1997 Honda CR-V LX from North America


Good in winter, but no good in general


ABS wheel sensors died within 10,000km of purchasing this vehicle.

Stabilizer bar bushings worn prematurely.

Rear left shock knocking within 20,000km.

Transmission slipping second gear after 50,000km.

Cruise control doesn't work after 32,000.

Ignition unlock switch replaced twice.

Electricals always having shorts in the brake lamps, sensors and door locks.

Engine knocking loudly at 110,000.

General Comments:

This car has received impeccable maintenance as well as routine checks at the dealer since new.

Terrible seating leads to back problems within a reasonable short distance.

Totally underpowered, I had an Acadian pass me one day and it picked up speed better than I could.

Electrical woes and sub-par quality make this model an undesirable unit.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 14th March, 2006

28th Mar 2006, 20:22

In response to your article, you just had a lemon. Rarely do you ever hear of CR-Vs having any problems. I had a 1997 with ABS that had over 190,000 miles when it was stolen from me. Never a problem. It ran flawlessly from day one. I agree that the seats aren't the most comfortable and the CR-V needed a power boost, but I never had any problems and most mechanics will tell you that. They are generally bullet-proof. I'm sorry that you had such a horrible experience and I know that Honda's customer service has a lot to be desired, but this truck is really an excellent truck. It's number one even in used car ratings. Try buying parts at a parts store. You usually have to order them. The shop owners will tell you that they never get request for CR-V parts. They are just that good. I'm not trying to change your mind about ever purchasing one. I'm just telling you that your experience is extremely rare. I wish you the best of luck in all your future car buying experiences. Take care.

1997 Honda CR-V from North America


Excellent value, reliable


Driveshaft needed replacing, otherwise nothing else.

No front passenger arm rest!

Weak pickup when entering on-ramps, and loud road noise at 70 MPH+.

General Comments:

This car has been very reliable for me, and has performed very well in the Minnesota snowy winters. Excellent MPG- approx 28 on highway, and good storage room overall.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd May, 2005

4th May 2005, 06:58

"No front passenger arm rest!

Weak pickup when entering on-ramps, and loud road noise at 70 MPH+. "

Should these not go under "General Comments". They're not things that are wrong with the car, just things you don't like, and things that you could/should have picked up on during a test drive before you purchased.

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!