Lotus Elise

Lotus Elise review

Costs & verdict

Manufacturer price from:£41,230
Review continues below...

Costs & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

The idea of owning a Lotus to use as an everyday car used to be completely ridiculous. However, if you can put up with its limited practicality the Elise gives excellent fuel economy for such a sporting car. Its residuals are strong and the car now comes with a three-year warranty, rather than the two-year cover previous models had.

Lotus cars of old had a reputation for being fragile, but the Elise blows that right out of the water. Its plastic composite body is tough as old boots and the aluminium chassis has proved to be rugged. Both engines should be bullet-proof.

The Elise comes with an alarm and immobiliser as standard. On the safety side, you get driver and passenger airbags, plus anti-lock brakes as standard, but you have to specify traction control at extra cost.

For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here

Lotus Elise
open the gallery4 Images

Verdict

A proper sports car, full of sensation. The Lotus Elise demands dedication for day-to-day use, but it’s worth the effort

  • Fantastic to drive
  • Delicious steering
  • Stunning grip
  • Lots of wind and engine noise
  • Poorly equipped
  • Difficult to get in and out of