I've had my eyes on an Elise or Exige for a very long time now (years) and just can't take it anymore, I have to have one! However, the last thing I want is to buy one and find the car isn't what I think it is, I want to go into this with my eyes open. Specificially, I have my eye on a '06 Exige with the Track Pack, Star Shield and Traction Control. Basically, this car: http://www.lotusnewportbeach.com/det...-20l1145382140
Why an Exige over an Elise? Well, I'm buying a sports
car. The last thing I want is to be wondering if the next model would have been a better sports car. Also, after I add the options I want to an elise (sport, track, starshield, TC, hard top), I'm only $6k away from the Exige I want. I have a rule, if you have to spend 10% more to get what you really want, you should do it.
Since everyone who buys a new Lotus wants zero miles on the clock, including me, dealers are hesitant to let me test drive a car except for the car I will buy, and with check in hand. So I can't really be sure what of what I've bought until the deed is done.
So, here is what I think I'm getting, on the bad side:
- It's going to be loud. Perhaps not defining, but it would be difficult to carry on a normal conversation at freeway speeds
- It's going to have a stiff-ish ride. Somewhere around what a WRX STi or Mitsubishi Evo has
- Rear visibility will be poor
- The AC might be somewhat underpowered
- Entering and exiting the car will be a somewhat undignified process (I'm about 6'1")
- It might leak water in heavy rain or when washing it
- I will forever lust after the supercharged version
- A can expect the tires to last at least 5k miles if I drive hard, but not on the track.
- Dumb people will want to race at the stoplight
On the good side:
- It will corner, stop and go beautifully.
- There will be little in the car that isn't directly related to cornering, stopping and going.
- Being a toyota engine, it will be generally reliable. I'm not expecting it to be as reliable as an actual toyota, but more reliable than many exotics. Basically, I don't want know my service guy so well as to be invited to a barbecue.
If there is anything I haven't covered in either category above, please let me know. Finally, I have some questions:
- Regarding the traction control switch, is this an actual switch in so much that you can turn it off whenever you want and it will stay off between removing the key, and you can turn it off at any speed? I've had cars that enable TC every time you start the car, and won't let you turn it off above 45mph, which is highly annoying.
- I'm thinking of getting an '06 in the next few weeks, should I be waiting for the '07s? Is it true that the '07 will be a bit heavier?
- Does anyone have any recommendations on places to get the car serviced in the SF Bay area, ideally in or around Palo Alto?
- What is this "Exige Sport" and how does it differ from a non-sport Exige (see above link, they list the car as Exige Sport)
- How safe is this car? I mentioned to my Wife that Lotus got an exemption of the US bumper regulations, now she is afraid I'm going to kill myself. Is this car any less safe than other small cars, such as a Honda Civic, Fit, Yarus, etc.
- Anyone wanna give me a ride? I'll buy ya lunch...
Whew! thats a long post. Thanks in advance for insight.