View Full Version : NEED opinion / advice from LOTUS Elise owners.



GQED
10-05-2010, 07:18 AM
Hi all ! My name is Duy & have been lurking L4P from awhile now. I finally decided to register & join this seemingly cool community. I also joined to expand my knowledge of luxury / exotics cars too. What better place to do that than L4P ?

So my question to all you LOTUS owners is: Is it possible to daily drive a car as RAW as the Lotus Elise ? I currently DD a 01 S2000. Some days it can be tiresome getting off work but I don't mind it. The roads where I live can get pretty rough but I spend majority of the time on smooth paved roads so I don't think ride quality should be that much of an issue.

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e351/Duy504/DSC05320.jpg

I love the S but with the prices dropping, I see more & more on the road. Im looking for something more exclusive, has WOW factor, & a open air driving experience. The Lotus seems to fit what Im looking for.

If I were to purchase a Elise, I would probably be purchasing the 2005 models.

CHIME in guys & lmk what Im getting myself into :bitenails:

ronin
10-05-2010, 04:30 PM
Don't even think about it as a DD you will be sorry after a few days...model years in the US start with 05.
The car is too fragile to take even a slight tap if you parallel park....

As a second car it rocks..

LARRY
10-05-2010, 05:35 PM
Well...I had my 2005 Lotus Elise as a daily driver for 5 years.

If you love the Lotus and gotta have one, then get one.

As Ronin says, you gotta be very careful! :D

I don't think I ever parallel parked my Lotus...

PM me anytime to talk about what it's like to be a Lotus owner...

Zimnicki
10-05-2010, 05:43 PM
question for you guys, being 6'6", how comfortable im i going to be ? or is the car to small for a guy like me?

KandyRedCoi
10-05-2010, 05:53 PM
it CAN be a daily...but much better as a 2nd or 3rd or 4th car :)

Whitlock
10-05-2010, 06:48 PM
question for you guys, being 6'6", how comfortable im i going to be ? or is the car to small for a guy like me?

Not gonna happen. Hope TheYeti see's this thread, he is 6'4" and I had to stuff him in the passenger seat of an Elise we took on a rally. Had to leave the top off even when it started to rain lol. No way you'd be comfortable driving it.

EChris
10-05-2010, 07:25 PM
Not gonna happen. Hope TheYeti see's this thread, he is 6'4" and I had to stuff him in the passenger seat of an Elise we took on a rally. Had to leave the top off even when it started to rain lol. No way you'd be comfortable driving it.

LOL I remember that photo.

Zimnicki
10-05-2010, 07:41 PM
Not gonna happen. Hope TheYeti see's this thread, he is 6'4" and I had to stuff him in the passenger seat of an Elise we took on a rally. Had to leave the top off even when it started to rain lol. No way you'd be comfortable driving it.

thanks man appreciate it

GQED
10-05-2010, 07:51 PM
Well...I had my 2005 Lotus Elise as a daily driver for 5 years.

If you love the Lotus and gotta have one, then get one.

As Ronin says, you gotta be very careful! :D

I don't think I ever parallel parked my Lotus...

PM me anytime to talk about what it's like to be a Lotus owner...

HAHA thanks for the advice guys. Im 5'7 & 135 lbs. I look 5'2 when I sit in the S as you can see in the pic LOL

I also wondered if the Lotus is as easy to work on as my S ? Can I do the regular maintenance myself (oil change, trans fluid etc) myself or is it one of those cars that you need to bring into a specialty shop to get serviced ? Is the cost of owning a Elise about the same as owning a S or will it be a little more expensive ?

LARRY
10-05-2010, 08:52 PM
At 5'7". you are the perfect size.

You can do alot of the work yourself...it's a Toyota engine.

It's not expensive to own unless you need a new clutch or steering rack. Those can be a bit pricey. But that's true with any sports car.

For Lotus owners who live in Los Angeles, you can bring your Lotus to us at Specialty Car Craft and we'll do the work for you for very little money. SCC loves Lotus! :D

Drive an Lotus Elise or Exige. If you have to have it...you'll buy it. That's just the way it is and why Lotus owners are so passionate about their cars...

GQED
10-05-2010, 09:26 PM
At 5'7". you are the perfect size.

You can do alot of the work yourself...it's a Toyota engine.

It's not expensive to own unless you need a new clutch or steering rack. Those can be a bit pricey. But that's true with any sports car.

For Lotus owners who live in Los Angeles, you can bring your Lotus to us at Specialty Car Craft and we'll do the work for you for very little money. SCC loves Lotus! :D

Drive an Lotus Elise or Exige. If you have to have it...you'll buy it. That's just the way it is and why Lotus owners are so passionate about their cars...

Thanks alot for the input LARRY ! I appreciate it. Wished I lived in LA though :( SCC would definitely get my business.

How is the "WOW" factor ? LOL I know when I saw one for the 1st time in Orlando this past summer, I could'nt stop looking !! I get TONS of looks when driving the S, I can only imagine what its like in a ELISE :laugh:

EChris
10-05-2010, 10:38 PM
They're gonna be looking at you when you are getting out of it... and if you have a girl riding in it... be sure she's wearing a skirt and that I am near by ;)... with a camera.

L4MBORGH1NI
10-05-2010, 11:06 PM
well played :iagree: :beerchug:

GQED
10-05-2010, 11:55 PM
Theres a elise at a local dealer that wants 19k for a 2005 with 94,xxx miles. What do you guys think ?

LARRY
10-06-2010, 12:05 AM
Thanks alot for the input LARRY ! I appreciate it. Wished I lived in LA though :( SCC would definitely get my business.

How is the "WOW" factor ? LOL I know when I saw one for the 1st time in Orlando this past summer, I could'nt stop looking !! I get TONS of looks when driving the S, I can only imagine what its like in a ELISE :laugh:

The "wow" factor in a Lotus is unbelievable. People wave at you, talk to you, and the smiles? They never stop.

And drivers in other sports cars love to talk to you. :D

LARRY
10-06-2010, 12:07 AM
Theres a elise at a local dealer that wants 19k for a 2005 with 94,xxx miles. What do you guys think ?

Make sure it was never tracked.

Have a good Lotus mechanic look at the car and check it out.

The Toyota engine certainly can do alot more miles.

Get a computer readout from the car itself -- the car's history...it will show you if the driver stayed reasonably within the rev limiter or was insanity on wheels.

$19,000 for a Lotus?

If it's in good shape, that's a steal. :)

Chase
10-06-2010, 05:05 PM
I will disagree about it being a steal. That is a lot of miles for a Lotus. I put 35,000 miles on my 2005 as a daily driver. You can find a low mile one for $25k.


And yes, it can be a daily driver. Can you daily drive a motorcycle? Of course, but there are some compromises. Can you daily drive a Miata? Really not much difference.

The main differences are:

1. Attention. You get a lot of it. It might start out kinda fun, but it can grow tiring if you just want to hop in your car to get a half gallon of milk. As car builder Denis Malatov once said when explaining why he sold his Elise... it was like putting on a tux just to go to 7-11. Some people like that, some will not. Also, every Honda with a fat tail pipe will want to race you.

2. Parallel parking. Bad idea. You are very low, people will back into you. It will be expensive to fix. So park accordingly. Really not a big deal unless you live in the city and have no other options. I would not daily drive this in NYC.

3. Low front overhang. It will scrape so you end up looking for entrances and exits to places like gas stations that are a low angle. Be very careful about parking garages (high siding sucks). In the end, I found about 50% of the parking lots and gas stations, I just can't use. I still have this problem with the Noble/Rossion.

4. Small shit will happen. Your dash lights will go out. Vent fan will fail. Welcome to the world of Lotus. :) You need to stay on top of things, more like a race car than a street car. Tighten your nuts my friend.

5. Visibility is not the best. Multivex mirrors will help.

6. Getting in and out for a passenger is not as easy (the driver has a steering wheel to grab). Forget taking your fat friends places. Just saying.... and never let them grab onto the windshield for support. Bad idea.

7. AC can suck. Some cars have great AC, some are like an old English asthmatic blowing through a straw at you.

Having said all that, the car is actually very awesome and makes up for all of that with it's lightweight performance and nimbleness and the smiles it brings to your face when you drive it on a twisty road on a sunny day.

LARRY
10-06-2010, 05:16 PM
Mr. Chase knows what he is talking about.

Having said that, there is no other sports car on the road today that feels like a Lotus, handles like a Lotus, and is as much pure fun as a Lotus.

It's a sports car that should never have been made legal in the United States, but they did. We are so lucky to get a chance to own them, and experience them.

The current crop of Elise and Exige cars from 2005 on, are absolutely a pure sports car experience. The next crop of Lotus cars, just announced at the Paris Auto Show, are beautiful and are going to based on the Evora platform -- they will cost way over $80,000 each and will be completely different.

As a Lotus owner, I've heard all that negative nitpicking before.

The truth is, it's a Toyota engine on a tough little frame, and it's very fixable.

You want a race car for the street? This is it.

Buy one while you can. :D

You are either a Lotus driver or you're not.

KandyRedCoi
10-06-2010, 05:21 PM
^pretty much right on point Randy and Larry :)

CADILLAC
10-06-2010, 05:40 PM
Theres a elise at a local dealer that wants 19k for a 2005 with 94,xxx miles. What do you guys think ?

I wouldn't buy one with more than 45-50K miles. You don't have to worry about the motor and trans, it's all the fine British parts you see bouncing down the road in your rear view mirror that are the problem.

If you're only 5'3, 135lbs you will have no problem driving it everyday. I'm 5'10, 190 lbs and drove mine almost everyday. If you plan on driving in the rain and harsher conditions, I suggest going with the hardtop. Whatever you do, DO NOT take it to the dealer for repairs, you will need stitches after that rape. Lotus' are amazing vehicles and you will have to peel the grin off your face after that first turn you take. You can find a 2005 in the $25k range usually with less than 30k miles.

GQED
10-07-2010, 07:51 PM
MR. CHASE, I thank you for taking the time to sit & write up a personal review for me. I greatly appreciate it. You've been helpful also LARRY ! Thanks to all for your inputs as well !

Well I emailed the dealer about the said ELISE local & this is what he told me:

Just several questions about this ELISE before I decided to further pursue.

Does it have the "TOURING" package ? ( a/c, radio, & power windows)

Is it a clean title vehicle ?

Has the maintenance records up to date ?

How many owners & has the car been tracked ?

Also can I get pictures of the car ? Thanks BLEX

-Duy

_____________________________________________

Yes, it does have the Touring Package. The car has a clean title. Yes, all maintenance was done at a Lamborghini Dealership in Atlanta. It has been a one owner, Baton Rouge car and has never been raced or abused. This was an older gentleman that liked the look of the car, and nothing else. He used it to commute from Alabama to Baton Rouge. I don't have any further pictures at this time but can get it if you're seriously interested.

Current flaws:

Front starshield has been removed, and peeled some paint of the front clam so it has to be repainted.

Wheels have scuffs.

Other than that, we are replacing the passenger side window regulator because it recently went out.

Let me know.

Thanks,
Alex

Sounds like a solid 94xxx car to me. What about you guys ? Anything else I should be asking ?

daedalus
10-07-2010, 11:00 PM
Honestly man i'd say pass.

Figure at least 1000 bucks for a front clam repaint (and then will it REALLY match the factory paint?).

That brings you to 20k to get a car with near as makes no difference 100k miles on it. For 5k more, you can get a car with 30k miles on it. The resale difference 5 years down the line makes it a no brainer to get a lower mileage car. On one side you can sell your elise you bought with 30k miles on it (and now has 100k miles on it) for a lot more than the 100k mile elise you bought and are trying to get out of with 160k miles on it.

You make (or at least limit) your overall cost to own a car (from purchase to sale) when you BUY IT. Pay a little more now, and you'll get it all back on the other end of your ownership. Not to mention you'll have a much nicer car with much less ware. Well worth an additional 5k.

AGPSuperstaR
10-12-2010, 05:14 AM
HAHHA! What a coincidence! I'm actually the seller of this Lotus. Yes, it does have it's share of mileage, but I can say that if you were to get a readout of the computer, then it wouldn't show much "action." It wasn't really for sale but he saw it on one of my other ads posted for another car that I was selling. Considering the mileage, there are no other Elise's I could find for under $20k. Good to see you're a part of L4P...Great community!

Mr. Carter
10-12-2010, 05:29 AM
I DD'd a Lotus Elise for about 8 months. I absolutely loved the car. Like Larry and Mr. Chase have stated, they can be costly and you HAVE to stay on top of the maintaince. Lotus Elise/Exige are great cars to drive around town and I had a blast with mine. My only regret is that I was unable to keep it. I always keep my eyes peeled out for good deals on them and older Ferrari 360's.

Just a heads up, you won't find a DECENT Lotus for under 25K. Just saying...

LARRY
10-15-2010, 12:45 AM
Visit the Lotus booth at the Los Angeles Auto Show coming up in mid-November.

See the new cars and get the straight scoop.

The new cars are all under warranty and Lotus takes great care of its customers!

And, come over to Specialty Car Craft on La Cienega Blvd. and we'll take you for a spin in an Elise or Exige!

SCC loves Lotus!

KandyRedCoi
10-15-2010, 05:37 AM
you can always check on the ECU dump and in any case the engine goes bad....its a toyota engine you can get em pretty much anywhere and for cheap too

LARRY
10-19-2010, 05:40 PM
Come over to SCC here on La Cienega Blvd. right near Beverly Hills.

You can drive a Lotus and we'll tell you everything about owning one.

We can even find you the best Lotus at the best price! :D