000 in my area. I also am not real knowledgable about engines."

    I suggest you find a mechanic that you could take it to for a thorough evaluation. I realize for a vehicle under 3k, you may not want to make that kind of investment, but I think it will be really worth your while. Btw, here's a section from Edmunds' "How to buy a Used Car" that you may find helpful: Test Driving A Used Car. Good luck, and please keep us posted on your purchase. ;-)

    Hatchbacks / Station Wagons / Women's Auto Center Boards
  • tommyp13tommyp13 Posts: 146
    It's a great car. It was recently replaced by my new Benz, but I don't have the heart to sell it. It also makes a tough competitor in autocrossing, which I just started this past season.

    If you're looking for a good used one for a daily driver, I'd stay away from the first generation ('84 - 87), and concentrate on the second ('88-91). They are starting to develop bad rusting on the rear wheelwells, which is a pretty serious problem if not taken seriously. If you want a cheaper one, I'd stick with the dx model, which is the in-between model - the hf has a really wimpy engine, but is desirable because of light weight, and the si has everything, and demands top dollar. A/C was a dealer-installed option on these cars, so if that's a concern, it might make your search tougher.

    The best website for general knowledge on these cars is They have a classified section as well which might help you locate one. As Revka said, have a mechanic check it out before you buy - with at least 11 years on the clock on them, there's alot of stuff that can go wrong.
  • thelthel Posts: 767
    I looked at a Silver 1989 CRX Si from one of those tiny used car dealers working out of a shack for an office. The salesman seemed pretty straight forward and the car had a clean carfax report and seemed to run well. The only problems were:

    1. The body was clean, with no rust but many of the gaps in the body panels were a bit crooked which showed it may have been in some wrecks.

    2. The tires were in very sorry shape. I spent the first 10 minutes of my test drive at the Quiktrip inflating the cracked tires.

    3. This was the most "amusing". When I finished the test drive I stepped into the "office" to negotiate a price. As we stepped into the office, the salesman handed the keys to another couple for a test drive. We negotiated a price of $2750 (down from $3275) with my cash in his hand when the phone rings. The other couple were stranded on the road because the car died on an on-ramp on I-35! He hands me back the cash in a very stand-up manner and I left for lunch. He calls me later on my cell phone to tell me that he put gas in the car and it started up fine. He also took a new fuel filter in case it was clogged. He said that he thought that the fuel guage was merely malfunctioning. I got scared and said "thanks, but no thanks".

    4. He didn't have the title. He said I should sign a bill of sale to show that I owned the car and that he would send me the title via certified mail on Monday when the bank opened. I felt leery of giving him $2750 cash and leaving without the title and going home, 2 1/2 hours across state lines (the dealer is in Kansas, I am in Missouri). He said that he did it all the time. It was somewhat legalistic, not my strong suit. Is this common?

    So am I justified in being worried about the "gas" situation? The car seemed to run very well to me and my friend, who knows quite a bit about cars. I was worried about some kind of electrical problem, but if it was just a faulty gas gauge, I worry that I may be letting a good car slip away. Any advice?
  • If I were you, I wouldn't buy it ... "when in doubt, don't" ... too much bad karma. Save your money, be patient and keep looking ... you'll eventually come across a "honey" which'll feel right and give you many miles of motoring pleasure instead of heartache. Keep on searching ... a good used CRX'll be worth it!
  • tommyp13tommyp13 Posts: 146
    Do you know a good mechanic? If this "dealership" is honest, they'll let you take it for a half-day to have it checked out (without you putting a deposit down or anything). The car's 13 years old; there's no telling what could have been at fault for the breakdown. Until you know with reasonable certainty that it won't breakdown again, it's not worth buying.
  • meinradmeinrad Posts: 820
    I had an '87 crx hf that I just loved. I got about 50 mpg routinely and even got 60 mpg on a long highway trip. I don't understand why no one makes a car with that kind of gas mileage anymore. (aside from the hybrids). It was fun to drive (not as fun as an Si, but fun in it's own way), was reliable as all get out. I put over 120,000 miles on it through highschool and college. If they would bring back the exact same car I would buy it in a heartbeat.
  • kkollwitzkkollwitz Posts: 274
    This was my first new car. In the fall of 1983, I was out of college and ready to buy a small fun car, e.g., a Dodge Colt. Then the dark, brooding cover of the December Road & Track showed a Lotus Esprit Turbo closely followed by the all-new CRX: 'Spectacular Performers/ One for the Few, One for the Masses.' I got one of the very first 5-speeds, MSRP $6599, I think. Thrifty, nimble, great autocrosser, affordable aftermarket parts.

    How things have changed: the Lotus was "blindingly quick" with a 0-60 of 6.6 seconds. Honda ads emphasized the CRX's performance (0-60 in 10.0) by saying 'point and shoot,' and showing the gas pedal with the caption, 'Remember when it was called the accelerator?'

    This makes me reflect on how much my life has changed since then: wife, 5 kids, house paid off, and a brand new Z28 to take 3 of the young'uns to school.

    Responsibility ain't so bad.


  • kkollwitzkkollwitz Posts: 274
    I always sell my old cars (never trade in) and I support your decision. When you have an unusual car, I think it's easier to sell (I've sold 2 CRXs, BTW). For example, I sold my Firebird Formula last week in 2 days, at my asking price, to the first person to come see it. In your case, your ad looks good, but I'd leave off the rust spot. Could you gently sand it and fix it with some touchup paint? You can buy little sanding sticks that make detailed sanding easy.
    Figure your price using KBB and Edmund's online, put it in your ad, and say "firm." Buy an ad that runs til you sell. When people call, be honest about the car's faults, and try to discourage them from coming to see it. Say, "Can you drive a manual? Will you happy shifting gears all the time? This car has only two seats, is that going to work for you? The seats are low, so getting & out is not like a typical car.Did you see my price is firm? I'd hate to have you spend time coming out to see the car if you don't think that's a fair price. How will you pay for the car? Are you preapproved for a loan?" The point is, you only want to show the car to someone who really wants a CRX 5-speed, and is ready to pay for what they want. Tell them you still like the car and are reluctant to sell, but you've decided you won't use it enough to keep it, and you want it to go to someone who will appreciate it.
    My ideal is to have only one person come see the car, like it, and buy it without dickering.
    Cut the price $200 every 2 weeks until it sells. If you picked a fair price to start, this shouldn't be necessary.
  • kkollwitzkkollwitz Posts: 274
    1991 Honda CRX 5-speed, maroon/ grey, AC, cassette, sunroof, 97K miles, original nonsmoker female owner, maintenance records. Fast, fun, reliable. $4,000 firm. 123-4567 after 6pm.
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    you should try using Edmunds' Used PowerShopper. This is a free service that will enable you to see your vehicle online.

    Also, a quick reminder that soliciting (direct or indirect) is not allowed in our Town Hall discussions. Thanks for abiding by our terms.

    Hatchbacks & Station Wagons Boards
  • snowluvrsnowluvr Posts: 4
    I bought my CRX in '97 with 149K miles on it. I bought it as a commuter car for the gas mileage. My lesson learned at that time is that you will not always have time to get it checked out by a mechanic. Where I live, all the good Honda mechanics require an appointment to check out a CRX (which can take 1 or 2 days). I had 3 different Hondas bought out from under me while I was waiting for a mechanics appointment. For a very popular car like this one, sometimes you just have to trust your general impression of that particular car and buy it on the spot, otherwise someone else will buy it in an hour while you're still trying to arrange an appointment with a mechanic.

    After I bought my rex, then I had the time to get it to a mechanic for a check. The mechanic did find some things I was not aware of, but they were relatively cheap to fix (new distributor cap).

    I've also learned about CRXs that you have to maintain them if you want to maintain their reliability. Keep up with your oil, belts, and seals in the engine bay to stay reliable.

    These cars are still very popular. I'm in the process of selling mine right now, and I have people standing in line ready to buy it if the first kid can't get the cash together. The only reason I'm selling is because I just bought the new civic hybrid. I got two kids and a wife now, so need the extra seats, but I'm still getting the great gas mileage and Honda reliability.

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    CRX's have the greatest combo of economy and fun to come out of HOnda EVER, IMO. But you do have to keep up with the oil leaks, which are numerous as these engines age, and do frequent oil changes. The other thing to do is change the distributor cap and rotor with every tune-up, and the ignition wires too. What a blast this car is to drive! Instead of the weak SiR Honda brought back, they should have brought back CRX-Si after all this time.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • perry40perry40 Posts: 94
    Does Honda have any plans to re-introduce the CRX? I think it'd be a hit esp. with the current re-popularity of small hot-hatchbacks! Once owned an '85 CRX ... sorriest thing i ever did was to trade that car ...
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • perry40perry40 Posts: 94
    Well, I traded my '85 Rex on an 88 Dodge (Mitsubishi) Colt with an automatic trans 'cause my then fiance (now wife) couldn't (and refused) to drive a manual shift ... besides we needed a car with a back seat at the time & couldn't afford 2 cars (we had just bought a house). The Colt was a wonderfully reliable car, but not half the fun that the Rex was ... Gawd how I'd love to have another CRX ... but there's only a few junkers left around here ....
  • meinradmeinrad Posts: 820
    because I wanted a brand new car. A case of you don't know what you've got till it's gone. I can't even count how many times I've uttered the words "I should of just kept my CRX".

    If they brought back my exact same 1986 CRX HF tomorrow I'd buy it in a heartbeat.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    what those HF's were like - I had an SI, which had fuel injection and bigger rims and tires, it was so quick and sharp-handling!

    But I heard those HF's got more than 50 mpg, is that right? I still see one every once in a while...

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • I saw a civic SiR for sale w/ a v-tec engine. Does anyone know how much hp the v-tec in a CRX SiR makes?
  • kkollwitzkkollwitz Posts: 274
    I sold my CRX to buy a Mustang LX 5.0....not a tough decision at all.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    an '87 CRX Si, which made like 92 hp if memory serves. But you may be talking about the next generation CRX Si, which I think had around 110 hp? They made that one from '89-'93.

    I sold my CRX to get a celica, I don't understand all these horsepower wars like with the mustang. Great straight-line acceleration, but what if you need to turn? Most roads don't go straight forever, in fact I have never even seen one that does.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • kkollwitzkkollwitz Posts: 274
    Surprisingly, the Mustang easily outhandled the CRX, with better cornering, more sporting suspension, faster steering ratio, better balance, better ergonomics, way less understeer, and available oversteer....not to even mention the power. I did not consider the 'stang a credible alternative until I drove a friend's GT and had my eyes opened.
    BTW, my driving world back then was the twisties in & around the Blue Ridge Mountains, with not a straightaway to be found.
  • meinradmeinrad Posts: 820
    Yep thats right. I got 50+ in my HF all the time. If it was all town driving it would go down to about 45. Once got 61 mpg on a an all highway trip.

    It was fun to drive too. Couldn't keep up with my dad's Si, but it was entertaining enough.
  • Hi. I have had my '90 CRX-DX since '95. Bought it with 37K on it and now have only 91K. I have been toying with the idea of buying a CR-V, but drag my feet. I just put $750 into my CR-X (tires, brakes, something that was cracked, I think my brake thingie) and when I went to get the smog test, the thug said I had a cracked radiator and should replace it. But, my big question to you experts, is sometimes my car won't start after I have recently turned it off, and yesterday it wouldn't even start when I left from work. I had it jumped, but the engine wouldn't even turn over. However, by the time the tow truck came, it magically started. Could this be caused by a fuel pump or does a distributor cap have anything to do with it? And, does anyone know what price I should ask for if I decide to sell it? While I haven't kept all the records fastidiously, it has had consistent maintenance. Thanks for any thoughts.
  • kkollwitzkkollwitz Posts: 274
    Sounds like you have a bad starter. They get crabby over time, especially one as old as yours, assuming it's original. In particular they get sensitive to heat and thus will be reluctant to start if it's hot under the hood, but will magically work a few minutes later after the temps drop.
  • Thanks for your response. I've decided to spiff it up and sell it and get the Honda CR-V which I have been wanting for a long time. My lab squeals non stop when she is going for a ride, and it's about time to have some more space between us before I go deaf with her sitting in my CRX.
  • sonya4sonya4 Posts: 92
    I was tired of winter driving in the CRX (could not afford snow tires at the time) and the opportunity came up to buy another car.

    However, I enjoyed it a lot. It was a '91, had it for 4 years, it held up well. Might consider it again if Honda brings it back, even though I'm quite happy with my current car.
  • I've got a 2000 insight (manual transmission) for a 1.5 years and have already
    23,000 mills average 65 gml shows in the computer display, 80% hway,
    and $5700 tax brake for a price $21000 including tax and 6 years warranty I paid cash.
    It can go easy to 100 ml/h and I can pass 800 mills with one tank.
    It all depend how you are driving and how you are shifting and using the battery.
    This is the best thing ever happen to me.
  • thelthel Posts: 767
    I just bought an 02 Miata and was planning on selling my 90 CRX. But now I think I'll keep it and slap some new winter or all-season tires with spare rims on it during the winter months and keep the Miata out of the snow and salt. I figure that between FWD and starting out in 2nd gear instead of 1st, I should be able to get around all right and if I do slide into something, so what it has a couple of dents already.

    I was also thinking of getting a pickup but I can fit 6-8 foot long boards into the CRX without even leaving the hatck open. Plywood may be a different story, LOL, but I can simply rent a truck from Lowes for $20 for big stuff.

    A Miata / CRX beater may seem a strange combo, but I consider the CRX an "enthusiasts' SUV". :)
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    Well, that may be the first and last time I EVER hear a CRX referred to as an SUV! I love it!

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • thelthel Posts: 767
    Its Sporty, the hatch lends it to Utility and it is a Vehicle :)
  • kaitsukaitsu Posts: 41
    Hi y'all,

    Just run across this forum and (almost) got teary eyed reading some of the posts. I bought my '86 CRX brand new as my first car and sold it four years later w/ 100,000 miles. Why? Moved over the Atlantic to USA...

    I just LOVED the car! Fast, agile, sitting low like in a race car, plenty of room for a single guy, great mileage, no problems whatsoever. Drove mainly it in Sweden and Finland, had great snow handling abilities. Took it on vacation trips to Germany (got it up to 125 mph on the Autobahn, SWEEEET...very stable) France (thiefs broke twice into the car, once in Nice and once in Strasbourg) and Italy.

    Since CRX I've had an Acura Legend (great car) and Volvo 850 Turbo (so-so), but I miss my CRX :(
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    but maybe you should go check out the mini! Cute, zippy, fantastic handling, just right for one person, under $20K.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • zombozombo Posts: 89
    I too regretted selling my 1988 CRX Si [bought new]after 4 years of reliable and fun transportation.I bought a 4-wheel drive pick-up and couldn't afford 2 vehicles at the time,back then.Looking for a car with good fuel economy about 1 year ago I test drove one,an 89 HF model and I could not believe how primitive and plain the car was[previous car 86 Celica GTS].Taking this thing out on the freeway was downright scary,minimal power,no right mirror,even economy cars looking down on you and a seemingly cheap plasticy dash-instrument panel.I waited a few more months and bought a new Toyota Matrix,a modern car with more room than my old Si,more horsepower 105 to 130,and better gas milage 28 to 30,0-60 both 8.5.So while the good old cars like the CRX may still be good[with constant maintenence]I will stay in the present and be content with memories of my Si.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    I love my Matrix, and it makes a very good modern alternative to the CRX Si, but that HF you drove is supposed to get mileage that approaches 50 comparison there!

    Of course, it is also carbureted - big maintenance headaches - and has no A/C and a weight soaking wet of about 1800 pounds, so there is not much to it!

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • I've had my 87 CRX Si for 12 of its 15 years. 180K and still going strong.

    We are buying a new CRV (need more room for baby, dog, etc.). We are selling our 94 Sentra, but keeping our CRX as a haul all from Home Depot, etc. None of our friends understand, I guess they wouldn't since they never owned one. I just couldn't part with my first and only CRX! Loved it then, still love it now.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    alloy wheels on the SI are some of my favorite rims of all time, closely matched by the bigger alloys on the next gen SI.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

This discussion has been closed.