The 2005 Honda S2000 is the last sport car you need to buy. VTEC acceleration is a blast and handling is super sharp. Avoid 2000-2004 models because handling can be dangerously demanding (they spin). 2006-2010 models burn valves. 2005's command price premium because this is the best combination of excellent handling, simplicity of mechanical throttle and absolutely peak durability.
Exterior styling is conservative in an era when "Tonka Toy" or "Hot Wheels" styling dominates current trends. So the S2000 won't turn heads, but it likely won't become obsolete, either.
Interior styling is restrained. A subdued digital display without distracting swoopy bezels makes reading tach and speedo simple. Radio controls and heating/AC controls also are black against black panel and so do not distract from the overall simplicity of the interior. The designers' focus obviously was on functionality that states " this is a serious driver's car and not a toy."
Some complain that engiine torque is low before reaching VTEC rpm And they are right. However, torque is totally adequate for 0-40 MPH in town stop and go traffic. The S2000 is vastly superior in traffic versus a Miata but will have to be pushed a bit to keep up with the Boxter. BUT, keep RPMs into VTEC range and the S2000 is a blast with a boot-in-the-back jolt of power.
You won't find many Vette drivers with the skill or nerve to keep up with an S2000 in the twistys! The post-2004 S2000 is street legal race car that exhibits absolute balance and predictability. The predictable thing about the 2000-2004 S is that it will spin viciously if pushed too hard into a corner and the driver hits VTEC.
Michelin Pilot Super Sport. Repeat PSS - only way to get phenom handling plus good mileage. I get 40,000 on PSS in front and 30,000-plus on rears if I drive the S sanely! (your results will vary depending on your age and maturity).
Don't even think ride smoothness in the context of a street-legal race car. If driving on Michelin PSS tires air down to 30 pounds to ease the ride a little while retaining decent handling. Do not pressure Michelin PSS over 32 pounds because the handling becomes too light and the ride is awful! I have both an Airhawk small air cushion with a memory foam cushion on top to ease the pain. It's tolerable, but only just!
Interior storage compartments
Minimal! Lacking! But on a trip put the top up so small soft bags can be stored behind seats where top stores. Use a small airline carry-on bag (with wheels removed if necessary) to store in the well in the trunk and then a large soft bag in trunk with small shoulder bags and two people can pack for a month long trip. I carry two six-pack sized coolers in the top well for drinks and snacks.
Front seat support & comfort
I'm 5' 9" and 185# and of average frame proportions. The seat bolsters are Proportioned for the Asian torso. So, the average-to-large European butt isn't going to appreciate the tight seat bolsters. This is why the bolsters quickly break down and need re-padding with firm foam.
Insane if the owner is under 25 years.