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Honda CR-X – a step back in time

By Maxine Ashford | November 22, 2021


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The Honda CR-X is a sleek two-door sporty compact coupe that was launched back in 1984

The Honda CR-X is a sleek two-door sporty compact coupe that was launched back in 1984 and it was renowned for its styling, reliability and strong performance.

Measuring 3.67 metres in length and 1.62 metres in width, the car’s low centre of gravity made it a delight to drive for any motoring purist. And with its weight of just 897kg, it was a lightweight model with plenty of punch from its 1.6-litre, four-cylinder engine.

In 1986-87, the car was upgraded and the enhancements included a slightly revised front panel to remove the semi pop-up headlights and wrapping them in a more aerodynamic casing.

The CR-X 1.6i-16 also received a body-coloured, rather than contrasting body kit with a revised rear spoiler, bumper design and new-look 14-inch twist style alloy wheels.

Moving inside, the interior boasted improved materials along with the addition of a centre console with room to store eight cassette tapes. Don’t go looking for somewhere to connect your phone – there isn’t anywhere. After all, who had a mobile phone back in 80s?

Over the years, there were a number of upgrades and facelifts and the final model, launched in 1992, was called the CR-X Del Sol. This marked a change in direction for the vehicle with a new bodystyle, a more powerful engine delivering 160bhp, some extra weight, along with the introduction of dual airbags. The final CR-X models rolled off the production line in 1997.

But Honda recently purchased a 1987 model for its heritage fleet and not only did they give us a detailed history of the car, we also had the opportunity to get behind the wheel and drive a little piece of Honda history.

Emma Butler, Automobile PR & Events Section Manage at Honda UK, said: “The car’s heritage and history are superb with 11 main dealer stamps, every MOT present since 1989 and it had covered less than 60,000 miles. 

“The history folder we received with the car included every service invoice since new, as well as the pre-delivery quality inspection sheet, owner and extended warranty cards and body inspection stamps. 

“The CR-X was originally purchased on May 24, 1986 from Rock Bay Honda, Buxton for £8,350. It was kept within the same family its entire life, but largely lived its life on the coast. 

“As a result, there was some minor corrosion to the car, mainly around the bulkhead and there was a small spot on the rear tailgate, where the boot-lid gas struts meet the body. The plastic side-skirts also had a small crack just aft of the door, where they’d been overtightened when previously refitted and there was a tiny bit of surface rust beneath these too.

“We sent the car to our approved bodyshop and they plastic welded the side-skirts back together again, and removed any questionable bits of metal from the bulkhead, rear three-quarter panel at the bottom of the arch and the tailgate. 

“It was nothing excessive as the car was exceptionally well maintained. It was more preventive work and future proofing and the workshop worked very closely with the bodyshop on this one, rebuilding the car themselves to avoid any damage to the plastic clips that hold the styling kit to the car. It’s just a refurbished set of alloy wheels away from being factory fresh now.”

The CR-X will now form part of the Honda UK Heritage fleet, so will be used at driving events to help demonstrate Honda’s long-standing tradition of thinking and doing things differently to the norm and how the company’s ‘advanced and sporty’ mantra can be traced back decades. 

Emma Butler added: “The car was advertised at £8,995, but a very good deal was done on it, and we’ve spent roughly 50 per cent of that again on the future proofing.”

Money very well spent and we were fortunate to be offered the chance to take the beautiful Honda for a spin and it turned heads wherever it went. The Polar White three-door model featured a five-speed manual gearbox and the official 0-62mph sprint time is 7.8 seconds with a top speed of 122mph. It feels much faster to be honest.

Powering the sporty coupe is a 1.6-litre petrol engine delivering 125hp and 103Nm of torque. The acceleration out the blocks is nice, but not having seatbelts takes a little getting used to. The road holding is good and it fizzes through the country lanes with ease.

I wouldn’t say it’s the most refined drive, but it is great fun and that’s exactly what you would expect from a car that’s approaching 35 years of age.

On board tech is fairly minimal, but there is a powered sunroof that was more efficient than on many new cars and that cassette player that took me back to bygone years … although I would need to go searching hard for any cassettes these days.

The Honda heritage fleet consists of 19 vehicles at the moment which spans every decade from the 60s and is a small sample from the company’s illustrious and diverse past. It has been carefully curated by the Honda UK PR team and models include a 1967 S800, 1975 Civic 1.2 Deluxe, 2001 Accord Type R and a 2008 Legend.

It’s so important that these vehicles are not allowed to disappear from our roads even if their outings are few and far between. That is the beauty of carmakers, such as Honda, having a great heritage fleet.

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