The official, ONE AND ONLY, Can This Lotus Be Used As A Daily Driver thread - Page 4 - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #61 of 268 (permalink) Old 06-22-2009, 12:23 PM
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I really enjoyed the info you provided on the daily I am strongly considering the purchase of a 2010 Lotus Evora as a daily driver - certainly more fun than my Lexus GX 470

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post #62 of 268 (permalink) Old 06-29-2009, 09:03 PM
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Hello. I am not new but this is my first post. I am a US soldier that just returned from 15 months in Iraq. I have been following this website for months while deployed. I am interested in purchasing a new or slightly used 2008 Exige S240 (2008 to save some $$$$). I have a 93 Toyota MR2 (my 1st "war trophy" which I bought new after returning from the war in Panama, and still love) and a 2003 100th Anniversary Harley Davidson (my 2nd "war trophy" also purchased new after returning from Iraq in 2003) so am not concerned about a "daily driver". I am curious about several other things. First-Reliability. I know that negatives always seem to post more than positives on any subject, but is there an EXPECTATION that something annoying will go wrong with the car? Second-The car is very light. Will a LSD or traction control help with traction in bad weather or are these really only for track use. Third-Will adding aftermarket sound-proofing help decrease the sound in the driver compartment. Fourth-I will consider a low-mileage 2007 but dont like the short air intake. Can a 2007 be fitted with an S240 roof (full length intake) and is the extra 20HP in the S240 REALLY that noticeable when driving it? Thanks for the input.
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post #63 of 268 (permalink) Old 07-07-2009, 01:30 PM
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My neighbor has been using his Elise as a daily for two years now. He seems quite happy with the arrangement. Granted, we do live in Georgia.

But what do I know? My daily driver is a Z4.
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post #64 of 268 (permalink) Old 07-07-2009, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Sweet Adrenaline View Post
I really enjoyed the info you provided on the daily I am strongly considering the purchase of a 2010 Lotus Evora as a daily driver - certainly more fun than my Lexus GX 470
No kidding.
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post #65 of 268 (permalink) Old 07-07-2009, 02:40 PM
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Carlover pretty much said it in a nut shell.

I'll spare the details of my Lemonotus, but if you are one of the folks that got one made by a factory crew that gives a ****, you'll probably have a very enjoyable car.

If not, well this place is a great resource for fixing a long list of problems you may encounter. I know I'm not too popular for speaking out against some of the "Stuff" that gets sweeped under the rug, but there are enough Lotus owners who appear to have a car relatively free of issues and drive it everyday or at least many days a week.

Door dings for the most part are impossible unless someone really tries hard to smack your door and chips paint off -- in most cases their door would just bounce back at them (and if you're lucky smack the offenders in the face).

Think LONG and hard if you want to take it to the track -- search this place and do some R&D. Remember, touch the track, warranty void or get yourself a good lawyer.

So in a word, yes, it makes a good daily driver and get great MPG for what it is. Suggest you save a lot of money and start with a base Elise ... you can turn the car into a S260 killer with A LOT less money (but no warranty).


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post #66 of 268 (permalink) Old 07-09-2009, 12:07 PM
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BTW This was a awesome thread. Totally agree with the weather they are made in and the weather they are made for comment! I will be buying mine soon!
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post #67 of 268 (permalink) Old 07-21-2009, 09:51 AM
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Huge thanks for the write up, it is very informative. I have a few more questions in using an Elise as a daily:

Weather: It looks like most drivers I read from (and most used Lotuses on eBay) are in Southern CA. I'm in the foothills outside of Seattle, meaning fun, mountain roads but plenty of rain. There will be some cold days (light ice), but the car would never be driven in the snow or solid ice as even my AWD WRX has difficulty in those situations (and that accounts for a week or two out of the year). To best combat my environment, my requirements for purchase are traction control (maybe the limited slip diff), a factory hard top, and touring tires which I will likely need to get on my own (no AO48 for me). As mentioned before, these are designed/made in similar climate to my own, so it seems possible. Am I crazy for considering a daily driver in these conditions?

Parking: Ok... don't hate me... but I don't have a garage. I have paved parking areas next to my house. I was hoping to just get a top of the line, true weather proof fitted cover and was considering (not 100%) a small covered carport for where the car would be. At work I park in covered garages and would mostly be surrounded by cars that are far more valuable (this morning I parked between a new M5 and a Porsche Cayenne S. It would never be street/parallel parked.

Usage: As I mentioned earlier, I currently drive a WRX (auto ) and with errands, commute, and occational trips in to the city I put less than 10k miles on my car in a year. My wife has an incredibly practical and incredibly unfun car to drive (Dodge Caliber AWD R/T), so it would become more of a workhorse; weekend errands, camping trips, going out in the city (at least when it's not the best part of town), etc which is usually what we use my WRX for more often. That means I would probably put closer to 7-8k miles/year on an Elise.

Obviously it's not the most practical route, but I don't have to explain to you guys why I am looking at going this way. I know I could get a much more functional car that can still be fun for the price, but I am just very taken aback by the Elise, love driving, and I think it would inject some excitement in to the daily humdrum professional working life can be. Does this seem like a bad idea? Are there any potential issues I may be overlooking?
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post #68 of 268 (permalink) Old 07-23-2009, 03:24 AM
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Is there a correlation between a daily drivers and clam replacement? I'm a few more months away from pulling the plug and the only remaining concern I have is the inherent fragility of these cars.
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post #69 of 268 (permalink) Old 07-23-2009, 06:14 AM
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Originally Posted by cy9 View Post
Is there a correlation between a daily drivers and clam replacement? I'm a few more months away from pulling the plug and the only remaining concern I have is the inherent fragility of these cars.
Certainly more miles means more opportunities for clam replacement. That said, clams can be repaired (Exige is 'easier' to repair than Elise because it has a thicker clam) and do not always need to be replaced. Good fiberglass (or glass fiber [fibre?] as the brits would say) guys can do very good stuff with both Elise and Exige clams.

Rich "I've seen quite a few repaired clams that look just as good or better than new clams" S

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post #70 of 268 (permalink) Old 07-23-2009, 09:25 AM
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I've been using my Elise as a daily driver for almost 4 months now. Here are my observations:
  • LOTS of attention. About 20% of times at malls/restaurants/etc there is somone taking a picture or walking around my car when I get back to it. That creeped me out at first, but people are generally respectful and I've had no damage. People stare on the highway. People drive in your blind spots on the highway to have a better look. Kids/teens point or wave as I drive by. Women generally don't notice very often, if that is your purpose. Teen and pre-teen boys do... hopefully that is NOT your intention.
  • Driveways have to be approached at a good angle to avoid scrapes to the lip.
  • Avoid potholes at all costs! Easy to do since it is so agile.
  • Police attention is there, but negligible. I have only been followed by one cop on the highway - he got behind a truck and kept peeking out to see if I had zoomed away yet. I also had an excited cop stop me as I was getting into my car and asked if it was a Lotus.
  • The paint has proven to be durable. Someone managed to rub their bumper along my door and the plastic that transfered from the bumper just scraped right off without a scratch.
  • For me, things that make this car more fun than stock (like Stage II exhaust and stiffened engine mounts) push the car over the top for a daily driver. The exhaust from the previous owner was gone in 4 days. The engine mounts are coming off this weekend. I'm looking forward to a smoother, quieter commute.
  • Heating works just fine. With the coolant hoses running up the sills to the front, the cabin has a lot of ambient heat, which makes a warm day very hot very quickly. I've found the A/C to be quite good, but I need to use it way more than in other cars.
  • The car fogs up quickly in the rain. You have to do your own defog mode - heat plus A/C.
  • I've had no problems in the rain. The traction control rarely kicks in and its only sign is the light on the dash flickers. I haven't hit any deep puddles at speed so I can't say if it hydroplanes easily or not. No leaks with the hardtop.
  • I have an issue with exhaust being drawn into the car with the windows open. Another member on here posted a fix, but I think that's a safety issue that the manufacturer should have to deal with.
  • Gas mileage is good. I bet its the best fuel economy of any gasoline car that can do 0-60 in under 5 seconds. Even with heavy stop-start traffic and "spirited" driving when it clear, I'm averaging 32.5 MPG (UK), which is 27mpg (US) or 8.7 l/100km.
  • 6th gear isn't tall enough for long highway drives. Wear earplugs or have good tunes to drown out the noise. I'm probably getting the Celica 6th gear that should drop it a few hundred revs on the highway. Mileage will also improve.
  • My insurance is incredibly low. Maybe there haven't been many (any?) crashed in Canada yet, so there's no claims history. This in addition to the gas mileage, in my opinion, gives this car a pretty low cost of ownership. I'm expecting it to eat tires, though.

Good luck!

2006 Aspen White Elise

Last edited by biffster10; 07-23-2009 at 09:38 AM.
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post #71 of 268 (permalink) Old 08-05-2009, 04:27 AM
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Thanks for the responses. Is 20K highway miles a year too much for a DD?
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post #72 of 268 (permalink) Old 08-05-2009, 05:31 AM
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Originally Posted by cy9 View Post
Thanks for the responses. Is 20K highway miles a year too much for a DD?

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post #73 of 268 (permalink) Old 08-27-2009, 07:07 PM
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Thanks for this thread. Very interesting. Unfortunately, it confirmed what a lot of folks have been warning me about. Have always wanted an Elise and just came into a little $$ and was going to do it. But I really need to use it as a daily driver, so this thread grabbed me. Now I have a considerable sportscar resume. A lot of Alfas in my 20 and 30's, 3 9ll's in my 30's and 40's, and during that run, a 72 Europa 20 years ago and up until 2 years ago, a '91 Elan. None of them were new or mint, except the Elan. It was not until I bought that car, 5 years ago, that I owned a car with AC! I kinda like it. Actually, had a Boxster S last year that was also mint, and I really liked the electric top, temp and cruise control.

Think I am going to pass on the Elise. I love light and nimble, and the austere interior is a delight. Actually, the Elan was a wonderful car too despite the GM footprint (austere is not their forte). But I don't think I am up for lame AC, leaky roofs, and the ingress issues (in your late 50's, this could be a bitch).

Thanks again. From reading this, you don't know how painful this realization is for me.
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post #74 of 268 (permalink) Old 08-27-2009, 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by SFkjeld View Post
I don't think I am up for lame AC, leaky roofs, and the ingress issues (in your late 50's, this could be a bitch).
The AC is fine (had several 100+ days here where I put the roof on so I could use the AC).
The roof doesn't leak (and I live in Seattle, I know rain).

The issues related to getting in and out however are valid. After having tried it, if it's not for you, no one is going to fault you. Try the Evora it should be here within 6 months, and should be easier.

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post #75 of 268 (permalink) Old 09-26-2009, 04:22 AM
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My elise is my one and only car. so obviously its a DD. getting in and out, not really an issue for me but, then again, i am a pretty young guy. but after the day or 2, youll find that ingress and egress gets easier and easier. roof hasnt leaked once yet. even tested it while i was washing my car. the ride quality... it was comparable to my 05 evo rs that i had. it doesnt really bother me. driving on the highway at 70 - 80 mph with your rpms at almost 4 grand... role the windows down or turn up the radio. i dont know about you but, wearing soething around my ears or using ear plugs to drown out the noise could get more annoying that just listening to the enging/exhaust.

this car is defniately not for everyone. there are some compromises you will have to make when thinking about making it your daily drive. think it through. do your research. the last thing you want to do is purchase this vehicle on impulse and sell it a month later becuase its not for you. thats money youll never see again.

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post #76 of 268 (permalink) Old 10-01-2009, 12:59 PM
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Had my elise 1 month. drive it every day! to work, groceries, errends ,whatever. helps to have a enthusiastic significant other who puts up with your whims. live in CO so likely not driving during snow (have a beat up jeep for that)! but will drive it in winter otherwise.

so for all still asking if it can be a daily driver..ask your self this. dose it put a smile on your face? if the answer is YES then there you go.
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post #77 of 268 (permalink) Old 10-05-2009, 09:27 AM
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first off, thx for an informative thread

planning to buy a normal 2005 used elise, and will use it as a daily driver. But as i see there is a few that mention that the trunk leaks when heavy rain. Im from a costal town in Norway, and it rains quite a lot here. There is very few days its snow on the roads, so no to many days it has to stay parked

My main concern here is the rain and the leaking issue, is it as bad as a few has stated here? will ofc buy one with a hardtop and prefere also traction control.

The biggest problem with Norway and cars are the insane taxes. the more engine volume and hp and the taxes goes through the roof. Thats why a lotus is a prefect car to get away from some of the taxes, i love the look and everything ive read about it aswell.

Ill give u a tax example:
lotus elise tax: about 21.500$ + the car price
bmw m3 tax: about 141.500$ + the car price

Both are taken from a 2005 models done on an official norwegian tax calculator.

hence u need a ****loads of cash to be able to get a sportscar with a big engine.

My main question is: Does the lotus elise leak that bad? Can it be driven in the rain often without a problem? Or should i look for another car?
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post #78 of 268 (permalink) Old 10-13-2009, 04:22 AM
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One month

I bought my car intending it to be a daily driver.

Here are my impressions after one month.

Gear shifting

I had not expected this but for a few weeks I felt awkward performing gear shifts. I am much more comfortable now and as a result am really enjoying the car. The first 2 weeks I felt a bit on edge.


It is really really small. I have gotten used to it now. I can get in and out fairly easily. However I also open the driver's door and lean across to put a briefcase on the passenger side. That aspect is awkward. I'm still debating whether I need the briefcase. It dates back to when I used to wear a suit to work. Now I wear jeans every day and the briefcase is really just a business "lunch box".


Gets positive friendly attention. I enjoy that.


I've driven in the rain for an accumulated time of 5 or 6 hours and there has been no leaking in the cockpit. I didn't see any obvious leaking in the trunk either but to be honest I didn't check too carefully. The AD07 tires seem OK in the rain. Pleased about that.


Small rattle in the driver's door. Everything else is perfect. Enigine sounds great and the ride is good. I plan to look into the rattle myself in a couple of weeks.

Noise level

I expected it to be fairly noisy and it is. It turns out to be about the same amount of road noise as my 1986 Tercel. So I am used to that. The Lotus noise is more "sporty" and satisfying though. The fan on level 1 is fairly loud too. It competes a bit with the CD/Radio so I sometimes turn off the fan so I can hear the CD player better. If this fan were in a new Toyota Camry I'd be a bit upset about the noise level but in the Lotus the engine sound sort of drowns it out.


I don't have the top off very much for my daily drive. With the top off I have to give up on the radio and it is quite windy on the highway. On weekends though with friends, having the top off is a blast. I really enjoy it.


Saffron Yellow. Loved it from day one and still love it. I think even my wife, who was trying to disuade me from buying the car, loves the colour.

Heating / AC

The engine generates a fair bit of heat. On days that are 30 C (86 F) I wouldn't use AC in my Tercel but in the Lotus I feel like I need it. On the other hand on days that are 10 C (50 F) I might put on the heater in my Tercel but in the Lotus I could leave it off. The heating and AC in the Lotus are fine for Toronto weather.


None. Having a lot of fun.
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post #79 of 268 (permalink) Old 10-13-2009, 04:36 AM
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Oh forgot to say that the above post applies to a new 2009 Elise, purist edition (no supercharger)
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post #80 of 268 (permalink) Old 11-20-2009, 08:53 PM
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mine is a daily driver too.. not the best one, but super fun none the less...

'07 Elise - Starlight Black, Carbon Fiber Front Clam, Larini Exhaust, Powdercoated flat black wheels, Powercoated black diffuser, Pioneer Avic-Z120, Custom fiberglassed dash for double din touch screen Nav deck, on screen Bluetooth, Ipod adapter, Blinder Lazer Blocking System, HID Conversion, Hertz Audio Speakers, Custom Sub Enclosure for Hertz 10" sub, Hardtop, Carbon Rear Engine Cover, Carbon Center Console, Fujutsu Intake
'65 mustang...2008 Yamaha R1...2010 Harley Iron
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