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Discussion Starter #1
THis was the new for 2003 Navigator. It now has r&p steering which makes it feel a bit morre connceted (for a truck) to the road. But still, why do people buy these things?

The interior looked nice at first glance but was very cheesily built. That "aluminum" look dash you see in the pics looks and feels like an 80s panasonic boom box. Its just silver colored plastic-- not attempt to actually make it look like real metal. It feels very cheap and flimsy too.

It doesn't have as much room inside as its garganutan size would indicate. You actually have to squeeze your hand between the door panel and the seat to reach the power seat controls. on my "small" 325i, I have plenty of room to reach the seat controls.

The seats didn't feel very comfortable

The AC took a long time to cool down the interior

It rattled and squeaked pretty badly.

It felt like driving a bus--and averaged 11.8 mpg. How on earth do people put up with these things on a daily basis? I'd shudder to think what the older version was like... I guess it was sort of fun feeling like you could run over other cars, but that's about it.

Doesn't this thing cost 40-50K?!
:banghead: :banghead: :banghead:
I think this is probably the most over-priced pile of junk i've had the (non)pleasure of driving.

The TL-S was much better (of course). Although the interior design wasn't as pleasing and maybe some of the plastics weren't as nice, I think its better put together than my BMW. I couldn't make any surface squeak or move by pressing on it as I can in my BMW. It did not squeak or rattle over any surfaces-- and it did have a pretty tight suspension w/ 17" wheels. I like the dial for the climate control temp. I liked the clear gauages that were lit with a whitish light. Strangely, overall it felt "tighter" than my BMW.

the steering has kind of a fake sensation of weight--but I actually liked it better than any of the recent 3 series steering I've tested-- atleast on the highway. Its definitely a FWD car in corners and abit of a pig- but not horrible.

The engine felt and sounded much coarser-- although you'd never notice if you didn't have a BMW. I didn't really feel the 260 hp this thing supposedly has either. Yeah, I saw the article posted here about the TL's transmission troubles-- pretty scary, although I get the sense that BMW screws up much more often than Honda.

I'm not tempted by it at all, but I do wish Honda would build a smaller RWD sport sedan. I know it would be very good- and I think it would actually make me want to give up my BMW. There were rumors when teh S2k came out that they were going to use that platform to do this, but I haven't heard anything new on this. I know Honda is going to import the FWD European accord and badge it as a "TSX" or something-- supposed to be a smaller 4 doors sports sedan to fill the gap between the RSX and the TL. Wish that slot had been occupied by something from the S2k platofrm...
 

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Car Junkie
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The only Honda I really like is the S2000. In fact, i almost ordered one before I decided that a hard top was better for a daily driver/track vehicle.

That said, my wife's '02 Civic is excellent. Good material quality, put together with almost ridiculously good precision, not a single reason to go back for warranty work in the last six months. In contrast, my Pontiac had visitied the shop roughly three times in its first six months for little things (nothing major - the powertrain and electronics were rock solid). Comfortable, practical, reliable, but EXTREMELY BORING is how I would characterize the Civic. Same goes for pretty much everything else in the lineup except for the s2k.

While I bet Honda could make a perfectly good RWD sports sedan, I doubt it would have the feel or excitement of driving my M3. And since that's one of the main reasons why I decided against the 330ci, I doubt I'd be compelled to buy one.
 

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King of Rear Clunks
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robg is right, there have been rumors for a long time about a S2K-based RWD sedan. This might still happen for the JDM, as, like it is here, this is a hotly contested market that Honda is really missing out on. My Honda source hasn't given me any indication that this is moving forward at this time, though.

As for the 'TSX,' this is a definite 'go' although final specs haven't been ironed out. I don't remember if this is going to be a freshened current-generation Accord Euro-R-type car, or something based on the new Accord, though. The plan is to take the next-generation TL/CL upmarket a bit, particularly to move the CL further away from the upcoming 6MT 240HP Accord 2dr, and use this 'TSX' to essentially be a 4dr parallel to that Accord.
 

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The TSX is the leading candidate to replace our Passat (after my wife vetoed a new 325i). She likes decent handling, Honda quality and style and doesn't need a lot of power. I've been waiting for a 4-door Integra replacement, and I'm happy to see it's pretty decent looking.

I've driven a TL-S and thought it was overrated as competition for BMW.
 

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S2000

From what I've read, the S2000 is only fun if you plan on spending all of your time near the 9,000 rpm redline. That's evidently the only way to extract the max amount of horsepower. Otherwise, it doesn't have the torque to pull the skin off a bowl of pudding. Supposedly, in a race with a Miata where both drivers don't shift above the Miata's redline, the Miata stands a good chance of winning (or atleast keeping up). And I'm not too crazy about the appearance of the S2000, either.

OTOH, I agree that if Honda were to build a RWD sedan/coupe using the S2000 as the basis, BMW should start sweating. That's really the way they should have approached the CL/TL. As it stands, the CL/TL are really nothing more than sportier, upmarket Accords. Competent and reliable (except for that 'little' transmission problem), but nothing exciting.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Its going to be the next-gen european accord- not the current one.

As for the 'TSX,' this is a definite 'go' although final specs haven't been ironed out. I don't remember if this is going to be a freshened current-generation Accord Euro-R-type car, or something based on the new Accord, though. The plan is to take the next-generation TL/CL upmarket a bit, particularly to move the CL further away from the upcoming 6MT 240HP Accord 2dr, and use this 'TSX' to essentially be a 4dr parallel to that Accord. [/B]
 

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A sudden sense of liberty
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Re: S2000

ruteger said:
From what I've read, the S2000 is only fun if you plan on spending all of your time near the 9,000 rpm redline. That's evidently the only way to extract the max amount of horsepower. Otherwise, it doesn't have the torque to pull the skin off a bowl of pudding. Supposedly, in a race with a Miata where both drivers don't shift above the Miata's redline, the Miata stands a good chance of winning (or atleast keeping up). And I'm not too crazy about the appearance of the S2000, either.

OTOH, I agree that if Honda were to build a RWD sedan/coupe using the S2000 as the basis, BMW should start sweating. That's really the way they should have approached the CL/TL. As it stands, the CL/TL are really nothing more than sportier, upmarket Accords. Competent and reliable (except for that 'little' transmission problem), but nothing exciting.
That's exactly how I felt driving it. By the time you hit the power (long on about 7500 RPM) you're over the speed limit on most roads, even in first gear. Second? No way. And caning it away from the light is worse than an 80s Chrysler Turbo, when it comes to performance lag. It has the engine responsiveness of an Ultra Large Crude Carrier.

Worse, the dash also seems to have been sourced from an 80s Chrysler. Digital gauges? Come on. If any company but Honda had done this, they would have been excoriated.

No thanks. The chassis is slick (though, in truth, not much slicker feeling than a Miata), and I like the way it looks, but I prefer performance that is actually usable on the street. Give me the S52 or S54 (or even the M54 B25) any day.
 

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I love the high-revving, high strung S2000 powertrain. It's pretty cool to have Civic civility puttering around town and sports car performance in the VTEC range. You have to drive it really hard in order to get that performance, but the car rewards you with a very unique feeling. And as for the dash, have you seen an F1 car recently? The large tach that curls over a large digital speedo is pure Formula. I would personally take a nice analog IP cluster, but Honda must've decided that the digital one fit the overall theme better.

I test drove several in the weeks preceding my M3 purchase, and I came very close to ordering one. It truly is an enthusiast's car. It's quite spartan, both inside and out, and that's one of its charms. Most of the things that people consider negatives, I consider just to be character traits.

In fact, my only complaint is that the steering lacks a certain amount of feel. It's perfectly weighted and does its job well, but perhaps the electric pump introduces a layer of isolation. I would love to own one as a second car, torque be damned. I'd take the S2k over an S52 M Roadster any day, and it would take some effort to take the S54 version over the S. If I could get either one for free, I still might take the S2K for exclusivity and overall character reasons.
 

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A sudden sense of liberty
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Jetfire said:
I love the high-revving, high strung S2000 powertrain. It's pretty cool to have Civic civility puttering around town and sports car performance in the VTEC range. You have to drive it really hard in order to get that performance, but the car rewards you with a very unique feeling. And as for the dash, have you seen an F1 car recently? The large tach that curls over a large digital speedo is pure Formula. I would personally take a nice analog IP cluster, but Honda must've decided that the digital one fit the overall theme better.
The problem is that with Civic civility comes Civic performance, and that's not a good thing. Variable valve timing can be used to great effect to make an engine yield more tractable performance, but Honda's effort with the S2K is off the deep end.

There's nothing wrong with displacement. All the import freaks drone on and on about how cool it is to get 120 hp/liter, but that's meaningless. The only place that maximum volumetric efficiency matters is in situations where the overall displacement of the engine is limited by outside fiat, such as in Formula 1. In the US market, where there are no limits on displacement, there's no reason not to go to a slightly larger engine to get the benefit of more power down low (as BMW has done countless times; ref. 2.5 to 2.8, 4.0 to 4.4, 3.0 to 3.2, etc.).

The S2K is essentially an engineering exercise, an effort to show off just how high Honda can make an engine rev. As an engineering exercise, it's very nifty, but as with all engineering, optimising the car for one thing (high end power from small displacement) compromises inumerable other things (not least cost and drivability). For a street car, the 225 hp 3.5L from the TL non-S is a much better choice than the 240 hp 2 liter from the S2K.

As for the gauges, there are a lot of things on F1 cars that I don't need to have on my street car. Wings, for example. Or "Start" buttons. Or semi-automatic transmissions. Digital gauges were bad ideas in the 1984 Lancer, and they're bad ideas in the 2002 S2K.
 

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Don't get me wrong, there's no replacement for displacement. It's an overused statement but it's true: you just can't make a lot of usable torque with a small engine. Witness Honda's F20C engine (S2000), which manages to put out around 150 lb. ft. of torque at 8500 rpm or so. Nevertheless, it's enough to get the car, relatively light at ~2800 pounds, from 0 to 60 in 5.5 seconds.

One of the advantages to having a small engine is weight. The car is almost perfectly balanced and having a larger engine in front would require adding some weight to the rear. So how do you get high performance out of a smaller engine? High revs, the tactic used in just about every racing series. The S2K is about as close to a race car as you'll find for $30,000, and probably for even twice that amount. I personally love the start button, spartan surroundings, and feel of the car at 9000 rpm.

The S2K is, for me, on the hairy edge of daily drivability. It's perfectly usable in every day driving, but I've never felt a car that wanted so much to be free. More so than my M. But hey - it's a two-seater ragtop with a tiny trunk. You already know what you're getting into when you buy it, and it ain't everyday practicality unless you're truly hardcore.
 

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Exit Flagger
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This is my opinion but if i was in the market for the S2000 i'd pay the extra cash and buy a Boxster. The traffic in the part of the country I live in is not a place where one can wait for an engine to power up at 6500 and finish at 9000. My best friend has enough trouble here in his Integra GSR. Then again if I had a summer house up in Wisconsin I'd give my left foot for an NSX in the garage.
 

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Rob, nice write up . . . I know exactly what your talking about as far as the Acura feeling so tight and well put together.

I drove a relative's white TL-S and was surprisd by this as well.

I think the TL-S is a great car for my wife but not for me. It doesn't have *that* feel I want and desire in a car. I think only a german car has *that* feel and after test driving the new A4 & owning a current 330, there is no doubt the BMW IS the choice for guys like us . . . I know our cars have little squeaks and they seem to come up with things that are annoying that you never imagined or even thought would be annoying on a car but they drive exactly the way I like a car to drive.


Sorry to say but we gotta learn to put our OCD's aside and start to enjoy these cars for what they are . . .
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Sorry to say but we gotta learn to put our OCD's aside and start to enjoy these cars for what they are . . . [/B]
Atleast until a Japanese manufacturer figures out how to truly a "clone" a BMW but w/ Japanese attention to quality and detail.;)
 
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