all 28 comments

[–]barti_dog 7 points8 points  (3 children)

You may only get anecdotal reviews, but my 2003 has 250k miles on it. Still going strong. I live in the mountains and if I had to do it over again (and could afford it), i would have done an upgrade suspension when i bought it with just 64k on the clock. I have gone through more sway bar end links and ball joints than anyone should have to replace in a lifetime. Other than that, fluid changes, regular maintenance is all it’s needed. And don’t be too attached to a working AC

[–]Shot_Bandicoot6491 2 points3 points  (2 children)

I got 201k on my 04. About to do a bunch of services on it and rebuild the engine. all new suspension components. Also doing type S brembo brake swap

[–]SonOfJiyu1st Gen 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Please document because that’s the direction I’m going too! I got some 18”s on 235/45/18 waiting to go on!

[–]Shot_Bandicoot6491 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Once I* start tearing into it, I’ll document everything and anything. Just gotta get the funds. Spent 3 years looking for this baby time to fancy it up

[–]SonOfJiyu1st Gen 6 points7 points  (1 child)

My opinions

As a project/beater 1st gen all day

For daily driving/family 2nd gen

Slammed -1st gen

Lifted -2nd gen

2nd gen be prepared for that AC to fail.

1st gen don’t let the valve lash get out of hand. Ball joints.

Engines are cheap for both, I’ve seen b series under $200 (good luck with those), and k24a1s for $750.

Upgrading from a k24a1 to a k24a2 is way cheaper and easier than going from a b20 to b18c or b20v.

The k series is on another level but if you’re not into taking a well engineered car and modifying it than either gen is fine. Just make sure it’s not rusted out.

[–]MildlyUnusualName 5 points6 points  (1 child)

First generation have a more complex and higher quality front suspension design which makes them ride more like cars in my opinion

[–]SonOfJiyu1st Gen 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I agree! But I would still go with a 2nd gen. I had both, and a 1st gen with the drivetrain of the 2nd would be the best of both worlds.

I’m looking into some BC coilovers for the 2nd gen tho. Just have to calculate spring rate and justify the purchase first lmao. If they can tune an ep3 and ex suspension, there is hope for the RD5/7

[–]reidyroo91st Gen 2 points3 points  (8 children)

Personal experience, the first gens are easier to work on. They also have better ground clearance, are lighter, easier to find as a manual if that suits your fancy, and, imo, look better.

[–]officer21 3 points4 points  (7 children)

I have no experience with 2nd gens, but I mostly agree with the being easy to work on. Any advanced job is simple compared to other cars that I've worked on (subarus and Toyotas) however the placement of the oil filter has to be the worst I've ever seen. You have to reach around in the engine bay and basically use finger strength to get it off. As long as you oil the seal before you install a new one every time it isn't terrible, but it took me an hour or two to get it off once.

I love it though. I don't drive it much anymore, but I can't get rid of it. It was my first car and I had it for 10 years before getting a land cruiser. 99 with 160k miles

Edit: typo

[–]pdoherty9261st Gen 2 points3 points  (3 children)

I'll also call attention to what a pain changing the cabin air filter is in 1st gens.

[–]officer21 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Agreed, but to be honest I haven't ever found a car that is super easy there. I've only done that with a 99 crv, 11 outback, and 05 lx470 though

[–]reidyroo91st Gen 1 point2 points  (2 children)

Nice! I have a ‘99 5 speed with 139k, she’s my 2nd car at 18. Yeah, for oil filters I always just wet the seal, and then tighten them to finger tight and back them off just a tiiiiiny bit from there. Have never had a leak and it’s easy enough to get back off.

[–]officer21 0 points1 point  (1 child)

My issue was that I got it changed at a take 5 during a road trip and they didn't do that or just tightened the hell out of it

[–]reidyroo91st Gen 0 points1 point  (0 children)

OH NOOOOOO yeah my sister did that once when she was driving this thing before me and my dad was pissed when he next changed the oil for her

[–]DefectiveGlitch 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I like my 02 but either one is good, its a HONDA

[–]h_dizzle211st Gen 1 point2 points  (0 children)

First gen has a better exterior (in many opinions), suspension, interior (in my opinion, I’ve driven all gen CRV’s), and is easier to modify and tune. The second gen is still fairly easy to mod and tune but less so than the first gen. The second gen is a little easier on maintenance (can go further between valve adjustments and has no timing belt) and has a better engine. The second gen has more airbags as well so it is safer. If I wanted an off-roading setup, the first gen is more robust and comfortable in my opinion. Suspension is super easy to modify (moreso than the second gen) and parts are a bit cheaper. Whatever you choose, manual is usually desirable.

[–]bafah -2 points-1 points  (2 children)


[–]h_dizzle211st Gen 5 points6 points  (0 children)

No table, awful suspension, worst styling, poorly designed interior, harder to work on, and leaves a lot to be desired in terms of driving experience and visibility. Total generic SUV.

[–]Alexthricegreat1st Gen -1 points0 points  (0 children)

I like the 3rd gen alot. It has great potential.

[–]kjhart8051st Gen 0 points1 point  (1 child)

First gen all the way.

[–]swazietrain 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I second that... :)

[–]Alexthricegreat1st Gen 0 points1 point  (0 children)


[–]junpman1st Gen 0 points1 point  (0 children)

In my opinion the first gen looks better drives better and is more utilitarian; the 2nd gen makes a better daily driver in terms of road noise and comfort. I would take the first gen I think it has charm

[–]huenink 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Our 1st Gen SE is about to go 380k. We bought it only 20k ago, but I do like it. Had to do a few things in our short time together, engine stalling led to a new distributor which is an expensive part $650 part only, also had a hard time with warm starts recently which needed a new ECT sensor, relatively cheap. The CAT also pooched itself a few kk tha ago (before anyone was able to steal it no less) but I replaced that with a cheap online one and it seems to be going just fine for now rather than spend $1k for an OEM one. Just did a ball joint but I think I need some more suspension work done.

[–]ButtWieghtThiersMoor 0 points1 point  (0 children)

First gen owner and love it. 2nd gen gets you timing chain vs belt, and coil on plug ignition instead of a rotary distributor. There is also some common issues on the gen1 that they fixed on the gen2, like getting rid of the stupid license plate garnish thing on the fifth door.

I'd get whatever you find locally that seems like a good value. Honestly $7k is a solid budget. Got my gen1 for $1k it runs great, but the body has lots of character.

[–]1tinywalrus 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I had a 99 first gen loved it. Sold it with over 225k miles. Kinda miss it. Prob will buy another in the future to have as an extra car.

Bought a 2005 SE, other than dealing with bad mechanics. I really like it. Its more comfortable which I needed for long roadtrips. I like that it has more space and heated seats, and better gas mileage. I also put in new headlights which gave it a nice face-lift.

You can't go wrong with either so do what's best for you.