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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Some inital 2001 vs. 2003 observations

I have a grand total of 90 miles on my 2003 but I've done freeway cruising, freeway bumper to bumper, and suburban stoplights every 1/4 mile. This car is quick. Even 1/2 throttle or less and never seeing north of 4k. Although its hard to shift much before 4k in 1st since it gets up there so fast. They seemed to have beefed up the rubber seals. The doors and trunk are a lot harder to close. I don't remember my 2001 being this hard even when new. They also did something to the seatbelts. I think they're more plyable. They feel softer. My 2001's belts were a pain in the ass to retract. I had to gently feed it through the hanger or it would stop. Retraction is much smoother and easier. The tranny feels a little "crunchy" sometimes going into gear. But since I think S2000 and RSX owners have said the same thing, I'm going to assume its just the way our synchros are designed. The gears are getting a lot easier to find. Initially, it felt like there was zero lateral spacing, now it feels fine. Just a matter of learning the car. The shifter itself seems a little on the long side. Anyone with a hacksaw want to cut about an inch off it for me? :D I have noticed some low frequency vibration when sitting at a light in neutral with the AC compressor engaged. Sort of a rumbling. I never has this with the auto. I think they changed the engine mounts for 2003 (or maybe just the manual). It feels like the engine is less isolated. Maybe that's just the way manuals are. I haven't driven enough cars to know. Also, the steering feels very tight. Its kind of hard to turn the wheel. I noticed this on the other 6 speeds I drove but don't remember if my 2001 was this way at first. Maybe its just something that loosens up once it gets broken in.
 

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Just went for a little late night 50 mile cruise and had some time to think about the car some more. It looks like Honda really listened to its feedback on the 2001. I've been on CL boards since before the 2nd gen hit the dealers. Some of the common complaints were dumbo side mirrors, non-retracting seatbelts, and no manual trannny. All three have been addressed.

Also, the suspension feels different. Better somehow, but its hard to describe. Firmer and tighter, but smoother at the same time. I don't know if they tweaked it. Or maybe losing 65lbs off the nose made the difference. Or the fact that this car is 2 years and 38,000 miles newer than my 2001. I seem to be rattle-free so far which is more than I could say for my 2001 on the 2nd day I had it.

I guess the old adage about never buying a car its 1st year still applies. Not that the 2001 was a bad car, its just that I can see and feel some refinements in the 2003.
 

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Congratulations on finally getting the 6-Speed. :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

Shawn S
 

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Great thoughts!!! I've driven an '03 and really enjoyed the brief time I had with it. Didn't like the cup holder up front, but you can leave that open and not really notice. Other than that, under the hood, felt WONDERFUL. Enjoy your car. I wish I had waited a 7 more months, but I couldn't. :D
 

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man the the cL also seems to be marketed better in 03 also...ive seen numerous comercials and ads about the car...I drove one, very nice...I just dont wanna spend the extra dough for one...Shyne:king:
 
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