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Josh Rosenberg By Josh Rosenberg
Updated April 8, 2024

Honda S2000 (2000 - 2009) Overview, Reliability, Possible Mechanical Problems, Price, And Pros And Cons To Be Aware Of Before Buying One Today

Related: How To Get The Lowest Price On A "Brand New" Honda

If you haven't driven a Honda S2000 ... do it! It's quite an experience to say the least. Yes, we all know the S2000 is gorgeous. Well, the drive is "gorgeous" too!

And while produced only for the 2000 - 2009 model years, they have already become a highly sought after classic, not only for their looks and athleticism, but also for their now reknowned outstanding track record for reliability.

Honda S2000 Convertible (2008)

Right out of the gate, back in their production days, this high-revving sports car got 5-star J. D. Power Ratings for "Mechanical Quality". And today in 2024, well-maintained S2000s are effortlessly cruising around with 200,000+ miles, and many reports of even 300,000+.

Of course, a key to this is proper care. Sure, they are a Honda, so that contributes their reliable DNA. But they are a sophisticated vehicle and need regular maintenance. Those properly cared for have generally had outstanding results ... and those are the ones you want to identify when buying one today.

And of course, there are also many on the road with lower miles as well, as they tend to be treated well by appreciative owners. But they are getting older now, and as the years and miles go by, more serious mechanical issues can become more likely.

Certainly, when an S2000 reaches the 150,000 mile range, maintenance items such as a clutch replacement, new brakes, and perhaps struts should be expected. That said, there are many reports of going much further without any major problems. Some owners have claimed just routine fluid changes (oil, transmission, and differential) has been all that's been required.

So, budget for some potential problems down the road, but take care of your S2000 and they just may never arrive.

So here, ...

- We'll do an overview of the Honda S2000 along with its current price trends.

- And then follow that with a list of reported mechanical issues by some owners so they can be checked before buying one today.

- And lastly, we'll review the overall pros and cons of the S2000 worth consideration by prospective buyers.

But first, and very importantly ...

Things To Do When Considering An Older Vehicle

Locate Lower Mileage Vehicles: They are certainly out there to be found with careful and patient shopping. Be willing to drive a distance if you have to.

Vehicle History and Maintenance: Ask for the vehicle history report (CarFax or AutoCheck) as well as documented maintenance and repair records. If not provided by the Dealer or private seller, it's usually best to move on.

Pre-Purchase Inspection: Have the vehicle independently inspected before making a final decision. This usually will cost in the $200 range but is well worth it given the potentially thousands in savings over the long term.

And My #1 Price Tip: Please, always get online price quotes at auto sites such as and (both, actually), whether looking for a new or used car. Competition among dealers for your business does amazing things to prices, and it's so easy. It really does make a difference.

And quickly, while we're at it, my #2 Tip is to always know the up-to-date trade-in value of your current car. You can get a quick and surprisingly accurate one at Edmund's Trade-In Quotes.

It's free and just takes a couple of minutes. I think what helps its accuracy is the inputs will include either your plate# or VIN# followed by many simple, but specific, yes/no questions. It really focuses in on the detail of the specific vehicle.

Honda S2000 Overview

With a 6-speed manual-only gearbox and a 2.0 liter 4-cylinder engine that produces 240 horsepower and 9,000 rpm (pre-2004) without a turbo or being supercharged, the Honda S2000 performs more like a race car than a sports car. It's just one fine piece of machinery.

Honda S2000 Convertible (2007)

The two-seater Honda S2000 rear-wheel-drive roadster was produced for the 2000 through 2009 model years. No matter the year, the S2000 coupled a high-winding, high-performance inline four-cylinder engine with an exceptionally balanced chassis.

With its debut in 2000, the Honda S2000's 2.0-liter inline-4 produced more horsepower per liter than any other naturally aspirated engine available anywhere. In 2002, the short-throw shifter was smoothed out, a glass rear window with a defogger was added and the audio system was upgraded.

There was also some minor design revisions for 2002, including a new shift knob, some silver trim accents in the cabin and chrome taillight rings. Some S2000s can be found with the optional aluminum hardtop, which also was introduced in 2002.

In 2004, the 2.2-liter engine made its debut and shorter gearing was added for the 6-speed transmission's lower four gears, giving it a snappier performance at lower engine speeds. In addition, some suspension tweaks were made to make the super-responsive S2000 a bit more forgiving of non-expert drivers. Tire size was also increased from 16-inches to 17.

Honda S2000 shoppers should also note that the 2008 model year ushered in the CR (Club Racer) model, revised the gauge cluster, and made high-speed stability improvements.

For the 2009 model year, the S2000's last, two models were produced: the standard model and the racetrack-oriented CR. Powering both was a lively 2.2-liter inline-4 with an 8,200-rpm redline paired with its short-throw 6-speed manual transmission.

The standard model featured leather upholstery, lightweight 17-inch wheels, air conditioning, a power-top with a glass rear window and defroster, keyless entry, HID headlights, stability control, and an 8-speaker CD stereo system. Some of these can also be found with the optional aluminum hardtop.

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The S2000 CR dropped the air conditioning, the stereo and the power top to shed weight, but added a lightweight removable hardtop, a beefier and more rigid structure, track-oriented suspension settings, and aerodynamic body revisions.

Overall, the S2000's reputation for both performance and reliability, along with strong resale values, has made the S2000 a popular choice for driving enthusiasts in the pre-owned market.

Honda S2000 Price

Prices for an S2000 are actually rising with time, not falling. It's all a matter of supply and demand. There was limited production with only 66,000 sold in the United States. And this is coupled with high demand from collectors due to its timeless design, durable build quality, and high-performance engine.

At the time of this writing (4/8/24), a base model from 2000 is worth around $25,000, with newer models going to $50,000 ... and pristine, low-mileage models as high as $75,000.

And for the 2009 CR model, with only around 700 made, it's rare even to find one for sale, but easily $50,000 to $100,000 when they show up.

I recently located two. One had just 990 miles and was priced at $155,000. The second had just 120 miles and was priced at $200,000. I don't know if they sold or at what price.

So, the market for S2000 has become very concentrated among enthusiasts, which is a boon to prices. At the time of this writing (again 4/8/24), there were only 161 for sale nationwide and just 14 within 500 miles of me here in south Florida. So, be willing to travel for the right vehicle at the right price, but don't expect to be able to do a lot of negotiating.

2000 - 2009 Honda S2000 Possible Mechanical Problems

2004 Honda S2000 Roadster

While the Honda S2000 is generally known for its reliability, like any vehicle, some have experienced certain mechanical issues over time. Here are the more common problems reported by owners and mechanics which should therefore be included in an inspection prior to purchase:

Valve Retainer Failure: Some early models of the S2000 experienced issues with valve retainers failing, leading to dropped valves and potential engine damage. This problem primarily affected AP1 (2000-2003) models.

Rear Differential Issues: S2000s can have problems with the rear differential, including noise and premature wear. Regular maintenance and fluid changes can help mitigate this issue.

Clutch and Transmission: Some owners have reported premature clutch wear, especially if the car is driven hard or used for aggressive driving. Additionally, grinding or notchy shifting may occur in manual transmissions, which could indicate synchro wear or other transmission issues.

Soft Top Mechanism: The convertible soft top mechanism may experience wear and tear over time, leading to issues with opening, closing, or leaks during rainy weather.

Suspension Bushings: The suspension bushings can wear out over time, leading to noise, handling issues, and uneven tire wear. Regular inspection and replacement of worn bushings can help maintain the car's handling characteristics.

Electrical Gremlins: While not extremely common, some S2000s may experience electrical problems such as malfunctioning sensors, intermittent dash lights, or issues with the audio system.

Oil Consumption: Some owners have reported higher than usual oil consumption, particularly in high-revving driving conditions. Keeping an eye on oil levels and performing regular oil changes is crucial to prevent engine damage.

Timing Chain Tensioner: Failure of the timing chain tensioner has been reported in some instances, leading to timing chain noise or even engine damage if not addressed promptly.

Rust: Rust can be a concern, especially in the earlier models. The underside of the car, including the frame, subframe, and suspension components, can be susceptible, as well as the wheel wells, particularly in regions where road salt is used during winter months.

It's essential for S2000 owners to stay vigilant about maintenance and address any issues promptly to prevent further damage. Regular servicing, including fluid changes and inspections, can help identify potential problems early and keep the car running smoothly.

Additionally, seeking out a reputable mechanic or Honda specialist who is familiar with the S2000 can provide peace of mind and ensure proper care for the vehicle.

Overall Pros And Cons Of The Honda S2000

Honda S2000 Pros

Value for Money: S2000s typically offer excellent performance and driving experience for their price compared to newer or more exotic sports cars. They simply provide a high level of excitement and performance for the dollar.

Proven Reliability: Despite being a performance-oriented vehicle, the S2000 has a reputation for reliability, especially if properly maintained. Buying a model with a known track record of reliability can offer additional peace of mind for ownership.

Precision Engineering: Honda's commitment to precision engineering is evident in every aspect of the S2000's design. From its lightweight and rigid chassis to its perfectly balanced weight distribution, the S2000 embodies the principles of driving dynamics and agility.

Double-Wishbone Suspension: This setup, combined with responsive steering and limited-slip differential, delivers exceptional handling and cornering prowess, allowing drivers to carve through twisty mountain roads with confidence and precision.

Classic Design: The S2000's design has aged well and continues to be admired for its timeless styling that continues to turns heads on the road.

Enthusiast Appeal: The S2000 has a strong following among automotive enthusiasts, which means there's a wealth of knowledge, aftermarket support, and enthusiast communities available. This can be beneficial for maintenance, modifications, and finding like-minded individuals to share the ownership experience.

Honda S2000 Cons

Higher Mileage and Wear: Available S2000s may have higher mileage and show signs of wear and tear, especially if they haven't been well-maintained or driven responsibly. Buyers should carefully inspect the condition of any used S2000 before purchasing to ensure they're getting a well-maintained model.

Potentially Higher Maintenance Costs: While the S2000 is generally reliable, maintenance and repair costs for performance-oriented vehicles can be higher compared to standard commuter cars. Buyers should budget for potential maintenance expenses, especially if purchasing a higher-mileage or modified example.

Aging Technology: Compared to newer sports cars, the S2000 may lack some modern features and technologies, such as advanced infotainment systems, driver assistance features, and comfort amenities.

Limited Practicality: The S2000 is a two-seater convertible sports car with limited cargo space and interior storage. Buyers who need more practicality for daily driving, commuting, or carrying passengers may find other sports cars with more interior space and storage options more suitable.

Availability and Rarity: No longer in production, finding a well-maintained used example may require some patience and diligent searching. Additionally, clean, low-mileage S2000s may command a premium price due to their desirability among enthusiasts.

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