My 2003 CRV EX with over 242,000 miles has been the absolute BEST car I have ever owned in terms or reliability, minimal repairs and overall performance in all weather conditions. The only complaint I have is the driver side door lock actuator which needed replacement and apparently has been an issue with this year Honda. However, when I decided to buy a new car for business needs, I choose another CRV without hesitation.
This is the best car I have ever purchased!!!! I bought my 2003 Cr-V brand new and 9 years later have put 160,000 miles on it. I have had no major repair issues that are not associated with normal wear and tear. I did have to replace the A/C compressor, but only once and after 100,000 miles of use. I put mainly highway miles on it in New England with snow, ice, road salt, and a heavy lead foot without a problem. It drives like a dream and I have no issues with noise. I have been rearended on the highway 3 times and only sustained significant damage with the 3rd accident. This car is very well built and incredibly safe. I wish Honda still made them the same way.
Bought this w/ 94K miles and overall its an OK vehicle but very weak and slow. However, I expected that, as long as it got good gas mileage. Well this car is both slow and thirsty! I only get 20-22mpg mixed and for a 4cylinder this is unacceptable. I've gotten better gas mileage w/ V-6's. Also, the A/C compressor problem is not a rumor or a joke. I knew about this problem after reading reviews but I did not thing it was common enough to be a risk, so bought the car anyway. I was wrong and 3 months after purchasing it the A/C compressor broke. Seems like not a big deal since its not engine/trans related but guess again. From the dealer, the A/C repair was quoted at $4000! because they need to replace the entire system. Thats more than an engine or transmission. Luckily I found an indy mechanic that fixed it for $1800. Still alot of $ to spend especially when comparable RAV4s don't have any of these costs.
Have had my CR-V for 3 years now, and it has generally been an excellent vehicle. It is used mostly for daily work commuting (about 25 miles round trip), in a hilly, city environment. Also used as 2nd vehicle to carry our 3 kids, and for carrying tailgating equipment (during football season... Roll Tide!).