1996 Honda CR-V LX 2.0


It has been a really great car


Part of the exhaust fell off at about 5 years. It was fixed and no problem since then.

The nearside back door has a little rust spot at the top of the window.

The windscreen outer (cosmetic) seal became loose on the driver's side. This was not the main water seal, but I fixed it myself with a little silicon sealant.

At the last Honda biennial compulsory inspection, they insisted to replace a drive shaft that had some rust, due to probably a stone knock. It was quite expensive for the drive shaft and some brake work, but after 16 years, I am not complaining!

General Comments:

The car has performed perfectly over 16 years. It always starts first time. I get it serviced twice per year by Honda (at the place I bought it). It has taken us on many trips to the Japanese mountains. Runs along very well at 120kph on the motorway. Will do 160kph, but don't usually go so far over the legal limit of 100kph. There is enough oomph to get onto the motorway quickly and safely.

Not particularly great in snow (needs chains on the front) but very good on wet roads. It has standard mud and snow tyres, which wear somewhat more quickly than ordinary road tyres. It is on its third set.

Now on its fourth battery. I am keen about battery condition, because it is very cold in the mountains. Has started well in -15C.

Does 9-10km/L, so not really economic compared to recent cars. However, it is long paid off, so little point in buying a new one (though Honda always hopes!). I plan to attach a hitch and use a trailer to take stuff to our new country house in the mountains. Will use the car until it reaches 20 years, and then consider something else.

I am not so keen on the new CRV. There are more choices out there now, and in Japan, every manufacturer has the same level of reliability.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st February, 2012

18th Feb 2013, 20:14

Same reviewer, update Feb 19th 2013.

Now at 77,000km. Recent compulsory biennial inspection showed rubbers going in the rear suspension and the right CV rubber boot cracking, so were replaced. CV replacement comes as a set with two rubbers and rod. They replaced the complete rear arm assemblies. Total cost about 2,200 dollars, but that also included a major service and mechanical checkup, the next two year's maintenance (every 6 months), and two year's compulsory insurance. All set for another two years of motoring.

Still starts first time; has never not started first time. Never goes wrong! I would never hesitate to take it anywhere. We took it to Gifu last summer, driving though very wiggly mountain roads. Really an enjoyable ride.

Paintwork holding up quite well after 17 years, even though it lives outside under trees as I have no garage. Will have a go with rubbing compound this summer. The only item that does not work well is the radio, but that was not made by Honda!

This winter managed to plough it through 50cm fresh snow up a steep incline to my mountain house, with chains on the front and all terrain tyres. But will buy studless tyres next season as they will clearly make a big difference, judging by the local cars in the mountains.

8th Nov 2017, 13:43

Same reviewer, 8th Nov 2017.

The car is now in its 22nd year at 120,000+ km. Still goes very smoothly on the motorway. Starts first time, and so on. The only disappointment has been the discovery of rust underneath by me during a service when the car was on a hoist. The major disappointment being that the Honda car mechanics never reported the onset of rust before then. Although not structural rust and passing its biennial test OK, they should have told me! The car is ageing, yet just goes along so well that I hesitate to part with it. Recent fuel economy has declined and I am lucky to get 10km per litre on a highway run, and much less in the city. They have finally decided to bring in a new model CRV (it has not been on the market in Japan for several years), but I am afraid that it will have a CVT gearbox, which I despise greatly. I might thus be in line for a secondhand BMW X3!

9th Nov 2017, 08:34

I'm amazed you have kept the car for so long. I am in New Zealand - our country buys your used cars young, because of the Shaken test, where it is often more economical for the Japanese to buy a new car instead of fixing the old one. Rust is a problem, hopefully somehow you are still able to keep your CRV. A BMW X3 will not be anywhere near as reliable as a well-cared for Japanese vehicle long-term. Mazda still uses conventional automatic gearboxes, not CVT. On the other hand, Toyota, Nissan, Subaru and Honda now use CVT. BMW, Mercedes and Volvo, all available in Japan, use torque converter not CVT, and VW/Audi use a dual-clutch DSG gearbox.