I Bought a Thing: 1998 Honda CR-V AWD (Part 1)


1998 Honda CR-V

As far as summers go, this past summer was pretty hectic. We moved my young daughter into her “big girl room”, started prepping her “baby room” for the next baby (due pretty soon now, in fact), and working like crazy on some big Mercedes builds at the shop. We were also car shopping, and that’s when we found this little gem: a 103,000 mile, one-owner 1998 Honda CR-V EX AWD.

“This is the car you should buy,” I told my wife as I poked at the online listing for the little Honda. “It’s a one-owner car, manual transmission. The CarFax shows a ton of service history, too.”

She ignored me, and kept her attention on the new Volvo XC90 filling up the screen on her iPhone. Nevertheless, I was persistent- and, frankly, wasn’t too excited about picking up a car with a sticker price some four times the asking price on the Honda CR-V I’d been trying to make a case for. Then she said something I wasn’t quite ready for.

“If you like it so much, why don’t you buy it?”

That was a good question. A really, very good question, after a bit of consideration. Now, I don’t really need a car, since I’m usually outfitted with a tester and am lucky enough to be able to work from home or take the train when I’m not. Even so, it would be good to have a second car, and I’d recently defended the honor of the first-gen CR-V over at Insteading, calling it a “$5000 Budget Bug-Out Ride“.

Finally, I’d had nothing but good experiences with another CR-V that my ex’s father had owned for more than ten, trouble-free years. And, besides, the greenest car is the one that’s already been built, right?

As few days later we went and test drove the old Honda at the dealer, and found that everything important worked pretty well. What didn’t work was the radio (which, technically, did work, but only received a single Christian rock station), the front brake rotors were warped, and the tires needed replacement.

A few minutes later, we negotiated a price and drove home. I’ll cover the cost of getting the CR-V up to trail-blazing, zombie-fleeing spec. in my next post about it, but you can already see the excellent Yokohama Geolander tires that were fitted in the picture, up top. In the meantime, you can feel free to call me a Honda fanboy for owning a Honda scooter, a Honda motorcycle, and now a Honda DD in the comments section at the bottom of the page. Enjoy!


Original content from Gas 2.

About the Author

I’ve been in the auto industry 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the IM network. You can also find me on Twitter, at my Volvo fansite, or chasing my kids around Oak Park, IL.

  • Steve Hanley

    What have you got against Christian rock stations, you heathen?

  • Terry Harris

    I had 2 of these older CRVs with the 5 speed, it was a sports car in disguise. Other than too much road noise it was next to perfect.

  • t_

    One thing I can tell you about old cars. The older they get, the costlier they are.
    I drove a pretty big number of old cars before. That’s it form my experience: Till the 10 – nth year all go well with minor problems. Till the 15 – nth year there are problems, but you can live with them. After that it gets ugly. My last old car was french – a Citroen, which I loved and kept for so long, but somewhere in its 17 – nth year the repairs bill got so high, that it costed less to buy a new one. And the car got very unrelieble. Now I think about an old Mercedes, but it would be like a hobby. Repair it, take care for it and drive it occasionally on a hot summer day.
    Anyway, you should change some parts in advance and good luck with the old clunker. It really looks nice.

    • Working on “part 2” now, which involved quite a few repairs … and none of them were as costly as you might think.

  • Evan

    This article popped up on my news stream and it’s my first exposure to Gas2. I like it. You’re in my bookmarks now. Looking forward to the follow-ups.

    • Steve Hanley

      I think you will find a lot to like here, Evan. We aren’t Motor Trend…..and that’s a good thing! ; – )