2009 Honda S2000 Review | Edmunds.com

2009 Honda S2000

Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Honda S2000 Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.2 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 237 hp @ 7800 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 18/25 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2009 Honda S2000

  • The high-revving 2009 Honda S2000 continues to serve up generous portions of performance for the price, although its familiar exterior styling is wearing a little thin.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Sports-car handling, sublime shifter, rigid chassis, exhilarating high-rpm power delivery, good bang for the buck.

  • Cons

    Long-in-the-tooth styling, little power at low rpm, lacks some modern amenities.

  • What's New for 2009

    The 2009 Honda S2000 is unchanged from last year.

Full 2009 Honda S2000 Review

What's New for 2009

The 2009 Honda S2000 is unchanged from last year.


Roadsters tend to be narrowly focused on performance, sacrificing practicality in the name of merriment. There are many different flavors, though. Increased athleticism usually results in reduced comfort, so it's essential to know what you're willing to forgo. On one end of the spectrum, there are the luxury drop tops, replete with every conceivable option and modern appointment -- and on the other end, there are the performance-biased sporting roadsters that purists drool over. The 2009 Honda S2000 falls squarely into the latter category, somewhere in between the docile Mazda Miata and the hard-core Lotus Elise.

The S2000 delivers plenty of knife-edge excitement and very little else. In keeping with the traditional roadster mantra, weight is kept to a minimum, thanks in part to a distinct lack of creature comforts. Power is supplied by a high-strung naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine that's matched to a deliciously mechanical six-speed manual transmission. Precision handling dynamics are also part of the S2000's DNA, as this high-revving Honda evinces excellent balance during hard cornering with minimal computer intervention. Moreover, there's no cowl shake to speak of. Even after nine years on the market, this is one of the most rigid roadsters you can buy.

This year sees the continuation of the S2000 CR model, which was introduced last year. CR stands for "club racer," denoting this model's track-specific tweaks for reduced weight and sharper handling. The performance gap between the standard S2000 and the CR isn't readily apparent unless you're on a racetrack, but for those who enjoy the occasional track day, the S2000 CR is worth considering.

There are three main knocks against the 2009 Honda S2000. First, its appearance hasn't changed significantly since it debuted way back in model year 2000, so your shiny new S2000 will bear an uncomfortable resemblance to $15,000 used versions on Craigslist. Second, while its 2.2-liter VTEC four does a credible impression of a racecar engine above 6,000 rpm, there's little power to speak of at lower engine speeds. Finally, modern amenities like Bluetooth and a navigation system are simply unavailable on this spartan sports car.

Nonetheless, we're still fans of the S2000. Its mid-$30K price positions it well against the cheaper but less capable Miata and more expensive European offerings from BMW, Porsche and Lotus. If what you're looking for is a focused driving machine, the S2000 remains a compelling choice despite its advancing years.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2009 Honda S2000 is a compact two-seat roadster that is available in two versions -- base and CR. The base S2000 includes a power convertible soft top with a glass rear window, 17-inch alloy wheels, xenon headlights, leather upholstery, full power accessories, air-conditioning and a CD player. There are no significant factory options for the S2000, but a number of dealer-sourced accessories, including a removable hardtop, are available.

The CR model is a racetrack-focused variant aimed at die-hard enthusiasts. Air-conditioning and the sound system have been removed to reduce weight, though they can be added back as options. Other casualties of the CR's diet include sound insulation and the power soft top, the latter being replaced by the removable aluminum hardtop. The CR also receives some unsightly but effective aerodynamic spoilers, dark gray wheels with wider rear tires, even sportier suspension tuning, a quicker steering ratio, a sport-tuned muffler and fabric seats with suede inserts. Add it all up and the topless CR is 99 pounds lighter than the standard S2000 (51 pounds lighter with the hardtop installed). Some of the base model's options are also available on the CR.

Powertrains and Performance

Both variants of the 2009 Honda S2000 are powered by a 2.2-liter VTEC four-cylinder that produces 237 horsepower at a stratospheric 7,800 rpm and 162 pound-feet of torque at 6,800 rpm. A six-speed manual transmission relays this power to the rear wheels. Fuel economy checks in at an EPA-rated 18 mpg city/25 mpg highway and 21 mpg in combined driving.


All S2000s come standard with antilock disc brakes and stability control. In National Highway Traffic Safety Administration tests, the S2000 was awarded four out of five stars for frontal impacts and five out of five stars for side impacts.

Interior Design and Special Features

As with the rest of the S2000, the interior is focused on performance. All vital controls are at the driver's fingertips, including the bright red start button to the left of the leather-wrapped steering wheel. Though there's little in the way of luxuries, materials quality is first-rate. The cockpit is as snug as a racing helmet, and the seats offer superb side bolstering to keep the occupants in place during high-G maneuvers. The CR model's fabric seats with synthetic suede inserts provide even more support, and the CR boasts a revised shift lever that provides slightly shorter throws and more positive engagement. Trunk space is modest at 5 cubic feet, but that's on par with other roadsters.

Driving Impressions

Taking the 2009 Honda S2000 to its limits is a rewarding experience, thanks to its perfect 50/50 weight distribution, front and rear double-wishbone suspension and minimal body roll. Handling is razor-sharp and predictable, with nary a hint of body flex despite the absence of a solid roof structure. The engine's more aggressive variable valve timing kicks in with gusto at 6,000 rpm, delivering a flood of power much like a turbocharged engine. There's not much power until you get there, however, so the S2000 can feel flat-footed when driven around town.

Performance differences between the standard S2000 and CR model are nearly indistinguishable on public roads. It's on the track, however, that these differences make themselves known. The tighter suspension, upgraded tires and quicker steering ratio allow the CR to turn in quicker and with more authority.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Pure bred sports car!

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Honda S2000

I have owned too many cars in life, from Porsches to BMW , several Miatas and many more. This car does the best job at what it tries to be-an uncompromising almost perfect handling car. I have run it on road courses and it rotates better than anything I have driven. Balanced, better than average brakes and the vtec surge of power when needed. I'm sorry Honda didn't continue with production. I was excited about the prospects of a six cylinder. But I'll trade a pound of power for a pound of handling all day long. This car delivers it! And it has Honda reliability.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Not just willing, eager

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Honda S2000

I've owned many cars over forty years: Sunbeam Alpine, Alfa Romeo Spyder, MGB and BMW 2002, back when. With a family, later, I was lucky with more practical, fun cars: VW GTI and BMW M3. Last year, I bought my S2000 in rich, pearlescent Rio Yellow. My wife was worried about the yellow. After she saw it, she said it was a perfect color for the shape and character of the car. This is the most eager, engaging car I've ever driven. It doesn't isolate you from the road or insulate you from the experience of covering ground. This is the most reliable open-top sports car made. Its instantaneous responses to driver input make it the best performance value available.

One sweet ride by honda.

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Honda S2000

From the first day I took a test drive I new I was hooked, that I had found a true gutsy sports car. I leased my first S2000 (Red) in 05 and this past July I swapped it for an 08 Laguna Blue beauty. The driving experience, the amount of car for the money, the continual grin on my face says it all. Honda created a winner with the 2000 and although it's production run is ending in this model year (09) this car will live on as one of the few remaining true sports cars on the road today, and one which I will own till I give up my license due to old age!

As good as their motorcycles

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Honda S2000

This car is a poor man's world class car. Fantastic handling, hard acceleration, and great build quality combine with bulletproof mechanicals to make what I feel to be the greatest package for the money. This car looks like it could cost twice what it does. I can park this car next to nearly anything else on the road and not feel in the slightest way inferior.

Kind of project car

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Honda S2000

I love my car. it is wonderful. It's quick but want it quicker. The steering is wonderful. Takes turns well.

The best roadster

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Honda S2000

My Honda S2000 is worth every dollar that I spent. The S2000 is a true roadster from the ground up. I like to feel the roadway that I am driving on, that is the purpose of owning a roadster. The amazing feature of the S2000 is the driving compartment it holds you in place in cornering and accelerating. I like the design of the controls they are all within the reach of my fingertips. The VTECH engine is a powerhouse coupled with the smoothest gearbox that I ever shifted. The S2000 is a fantastic performing vehicle. The S2000 is a Roadster in a class of its own. Honda needs to continue to manufacture the S2000 for the roadster enthusiasts. This car is the average personís dream for a high per

Talk About The 2009 S2000

2009 Honda S2000 Discussions See all Started By

Enjoyed your comments about the S2000 and the inclusion of the 911S in the discussion. As you may remember from my participation on this forum several months ago, I own a 2006...

with us - we should've said no we're buying the S2000 - haha - and then asked how much our quote was. Of course we didn't play into it and said we were still negotiating the price. I'm the one who ...

09 Pilot seems to be selling as poorly as the S2000's. Honda will have not choice but to substantially bump up the incentive in order to clear inventory. In So Cal, most dealers only have the EX-L an...

Gas Mileage


  • 18
  • cty
  • 25
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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