Donut Media Brings Us Up To Speed On The CRX

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If only all sport hatches looked and drove as good as the CRX.

If you haven’t heard of Donut Media‘s Up to Speed video series, you’ve been missing out. They cover all different sorts of cars from all different manufactures and let us know why they are so loved (and sometimes hated) in the automotive community. This time around, James Pumphrey from Donut is bringing us the latest episode on the Honda CRX. We love the CRX for a number reasons: its boxy styling, solid performance, good fuel economy, and amazing driving dynamics. Let’s get into a bit more details as to why we have grown fonder of the CRX in our modern times.

James explains that the CRX’s inception came as a result of Honda’s re-entrance into Formula One and their growing interest in motorsport in the 1980’s. However, they had to hold off on a proper sports car because of the logistical difficulties surrounding such as project and as a result, the CRX was born.

honda crx

Coming in at an almost ridiculously low 1,800 pounds, this stunningly light weight was most likely the most important ingredient the CRX had to make it a real success. This is due to the fact that the less weight a vehicle has, the better it handles, the better the power-to-weight ratio, and the better the fuel economy.


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Even though the first generation CRX only made at most around 70 HP in the US, it still was faster than a Civic due to the lower weight. In addition, these engines were so fuel efficient that if you sold them in today’s market, they would still be up to par with some modern hybrids, achieving mpgs within the 50s and 60s.

Thanks to its bulletproof chassis the CRX was almost intended to race and race it did, winning in a variety of different series and classes in the U.S. However, things really got interesting when Honda decided to capitalize on the cars potential with an Si model. Sadly, we did not get the 135 HP D16A1 in the US, but rather a 91 HP EW3. Most the time Japan gets all the good stuff, but, fret not, because soon the CRX would be moving into the second generation with a lot of amazing improvements.

This included motorsport-based double wishbone suspension front and rear, a suspension setup that was really revolutionary for its time period at the CRX’s budget price point. However, yet again, we didn’t get the legendary B16A1 engine in the U.S., even in the Si model.

honda crx

We are happy we got the CRX when we did though and prices for used models in decent condition are actually surprisingly reasonable. If you ever wondered if there was a right time to get into a CRX we have your answer: now.

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Daud Gonzalez is a lifelong car enthusiast, and automotive writer with a specialty in modified and race-ready rides. Gonzalez is a regular contributor to the Internet Brands Auto Group websites, including Corvette Forum, 6SpeedOnline, and Honda-tech, among others.

He spends most of his time modifying his cars, and ruining them in the process. He is the owner of a track build BMW 335i, a semi-off road spec 1981 Toyota Hilux, a drift-ready 1990 Nissan 240sx and a 1990 BMW K75 motorcycle.

Most of his free-time is dedicated to making sure his vehicles survive to see the next day. You are likely to catch him at one of Southern California's race tracks on the weekends.

Daud can be reached at [email protected], and followed on his Instagram account.

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