2005 Honda S2000

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2005 Honda S2000

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1 trim

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2005 Honda S2000 review: Our expert's take

By Steven Cole Smith

Hear that? It’s a different drummer, and here comes Honda, marching.

The company always has done what it wants, when it wants. How else to explain the Honda Ridgeline pickup truck? For decades, pickups have been the best-selling vehicles in the United States, and only this year does the company get around to building one.

The Honda S2000 debuted as a concept car in 1995, and it took the company five years to bring it to market. At launch, it had a 2.0-liter (hence the S2000 name), 240-horsepower four-cylinder engine. List price was $32,477. There were no options offered.

Five years later, we have the 2005 Honda S2000, now with a 2.2-liter four-cylinder engine. So why not call it the S2200? I asked a Honda engineer, and he just shrugged.

The engine still has 240 horses, but now you don’t have to rev it up to dentist-drill levels to find the herd. List price is $33,465, and once again, no options offered.

Improvements have been few, mostly because few were needed. Originally, the rear window was plastic, which — like all plastic rear windows in Florida — would eventually crack and discolor. Now the rear window is glass, which allows for an electric defroster. Very mild styling updates were made for 2004, and the car continues this year with no other modifications.

That’s fine. The ride is still rough, the cockpit fairly narrow, trunk space is minimal. But for people who appreciate driving, the S2000 remains one of the most enjoyable vehicles available at any price.

The base-model Porsche Boxster is as much fun and also gets 240 horsepower from its 2.7-liter six-cylinder engine, but, at more than $10,000 extra, I’m not sure why I’d pay that premium, unless I was just enamored by the Porsche name.

The S2000 has its idiosyncrasies. The stereo is hidden behind a flip-down panel, and when it’s flipped down, it invades the little knee space available. But the basic controls are duplicated by buttons to the left of the steering wheel, so you can generally leave the panel unflipped. And while I appreciate the power top, I’d be willing to save its weight and cost with a simple manual top like the one in the Mazda Miata. EPA-rated fuel economy is nothing special at 20 mpg city, 25 mpg highway, and 22 mpg combined. The combined city/highway fuel mileage for the V-8-powered, 400-horsepower Chevrolet Corvette: 21 mpg.

Otherwise, what you see is what you get. The S2000 fairly begs you drop the top, take the next exit off the interstate and seek out the longest, most winding way home. We know Honda marches to a different drummer: The S2000 is looking for customers who drive to a different drummer, too.

Sentinel Automotive Editor Steven Cole Smith’s TV reports air Wednesdays on Central Florida News 13.

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.1
  • Interior design 4.6
  • Performance 4.9
  • Value for the money 4.8
  • Exterior styling 5.0
  • Reliability 5.0

Most recent consumer reviews


Pure sports car

Pure example of a sports car. Andrenalin is there, excellent v-tec sound. Revving to 9.000 rpm, rear wheel drive. Everything you need in a sports car. Bhp not impressive for today’s standards but anyway my moto for s2000 is ‘not how fast you go but how you go fast’


Outstanding True Sports Car

love driving this car, very good 6 speed which pulls strong in 2nd and 3rd gear especially, but cruising at 85 in 6th is fun at low RPM, but you can slow to 50 without downshifting. Seats are very comfortable and top down driving is a joy with no buffeting or other annoyances. 3 things I don’t like 1 the factory convertible top has a flaw in design which results in tears in the fabric at the arc above windows. 2. The headlight and tail lights are expensive modular assemblies, you can’t just replace the clouded headlight cover or the same lucite cover on the tail light. You must replace each unit at about $659 a piece. 3. Run flat tires that are not repairable. When the current tires need replacing I’ll switch back to a good convention tire and use one of the run flats as a spare. The A/C is strong and I to have it on when I have the top down on a hot Texas Day


Honda’s virtuoso

This car is incredibly fun to drive. Handling and power delivery are uniquely Honda, however at its very best. I’ve owned my 2005 since it was new and it’s reliability is nearly perfect, in typical Honda fashion.The overall experience of driving this machine never gets old or labored, and every single day I look forward to the experience. The only problem now is that my daughter does as well, so occasionally I have to drive her 2001 civic ex with 314,000 miles on it.

See all 46 consumer reviews


New car and Certified Pre-Owned programs by Honda True
New car program benefits
36 months/36,000 miles
60 months/50,000 miles
36 months/36,000 miles
Certified Pre-Owned program benefits
Maximum age/mileage
More than 12 months or 12,000 miles from their original in-service date, with 80,000 miles or fewer at time of vehicle delivery.
Basic warranty terms
5 years/86,000 miles
7 years/100,000 miles
Dealer certification required
182-point inspection
Roadside assistance
View all cpo program details

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