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Honda S2000 Prices Paid and Buying Experience



  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Dwynne just about said it all in terms of the facts, and did a heck of a good job. But if you also want opinions, I'll give mine.

    I had a 2002 Spa Yellow that I owned for 2.5 years and 18k miles. I am partial to the 2002 and 2003 models. They give you the rear glass window (with defroster) and the more powerful stereo, to which I also added the rear Polk speakers. The 2002 also had a few aesthetic upgrades like a full leather center console and chrome trim rings around the taillights. More importantly, as Dwynne indicated, the transmission was revised to eliminate 1-2 shift grinding that was a problem with some 2000 and 2001 cars.

    The 2004 increased displacement and added torque (153 to 162 ft lbs), but at the expense of dropping the redline from 9,000 to 8,000 rpm. Horsepower remained the same at 240 and performance, by all tests I've read, was virtually unchanged.

    If you don't go with a 2002 or 2003, I'd almost skip getting a slightly used 2004 and look for a good deal on a new 2005. Proper break in is very important on the S2000 and, unless you were getting a heck of a deal on a 2004, I don't think less than $6,000 in savings (20%) is worth the risk that the car wasn't broken in properly.

    Good luck and do a test fit yourself. I'm 5'7" and 155 and the car fits me like a glove. A 6'4" 210 lb friend of mine drove it, but wouldn't want to take it on a long trip. Somewhere in between is the practical limit.

    Good luck.
  • reuel3reuel3 Posts: 114
    Let's save the discussions about sales practices and what constitutes a good or fair deal for the Smart Shopper forums. Please reserve this one for comments specific to purchasing and S2000.

    Thanks for the cooperation.
  • breldbreld Posts: 3,445
    Thanks for the advice.

    I was thinking I would want the 2004 "upgrades" but I was mistaken in thinking those happened for the 2003 model year. So, since the whole point of looking at the used market is to save over buying new, I think I would just forgo those changes and go for a 2002 or 2003, for the reasons habitat1 pointed out. Not ever having driven any S2000 at all, it doesn't sound like I'd miss the upgrades.

    As far as "getting" the S2000, as dwynne had put it, I think I'm already there, as my current daily driver is a TSX, which I thoroughly enjoy. So, I think I "get" the high-reving, low torque, slick 6-speed, tossable experience.

    Again, thanks for the quick responses. Now I just need to do the obvious, and try the S2000 on for size.

    2017 Durango R/T - 2017 Civic Type R - 2016 V60 Polestar - 2012 Mini Hardtop

  • breldbreld Posts: 3,445
    Couldn't resist. Stopped by a local Honda dealer and tried the S2000 on for size. It's not like I had room to spare, but once I got my long legs in (I'm 6' 3" with a 35" inseam), the room was OK and I really enjoyed the test drive. I was particularly impressed with the headroom, though we dropped the top right away.

    The test drive was in what would be my first choice if I was buying new - '05 Suzuka Blue. The dealership is a very friendly, family-owned business with no-haggle price. For some reason, the blue one was a few hundred cheaper than the others on the lot. Presumably, it had been sitting longer than the others. Their no-haggle price on this one was $30,800, which I thought was pretty good. They also had a red 2004 (new) that they were trying to sell for around $29k.

    Anyway, loved the drive - wheels in my head are spinning trying to figure out how to get one in the garage.

    2017 Durango R/T - 2017 Civic Type R - 2016 V60 Polestar - 2012 Mini Hardtop

  • dwynnedwynne Posts: 4,018

    I figured when you said you had a TSX you would love the S2000 :D

    Is this going to replace your daily driver or be in addition to it? In my case, mine is a nice day car so I don't much mind the plastic window. With the top down I can't see it - no matter what it is made of. You can get an older car for a good bit less, but sounds like the dealer you spoke with is motivated to move the cars if those prices are their opening shots.

    Love the Suzuka blue paint! Never could decide if the interior blue was for me or not. Mine is New Formula Red w/black leather.

  • breldbreld Posts: 3,445
    This would be in addition to the TSX, which is my daily driver. So, since I probably would never take it out if I couldn't have the top down, the plastic rear window on the '00 and '01 probably isn't a big deal. Certainly would save some money. But, have to admit, the $30,800 for a new '05 is appealing. Not that it isn't a lot of money, but seems like a good deal for what you get.

    A nearby Mitsibushi dealer has a silver '01 and a black '04 (asking about $21k and $27k, respectively, I believe). I may go check those out. At the end of the day, I'll probably have to wait until the end of this year, when the TSX is paid off.

    By the way, it was funny getting back into my TSX after the test drive - all of a sudden what I thought were very short throws on my 6 speed seemed very long.

    2017 Durango R/T - 2017 Civic Type R - 2016 V60 Polestar - 2012 Mini Hardtop

  • dwynnedwynne Posts: 4,018
    Yep, you could have my 01 with 70k HondaCare and 16k on the clock for $21-22k I would think :D You could get an '00 car for under $20k I would think and maybe even some 01s for that low. For sure if you buy in the winter from "up North".

    I know what you mean about the shifter. I had a Miata with a short shift kit and Voodoo knob on it - very short. I sold it and got a 'vette - very long throws. I drove it to the Honda dealer to test drive an S for the first time (a CPO used example) and the first time I tried to hit second I though "the tranny is busted". Nope, that is second "right there". I have gotten used to it, but switching back and forth from my daily driver BMW (longer throws and strange clutch engagement point and tons of torque) to the S (very short throws, normal clutch, but no torque) sometimes takes a minute. My wife made fun of me the other day for nearly stalling the S since I had not driven it in a while.

    Good luck with your search. Another thing to consider, the S has always been a good leasing car with way above normal residuals. This has dropped a LITTLE in the last couple of years but it is still strong - nearly as strong as a G35 coupe. Getting the car below invoice with a strong residual means a sweet lease payment.

  • nusigepnusigep Posts: 2
    i worked a honda dealer in the atlanta area for two years. acid rain is huge down here, and the dealer spend thousands fixing paint for their sold customers. we started putting a protection package on all the cars and the problem stopped. so, yes, it is needed in some parts of the country, and yes they really do put it on.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Sorry, that old dog doesn't hunt here. The "acid rain" pitch is just plain B.S. as well, and an excuse for a sleezy dealer rip off. The S2000 has a top of the line clear coat paint that is fully resistent to acid rain anywhere in the U.S. - and just about anything else normal nature throws our way. This from the Acura factory rep that I called today about a question regarding our MDX.

    Check out reputable BMW, Porsche and other "premium" dealerships in the Atlanta area and ask them if they have a $600 "paint protection" package they try to slap on their $50,000+ vehicles. The answer isn't that those vehicles have more acid rain resistent paint than an S2000. It's that those (reputable) dealerships treat their (presumably intelligent) customers with respect and integrity.

    P.S. Show me any objective factual information showing that Atlanta's "acid rain" is worse than Washington D.C.s. or Pittsburgh PA's.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,042
    Folks, the acid rain discussion needs to be taken elsewhere, like to our News & Views board or to our regular Honda S2000 discussion. Let's keep the conversation focused specifically on pricing/purchasing experiences with the S2000. Thanks!

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  • etomidateetomidate Posts: 14
    Well, just went into Stevens Creek Honda here in San Jose, CA, and got the dark gray with all black interior for $29,200 + taxes&license. They had 10 in stock.

    They thought that I was going to finance thru them which was currently 1.9% with Honda Financing, but I chose to buy it outright. I guess they were trying to hit their Memorial Weekend Day numbers.

    Haggling point was the fact that this is the LAST year they will build the S2000 and these cars are not flying off the showrooms. Though it is the best bang for the buck, Honda cannot afford to keep this slick machine on the roads. It has been a money losing venture like the NSX. I'm very sad to see this car go, but it's business. Honda should learn something from Porsche and Mazda with their respective Boxster and Miata. Both are very lucrative niches that they possess and Honda should muscle their way into one or the other.

    I digress...Get in there and pay no more than $29,500. Don't get the body kit and since this the most reliable sports car out on the market, you won't need the extended warranty - a $2000 waste and another way for the dealer to screw you.

    Also buy a car with less than 10 miles on it...otherwise, it was the demo car and you should still be able to knock down the price even further (depending on the mileage a few hundred bucks).

    Well best of luck to you all and hope to see you out there in those S2000's.
  • dwynnedwynne Posts: 4,018
    Congrats on the new car.

    Upon what do you base your statement that this is the last year for the S2000?

    Also, I paid $800 or so for my 7yr/75k/$0 deductible HondaCare back when my S was just under 2 years old. The current price is a bit higher from a discount HondaCare dealer, but certainly no where near the $2k the dealer tried to get from you :-)

    I stopped for gas in mine last night, top down of course. There was an 04 or 05 silverstone in front of me - which is a rare sight and to have 2 S2000s at the station at the same time is really unusual. He had the top up and latched down. I don't think he even noticed I was in an S as well. I was going to say something like "Are you waiting for a nice day to put the top down?" (if was sunny and mid 70s - perfect) - but he went in to pay and stayed inside talking to the cashier for a while so I left. Of course, I was behind a smurf blue Miata at lunch yesterday with the hard top still on. I wonder if they know it comes off?

    Please drive yours with the top down as much as possible. Thank you :D

    Over 25mpg on this last tank commuting to work and back, VTEC'ing as much as possible. It is such a sweet car!

  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I also would like to know your source of information that this is the last year of the S2000. I don't have information to the contrary, I'm just trying to sort out rumor from fact.

    One fact I will dispute is that the S2000 was a money losing venture for Honda. When I bought my 2002 in late 2001, I got a $800 discount to MSRP on a snowy day in DC. The TMV for northern California at the time was $36,800, $4,000 OVER MSRP. And that was a full two years after the original 2000 model had been introduced. A friend who lives in the Bay Area bought a Boxster at a $2,500 discount and later wished he had gone for the S2000, even with the Californai price premiums.

    So, although S2000's are now being discounted to invoice, they had the longest run of "premium pricing" of any car I have researched, other than the Ferrari 360. Way longer than anything by Porsche or Mazda. The fact that they only made 6,000 per year for import to the US was intentional and limited by their partially hand built manufacturing process. I have seen some detailed financials on Honda. I would not dispute the fact that the consumer is getting a spectacular deal on all of the ground up engineering costs which were written off as corporate marketing and development. However, Honda got plenty of bang for their buck with the S2000. If nothing else, they sent Porsche back to the drawing boards three times to increase the power of their base Boxster, trying to keep up with a 6 year old S2000.

    The NSX was a different story and, in my opinion, wasn't nearly as impressive from a relative standpoint as the S2000.
  • dwynnedwynne Posts: 4,018
    Selling price has little to do with how much money Honda made on the S2000, unless there was dealer money on the car the dealer paid invoice less hold back no matter what they charged.

    Now the price you COULD get is a direct reflection of how well or how poorly the car was doing, sales-wise. With limited production each dealer knew they would only get a few so would not deal since the knew they could sell them. Those same dealers have several sitting on the lot un-sold and some even have un-sold new 04 cars!

    These are April 05 numbers, since May is not out yet:

    April April DSR** April April DSR**
    2005 2004 % Chg. 2005 2004 % Chg.
    S2000 760 856 -14.5% 2,276 2,687 -15.3%

    This is the final tally for calendar year 2004 VS 2003:

    S2000 7,320 7,888 -7.5%

    So 760 in one month or 7,320 in the whole year (and 7,888 the prior year) is a low volume car, for sure.

    When you compare these numbers against other slow sellers like the RX-8, THEY seem to be flying off the lot in comparison :-) Compared to the G35/350Z this is not even a blip on their RADAR.

    I hope they keep making the S, I love mine and I am thinking of selling my 2001 and getting a new 2005 or 2006 (assuming they make one) to get the updates and a newer car.

  • dwynnedwynne Posts: 4,018
    From the current offers sections on the Honda web page. This is about $100 less per month than the last time I ran the numbers. Note that it calls for a hefty cap cost reduction, but almost all of that can be done via discount on the price of the car. The net cap cost for the example lease is $29,333.63 which is just a little lower than you can get the dealer to go on the car. Also this is an example, so can pay less down and just pay more per month.


    Terms and Conditions

    2005 S2000 Special AHFC Special Featured $299 Lease

    $299.00 per month for 36 months.
    $2,499.00 capitalized cost reduction.
    $3,693.00 total due at lease signing (includes first month’s payment, security deposit, capitalized cost reduction and AHFC upfront acquisition fee; total net capitalized cost and base monthly payment does not include tax, license, registration, options and the like).
    Model AP2145ENW.
    Offer valid from 6/1/2005 through 7/5/2005. Not all buyers may qualify. Subject to limited availability. The specific featured lease listed is not available to New York residents. New York residents should contact their dealer for New York featured lease. Terms and conditions vary for New York Residents. In addition, AHFC limits leasing terms to 39 months or less to residents and dealers in the state of Rhode Island.

    Offer valid from 6/1/2005 through 7/5/2005 for new and unregistered Accord vehicles only and only on approved credit by AHFC through participating dealers. AHFC standard credit criteria apply. FEATURED SPECIAL LEASE: Closed-end lease for 2005 S2000 (Model AP2145ENW). MSRP $33,665.00 (includes destination). Actual net capitalized cost $29,333.63. Dealer participation may affect actual payment. Taxes, license, title, registration, documentation fees, options and insurance extra. Total monthly payments $10,764.00. Option to purchase at lease end $19,862.35. Lessee responsible for maintenance, excessive wear/tear and 15¢/mile over 12,000 miles/year. SEE DEALER FOR DETAILS. The specific featured lease listed is not available to New York residents. NY residents should contact their dealer for NY featured lease. Terms and conditions vary for NY Residents. In addition, HFS limits leasing terms to 39 months or less to residents and dealers in the state of Rhode Island.
  • gsolman6gsolman6 Posts: 28
    I live in Austin but bought it with 26k from a guy in Houston.

    Cons: a few small scratches, 1 minor accident(but excellent repair job), rattle behind right seat, needs 2 rears tires

    Pros: has extended warranty until 2009, color I wanted, unmodded/not abused, mechanically sound(was inspected by a mobile service)one of the 2 years I wanted, had to shop for new insurance and got a quote lower than before but with more coverage.

    I have to say I am quite happy with this purchase. I thought about a new S but did not think they were worth the extra money in spite of enhancements.
  • etomidateetomidate Posts: 14
    Hard to believe that this is the last year, but ask the Honda dealer and the honest ones will tell you that this is the last year for the S2000. This appears to be the answer most of the dealers are giving...after having been to 3 in the SF area for the best deal. However, it may be a marketing trick, so who really knows. But the only reason I asked the dealers, was from an article that I read last year. I can't remember the exact date of the source, but it came from MotorTrend about 6 months ago in their editorials.

    I'm loving my S2000 and it truly was one of the better deals on any car that I have bought.

    However, didn't know of the Honda Care. Should I go back and get it? I just thought of it as a way for them to ask for more money since they made little on the car. $2000 seemed way excessive, but maybe I can get them to come down on that price as well.

    Have you had need for the Honda Care or is it a comfort of mind thing?

    Thanks in Advance. BTW I'm not getting quite the mileage that you are. At least after my 2 tanks, about 21-22 miles/gallon.
  • dwynnedwynne Posts: 4,018
    Sounds like a decent deal, $21k for an 02. Sort of high miles for an S, but that should not be an issue with a Honda. I got my 01 used as well, and it was nice to be able to talk the original owner and not some car lot. He was an old fart (even older than me) and I don't know if he ever VTECH'd the motor or not :-)

    I assume the warranty is the HondaCare? Be SURE you get a transfer paper signed by the prior owner and send in your $50 fee right way. It DOES NOT go with the car, but with the car+owner combo so if you try to take it in for extended warranty under your name it will be no go unless get it transferred. Depending on the miles (70k or 100k) and deductible that is worth another $1k or a little more - which makes your deal that much sweeter.

    A 2L I4, 2 seats, and the $32k MSRP have kept the S from being popular with a lot of younger folks. They TEND to have more claims and drive the cost of insurance up for everyone. The S used to be really inexpensive to insure, but so many used ones available for lower prices have led it to be re-rated by most companies (more accident prone folks driving them now).

    I love the Suzuka blue paint - very sharp.


  • dwynnedwynne Posts: 4,018
    You can get it at a discount price from one of the "Internet" HondaCare dealers like or .

    I paid $825 for my 7yr/75k/$0 plan a couple of years ago. Looks like the same plan is around $100 or a little more higher. I would suppose that means Honda has had to pay some claims?

    I don't have any questions about the car, but Honda only gives you 3/36k on a new car, this was a lot of money, and parts and labor are sky-high. Plus this is a 9k (or 8.5k) high output (near race) motor so it may not last as long as an Accord I4 or something.

    You can wait until just under 24 months from new or 24,000 miles and purchase the plan at the same price. There is a $60 fee if you wait past that point but are under 36/36k then the fee goes to $160 and after 42/42k you can't get it at all. No need to rush to get the plan - just keep in mind a good time is right before those times and get it then.

  • myrtlemtnmyrtlemtn Posts: 3
    I have a 2001 S2000 which I purchased in September of 2000. At the time I searched for this car all over Southern California and found it very difficult to find. I was told that this car was a 3-year production car and that Honda's intention was to keep it limited and bring it back ten years later. They must have "changed their minds" as now I see them everywhere and it is 2005. In my short commute to the office everyday I cross paths with at least ten of them in all colors!! Not to sound cynical, but I am convinced salespeople will use every tactic!!!
  • From what I've gathered on the net, S2000 prices appear to be lower in the Western states than in the Southeast. The MSRP here is $33665 which includes the destination fee. Edmunds TMV is $31447. We've negotiated a price of $30817.
  • anythngbutgmanythngbutgm Posts: 4,277
    Drove an 02 Suzuka Blue back to back with an 05 gun-metal Gray on Sunday. The 02 has just 12k on the clock and the dealer wanted $24,900. Front clip was scuffed in a few locations and there were some scrathes which I did not care for. So now I want the 05. We are in the process of haggling right now and are pursuing a price $29,000.

    Two questions, the 02 was crazy fast, but I couldn't seem to get the thing to rev anywhere near the 9000 mark. I was shifting at around 5500, seemed like it would take me 20 miles to get to the 9 grand mark, it just didn't want to get there... Is this normal?

    The 05 was so much different, It was more like driving my Accord than the '02 S2K. Does the motor really loosen up that much as the miles accumulate? It wasn't a slug, but it didn't seem to have the crazy nature of the '02...

    Thanks for the help in advance. :D
  • We've negotiated the deal on the car - they had to get it from another dealer, I guess(?). We signed a "Buyers Order" and gave them a check for $1000. They called yesterday to say the car was there and will be ready when we're ready to take delivery next week. Husband decided to get the extended warranty, so we get them to ammend the buyers order which was faxed to me this morning. It states on the ammended "Buyers Order" the VIN # and that the car has 149 miles on it.
    Does that mean that it could have been a demo and was driven wildly by test drivers? What if, anything, should we do?
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 70,273
    Do you know what dealer the car came from? They usually drive cars between dealers... old retired guys...

    149 miles is not much... If it was a test driver, it didn't get very many drives.. We all want cars with 4 miles on them, but it doesn't always happen.. Especially with a model that some dealers only keep two or three of...



    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • No, I didn't ask, though I'm sure they would tell me. So far I've had a very pleasurable experience with this dealership, my first NEW car, first negotiations, etc. I'm not really concerned about it, just making sure that I shouldn't be. Thanks!
  • I got quotes online before going to dealerships. First we're thinking Used Car. We go test drive 2004 S2000 with only 8800 miles at Dealer A. Nice car. We go home and talk, search prices and find New are not much more than the Used. Decide on New. Find online price of $30299. Call Dealer A - they say ok but can you just call them and ask them about extras they add on, etc. I say I did and only tax, title & doc fees are added. He asked me to call the online dealer back with another question. I say ok but don't. Why should I if they want to sell me a car?

    I find Dealer B. I call and they match the $30299 price. We go and test drive new car. They don't have the color I want. We sign a Buyer's Order for the black car, give them a check for $1000 'Earnest Money". They call and say the car is there and ask when we want to take delivery. I asked for an ammended Buyer's Order with the Extended Warranty added which was faxed to me this morning. As of yet, it is unsigned.

    The sales Manager for Dealer A calls today and says they want my business. They have a new Black '05 and they will beat the other dealer's price, throw in a 250,000 mile Powertrain warranty, and deliver the car to my house (50 miles one way) and bring the paperwork.

    What do I do since Dealer B has our $1000 check and the Buyer's Order?
  • dwynnedwynne Posts: 4,018
    The 2.0 motor (and I assume the newer, larger motor) has two rev limiters in it - one is the cold limiter and the other is at 9k. When the water temp has not reached operating temp (three bars on the display) you can't "VTEC" the motor and it bumps it on the cold limiter. Once it is fully warmed up it should wind to the full 9k without problem. You should feel and hear the VTEC when it kicks in at 5k or so.

    If you shift before the VTEC you are driving a 100hp car :-)

    The newer car will loosen up over time, but it will never rev to 9k :-) The newer motor has more torque so will pull better from a stop and before you hit the VTEC zone.

  • dwynnedwynne Posts: 4,018
    I agree with kyfdx, I would like a no miles car but that just is not practical. Most of the time the "runner" that goes and gets the car is the one that puts the miles on it (or some of them) anyway. Too expensive to flat bed the car from dealer to dealer.

    My slightly used 2001 S had just over 1k on it when I got it and it has been just fine.

    Wow! An S2k for a first car - not bad. Mine first new car was a '79 Fiat X1/9 - which was a heck of a lot of fun for that time.

  • No, not my first car... my 1st NEW car. We have had new cars every 2-3 years, which the hubby usually has 98% of the time. This one he's buying for me (birthday/anniversary gift) and it will be mine all mine! I have had a nearly-new car but never a brand new one that was all mine.
  • dwynnedwynne Posts: 4,018
    Honda does not offer a "250,000 mile" warranty so that is some 3rd party thing that MAY not be worth the paper it is written on. So that just means how much will they beat the other dealer by. Sounds like you got a decent price if they don't add a bunch of dealer fees on it. I would tend to stick to my word - I said I would buy it from dealer B and gave them a check so unless dealer A blew the deal into the weeds I would honor my "promise" and get the car from B. If A gives YOU a signed order a lot less and no fees, then I would be tempted to call dealer B and explain the situation. A deal is a deal, but saving money is saving money.

    Keep in mind dealer B had to go get (or swap) for the color you want - so they are out some time and trouble if you back out of the deal. If the "A" dealer wanted your business they should have stepped up to the plate the first time. I would get their out the door offer, but unless it is just serious bucks below "B" then honor your word.

    Also, you can get a HondaCare extended warranty (the ONLY one to get) for a discount online - it does not have to be purchased with the car. I am better the dealer is making a lot of money off of your warranty purchase.

    for example gets $1,285 for the 7yr/100k/$0 deductible plan, the 7/75k/$0 should be $200 or so less. Other dealers online may have a lower price. DO NOT PAY your dealer too much for the warranty - either have them match the online price or get it elsewhere.

    Also, I always recommend waiting before getting the warranty. It is pro-rated refunded should your car be totalled, stolen, or you trade it in. There is almost NO reason to start this "clock" now when you can buy for the same price in 24,000 miles or 24 months. It goes up $60 if you wait until 36,000 and 26 months.

This discussion has been closed.