Friday, February 20, 2015

Long Term Test: 2007 Honda S2000 post #4

Update #4
Current Mileage: 71,177

This post marks the fourth year I have owned my 2007 Honda S2000. Honda's S2000 had always been a dream car of mine, and a car that I promised myself I would own some day. After graduating from UC Davis, I began saving money for the day that I would be able to put a down payment on an S2000. Four years in and over 30,000 miles later, my S2000 is running strong.

With East Brother now back in Southern California, we decided to trade cars for a week to see how we would get about on our daily routine with each other's cars. I previously wrote about my time with the Acura TSX and now East Brother shares his experience with my S2000.

Honestly, I adore the S2000. When my brother first told me he had found a smoking deal on one, I was jealous of his good fortune as my own search for one on the East Coast had pretty much turned up nothing but poorly maintained, horrendously abused, or ridiculously overpriced examples. There is a purity to how the S2000 drives, even this slightly more advanced AP2 version, that is difficult to match without spending nearly double the cost. However, it is becoming increasingly evident that my tastes and expectations have changed over the years because nowadays, as much as I enjoy the S2000, I am not sure I could live with it as a daily driver as West Brother does. Allow me to explain.

As you know, my most recent vehicle purchase as my own daily driver was a Ford Focus Electric. This is hardly the most exciting car, but it has proven to be a surprisingly competent daily driver and has a number of traits that make the driving experience shockingly pleasant. For one, being an electric vehicle means that it is nearly silent when moving at city speeds and even at highway speeds, the noise level is quiet enough that my wife and I can carry on a conversation in the car without really elevating the volume of our voices. That is pretty much the absolute opposite of driving the S2000, which provides about as much sound-proofing as a sieve by comparison. While listening to the sound of a super high-revving VTEC motor wind out to 8,000 rpm is fantastic fun, the road and wind noise that is suffered in daily driving situations has become nearly unbearable.

Another trait that I have come to find less that ideal for daily driving is the tight space, both in terms of passenger accommodations as well as cargo capacity. While for most grocery shopping the S2k is perfectly adequate, it is completely useless for situations when larger things need to be moved. That might not be a problem when you have access to another car, but as a single car household, my wife and I see that need for utility as a big one. We recently moved and that included taking a bunch of stuff from our temporary accommodations to our new residence that would have been basically impossible to do in the S2k, but our Focus hatch was more than capable of handling.

Of course, this is not to say that my opinion of the S2k has changed entirely. As I said before, it a car I adore and the things about it that I love are still very much things I continue to love about this car. The handling is superb with excellent chassis balance, light weight tossability, and super communicative steering. The sound of Honda's excellent F22 naturally aspirated motor winding out to its redline is also a characteristic that I cannot help but enjoy every single day. And there is nothing quite like the joy of wind in hair motoring that a wonderful convertible is able to provide (hence the addition of a Jaguar F-Type to our long-term fleet) and the S2k is absolutely one of the very best.

Still, at the end of the day, perhaps I am starting to get old as there are things I would have enjoyed even just half a decade ago that I now find barely tolerable. The S2k is a wonderful weekend toy and something that I would absolutely love as a second car, but as a daily driver, I think I would have to pass. It simply does not fit with my lifestyle these days, although it is great to have one in the family to enjoy from time to time.

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