Buying an MX5 or an S200 - which one?

I'm interested in buying a Mazda MX5 or Honda S2000 from 2002-2004. Would you recommend one over the other and what possible problems should I look out for?

Asked on 7 August 2014 by D Meech

Answered by Honest John
For many years Honda recorded absolutely no engine failures with the 2.0 litre engine used in the Civic Type R and S2000. It's chain cam, revs to 9,000 and is very robust. But the stepped power output is not for everyone. And in the earlier cars I found the steering far too light and feel-free (it improved in later cars).

The 2002-2004 MX-5 to go for is obviously the 2.0 Sport 6-speed and MX-5s outhandle S2000s. But up to the 2005 revamp MX-5 engines were belt cam, which is something to watch. And all used MX-5s need to be checked very carefully for rust that is prone to appear in the structural sills. More in the entries in www.honestjohn.co.uk/carbycar
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