After yesterday’s Design Detail concerning convertible tops, I was inspired to feature a Used Car Face-Off between three of the purest Japanese roadsters sold in the United States since 2000. With two FR drop tops and one MR, it’s up to you to decide which is worth dropping over $10K on. Here are the options:

The first contestant: 2000 Honda S2000 - $12500

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Yes, $12.5K is an absurd price for a 16 year old Honda, even one as special as this one. Granted, this first-edition S2000 has that screaming 9000 rpm VTEC mill with only 92K miles on it and looks to be supremely well-kept. Clean title, no mechanical issues, and no modifications (thankfully), as most modded S2000s end up looking worse than the grain department in an Asian supermarket. Thus, are you swayed to this little pocket rocket?

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The second contestant: 2003 Toyota MR2 Spyder- $10900

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When Toyota took the MR2 on the Miata route for the third generation, many felt that the car was a bit more of a showy roadster than a true sportster. However, the little mid-engined Toy kept its fun status by still being one of the cheapest mid-engined cars on the market and many say it’s even more exhilarating than the Miata itself. Does this fully restored and refreshed example with 79K miles strike your fancy or does the Echo-esque interior turn you away with the high price tag?

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The third contestant: 2008 Mazda Miata Grand Touring- $12950

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Whereas the S2000 and MR2 have shot up in price after their lines were discontinued, the mass-market Miata has felt the effects of depreciation to a greater extent, thus we must compare a newer Miata to stay in the same price range here. With the 3rd gen, Mazda brought back the playful charms of the original with all the luxuries and conveniences of 2008. Is this 58K mile example a bargain or is the MX-5 just a bit too common for your desires?

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