Honda CRX SiR (EF8) Review

Model
Si
SiR
Chassis
EF7
EF8
Engine
1.6 I4 Twincam 16v (ZC)
1.6 I4 Twincam 16v (B16a)
Transmission
5sp / Auto
5sp
Drivetrain
FF
FF
Power
130ps
160ps
Torque
106lb/ft
112lb/ft
Weight
940kg
970kg
Induction
NA
NA
Compression
9.5:1
10.2:1
Doors
3-door hatch
3-door hatch
LSD
No
Optional
 
Honda sold the CRX in many markets from 1988 - 1991 but only Japan got the quick and light SiR model. 160ps in such a small and light package was an excellent combination. The CRX is now a classic and many Honda fans value these vehicles for their potential on the track and for their stubby but good looks.
 
The CRX has a shortened wheelbase and less body than the standard Civic. This makes it lighter and sharper. The vehicle feels nice in transitions if a little understeery. The engine revs very freely and as a Vtec, it sings and performs nicely at the higher RPMs. The low torque of the engine compared to the hp means that it makes power higher in the RPM band. This is fun for spirited driving especially since it comes with a fairly short throw shifter and close ratio tranny. It just asks to be driven hard.
 
Many examples for sale at auction are highly tuned and driven hard. You will find many that have cages, lowered suspension, and go-faster bits. It is also very common to find models with a rusty undercarriage. These vehicles are getting old now and it seems that the car cancer likes this one.
 
For those who don’t know how the Vtec works, it goes something like this. The vehicle runs like a normal car when driving it normally. You get all the benefits such as good fuel economy, smooth idling, and drivability, But that is no fun, so raise the RPM above 6000 and the cam profiles change and the timing advances. This now allows the vehicle to breathe better and you get a kick in the pants, a nice firm one. It is like two cars in one.
 
The Japanese model has other perks besides the nice engine. First, you can get it with a full glass roof. This is really neat for a car of this age. Next there are 4 seats. That’s right, 4 seats! But nobody can sit back there unless they have no legs. But that’s okay, you don’t want to drive your friends around anyway. Don’t forget that you get a spoiler with the SiR and some nice options available only in Japan like LSD, leather wheel, and half leather seats.
 
Honda didn’t have much competition at the time but many saw what they were missing and brought their own FF sport compacts, thus begun the demise of the small RWD Japanese sportscar. You might consider the Toyota Levin or Trueno AE101 or AE111 as they are other FF 160hp cars.
 
CRXs are somewhat uncommon now. Many people have auto-crossed, grip raced, and drag raced them so finding one in good condition can be challenging. Mix this with the fact that they are still in demand for the same reasons, and you get increased auction price. A good condition one might go for about 200000 – 300000 yen. Despite the high price you get good value for the price.
 
Please contact us if you are interested in importing a CRX from Japan. We will walk you though the entire process.