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2003 Honda S2000 Review
Stylish and fun vroom-vroom.
Reviewed by Automotive on
The 2003 Honda S2000 is a two-seat roadster with classic British style. It provides an agile ride, giving drivers all the thrills and chills expected from a roadster. However, the S2000 is up against some pretty stiff competition: the Porsche Boxster, Audi TT, and the BMW Z4. Even against such lovely vehicles, the S2000 holds up. This is due to its rear drive and amazing, high-rev engine. It feels more like a racecar than a sport roadster. In fact, a manual transmission is the only gearbox available, giving drivers greater control and excitement. It is the first car out of the Honda line that really shows the brand’s racing heritage.
Engines: 2.0-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: six-speed manual
Models: Honda S2000
The Honda S2000 remains unchanged for the 2003 model year.
The 2003 Honda S2000 is a real treat to look at and is styled like a traditional sports car with smooth angles and crisp lines. The design could be compared to your traditional British racer, something BMW has also tried in recent years. However, it has a wedge shape when viewed from the profile, something that sets it apart from other sports cars released at the time. It rides on a 94.5-inch wheelbase, six inches longer than the Mazda Miata. It has a power operated convertible top with a glass rear window that is equipped with a defogger. A molded top cover is also included. To protect passengers, an integrated roll bar is fitted between the seats. There is a clear wind deflector between the roll bars that prevents wind from shaking the car when the top is down. The S2000 comes equipped with 16-inch alloy wheels, power mirrors, and intermittent windshield wipers.
The 2003 Honda S2000 seats two, and storage space is at a real premium. Between the seats are a tiny bin and a single cup holder. The trunk, with the top down, has a miniscule five cubic feet of space. Unlike other roadsters, it is truly limited to two passengers; there are no jump seats in the back. The seats are comfortable, however. Both sport bucket seats are trimmed with leather. The contours of the seats hug the driver and passenger, drastically decreasing body movement when going around curves. Unfortunately, some drivers may find it a bit uncomfortable, since the steering wheel doesn’t adjust, and the seating must be moved manually. The instrument panel is very attractive. Taking a cue from old racecars, Honda created a minimal design. The cockpit also includes net storage areas in the door panel, an aluminum shifting knob covered in leather, aluminum pedals, and an aluminum-accented footrest by the clutch. Other standard features include a remote trunk release, cruise control, steering wheel mounted controls, interior air filtration, air conditioning, leather steering wheel, trunk light, mast antennae, AM/FM player, and an in-dash CD player.
Performance & Handling
The 2003 Honda S2000 comes equipped with a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine that produces 240 horsepower with 153 lb-ft of torque at 7500 rpm. The engine has VTEC, allowing it to rev up to 9000 rpm, way above the limit of other vehicles. This gives it a lot of power and that satisfying growl wanted from a racecar. The engine is mated to a six-speed manual transmission leading to a rear-drive system. It can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in six seconds. Everything about the S2000 is fun. The steering is crisp and blade sharp, allowing you to take corners at speed without breaking a sweat. The braking capacity is excellent, allowing drivers to slow to a standstill in no time. When pressing the rpm, it takes off like a rocket. The only complaint is that the ride comfort is less than sublime.
The 2003 Honda S2000 comes with the bare minimum safety equipment required. A rollover bar, dual front airbags, and all disc anti-lock brakes are standard. Side-impact airbags are not available.
EPA Fuel Economy
- Great chassis
- Lovely design
- Optional hardtop convertible
You Won't Like
- Lacking low-end torque
- No passenger airbag cutoff switch
Stylish and fun vroom-vroom.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Audi TT
- BMW Z4
- Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class