I was lucky. I found one in pristine condition with low mileage. Other friends who own or have owned them live them, too. Not for the timid in shifting. Low slung means you need to be vigilant for those in larger vehicles! Great engine. Great power. If you’re taller than 6’1” not the roadster for you. If you live to drive, though, it is!
First, I rated this car for what it is--a performance-focused roadster trackable in stock form but intended to be as much fun as you can legally have on the road. So, for instance, when I rate it highly for comfort, I'm not comparing it to a big Merc. It's easy to get in and out of--for a low two-seat roadster. Etc. The car feels solid, and for those of us accustomed to Hondas, the quality is a little different as it's more like absolute quality rather than quality for a price point. These cars were not cheap at all. They were special. They still are. Do be aware that the famous high-revving S2000 engine will likely require more maintenance than, say, your typical Accord engine. Yes, it's a Honda, but it's also a high-performance sports car that revs to either 8200 or 9000 rpm depending on the vintage. Word is coming out of the specialists' shops that '06-'09 models--with the drive-by-wire throttle--have a high incidence of exhaust valves set too tight at the factory, so they are starting to burn and cause check-engine lights to come on. That's probably why my '06 is headed for the specialist's shop for valve work next week. Not a super-scary thing and completely fixable but up to $2K. Also be aware that a 10-year-old soft top will likely need replacing. A nice one is about $1,700. I LOVE my S and would not discourage anyone who can afford one and who wants a truly great sports car for reasonable money to buy one. I would just say that, as with any used sports car, go into it with your eyes open and your budget realistic. Check the forum boards for any car you're really interested in to find out what common issues are and what's involved in correcting them. As far as all the glowing reviews of the S2000 you can find online go, they're all true. After 16 mos with ours, all I want is many more years with my little red jewel.
Now have almost 47k miles and car runs like a champ. Easy and cheap to do all maintenance, found out since this is a high performance car in needs valves adjusted every 30k or so. Haven't had any problems with car. Gets decent MPG for a high performance high rev engine.
My previous cars: e46 M3, e92 335i, B7 A4, and a few Maximas. S2000 is super fun, simple yet nice design, engine is work of art, fun factor compared to my previous M3. Now the bad: should be at least 0.5 seconds faster, NOT as reliable as I thought...I have 33k miles and check engine light for multiple misfires (common on S2k) all 4 coil packs were cracked ($650 job at dealer w/ diagnostics), at 33k miles car already needed valve adjustment ($340 at dealer w/seal and diagnostics)....and I heard that injectors on this car can also fail soon.....remember my car has had ALL maintenance and was never raced on track. Kind of disappointed since I bought this car for "Honda reliability"
Engine, transmission, HIDs
Head Unit is junk....only plays CDs....and skips by the way....HondaUSA customer relations is a joke. Also almost ALL softtops on S2000 have defect and Honda refuses to fix even though there is TSB on this for 4 years now ! Soft top frame has sharp edges which cause softtop to rip. (my car had this issue at around 20-25k miles)
I recently returned from the coast in my pre-own certified 2006 S2000. What a blast! The car is nimble yet responsive with cat quick handling. Surprisingly my wife and I was able to transport enough luggage and supplies for the weekend trip with space left over. XM radio reception was fine, but it's nothing like the whine of the engine against the redwoods, tight curves and straightaways. The 4-cylinder V-Tech is an absolute monster that leaves me longing for an excuse to head to the coast again. Although I am tall I had no problem with the comfort. In fact the only complaints are tired facial muscles from grinning like a 2-year old, and a sun burn from refusing to let the top up!
Traditional sports car styling (timeless) unlike trendy designs; nimble but responsive handling, and no shortage of RPM's.
If anything, I could use another 1/2 inch in width to access my seatbelt with the door closed, but then again I'm taller than average. Since the gearbox is so tight, for my wife's sake I wish there was a feature to prevent accidental downshifting at higher RPM's; I'm thinking accidentally over-revs.