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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
New to the forums...Hey folks.

I'm here looking for some advice. Sorry this will be long but here's the short version up front...
I need a very dependable vehicle. I believe I've settled on a CRV. I can only afford up to about a 2008 maybe. Regardless, starting from the first year up to that, which should I buy?

Now the details.
All this is unfortunately due to a lack of money lately. That one factor rules all others. I bought my current daily driver in 1988 brand new. It's a Mustang GT. It's had many engine, suspension, combos over the years but is now as close as I can get it to stock. It's got about a zillion miles on it and is not enjoyable for me to drive daily now. Don't get me wrong. It will run forever. It gets 22 MPG consistently. I'll never sell.
I need something that will fill the following needs:
-better gas mileage
-can't be expensive to insure
-repair parts must be available
-SUV that can pull a very small 4x8 utility trailer (fyi-I've pulled this trailer with a lawn mower and a golf cart.)
-must be dependable enough to go anywhere I want on vacation
-must be extremely comfortable for me (I'm 6'3 / 270#)...so no crappy seats.
-I can work on anything but I'm sick of working on stuff all the time...ie..the mustang. It's constantly something.
The big question:
I often wonder if it would be better to own something with as few technology items as possible. I used to have a '49 Ford F1 pickup. It only had a handful of wires on the entire truck. 2BBL carbed flathead V8. It was simple and nothing ever broke. No computers. No anything. But...It had no a/c or any other creature comfort. It sucked gas and it would only go about 55 mph, max. Maybe a first Gen CRV would be the answer. I've had two of them but back then I was just buying and reselling Hondas. I had a very nice one that was pretty comfortable and I liked to drive it. It unfortunately had the cursed Honda automatic transmission slip starting so I sold it before it got bad.
And for the other side of the coin. Maybe I should buy an '07 or '08. Are they really better? Or more dependable? It would cost me much more up front. The thing that scares me is if I spend all my money on a newer one and a couple years down the road one of its fancy newer items break, I won't be able to afford fixing it.
So there it is. I'd like input from you guys. I've been on many forums. Still am. When someone needs mustang advice they post on our mustang forum. Those of that have been building the cars forever can always answer the questions. I'm hoping for that same level of help and knowledge from you Honda experts.
Thanks ahead of time,
Wayne
 

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Welcome Wayne to the forum! Since you brought up the third generation 2007, I have one and love it! I bought it with 63,000 miles back in 2013 and it is the EX-L. I now have 128k on the odometer. I have only had to perform general maintance such as oil changes, new tires, changing out all of the fluids, filters, spark plugs, brake pads. I am getting about 31 mpg on the highway and 22 in the city. I also take it on road trips. Lots of road bonding with my CR-V. It rides as smooth as when I first drove her. Such a good car!

Hope this is some help for your decision.
 

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I currently drive a 2014 CR-V, but my previous vehicle was a 2006 CR-V, and I drove a 1999 CR-V before that.

I am very fond of the 2005 and 2006 CR-Vs. I would also trust the 2007-2014 CR-Vs.
 

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Welcome to the forum! That's a long list of asks, and I can't say whether there is a vehicle out there that will fill all of them, but I would say a good used CR-V would hit most. On whether you will find it comfortable for your size, the only way to know, really, is to stuff yourself in one and go for a test ride. There are no cars cheap to insure these days, or, for that matter, cheap to fix, if say, the transmission goes out. So the playing field is fairly level there. A CR-V will pull a small trailer just fine.

I consider the sweetest spot in a CR-V to be the '05-'06 with manual transmission. Simple, easy to repair, highly reliable, relatively light on the wallet. But, after a year of hard searching I was unable to find one in good shape. I wound up with an '07 EX-L AWD AT with 92k on the clock. After '06 there were no more manual transmissions. I've had my '07 for a while now and have been very happy with it so far. Had to get the A/C recharged, and replaced the battery. I plan to upgrade to a larger battery soon. Otherwise the car is sound and solid, passes most gas stations, is light, nimble, and fun to drive. I'm quite happy with it.

I also considered the Element with a manual trans - again, hard to find a good one. It's essentially the same vehicle, just a little different.

I'd say drive several, and then let us know what you go with.
 

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I think you are definitely on the right track to buy something simpler rather than with all the bells and whistles. As has been pointed out the complexity of vehicles has increased as the years have gone by.

I would shy away from the 1st generation simply due to age although they were a great vehicle and you still see a lot of them on the road. A clean 2nd generation might be an option but again due to the age it might be more difficult to find a clean one. I had a 2nd gen and it was bulletproof. Due to budget constraints an early to mid-year 3rd generation would be a good choice and as they are only a little over 10 years old there would be a better chance of finding one with maintenance records and fewer miles.

Good Luck with your search!
 

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Also, on the Gen 3s, I'd go for the 07-'09, as the '10-'11s had a piston ring issue that caused high oil consumption and necessitated engine replacement on a number of them (not all).
 

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Not all new-tech is bad. Some good new(ish)-tech things the k24a-series engine in the 3rd gen CR-V has, that I can think of:
  • No distributor. Therefore you'll never need to do a timing adjustment or have to replace the oil seal around the distributor, or replace the cap.
  • No accelerator cable. It's drive-by-wire.
  • Anti-lock brakes.
  • Spark plugs are good for 100,000 miles. No need to gap the plugs either, unless you drop them.
  • (on 2007 and later models: ) The car's maintenance minder tells you what maintenance to do, and when to do it/them. (oil/ATF changes, etc.) It is dynamic, not mileage-based, so it's tailored to your driving style & environment. On my '07 Honda Accord (with the same engine), it tells me to change the oil and do the other things every 8,000 miles or so. If you drive in New York City, maybe it would tell you to change the oil every 3,000 miles. Of all the new-tech you might come across in whatever car you end up getting, this may be the hardest one to accept.
But, that new-tech has some caveats. One, with your target car's age (10+ years), some parts may not be available, even from Honda. Some sensors and wiring parts are not available anymore for my Accord's engine (so I've been told, I've never needed to order something that's supposedly not available.)

Two, new-tech hardware does not always mesh with old-tech knowledge. Manually moving a throttle vane on a carb-equipped car is no problem. But it can be a problem on a drive-by-wire setup if you do it while it's powered up, because you may mess up the synchronization between the accelerator pedal position sensor and the throttle vane position motor. (You'll likely never have a need to do that, so there's that.)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Good reading guys. I appreciate it. Couple more questions.

Would anyone like to make an argument for why a first Gen would be the way to go?

And secondly, I've always been scared of the AWD models. Any reason to? Worse gas mileage or troublesome? I'm in Alabama so I'll never need it for slippery roads.
 

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I'm not fond of 1st gen, too small/tight in the drivers area. Also under powered compared to the gen 2.

There is no AWD version until gen 3 (which may be laters gen 3 I'm not sure). Gen 1, 2 and 2.5 are realtime 4wd. Awd vehicles there is some amount of power to all 4 wheels at all times. 4 wheel drive is 2wd until other 2 are engaged. In the case of earlier CRVs this is done via the rear differential. When front tires start spinning due to lo traction conditions the back tires engage.

You wont find any before 2007 that are 2wheel drive I dont believe, unless owner removed propeller shaft (which doesnt hurt anything, improves mpg a bit especially on gen 1) which makes 4wd inoperable.

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Ah thank raccoon. I didnt think any were in the US, but I keep forgetting about Commyfornia. They get fwd only versions of about anything this size before they are offered in the rest of the country. But here in STL (and back up north) even the biggest parts distributors only list trim, no 2 or 4 wheel drive options when looking up parts for gen 1 or 2. Dealership never asks either (one we use here they dont require the vin unless looking for things like ECM). So I assumed not offered until gen 3 as that's the first years I've looked up/ordered parts that show the option.

OP, I forgot to add, my preference is gen 2/2.5. Gen 3 I think are ugly (front end) and spare is still external/ have small table you can take out and use under the mat in the back. About the size of a card table but much tougher. We use it for camping, its awesome.




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I loved my 1999 Gen 1.5 and my 2006 Gen 2.5, mostly because they had the correct number of pedals (three for those of you who are confused). I like my 2014 Gen 4.5, even though it only has two pedals.

I skipped the Gen 3 because of the ugly (to me) front bumper.
 

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I agree on the ugly. On the AWD, all Gen 3s were available with it. Wish they were also available with the 3 pedals.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Ok, so I have a search set up on Autotrader. It sends me every new post according to the way I set it up. Where else should I be looking?
 

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Craigslist (that's where I found mine) and Facebook Marketplace. I would never ever go to Auto Trader. Ever.
 

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Have you ever heard of Nextdoor? It is an online neighborhood site throughout the US. You might check and see if your area has Nextdoor. That is how I found my CRV, just one street over from a neighbor. My area goes out to over 63,000 homes.
 

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Hi Wayne:
I am a new owner of a CRV 2019, and bought it so that I don't put mileage on my "baby" in the garage......! So I looked high and low and for my needs concluded on the CRV EXL AWD. All I could say is that I satisfied my needs with this and it has to date "exceeded" any and all expectations. I am also psychologically overjoyed as I am only putting on 20 miles on my other car since I got the Honda. That is the primary for me!!!!

As for your needs, let me try to give you my perspectives, again from a 2019.

Gas Mileage - Excellent 31 MPG
Insurance - $850/year vs. the other cars which are 1500 - 1700 per year.
Repair parts - Haven't had to check into this yet (thank God, lol)! But they are around without question if needed.
Pull Load - DON"T KNOW?
Dependable - I thoroughly checked into this vehicle, and multi-thumbs up on this front.. Thus why I went Honda as my primary driver.
Comfort - VERY MUCH SO!!!! I too am 6'3 and 271lbs. Holds my buns very well, and no back pain.

As far as few technology, I am a techno geek. However my son's girlfriend leased the CRV AWD with only a few options. She is happy with this decision. As my dad always said, he likes a car where he stretches his arms out and picks the lock up with his 2 fingers. Less to break!!! I guess he is right, but I love my gadgets.

You can't go wrong with a CRV and it should be well within your range, with baby miles on it....they last 200K - 300K miles if taken care of routinely maintained.

Good Luck, and hope this helps!
lc
 

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New to the forums...Hey folks.

I'm here looking for some advice. Sorry this will be long but here's the short version up front...
I need a very dependable vehicle. I believe I've settled on a CRV. I can only afford up to about a 2008 maybe. Regardless, starting from the first year up to that, which should I buy?

Now the details.
All this is unfortunately due to a lack of money lately. That one factor rules all others. I bought my current daily driver in 1988 brand new. It's a Mustang GT. It's had many engine, suspension, combos over the years but is now as close as I can get it to stock. It's got about a zillion miles on it and is not enjoyable for me to drive daily now. Don't get me wrong. It will run forever. It gets 22 MPG consistently. I'll never sell.
I need something that will fill the following needs:
-better gas mileage
-can't be expensive to insure
-repair parts must be available
-SUV that can pull a very small 4x8 utility trailer (fyi-I've pulled this trailer with a lawn mower and a golf cart.)
-must be dependable enough to go anywhere I want on vacation
-must be extremely comfortable for me (I'm 6'3 / 270#)...so no crappy seats.
-I can work on anything but I'm sick of working on stuff all the time...ie..the mustang. It's constantly something.
The big question:
I often wonder if it would be better to own something with as few technology items as possible. I used to have a '49 Ford F1 pickup. It only had a handful of wires on the entire truck. 2BBL carbed flathead V8. It was simple and nothing ever broke. No computers. No anything. But...It had no a/c or any other creature comfort. It sucked gas and it would only go about 55 mph, max. Maybe a first Gen CRV would be the answer. I've had two of them but back then I was just buying and reselling Hondas. I had a very nice one that was pretty comfortable and I liked to drive it. It unfortunately had the cursed Honda automatic transmission slip starting so I sold it before it got bad.
And for the other side of the coin. Maybe I should buy an '07 or '08. Are they really better? Or more dependable? It would cost me much more up front. The thing that scares me is if I spend all my money on a newer one and a couple years down the road one of its fancy newer items break, I won't be able to afford fixing it.
So there it is. I'd like input from you guys. I've been on many forums. Still am. When someone needs mustang advice they post on our mustang forum. Those of that have been building the cars forever can always answer the questions. I'm hoping for that same level of help and knowledge from you Honda experts.
Thanks ahead of time,
Wayne
I have a 2005 CRV SE - Purchased in 2008 58,000 miles. I have 198,000. 2005 - 2006 Have picnic tables in the rear. I have towed 1500, been towed behind motorhomes. last repair was 2013 for an emission part. I wouldn't hesitate to take it across country. Getting ready to upgrade the original struts.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Time sensitive!!!
Heading out in the morning to look at and potentially buy a 2006 CRV LX 2wd. 184k miles. Second owner. Maintenance records. Had a friend up that way that buys cars constantly go look and drive it for me tonight. No dents. Recent items repaired are new brakes all around, fairly new tires, new a/c comp, and a couple other small things. Price seems decent to me but I'd like to know you guys estimate on what I should pay. The lady is literally a librarian...lol. She got a newer Tahoe and is selling this for more room for her two small kids.
Gotta make a decision soon....what do y'all think?
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