Overall Average Rating - 87.92%
Position in the Top 100 cars - 6th
It scooped the top spot in 2005 and 2006, but the S2000 has slipped again this year. However, it still recorded some amazing results, including outright victories in two categories. Owners adore the racy 2.0-litre VTEC engine and agile, rear-wheel-drive handling. Thankfully, Honda has equipped its roadster with brakes to match. What’s more impressive is its bulletproof reliability – and given the engine’s 9,000rpm rev limit, that’s nothing short of incredible.
Along with low running costs and great build quality, it proves that if there is a sports car that can be bought with total peace-of-mind, it’s the S2000. As ever, though, owners have slated the tiny boot and lack of cabin space, while the uncompromising ride comes in for criticism, too. But you tell us the S2000 is a winner – and the highest placed sports car in the Top 100.
A fine Driver Power rating isn’t complete without a polished reliability record. If your car lets you down, it doesn’t matter how practical it is, or good to drive... you won’t be recommending it to a friend. Once again, Honda’s engineering has set the benchmark. Even though the S2000 is a highly focused performance car, it’s proved absolutely faultless and has come top of the reliability chart for the fourth year running. It’s followed by a remarkable entry from the Prius. Not only has Toyota’s hybrid got one of the most complicated battery set-ups around, but it’s proving to work reliably. While the top 13 models here are Japanese, a brace of Brits take the bottom two places. Land Rover’s previous-generation Freelander and Discovery are reminders of the bad old days…
Many drivers are too interested in how fast a car accelerates to stop and think about its braking power. But, from a safety point of view, the strength of any model’s discs and pads is paramount. Top of the chart is a car with one thing in mind – driving. Honda’s S2000 has great performance, and the stopping power to go with it. The same can be said of Mazda’s RX-8, which won you over with its dependable middle pedal. It’s all the more impressive, then, that the rest of the top five is made up of executive saloons from Mercedes, Lexus and BMW – all proving that strong brakes are important in every sector. The car that inspires least stopping confidence is Ford’s Ka. Its replacement is currently under development; let’s hope engineers beef up the brakes.
Position in the Top 100 cars
Build Quality: 5th
Running Costs: 14th
Ride Quality: 84th
Ease of Driving: 15th
“Excellent car. Honda servicing is cheaper than I expected, I never worry about reliability and it cheers me up every time I drive it.”James Bairstow, Shepton Mallet, Somerset
The Japanese firm always turns in a great performance – and 2008 is no different. Only Lexus offers a more reliable range, while models get the thumbs-up for build quality and practicality.