Honda owes its reputation to its exciting sports cars, but this company started life as a motorcycle manufacturer that threatened Harley-Davidson’s position in the American market that Harley had to seek the intervention of the American government to stop the Japanese assault.
And while America’s biggest motorcycle maker was under threat from this Japanese brand, Detroit’s auto giants were also under threat. Honda radar. After the company’s resounding success in manufacturing motorcycles, Honda upped the game and started building cars that were more efficient, more powerful and cheaper than American cars.
This is how the JDM landed on American shores. And what this Japanese brand and many others have created is simply amazing. However, the brand also has some unwanted lemons under its belt. And that’s what this piece will be about. We’ll look at five Honda sports cars that have left a lasting positive impression and five that we wish the company wouldn’t go over the drawing board.
ten Best: Honda S2000 CRX 2008-2009
Driving the Honda S2000 requires being an attentive driver. It’s a key observation that was made by Car and Throttle when they first tested this car. And if you’ve ever been behind the wheel of this Honda marvel, then you’d wholeheartedly agree with that statement.
All S2000s are great cars. Moreover, Honda offers it in many versions that meet the needs of the market while looking very familiar through the different versions. In 2008-2009, Honda built the biggest S2000 to date, the Club Racer, otherwise known as the CR. Its sportier tires, removable hardtop and beefed-up suspension made it a fan favorite.
9 Best: Honda CRX
The Honda CRX was produced between 1983 and 1991. Although it was a short-lived nameplate for the brand, this brand did not go away without leaving its mark. Its most important contribution has been energy efficiency. This marvelous machine could go 50-70 miles per gallon, despite being a sports car, which is supposed to be one of the most inefficient cars on the market.
In 1984, 50,000 units of the CRX were sold. Over the next few years, sales skyrocketed and remained fairly stable until production ceased in 1991. Today, it is one of the most affordable cars on the passenger car market. occasion, asking for $7,900 out of pocket.
8 Best: 2017-2020 Honda Civic Si
In 2017, Honda introduced the Honda Civic Si sedan and coupe. And when reviewers wrote about it, everyone had different opinions about its incredible power and performance. For some, the Honda Civic Si was fueled enough. However, there was a group that believed Honda could have given this brand a little more juice.
Under the hood, the Si packed a 1.5-liter turbocharged engine that could develop 174 to 180 hp. That power was sent to the wheels via a six-speed manual transmission or a CVT. This brand was very attractively priced, with Honda pricing it at $24,775 with a free paint selection.
7 Best: 1968 Honda S800 Coupe
Some consider this brand as something of a classic. The 1968 Honda S800 Coupe was introduced in 1965 at the Tokyo Motor Show. It was the successor to the S600 in Honda’s S series. At the time, practicality was still a thing for Honda. Thus, they provided customers with the Coupe and Roadster versions.
At that age, supercars hadn’t yet become a thing. Despite this, the Honda S800 delivered top-notch performance. Under the hood, its engine block produced 69 horsepower and 48 lb-ft of torque. This power unit sent power to the wheels through a four-speed manual transmission and did 0-60 mph in 12 seconds.
6 Best: 2019 Honda Civic Type R FK8
This is the performance version of the Honda Civic. So it packed a more powerful engine, improved brakes and redesigned bodywork. The 2019 Honda Civic Type R FK8 was based on the Civic sedan.
Under the hood, the 2019 Civic Type R FK8 ran with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produced 320 hp. This power unit could also reach a ridiculous 6,500 rpm. It also packed a six-speed manual transmission. All of these elements combined have allowed this brand to reach a top speed of 169 mph. Its quarter-mile record was also wild, with the FK8 managing 13.5 seconds on the drag strip.
5 Worst: CRZ 2011
The CRZ was to be the successor to the incredible Honda CRX. Unfortunately, Honda created a lemon that just couldn’t continue the great legacy of the CRX. The 2011 CRZ suffered from poor air conditioning. This system could quickly switch from cold to hot when the car stopped. Not something you’d want when you’re stuck in traffic on a hot day.
Another issue with this car was how quickly the engine would die when you came to a stop. To make matters worse, this car was so slow, especially in economy mode, that jogging to your destination would be faster.
4 Worst: 1993 Del Sol S
The 1993 Honda Del Sol S was released amid the Mazda Miata craze. And despite the pressure on Honda to provide a suitable competitor, the company missed all the marks to make a great Miata rival.
Honda’s first mistake was not equipping the 1993 Del Sol S with an RWD setup. Its top was also prone to leaks, and the cup holder was poorly designed by any standards. The appearance of the car was also far from aggressive. There were no heated leather seats, the paint was horrible, and Honda didn’t add a tow package.
3 Worst: 2002 Civic Si
The 2002 Honda Civic Si is recognized as the Honda Civic Si with the worst suspension travel in Civic history. It was also the first Honda vehicle to have its steering wheel cumbersomely connected to the struts. But those weren’t the only issues with this brand.
Many buyers reported issues with the exhaust manifold prone to developing cracks. There were also frequent transmission failures due to a design flaw and the sun visors deteriorated quite quickly due to the splitting hinge mechanism. The engine block also developed cracks fairly quickly.
2 Worst: 1988 Prelude Si 4WS
Everything that can go wrong with a brand has gone wrong with the 1988 Honda Prelude Si 4WS. And you can partly blame that on the fact that this brand is the first 4-wheel steer brand Honda ever produced. Thus, it featured a very complex mechanical steering system that was difficult to assemble correctly and consistently.
As a result, the car didn’t seem to know what it was doing. Power steering fluid would also occasionally leak. To make matters worse, this brand had no airbags or ABS, features that were supposed to be standard.
1 Worst: 1991 Acura NSX Automatic
Some people still find the 1991 Acura NSX Automatic to be very reliable. But for a lot of remaining buyers, it’s one of the worst sports cars you can buy from Honda. The 1991 Acura NSX Automatic was commonly associated with clutch issues involving its master and slave cylinders.
Power windows were also a problem. The transmission didn’t help to improve matters. Several buyers have reported that their shifter wiggles unnecessarily and slips out of gear due to a major transmission issue with the brand.
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