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As a prideful owner of a 2008 Honda S2000, it’s hard for me to lust after any other sports coupe or convertible. The Mazda MX-5 Miata? It’s fun to drive, but it doesn’t have the same raw feeling as the S2000. The Fiat 124 Spider? Again, great car, but it just doesn’t hit the mark for me.

My reluctance came to a screeching halt when I recently got behind the wheel of the 2022 Toyota GR 86. Its eye-pleasing aesthetics, fixed roof, and powertrain actually have me second-guessing my trusty Honda S2000. And if you’re deciding between these two cars, then here’s a breakdown of why I think the GR 86 could actually be a better buy than a Honda S2000.

A Honda S2000 can cost as much as a new 2022 Toyota GR86

Blue 2009 Honda S2000 CR Club Racer front 3/4 on racetrack
2009 S2000 CR | Honda

First up, have you seen the prices of Honda S2000s lately? It’s an automotive absurdity as many semi-clean examples are selling for around $20,000 with cleaner ones fetching price tags in the $50,000 to $60,000 range. Don’t even look at the S2000 CR prices, they’ll just make your eyes water.

That being said, the price of my 2022 Toyota GR 86 test car is a mere $32,658, which is cheaper than some of the S2000s currently for sale. It doesn’t take a math wizard to deduce that paying $32 grand for a brand-new car might make more sense than paying the same for a car that’s 20 years old.

The Toyota GR 86 has almost as much power as an S2000

If power is what you seek, then the Honda S2000 has it. In its latest form, the S2000 housed a naturally aspirated 2.2-liter engine that produced 237 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque, which was unmatched in its day.

On the other hand, the 2022 GR 86 has a naturally aspirated engine that makes 228 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. And while I can bench race these two cars all day and list 0-60 mph times, it won’t mean much until you actually drive them both.

I have driven both cars and I can say that their respective power outputs feel similar when driving around town. They’re both high-revving with enough mid-range torque to get you onto the freeway safely. So, you aren’t really missing much by going with the new GR 86 over the S2000 in terms of real-world performance – except of course, VTEC (yo).

The Toyota GR 86 has all of the luxuries you could want in a new car

A promotional shot of the 2022 Toyota GR86 sports car in red
2022 Toyota GR86 | Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

One huge leg up that the 2022 GR 86 has over the S2000 is that it comes with all of the modern amenities you could want. That includes features like dual-zone climate control, heated seats, a rearview camera, and Apple Carplay/Android Auto. I also really liked that it comes with rear parking sensors and a rear cross-traffic alert.

I know, the Honda S2000 is a driver’s car and doesn’t need any of that fancy tech stuff, but it is really nice to have those creature comforts in a sports car. Especially if you plan to drive it every day.

You can park a 2022 GR86 anywhere and not worry

Another reason the 2022 Toyota GR 86 could be a better buy than a Honda S2000 is that you can park it anywhere and not worry. At this point, the Honda S2000 is practically a collector’s car, so when I park it in a sketchy place, I’m always fearing the worst. Also, if the worst-case scenario does happen, there’s no way that I’m buying another one.

But with the Toyota GR 86, that worry goes away. Not because I don’t care about the car, but mainly due to the fact it doesn’t have the same rarity attached to it. Also, replacement parts can be found and if anything really bad happens to it, it’s a new car, so it can be replaced.

Honda S2000 vs Toyota GR 86

Ultimately, if you’re a Honda enthusiast like I am and have a soft spot for the S2000, then save up your pennies and buy one. It’s an amazing car that will always put a smile on your face whether you’re driving it or staring back at it as you walk away in a parking lot.

But if you would rather have the tech-savvy amenities, safety features, and less-worrisome ownership that comes with a new car, then the 2022 Toyota GR 86 could be a better option.


What Is the Difference Between the 2022 Toyota GR 86 and Its Predecessor?