Efficiency Redefined-Honda CRX 

Table of Contents

In today’s era of modern and tech-savvy cars, the Honda CRX serves all the retro vibes. With its design offering all a sports coupe needs, nothing more, nothing less, this compact sports car was popular in the 80s and 90s. The two-seater design made it stand out among others. Furthermore, the hybrid models offered in the series also added to its appeal. CRX perfectly balances affordability and practicality, one of many reasons behind its popularity.  

Overview of Honda CRX 

The two-seater Honda CRX has a hatchback design. The CRX series epitomizes the personification of Honda’s excellence and modern strategies. Undoubtedly, the Honda CRX was ahead of its time at its launch. Fuel efficiency was a priority in the HF model of CRX. The CRX HF (High Fuel efficiency) model painted the image of an economical and fun-to-drive image of CRX in the then auto-motive industry. To date, the Honda CRX is an asset in the industry, and well-maintained models are in high demand with rapidly increasing prices.  

History 

The Honda CRX dates back to the 1980s. With its launch in 1983, CRX was a popular vehicle choice during the 80s and 90s due to its sporty design and agility. The production years of the Honda CRX fall into two eras. From its launch in 1987, the first generation of CRX featured a two-seater hatchback design inspired by the third-generation Honda Civic. The rear hatch was slopy, which was an exclusive feature. The plus-point of the first generation of Honda CRX was its lightweight design, which added to the vehicle’s fuel economy. The first generation of CRX introduced many modern features, including the glass roof of CRX Ballade Sports in 1984 and the fuel-injected engine in the 1986 model. 

The year 1988 marked the beginning of the second generation of the CRX. The generation witnessed a modification towards the aerodynamic design. His vehicle also increased in weight. These alterations raised concerns for consumers primarily interested in fuel economy. So, the CRX HF (High Fuel efficiency) variant came in. The other variant in the generation was the CRX Si, a sports variant featuring a powerful engine and sporty suspension.  

The year 1991 marked the end of Honda CRX production. Its successor, the CR-X del Sol, featured a removable targe top and many other remarkable features. However, it failed to achieve the same level of popularity as the CRX. Despite its discontinuation, Honda CRX holds a significant position in the used car market.  

Engine, Transmission, and Performance 

The Honda CRX has various engine options in its first generation, including the 1.3L and 1.5L four-cylinder engines. The second generation featured the 1.6 L engine, which is more powerful. However, in the second generation, specifications varied with the trim level.  

Typically, two types of manual transmissions were offered in the Honda CRX: A 4-speed manual or a 5-speed manual. Enthusiasts appreciated manual transmission more as it gave the driver more control. In the later models, automatic transmission was also available to keep up with the market and attract a wide range of audiences.  

Speaking of performance, CRX displayed exceptional functioning on the road. The lightweight construction, particularly in the first generation, contributed to the quick maneuverability of the CRX. The sport variant, the CRX Si, featured a more powerful engine. It had sport-tuned suspension to offer dynamic control to the driver. The design of the other variant, the CRX HF, was centered around fuel economy instead of performance. It featured aerodynamic alterations that focused on enhancing the economy. However, it did not compromise performance.  

Regarding engine, transmission, and performance, the CRX Si of the second generation is of particular interest. It featured a 1.6L SOHC engine, exclusively for improved handling. The sports-tuned suspension also enhanced the performance of the Si variant. Other features of the Si variant included additional performance-oriented features like alloy wheels and a rear spoiler. Other features vary with the trim levels, such as horsepower, torque, and other parameters. For CRX Si, the maximum power produced was around 108 hp (80 kW). Torque figures were in the range of 135 Nm (100 lb-ft). 

Exterior 

The distinctive exterior feature of the Honda CRX was its aerodynamic appearance. The body style was a two-seater hatchback. The sleek profile contributed to its agile handling. The front head featured headlights, which were in pop-up design. The front grille and the bumper varied slightly throughout various models and trim levels of the two generations.  

The highlight of the rear end of the CRX was the slopy hatchback. The rear spoiler in the SI models contributed to the sportier look CRX Si was supposed to have. The Si variant had alloy wheels. In other models, the wheels varied with the trim levels. In CRX Si, additional exterior features included a front air dam, side strikes, and rear valences to align with its sports profile. These features further enhanced the athletic aura of the Si. Some CRX models, particularly the ones launched in Japan, included a glass roof option, adding more class to the look.  

Inside the Honda CRX 

The two-seater seating is the most distinctive feature of the CRX interior. The design of the steering wheel aligned with the athletic vibe of the CRX. The cockpit is driver-focused, offering driving assistance tools. The Si variant showed additional bolstering for enhanced support on fast-paced rides. The design of the dashboard was driver-centric. Controls were placed within easy access to aid the driver. The instrument cluster featured a speedometer, tachometer, and other essential gauges. The console featured controls for the audio system, heating, and ventilation.

Some trim levels featured a digital clock on the console as well. The center console also had a gear shifter in the manual transmission models. The higher trim levels featured premium upholstery, i.e., cloth or velour. Considering the seating setup, the inner storage space is limited. It included a small glove compartment, door pockets, and a storage compartment between the seats (in some models). 

Driving Experience 

The CRX is famous for its agile handling. The compact and sporty steering wheel contributes to the driving experience by giving more control to the driver. It also included a tilt adjustment for the driver’s comfort. Other features that enhanced the driving experience included the lightweight construction and well-tuned suspension. These features made the CRX equally responsive on urban roads and turbulent ones.  

The sporty suspension in the CRX Si made it a driver’s favorite in no time. It was the most popular model of the CRX series due to its improved cornering ability and performance. Furthermore, the seating arrangement made the drive more dynamic and sport-oriented. The interior was focused on minimalism and performance. Unlike the vehicles of the modern era featuring fancy interiors, CRX focused on connecting the driver to the road instead of overwhelming him with a fancy inside, including manual transmission instead of automatic, also aimed at offering more engagement and connection to the driver with the road.  

Conclusion

Pros 

Sporty design 

Fuel efficient 

Reliable  

Cons   

Limited seating 

Automotive Journalist Verdict 

Honda CRX is a classic option to relive the good old days. It perfectly represents why Honda was and will remain a big name in the automotive market. A big reason behind its popularity was its fuel efficiency. Many consumers are interested in fuel economy; a fraction of them are into the sporty feels and all the athletic stuff. However, CRX was catering to the needs of both kinds of consumers. CRX has a loyal fan following comprising enthusiasts who know its worth.

Regarding Honda’s reliability, CRX is considered a reference. Surprisingly, after almost three decades of its discontinuation, CRX is still alive in the hearts of its fans and enthusiasts. This liking speaks volumes about Honda and CRX’s reliability. However, there are a few features that made people not prioritize CRX at the time of buying. Primarily, many consumers were not very pleased with the seating. The two-passenger seating orientation restricted the passenger capacity, and the hatchback design limited the cargo and storage. From the perspective of the beginning of the 21st century to today, Honda CRX lacks many advanced features. However, this does not change the fact that CRX carries a rich legacy and will be remembered forever as one with unbridled joy and unmatched efficiency.  

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

What does CRX stand for? 

CRX is a model name used by Honda for its compact sports car. It does not have an acronym. 

Are there any known issues with the CRX? 

Some CRXs may be susceptible to rust, and parts availability for older models can be a considerable issue. Specific issues can vary with model and maintenance history.  

Is the Honda CRX a good choice for a collector’s car?   

The Honda CRX has gained a following among car enthusiasts. Collectors often seek well-maintained, low-mileage CRX cars. 

How does the CRX compare to other Honda models of its time? 

The CRX was known as a compact sports car, distinct from other models in Honda’s lineup. It offered a perfect blend of performance and efficiency. 

Written by: Motorcardata

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