1997 Honda CR-V 2.0L 126HP Honda B20 from North America


Lacks acceleration, but a great compact SUV


Heat shield on the catalytic converter rattles due to a rusted screw. I fixed it myself.

Some lights behind controls (Climate Control and Instrument Cluster) periodically go out, but come on after hitting a few bumps.

The previous owners of the car had all of the maintenance records... none of them indicated any repairs that were out of the ordinary.

General Comments:

Two wishes:

1. A more powerful engine

2. Leather interior.

Lacks acceleration in fourth gear with an automatic. Holding speeds above 80 MPH with the cruise control is impossible with a headwind. For those with some money to spare, adding a supercharger to this car increases the horsepower and torque by FORTY percent. Almost equivalent to the Honda V6 you'll find in Accords and Pilots.

Since this was the first year this car was offered in the states, I understand the few downfalls. However, these small issues are FAR outweighed by the advantages of this car.

I keep referring to my CR-V as a car, because it handles like the Accord and Civic I've owned in the past. The quality of the ride is far superior to any other SUV I've driven.

Automatic transmission shifts smoothly, but a little shy to respond to increases in throttle.

Seat padding is a little squeaky when shuffling around, but very comfortable.

Interior is surprisingly roomy. The other compact SUV's I've driven (RAV4 and Escape) don't feel as spacious.

AWD functions well, took a little getting used to in the snow. Possible to spin out on curves if AWD engages while in the curve.

Smooth idle.

A/C is a little underpowered for the size of the car... but with tinted windows, it provides enough cool air to keep you comfortable.

For car stereo enthusiasts... a typical sized 4-channel or large 2-channel amplifier will fit under both front seats.

Drivetrain pulses a little while accelerating hard in corners... but stops soon as the wheel is straightened out.

Removable table forms floor in back. Turned lots of heads at a homecoming tailgating.

I'm a college student, and at times I drive this car pretty hard. For city driving, this car is GREAT. Highway driving, it's average, mainly due to the underpowered engine.

Passenger armrest needed! Please Honda! Put them in all your other cars while you're at it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th April, 2004

13th Sep 2004, 09:54

Within the past two months there were rattlings underneath my 1999 Honda CRV. Each time I took the car to the Dealer they removed each heat-shield. I inquired of the importance of a heat-shield. I was told it was not important and the screws just rust out. I am concerned that the screws were not replaced to maintain the heat-shield.

I agree that the CRV is not a high-powered vehicle and sometimes that presents a problem in highway traffic when going up a hill and changing lanes.

I added leather when I purchased the car, and I do find the seating more comfortable. I find the car interior noisy and lacks sound aerodynamics for a quiet ride. I find the sound acoustics are lacking, and difficult to hear the radio without putting up the volume especially at highway speed.

My concern is the heat-shield and what to do about it. Do I need to replace what they have removed?

21st Sep 2004, 16:48

A heat shield is designed to absorb any heat from what it is covering. The component that the shield is on gives off heat. The heat shield absorbs this heat so that it won't give off the heat and potentially burn anything due to too much heat.

I wouldn't worry about it too much. But I would still make note of it in writing from the dealership and document.

6th Oct 2004, 16:51

Suggest you find some stainless steel screws to re-install the heat shields. An auto recycling center would be a great place to start ( GMC uses this type of screw for their grills), some motorcycle shops carry stainless screws for looks and durability on bike fairings.

26th Aug 2005, 12:42

From the mechanic's point of view and a great, cheap fix to your rattle problem. Use radiator hose clamps, you can buy a couple clamps for about $6 ea (get the large 8"-12" ones). Wrap them around the cat. and draw them up tight, this will quiet your heat shield rattle without loosing the effectiveness of the heat shield itself. this takes about 10 minutes to install and if you use the stainless steel clamps, will last longer than the life of the vehicle. Hope this helps!

1997 Honda CR-V EX 2.0L gas from North America


As an all around family car, it rocks! Best car I've ever owned


I had to replace the interior dome light in June of 2003. Other than that it has only seen the inside of a garage for body work due to a rear end collision.

Rear windshield wiper doesn't contact the window making it useless. Every time I bring it in to get repaired, all the dealer does is lubricate it, which does nothing.

General Comments:

It's an SUV so it handles badly compared to a sedan. Its as comfortable as any car I've owned. It uses about 25% more gas than my previous car (Volks wagon Golf).

The vehicle is somewhat under powered from 50 kilometers per hour and up. From 0-60, its not bad. However, when the air conditioning is on, you will be passed by small children on tricycles.

I have two children, and getting them in and out of their child seats is a breeze. My lower back thanks me every time.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th October, 2003