Multi-talented little stormer
I had the timing belt replaced on the advice of my mechanic.
CV joints needed to be replaced. This appears to be a weak point on Honda's.
Driver side seatbelt unit has jammed and needs to be replaced.
I am currently on my 2nd CRX. About 3 years ago, in a moment of madness, I changed my 1991 CRX for a 1997 Peugeot 106 Gti. BIG MISTAKE! After living with rock-solid Honda dependability for years, this was a tad of a culture shock. In short, this french moneypit cost me in the region of IR £2000 in ‘repairs’ in 1 year and was still giving me problems when I sold it. Around this time, I realised what a fool I had been, and went looking for another CRX. I found a 1992 model (the last year for the Mk2) with 60,000 miles.
A year and a half, and 25,000 miles later, I can say that I am deeply in love with this little car. Although the styling has aged, I still love its unique looks and it still gets compliments when its clean and shiny. The body has a couple of very small dints and marks, but no rust after 11 years.
I am constantly being impressed with the performance from this car’s baby 1.5 16V dual carb engine. While the lack of fuel injection means that it does not offer the ‘grab you by the throat’ responses of a GTI at lower revs, the 108BHP more than makes itself felt over 4000rpm, after which the engine pulls eagerly right up to the 7000rpm redline. The power peaks around 5500rpm, at which point you get a very pleasant kick in the pants as the car really takes off. This, accompanied by a very fruity engine sound makes this an eminently repeatable experience.
Due to the peaky power delivery, 1st gear is quite hilarious in this car. At the lights, you can easily get ahead of cars with significantly more horsepower, due to the fact that around the time that their 1st gear is running out of puff, and they are changing up to 2nd, the peak power of the honda engine kicks in and hooshes you well out well in front, usually causing the other driver to give up in despair.
The upshot of this is that if you are the type of person that wants performance, but doesn’t like to rev an engine over 3500rpm, buy a good turbodiesel. However, If you relish pushing an engine to its limit, you will appreciate the typical honda characteristics of this engine.
In addition to the engine, the handling is also extremely impressive. I have been on twisty B-roads and had big BMW-5’s fly up aggressively behind me, and when the mood has taken me, I have dropped to 3rd gear, put the foot down though a few bends and watched these Exec-barges drop further and further behind.. They simply could not corner with the same confidence I can in this super little car.
The car is also surprisingly relaxing to drive on the motorway. However, the setup does mean a slightly choppy ride around town especially on bad roads, but as with the engine, it’s a question of what your own preferences are. If you want to be cushioned from the knowledge that you are in fact driving a car, buy a big Volvo and you can happily trundle over entire villages without being aware of it. If you like a car that wire directly to the road, you will find this car an extremely rewarding drive.
This car is very easy to manoeuvre in tight situations due to very light steering and a very tight turning circle. As this is an import model, it came with air-con, though I would have to say that when running the unit does murder the engines performance. Switch it off before attempting to overtake!
Fuel economy is at around 38mpg with a very light foot, dropping into the mid to high twenties when wellying it.
In April, having driven my CRX quite hard for over a year, I needed to bring me car for its NCT (Irish equivalent of the MOT). I nervously watched as it was checked over, and was delighted when the tester told me that this 11 yo, 85,000 mile car had passed with ‘no problems whatsoever’. WHAT A CAR!!! Thumbs up to Honda for having the reliability thing so well sorted.
I love this car and want to keep it for as long as possible. I can’t understand why Honda stopped making this little stormer of a car.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 7th June, 2003