3,000 Smiles for $3,000: 1985 Honda CRX Si

Some of the most fun times behind a steering wheel can be had with a great handling, small car driven to its limits. There are a lot of contenders for that but one of the top picks for a lot of people would be a car like this 1985 Honda CRX Si. This car is on Craigslist, or here on the CL archive, and the seller is asking $3,000. Thanks to Patrick S. for sending in this one!

As a first-generation CRX this car really look small. They didn’t grow that much in the next and last generation, just three inches, but these chunky designs really appeal to me much more than the melted-bar-of-soap 1990s cars. This car only has 76,492 miles on it.

The interior looks good other than needing a deep cleaning. The hatchback area probably won’t haul that glass-top V8 coffee table that you saw at a yard sale but it looks clean back there. You can see that this car has an automatic transmission. Ha, just kidding, the Si didn’t come with an automatic transmission, they were all 5-speed manuals. Unfortunately, the seller says that this one probably “needs a new clutch soon”. Add that to the to-do list.

The Si added a new multi-port programmed fuel injection system developed by Honda that made their EW3, 1.5L inline-four sing with 91 hp. It may not sound like a lot of power but I dare anyone to drive one of these cars and not get out of the driver’s seat with a smile on their face. The seller says that “there’s an occasional rpm fluctuation when it idles at certain temperatures (I believe the idle control valve needs cleaning or replacing…)” That, and some “minor cracks in some of the plastic body panels” means that it isn’t show-ready quite yet. At $3,000 it’s already above NADA’s high value, but I think this is right on the money compared to other CRX Si cars for sale. The low miles and being a first-generation car will be attractive to a collector or for someone who just wants an inexpensive and fun commuter.

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  1. Steve65

    Damn! If I had 3 grand I’d be on the phone right now with the Father in law in Florida. Unmolested CRXs are thin on the ground.

  2. Nathan Avots-Smith Member

    I’m amazed that the NADA value is so low for any CRX, much less an Si. These will be majorly collectible very, very soon. I remember my grandfather would regularly drive his (non-Si) CRX from SoCal to Las Vegas to visit his aunt (!), getting insane gas mileage—50+ MPG. The family joke was that he got such good mileage because he was driving so fast, the tires never hit the ground!

  3. CanuckCarGuy

    A buddy of mine had one, he bought it used and it was a great little car…it even taught him what the term “interference engine” means. As much as I like this vintage of CRX, the Prelude from this same era would be my first pick.

  4. ATL_Jeff

    Sarasota is just far enough away to keep me from making yet another car ‘mistake’. My wife and my neighbors thank you.

  5. glen

    My nephew would love this, he’s got this Honda bug, can’t seem to shake it.

  6. Mike B

    I wouldn’t want to do the lift over, but wouldn’t bet against getting that v8 table in the back.

  7. Mark

    I had an 85 CRX standard transmission and it was a great car. Rusted out below the A pillars at the floor. Water drains ran to those corners and were an issue in them all apparently. Other than that a fast great mileage car. Loved it.

  8. Larry

    If you’ve never driven one, this is the one to have. It’s like a little rocket ship with fantastic handling. Really fun.

    Like 1
  9. Mike R.

    Any injected Si 5speed Is a pocket rocket!! Just spin it up against the rev-limeter and have fun! That clutch can be changed in less than 2 hours. Just get the flywheel resurfaced. Do the job right the first time so you can enjoy driving it!

  10. Steve M

    This is a nice car, and I have owned a ton of them in the last millennium, and i know an unmolested Honda is rare, but the price seems really really high to me.

  11. exartist

    This is a pretty good price if it’s a solid car. I’ve one a few, and auto-xed one for years. They are the only FWD car I could consistently drift through a fast sweeper.

    Of the 1st gen CRXs, the ’85 is best to have, IMHO. IIRC they are about 75lbs lighter than the ’86 and ’87, making them a wee bit quicker between the cones. Lots of unique parts on the ’85 as well: front fenders, headlights, lower body panels, the Mugen replica rear wing, 13″ “iron cross” wheels, interior is a bit different, and an (optimistic) 140mph speedo.

    If I was nearby I’d be driving to see it right this very moment.

    Hope it goes to a good home.

  12. jim munn

    I had one. A great car with hatchback and 50 mpg..

  13. Gus

    I had an 89 CRX Si and was a real blast. At that time I had a retail shop and spent all summer driving to yard sales around southern Wisconsin. There wasn’t much I couldn’t haul and it so fun.

  14. DG

    Si, low miles, AND unmodded? Worth every penny.

  15. Jud

    Had a 84 Prelude with dual Keihin side-draft carbs, and a 89 CRX Si. Both were awesome vehicles. Fun to drive. But the CRX Si I would describe as a Howitzer with windshield wipers. I word of advice to the next owner…use genuine Honda stuff for your tune-up. Better mileage and better performance. Period.

  16. Victor Anderson

    I had 4 different friends that had these CRX Si’s. 3 of my friends were in VERY LOW speed accidents with them — and all 3 of them were injured – one of them pretty badly. 4th friend sold her’s because after what happened to our other 3 friends she was afraid to drive it. Sorry I will NEVER even get in one of these things let alone buy one.

  17. Pete

    STFU and Take my money! :-)

  18. mike

    took one of these on a 24000 mile road trip, had to replace the breaks twice. sold it for $100 more than I bought it for. The best gas mileage ever. with a tailwind I was pushing 58 mpg.

    • Jack

      If you had to replace the brakes twice in 24000 miles you have a driving problem. And yes I was not the high mileage version. They didn’t get great gas mileage but mine is the right word to use driving an 85 SI.

  19. Superdessucke

    Can’t believe it’s still for sale. Is something up?

  20. Jack

    In 1985 I was selling cars at Larry Hopkins Pontiac Honda in Sunnyvale California when the SI version came out. first batch didn’t include the black ones so I ordered one for myself. I owned the first black SI to come off the ship from Japan in 1985. Sunnyvale is close to the Santa Cruz mountains. I used to take that car up into the mountains and flog it like a race car. winding tight Mountain Roads with Corners slow enough to come off in 2nd gear with wheel spin. they understeered because of the weight distribution and it was really hard to get the tail to come out even using drop throttle overthrew steer technique. but understeer is much more forgiving then oversteer anyway. it just meant I wore the front tires out pretty quickly. But a lot of that had to do with the fact it would dig so hard on Corner exit in second gear that you have wheel spin. It was the most fun car I ever owned. I used to smoke the tires in a while just to show off. a month after getting it paid off a drunk broadsided me driver side door but hit far enough up on the door to do cowl damage at the firewall and the car was totaled. Just my freaking luck. Owned most fun car I ever had free and clear and I couldn’t find another one because by then I was in Ohio. the engine in that car was Bulletproof. I wore a clutch out and replaced it with a Luke and had a problem with the input bearing on the transmission but that was my fault because of the way I flogged the car all the time. Anytime I found a winding stretch a road I just couldn’t help myself. They are faster accelerating than people give him credit for. People look at 91 horsepower and think it can’t be quick. several other owners here have verified that is not the case.

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