the eternal debate: S2 RX-8 vs S2000 - RX8Club.com



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Old 04-10-2018, 12:03 PM   #1  
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the eternal debate: S2 RX-8 vs S2000

Ok,
So not just a which car is better thread, but more a specific value for me question.
(this is basically a therapy session for me, so please indulge)

Former RX-8 S1 owner here. Had my 8 until I sadly hydroplaned a few years back and she was declared a total loss. I was bummed to be without a "fun" car for a number of years. Life changed, got married, got a dog, had 2 kids, new house, etc. Ended up with an offer to pick up a track tuned S2000 from a good friend of mine for a great price. My wife lovingly indulged me, and have had the S2000 for about a year now. Sad thing is that I've literally put in 1 take of gas since buying her. Because of life (see above) I don't really have time to myself to drive the S2000. Not easy to get away when you have a 2 year old and a 3 month old at home. Don't even get to drive the S2000 to work very often because I'm usually on dropoff/pickup duty for daycare.

So, back to the thread title, being me and bored at work I started searching on craigslist because I really wanted a RX-8 shift **** for the S2000, just to reconnect me to my long lost 8. Low and behold I came across a post for a 2010 S2 RX-8. One owner, low miles, everything looks great. As a plus its listed for even less than what I could sell the S2000 for so I would come out ahead. Wife already gave me the go ahead to pick the car up (and then sell the S2000) if I so choose.

I feel like I would get a ton more usage out of the RX-8. Back seats mean I can haul the kids. Extra money in my pocket between what I would buy the 8 and sell the S2k for is always welcome. But the down sides are that I'm selling the S2k, a car that I've always loved. Plus shes already tuned perfectly for me, and honestly I would keep the 8 bone stock. Last, if the time ever came as far as collectors cars go, I feel like the S2000 is a better long term investment.

So, thought from my fellow rotorheads? I'm wondering if I'm just longing for my my first love again, or making a prudent decision. The other half of the equation is reliability. I know you have both sides, you have those that blow through seals every weekend, and those who go 200,000 miles no sweat. Now its been a while since I've been in the scene and quite frankly don't know a ton of the revised oil metering on the S2 8's, but have heard it cuts down on seal wear a ton. Honestly the FA20 in the S2000 is pretty bulletproof. I went ahead and did the recommended upgrades like the valve retainers from the AP2 on my AP1... So yeah, call it a draw? Would love to hear others thoughts on the matter.

TL;DR - which car should I get?
(first world problems for sure...)

Last edited by leep133; 04-10-2018 at 12:06 PM.
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Old 04-10-2018, 12:44 PM   #2  
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Huh.
Asking members of an RX8 forum what car to get?
Is it possible you're asking a question in a Freudian quest to confirm what you already know you want to do?


Buy the 8, of course.
Cars as investments are a good idea only if you intend to never drive them.
What fun is that?
8s are so cheap now you could almost treat them as disposable.
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Old 04-10-2018, 12:49 PM   #3  
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I mean how much fun can you really have with two kids in the back seat lol. Me personally, I would keep the S2K, especially if itís tuned to your liking. You could probably buy an RX-8 further down the road for half of what it is now
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Old 04-10-2018, 12:51 PM   #4  
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I mean how much fun can you really have with two kids in the back seat lol.
That's only one way.
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Old 04-10-2018, 01:08 PM   #5  
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The S2000 is the better car in every way except practicality.
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Old 04-10-2018, 01:10 PM   #6  
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S2k is usually regarded as "better", but that comes with the price of low practicality.

From a collector perspective, the more stock a car is, the better, so if your S2k is track tuned, it may not do as well as you think it will, unless you revert it back to stock.

RX-8s are not as unreliable as some people make it sounds. The times my S2 quitted on me, it's all traced back to me being careless(didn't tighten the battery clamps properly, etc.). I have read someone with an Accord is replacing a bunch of parts and is more unreliable than my 8, so make sure you check the particular car before you buy it.

Another alternative is keep the S2k and buy a fun-to-drive(like Mazda) family car for the practicality bit.
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Old 04-10-2018, 01:13 PM   #7  
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The S2000 will hold its value, RX-8's are already worthless.
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Old 04-10-2018, 01:44 PM   #8  
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For the price you could sell that s2k you can get 3 rx8's. Cars as an investment item is futile unless you never drive it if you love cars that's impossible fruthermore if it's not a supra, FD, NSX, or other 90's JDM collectible w/low mileage or a rare muscle car etc. where the prices are ever increasing it's a waste of time and money! sell the s2k pocket the extra money for college funds etc.

or

Keep the s2k and find pockets of spare time to roll out and enjoy it.

or

sell the s2k get a speed 3, or speed 6 save some extra cash.

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Old 04-10-2018, 01:46 PM   #9  
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The S2000 will hold its value
Unless it gets wrecked, then you get nothing.
You can drive an 8 every day, have fun, and if you wreck it or it blows up, buy another one.
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Old 04-10-2018, 01:49 PM   #10  
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Well that is what insurance is for.
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Old 04-10-2018, 03:59 PM   #11  
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Old 04-10-2018, 06:00 PM   #12  
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I had an 05 S2000 before I got my RX8. The only thing I really miss is the gas mileage. The shifter is also slightly better.

RX8 has a more comfortable interior, less noise, larger trunk.

In your situation I would much rather have an 8 I could drive more than an S2k I rarely drive.
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Old 04-10-2018, 07:01 PM   #13  
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As much as I love the rotary engine, and I've owned and built many rotary powered vehicles over the years, one thing the motor definitely isn't is reliable - particularly the Renesis. High maintenance, and when they fail repairs usually result in the engine out and pulled apart, which is always costly and and timely process.

Life is so busy I no longer have the time (or enthusiasm) to be arms deep in the engine bay every time I drive a car, or in every free moment I have on weekends. With a young family and a busy lifestyle I'm guessing time is precious for you too. As appealing and 'romantic' as it maybe owning another RX8, how practical will ownership be in reality for you?
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Old 04-10-2018, 07:28 PM   #14  
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Our R3 is our only car, so it's our family hauler as well as my fun car.

On one hand, I LOVE that it does everything for us. Great fun DD for me, but can also haul the wife and kid plus one more and some cargo when needed. This is hugely fortunate because AFAIK there's no remotely stock car with equal-or-better back seats that I'd rather drive.

On the other hand... it's not exactly good at the non-fun stuff. With a kid in the back (rear-facing car seat), my wife barely fits. Our stroller only fits in the trunk if you remove two wheels, and it still takes up most of the trunk. Etc.

I probably couldn't have an S2000 anyway, just because I don't fit in it to my level of comfort. But if I could, and if I had another car for family duty... Boy oh boy would it be hard to justify the R3, let alone a regular S2. With a few caveats, the S2000 is clearly the better sports car.

IMO, the only thing that prevents your choice from being completely obvious is that you're on baby duty. If having an RX-8 means you'd get to drive a fun car more often, that ought to affect the calculus. Maybe enough to tilt the scales. I can't speak for anyone else, but if I had to drive an MDX or Prius every day, I'd start hating my life pretty fast.

Do NOT think of the RX-8 as in any way economical. As you, 9k, and others have pointed out in various ways, you're going to lose value the moment you swap the S2000 for it. You might gain a little cash in the short run, but that'll get blown away in a hurry by depreciation and fuel -- not to mention budgeting for an engine rebuild in the long run; S2 engines seem a little better than S1 engines but they are FAR from bulletproof.

If I were in your shoes, the main thing I'd want to do is ditch the Prius or MDX for something that didn't make me hate myself, and keep the S2000. But if that weren't an option, I'd probably pucker up and get the RX-8. And if I did the latter, I'd push HARD for an R3.

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Old 04-10-2018, 08:36 PM   #15  
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I mean, the insurance follows the person in the States, correct?

Insurance in BC follows the car, so the insurance cost for 2 cars will definitely tilt the scale towards a practical sports car. Even the shitbox Corolla I had costs more than a grand to insure each year.

But in the States, I can see having a Prius and an S2k being a pretty good combo if the insurance follows the driver.

Other than the practicality and comfort bit, it's hard to argue for the RX-8 against an S2k or any 2-seaters(Miata, Z4, etc.) , really.
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Old 04-10-2018, 08:54 PM   #16  
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The S2000 will hold its value, RX-8's are already worthless.
I see your glass is half full. Fill it up and get an S2000.
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Old 04-10-2018, 09:17 PM   #17  
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I've owned both (
and
). If you have a daily driver keep the s2000. If you can only have one car, then go with the Rotary.

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Old 04-11-2018, 06:16 AM   #18  
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As much as I love the rotary engine, and I've owned and built many rotary powered vehicles over the years, one thing the motor definitely isn't is reliable - particularly the Renesis. High maintenance, and when they fail repairs usually result in the engine out and pulled apart, which is always costly and and timely process.

Life is so busy I no longer have the time (or enthusiasm) to be arms deep in the engine bay every time I drive a car, or in every free moment I have on weekennods. With a young family and a busy lifestyle I'm guessing time is precious for you too. As appealing and 'romantic' as it maybe owning another RX8, how practical will ownership be in reality for you?
I've had my '04 for almost 6 years, just now failing (bad cat, my initial ignorance of Renny problems mainly imo) at +80k miles, 65k by me, and has been as reliable as any car I've owned.
The few thousand ir will cost me to replace the engine is well worth it if I can get another 6 yrs and 80k out of it, which I think is realistic given the knowledge I have learned of them over the years.
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Old 04-11-2018, 06:52 AM   #19  
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I've had my '04 for almost 6 years, just now failing (bad cat, my initial ignorance of Renny problems mainly imo) at +80k miles, 65k by me, and has been as reliable as any car I've owned.
The few thousand ir will cost me to replace the engine is well worth it if I can get another 6 yrs and 80k out of it, which I think is realistic given the knowledge I have learned of them over the years.
Youíre happy getting 80K miles out of a motor or 6 years of use before it needs replacing or a major rebuild??? You must have low expectations if you think this is an acceptable life expectancy from a modern engine....

Thereís plenty of high performance engines from different manufacturers that arenít as fragile as the Renesis, that would do double those miles and still be more reliable. Truth is even with 80K on your Renesis, you are the exception rather than the rule.

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Old 04-11-2018, 09:00 AM   #20  
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Personally I tried hard to like the S2k, drove many, was prepared to spend the $$ on a nice one. But I don't love it. I love the RX8.

S2s have really good reliability, relatively few engine issues (don't look at my thread, mine was an exception)

Mazda RX-8 Reliability - Dashboard Light

Get the S2, do the standard reliability mods, and enjoy it. It's a great car. If/when the engine goes you have options to replace the engine (reman, Rotary Resurrection etc) or dispose of the car.

All for much less $$ than the S2k
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Old 04-11-2018, 10:53 AM   #21  
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Youíre happy getting 80K miles out of a motor or 6 years of use before it needs replacing or a major rebuild??? You must have low expectations if you think this is an acceptable life expectancy from a modern engine....

Thereís plenty of high performance engines from different manufacturers that arenít as fragile as the Renesis, that would do double those miles and still be more reliable. Truth is even with 80K on your Renesis, you are the exception rather than the rule.

Nope, had an Isuzu and a Nissan with over 200k miles.
Neither of them gave me the enjoyment of my 8.
They were good for going from point A to point B, but boring and functional.
My 8 is different from other cars and suits me perfectly.
I have an emotional attachment to it I haven't had with a vehicle since my '69 Javelin I bought in 1976.
Everyone is different, my opinion is my own, OP asked for opinions, that's mine.
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Old 04-11-2018, 04:33 PM   #22  
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Nope, had an Isuzu and a Nissan with over 200k miles.
Neither of them gave me the enjoyment of my 8.
They were good for going from point A to point B, but boring and functional.
My 8 is different from other cars and suits me perfectly.
I have an emotional attachment to it I haven't had with a vehicle since my '69 Javelin I bought in 1976.
Everyone is different, my opinion is my own, OP asked for opinions, that's mine.
No argument from me that the RX8 is a fun car. My point though was specifically related to the reliability of the RX8 engine, not whether people enjoyed driving them or thought they were unique....
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Old 04-11-2018, 05:12 PM   #23  
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No argument from me that the RX8 is a fun car. My point though was specifically related to the reliability of the RX8 engine, not whether people enjoyed driving them or thought they were unique....
Well, I've spent around $3-4k in the last 10 years or so on my dependable 1995 Nissan Pickup with over 230k miles.
Rear main seal, 2 water pumps, several batteries, a starter, some suspension parts, clutch, timing belt, several sets of shocks and brakes, master cylinder, clutch & slave cylinder, BUT, I haven't had to replace the engine yet.
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Old 04-11-2018, 09:11 PM   #24  
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There's an old reliable saying in the photography world that the best camera is the one you have with you.
Likewise there is no enjoyment if the car is not driven.
Used to have an s54 M Roadster. Like you life and family schedule render it a garage queen. Eventually I felt it was simply selfish to go out on a weekend away from wife and kids just to drive the M. It's just a car at the end of the day and a thrilling one to drive. But it falls way short compare to going places with my kids. These cars will be around but time past with family will never be regained. Th RX8 offers very similar driving characteristics as the s2000 with the added benefit of practicality and civility. It's your call.

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Old 04-11-2018, 09:20 PM   #25  
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Youíre happy getting 80K miles out of a motor or 6 years of use before it needs replacing or a major rebuild??? You must have low expectations if you think this is an acceptable life expectancy from a modern engine....

Thereís plenty of high performance engines from different manufacturers that arenít as fragile as the Renesis, that would do double those miles and still be more reliable. Truth is even with 80K on your Renesis, you are the exception rather than the rule.


I purchased my RX8 for $1500 with a bad engine. I probably spent in total around $5500 for a S2 trans, reman engine, and some other parts on the car.

What car can you buy on the market for $5500 that can come close to the enjoyment I am having from my rx8? I have not found a better trans/engine smoothness and good LSD with good handling as the rx8 for anywhere near this price, not to mention the reliability aspect from a $5500 with a newer engine installed. I do have a lifetime warranty on the coils/starter/alternator as well.

My decision was based off $$$ plus the rx8 fits a guy who is 6'2" well, an s2000 is horrid in that respect.
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