In high school I was a Chevy fan and thought I would never own anything, but Chevy's. After all, that is what my parents bought and they had good luck with them. My first car was a Chevy and it treated me well. A few years out of high school, I had saved enough money for a new sports car and decided to give Honda a try. Now, I don't think I will buy another Chevy again. This car is absolutely incredible. I seriously believe it is the best sports car you can buy for under $40,000. The reasons include:
Performance: The engine in this car is amazing. 240 hp from just 2.0 liters. You have to rev it to get that power and torque is minimal. But even under low revs the car moves just fine and the sound and feel when you are approaching 9,000 RPM is to die for. The transmission, even after 64,000 miles, still shifts smoothly and precisely. The chassis in this car is rock solid, especially for a convertible. I have driven Vettes, Mustangs, SLK, the RX-8, STi Impreza, and while some of these cars may be quicker, they just are not as fun to drive. The only car I have driven that is more fun is a Lotus Elise.
Low maintenance/operating costs: Basic maintenance is easy on this car. I do my own fluid changes (oil, tranny and diff) and this can be done with basic tools. Fuel economy is good as well. I've seen as high as 30 MPG during long highway trips.
Reliability: With the exception of the above, this car has not let me down and I'm not always easy on it.
Styling: Simple, but purposeful, this car is sexy and it still turns heads.
Fit and finish: Very well executed. After all this time there are just a few squeaks and rattles and the interior has held up well. There are a few areas that I wish Honda had put a little more effort into however. The trim piece around the steering column looks cheap and doesn't quite fit correctly. Also, the carpet on the center console looks cheap, but I corrected this with an aftermarket leather piece.
Comfort: For a sports car it is relatively comfortable. The steering wheel is just right (which is good because it doesn't adjust); the shifter falls into your hand and audio and climate control features can be adjusted without taking your hands off the wheel. The seats are very supportive, though I wish there was more shoulder support.
In June, I will have owned this car for 6 years. I still get a grin on my face from driving it. It really is an ideal blend of performance, reliability and styling. And now that it's been 8 years since it's introduction, they can be bought pretty cheap. If you are in the market for a reliable and fun sports car, it definitely deserves a look.