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Some might contend that improved and softer in a sports car are contradictory terms
My take on a 2005 S2000 vs. the former 2002 model I owned for 2.5 years is that the ride is slightly rougher over bumps, not softer, probably due to the lower profile 17" wheels. I also think the interior changes are a aesthetic net negative. I thought my 2002 all black interior looked cleaner in design. The 2005 appears to have more "pieces" with the aluminum radio cover, etc. Regarding the exterior, I think the refinements are nice, with the exception of the wheels. Again, I like the cleaner 5-spoke design over the new "busy" look. Highly subjective, I know.
On a final note, for anyone else who has drvien both the 2002/2003 and compared against the 2005, does the stick shift seem to be taller and have more travel in the 2005?? The dealer claimed no transmission changes, but I definitely seem to recall a shorter, flick of the wrist, pattern in my 2002. Could be Alzheimer's setting in.
The biggest thing I noticed between the two was the engine. The 2.0 was Civic-like to crazy fast with hardly any median in between. It was livable but the engine didn't have the same midrange response that the 2.2 has. I think around town which most of my commute consists of would have grown tiring having to rev the bejeezus out of it to keep the momentum going upon acceleration. My 04' reminds my of my outgoing Accord (which I wish I kept :mad: ) where you can drive around in 4th and still have the torque to accelerate without downshifting...
Alls I know is I am loving my S, it is BY FAR the most enjoyable ride I've owned. There is nothing I would change about it and if Honda lets this one go (without a significant replacement) they are making a huge mistake. :mad: It's THAT good.
The car itself is extremely well balanced. You just need to have good tires and pay close attention to their tread condition if you drive in the rain. Also, I should have mentioned that the temperature on my rain trip was in the 50's or 60's, as I recall. The one time I tried to drive to a friend's house on very light, packed snow and 20 degree temperatures was an adventure. Those W rated tires seemed to become ice skates below freezing. I never tried driving on snow again.
FWIW, there are replacement tires through Tire Rack that have better wet traction than the OEM tires.
I did get into the high RPM range a couple times, but can't honestly say I noticed much of a kick. It certainly wasn't like my WRX which would pin me to the seat. This is another instance where published numbers, and my previous expectation of VTEC, did not jive with the experience today.
If anybody has any thoughts, pass them on. I was all set to fall in love with the S2K and nothing happened!
(1) The S2000 gets stronger as it is broken in. If the car you test drove had less than 500-1,000 miles, it probably wasn't fully broken in. My 2002 S2000 continued to feel quicker up to about 2,000 miles.
(2) You need to push the S2000 to achieve strong acceleration. Which is something you shouldn't do until the car is broken in. But I found that depressing the accelerator 3/4 and casually climbing to 7,500 rpm was pretty anemic. Putting the pedel to the metal and taking (a 2002) up to 8,500+ rpm produced very good acceleration. The VTEC kick in at 6,500 rpm was definitely noticable (again, after proper break in).
(3) The above two comments not withstanding, the S2000 is not a "pin you to the seat" car, at least not out of the box. With it's 8,000-9,000 rpm redline, the engine has tremendous range. But if you are looking for tire smoking performance off the line, you need to look elsewhere.
FWIW, I am now trying to decide between a Boxster S and 911. The Boxster S with its 280hp and 236 ft. lbs of torque is definitely a step up from the S2000, but it is not "blistering" acceleration from a standing start, either. The S2000's greatest assets in my book was the go-cart like handling and steering, with very good "rolling" acceleration.
- I'm planning on putting a protectant on the convertible top. Any suggestions as to the best product for this?
- I have access to silicone vaccuum grease which I was planning on putting on the seals. Same stuff you would use on a high temp. furnace O-ring seal. Anything better than that available?
- fluids? I've never stored a car for a long period of time before so I'm wondering what kind of fluid changes/flushes/drainage I need to perform before putting away
- Do I have to worry about flat spots on the tires (Nov. - Apr. storage) or disconnecting the battery?
What's nice is the storage is heated and is close to my house. I'm just looking to maintain and protect my my little red beauty while the cold months go by and the spring arrives again. Any advise is greatly appreciated.
Honda makes a product for the seals, I would just get that.
You can bump the tire pressure up to about 40 psi to minimize flatspotting (though it will still happen).
I would not put anything on the top.
Best thing you can do is start the car and take it for a short drive every couple weeks. That will eliminate the need for other prep.
Full tank of gas while in storage, and add fuel stabilizer.
I bought a 2002 Honda S2000 in November 2001. We live in DC and the car was parked outside. I did get a high quality car cover for periods when we traveled or I thought I wouldn't be driving the car for several days.
However, I did get many opportunities to drive the car thorughout the winter months and found myself lowering the top in anything over 45-50 degrees. I traded the car in May 2004 (30 months) with 18,000 miles on it and it had been driven a minimum of 200+ miles for every month I owned it. The finish on the car was perfect and I got "outstanding" trade in value.
My point is that the S2000 is not an exotic sports car that needs to be stored in the winter, at least not in the DC area. We also have a home on Lake Erie, and although their winters are much more severe, I don't think I'd formally store the car (we have an inside garage). The Honda service manager, who happened to own an S2000 himself, also advocated driving the car at least once every 3-4 weeks.
If you decide to store the car, that's your choice. But I don't think you should feel the need to.
I agree with the fact that the S2k is not a Porsche but even still, I'd like to take good care of it as best as possible. My wife and I were married in the car over July 4th weekend and would like to keep it as a token for future anniversaries. Sappy, I know but still it's still the sentiment of it.
Another reason is the salt and sand we use for our N.E. winters makes it difficult to keep the vehicle looking nice. I'll probably never trade the car for the reasons above and who knows? With the small numbers of these being built combined with the fact that they are hand built cars means there is a possibility of a collector status in say 20 years... I don't know. But I would like to take all the necessary measures to keep it in tip top shape. I am hoping to have my great room with a two or three car garage under built by next summer so I can store the car myself, but this year I don't have that luxury. For 300 bucks I can have the car stored in a heated garage from Nov 1st to April 1st. Not a bad deal IMO. And I can get an insurance break since I'll only put about 6,000 miles per year on it...
I'm lovin the S up until the winter hits. Heck even when it gets below freezing in Oct. I'll probably be driving with the top down!
Thanks for the input.
I just leased a brand new s2000 '05 model about a week ago. Everything with the car is fine except that the rear bumper cover doesn't sit flush with the body at the rear right taillight area. It juts out about 5 mm. I rushed to the dealer and had him check out the other S2000's in the lot and 'lo and behold' there was a gap in both these cars in exactly the same area as in my car.
I am beginning to think that this is due to an improper bumper size which is probably off in width by a teeny amount enough to mess up the fit.
Could any other 05' owners look for this and reply is you find the same thing. Possibly if this is common enough we might be able to get honda to release a TSB to fix this.
Is the new stereo good, bad, indifferent? Is the car warm in the winter with the standard top? How is it for long drives of 2-3 hrs?
Thank you for any and all input.
The S2000 doesn't like snow. The tires were the biggest issue. I had a Nissan Maxima that I used in poor weather, so I never tried switching to snow tires on the S2000. But even with snow tires, the S2000 has a very low ground clearance, which would become a factor in anything more than 2-3 inches.
The stereo in my 2002 was upgraded by Honda from the 2001 model to include more power and 4 speakers (vs. 2). I added rear speakers that were pre-installed by Lucid Automotive in the panels behind the seats. The improvement was significant and only ran about $250.
The convertable top in the S2000 is pretty thin, compared to the Boxster S or 911 that I am now considering. This wasn't much of an issue with respect to warmth, as much as sound. I found the car warmed up reasonably quickly in 30 degree weather, but, with the top up, was fairly noisy inside, both due to the high-revving engine and thin roofliner. My wife is noise sensitive and claimed the car was an echo chamber with the top up.
As for 2-3 hour drives, they are a lot more fun in the spring or fall with the top down. In the dead heat of the summer, it could get a little toasty, and in the dead in the winter, the noise was an issue. But I will say that the seats on the S2000 were very comfortable and the overall ride and handling of the car on the highway was great. I did 3 trips of 375 miles straight, except for a gas/lunch stop, with no ill effects.
If I had to guess, 80% of my miles in the S2000 were with the top down, 50% of them were for short trips from 1-25 miles and 0.1% were in the snow. That's about the ideal use of a roadster, in my opinion.
I am also considering some dealer accessories (spoiler, headrest speakers car cover etc.). I see that H&A Accessories has the same stuff at a discount. What are the chances of the dealer "beating" this price to make the sale? Lastly, I read on one of these threads awhile back about some people not liking the headrest speakers, or saying they didn't work well/weren't worth it etc.Can anyone comment on having them & their utility? Many thanks. Looking forward to being in the fairly exclusive s2K club. :shades:
I have not experienced the headrest speakers, but added rear Polk speakers in the rear panels behind the seats in my 2002 model. Lucid Automotive, if they are still around, supplied them pre-installed in replacement panels, with all the wiring harnesses and installation instructions for about $240. It took me less than 1 hour to install, and I'm an MBA, not an ME or EE. I was told that my system sounded better than the headrest equiped system, at a lower cost.
You might want to check with the folks in the Honda S2000: Prices Paid & Buying Experience discussion to see if they have any input for you.
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About 3 or 4 days ago I had the dealer install the head rest speakers. I like them a lot. I listen to lots of different music and think they help a great deal in hearing all ranges with the top down. Here's the trick: Get a the dealer/sales guy to order them for you on a due bill at his price.. I got mine put on after I tookd delivery of the car. Installed, with tax it ran $580. If I had just walked into the service and parts dept. it would ran over $750.
After that, my recommendations are to drive it normally for the first 500-800 miles, varying engine speed (no cruise control at 65 for 2 hours straight) and avoiding the temptation to take it into V-tech territory. After that, you should be fine to run the car up to red-line.
I had a 2002 Honda S2000 in which I followed the above and it seemed to continue to get stronger for at least 2,000 to 3,000 miles. Enjoy your new car (but not too much at first).
Just tell them you are very concerned about it... and please make sure it doesn't happen...
That is all you can do...
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If you're too nice of a guy to normally take such a position, blame me as your "advisor". The guys at your dealership may be the best, highest integrity Honda dealers out there, but I have had personal experiences with ones that aren't. When I was shopping for my 2002, I had one salesman throw the keys to me and tell me to "let it rip" on a S2000 that was sitting in front of their showroom. When I returned, he informed me that that particular car wasn't available, it had been sold and was awaiting pick-up the following day. Needless to say, I didn't buy from Pohanka Honda in Tysons Corner, Virginia.
It's better to come across as someone that is prudent and knowledgable - and even a bit anal - than to have something occur that starts off your S2000 experience on the wrong foot. Good luck.
What changes could we anticipate - besides a bump in price ??
Thanks for any info. I purchased a car today that supposedly had the headrest speakers included but when I arrived to check out the car, I found that I had been misinformed. The price they gave me sounded too high ($850, supposedly their cost???) to take the chance of not knowing how they would actually sound.
Thanks for any info.
I bought Polk speakers installed by them into panels that replace the black vent panels behind the seats. Took me about 1.5 hours to install them, start to finish, with excellent instructions and photos provided by Lucid Automotive. They worked very well, at a fraction of the cost you are being quoted for the headrest speakers - approximately $250 form my memory.
With the top down, its much easier
I noticed 2000 and 2001 S2000s are below $20k, and in some cases around $15k, so I am looking to buy one in the next 3 months.
Any recommendations on what to look for in a $20k S2000 ? What mechanical problems should i look for? Someone mentioned gear grinding between 1st and 2nd gear... any other issues?
Thanks, i love these cars
BTW, I own a 2004 Honda Element, which I will be keeping to haul the kids around
First, Honda made several improvements for the 2002 model year (which I owned): glass rear window, more powerful 4 speaker stereo, cosmetic upgrades, AND, revised stronger transmission. I believe the new transmission in 2002 took care of the gear grinding problem on the earlier models - I certainly had no such issues. If there is any way you can afford a 2002 over a 2000 or 2001, I would advise going for it.
Second, the S2000 is a well built, great bang for the buck, sports car. But you might want to consider this: I bought a new 2002 in November 2001 for $32k, drove it for 30 months and 19k miles, then traded it in May 2004 for $22k towards a TL. I probably could have sold it privately for $24k, but got a $1,300 break on sales tax that made the trade easier. During 30 months, my TOTAL maintenace costs were a measly $320, including a 12k service and 3 interim Mobil 1 oil changes. That's it. But, had I kept it for another year or two, I would have been looking at new tires ($800-$1,000 +/- set) and the car being out of warranty. As such, paying $20k+ for a 3-4 year old used Honda S2000 may really not be that much less expensive in the long run than buying new. You will have less of a depreciation hit, but more in maintenance and potential repairs.
Not trying to discourage you. The S2000 is really a great car. But I might also suggest one with an extended warranty, so it doesn't present you with unexpected surprises. Good luck.
I guess they upgraded the engine to 2.2 liters in 2003?
I drove a 2001 today, and the shifter did not feel as good as the 2002 or the 2004 that i have driven. So now I know why.
That dang 2000 still looked like a million in Yellow though ....