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Lotus Elise Prices Paid and Buying Experience

kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 53,652
edited March 2014 in Lotus
Tell us about your purchase!!


Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs


  • oh58doh58d Posts: 3
    I read Tom's (Mr. 6'4") review of the car and I really have to wonder how much reading about the car he did before he bought his. He bought the car and complained about the steering and getting in and out. These were his two major complaints. Well Tom, I'll put it to you very simply. The reason the steering feels different is because it does NOT have power steering OR power assist, or variable power assist steering. It's simple link steering. It's built far more like a Formula One Car than a touring car. If you were looking for a touring car, unless you're my height or less (68") OF COURSE you're going to have problems getting in or out. On the other hand, were it a truck, *I* would complain about getting in because the stairs are two high and my legs too short. I hate driving SUV's, Trucks, or anything where I have to step up. For me, getting into the Elise (2005 with both the touring and the race packages--split personality, but I'm a Gemini, what do you expect? :-) ) is pure simplicity and actually EASIER than getting into my old Eclipse Spyder. I just hop over the door if the top is down , but even with the top up, it's simple for me to get in. The car just fits me perfectly. Sorry, but I can't for the life of me imagine why someone your height would want this car, ESPECIALLY for driving around town. I can easily see why you wouldn't like it. I just have to defend it though. I adore mine. I feel like I'm racing everytime I drive it, and I live VERY close to some of Florida's most challenging roads (yes, hills, believe it or not). I love feeling every bump in the road. I'm a helicopter pilot and other chopper pilots will tell what I'm about too... in a helicopter, you absolutely MUST be very "in touch" with your proprioceptive system... basically that's where the saying "flying by the seat of your pants" comes from. Copter pilots use the slightest shift in weight to correct for BEFORE the helicopter moves and after awhile it becomes second nature. I've found the same thing with my 2005 Elise. I can feel exactly how much traction I have on each tire, know exactly how much I can push before I lose traction, but to Lotus' credit, I've never found myself "out of control" in this car--things I can't say about my last three cars--a Boxter, Vette ZR, and the Z8. Heck, obviously the eclipse Spyder GS-T (which I've kept as my main get around car) loses control and suffers from severe understeer. The Elise though... it's almost like a "my GOD!" feeling when you get it on a windy road and open it up. Because they didn't fill the thing up with creature comforts (Lotus supposedly wanted to keep the car under a ton curbweight) you just really get to FEEL the car better.

    BEST of all, before I bought the Elise, I was in a dating drought in a bad way. Everybody has Boxter's these days, and Vettes are seen everyday, as are the BMW's. I've never owned an exotic before, and I must say, I'm not a person who is as gregarious and confident around women as I am about everything else. Thus, I had few opportunities to meet women (the Army is all of 5% women--all ugly, gay, or married). The Elise has changed that. I now get approached juuuust about everytime I gas up the car (and yes, I DO look for the busy ones) by some women under 35. You may have your complaints, but I keep mine garaged, ride around in my eclipse if just going on post, (FYI retired military continue to maintain the rights to use any and all military facilities) but if I'm going out for fun, no car I've ever driven has ever been even remotely close to the Elise. I certainly respect your opinion, and those of others, but for me as a short single guy with the mindset of a combat pilot, the Elise and it's price range are perfect for me. I don't remember precisely where I read it, but I think it was on Edmunds under "first ride." The simple expression that the test driver took the Elise onto a race track and at the end said something like (following is paraphrased) "I imagine the Ferrari Sport Convertible and the Porsche 959 would finish ahead of the Elise on the track, but by such a slim margin there is absolutely no way to justify buying them at 5 times the price" (end paraphrase). I haven't driven the others and don't know if you have, but the writer of that article had. He pretty much summed it up by calling the Elise the "baby bear" in that the car was made "juuuussst right!"
    It had to do something to win European Car of the year for 6 straight years. And with a Toyota engine, we can expect lower prices for tune ups, oil changes, and any other parts we might need. At this point I'm very tempted to get the entire exhaust system redone and see if I can find an aftermarket twin turbo for it. Mine already does 0-60 in under 5 (4.9 on a timed 0-60, 0-100, and standing quarter mile). For something that can put a scare into just about anything on the road save for a Penoz or Viper, Murcielago, et. al. and even those wouldn't beat me by much, I'm tickled I finally own a relatively exotic car and didn't have to break $80k to do it.
  • Oh58d, I completely agree with you. The Elise is a beautiful car. I "only" own a 91 Elan M100, but even that old car handles awesome! I have lots of people test it out and they cannot believe how it rides on a rail! I cannot imagine that since then Lotus handling has gotten lousy. The Elise tears up the road at a fraction of the cost of other exotics. And people who are 6'4" should NOT buy this car and then complain. Anyway, cheers to you and your Elise. May it find you lots of women!!
  • oh58doh58d Posts: 3
    When I first sat in the Elise I was almost afraid I was going to fall before I reached the seat. Then I laughed as I sat down and was snuggled by this most purely sexy car alive. I let the dealer drive it halfway, then I drove it halfway, and I was sold. No car I've driven to date UNDER $200,000 will give you the same ride. Quote me on it. Then since I've recently traded in my '05 for the '06 with the hard top option (wanted to see if I "loved" it before waiting months for the EXACT specs). My dealership organized a trip to Daytona for all of his Lamborghini, Porsche, Ferrari, and Lotus Owners. Some Vette ZR1 and Viper owners tagged along as well, but for the first time in my life I understand what "exotic" and "supercar" mean. First, I should warn I did have the turbo put onto the engine BY THE DEALER so it still is under full warrantee, and they put in a new exhaust for me as well as installing my Garmin 7 1/2" LCD in a "power on, slide out and pop up" fashion. I don't have to take it with me everywhere I go anymore since it's hidden. Back to the story. When we hit the track, ALL of us became friends (except for the Vette and Viper owners... not my fault), and yes, I let people drive my Elise with my teeth clenched, but I drove their $275,000 Ferraris and Lambhorghinis (no Murcielagos... only Gallardos) so fair is fair. We all got to run a 10 Lap timed run at the end of the day.

    Well, except for looks, I was the runt of the litter there. I had less horsepower at only 280hp (2075 lbs) but by the end of the day my $50,900 sticker Elise had embarrassed all but two cars... The Ferrari 360 beat me over 10 laps by a grand 3.2 seconds. The 'Ghini Gallardo beat me over 10 by a mere .7 seconds. Next came the Viper, then the 911 (not the twin turbo), and in last? The Vette. Everyone who drove the Vette was petrified around the curves. So what am I getting at with all of this? Well, at the end of the day, a guy we'll call Fred the Ferrari Owner came over and just sat there and grinned at me. Yes, he had one of those annoying English accents. What did he say? "Well Yank? I got ya didn't I?" I smiled... Sure... He paid over $300,000 for his after all. Then he got serious. He patted my rear grill to feel the heat of the engine and said something LIKE "Well, I might have had the fastest car out there today, but somehow, I'm doubting paying $300,000 more for my car than yours isn't quite worth the .3 seconds per lap that I beat you by... and if we switched cars, I'd beat you with you driving my 360 and me driving the Elise... and that's what's so bloody scary. Hell of a car mate." Of course that's not exact, but the message was, and he was right. He's an experienced track driver. This was my first time on the track EVER!! Simply the fact that for around $50,000 (with the mods) I was able to compete with the top cars in the world. And BOY did that Vette driver slink away fast, not saying a word to anyone.
  • Questions about your upgrades...

    Where did you get your supercharger? Forcefed? Ragnarok? Do you know any differences between the two set-ups? Thanks
  • oh58doh58d Posts: 3
    Hmmm... honestly don't know much. The dealership has a Lotus approved Turbocharger which does NOT void the warranty. Supercharging it DOES void the warranty. Since I'm no mechanic, I'm going to wait until the warrantee runs out, at which point I will supercharge it (supposedly it gets the car to under 3 sec. 0-60... I'm at about 3.2 now with the factory installed twin turbo... honestly though, I couldn't even tell you the name of the twin'turbo company. Sorry I couldn't be of more assistance. For what it's worth, there is a guy who's active in the Lotus Owners Club who supercharges Elises for a living. I would contact him. If I find his name somewhere (I'll look for it), I'll post it here. That's the best I can do. Sorry... really.
  • mycadmycad Posts: 1
    I really need input how exactly lease works in a stolen/totaled car. I leased an escalade a year ago. I put down the old car I had which was priced at $6,750. At the time also, there was rebate of $2,800. So the cost of the car came down to $50,350. It was stolen a month ago. I just received a detailed explanation from the insurance and they came up with $55,600 value of the car which they will cut a check to GMAC. Knowing that the value of the car when I took it was $50,350, am I entitled to get difference between the book value my insurance paid to GMAC and the original cost of the car? That's $5,250. I was told by GMAC that they don't owe anything to me. They said that technically, they own the car. But how about the money I put down? I really appreciate if somebody can shed me some light on this. Thanks.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 53,652
    Hi, mycad..

    Since this is a pricing discussion for the Lotus Elise, you will have a better chance getting responses in an appropriate topic.

    Try here: Lease Termination Fees and other costs

    It isn't an exact fit, but it's close enough.. ;)


    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • I can't seem to find any information on the whereabouts of Lotus dealership(s) around where I live. Does anyone know of any Lotus dealers in the south Jersey/Philadelphia area?


  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 53,652
    Looks like there is a dealer in Springfield, Pa..

    Lotus USA


    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • njexpressnjexpress Posts: 170
    Have you tried the dealership in Princeton( It is about an hour away from Phily.
    Please post your experiences.
  • So when do you think dealers are going to start to discount the 07's Elise's that they have in stock now that the 08's are out?
  • Ah, times have changed. If you are reading this after my time stamp, LOTUS now offers a factory supercharger that if dealer installed does NOT void warranty. I understand the install and total setup will run around $7-9000. That being said, I am planning on making the investment. I love this car so much!!! I was never a car guy until I saw the Elise. 8 months later I bought one. Now I'm hooked. It got me with it's looks and now I'm hooked on it's performance, totally spoiled. I can't imagine what it is going to drive like once it is supercharged! ;)
This discussion has been closed.