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What should I get?


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Discussion Starter #1
I'm in the market for a used Elise, and on the slimmest of budgets, I'll likely be looking at 2005's. As I understand, the differences between the '05 and '06 are LED taillights, ProBax seats, drive-by-wire, and ECU and fuel economy improvements.

The taillights are a completely cosmetic change, which makes them subjective, so I don't really need people's opinions on aesthetics. Plus, as I understand, it's an easy upgrade anyway.

The seats are of interest. Since this car will be driven quite often, and probably for long distances, a comfortable seat is important to me. Is it worth a few grand difference though between the '05 and '06 used Elise prices, or should I just get an '05 and pick a set of aftermarket seats?

I've driven drive-by-wire cars before and have never really noticed a difference, so, is there one? The car will definitely be AutoX'ed, if that affects anyone's answer.

A slight change in fuel economy I suppose is irrelevant since the truck I'm selling gets 17 MPG.

So what kind of value would you put on each of these items? Are the seats THAT much better? Are the '05 seats that uncomfortable? Are aftermarket seats that big of a deal? Thanks in advance guys!
 

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Cliff notes: no the cars are more or less the same. THe 06s are worth a bit more only because they havent depreciated quite as many years.

Actually the 05 pedal box is quite an improvement over later cars. The difference between the normal and probax seats is marginal.
 

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It should be noted that the 05 pedals (the cool, extruded ones) are obviously stiffer laterally, which might make them feel like a better built unit.

The 06 pedals were changed for two reasons- one is the GM electronic accelerator pedal versus the old cable couldn't use the extruded pedal, obviously.

The second is that they used this opportunity to change the brake motion ratio of the pedal/masters. I've read this many places but have not driven an 05 and an 06 close enough together to have remembered feeling a difference in pedal effort.
 

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I have, the clutch on my 05 elise felt way better then the flimsey pedal on my o7 exige. I dont notice it in the other pedals though.

I also miss the metal on metal "thwack" everytime I depressed the cluch on the 05.
 

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MY $.02; the '05 pedals are about the best set up for a production car I have ever encountered. Once adjusted (brake and accel. height's) heel/toe is super easy. As I recall, there were a few odd things about the drive by wire when first starting out with cold engine, as the ECU might have been deciding on it's own what to do. Someone with a '06 plus can chime in with actual experience here.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
interesting. from the comments it seems like everyone prefers the pedal feel on the 05, but the 06 is leading in the poll. I'd love to know the reason why users are selecting the 06 in the poll.
 

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its hard enough to find the right one of these cars even without restricting the year.

Hold out for the car that fits you best, the year is only a minor consideration. Things like color, milage, condition etc are more important.
 

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An LSD (factory, if running SS) would be ideal, if not a necesssity.
 

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Do a 'Search' on this as well since this topic has been debated quite a few times..

ETA: I've never driven or rode in an 06' or newer, but my seats don't really bother me. If you wan't comfortable seats, aftermarket is the way to go or another car :shrug:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I tried a search, as everyone should do before they post a new thread, but I was just overwhelmed with results. if you know of a specific thread that you can link me too, I would greatly appreciate it.

so what would be a general rule I can follow? barring no other differences between an 05 and an 06, I should pay maybe 2 to 3k more?
 

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I tried a search, as everyone should do before they post a new thread, but I was just overwhelmed with results. if you know of a specific thread that you can link me too, I would greatly appreciate it.

so what would be a general rule I can follow? barring no other differences between an 05 and an 06, I should pay maybe 2 to 3k more?
The search engine on the board does kinda suck, but google works great:
Link

Mileage and condition should be the only factors really.
 

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barring no other differences between an 05 and an 06, I should pay maybe 2 to 3k more?
NO. there you go a definitive answer from somebody who has owned both (kinda one is an exige, close enough).
 

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I can't comment on the pedals (i have the '05 and think they're perfect), but to me (5'10" and 185 + a pizza or two) the Probax seats are a radically better comfort level. I got a pair of Lotus sport seats for what was then about $2300, and it's night and day.

Problem with this is that different butts on different people have different comfort levels. I imagine a skinny guy would find the standard '05 seats OK, and a really heavy or large man would find both pretty bad. So all I can say is this average American guy thinks Probax is way better.
 

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I can tell you that aside from a hole for the lumbar, there's no physical difference between '05 and '06 seats. The difference is only in the foam and an '05 seat can easily be improved upon to be better than probax.
 

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Well no one will like my answer. :)
2004 is the ONLY car to buy. Try and get a serial number under 50. Low miles, maintained. They took 3 days to build each one of the early cars. Instead of building 1 to 6 per day later on. My car is sooo sweeeeeet. Even before BOE.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Well no one will like my answer. :)
2004 is the ONLY car to buy. Try and get a serial number under 50. Low miles, maintained. They took 3 days to build each one of the early cars. Instead of building 1 to 6 per day later on. My car is sooo sweeeeeet. Even before BOE.
Dude, I can't even find a Lotus Elise for sale in the COUNTRY in White, and now I'm looking for an early edition model? This car is rare enough!! -eek-

Everyone else, thanks, your input really helps my decision. Now off to harass Cosmoracer to see if he'll still sell his Elise online :wave:

(Since when did bananas become Smilies??) :sad:
 

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My car is also a very early build date (July 2004) at serial no. 0285 and has few if any build quality problems. That being said, the obvious ones still exist, such as oil cooler hose leakage (replaced with RLS before failure) and the early crap radiator (again, replaced before failure with alloy from Wizard). Is it better than any of the later '05's and the '06's? Don't know. Buy the car that is in the best condition you can find regardless of year model. Stay away from heavily modded cars, ones that have been through numerous owners, and ones with any previous damage. Get a pre-purchase inspection from a professional qualified to do so. The more cars you look at, the better choice you'll make when you do buy.
 

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wow that is sound advice-have a o5 elise-other than oil line concerns that have bit me -price -condition -mi to some extent -not too modified which might mean harder driving mainly more track time -never overly concerned with some degree of mi - because a car almost always is better off driven then sitting in a garage unless ur buying it to resell years later with 2k mi on it- have a few cars & trucks & large & sm tractors that mechanically run much better - proof could be my 79 MGB who most could say was never a very dependable car when made but I drive it often and it is better for it and thats my long winded $.02
 

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I wanted an 06, but finding a good car is so damned hard, and it's so damned hard to get to it before a dealer or someone else buys it that in the end i didn't care.

So my suggestion is to get what you can. Lots of people here say there's many cars for sale for low prices, in my case i found there's few and all for over 30k (locally in norcal)
 

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Yes JavierBayArea,
But then, a cupcake and a cup of coffee cost ten bucks in SanFran.
 
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