Who doesn’t love the idea of a sporty convertible roadster with great handling capabilities? If you’ve never had the pleasure of being behind the wheel of a Honda S2000 or Mazda Miata, you’re truly missing out. However, the ever-increasing price of the Honda S2000 is making it monumentally unattainable for many folks looking for a budget-friendly weekend car. Fortunately, the third-generation Miata offers a fun and sporty driving experience at a fantastic price because even Miata enthusiasts hate them!
Is a Miata faster than a Honda S2000?
The Edmunds comparison tool gives a fantastic look at the two vehicles in question. That is, a 2006 (NC) Mazda MX-5 Miata and a 2006 (AP2) Honda S2000. On paper, the specs of the Miata vs. the S2000 may not give you high hopes for it being a competitive head-to-head experience. Namely, because of the power output.
The 2006 Honda S2000 features Honda’s F22 engine, a 2.2-liter four-cylinder with the company’s iconic VTEC variable valve timing system. It has an impressive power output of 240 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque. On the other hand, the Miata uses a 2.0-liter inline-four making only 170 horsepower and 140 pound-feet of torque.
Though that is a substantial difference in horsepower, the Miata has a considerable advantage when it comes to weight. The Honda roadster comes in at a surprisingly hefty 2,855 pounds. However, the Miata comes in almost 400 pounds lighter at 2,474 pounds.
According to Fastestlaps, the 2006 S2000 will sprint from zero to 60 miles per hour in about 6.2 seconds. The Miata, however, needs 7.7 seconds to achieve the same goal. Additionally, the S2000’s proposed quarter-mile time is nearly two seconds faster than the Miata’s, but that’s not the intended use for either of these pieces of roadster royalty
In practice, it’s not at all unusual to see an NC Miata keeping up with an S2000 on a windy track. Sure, the S2000 can walk away from an NC in straights, but the Miata will hold its own in the corners.
If having the straight line winner with more horsepower is all that matters, then get an S2000, by all means. However, the Miata offers a similar open-top go-kart-like handling experience. Best of all, though, is the price.
Is 70 extra horsepower worth another $15,000?
According to CarGurus, the average price at the time of writing for a 2006 Mazda MX-5 Miata is $9,098. On the other hand, the CarGurus price for a 2006 Honda S2000 is an eye-watering $23,336. So, on average, a used 2006 S2000 will cost an extra $14,268. Which, to be frank, doesn’t seem worth it.
After all, that sum of nearly $15,000 could easily go toward improvements if you really wanted to match the S2000’s performance. Any combination of performance tires and suspension could sprint you through corners exponentially faster for a couple thousand of those dollars. Better still, if you really want to match the acceleration of the S2000 (or beat it), there’s a multitude of turbocharger and supercharger options available. With that amount of money, you could even put an LS in it!
Perhaps, though, the best thing to do with that extra $15,000 is put it in a moderate investment account. That way, while your assets are growing, you can still go out and enjoy your weekend roadster time. Whereas the Honda S2000 owners will simply stare at their investments in the garage, waiting for the perfect time to put it on Bring A Trailer.
You’d better hurry and jump on the NC Miata train, though. Before long, the prices will likely start to catch up with it once everyone realizes first-gen Miata prices have gone too far. Keep scrolling to read more about older Miata prices skyrocketing!