Strengths: Handling. Reliability. Transmission. Engine. Price, for what you get.
Weaknesses: A bit loud. A bit harsh. Expected for a car in this class.
Summary: I thought S2000 was a toy car, like a Miata. I was surprised when I drove one. It actually is a hardcore sports car. This car, has nothing to do with the rest of the Honda/Acura line. It is rear-wheel-drive, has perfect 50-50 front and rear weight distribution, amazing 4-cylinder engine, and the BEST 6-speed transmission ever made.
As with other Honda's, it is very reliable, has excellent interior ergonomics, and is very well built.
I drove similar cars, BMW Z4 and Nissan 350Z. These cars feel like regular cars compared to S2000. S2000 feels like a race car.
The car fits me very well, and I am 6'1". The trunk, though on the small side, will carry a lot. Soft top is maintenance free.
I like that I won't need to spend a fortune to maintain it when the warranty runs out, unlike a BMW, Audi, or a Porsche. And yet, it handles better than most of these cars...
However, S2000 is not for everyone. It is loud. It has no navigation. It is as pure as a car can ever be.
Similar Products Used: Test drove: Z4, 350Z. 3-series, Acura TL, TSX, Mercedes C series, E series. S handles better than all of these.
Strengths: For 30k this is the hottest car on the planet unless you want four seats or a huge wing, but I prefer a convertible. It also reduces your need for therapy and stress management. It really does bring you joy.
Weaknesses: Sometimes it would be nice to push a button and have a cushy ride and a little more storage, but only if it didn't take away from the cars visceral, tactile feel.
Summary: If you are a follower who is just buying a car as a status symbol, DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER. If you like a cushy ride and quiet serenity while driving, DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER. If you like it a little rough, a little hard, a little loud, and a little furious, then keep reading.
All the articles I read about this car before buying my S2000 almost scared me away. Miniscule torque, lousy radio, rough ride, loud... Understand, most of them ended on a positive note but I thought this car may be too serious, even for a car enthusiast. I mean, I love cars but I don't think I am a masochist.
I bought the car after driving it for ten minutes. A little rough? Maybe. A little loud? Not with the top down (which is how it should be!). Stereo? I was pleasantly surprised. Here's my summary (opinion) of the issues people have mentioned.
Ride: This car rides firmly but on average roads it is more than acceptable. I live in Atlanta where some of the inner city roads are very bad. Admittedly, these roads will beat you, but they are VERY bad. Once out of the two-three inch pot holes you will not complain about the ride. Especially when you hit your first fast sweeper or “S” curve. I have taken drives up to 4 hours so far with no discomfort. The car does fit like a glove which is wonderful. I consider the ride a tactile feel, like running your hand over a wooden table. It makes you sure of the surface.
Noise: With the top down you can hardly hear the car over the wind and traffic. It's as loud as any other convertible which isn’t bad at all. With the top up it's a little noisy but it’s definitely acceptable, turn on the radio if you want to cover it up.
Stereo: They must have upgraded the system for 04-05 because I think it has excellent sound quality for a stock system. It’s easily better than the Monsoon system in my 01 Jetta and others. Of course, wind and traffic noise that come with an open top make it difficult for sound quality in any car. I do not plan on buying the headrest speakers but I'm sure they would improve the sound further if you need more.
Torque: I haven't owned a big V8 in many years so the low speed oomph for me is more than enough and more than I have had. After reading the articles I thought I would have to rev it to the moon. Not so. I can tool around at, or below 3000 all day long. On that note, you may find yourself driving one gear lower than you do in previous cars around town (unless cruising), but that's not because you have to, it is the nature of the car. It puts you that much closer to the joy.
Now that we've discussed the "weak points" of this car let me continue on. As stated in many other articles, this car has two personalities. It has the “quiet one” that you cruise around in while on the city streets. I like to think of this as the "Everybody deserves to see how hot this car is" mode. It truly is more beautiful in real life than the pictures can do justice. Then when the road opens up and you get up the nerve to hold that pedal down there is the "evil twin". Once you pass 6000 the clothes come off and there is leather underneath! #&@* yeah!!! (and I don't cuss often). Those of you who love, or are going to love this car know, I mean "really" know what I'm talking about. It is exhilarating, it is what driving this car, or any car, is all about. Rough ride, loud, poor stereo, WHATEVER!!! You don't care at that moment in time how much noise you're making (and what a beautiful sound it is!) or who is watching, you are euphoric! YYYYYEEESSS!!!
When you finally convince yourself to let up if your not laughing from the pure joy of release, you are at least grinning from ear to ear. So large in fact, slobber is almost dripping out of your mouth. Facial expressions like this have probably only been made in the privacy of your own home. Some people may look at you funny at the traffic lights but who cares, you have become an exhibitionist. No longer are you a voyeur, you are the Star!!
Best of all I can afford this car (new) at 30+ years old. I get to play with the big boys (Porsche, Corvette, BMW) for a fraction of the price. I am also very biased, and consider my car to be more beautiful than the others. It is certainly more rare (Mine is Sebring Silver with the Red/Black interior) which draws a lot of attention. Before anyone gets upset, all the previously mentioned cars are the best in the world, period. I'm just ecstatic that my 30k car is in the same category! Don't take my word for it, read Road & Track July "Best All Around Sports Car", or Car & Driver "Top Ten". The RX-8 is in the same price range and also an excellent car but it's not a convertible and doesn't have the "evil twin" that I love so much.
If you are in the market for a pure sports car, DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER. Go take a drive; you'll understand what I'm saying. It will change you.
"Honey, have you seen my nipple clamps?”….
Similar Products Used: None really... 01' Jetta GLX, 04' Mazda3 S
Strengths: Incredibly fast and comfortable. Hugs the road very well. One of the best gear boxes on the market. Great Seats.
Weaknesses: Lots of Maintenance items have to be repaired and most problems are not covered under warranty.
Also- not crazy about the dash guages. It would have been really cool in 1985 but now is outdated. I wish they would have done something more classic like the new american muscle cars are using.
Summary: Maintenance! Beware of the Clutch!
After one year of ownership, I have to say I have a very mixed opinion on this car. Yes, it is extemely fast and fun to drive. Also it is the most comfortable and has the best steering of any car in its class.
I purchased the car with 13,000 miles on it and have had stupid annoying problems ever since. First the ragtop developed a hole in the passenger side the first 30 days I had the car. This is apparently an ongoing problem with this car and you will notice it has happened on most earlier models. I had to have it patched because the dealer wanted $2,000 for a new top and even though the car only had 13K miles, it was 3 years out of warranty so no luck there. At 21K miles, the clutch developed a problem where at high rpms it could not be pushed to the floor. I had the slave and master cylinders changed out by the local honda dealer under aftermarket warranty whiched fixed nothing and made the clutch start to slip. At 28,000 miles I had to replace the entire clutch!(Not a warranted item.) The dealer wanted $2,200 for a new clutch! To add insult to injury, I was told by two honda dealers that a lot of these cars will go through 3-5 clutches before hitting 100K miles because of the high rpms and low torque, it causes the clutch to slip. If you do the math that's between $6,600 and $11,000 in possible clutch repair! Not to mention having to replace tires and breaks every 30K miles or so. I have owned 4 manual cars since I was 16 years old and have never ever replaced a clutch!
This is an incredibly fun car but I am having a problem justifying the money I am having to put into it.
Be warned- even with Honda's reputation for reliability and affordability, this is a bare bones sports car that requires sports car maintenance at a premium cost!
Similar Products Used: 1995 Jeep Wranger
1998 Bmw 323Ci
1993 Mercedes 300e
2000 Honda Accord
Rating Reviewed by: Dale (Unregistered User)
Review Date June 2, 2003
Overall Rating 5 of 5
Value Rating 5 of 5
Used product for Less than 1 month
Visitors rate this review 4.50 of 5,
Review 4 of 122
from Vern Eide Motoe Cars
Year / Model Reviewed: 2003 Honda S
Strengths: Looks, handling, motor, trans shifting, comfortable seating, quality throughout.
Weaknesses: cover for top when down is a pain to put on. I suggest putting it in the garage. Don't need it anyway. If Honda puts an automatic cover in the car it would be the perfect sports car. Still the best for the price.
Summary: Looked & drove many sports cars. This is the best bang for the bucks by far. A true sports car, not just one that looks like one. Drive one & you'll buy it.
Similar Products Used: drove other similar priced sports cars & many higher priced ones, but the S2000 is the best.
Rating Reviewed by: Ted (Unregistered User)
Review Date January 3, 2003
Overall Rating 5 of 5
Value Rating 5 of 5
Used product for Less than 1 month
Visitors rate this review 5.00 of 5,
Review 5 of 122
from Honda City
Strengths: Handling, brakes, acceleration, Styling and the looks it gets, and its exclusivity.
Weaknesses: Tight quarters
Summary: I've only had the car 3 weeks and just went over the 600 mile break-in period. I would have done it alot sooner but the weather (snow) has been terrible. I love everything about the car, the looks, the acceleration, the handling, the brakes and the fact that I haven't seen another one on the road. Everyone is complaining about the radio, but these are probably people who have those monster woofers that take up the whole trunk or back seat and shake windows as they come down the block. Hey whatever, the radio is more than adequate, I turn it down anyway to listen to the engine and will probably turn it off completely after I put the Borla exhaust system on. I've never had a car that I want to drive all the time, and will make any excuse to get in and drive, even onramps to highways have become fun. I also managed to get a midsize mizuno golf bag with a 46 inch Nike driver in the trunk, along with my workout bag and laptop backpack, so where there is a will, there is a way.