Costs & verdict
Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is
There’s no sensible reason for buying an Exige, be it an ‘entry-level’ Sport 350 or the track-focused Cup 430. The Sport 350, for example, is more expensive than an equivalent Alpine A110S or Porsche Cayman T, and it can’t match either car for refinement, practicality or equipment.
At the other end of the scale is the bonkers quick Cup 430, whose price-tag puts it in the company of cars that include the five-star Porsche GT3. Next to cars like that, the Cup 430’s six-figure price tag is very hard to swallow, especially when you consider that the bones of the car are nearly two decades old.
Happily, the Exige 430 Cup has quite strong residual values, depreciating at a slower rate than a number of premium sports cars from well established manufacturers, including the current 992 911 Turbo, Mercedes-AMG GT-R and Audi R8 RWD. Of course, rivals produced in limited numbers, such as Porsche’s GT3, will hold their value even better, but then there is the added problem of getting your order in before the car goes out of production. That’s a problem you won’t have with a Lotus.
The Exige comes with an alarm and immobiliser as standard, while on the safety side, you get driver and passenger airbags, anti-lock brakes and traction control. And that’s it. If you want automatic emergency braking, you better start honing your reaction times instead.