Last post on Sep 02, 2011 at 2:21 PM
You are in the Honda S2000
What is this discussion about?
Honda S2000, Convertible
#70 of 638 Re: First S2000 Test Drive (Part 2) [blacktalon #69]
May 27, 2004 (2:16 am)
I'm somewhat sorry to report that after 2.5 years of a most enjoyable relationship, I am trading my 2002 S2000 as part of a deal to get a 2004 TL (6-speed of course). There will, undoubtedly, be some significant moments of remorse; especially when I see someone else, top down, shoot by me in a spa yellow S2000. But when I got the S2000, I intended for it to be a fun car for 2 years and it served its purpose as good as a 360 Modena would have at about 20% of the price.
Blacktalon, go ahead and test drive the 350Z to satisfy yourself. I would say that the torque makes up for the added weight in straight line acceleration. However, the 350Z, IMHO, is not even remotely in the same league as the S2000 on a number of fronts. The S2000 is a ground up world class sports car. You'd have to jump to the $60k Boxster S to match it in performance and I still like the feel of the handling and 9,000 rpm redline of the S2000 better than the Porsche. The 350Z is a platform sharing, overweight, corporate answer to Nissan's need for profits. That's fine, but it has about as much true passion behind it's design as generic brand vanilla ice cream. The G35 coupe is a better car, in many regards.
Obviously, I have a passion for the S2000. I actually prefer the 9,000 rpm 2002 to the 8,000 rpm 2004, although either is several rungs up in their visceral feel to the 350Z. The 350Z coupe weighs 200 lbs more than my 1995 Maxima SE. The 350Z roadster weighs nearly 700 lbs more than the S2000. Almost exactly halfway between the S2000 and our Isuzu Trooper. A "sports car"? Not in my book. Extra foot pounds make it go fast. But there are souped up pick up trucks that go fast.
The S2000 is the closest thing - other than perhaps the Lotus Elise - that any mere mortal will get to a Ferrari. Period. And with Honda reliability and hand crafted quality, to boot.
There are a lot of cars that do "compromise" well. The 2004 TL 6-speed among them. The S2000 isn't about compromise, it's about passion. Thank goodness Honda makes enough money to be able to put all of their ground up engineering talent and craftsmanship into 6,000+/- copies annually and sell them at a price that's the best true sports car bargain on the planet. Double Period. Even the Elise borrows a comparitively uninspired Toyota engine. Consider yourself fortunate to even have the Honda S2000 as a choice. I certainly did.
P.S. 400 miles on the odometer is not "broken in". In fact, it may be "broken". My S2000 was babied for the first 1,000 miles and didn't get fully broken in until 4,000+. It was definitley quicker after that. And, at least with the 2002, you need to use the 6,000 - 9,000 range in the rev band to get it to show it's true colors. Which is just fine in my book. A nice, friendly sedate Accord or Prelude up to 6,000 rpm, a screaming Ferrari if driven to it's capacity. Try taking most other so-called sports cars above 6,000 rpm repeatedly and you will be sweeping the parts off the street. The S2000 is made to fly at high rpms.
#71 of 638 Re: First S2000 Test Drive (Part 2) [habitat1 #70]
by MrShift@Edmunds HOST
May 27, 2004 (10:20 am)
So how'd you do on trade-in/resale with this car? (you don't have to post actual numbers, just wondering...)
May 27, 2004 (3:32 pm)
So are go getting rid of the Maxima as well? You also picked a good time to trade in, right before the summer. I'm curious about what they're giving you on a trade as well. Dealers around here (NY) still have leftover '03s on their lots along with the '04s.
May 28, 2004 (8:59 pm)
So I'm curious, habitat, what made you decide to trade in the S2000?
#74 of 638 '04 S2000 vs. Boxster
May 29, 2004 (5:33 pm)
Honda man through and through here but have been considering a Boxster or '04 S2000 and simply cannot decide. I understand the cost difference but does the '04 S2000 give the driver the acceleration he needs/wants without redlining the machine? Furthermore, does anyone have opinions on the exhaust notes between the two sports cars? The cockpit of the S2000 is absolutely stunning engineering where the Boxster feels "fine" but not "snug" and tight like the S. Talk to me...
May 30, 2004 (6:00 pm)
I drove an RX-8 last weekend at Mazda's RevItUp event. Very nice car -- looked sharp, handled well, and felt like it had a bit more low-end torque than the S2K.
But the test drive reminded me of what's unique about the S2K. With the RX-8, it felt like I was driving a car -- with the S2K it felt like I was becoming one with the car. (If that's not too hippie zen for you.
This is not to rag on the RX-8 at all. I think Mazda did a great job with this car, and if I needed four seats, it would be at the top of my list. But I don't, and on a beautiful sunny day like today, my desire for an S2000 becomes all the more clear.
I still plan to test the 350Z, just to get a taste of what it's about, but I'm leaning more and more toward the feeling of "I need an S2K!"
May 30, 2004 (9:14 pm)
Work has kept me busy, and largely unable to find time to read / post here.
The S is doing well, having clocked 12k miles already, since November! Someone ploughed into the front driver's side 1/4 panel leaving a crunch (bumper, headlamps, all other panels ok, just that one needs replacement), and I suffered a cracked rim a month ago. So, this ownership experience hasn't been perfect, though through no fault of the car itself. It's just seemed "unlucky" so far.
I recently did a trip to Chicago and back, from Detroit, and the car did the job fine although it was a bit draining. The '04 does handle extended highway cruising (like 100s of miles) a little bit more easily due to less drone.
Blacktalon, I enjoyed reading your comments. They mimic my feelings as well.
On acceleration, the car most certainly is faster than the Prelude, but it you will need to break it in. I've noticed a few things versus the Prelude when it comes to acceleration. First, especially with the '04, first gear comes and goes extremely quickly, and I find myself shifting much more often than I ever did with Preludes. This can contribute to the impression that the acceleration isn't great. Also, the S is noisier; there's a tendency to run it at higher gears in order to keep the revs lower than a Prelude at equivalent speed. Once you adjust, and start keeping the car in 3rd instead of 4th, 4th instead of 5th, the power becomes more evident.
That said, you're right, it's not a night and day difference. What *is* a night and day difference between the S and the Prelude are the tires, steering ratio, and brakes. Braking in particular continues to be the thing that amazes me most about this car.
I have not enjoyed my drives in the Z. They are extremely common here, and look beautiful. Nissan seems capable of a richness of finish on the Z that Honda just hasn't replicated on the S. The interior, weight and uninspired sound of the engine are turn-offs, however. It's a very good car but it's going to have some tough competition once the new Mustang starts hitting the streets with similar performance, more room and possibly less weight.
I love the RX-8. To me it's the Prelude reinvented, under a Mazda label. They can't seem to give them away around here. I think the front profile look is too weird. In this area Nissan succeeded where Mazda floundered. Those wheel flares remind me of the Prelude's headlamps... just wrong.
#77 of 638 if there's a car that feels like part of your body
Jun 04, 2004 (8:00 am)
i'd say its the s2k... the elise is another one, but, but anyways, there's rumours the s2k may go away and the nsx too? what is honda thinking?
Jun 04, 2004 (5:04 pm)
When has there NOT been a rumor that the S is going away?
Only thing I've heard is that '05 models will be arriving and there are no changes at all, not even color changes.
#79 of 638 Trade in, etc.
Jun 07, 2004 (5:37 pm)
shifty: Sorry for the delayed response, but to answer the question, I got $22,000 trade-in on my S2000 after negotiating a price on the Acura TL that was far better than I could do in the DC area. I probably could have sold the S2000 for around $24,500 privately, based upon what I gleened from other ads. However, by trading it, I also saved $1,300 in sales tax on the Acura, so true difference between trading and selling was only about $1,200.
nyccarguy: I've kept the Maxima and plan on relocatign it to our second home in PA just to have as a backup. It was pretty worthless in a trade ($4,000 +/-), yet the car runs fine and still looks pretty good.
blacktalon: When I bought it in late 2001, I only intended to keep the S2000 for a couple of years until I got a new sedan. But, I have to admit, it was the hardest time I ever had turning the keys in on a car. The Acura TL 6-speed is a fine sporty sedan, but the S2000 is truly a world class sports car.
titan: I seriously considered the Boxster S before going with the S2000. Personally, I was not impressed with base Boxster (2002 model year). Yes, the S2000 requires you to rev it up to extract maximaum performance, but the base Bosxter poops out way too early. So, IMO, if you want to match the performace of the S2000, be prepared to spend $55-60k for the Boxster S. And, although I think Porsche has pretty good build quality, the S2000 is superior in both build quality and reliability. Our neighbors had more problems with their Boxster than I could list here.
Best wishes to all, I'll check in every now and then. And, for everyone who has an S2000, I tip my hat to your good taste.