Honda S2000 vs Porsche Boxster: Which Used Convertible Is the Better Choice?

How do you get a Mazda Miata owner to stop talking about his car for five minutes? Tell him you have a Honda S2000. How do you annoy a Honda S2000 owner? Tell him that a Porsche Boxster is better than his car, especially the first-generation model. That may or may not be true, so we had to wonder which one is better: the Honda or the Porsche?

Honda S2000 vs Porsche Boxster

2008 Honda S2000
2008 Honda S2000 | Honda

It’s interesting comparing the Honda S2000 to the first-generation (96-02) Porsche Boxster because they are actually pretty similar. Both cars are rear-drive convertibles with a mid-engine layout and they both tip the scales around 2,800 pounds. But when you start to peer under their hoods, that’s when things start to separate.

For comparison’s sake, we’ll use the stats from the 2000 to 2002 Porsche Boxster, which had a 2.7-liter, flat-six engine that produced 217 hp and 192 lb-ft of torque. According to Porsche, it was able to get from 0 to 62 mph in just 6.6 seconds so it definitely wasn’t a slouch.

However, the Honda S2000 was powered by a high-revving 2.0-liter engine that produced 240 hp and 153 lb-ft of torque and was able from 0 to 60 in 6.8 seconds, according to Car and Driver’s testing. As we can see, both of these cars are relatively even in terms of performance despite the fact that their powertrains are so different.

2002 Porsche Boxster
2002 Porsche Boxster | Porsche

Reliability and maintenance costs

Considering both cars are powered by lively naturally-aspirated engines, you’re sure to have an amazing top-down driving experience every day whether you choose the Boxster or the S2000, but the main difference depends on how long you keep either car. We say this because the Honda S2000 is known for being just as reliable as any Civic or Accord as many of them have lasted well over 250,000 miles with only routine maintenance or minor repairs needed.

The Boxster, on the other hand, is well known for having more serious issues like the IMS bearing randomly failing as well as random oil leaks, for example. Repair Pal gave the Boxster 2.5 star out of 5 on its “reliability scale” and noted that the average repair cost is around $952 per year. While the Honda S2000 scored a 4 out of 5 stars on Repair Pal’s reliability scale and has an average repair cost of $456 per year.

All-in-all, you will most likely spend less on the Honda when it comes to repairs and maintenance costs than you would with the Porsche, but that probably goes without saying.

Resale value

2008 Honda S2000
2008 Honda S2000 | Honda

Hondas are known for holding their values well and the S2000 is no exception. Actually, it kind of is an exception considering the values of these cars have increased over the past few years. When it was new, the S2000 retailed for around $32,000 and you can now find them for sale for around $15,000 to $20,000 depending on the car’s age, location, and condition. Considering Honda stopped making them 11 years ago, we would say that S2000 values are holding strong.

The first-generation Boxster retailed for around $41,000 to $52,000 when it was new, but you can now find them on the used market for anywhere between $10,000 to $20,000 depending on the car’s age, trim level, location, and condition. As we can see the S2000 holds its value much better over time.

2002 Porsche Boxster | Porsche

Why the Honda S2000 Beats the Miata at its Own Game

Which one is the better choice?

While this comparison might seem like we’re skewing more toward the Honda S2000, the facts are clearly laid out. If you want a rear-drive convertible that’s reliable, cheap to own, and has a high-revving engine, then get the Honda S2000. But don’t expect a lot of low-end torque when tooling around town.

But if you do want more torque, the fit and finish of a luxury car, and a prestigious badge, then get the Porsche Boxster. Fortunately, the first-generation models are affordable, but you might be paying more in ownership costs and insurance rates, so that’s something to keep in mind. If it were up to us, you probably already know which one we would buy.