Is it worth buying the first gen Honda CR-V 15 years later ?
Here’s my take on the CR-V.
CR-V’s full form is “Comfortable Runabout Vehicle”.
Many people usually look at the car’s age and prefer not to buy an old car. Reason being, parts for older cars are difficult to get and are usually expensive. This is unfortunately true for the Honda CR-V.
In India Honda released their first car with the City in 1998. An EF Civic based car with a D series engine SOHC (Single over head camshaft) engine.
The CR-V was introduced in the Indian market in 2003 and has been there since. The first gen CRV was a CBU from Japan.
The first gen CR-V isn’t a full fledged SUV like the Toyota Land Cruiser. It does not have a differential lock or the high/low range gearbox. Instead the first gen CR-V uses a 4 speed torque converter gearbox.
The engine in the CR-V is a K20 motor. 2.0L in-line 4 cylinder 16 valve churning 175 horsepower. It is an AWD (All wheel drive). The overall weight of the car is heavy hence making the CR-V with the K20 motor a very heavy and underpowered car. The engine comes into her prime post 80 km/ph and then gives all the power in the world.
The mileage/ fuel average of the CR-V is as much as a 6 cylinder car but it’s certainly much more comfortable. The seats are made of cloth fabric with leather thus being very soft and extremely comfortable. The car has a cool box feature that basically keeps your cold drinks/ juices, etc cold.
On the outside the CR-V looks small, but inside it’s anything but small. The cabin space is so much that there is a small table in between the two front seats which consists of two cup holders and some space to keep things. The table can be removed by unhooking a lock and hence moves out of the way.
3 people can comfortably sit in the back seat. With the arm rest down the two passengers have a ton of legroom and headroom. Under thigh support is good too not making the passengers tired.
The car also comes with a picnic table, when opened a full sized table to keep your things on. It is located in the trunk/boot of the car and can be removed as well. The seating position is high, as expected, hence giving good visibility of the road.
Looks wise the first gen of the CR-V looks rugged. The black plastic and the mirror on the fender with the big front bumper and the spare tyre on the boot door makes the car look very tough and aggressive.
The car in the photo is mine, and is in all original stitch including the paint. People in the local Honda dealerships have asked me if it’s a new car. The overall design is timeless and fits even with modern cars even today, 15 years after.
My verdict is, if you can afford the fuel in the car, it’s worth buying and driving on a daily basis. Spares can also be ordered from authorised service centres but some parts take a few days to arrive as the dealerships don’t have them in stock. Apart from this, to very honest, there’s not much I can write on its cons except from the fuel efficiency. It doesn’t have modern day features like DRL’s (Day time running lights) or massaging seats etc, but it’s not all that bad at all.

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