Lotus Elise review

Category: Sports car

Section: Introduction

Lotus Elise 240 Sport Final Edition 2021 front
  • Lotus Elise 240 Sport Final Edition 2021 front
  • Lotus Elise Sport 240 Final Edition 2021 rear cornering
  • Lotus Elise Sport 240 Final Edition 2021 interior dashboard
  • Lotus Elise Sport 240 Final Edition 2021 interior seats
  • Lotus Elise Sport 240 Final Edition 2021 engine
  • Lotus Elise Sport 240 Final Edition 2021 front left static
  • Lotus Elise Sport 240 Final Edition 2021 rear right static
  • Lotus Elise Sport 240 Final Edition 2021 front tracking
  • Lotus Elise Sport 240 Final Edition 2021 right static roof up
  • Lotus Elise Sport 240 Final Edition 2021 right static roof down
  • Lotus Elise Sport 240 Final Edition 2021 rear tracking
  • Lotus Elise Sport 240 Final Edition 2021 rear light detail
  • Lotus Elise Sport 240 Final Edition 2021 badge detail
  • Lotus Elise Sport 240 Final Edition 2021 alloy wheel detail
  • Lotus Elise Sport 240 Final Edition 2021 seats detail
  • Lotus Elise Sport 240 Final Edition 2021 interior driver display
  • Lotus Elise Sport 240 Final Edition 2021 interior detail
  • Lotus Elise Sport 240 Final Edition 2021 steering wheel detail
  • Lotus Elise 240 Sport Final Edition 2021 front
  • Lotus Elise Sport 240 Final Edition 2021 rear cornering
  • Lotus Elise Sport 240 Final Edition 2021 interior dashboard
  • Lotus Elise Sport 240 Final Edition 2021 interior seats
  • Lotus Elise Sport 240 Final Edition 2021 engine
  • Lotus Elise Sport 240 Final Edition 2021 front left static
  • Lotus Elise Sport 240 Final Edition 2021 rear right static
  • Lotus Elise Sport 240 Final Edition 2021 front tracking
  • Lotus Elise Sport 240 Final Edition 2021 right static roof up
  • Lotus Elise Sport 240 Final Edition 2021 right static roof down
  • Lotus Elise Sport 240 Final Edition 2021 rear tracking
  • Lotus Elise Sport 240 Final Edition 2021 rear light detail
  • Lotus Elise Sport 240 Final Edition 2021 badge detail
  • Lotus Elise Sport 240 Final Edition 2021 alloy wheel detail
  • Lotus Elise Sport 240 Final Edition 2021 seats detail
  • Lotus Elise Sport 240 Final Edition 2021 interior driver display
  • Lotus Elise Sport 240 Final Edition 2021 interior detail
  • Lotus Elise Sport 240 Final Edition 2021 steering wheel detail
What Car?’s Elise deals
New car deals
Target Price from £46,870
Swipe to see used and leasing deals
Used car deals
From £36,250

Introduction

What Car? says...

The Lotus Elise is a fine example of how to build a back-to-basics sports car with a stiff aluminium chassis and lightweight composite body.

As it marks its quarter century (and last year in production) with the Sport 240 Final Edition, it's tempting to point out that the Elise's basic architecture has remained unchanged for the better part of a decade. That would be missing the point, though – the beauty of this car has always been its simplicity.

The Cup 250 is an even more serious bit of kit. It uses the same 1.8-litre engine but tuned to 245bhp which, combined with a stiffer chassis, more aggressive aerodynamics and firmer suspension, makes it something of a track-day beast. 

To give both Elise variants their full titles, they are the Sport 240 Final Edition and the Cup 250 Final Edition. As the name suggests, it's very nearly the end of the road for the Lotus Elise. After 25 years as one of Britain’s most-loved purist cars, it is only on sale for the remaining months of 2021.

This is your last chance to buy a new one, then, so read on over the next few pages of this review to get our in-depth impressions of the dainty Lotus. We'll tell you what it’s like to drive and own, and how it stacks up against the sports car opposition.

Remember, if you're buying a new vehicle of any make and model, you can save yourself thousands by checking out the prices on the free What Car? New Car Buying service, which has some tempting Lotus Elise Deals to peruse.

At a glance
New car deals
Target Price from £46,870
Swipe to see used and leasing deals
Used car deals
From £36,250
RRP price range £46,870 - £50,270
Number of trims (see all)3
Number of engines (see all)3
Available fuel types (which is best for you?)petrol
MPG range across all versions 35.8 - 36.2
Available doors options 2
Warranty 2 years / No mileage cap
Company car tax at 20% (min/max) £3,398 / £3,650
Company car tax at 40% (min/max) £6,796 / £7,299
Available colours