Honda S2000 1st Generation 2000-2009 (AP1/AP2) Review

Everything You Need To Know Before Buying A Used S2000 1st Gen

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1st Generation Honda S2000: What Owners Say

  • The Honda S2000 AP1/AP2 is an appreciating asset.
  • It's equipped with the most rev-happy four-cylinder engine ever.
  • Extremely agile and engaging.
  • The 1st-gen S2000 has a timeless interior and exterior design.
  • The first-gen S2000 is too hardcore for some.
  • You have to put a lot of effort into the driving experience, as low-end torque is virtually non-existent. We see this as a good thing, others might not.
  • It might be tricky to still find a first-gen Honda S2000 at a reasonable price.

Honda S2000 1st Generation Facelift

The S2000 AP1 evolved into the AP2 with the 2004 update. So, technically, there was only ever a 1st-generation Honda S2000, despite the AP2 code for the facelifted model. This provided the Japanese sportscar, penned by Daisuke Sawai, with a more aggressive set of bumpers, sharper head- and taillights, new wheels, and conclusive revisions to the interior. It also acted as the introduction for the F22C1 powertrain.

2004-2009 S2000 1st Gen Facelift Front Changes CarBuzz
2004-2009 S2000 1st Gen Facelift Front Changes

The S2000 retains its distinctive face but it is made to look more modern and intimidating. The front has been updated with projector headlights1, a larger air intake on the lower bumper incorporating two small intakes at either end, the deletion of the two separate air intakes that used to sit either side of the bumper underneath the headlights, and a distinctive crease snaking up into the lower bumper on either side of the air intake2. Minor alterations include a tow hook anchor point cover located on the left side above the air intake3 and two small clips for the license plate holder positioned at the center4.

2004-2009 S2000 1st Gen Facelift Rear Changes CarBuzz
2004-2009 S2000 1st Gen Facelift Rear Changes

The rear benefits from updated taillights - now LED 1 - and a lower bumper trim that is color-coded 2. This houses a new set of larger oval exhaust tailpipes replacing the previous smaller, round ones 3.

2004-2009 S2000 1st Gen Facelift Side Changes CarBuzz
2004-2009 S2000 1st Gen Facelift Side Changes

Honda added new 17-inch alloy rims to replace the old 16-inch items, fitted with the tire size 215/45 R17 at the front and 245/40-17 at the rear1. From this angle, you're also able to see the revised front bumper2 and headlights3.

2004-2009 S2000 1st Gen Facelift Interior Changes CarBuzz
2004-2009 S2000 1st Gen Facelift Interior Changes

With nothing much to do on the outside, Honda focused all of its attention on the interior and the electronics. First, and most important, traction control was added as standard. This is slightly controversial, but more on that later. The old-school throttle cable was dropped in favor of a drive-by-wire system.

Interior-wise, the facelifted model has speakers integrated into the headrest. Other changes to these later models include more user-friendly seats, and the ability to turn the passenger airbag off. As an added bonus, the instrument cluster gained an outside temperature reading. The center console was given a drastic revision as it features a new gear knob1, repositioned roof and emergency-hazard buttons, and a new storage bin just ahead of the leather armrest2. The graphics surrounding the climate controls as well as the badge located on the steering wheel have also been updated, the latter now a silver badge on a black background instead of the other way around as before3. The redesigned gauge cluster shows the new engine's lower red line by way of a rev counter that no longer goes all the way across the cluster as before. Instead of strips on the left and right, the temperature and fuel gauges are now semi-circles positioned to the right of the speedo and rev counter. The digital information display underneath the speedometer is also significantly bigger than before. In an additional revision in 2008, the gauge cluster was changed again, with the two semicircular auxiliary gauges dropped and replaced by two strip gauges that continue the arc of the rev counter from where it ends to the end of the cluster4.

Engine, Transmission, and Drivetrain

All S2000 AP1 pre-updated models are equipped with an F20C 2.0-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine that produces 240 hp at 8,300 and 153 lb-ft of torque at 7,500 rpm. Just like the 2.0-liter, the F22C1 2.2-liter Honda S2000 AP2 models also have a 240-hp rating, but at 7,800 rpm, and upping torque to 162 lb-ft, this time peaking at a lower 6,500 rpm. Increasing the stroke on the engine upped the displacement by 160 cc and decreased the rev limit from 9,000 rpm to 8,200 rpm. The engine is linked to possibly the best manual transmission ever made. It's a six-speed close-ratio gearbox, and if you ever want to feel what a manual transmission should feel like, go for a short drive in an S2000. It's right up there with the NA Miata and the Porsche 911 GT3.

Power is sent to the rear wheels only, but the underpinnings are perfectly suited to the car's sporty nature. It has a long wheelbase combined with a wider-than-usual track width. While we're at it, we might as well focus on the reasonable wheels. In recent years manufacturers have been fitting oversized rims with low-profile tires, and customers have been tricked into believing that it's "sporty." It's not. It's just uncomfortable. The Honda's original 16-inch OEM wheels offer grip for days, but you don't crush your spine when you run over a penny. Even the AP2 on its still-sensible 17s is perfectly acceptable.

The S2000 does have a reputation for being snappy at the limit, and also when you're not paying attention to it. Hardcore S2000 fans are of the opinion that Honda went soft with the AP2, but we're all for additional safety. The S2000 is a very nuanced car and you have to learn how to drive it properly first.

2.0-liter inline-four F20C (2000-2003)
240 hp | 153 lb-ft
240 hp
153 lb-ft
SSix-speed manual transmission

The S2000's power figures speak for themselves. This engine would not work in anything else but a sportscar. It would be extremely annoying, to say the least. First, the torque output is fairly low and only available from 7,500 rpm. For that reason, the S2000 has a close-ratio gearbox. You can rev the heck out of it, and keep those revs up to stay in the narrow powerband. This is where the Honda separates itself from poser roadsters. It needs to be driven hard to provide proper entertainment, and some people might find that exhausting. A torque-sensing limited-slip differential is standard. On the flipside, revving this car up to 6,000 rpm and realizing you still have another 3,000 rpm to go is a near-spiritual experience. It's the kind of experience that's not available at an affordable price anymore, and you can see that reflected in the used market where S2000's either increase or hold their value extremely well.

2.2-liter inline-four F22C1 (2004-2009)
240 hp | 162 lb-ft
240 hp
162 lb-ft
Six-speed manual transmission

The F22C1 is essentially a mild evolution of the F20C that was put together specifically for the North American market. The most notable change to the mill is an increase in the piston stroke to 3.57 inches which increases the engine size by 160 cc. This doesn't change the power output; however, this powertrain does access more peak torque at a lower rpm at the cost of a rev limit that is 800 rpm lower than the pre-updated model's screeching 9,000 rpm limit. Along with this engine's arrival for the 2004 facelift, gearing is revised with 4% shorter ratios for the first four gears, a 1% shorter fifth gear, and a 2% taller sixth gear, and carbon synchronizers are used to improve gear feel and transmission efficiency. In line with the new SAE standard for measuring power output, horsepower was re-rated from 240 hp to 237 hp for 2006 without the actual engine output changing.

2000-2009 First Gen Honda S2000 Real MPG

Thanks to Honda's unique VTEC engine technology, the S2000 has two driver settings. You either take every one of the six gears to the maximum rpm, or you only use 4,000 rpm and keep the fuel consumption low. As you can see in the table below, the S2000 is surprisingly frugal for a sports car. The updated 2.2-liter AP2 is consistently lighter on fuel than the old 2.0-liter, probably thanks to a far friendlier torque curve that does not require as much revving in normal driving.

EPA MPG (city/highway/combined)Real-World Combined MPG*
2000-2003 F20C 2.0-liter18/24/2023.4-25.6
2004-2009 F22C1 2.2-liter18/25/2124.2-28.1

* Real-world mpg and MPGe figures are provided by the EPA. Once a car has been on sale for a significant period of time, the EPA gets real-world figures directly from the customer base. These figures are then provided on the EPA website. Real-world figures are not available for certain models due to a lack of sales, or not enough people partaking in this after-sales survey.


Pre-facelift models come standard with ABS, seat belts with pre-tensioners and load limiters, roll bars behind the occupants' heads, and dual front airbags. The 2004 facelift adds a seatbelt reminder. The 2006 S2000 finally gets electronic stability control to go with its new drive-by-wire throttle.

US NHTSA Crash Test Result 2009

The S2000 was rated by the NHTSA, but the less severe pre-2011 ratings apply. Still, the Honda's safety score is impressive considering it doesn't have a roof.

Front driver: :
Front passenger::
Side Crash Rating::
Rollover Rating: :

1st Generation Honda S2000 (AP1/AP2) Trims

The S2000's trim structure is as simplistic as the car itself. From 2004 to 2007, Honda offered one trim option with everything as standard. In 2008, Honda introduced a more track-focused CR edition.

2.0-/2.2-liter NA inline-four
Six-speed manual transmission

The base S2000 from the 2000 model year is equipped with remote entry, two manually-operated leather seats, manual air-conditioning, a radio and CD player, and a stunning digital dash with the best rev counter in the business. Other standard features include electric power steering with a manually tilting steering column, power locks, mirrors, and windows, a power canvas roof that folds in only six seconds, xenon headlights, and 16-inch alloy wheels. Try and find a model equipped with the optional hardtop that became available from 2001. This could be ordered separately and retrofitted to 2000 MYs too. It's made from aluminum and weighs less than 50 pounds. It's nice to have during the colder months and adds a bit of additional rigidity on the track. Other 2001 additions include an emergency trunk release, a clock, floor mats, and a rear wind deflector. For 2002, the power canvas roof gains a heated rear screen and the rear lights gain chrome bezels, while on the inside, the center console is upgraded, storage pockets are added to the door panels, silver accents are added to the interior, an aluminum-trimmed footrest is added, and a new shifter knob is fitted, the latter controlling a shifter mechanism that has been made quieter and smoother.

2004 saw more substantial improvements, including the facelift described earlier, as well as the slightly lower-revving 2.2-liter engine with the same power but more torque, coupled to revised gear ratios. New 17-inch wheels debut with larger tires, and the brakes and suspension are upgraded, while interior room is slightly improved. The 2006 update shores up safety with the addition of traction and stability control and it upgrades the audio system with headrest-mounted speakers. An outside temperature gauge is added to the instrument panel too. The 2008 S2000 gets a revised gauge cluster and retuned suspension to improve high-speed stability.

S2000 CR
2.2-liter NA 4-cylinder
Six-speed manual transmission

The CR is essentially the base S2000 after a lengthy weight-loss program. It comes with no luxuries at all, as the leather, air-conditioning, and CD player were removed to save weight. Owners had the option of putting them back in at no extra cost. Honda saved around 100 lbs by removing the soft top and replacing it with a lightweight version of the removable hardtop. Design upgrades include a massive splitter in the front and an obnoxious spoiler on the trunk. The CR has a stiffer suspension, and as standard Honda equipped it with sticky rubber. You might come across a used model with more affordable tires, but we'd revert back to the OEM spec as soon as possible.

First Generation Honda S2000 Features

S2000S2000 CR
Back-Up CameraN/AN/A
Bluetooth ConnectionN/AN/A
Leather SeatsaSN/A
Remote Keyless EntrySS
Keyless StartSS
HD RadioN/AN/A
Alloy WheelsSS

Interior, Trim, And Practicality

Honda S2000 1st Gen Interior Overview Honda
Honda S2000 1st Gen Interior Overview

The S2000 has a sublime interior. Honda went minimalist before it even became cool to do so. As a result, the interior still looks fantastic even today. It is a strict two-seater. Six-footers might feel a bit exposed, but there are seat-lowering kits available. The trunk space is laughable, however. The five cubic feet of cargo capacity is enough for two small soft bags, and that's it. It's safe to say that any trips in the S2000 will be short.

Take a look at the interior layout and note how little the passenger has access to. The CD player is hidden behind a lovely panel, and the control for the roof is situated close to the shifter. The rest of the controls are all centered around the instrument cluster, beyond the reach of the passenger. Honda also included quick-access buttons for the CD player's volume and mode buttons. On the right side, you'll find the AC controls. It's a basic air-conditioning system that's either on or off, and it doesn't allow you to set a temperature right down to a decimal point.

The focus here is on the driving experience, and that's where the digital cluster comes in.

It's impossible not to get a kick out of the way the revolutions increase across almost the entire length of the display, turning red once you get close to the limiter.

TRIMS2000S2000 CR

2000-2009 Honda S2000 Maintenance and Cost

The S2000 is remarkably cheap to service, even though it's a serious sports car. Add in Honda's renowned reliability, and you have a car that's not going to cost you serious money to keep on the road.

Service costs range from roughly $100 for an oil change to $2,000 for big repairs like replacing the rear wiper motor (hard to get to, so lots of labor) and replacing the exhaust gas recirculation valve. Generally, the Honda is reliable and won't give you any problems if you stick to the regularly scheduled maintenance. Experts estimate the average annual cost to keep a Honda S2000 in good condition is around $310, which is a smart investment considering how their value is going up.

A smart maintenance-reminder system became standard on the 2006 model but we would be wary of it because it's been dodgy in other Hondas, waiting too long to remind the driver of attending to some items. We'd stick to the recommended maintenance intervals and check the oil religiously every week, regardless of what the electronic system says. Honda recommends changing the engine oil every 7,500 and we would not exceed this limit, regardless of the musings of the maintenance reminder. Reduce this interval to 5,000 if you operate your S2000 in freezing or dusty conditions and perhaps to 3,000 if you regularly track it. Check the oil level between services too.

Honda S2000 Basic Service

Engine Oil Change Including Filter

F20C 2.0-liter and F22C1 2.2-liter inline-four engines:

Oil capacity: 4.8L (5.1 quarts)

Recommended oil type: 10W-30

How often to change: 5,000-7,500 miles

Price: Around $72


F20C 2.0-liter and F22C1 2.2-liter inline-four engines:

Part number: 98079-571BH

Average Price: $100 for four

Air Filter

F20C 2.0-liter and F22C1 2.2-liter inline-four engines:

Part number: 17220-PCX-003

Average Price: $39


All models

Part number: 31500-SB2-100M

Replacement: Every 3 to 5 years.

Average Price: $105

1st Gen Honda S2000 Tires

The diameter of the front and rear tires are the same, but width and aspect ratio differ. The 2000-2003 AP1 runs on 16-inch alloys and the 2004-2009 AP2 on 17-inchers, with the tire width increasing by one increment in front and two increments at the rear on the AP2 in a bid to rein in what was considered by some to be one of the AP1 1st-gen Honda S2000 handling problems - the tendency to oversteer abruptly.

2000-2003 AP1 S2000
Tire Size Front:
Tire Size Rear:
Max Performance summer tires:
$610 to $981 per set
2004-2009 AP2 S2000
Tire Size Front:
Tire Size Rear:
Max Performance summer tires::
$652 to $920 per set
2008-2009 AP2 S2000 CR
Tire Size Front:
Tire Size Rear:
Max Performance summer tires:
$624 to $802 per set

Check Before You Buy

Technical Service Bulletins according to the NHTSA. Check service book for:

There are not many 2000-2003 or 2004-2009 Honda S2000 recalls to look out for. The 2000 model was recalled for non-compliant side-marker lenses and faulty seat-belt retractors. All 2001 to 2005 models are recall-free, showcasing just how good Honda is at putting a car together. The 2006 model was recalled for having incorrect contact information in the owner's manual, while 2006 and 2007 models were recalled for a brake booster that may have a vacuum leak. There were no recalls during its final two years on sale.

Here are some of the known error codes you might encounter while shopping around for an S2000:

  • On either the AP1 2000-2003 or AP2 2004-2009 Honda S2000, P0411 indicates that there is a problem with the secondary air injection system.
  • The Honda S2000 P0420 code points to a problem with the catalytic converter.
  • The Honda S2000 P0172 code indicates that the fuel system is running rich, which could be the main cause of the catalytic converter problem mentioned above.
  • Code P1399 means that there is a random misfire being detected in the engine. This may require you to adjust the valves or unblock a passage in the exhaust gas recirculation system.
  • Code P1411 makes mention of an incorrect downstream flow of the second air injection. This could be due to a faulty pump, blocked hose, or solenoid.
  • The P0108 error code usually indicates a Honda S2000 MAP sensor problem.

Common Problems

F20C/F22C1 Engines

The 2.0-liter DOHC F20C inline-four uses aluminum construction for the block, cylinder head, and oil pan, and makes use of Honda's proprietary V-TEC system to vary valve timing and lift. It is widely considered to be the best powertrain that Honda has ever developed but that doesn't mean it is completely without its faults. The main issue with this engine in particular is excessive consumption of oil. Owners have noted that the sports car can consume up to a quart of oil every 1,000 miles. If it lands up using more than this, there may be a serious issue at hand. S2000 owners must check the oil level regularly, as these engines are known to all burn some oil. Allowing the oil level to drop too low can cause many reliability problems.

If a higher consumption is being experienced, you may start noticing a strong burning oil smell, lower than usual engine oil levels, or a smoking exhaust. If this is the case, there could be a leak from the piston rings and valve seals. This is usually the case for high-mileage cars. Extremely durable fiber-reinforced metal (FRM) is used for the cylinder liners but apparently, the rings wear out relatively quickly. A properly maintained engine's cylinder liners should therefore be good for years and the rings are often the only things you have to replace to restore proper compression and power to an oil-burning F20C. A clogged PCV valve has also been noted to be a common culprit for high oil consumption in the S2000. Valve-stem seals can also deteriorate in high-mileage cars which is a costly job to repair as it requires the powertrain to be opened up. It is also recommended that you switch to an oil with a higher viscosity to lower the oil burn-off.

Another one of the notable 2000-2003 Honda S2000 engine problems on the F20C, in particular, is cracked valve-spring retainers. This is caused when one of the pistons makes contact with a floating valve which may be a common occurrence in this powertrain as it can rev at a high engine speed. You may have this issue if you notice a loss of power or misfiring at high rpms. Starting and idling should be unchanged, but you'll notice inconsistencies once you pass the 4,000 rpm mark. This is because the valves will not have the integrity to maintain the engine speed. If you detect this issue, it's recommended that you deal with this issue immediately as it can cause catastrophic damage to the powertrain. The valve may detach from the housing and drop into the cylinder, which will result in terminal engine damage. To see if a cracked valve spring is the issue, it is best to conduct a vacuum test which can be done by connecting a vacuum gauge to the vacuum port of the intake manifold. Idle the engine at 4,000 rpm and take note of whether the vacuum readings oscillate as the engine speed increases. If you don't have access to this equipment, you may have to remove the valve cover and cams and inspect the valves for damages. If the retainer is cracked, the part will need to be replaced. It is advised that you replace all retainers rather than just the affected part to maintain a consistent spring pressure.

Honda's timing chains are known to be fairly robust, but in the F20C mill, they can give in at the 105,000-mile mark, especially in case of lax lubrication maintenance. If this occurs, the damage to the engine can be severe. You'll know that your chain is on its way out when you notice a ticking noise from the tappet while idling, regardless of temperature. If left for too long, the chain will deteriorate and result in a loss of power and misfiring. A timing chain for the K20C will cost $178 together with a $309 tensioner. The labor may set you back by another $650. If you replace the engine oil frequently, the timing chain should be reliable, but the tensioner can fail from around 100,000 miles anyway and should be replaced at this mileage or sooner with an updated Honda-supplied part if this has not been done already. Engine rattling may be either a tired chain or, in well-maintained engines, more likely a tired tensioner. Replace it without delay, as this is a high-revving engine that places high demands on its valve gear.

The very similar 2.2-liter variant of the engine is at risk of suffering from some of these issues as well but with the subtle updates that Honda applied to this powertrain, it is less likely. In fact, there are significantly fewer F22C1 2004-2009 S2000 engine problems. For example, the cracked valve retainers don't seem to be an F22C1 problem at all. A word of warning though: some owners modify these cars, so to ensure reliability, make sure it is completely stock. The rev limit cannot be safely increased without modified pistons and con-rods and the F22C1 can not be made to rev as high as the F20C without developing problems. While this list of problems may seem long, the engine is inherently very reliable as long as it is meticulously maintained and the common trouble spots are monitored. We cannot stress enough how important it is to keep the oil topped up between services.

Mileage: The issue of higher oil consumption and cracked valve retainers s likely to appear after the 150,000-mile mark. The chain tensioner should be replaced every 100,000 miles at the latest. Hard-driven Honda S2000 models that have not had frequent oil changes may suffer from a failing timing chain at 105,000-miles.

Cost: A set of piston rings for the F20C engine will cost $108 while valve seals will set you back $3 per seal. One valve spring retainer costs $6. The parts are relatively inexpensive but the labor is intensive with both jobs costing anywhere from $1,000 to $1,200. The timing chain and tensioner will cost $487 excluding a labor cost of $650.

How to spot: If your S2000 starts consuming a high level of oil or you notice a burning oil smell, this could be an indication that the piston rings or valve seals are on their way out. Misfiring in the higher rpm range may signify that your valve spring retainers are worn out. Rattling or tapping sounds, or if the engine suffers from a loss of power or misfiring, usually indicate a tired timing chain or chain tensioner.

Transmission Buzzing While Decelerating

The S2000's transmission is a hard-working piece of equipment that is generally reliable, but some owners have noted one or two 2000-2009 Honda S2000 gearbox problems, particularly that the 'box may transmit a buzzing noise when decelerating, usually from third to second gear while the engine is spinning in between the 3,000 to 4,000 rev range. This is an issue that was outlined by Honda in a bulletin that states an issue with the clearance between the gears. The transmission in the S2000 sits between the seats, which is why it is so audible. Thus, when you decelerate, the weight and the pulses from the engine excite the gears which may cause them to buzz or rattle. Honda also states that the clutch disc hub springs found within the clutch disc may be contributing to the issue. A factory solution for this issue is a replacement clutch disc that benefits from a modified design, which aims to reduce the noise. This is a part that was initially covered by the car's warranty which is now lapsed. Abused transmissions may grind when changing gear and this will be worse in cold weather.

Mileage: N/A

Cost: The modified transmission clutch disc costs $305 excluding the $600 labor charge.

How to spot: If an erratic noise is being emitted by the transmission when downshifting from third to second gear at 3,000 to 4,000 rpm, this could signify that the transmission's clutch may need to be replaced with a more robust part.

Less Common Problems And Problem-Free Areas

Apart from the aforementioned engine problems, there have been a few 2000-2009 Honda S2000 convertible-top problems; some owners have noted that the tops may suffer from rapid deterioration if the car is parked in harsh conditions. It's best to ensure that your S2000 is parked under a shaded cover. If you don't have access to such facilities, consider purchasing a weather-resistant cover. Certain owners have even noted that the mechanism of the roof may not respond but this is a worse-case scenario.

There's also an issue with the AC which can whistle while operational. This is due to a worn expansion valve that will need to be replaced. Vibration on acceleration may indicate worn CV joints and coil-pack failure is usually announced by a misfiring engine. Note that misfiring can also be caused by fouled spark plugs due to excessive oil consumption. Rust isn't usually a problem, but if the car was used in a rust-belt state, check for rust on the underbody and rear wheel arches. Rear wheel bearings don't usually fail, but when they do, it's often because of aftermarket wheels that have a different offset to the standard wheels. Rather avoid non-standard S2000s. Like all cars getting on in life, there may be some AP1 1st-gen Honda S2000 high-mileage problems, so the later 2.2-liter is a safer bet because it is newer and some of the 2.0-liter's problems have been addressed in the larger engine.

Beyond this, there aren't any serious 2000-2003 or 2004-2009 Honda S2000 problems you should be aware of and the following systems and subsystems have proven to be largely trouble-free:

  • As long as you replace the battery, spark plugs, and coils on time, there should be no AP1 1st-gen 2000-2003 Honda S2000 starting or ignition problems - nor do these become an issue on AP2 2004-2009 S2000s either.
  • There aren't any notable 2000-2009 Honda S2000 differential problems, as long as you remember to replace the limited-slip differential's oil on schedule.
  • Unless either the car's or the key fob's battery goes flat, you shouldn't experience any 2000-2009 Honda S2000 central-locking or alarm problems.
  • While a few gearbox issues were mentioned previously, there are normally very few 2000-2009 Honda S2000 clutch master-cylinder problems to be reported, although abused cars may suffer premature failures.

Which One To Avoid

The 2004 Honda S2000 is a model you may want to avoid as it is the year noted as having the most problems, particularly relating to the high oil consumption and wearing valve retainers. Although the F20C-powered model enjoys a higher rpm limit, it is the problem-child of the range, albeit the issues are few and far between. Keep in mind that the S2000 takes no prisoners and when manhandled around corners, you must be ready to catch it if the tail steps out. This is doubly important on 2000-2003 models that have a more tail-happy handling balance and should still be kept in mind on 2004 and 2005 models that don't have stability control.

Which One To Buy

The later S2000 CR is an extremely attractive proposition, but we wouldn't have gone as far as removing the air-conditioning and CD player. There are some previous owners out there who feel the same, but you really have to dig to find those cars and they come at a premium.

Otherwise, there is no wrong answer. As long as it comes with a full service history, buy whatever color you like the most. The F22C1 may not benefit from the pre-update's 9,000 rpm limit, but it is renowned to be a slightly more dependable powertrain. In terms of safety, opt for 2006 or newer, because these are the only models with stability control.

1st Gen Honda S2000 (AP1/AP2) Verdict

The Honda S2000 isn't for everyone. It takes a lot of hard work to get the most out of it, but the reward is just so sweet. If you want something that will simply give you that wind-in-the-hair feeling, the S2000 is completely the wrong car. This is a pure sports car that just happens to have a droptop. It was built for purists, and if you're one of those, you'll enjoy everything this car has to offer.

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