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2000 S2000

2000 S2000

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
Author's Rating: Rating: 5/5 stars
87 Reviews from

By:   isong
Mar 17, 2000
2000 S2000

The New Millennium Roadster: S2000

Author's Rating: Rating: 5/5 stars

Pros: Honda quality, Good engine, Attention to detail, Easy-to-lower top

Cons: Steep price for a Honda, Non-existent trunk space, Not much else...

Handling And Control: 5
Author's Review
Last year, I read an article on the Honda S2000 in Motortrend Magazine. It looked very nice and had a very nice engine to go with it. I just thought it would be another concept vehicle that would never make it into the states. When I heard that they'd be shipping limited numbers to the US, I was very excited. The roadster market is dominated by European auto manufacturers but the Honda S2000 is set to break that image soon.

When Mazda introduced the Miata, people were flocking to the dealerships to be on the waiting list to get first dibs on it. Mazda couldn't produce Miatas fast enough to meet the demands at the very beginning. Honda seems to be in the same situation, but with the S2000 they are being very careful not to destroy the high-class image by mass-producing their new weapon. Unlike the Miata, the Honda S2000 is not what you call "affordable". For what you get (size), it's probably not worth the money. But for people who are willing to spend the cash on a hot ride, it's definitely worth every penny!

The S2000's fit & finish is among the very best. Every nook and cranny is tight. You can easily tell that heavy detail work was done to produce this car. The interior is so quiet and calm, even the easily distracted stereo can be hidden by the folding cover. You probably hear from a lot of car enthusiasts that the S2000 has a cool way of starting the engine... You insert your key and then press this little red button located on the lower-left dash that's marked START.

DATA & SPECS from Car & Driver:

Acceleration (0-60 mph): 6.1 sec.
Braking Distance (60-0 mph): 114 ft.
Engine type: 2.0-liter, inline-4
Horsepower: 240 hp @ 8300 RPM
Torque: 153 ft-lbs. @ 7500 RPM
Fuel Capacity: 13.2 gal.

Length: 162.2 in.
Width: 68.9 in.
Height: 50.6 in.
Weight: 2809 lbs.
Wheelbase: 94.5 in.

Front Headroom: 34.6 in.
Front Leg Room: 44.3 in.
Luggage Capacity: 5 cu. ft.

MSRP: $32,000

The roadster portrays freedom. It gives the driver the sense of independence and power on an open road. The S2000's exterior looks very sleek and stylish yet very simple in design. The car is equipped with a lot of high tech features:

Engine: It comes with a 2.0 liter Dual-Overhead Cam 4-cylinder VTEC engine that pushes out 240 horsepower. The balance of torque is weak, though with 153 foot-pounds of torque at 7,500 RPM. This rear-wheel drive car will amaze you with its acceleration. What's even more amazing is that it redlines at 8,900 RPM!!! Many engines will explode at that rate!

Transmission: Not five speed, but six. Yes, six gears to make your shifting arm occupied and happy on those long and curvy country roads. I was also told that a limited slip differential is also standard equipment on the S2000.

Suspension/Steering: It comes with a four-wheel double-wishbone suspension with a racing-inspired 'in-wheel' design. The S2000 uses an electrically-assisted steering system instead of the usual hydraulic systems most cars use. This makes the steering feel much more responsive and less quirky.

Lighting: High intensity discharge (HID) lights are standard. These bulbs produce very "white" light, almost to where it looks blue-ish. Yes, this may be annoying to us who have to face these in oncoming traffic, but for those of us who own these know that they light up the roads quite nicely (but these lights do poorly in fog or mist...more on this in another Epinion). HIDs are said to last much longer than normal halogen bulbs. In a collision, the HID unit will self distruct to prevent high-voltage shock to others. They are very expensive to replace, as well.

Safety: The S2000 is equipped with a roll-bar, safety belt with pre-tensioners and load limiters, and airbags. This vehicle is quite small, but in minor to medium accidents, it's said to be very safe.

This bad boy handles like a charm. Leave it to the engineers at Honda to produce a fine-tuned automobile. This one takes the cake in handling in my books. I've driven a 1998 BMW M3 and I personally think that this is right up there with it (in the area of handling & acceleration only). The acceleration is crisp and to the point. It's 0 to 60 time is right around 6 seconds. Braking is adequate and the suspension dampens any rocking caused by sudden stopping or accelerating.

Okay, after spending more than 32 grand on a car like this, you expect to get some decent gas mileage, right? The S2000 gives you just that. For the great performance you get, it returns you 20 MPG in the city and 26 MPG on the highway. Not bad, I say. The fuel capacity of the S2000 is 13.2 gallons.

The S2000 does not come in any other trim level, so you expect it to come loaded. Well, here's what it comes with standard:

- 2.0 liter DOHC 4-cylinder VTEC engine (240 HP) with dual exhaust
- 6-speed manual transmission
- HID lights
- 16" alloy wheels
- Cruise control
- Power steering & brakes
- Dual airbags
- Power windows, locks, and mirrors
- AC
- Int. wipers
- AM/FM stereo with CD player
- Digital instrument panel
- Aluminum shift knob and pedals
- Leather seats
- Leather wrapped steering wheel
- Anti-theft alarm with remote entry device
- Engine-start button (cool!)
- They still charge for floor mats!!!

Besides the $32,000+ sticker tag on the S2000, let's step back and look at it from the perspective of being able to buy this at an affordable price (affordable to me would be way under $30,000). You get a great engine that pumps outrageous power, a super handling system, a nice and compact interior with all the amenities, and a co-pilot seat for your wife/husband, girlfriend/boyfriend, or a good buddy. This is purely a roadster, with the freedom of opening up the top and enjoying the free-flowing breeze brushing your hair back. It's what a lot of people dream of. Not only that, you get a lot of looks when driving it, too. The dash is very simplistic with a minimalist's design. The stereo face is hidden under a cover (great idea for convertibles since the dust eventually ruins your stereo in the long-run) and every other control is within easy reach of the driver. The high-revving engine is music to your ears for the first few minutes, but it hits your nerves later. I'm sure that if you get a migraine headache when driving this car, you'll want to hop out and sledge-hammer this puppy. The road noise is kept to a minimum, considering the size of the S2000. If you're looking for a cush ride, you may not want to look into the roadster category of cars in general. The digital instrument panel is something that you either love or hate. I tend to like analog gauges much more than digital. Honda has worked hard to design the gauges so that it's precise, easy to read, and easy on the eyes. Like the older generation Preludes, the digital dash comes back on the S2000. The only other complaint that I have with the S2000 is that the rear window is not glass. It is made of plastic. We all know that in a few years time, mold and mildew grow on plastic, eventually leading you to replace the top. This may cost you quite a bit of money later.

Honda provides a 3-year/36,000 mile bumper-to-bumper warranty along with a 3-year/36,000 mile drivetrain warranty. It also comes with a 5-year/Unlimited mile rust/corrosion warranty, as well. Honda does not provide roadside assistance, though.

All in all, Honda builds great, dependable cars. The S2000 is purely out on the market for enthusiasts that are looking for a nice ride, coupled with a few nice features. Although the S2000 has just been introduced in the US, I believe that dependability and reliability is covered under the Honda badge. With Mercedes' SLK, BMW's Z3, Audi's TT, and Porsche's Boxter, Honda's S2000 will prove to be one of the hard-hitters this year and will continue to be for years to come. I strongly urge you to go have some fun! Go to your local Honda dealer to test drive this car. You'll enjoy it very much!

*The 5-star rating did not take into consideration of affordability. It is based purely on the car itself.


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