Any Honda S2000 owners around here?

I’m thinking seriously about buying a used Honda S2000. No, I’m not quite hitting that midlife crisis, but I’ve always wanted a convertible, and now that my wife and I are talking about rugrats, it seems like it’s now or never.

So I’m looking at Honda S2000s. I’m curious whether anyone on Qt3 has one and, if so, what your impressions are.

And before Jason pipes in, I’ve looked at the 350z, and while I loved the way it drives, it’s out of my price range for a coupe (since you can’t buy a 4 year old 350z coupe, unlike the S2000).

If anyone has alternatives to the S2000 besides the 350z (too expensive) or the Miata (too underpowered), I’m game to hear those, too.

A buddy of mine at work has one he picked up for like $22k used (not sure what year, maybe 2001 or 2? has the glass back window). I went for a ride in it and it is pure sportscar. It is amazingly fast and nimble and handles like it is on rails. This guy does a lot of streetcross kind of events and really knows how to drive. He was really pushing the car and it never felt like it wanted to break loose. If I were looking for a 2 seater convertable it would be at the top of my list.

– Xaroc

Drive a Miata with a sport suspension before you buy into the power BS. A good-handling car is hella more fun to drive (to me) than one that burns rubber.

The S2000’s nice, but the Miata on the twisties is sublime.

Plus the S2000 feels like you’re riding around in a tall bathtub.

I haven’t driven one myself, but by all accounts (reviews in the various car magazines, mainly) the S2000 is one of the best handling roadsters on the market. And it burns rubber.

It’s also considerably more expensive than a Miata, though.

But it’s also not a Miata.

I haven’t driven one myself, but by all accounts (reviews in the various car magazines, mainly) the S2000 is one of the best handling roadsters on the market. And it burns rubber.

It’s also considerably more expensive than a Miata, though.[/quote]

That’s been my experience. I’ve test driven a number of them, and it handles like a dream (borrowed a friend’s a few weekends ago and drove through the Shenandoah’s for an afternoon – great fun!) I don’t need something I’ll race in, just something for a fun “weekend” car (it’s not economical enough to drive every day, although I work from home so it’s not like my commute’s all that bad anyway).

The used one I’m looking at has the older, crappy plastic rear window. It’s a 2000 year model, with under 30k miles, for approx. $17k (which seems about right, based on and what’s been in the paper).

Anyone have any cars they think I should test drive before buying the S2000?

TBH, if I had the choice I’d go with the S2000. But if you’re looking for options have you thought about an Audi TT or a BMW Z3/Z4 or even a Lotus Elise? All available at reasonable prices these days.

Or does it have to be a sports car? What about an A4 or 3 Series Coupe convertible? These might survive the arrival of kids a little longer.

Note, I’m not suggesting that any of these cars would be direct competition for an S2000, just different kind of convertible options. Still, if it was just for a while and I wanted to do it properly then I’d probably go for the S2000 myself, or a Boxster.

The Elise is a neat car, but I don’t think it’s what asjunk is looking for. For one thing, he’ll have the same problem that he had with the 350Z–it’s expensive (~$40K, IIRC), and he won’t be able to find a cheaper used model, because they haven’t been selling them in the US for very long. It’s also a car that is more squarely aimed at performance; from what I’ve heard, it’s pretty spartan when it comes to comfort and convenience features.

I drive a Z3 that has a plastic window, and I have to say that it’s a real pain. First, you need to have a protective blanket covering it when you put the top down, otherwise it will rub against itself and get cloudy and also get a crease in the middle. Hopefully you have a garage or some sort of covered parking, since the sun will damage the window as well. And it’s kind of messy to clean, since you need to use plastic window cleaner and polish to really keep it looking nice.

If the cost/performance ratio means anything to you, I wouldn’t rule out the Miata so quickly. I owned one a few years ago and it was truly a blast to drive even with the stock engine. I got involved with the local miata club and took a few rides in Miatas that had been turbocharged/supercharged and they had TRULY breathtaking power.

If you really must get up to 200mph you can do it relatively easily with reasonably priced turbo kits. Check out for some of the best. Their kits range from around $3,500 for kits that’ll give you 170hp at the rear wheels up to $5,300 for ~220hp, and with some additional mods I guess they’ve gotten up to 265hp now.

Finally, if you have any interest in getting involved with fellow driving enthusiasts, I think you’ll find it hard to beat the Miata Club of America. Supposedly they’re the largest sports car club in the country, even beating out the Corvette club in members. The local chapter I got involved with was pretty cool. Every year they had two events that I never missed. One was at the Michigan International Speedway where they’d actually let us take a few laps around the course. For safety reasons they wouldn’t let us race or anything, but it was cool to get up on those banked turns and get just a taste of the forces you’d experience in NASCAR. Oh, and this was a free event, as long as you were a member of the club, which was only like $30 a year or something.

By far the coolest event though was the yearly trip we took to a local road course where for like a couple hundred bucks you got 3, 15-20 minute sessions out on the course with about 10 other cars at a time. You had to have a helmet, sign some release forms at the track, and take your first session with a driving instructor as your passenger (after he drove your car 2-3 laps just to demonstrate the correct line), but after that, you were on your own. They limited the passing zone to a single straightaway, but other than that, the only thing holding you back was the fear of wrecking your car and/or maiming/killing yourself! :) There were a couple people who either got a little too close to a wall, or took a little adventure off the pavement and caused some damage to their cars, but no one was hurt either year I went.

Anyway, I’d highly suggest test driving a Miata if you haven’t already, and realize that if you want a lot more power for a reasonable price the upgrade options for Miatas are VERY enticing. My experiences with the club were great too, so if things like that interest you, checkout for a list of clubs near you.

Good luck. :)

But… but… the Miata is a chick car.

Completely impractical car for fun? How has no one mentioned this?

The Atom is brilliant ( or so I’ve been lead to believe, never driven one). But it’s for the hardcore of the hardcore.

The Miata is a hairdressers car really, but it can be turned into a street sleeper by the people with the knowledge, which obviously ups it to the coolest of the cool. In standard format the S2000 wins hands down IMHO.

Prices willing i’d still look at a Boxster.

My mom bought a S2000 last year or the year before. As much as she likes it, my dad likes it more. I was just impressed that when she told me she bought it I said something along the lines of, "But you like automatics. " and she replied “Oh no, this has 6 speeds.” I have never been so proud of her.

I have only been in it a few times, and have only driven it once, but it seems like a solid car for a two seater convertible if that makes any sense. I have not heard a word of complaint from my mom or my dad for what it is worth. (It was alot of fun to drive…)