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MPG Champ: 1988 Honda CRX HF

031416 Barn Finds - 1988 Honda CRX 1

This is a 1988 Honda CRX HF in Superior Blue Metallic. This blue shoe is found in “Gold Country”, California here on craigslist with an asking price of $2,950. You could run 1,373 gallons of gas through this car before you would spend another $2,950 on it given its EPA rating.

031416 Barn Finds - 1988 Honda CRX 2

This 1,820 pound, 62hp wonder is the first year of a redesign for the CRX and it’s in great condition. This car is noted for not just being a reliable Honda, but also for being an HF, or, a high-fuel-efficiency model. The engine is an 8-valve 1,493cc 4-cylinder and even though this one gets high mpg it also has high miles on it, with a listed 299,155 on the odometer. Since my Subaru currently has over 338,000 miles on it that doesn’t even cause me to blink. I would want to know if the timing belt has been changed recently and if not I would do that faster than I could fill this Honda’s 12-gallon gas tank.

031416 Barn Finds - 1988 Honda CRX 4

These are fun cars to drive, especially with a 5-speed such as on this car. Plus, this one would be even more fun to drive with the Honda steering wheel cover on it! Ok, maybe not, but at least it’s protecting the top of the wheel from sun damage. A missing lighter is a good thing in my world, that probably means a non-smoker and this owner just uses it to charge their cell phone. The dash looks crack-free but there is no mention of the interior at all.

031416 Barn Finds - 1988 Honda CRX 3

The tail lights and wheels aren’t stock, but the stock tail lights come with the car. Since this is the third owner, I’m guessing that the original wheels are long gone by now; bummer. The owner mentions that this car “runs great, does not smoke, only burns 1/2qt oil between oil changes, does not leave oil spots on ground.” Most people have much newer cars with 200,000 fewer miles on them that use more oil than that. They also say that they’re getting 42mpg on the highway which is a little low for this car and I wonder if it has to do with the combination of the bigger wheels and high miles? Do you care about mpg at all or would you use this car just for the fun of driving it in traffic?



    $1000 per 100,000 miles

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  2. Rocky johnston

    Sent em an email :) I love me some honda

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  3. Cassidy

    I thought it was a good deal until I saw the miles. $3K for a car with that high of miles is crazy. No idea how its been run, but these engines do have a breaking point, and my guess its pretty close to that now. This will be a money pit soon, and that’s too bad for such a fine looker as it is. When I see a car with high miles like that, I’m thinking, “great, you got your money back on it, why are you charging so much for it now?” He might get $3K for it, but there will be a lot of low offers in the mean time, some he’ll wish he said “yes” to in a month or so. I am looking for a car for my daughter, and this would be a nice one, but not with those miles. Good luck to the seller, he might get what he wants.

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  4. Van

    This car is worth more.
    You can rebuild the engine and trans and still save money over two years.
    I had a 1988 CRC Dx and got 40 mpg.
    The avalanche I drive now gets 18 hwy 15 average. I only sold it because my wife didn’t like the lack of an air bag.

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  5. Mike H. Mike H.

    This is actually a very good price for what it is. Rust free Civics of a similar vintage sell for $3k-$4k in my neck of the woods every day regardless of mileage. As a guy who’s owned more than a dozen Civics and Accords with similar mileage I wouldn’t be wary of the 300k on this one; if an engine rebuild becomes necessary it would be well worth it as the CRX was not just any ordinary Civic, even in the HF trim.

    Although an Si would be more fun to have.

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  6. Paul

    A rust free hf with 300k for under 3000? If i didnt just buy an rx7 turbo i would be calling my shipper today! Wow! What a steal!! The sad part is i have a rebuilt engine on the shelf for an hf already waiting for a donor car…

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  7. MountainMan

    Rare to see such an unmolested HF. I would like to have it even with the miles

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  8. JamestownMike

    I have a ONE OWNER 91 CRX HF with only 133,366 miles! It’s an original Rio Red car with black interior that was sadly spray bombed with rattle can silver. It has a 5 speed manual transmission and factory A/C. It has an un-cracked A/C controller (most are broken/cracked badly). Completely stock except for the Sony detachable face CD player (yes it even has it’s original 13″ steel wheels with center caps). It has a clean NC title. I’m considering selling it.

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  9. Fred

    I agree with Mike. Normally you would run from a car with 300K miles, but Hondas and Toyotas starting around this era became known for running that long with the right maintenance. If buying this to collect, and drive occasionally, I wouldn’t be concerned. Especially with the minimal oil consumption.

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  10. Schwag

    Rust free? Nice price!

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  11. Rick

    Had a 95 Accord that I sold with 437,000 miles on it, got timing belts and water pump every 100,000, was not a vtec, so adjusted the valves at 25,000, faster than a lot of cars, and reliable

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  12. RoughDiamond

    That motor has many miles left in it if “all” three owners, especially the first one, were meticulous with the maintenance and I’m not talking about those big services at 30K and 60K where Honda techs mostly went around and checked and tightened items. I mean oil and filter changes every 3K and manual transmission gear oil every 40K plus scheduled timing belt and water pump replacements. I am the 2nd owner of a ’97 Accord EX sedan with the VTEC 5-speed and it is about to turn over 305K on all the original running gear. The original owner took exceptional care of the car and when I bought it in 2005 with 142K on it, I took over where he left off. It’s my daily driver and has never left me stranded one day. It did leave me stranded one real hot summer night when I pulled into a parking spot at my daughters’ school, turned the car off and immediately started it back up. As soon as I hit the key the battery instantaneously exploded like a bomb under the hood. I am so thankful no one including myself got hurt. I never found all the pieces of the battery casing.

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  13. John

    My CRX went 277k and I sold it because I was worried about it dying suddenly. I bought a new one. I missed the old one enough that I bought it back. I would still have it if a snowplow hadn’t finished it off. These were great cars.

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  14. David Frank David Member

    Sorry, I thought this was the Barn Finds column. There are at least 60 Honda blog sites that may interst you, covering every generation of all models.

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    • lrry

      Lighten up dude.5000 flavors of cars to choose from. Like ice cream.

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  15. Patrick

    My CRX HF is closing in on 400k miles. It finally did need a new head gasket 10,000 miles ago and it’s starting to use a little more oil each week. I commute 80 miles daily. It still averages around 42mpg.

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