The Honda CRX: How a Small Hatchback Became a Cult Classic

The compact liftback, it's kinda like a hatch back but it was good in it's time.

Table of Contents

A Renaissance of Compact Car Design

The Honda CRX: A Small Car with a Big Personality


A Legend Reborn
The iconic Honda CR-X, a compact car that offered incredible performance, versatility, and style.
Combining agility, efficiency, and practicality, the CR-X captured the hearts of drivers and continues to inspire enthusiasts today.
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Certain automobiles are poised for excellence, while others fall into darkness. The Honda CRX solidly establishes itself in the former tier. The designation CRX, “Civic Renaissance Experimental,” pays tribute to Honda’s ambitious goal of injecting a more incredible feeling of delight into the Civic line. This little yet captivating hatchback radiated a sense of agility, flexibility, and speed. It gave its drivers the gift of thrilling adventures and outstanding fuel economy. Furthermore, it kept an adaptable and pragmatic attitude, fitting two occupants and their stuff or four riders in a pinch.

This car maintains its reputation as one of the most fascinating, significant, and exceptional vehicles of its time. Collectors and enthusiasts still adore its inherent charm, style, and individuality. The Honda CRX may be tiny, but it has a big heart and a rich history. It inspires respect and always puts a radiant grin on the faces of those lucky enough to encounter it.

The highly praised Honda Civic 2020, sometimes lovingly referred to as the “Value Car,” faithfully bears the baton of excellence and outstanding design in the chronicles of Honda’s automotive miracles.


A Timeless Classic or a Relic of the Past?



Even though Honda stopped producing the CRX more than thirty years ago, the car still has a loyal following and a dedicated fan base. Even though it was introduced in an ancient period, the Honda CRX has evolved into a symbol of desire and efficacy. For many years, adventurers, racers, and customizers have drawn inspiration from the Honda CRX, and these enthusiasts have worked hard to retain the car’s soul.

The Honda CRX has had a lasting impression on the automotive industry, influencing several modern cars, including the Mazda MX-5, Toyota 86, and Honda Civic Type R. The Honda CRX continues to be a highly sought-after and innovative vehicle because it offers a remarkable and thrilling driving experience. This feature is becoming more and more rare in modern cars. The Honda CRX is more than just a vehicle; it’s a piece of art and our collective history.


A Tale of Two Generations



From 1983 to 1991, the Honda CRX, a feat of automotive engineering, went through two different incarnations. From 1983 to 1987, the first era was known as “CRX.” Its successor, CRX II or CR-X, ruled from 1988 to 1991. Two models were available in this first generation: the Sport and the Economy. With its 1.3-liter engine producing a conservative 58 horsepower, the Economy version managed an astounding 47 miles per gallon on the open road. By comparison, the Sport version gave its lucky occupants a more engaging driving experience thanks to its 1.5-liter engine that generated a mighty 76 horsepower. Honda debuted the Si (Sport, injection) model in 1985, with an even more powerful 1.5-liter engine capable of producing 91 horsepower. Alloy wheels, a spoiler, and a sunroof were additional features of this model.



Simplified aesthetics and improved safety measures distinguished second-generation style and elegance. This version also introduced a powerful 1.6-liter DOHC VTEC engine with 150 horsepower and 136 Nm of torque. Three intriguing interpretations of the CRX’s second generation were revealed: the sporty Si, the fuel-efficient HF, and the introductory DX. With its 1.5-liter engine, the DX produced 92 horsepower, while the economical HF produced 62 horsepower and 51 highway mpg. The Si, with its 1.6-liter 108-horsepower engine, offered thrilling driving. The second version added a tempting 2+2 seating layout in Japan and Europe.

Both experts and fans praised the Honda CRX, an automotive masterpiece. The Automobile Magazine All-Star, Motor Trend Import Car of the Year, and Car and Driver 10Best list decorated its trophy case. This vehicle treasure garnered a devoted following, especially among adventurous youngsters. The Honda CRX was popular with racing, tuning, and modification fans because of its affordable pricing and unlimited customization and performance potential. This car emblem appeared in music videos, video games, and movies, leaving a lasting impression.

The Honda CRX remains one of the most unique and vital cars of its time, revered for its cultural importance and thrilling driving experience.


Performance of The Honda CRX: A Pocket Rocket with a Punch



In the world of automobiles, the Honda CRX stands out as a tempting alternative for individuals looking for a quick and handy car that can handle tight turns, weave through traffic, and provide reasonably priced fuel economy.


Engine Mechanism:



The 1.6-liter inline-four engine that powered the CRX had the performance figures of 135 Nm of torque and 108 horsepower. Even though these figures appear a little low by today’s car standards, it’s crucial to remember that the CRX was a lightweight speedster weighing just under 2,000 pounds. It could reach a mind-blowing top speed of 135 mph and go to the 0 to 60 mph sprint in 7.6 seconds. These are pretty remarkable results for a car with the appearance of a redesigned hatchback.

Following are the performance specs of the most popular Honda CRX’s Trims:



For more info on the performance specs, click here.

Regarding value for money, the Honda CRX was hard to beat. It was quick, exciting, and cost-effective, with an outstanding design.


Interior and Exterior of the Honda CRX


Sleek Lines & Striking Stance
From Boxy to Aerodynamic
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The exterior of the CRX was characterized by its unique design, which included a broad and low stance, a long hood, a rear door that sloped downward, and a glass tailgate.

In the first version, the headlights had a rectangular shape, but in the second generation, they took on a more aerodynamic appearance.


Driver-Focused Cockpit
Cargo Capacity in a Hatchback
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The interior had a two-tone color scheme, digital instrument cluster, and bucket seats; nonetheless, it was neither overly complicated nor flashy.

As mentioned, some models featured a 2+2 seating configuration, which meant that the rear row included two extremely cramped seats that could hardly accommodate an adult, let alone a child or a pet. As a hatchback with rear seats that folded down, the Honda CRX offered an acceptable quantity of space in the trunk for passengers’ belongings.


A Journalist’s Verdict on the Honda CRX



The Honda CRX is a fabulous coupé that blended Civic economics and dependability with sporting fun and flare. Several engines were anxious to rev and give a performance, economy, or all. Its chassis was light, elegant, and balanced. The design was unique, aerodynamic, and enduring. A cult following respected and preserved it. The Honda CRX made you blush when you drove, looked at, or talked about it. The automobile deserves its reputation as a top Honda. We heartily love the Honda CRX.





The Honda CRX was a vehicle that featured a distinctive combination of characteristics and advantages, upsetting the norms of the time. It was a vehicle that catered to a broad spectrum of drivers, from speed addicts to mindful drivers. Both admirers and detractors could not help but respect and admire this automobile. It was a vehicle that had a profound effect on both the automobile industry and popular culture. We still adored the Honda CRX as much as we ever did.

Check out our post on “Experience Affordable Luxury with the Honda Accord 2022” if you’re prepared to learn more about Honda’s current take on inexpensive elegance.


Pros & Cons:








Car Maneuverability



Still, the CRX offered more than speed. Its agility on winding roads brought genuine exhilaration because of its sensitive handling and quick responses. The all-wheel drive setup of the CRX and its comprehensive independent suspension system at all four corners worked together to provide a smooth and enjoyable driving experience. Moreover, the car’s low center of gravity and aerodynamic shape worked together to reduce air resistance, which improved the car’s overall balance.


Fuel Efficiency


The CRX’s exceptional fuel efficiency was one of the most noteworthy aspects of this vehicle. Contrary to most sports cars, which consume petrol like there’s no tomorrow, the CRX was remarkably economical. Because of the car’s compact body and fuel-efficient engine could reach up to 41 miles per gallon on the interstate and 33 miles per gallon in the city. The HF (high fuel) model of the CRX was even more impressive, which could achieve up to 51 miles per gallon on the interstate and 42 miles per gallon in the city. That is superior to some hybrid automobiles on the market today.




2023, the average cost of a used Honda CRX for sale will be approximately $14,545. Nonetheless, the value of specific models can vary significantly based on factors including scarcity, popularity, and condition. One Honda CRX Si Straman convertible conversion, which had 104,500 miles, sold for $10,800, while a 1990 Honda CRX Si 5-Speed convertible with 40,000 miles sold for $40,000.



The CRX had quite a journey through its production line! It morphed into various versions like the EF, ED, HF, DX, and Si models. Each variant brought its own perks, engine choices, and trims. Knowing these quirks helps folks pick the perfect CRX for their tastes.

The Honda CRX left a mark as a zippy, light-on-its-feet ride. It snagged a bunch of fans who dug its mix of efficiency and sportiness. People still hold a torch for the CRX ’cause it nails that sweet spot between practicality and driving thrills.

Overall, people reckon the CRX’s a trusty steed, thanks to its solid build and smart design. But, like any older ride, giving it some TLC is key to keeping it on the road. Regular tune-ups, tackling common issues (like rust), and using top-notch parts all chip in to keep a CRX running smooth as silk.

Written by: TAZ

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