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Roughly the same size as its roadster rivals, the S2000 has perhaps the highest chassis rigidity of the whole lot, up to and including... Read More
Roughly the same size as its roadster rivals, the S2000 has perhaps the highest chassis rigidity of the whole lot, up to and including Chevys formidable Corvette Convertible. A stiff chassis is the fundamental prerequisite for precise handling, because it al-lows suspension engineers to tune spring rates, shock absorber damping, and bushing durometers to achieve exactly what they want in terms of ride and response -- the components arent required to compensate for chassis flex. Minimize
87 Reviews from Epinions.com
Dec 18, 2008
A True Driver's Car
Pros: Great engine, Handles on rails, 9k redline, blast to drive
Cons: Price, insurance premiums, very limited cargo space
|Handling And Control:|
The Bottom Line:
If you are looking for a reliable, fun, and invigorating sports car; the S2000 is for you.Author's Review
I recently purchased a 2000 Honda S2000 and this is hands down my favorite car I've ever owned. This is a true driver's car that may not have all of the bells and whistles of some of it's competitors, but the sheer joy and excitement of driving this car is what it's all about.
To put it simply, this motor is absolutely amazing! The engineers at Honda are simply incredible, I have no idea how they pushed 240 hp naturally aspirated out of a little 2.0 liter motor. While the engine feels like a normal Integra motor for the first 6k rpm's it's once you cross the 6k rpm range that VTEC engages and plants you into your seat all the way to the 9k redline. It's a motor of Jekyll and Hyde proportions. One second you're cruising along with no drama and then VTEC engages and the engine is screaming to redline! With all this fun you also achieve decent mpg: 20 city/26 highway. Even though it is great motor there are always negatives. This is still a small 4 cyl. so there is really no torque in this car. If you just cruise around town in it it feels like a little Integra motor. The other negative is that the AP1 (9k redline) tends to burn a lot of oil if driven in VTEC a lot. It's a small price to pay for such a high revving engine, but still a pain.
The only available transmission for the S2000 is a close-ratio six-speed manual. I personally like that they don't offer an automatic, I think it's takes away from experience of driving a sports car. The shifts are very short and precise. Some people might be put off by how close the ratio really is on this car (If you shift at 3k rpm in every gear, you will be in 6th gear by the time you're doing 43 mph). The only thing I don't like about the tranny is that when you depress the accelerator in higher rpm's (4k +) there is a slight buzzy noise from the transmission (Evidently this is due to weak clutch springs that Honda installed on these transmissions). And since the transmission in mounted in the middle of the car, as opposed to the front, the noise is audible.
I personally love the interior. It is simple and doesn't have a lot of gizmos (GPS, electric seats, climate control, etc.), but to me that's what a sports car should be. The Recaro seats are fantastic. They are made of rich leather, have great support, and are very comfortable. All of the controls (stereo, cruise, temp.) are placed so that the driver only has to lift a finger off the steering wheel. The steering wheel it is wrapped in leather and has a great feel to it. The racing pedals are designed perfectly for heel-and-toe downshifting. While it is a tight fit in the car, it is still very comfortable and never feels claustrophobic. While I love the interior I do have a couple gripes. First, there is no glove box. Even though there is a storage box in the middle console and hidden storage area (all the S2000 owners know what I'm talking about), I wish Honda would have included some storage pockets in the doors. My last gripe is pretty lame, but I'm going to complain about it anyways. There is no lock switch on the inside of the car to lock or unlock the doors (even though they are power locks). I know I know it's a stupid thing to complain about, but I still think it's a flaw in the car.
The suspension on the S2000 is what a sports car suspension should be. While it is a little harsh, it is not bouncy. It is stiff and as a result the car has absolutely no body roll. If you're looking for a plush, luxury car-like ride, you're looking at the wrong car. If you want a car that provides feedback to you while you're driving, then this is it.
This is hands down the worst aspect of this car. The stock stereo on the S2000 is junk. I think it's the stock stereo from a base level Civic. The deck is horrible and the speakers are impossible to hear while driving, and I think that this is ridiculous on Honda's part for not giving the buyer a decent stereo (especially for $32k). I replace it with a nice headunit and Infinity speakers and it sounds a million times better.
The top on the S2000 is easy to use and goes down in 6 seconds! I personally don't like the stock top because it's made of Vinyl and has a plastic window. First off, the vinyl begins to fade within a couple years and the plastic window is just garbage (I know Honda was trying to save weight, but how much can 5-10 lbs make?!?). My recommendation if you buy a 00'-01' model(the only ones with a plastic rear window, Honda started making them glass in 02') is to buy a Robbins Canvas Top with a glass window. It was kind of pricey, but the canvas doesn't fade as easy, you have a glass window, and the canvas quiets the interior noise when cruising with the top up). Or you can just cruise around with the top down!
The reason I put Driving Experience, instead of Driving Impressions, is because driving the S2000 is an experience unlike a majority of the sports cars nowadays. This is a pure and true sports car. There aren't any of those nannies that take away from the sport car experience nowadays: Paddle-shift transmission, auto-blip, traction control, stability control, and a host of other computer-aided gizmos that deter the driver from "feeling" the car and leaving the driver feeling numb. There's no greater feeling than taking the car through a windy mountain 2 lane road, top down, stereo off, just winding out the little 2.0, flicking through gears, and feeling every bump, turn, and apex. The handling is superb and the car responds to every move in the steering wheel you make. You feel the road through the wheel and it's almost as if you are one with the car. The car handles on rails and you can feel the road beneath you as the miles fly by. The sound of the the engine as you blast through all 6 gears is intoxicating. There's no greater feeling. You know immediately after driving a S2000 that this car was not designed for the everyday driver who just wants to drive from point A to point B. This car was designed for the people who love driving, who love to feel the road through their fingers, who love to feel the bumps and imperfections in the road, who don't want a computer to tell them when they are on the brink of losing traction, they want to feel everything that's going on. When you drive this car it is about you, the car, and the road; nothing else matters. To put it is very simple terms, this car is the poster child for Driving Bliss.
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