Had a Lotus Elise base 120bhp on a 52 plate from new. Drives great, minimal weight allowing you to drive quickly with little effort. Sticks to the corners very well, it takes a lot to provoke it but once the limit is reached its a pig to control. The car is very impracticable, with very little boot space, difficult to get in and out unless you are a midget or double jointed. Materials inside feel cheap (makes dihatsu and proton look great), but maybe thats to save weight. It is cheap to run on a daily basis, with good mpg and insurance not to high, but you'll need to buy quite a few parts over time and a Lotus Warranty is terrible. And repairs to fibre glass body cost a packet. Any excuse to get out of fixing things. Thats the one thing that annoyed me most about this car. Overall is fun but very flawed, magazines think they are amazing, ownership isnt.
I owned the Lotus Elise Series 2 111s and 14,000 miles in it. it was so good and enjoyable that I upgraded it for the Seres 2 Lotus Exige.
Not a bad word to say about it
My last Elise, a 99 S1 was pretty raw. This one has really grown up. The build quality is vastly better and the cabin is tight as a drum. It's a perfectly decent every day driver. The VTEC change in engine note at around 6000 rpm is adictive as the car hurls you forwards, sounding like a bike, all the way to 8000 rpm. The grin factor in the Elise is fantastic and even sitting in a jam is an event. I feel sorry for keen drivers who've not driven one of these. (Too)much is often made about the difficulty of getting in and out, but in truth I hop in and out without a second thought. The car does need caution in the wet though. There is a 2 year warranty (not one year as stated on the Whatcar? website) and the factory alarm is Thatcham level one Cobra, making the car very hard to steal indeed. As a traffic cop in Hampshire I've been to a few crashes and the Elise is much tougher than you'd think. You sit inside the chasis and are well protected. MPG only dips below 30 on track. Overall the grip is good enough for your face to slid off mid corner.The superb steering makes my company 5 Series feel like it's on bricks. Braking is powerful enough to rearrange your internal organs. Anyone who considers themselves a driver needs to try one!
Like the reviews say if you want a fat sports car buy a z4 or a boxster but if you want a proper sports car buy one of these, I have a 111r sports racer and it is awsome. I see a review above from america and it says the car is underpowered because it has a small engine, Size isn't everything, I would put the elise against any sports car on a track and you would be shocked at what it would beat. Remember that engine is high reving 8.5k rpm variable valve timing toyota unit and is very reliable, also it only has to push 800kg which is nothing. I also have another german car which will stay nameless lovelly car but even though the interior on the elise is very minimalist I feel better after a long run in that than in my other car. Don't buy this car for toys buy it for the drive!
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Amazing car, once driven, never forgotton, forget all the pretenders like BMW Z4 and Mercedes SLK, they will never have the passion of a Porsche
I love this car! Handling is great, its fun to drive and even reasonably practical!