1989 Honda CR-X Review Dec 26, 2016 by Cedric (Driver Weekly)
The Honda CR-X (also sold as the CRX) is a sporty compact car that generated a cult following. Drivers loved an economy car that captured the feeling and fun of a sporty model. The key to the unexpected popularity of this small car was the combination of size, engines, unmatched reliability. Launched in 1983, the 1989 Honda CR-X is one of the later model years and shows off the majority of features and styling changes that the CR-X had gone through.
The Second Generation
The second year of the improved second generation, the 1989 model had a significantly different chassis than the original model. The original CR-X was the "Honda Civic CRX" in the United States and was sold as a sporty Kammback version of the popular Civic. Drivers were so enthused by the quick little car that Honda reengineered the vehicle for the second generation just five years later. Instead of a torsion bar in front and semi-independent in rear, the 1989 CR-X had fully independent wishbone suspensions in front along and a double wishbone semi-trailing arm in the rear. This made it a light and responsive car that was perfect for fun driving.
The engine choices that you may find on the 1989 Honda CR-X depend on the market. Except for North America, most markets offered a 1493 cc with single-overhead cams or an updated 1590 cc with double-overhead cams ZC engine. Late in 1989, Honda added a 1595 cc B16A VTEC to the options list and created the perfect version of their sporty little car. This engine relied on variable valve timing to increase the power within the higher revolution range while helping with idling and fuel consumption. This engine generated 148 horsepower for European CR-X 1.6i-VT models and 158 horsepower for JDM SiR models. In the United States, the CR-X was available with three trims and several engines, including the base 1493 cc “D15B2” with dual-point fuel injection and sixteen valves. The CR-X HF was the high-fuel efficiency model, and it had a 1493 cc “d15B6” engine with multipoint fuel injection and eight valves. The Si was the sport-injected variation with its 1590 cc “D16A6” engine, multipoint fuel injection, and 16 valves. In the United States, the CRX Si was the ideal version equipped with the best engine and most features.
When you look at classic 1989 Honda CR-X models, you will notice that only some have air-conditioning since this was an option across the lineup. Si models had 14-inch alloy wheels, a power sliding moonroof, a rear anti-sway bar, and variable rack-and-pinion steering. Starting with the 1989 CR-X, this Honda got door-mounted seatbelts on the base and Si models. There was also an increase in the Si trim’s engine output from 105 to 108 horsepower thanks to revisions to the camshaft. If you are concerned about the curb weight, the base CR-X weighs 2,048 pounds while the CR-X Si weighs 2,138 pounds and the CR-X HF weighs 1,834 pounds.
Owners would modify these small cars using JDM parts imported from Japan. The reliable car was easy to work on and easy to improve. While the horsepower might seem lower than expected, the lightweight vehicle was surprisingly fun and responsive. Drivers snapped up the 65,581 1989 Honda CR-X models produced, including all three trims. This means that you should be able to find a model if you look hard enough, but it can sometimes prove challenging.