2008-10-26

Test drive: 2003 Honda S2000


While in throes of indecision what to do about my car's oil consumption I have even began considering selling it in favor of an upgrade. At most the autocrosses I went to, an S2000, if driven well, will dominate A Stock class, as well as frequently win an FTD (fastest time of the day). So taking one out for a drive was a logical step in determining whether this would be a good fit for me and a true upgrade.

So today I met up with a guy selling the car in the picture and took it for an extensive test drive. Findings follow:

Pros

  • Car is much stiffer and drives the part.
  • Flat in corners as expected.
  • Nimble almost like a Miata.
  • The 100 extra horsies under the hood are sure as hell nice to have.
  • 6-speed tranny makes cruising on the highway a much more chilled experience.

Cons

  • The bling: lip spoiler looks like slapped on with two screws, which it is.
  • The exhaust is loud and its frequency resonates with the air volume inside the passenger compartment to make for a droning "wahhhh" sound.
  • A lot of clutch pedal travel. Probably adjustable.
  • Rear shocks or something else in the rear suspension could be shot as the car made a creaking noise going over speed bumps at low speed.
  • And finally (and this is something that is not specific to the particular S2000) the car did not give me half as much feedback as I am used to from my Bonnie car. You might say I am crazy, but not feeling the vibration in the steering wheel and the pedals, just going by what I see made driving this car a fairly detached experience. Almost like playing a video simulation. For most of (normal) people out there, lack of tactile feedback might appear like a plus, but for me, I am not sure I liked it. I certainly could get used to that, but for now...

So the verdict is that the S2000 is a nice, very well-made car, built for performance driving, and I could very much enjoy autocrossing it. This particular one might not be the right fit for me, and I might still (likely) keep my Miata, but it was a great thing I tried something different so I can at least say I looked at other options.