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Hello,

Sorry if this question has been asked before. I thinking about selling my AE86 Toyota Corolla and buying an Elise but I want honest owner opinions first. I am looking to have a car that I can take out for a blast on a summers evening and also use on weekends away. I want to hear the negatives as well as the positives of owning an elise.

Thank you

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Hi Stew and welcome. Which age are you thinking of? I've had a couple of S1's and they're perfect for exactly what you're after. The standard car was more bearable than the 111s with the CR box but not as much fun and for a weekend away they have a surprising capacity for soft luggage when required! 

S1's and early S2's have the K-Series but I loved the engine in the car and they were reliable. S2's from 2004 onwards have a pretty bulletproof Toyota engine with power increased as the car further evolved.  

88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

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Welcome. 

Not many negatives to an Elise. Smallish boot, slightly tricky egress and access with hood on, er...that is about it. 

What vintage of Elise? 

Justin 

 

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They're only going up in price so it's money well spent. The S1 isn't that bad to live with, the roof is a little fiddlier (3 mins to fit rather than 1!) but the whole point is that you're rarely have it on :thumbup:

88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

For forum issues, please contact the Moderators. I will aim to respond to emails/PM's Mon-Fri 9-6 GMT. 

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Elise of that age will be like any other older car; things may go wrong. Or may not. My 1995 Elan never seems to miss a beat. My 2000 Elise S1, which had done 55,000 miles when I bought it in 2018 with two owners, has needed various items over the 5000 miles completed. Nothing major but it has added up. 

My 2010 Twingo 133 has cost me a small fortune over 3 years. My Clio, same year, has cost almost nothing in 3 years and 14,000 miles. Mind you, I don't drive the Clio much - 'er indoors has the keys, so that probably explains why.

So don't blame Lotus if an older car needs repairs. It really is pot luck but obviously do your upmost to buy the best you can afford and research the car and market. 

S1 was designed very much as a weekend play-thing. Roof was an afterthought and is brilliant but is not designed for ease of use. S2 was very much skewed to making the Elise more user-friendly as so many buyers seemed to be using Elise everyday.  K Series cars are lighter, Toyota engine is heavier.

Justin

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@Stew991 So going against your brief then an s2 would be ideal.

Great car that should cost you little to run. As long as you check the car has no tub damage then they are simple little cars to work on and fix. Much of the running gear is derived from far less exotic cars, which means it generally pretty good and replaceable as at that age (just like any car) things will go wrong, but hopefully not much.

I'm sure you can find plenty on the pros, great handling etc all the things lotus are famous for, and that really is its strong suit. 

Its' also pretty practical for two. You can't do big bags, but the boot is pretty big so lots of small bags and you can easily go away in it. Don't listen to the rubbish about a tiny boot, more awkward boot.

 

Downsides. Parts - Lotus have been for some time and are again absolutely shocking for parts supplies. I have items on back order for months with Lotus, and this was current cars too. They run very little stock in the factory so you can often find yourself hunting for parts. Good side to that is there are many common parts, downside is when it is unique to lotus it can be months or years...

Straight line speed: Its not what an Elise is about. But if you want to beat hot hatches at the lights its not the car. On a country road though, smiles per mile are much higher.

 

Other than that ingress and egress, and the fact no one sees you I have nearly been reversed over in car parks too many times, get ready to use your (pathetic sounding) horn to alert the brain dead in monster sized cars.

 

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