The 2nd Generation USDM Honda CRX was the first mass produced two seat Honda to include double wishbone suspension and the introduction of 4-wheel disc brakes (1990-1991 ED9 CRX Si only). With an updated body style, extremely lightweight chassis, and ease of motor swaps and conversions from Japanese specification EF8 CRX VTEC models and other B-series Honda engines, the CRX was an instant classic.
Introduced in 1988, the CRX was offered in three trim levels: the entry level DX (ED8), the fuel sipping lightweight HF (ED8), and the sporty Si (ED9). The automatic transmission was only available in the DX trim level. Although only available for four model years, there are notable differences in the chassis as the model evolved. All 1988 models include pillar mounted seat belt systems, which reduced weight substantially. Starting in 1989, all models except the HF trim moved to door mounted seat belts, Honda’s clever method of complying with then new federal government mandates of automatic seat belts. The CRX received a minor cosmetic update in 1990, which includes revised front and rear bumpers, new front corner lamp assemblies and revised front fenders to match, thinner door and side moldings, and new taillights which incorporate a dark band around the perimeter. Additionally the Si trim level received updated alloy wheels. All HF models include lightweight front and rear bumper impact beams, which are notably weaker but offer performance improvements.
Moving on to the performance aspects, all models received double wishbone suspension with geometry that was shared with numerous other Honda models through the year 2000. The CRX Si model included an upgraded multi-point fuel injected 1.6l SOHC engine, the D16A6, rated at 105 HP in 1988, and later 108 HP in 89 through 91. Additionally the Si received improved transmission gearing in the always included 5-speed manual transmission. 1988 Si transmissions have a unique input shaft spline, which was beefed up in 1989 through 1991. Additional improvements on the Si model include 14″ alloy wheels, a metal sunroof panel, sport seats, plush carpet, felt lined glove box, and other misc. upgrades. 1990 and 1991 CRX Si also include rear disc brakes, which are interchangeable with other trim levels, a common upgrade.
Unfortunately many CRX were prone to rust, particularly in the rear quarter panels, underneath the plastic rocker panel covers, and in the sunroof panel on the Si trim models. Between rust and the tuner scene’s love for the CRX, finding original and unmolested examples has become extremely difficult. Prices for 2nd generation CRX have been steadily on the rise for the last decade or more, and clean original low mileage examples command in excess of $20,000 USD. Expect to pay between $3,000 and $10,000 for a well sorted, rust free high mileage original.
Production numbers are outlined below. The rarest and most desirable models appear to be early blade silver CRX Si, Barbados yellow Si, and the one model year only Tahitian Green Pearl 1991 Si. Notable, the “updated body style” Barbados yellow was only available in 1990, making it the rarest specific color combination of the rear disc brake US Spec ED9 chassis.