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Old 10-23-2009, 05:31 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Lotus Elise as Daily Driver?

I know there are probably a few posts on here, but I searched and couldn't find any! I was wondering what your thoughts are about having a Lotus Elise as a Daily Driver and only car?

I am aware of the obvious concerns: rough ride, not easy to get in and out of, shoe limiting, space, loud, poor air conditioning, poor stereo, rain leaks, attention, and parking it.

I think I can deal with it because I'm very small (5'2") and used to driving performance cars and their characteristics as daily drivers (Competition M3 though it's cushy in comparison). My commute to work is only 3 miles. My boyfriend has an Elise so I am familiar with driving it. The only major concern I have is the air conditioning but I think with 3M clear tint and some minor mods, it might be OK.

Also, if anyone knows more about maintenance and reliability for daily driver / higher mileage use, that would be great.

Last edited by katch; 10-23-2009 at 05:37 AM.
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Old 10-23-2009, 05:33 AM   #2 (permalink)
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What did you search for?
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Old 10-23-2009, 05:36 AM   #3 (permalink)
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The official, ONE AND ONLY, Can This Lotus Be Used As A Daily Driver thread

I just searched using Daily Driver as the search term with both searches (forum and google), and the above thread didn't come back on the first page with either search, had to go to the second page.
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Old 10-23-2009, 05:38 AM   #4 (permalink)
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You must be kidding.

Of course in the 5-6 years so this message board has been around, we've never thought to discuss it and no one has ever asked!

51K daily driven miles here.
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Old 10-23-2009, 05:39 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks! I will read the thread. I am thinking this could work - I can actually sleep on a drive in the Elise.
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Old 10-23-2009, 05:41 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by katch View Post
I am aware of the obvious concerns: rough ride, not easy to get in and out of, shoe limiting, space, loud, poor air conditioning, poor stereo, rain leaks, attention, and parking it.
k

Also, for reliability, change the oil every once in a while. wait... Toyota's seem to last a while even if you don't change the oil... so don't change the oil...
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Old 10-23-2009, 05:59 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I really think I could make this work as a daily. My reasons for getting it are that it's fun to drive, looks nice, reliable (Toyota drivetrain), and holds its value relative to other cars in its price range. Now I just have to see how much insurance is for it to be a daily and to find one.
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Old 10-23-2009, 06:05 AM   #8 (permalink)
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At 5'2" I would sit in one and see if you can even touch the pedals. My friend that is 5'4" couldn't even reach. The seats do not adjust that much at all.
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Old 10-23-2009, 06:11 AM   #9 (permalink)
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You can use a skateboard or a bike as a daily driver. The issue is does it make a good daily driver. The answer is yes and no. If you live where the winters are mild, it doesn't rain much or snow, you don't do much Interstate driving and the parking is safe, go for it. If you answered no to any of the above, make sure you have a beater or second vehicle in your budget.
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Old 10-23-2009, 06:44 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Why wouldnt it make a good DD? Kinda curious as to why people are asking this question. I wouldnt want it as an only vehicle being it has very limited cargo space but I can tell you when I get one it will be a DD from spring to fall. Then I can rally my suby in the winter. Cant wait til spring when I can seriously shop for one woo!
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Old 10-23-2009, 07:07 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nsxmatt View Post
At 5'2" I would sit in one and see if you can even touch the pedals. My friend that is 5'4" couldn't even reach. The seats do not adjust that much at all.
......

Quote:
Originally Posted by katch View Post
My boyfriend has an Elise so I am familiar with driving it.
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Old 10-23-2009, 07:34 AM   #12 (permalink)
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pedal reach

Quote:
Originally Posted by nsxmatt View Post
At 5'2" I would sit in one and see if you can even touch the pedals. My friend that is 5'4" couldn't even reach. The seats do not adjust that much at all.
My wife is 5'4" and has no trouble reaching the pedals with the seat forward. She likes a small flat pillow behind her back for aditional driving comfort.
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Old 10-23-2009, 07:53 AM   #13 (permalink)
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DD - naw...
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Old 10-23-2009, 08:00 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I'm changing my original answer of "yes" to "depends on the driver". I love it, you might not.
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Old 10-23-2009, 08:44 AM   #15 (permalink)
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i know there have been many threads about this...but anyway

I have been forced to drive my elise every day for the last month back and forth through west la from santa monica to beverly hills because my 135i has been in the shop as a result of being rear-ended...

I finally broke down and accepted a car rental (lincoln mkz, boring). I just couldn't take it anymore, too loud, too hard to get in and out of, can't parallel park it anywhere, too many people looking at me (next purchase: SCC dark tinting, back to stage 1 exhaust)...

Another thought, had I been driving the lotus when I got rear ended by a jeep cherokee, it would be gone now...

btw direzza star spec are great street tires...
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Old 10-23-2009, 09:48 AM   #16 (permalink)
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79k miles as a daily driver here... no issues of any kind except the 3 or 4 days when there is snow and the streets haven't been plowed. Change the tires to ones better suited for daily driving (better wet driving and wear).
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Old 10-23-2009, 10:07 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I have been forced to drive my elise every day for the last month back and forth through west la from santa monica to beverly hills because my 135i has been in the shop as a result of being rear-ended...
I finally broke down and accepted a car rental (lincoln mkz, boring). I just couldn't take it anymore, too loud, too hard to get in and out of
I have been doing the exact same drive everyday in my Elise now for 3 years, including in torrential downpours, 100 degree heat, and horrible traffic. My Elise is in at Mulholland Motor Sports this week and I have been driving my wife's Pontiac Bonneville (essentially a lot like a Cadillac) and it is driving me nuts. I feel like I am driving a van, I can't feel the road, I feel like I am driving on marshmallows , the steering wheel is HUGE and feels like it belongs on a pirate ship, too many gadgets and distractions. I can't wait to get my Elise back !

Now all that said I would not recommend the Elise as an only car, we have 3 cars (soon 4) and
if going to someplace like costco or home depot or to haul my upright bass to the shop we obviously don't take the Elise. It is not a very practical "only" car, it is fine as a daily driver
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Old 10-23-2009, 10:27 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I would only drive it to work and school, both of which have good parking, and for performance driving in the mountains or at the track. I can work from home anytime for inclement weather. My boyfriend drives us everywhere else and has other cars, so I don't forsee any problems.
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Old 10-23-2009, 10:28 AM   #19 (permalink)
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It makes a perfectly fine only car.

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Old 10-23-2009, 10:37 AM   #20 (permalink)
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It makes a perfectly fine only car.
Yeah, sure , I am going to do that with $4,500 6 foot tall upright bass

(aside from the fact that it actually would not fit in the passenger seat -too
wide and thick )
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