2007 Honda S2000 Performance
This performance review was written when the 2007 Honda S2000 was new.
Reviewers, on balance, agree that the Honda S2000 offers a thrilling ride marked by superb sports car handling. Nevertheless, many warn that its stiff suspension makes it unsuitable for daily commutes. "Make no bones about it: The S2000 is pure sports car, so make sure that's what you want before signing on the bottom line," says MarketWatch.
Acceleration and Power
The 2007 Honda S2000 is powered by a 2.2L in-line four-cylinder engine that makes 237-horsepower at 7,800 rpm and 162 pound-feet of torque at 6,800 rpm. According to CNET, "The S2000's engine is a work of art, whether you're listening to it, looking at it, or feeling its power." In fact, Kelley Blue Book lists it among its "favorite features," pointing out that the S2000's powerplant churns out "more than 100 horsepower per liter."
Altogether, reviewers are impressed with the Honda S2000's level of acceleration and power. "Look for zero to sixty times in the mid-fives -- performance that puts the Honda in some heady company," asserts MarketWatch. "During a normal start, it doesn't feel like the car has much oomph. But kick up the revs before dropping it into gear, and it bolts forward," says CNET. Cars.com adds, "Once it reaches 5,000 rpm or so, the S2000 lunges forward like a rocket." Kelley Blue Book adds that that type of acceleration at those revs "was once considered the sole domain of high-performance motorcycles." Still, however, Edmunds complains that the S2000 is "short on low-end torque compared to the competition" and emits a "shrill engine note at high rpm."
To put the S2000's power output in perspective, Forbes asserts that it "blows away most other four-cylinder models. For instance, the S2000 has about 40 percent more power than the base Mazda MX-5 Miata or the base version of the Pontiac Solstice. It even puts out more horsepower than some non-turbo V6 engines from European competitors -- although those engines offer more torque, which provides acceleration oomph at lower speeds."
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the S2000 has a fuel economy of 18 miles per gallon in the city and 24 mpg on the highway. CNET calls this rate "mediocre," and claims that "although it squeezes a lot of power from a relatively small engine, it pours in a lot of gas to accomplish this feat." The Honda S2000 requires premium unleaded gasoline.
Standard on the S2000 is a six-speed manual transmission, which Forbes says is "one of the best manual transmissions in existence." MarketWatch agrees: "The six-speed manual shifter is simply one of the best on the market." According to Forbes, it's "a joy to operate" and offers "a level of precision and a satisfying feel that are virtually unrivaled." An automatic transmission is not available.
Handling and Braking
Reviewers, on balance, are extremely impressed with the S2000's performance. "With incredible handling, a high-rpm engine, and a precise six-speed manual transmission, the 2007 Honda S2000 gives you a lot of fun on twisty mountain roads," says CNET. Still, many assert that this vehicle is not suitable for daily driving. According to Forbes, it
"is not very comfortable for daily commutes on potholed roads or long trips on the highway, due to its exceedingly sharp and responsive suspension and steering systems. Nor does it insulate occupants very well from engine, road or wind noise." Though Edmunds boasts of an "exhilarating ride from a seat-of-the-pants perspective" and MarketWatch describes its handling as "superb," most reviewers warn that drivers shouldn't expect the S2000 to behave as anything other than a well-built sports car.
The Honda S2000 comes equipped with electric power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering, which Consumer Guide says is "[n]imble and precise," and Cars.com calls "[r]azor-sharp." CNET explains, "Its tightly tuned steering pointed the nose very precisely, while the high redline let us move from one turn to the next without dropping power."
While the S2000's suspension is tuned for sports performance, drivers may find it a bit too stiff for daily commutes. According to Consumer Guide, the S2000 is a "small, light, stiffly sprung sports car, so nearly every small bump and tar strip registers through seats. Still, [the] S2000 is never brutally harsh." Edmunds adds, "There's virtually no perceptible flex despite the S2000's roofless architecture, and body roll is kept to an absolute minimum by the sophisticated double-wishbone suspension front and rear." Kelley Blue Book adds, "The car's 50/50 front-to-rear weight distribution and extremely rigid structure... give the S2000 a nearly flat cornering response that allows it to negotiate the corners with sure tenacity, and with reaction that feels as if it's coming directly from your nerve endings." The S2000 features an independent in-wheel double wishbone suspension with coil springs and front/rear stabilizer bars.
Just as impressive as the S2000's zippy handling is its stopping ability. Equipped with power-assisted ventilated front disc/solid rear disc brakes and an anti-lock braking system (ABS), Cars.com asserts that it has "excellent braking performance." Moreover, vehicle stability and traction controls are standard. "Like other such systems," says Forbes, "it automatically adjusts throttle and brake input based on sensor feedback to thwart a loss of control or traction." Even so, the S2000 remains drifter-friendly, as traction control "can be disabled at the push of a button" so that "experienced and aggressive drivers who like to deliberately make a car skid and drift through turns" can do so with ease.