Sporty/performance car; Built in Japan
  • 2-door convertible
  • longitudinal front-engine/rear-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $7,000 – $24,200*


2000 Honda S2000


2000 Honda S2000


2000 Honda S2000 interior


2000 Honda S2000


2000 Honda S2000 interior

Pros:
  • Acceleration
  • Seat comfort
  • Steering/handling
  • Brake performance
Cons:
  • Engine noise
  • Passenger and cargo room
  • Ride

Changes for 2002 began to civilize the S2000, but it’s still a noisy, hard-riding, high-strung thoroughbred sport car for performance purists. Strong demand and limited availability sent new-car transaction prices far above sticker, and used examples aren’t cheap either. Although an S2000 is terrific on a sports-car road, the BMW Z3 or Mazda Miata offers similar fun and better day-to-day livability–plus greater finesse.

Overview

Honda broke into the traditional sports car ranks with a decidedly un-Honda-like two-seater. Sized like the BMW Z3, Honda’s rear-drive sports car came equipped with a hot 240-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and a six-speed manual gearbox.

Made for performance and to reflect Honda’s racing heritage, the S2000 lacked a few basic items, such as a glovebox. Curiosities included a digital speedometer and a red Start button on the left of the dashboard, rather than the usual key starter. The power folding top had a plastic rear window.

Not only did the S2000 offer optimal 50/50 weight distribution, but it featured a race-inspired in-wheel suspension, aimed at precise handling. Body styling made use of angular, chiseled forms, evolved from the SSM concept car seen at the 1995 Tokyo Motor Show. Functional roll bars were installed behind the seat.

Standard equipment included electric power steering, all-disc antilock braking, leather upholstery, air conditioning, power windows and locks, high-intensity headlights, and 16-inch alloy wheels. A stereo system with CD player hid behind a retractable panel, low on the dashboard. An immobilizer antitheft system was installed, as was a Torsen limited-slip differential.

Side-impact airbags were not available, but a removable aluminum hardtop was optional. Rivals ranged from the Audi TT and BMW Z3 Series to the Mazda Miata, Toyota MR2 Spyder, and Chevrolet Corvette.

Yearly Updates

2001 S2000
Floormats, a rear wind deflector, clock, and in-trunk emergency release became standard in the sports car’s second season. Indy Yellow was a new color choice, too. Fewer than 5,000 S2000s were being built annually for sale in the U.S.
2002 S2000
A glass pane with defroster took the place of the prior plastic rear window in the Honda roadster’s power-operated soft top. The six-speed gearbox was reworked in an effort to provide smoother, quieter shifts. The interior gained extra aluminum trim and a restyled console, and a leather-wrapped gearshift knob replaced the previous alloy piece. Revised taillights held chrome rings. Suzuka Blue joined the color palette, and the stereo system gained power.
2003 S2000
A tan interior was now available on white cars.
2004 S2000
The S2000’s engine grew from a 2.0 4-cyl, to a 2.2 liter in 2004. Also, 17-inch wheels now replace 16s, front and rear bumpers are restyled, and the S2000’s suspension tuning got a revision.
2005 S2000
Honda’s sports car is unchanged for 2005.
2006 S2000
An antiskid system was the main 2006 addition to Honda’s sports car.
2007 S2000
S2000 carried over unchanged.
2008 S2000
The 2008 Honda S2000 got a new model aimed at club racers. The S2000 CR came equipped with a removable hard top, track-ready suspension tuning, and added body cladding.
2009 S2000
The S2000 carried over virtually unchanged for its final model year.

Engines

longitudinal front-engine/rear-wheel drive

Only one powertrain has been available under S2000 hoods: a 2.0-liter, dual-overhead-cam four-cylinder engine rated at 240 horsepower, driving a six-speed manual transmission. The 2.0 liter 4-cyinder grew to a 2.2 liter in 2004, with torque jumping from 153 lb-ft to 161 lb-ft.

dohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.0/122
Engine HP 240
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 153
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed manual

20/26

dohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.2/134
Engine HP 240
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 161
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed manual

20/26

Road Test

This one is made for fun, promising breathtaking acceleration, extraordinarily powerful braking, and razor-sharp handling talents. Similarities to any other Honda models are minimal, led by the two-seater’s stiff, often jolting ride. The S2000 also suffers intrusive engine and exhaust noise levels, in all but gentle cruising. Squeaks and rattles were evident on some cars when nearly new.

On the plus side, an S2000 yields thrills on the open road. Because the high-strung engine has a dizzying 9000-rpm redline limit, with little usable power below 5000 rpm, it performs best when driven aggressively with lots of shifting. Fortunately, that task happens to be wrist-flick easy with the super six-speed gearbox, which functions with a short lever and extra-short throws. Still, it’s not lifeless at lower engine speeds. A test S2000 accelerated to 60 mph in 6.7 seconds and averaged 23 mpg, despite some hard driving.

Handling is racetrack-precise, simulated panic stops are short and undramatic, but daily commuting and everyday errands are not this car’s forte. Six-footers barely fit into the cozy cockpit, which offers minimal storage space. Most controls are close, and the unique digital dashboard is readable even in direct sunlight. Low, tiny main controls for the poor-sounding audio system are another annoyance. Air conditioning struggles to keep the compact interior cool, too.

The power top is a snap to operate, but had a plastic rear window until 2002, as well as a lack of sound insulation and a finicky tonneau cover.

Ratings

Model Tested: 2002 Honda S2000

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 8
80%
Fuel Economy - 6
60%
Ride Quality - 2
20%
Steering/Handling - 10
100%
Quietness - 1
10%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 3
30%
Room/Comfort Front - 3
30%
Room/Comfort Rear - 0
00%
Cargo Room - 1
10%

Other

Value - 2
20%

Total: 36

Specifications

2-door convertible
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
94.5 162.2 68.9 50.6
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
NA 13.2 2
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
34.6 44.3
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: N/A

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Front Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Air conditioner
Description: Condensation from the air conditioner drips onto the passenger foot well requiring resealing of the heater housing lower seam. (2000-01)
Blower motor
Description: Blower motor overheats, blows the fuse and may melt the fan because motor cooling hose becomes clogged. (2000-04)
Clutch
Description: As the vehicle accumulates miles, the clutch gets noisier. A redesigned clutch is available that is initially a bit noisy but does not get louder with age. Gear clash shifting from 1st to 2nd requires replacement of both gear sets including new synchronizers. (2000)
Convertible top
Description: These cars should not be washed in automatic car washes or with a high-pressure washer because water can leak inside or damage the convertible top. (2000-02)
Convertible top
Description: The rear window on convertibles is easily creased when the top is lowered, scratched by paper towels or clouded by road grime and other environmental factors. (2000-02)
Convertible top
Description: The convertible top makes noises when closed requiring special lubrication for various pivot points and a shim in the lock handles. (2000-07)
Check-engine light
Description: “Check Engine” light may glow on vehicles used where salt is used on the roads because the EVAP solenoid fails. (2000-03)
Check-engine light
Description: The check engine light may come on after driving more than four hours due to glitch in the powertrain control module software. (2006-07)
Check-engine light
Description: The check engine light may illuminate due to a failed air/fuel sensor that gets wet from moisture in the exhaust when the engine is cold. (2006)

Recall History

2000
Description: Seatbelts may not retract properly when top is down and seats are pushed all the way back.
2000
Description: Under certain conditions, the seat belt retractor can deform and become frequently locked rendering the seatbelt inoperative.
2000
Description: Lenses of side marker lamp and side reflex reflector in taillamp assembly do not comply with federal standard.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.