Skip to main content

Honda has always been known for building some of the most reliable cars in the market. New or old, you can depend on a Honda to last as its odometer spins to oblivion. At least that’s what Brian Silvestro, a writer at Road and Track, thought when he picked up a Honda S2000 with 300,000 miles on the clock. As you can imagine, it was only a matter of time before the car finally let go and “blew up.”

Silvestro’s Honda S2000 had over 300,000 miles on it, but it was in decent shape

Brian Silvestro's 300,000-mile Honda S2000 parked on a street. | Brian Silvestro, Road and Track
Brian Silvestro’s 300,000-mile Honda S2000 parked on a street. | Brian Silvestro, Road and Track

I remember reading Brian Silvestro’s story about buying his 300,000-mile Honda S2000. As a fellow S2000 owner myself, I was curious as to what shape his car was in and what his plans for it were. According to the story, the “paint was faded, the interior was tired, and there’s a ton of rattles.” That sounds pretty normal for a car of its age, but then he went on to discuss the other issues in detail.

The tired S2000 was in dire need of brake pads and rotors, a new soft top, and new seats. VTEC also wasn’t kicking in (yo), but he wasn’t too concerned about it despite his plans to turn it into a track car. Over time, Silvestro updated his worn-out S2000 with a set of KW V3 coilovers, a performance brake setup, and some ultra-sticky tires in the form of Advan A052s. He even brought it to Lime Rock Park for a day filled with high-speed laps. Surprisingly, nothing on the car broke and he reported that the upgrades he made were well worth the time and effort.

Unfortunately, the S2000 didn’t last forever

A shot of the S2000's odometer shows over 300,000 miles on it.
A shot of the S2000’s odometer shows over 300,000 miles on it. | Zach Bowman, Road and Track

Although Silvestro did make a few upgrades to the high-mileage S2000 and even flogged it on a race track, his luck eventually ran out. As the story goes, Silvestro was driving the car to meet up with some friends when the engine “just… blew up.” While cruising down the highway, he noticed some hesitation from the engine but didn’t think anything of it since the gauges showed that everything was OK.

After driving for a few more seconds, the car “lost all power” and eventually died when he pulled off the highway. Smoke emanated from under the hood and it was at that moment that he “knew he was screwed.”

Silvestro wrote that he couldn’t exactly figure out what was wrong with the car, just that it didn’t have any coolant left in the radiator and the oil smelled burnt. In the end, he had the car towed, and instead of fixing it – or even swapping the engine – Silvestro decided to sell it and work on his high-mileage BMW M3 instead.

Is the Honda S2000 a reliable car?

A 2009 Honda S2000 open top sports coupe roadster sports car model with a gray paint color option
2009 Honda S2000 | American Honda Motor Co., Inc

Yes, indeed. With the proper care and maintenance, the S2000 can be just as reliable as any other Honda vehicle, despite its high-revving nature. While Silvestro’s 300,000-mile example is just one out of thousands of S2000s on the road today, it’s a testament to what the car is capable of. It’s just too bad that his car gave up the ghost – but that’s bound to happen when a car has been driven from the “Earth to the moon and then some.”


Why the Honda S2000 Beats the Miata at its Own Game