Could buy a 98 honda crv with 69k miles quite cheap but do not know how the wind would blow it around the interstate with a boat or 2 on top.
My trusty little ‘98 CRV has hauled
my rec boat, whitewater boat, and 17’ sea kayaks with no problems. Bought a Tempest 170 in NC and brought it 500 miles to MD @ 75-80 mph the whole way. The factory racks have been fine, but I added Thule (tooly) stackers this year. The factory racks display a weight limit of 75lbs. I think more weight than that may affect the emergency handling and stability of the car. I usually haul only one boat but sometimes shuttle 2-3 for short (low speed) distances.
If you’re looking at a 5-speed, you’ll get great mileage but barely adequate power. I would not recommend the automatic trans. for the '98 model year, the engine is just too small and gives the trans. quite a workout.
First time ever driving on the 'wrong’
side of the road was in a 2000 CRV. Had 4 other people in it and a huge old style metal rack loaded with two week size suitcases. I was completed suprised to find how well it drove at speed and how stable it actually felt. Drove in some 30 + mph tradewinds and did not really notice.
Did shift a bit but the 5 speed was nice and the pedals alot easier than my Series 2 and 3 Rovers.
Had a hard time deciding between the CRV and the Subaru… Believe it or not was actually looking at the only 5 speed in our area 69K, clean interior for 8000… only reason I did not buy it was the sidewinder dealer.
Wife (CRV) owner likes the Sub better because it feels more stable to her on the Freeway. I agree. Might research the transmission thing again too…just to make sure. No worries though, its still a Honda.
Love my CRV - have hauled
2 kayaks on Malone J cradles on the factory racks along with 3 bikes on the back. I was nervous at first with the kayaks up there and watched them closely through the moon roof, but no problems and didn’t even notice a decrease in gas mileage. I have a 2004 automatic.
Mini SUV Ramblings
First generation vs. current is not exactly like comparing apples to oranges, but there is a significant difference between the two vehicles-friend owns the first generation. The current incarnation is more planted on the highway at speed, and significantly more powerful with the present V-Tec motor. I’ve carried two boats (18 ft. QCC/ 21 ft. long surf ski), a single mountain bike, AND a mountain tandem on my 2004 automatic, with nary a problem. Great bow/stern line mounting points. It is buffeted by the wind, but it’s a taller vehicle. The V-Tec is a snappy little motor, but I feel the lack of V-6 torque into a headwind, or at highway speeds with a load. Other than that, it’s a short wheelbase, so be prudent. Yes, it’s a Honda, but mine was built in England, and already with 14K on the clock, some buzzes have begun from the trim pieces. As the former owner of a Brit boat… It’s a good, cheap little vehicle. Have an Outback Limited also, which is more car-like, but with the 4 cylinder, can’t get out of its own way around town-the CR-V will run rings around it, and has much greater cargo volume, despite what the numbers speak-cruises nicely on the highway though-nice tall top gear. A decent alternative to these would be a Forester; somewhere in between. I prefer the Honda’s motor, brakes, and driving habits (it’s just plain fun to drive) though, as well as styling. The Forester reminds me of a pair of sensible shoes. Try an XT though, and you’ll get over that thought quickly. Little bugger goes like stink. Good luck.
and no problemo hauling boats.
I generally limit it to 2 sea kayaks but on short shuttle hauls will do 4. It feels a bit top heavy w/4!
with 2 sk I easily maintain 75-80mph on the freeway and while it’s pretty gutless I get relatively good mileage, she’s fun to drive!
wind hasn’t been too bad
I have a 99 CRV 5 speed. Certainly the wind effects can be felt with boats on top, but I haven’t had any significant problems. My CRV doesn’t have a factory roof rack; I use a Yakima rack to carry my canoes. Gas mileage dropped from ~25 without boats to 22 or less mpg with a couple of canoes. Acceleration isn’t great to start with and is noticeably less with canoes on top. So far it’s been a reliable vehicle even though it’s not very peppy.