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Honda S2000 Prices Paid and Buying Experience

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Comments

  • blacktalonblacktalon Posts: 203
    Never ask whether you can test drive.

    Phone and ask whether they have a particular model -- or in the case of S2K, particular color in stock. If they say yes, tell them, "Okay, I'd like to come down for a test drive tomorrow. How about <convenient time>?" If they say no, say, "Well, I guess I'll test drive what you have in stock. You can order <particular model/color>, can't you?"

    If they say, "You'll have to buy it first," act like they said, "You'll have to sacrifice your mother to our Demon Lord Baal." Laugh, and say, "I'm not going to buy a car without test driving it."

    If they persist, say, "Well, I guess I'll have to go somewhere else." At this point they will say, "Well, maybe we can make an exception..."
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,347
    On critical cars that attract joyriders and non serious buyers, dealers have to protect themselves. Hopefully you can understand that.

    Call your local Ferrari dealer and ask them that question.
  • blacktalonblacktalon Posts: 203
    It's an S2000, not an Enzo.

    I've never had trouble test driving any car I wanted to drive. It's all about attitude.

    "Oooh, shiny! Can I touch?" will not get you as far as, "I'm a very busy man, and I don't have time to waste with bozos."
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,347
    Between driving a civic and an S-2000. a nutty driver can get us killed in an S-2000 not to mention the fact that the MAJORITY of people who want to drive one "just want to see what it's like".

    I understand your point and I assure you that were you in the position of a dealer you would quickly learn to feel differently.

    Like I said...it's hard to ferret out the serious from the non serious.
  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    Test driving a S2000 is simple - work with a dealership that has a used one on its lot. If you're up front about a serious interest in a new one it should not be a problem for the new car salesperson to get borrow keys to the one for sale in the used lot.

    Less risk involved for all parties.

    smiley4 - I understand that there are no new changes for '05, or no notable changes at the least. Summertime always is a tougher time to buy a convertible, less likely to deal. On the other hand, the entire roadster market has been soft, so you might do OK buying now anyway.

    I followed the strategy of "new car, off season" of getting a new car just after release (an '04) last November, without having to pay an arm and a leg for it due to the season.
  • radiateradiate Posts: 8
    "it's hard to ferret out the serious from the non serious" Unfortunately, the "ferretting" process may involve ethnic profiling and an assessment of ones means by people who have little qualification to do so. I appreciate the difficulty in making such decisions, but such arbitrary decisions by car salesmen contribute to the distrust the public has in the process. fortunately, getting a test drive was not a problem in my situation. to anyone who is denied a test drive, go to another dealer. the car is great, but one needs to drive it to come to that conclusion. The cars are not in such demand that test drives need to be denied.
  • smiley4smiley4 Posts: 2
    Thanks for the info!! I actually got the Silverstone/Black S2000 yesterday and it's a dream!!! (Silverstone is the only color I wanted and this dealership is the only one I could find it at....the car is not available anywhere - wonder why the dealer didn't take advantage of that.) Anyway, I did all of my negotiations via e-mail and got a wonderful deal!! $295.00 above factory invoice for the car - ....Got the 8 disc CD changer and alarm and paid $50 CD/$75 alarm above factory invoice got them to throw in 1 detail a year as long as I own the car. I drove it today with the top down and it's absolutely lovely!! (Think my CLK is gonna get jealous!)
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,347
    Ethnic profiling has nothing to do with it. It's a matter of trying to keep customers happy while trying to do what is right for the company. As I said before, these cars attract non-serious joyriders who have no intension of buying one.

    I wouldn't expect you or anyone not in the business to understand that and I understand your position as well. Like I said, it's not easy and it really makes no difference if it's new or used.
  • earlfargisearlfargis Posts: 16
    In this case, it sounds like the dealer did a very poor job of ferreting out a buyer. I had a friend who had the exact same problem. He was pretty serious about getting a TT. Asked for a test drive and the dealer said no. Even though my friend was in a position to pay cash that day, the salesman looked him up down and didn't like the way he dressed. I guess nice jeans, a polo shirt, and sandals don't fit the TT buyer profile. My friend was pretty offended and I can't blame him. Who wants to be treated like trailer trash?

    Unfortunate for my friend, there's no other Audi dealer within probably an hour or more drive. He still talks about that Audi.... 8^)

    Sorry, I can't sympathize with dealers. It's their jobs to serve the customer, not vice versa. What is a buyer to do? Who wants to haggle over price -- like the salesman expected -- before you've made a decision to buy?

    He did the right thing. Get lousy service, walk out. If enough buyers vote with their feet and the cars collect dust on the lot long enough, they'll change their self-serving, customer-unfriendly policies.
  • nodrumsnodrums Posts: 2
    After our car shopping spree and , research and test drives and number crunching, THE sports car was the S-2000. Go to sleep with the RX8, support the salesman kids college education with the Z.
    We bump into deals with 2003's with almost 2 g's under invoice and 2004's at or close to invoice.
    Thanks to Edmunds we sent out inquiry's on pricing. Within 10 minutes my phone was ringing!
    The Honda dealership that we bought the car was a ace. No hassle, great deal and out we went, on a 260 mile trip with the top down and smiles wider then the car.
    We bought the 2003 with the 9300 screaming red line.
  • lee_wlee_w Posts: 239
    Glad to hear about your buying experience! Enjoy your new Ride!
  • I've never had any problem getting a test drive of a S2000. I tell them in front that I am just browsing. If they wont let you test drive the car, just leave. There's 3 dealerships in town.

    P.S. Oh yeah, if you talk to a salesman, they'll make you believe the Kia Spectra is a Ferrari.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,347
    when you say you've never had a problem test driving an S-2000, I guess that means you have driven several and haven't bought one.

    S-2000's attract, for lack of a better term, joyriders. It's tough trying to seperate the serious from the joyriders.

    Ignoring your salesman comment, it kinda sounds like you just may be the kind of non-buyer that causes most dealers to restrict test drives.

    And, people who buy cars like this tend to be VERY sensitive to the number of miles on the odometer. They want a "fresh" car that hasn't been driven by others.
  • titantitan Posts: 16
    Several email and faxes went to dealershps throught NW Ohio and the Cleveland market, all responding quickly to the price I offered. I wanted a Silverstone with red/black interior, front chin spoiler, side strakes, rear deck lid spoiler and headrest speakers for $32,000. The car invoiced for $29.5K with a $450 destination charge. So at $30K just for the car, the options were invoiced at:

    Speakers: $439
    Strakes: $342
    Rear deck lid: $386
    Front spoiler: $373
    ----------------------
    $1538.00 w/o installation

    $30K + $1538 = $31,538.00

    No dealership was willing to put the options on the car for free. Some type of installation costs had to be negotiated. From an inside source, Honda mechanics get roughly $65/hr. So, I assumed 5 hours would be all that is needed to install the options and came up with $325.00. Adding this to the $31,538 got me $31,863.00.

    I had two dealerships (one in Cleveland and the other in Toledo) agree to $32,000 even and the car will be ready for pickup on 8/27 from Brown Honda in Toledo. Great internet sales person to work with. Very impressed with his response and follow-up. Highly recommended.

    Not bad I think. I feel good about it!
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    As a former S2000 owner, I fully agree that dealers need to be restrictive on granting test drives of S2000's.

    Case in point, I bought mine from a dealership that prohibited test drives of new S2000's altogether. They would have allowed test drives of used or trade-in S2000's, but didn't have any in stock. My S2000 had 4 miles on the odometer when I got it. In that way, I was assured that I would only have myself to blame if the break in wasn't done properly. The long term performance of this car is much more dependent upon proper break in than your run of the mill automatic transmission Accord.

    I had, indeed, test driven the car previously at another dealership. That dealership, Rosenthal Honda in Tysons Corner, Virginia tossed me the keys to a new S2000 and, as I was leaving, the sales associate said, don't be afraid to red-line it. The car had about 40 miles on the odometer. So, by my guess, I was about the 10-15th driver that had been told to "let it rip" on this car that they were then going to try to sell as a brand new car.

    The S2000 isn't a car that achieves maximum performance until it is broken in, and mine seemed to continue to improve up to 5,000+ miles. So if anyone is serious about the S2000, other than taking a Sunday drive around the block, you'd be better off test driving a used one with a few miles under it's belt.

    As for the S2000 not being a Ferrari, it's probably the closest thing most prospective buyers will ever get to one. It is definitely in the same league as the BMW M3 in engine sophistication and limited production, and I don't know any reputable BMW dealer that would hand me the keys of a brand new M3 and tell me to "let it rip". Honda dealers should not need to apologize for treating the S2000 a little differently than your average mass production Accord. If the prospective buyer is too ignorant to understand why, they don't deserve the car anyway.
  • blacktalonblacktalon Posts: 203
    I don't think anyone is suggesting that hard-driven demo vehicles should be sold as new. Any dealer who does so is committing fraud.

    On the other hand, buying a car based exclusively on magazine reviews, HP and torque numbers, 0-60 times, and skidpad numbers misses the non-quantifiable aspects that are equally important in determining how much fun it is to drive a car -- especially a sports car.

    Test driving a used vehicle is an acceptable substitute in most cases, but when the model changes (such as the 04 S2000) with a lower redline, more torque, and a more compliant ride -- would you automatically assume that the driving experience remains the same?
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I agree.

    But given that I recall you are not supposed to exceed 6,000 rpm for the first 1,000+/- miles in an S2000, you've got two choices. Drive it like a Civic and get a feel for its handling. Or violate the break in rules and take it up to 8,000+ rpm to find out how it really performs.

    But don't blame me if I would never buy an S2000, Porsche, AMG, "M" or other car with any miles on the odometer other than factory delivery. And don't blame "isellhondas" and other Honda/Porsche/BMW and Mercedes dealers for being very picky about allowing test drives of such vehicles. It is a dilemma, made more so by the fact that these are limited production vehicles, and not many dealers can justify having a dedicated demo.

    P.S. I wouldn't even buy an Acura TL 6-speed that had been test driven. I test drove 3-4 different ones over several months and then bought at the only dealer who would give me a good price on a factory ordered one. I may be extreme, but my 1995 Maxima SE is still on its original clutch after 154k miles. A friend of mine had to replace the clutch and transmission on his 1996 version at 65,000 miles. He bought a demo with 650 miles on it for a $1,000 savings over a new car. The Nissan service manager told him that considerable damage can be done in as little as 10-20 miles by a Bozo that rides the clutch or grinds the gears. He advised against buying any manual transmission demos, ever.
  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    On the other hand, my dealer let me test drive a brand new S2000 (with that ugly adhesive protecting coating) that only had about six miles on it. At about eleven miles on the clock I had bought it :)
  • blacktalonblacktalon Posts: 203
    I'd never buy a car that had been test driven by others, but I'd also never buy a model that I couldn't test drive.

    Which is why demos are so important.

    Yes, that's an expense for the dealer, but considering how much money buyers are giving them, it's part of the cost of doing business...
  • parmparm Posts: 723
    I've looked at the S2000 headrests and am having trouble envisioning how speakers can be integrated. Can anyone clue me in? Thanks.
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