Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

Should you buy a used Honda S2000?

If you’ve decided that an S2000 is what you want, then you should buy one as soon as you can, rather than waiting.

Values are firm and unlikely to fall any further because of the rarity and relative uniqueness of this Honda, and it does offer a driving experience quite unlike other roadsters of the era.

However, those other roadsters offer much better value if all you want is a fun open-topped two-seater. The Mercedes SLK can cost a tenth of the price – albeit for a very different, softer driving experience – and for the cost of an S2000 you could pick up three excellent Mazda MX-5s, two Porsche Boxsters or a handful of BMW Z4s with characterful straight-six engines and much easier maintenance.

So it’s very much a car for enthusiasts, rather than a casual buy because it looks good. It does, but you’ll have a much easier time of it with newer or cheaper rivals.

Is the Honda S2000 a modern classic?

The earliest examples were made in 1999 – so at the time of writing, they’re twenty one years old, or ‘as old as the last MG Bs were when the S2000 was introduced’. So yes, it’s a modern classic just on the strength of age, even though the difference between the Honda and modern cars feels somewhat smaller than the contrast with the MG.

There’s more to it than age, though. Honda produces very few outright sporting cars, but when it does, they’re brilliant. The S800 is now a sought-after small classic, and in years to come the S2000 will be remembered for breaking new ground with a 240hp naturally-aspirated engine and offering an impressive balance of performance, build quality and ease-of-use.

If you do buy one, cherish it and hold onto it.