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Two things we harp on in here alot:

1. It's not a daily driver.

2. Lotus "Reliablity"

I think that warning people that this car is pretty hardcore isn't bad. And Lotus does have a bad reputation for reliablility. But are we pushing those ideas too hard? I've driven it & while it's not a soft ride like an American car, it's not much worse than my BMW was and better than my Jeep (a pretty harsh ride). The way we talk (I'm guilty too) is like the car has no shocks and that your body is going to pay the price. It's not like if you drive it more than twice a week you're going to be in bed the rest of the week.

And since the engine & drivetrain is Toyota, why are we so intent on telling people that Lotus isn't reliable. Rover engine cars were crap because the Rover engine wasn't designed to be a high reving sports car engine. The engine outputs were pushed from 118 hp to 190 or more. What do you expect? But the Toyota is tuned just slightly differently than "stock". Why shouldn't we expect this engine to be better? Shouldn't we give the Elise at least a few months before we tell people that they are unreliable?
 

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Lotus Fury said:
Two things we harp on in here alot:

1. It's not a daily driver.

2. Lotus "Reliablity"

I think that warning people that this car is pretty hardcore isn't bad. And Lotus does have a bad reputation for reliablility. But are we pushing those ideas too hard? I've driven it & while it's not a soft ride like an American car, it's not much worse than my BMW was and better than my Jeep (a pretty harsh ride). The way we talk (I'm guilty too) is like the car has no shocks and that your body is going to pay the price. It's not like if you drive it more than twice a week you're going to be in bed the rest of the week.

And since the engine & drivetrain is Toyota, why are we so intent on telling people that Lotus isn't reliable. Rover engine cars were crap because the Rover engine wasn't designed to be a high reving sports car engine. The engine outputs were pushed from 118 hp to 190 or more. What do you expect? But the Toyota is tuned just slightly differently than "stock". Why shouldn't we expect this engine to be better? Shouldn't we give the Elise at least a few months before we tell people that they are unreliable?
In general, I don't think anyone is being hard on either the Elise or Lotus...at least in regard to the items you mentioned. Whether a car is a daily driver or not is very subjective. Some people get a kick out of super stiff suspensions (without regard to whether they improve anything)...their Walter Mitty ego, I guess.

The reality is that it isn't a daily driver for many. Awkward ingress/egress, no glove box, map pockets, storage in general. It's probably one of the worst cars for freeway driving in CA (freeway hop). Many of them leak in the rain. Much of the normal servicing requires that you go to a Lotus dealer or have attended Pit Crew 101. No spare tire. No bumpers. For others, who ride motorcycles in Minnesota in the winter, it's a vast improvement.

Quality, in spite of the Toyota drive train: Things vibrate loose and fall off. A/C problems. Oil cooler leaks. Warning lights flicker. Gas gauges don't work. Engine stalls.

Most people who have owned Lotuses before, particularly the earlier (pre-GM) models will just shrug their shoulders and say, "Of course...it's a Lotus" and not mean anything derogative by it. Those people who have been brought up in a Honda or Lexus world may be aghast by that.

There have already been a few "diehard" Elise enthusiasts who have either put their Elise up for sale or seriously considered it for these same reasons. Lotus is as much an experience as it is a car. Whether that is a good experience depends mostly on your realistic expectations versus some fantasy vision of what owning and driving an exotic car entails.

Interesting subject...
 

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I've never owned a Lotus before, but I have owned a Fiat and an MG and many Hondas. I anticipate that the Elise's reliability will be somewhere between those two extremes. (Fiat being the worst, BTW). I think I will be able to deal with it, wife, I'm not so sure.
 

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I agree about Fiat...I had an X1/9 that was in the shop much more often than it was on the road.
 

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I have owned three Elises in the past five years, and used them all as my daily car, even in winter. I have never had any unplanned trip to the garage or other problem that would be worth mentioning.
 

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I only drove it for 1,000 miles but I'm driving it every day.
Other than 3 nights on the past 2.5 weeks when I went home and swapped it with my Isuzu Amigo at night just to turn the engine. Drives like a bus now or at least it feels that way.

So far the elise is my daily driver and I find it very reliable, but I'll get back to you in one year :)
 

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I have a reasonable expectation the Elise will be reliable, but I won't be shocked if there are little things that need to be taken care of regularly. This is due to Lotus' reputation. I am pretty confident it won't strand me (I hope not since my main plan is to take a lot of road trips in it.) But the fit and finish of the car is surprisingly high - the radio faceplate seems to me to be the cheesiest aspect of the interior so far. And Lotus doesn't make that.

Along those lines, I feel the ride is pretty good all things considered, and I'm not a stiff ride == performance kind of person (i.e. automatically slap on a stiffer suspension because it's "better". ) I like a smooth ride. And I think the Lotus with standard suspension is very livable. I can hear and feel the bumps, but they don't punish me. I just know they're there.

The Sport Pack suspension is not as smooth, but it's not bad either. If that had been the standard ride, I wouldn't have been really disappointed. I think it transmits more "jiggle" to the driver so if you had a lot of rough pavement, you might get a little fatigued or nauseous. But I thought that I could easily live with it for a 12 mile 1 way commute.

It's even quieter than I thought - I can hold normal coversations with passengers at speeds up to 65mph, maybe even higher depending on the type of pavement.

The flexibility and breadth of the powerband is fine to me too for every day use. I am still breaking it in so I have not yet even gone into high-cams yet, but I don't have to row the gearbox like a crazed kayaker to move around in traffic and get to open spots, merge, pass, etc. I can even short-shift for quietness if I want! It doesn't feel like it's being lugged (though I should avoid that for break-in.)

I think the biggest drawbacks for me are the awkward ingress/egress (especially with top on) and the lack of visibility to each rear quarter (you need to be real careful in traffic.) Other than that, I am pretty happy with it as a daily driver. It's no luxury sedan or even a Camry, but I am really impressed with this package for every day use. It's considerably more than I expected.





DLY
 

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Lotus Fury said:
And since the engine & drivetrain is Toyota, why are we so intent on telling people that Lotus isn't reliable.
The car stalls. How many new cars these days exhibit that behavior? Lotus has to prove themselves with the Elise. I think the cars are and will be reliable - meaning, you can count on it to get you from point A to point B. However, I also think these cars will experience an above average number of minor problems (stalling, oil coolers, A/C, to name a few).

To the Lotus target audience - this is no big deal. I don't think most Americans would understand what the Elise is all about, though, and would be more critical of these quirks.
 

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This is my first Lotus and I was affected by the oil cooler problem after only 2 weeks of owning it. At the time, I was quite bummed. My daily driver was an Audi Allroad that had been to the dealer about 15-20 times in the year I owned it. Both cars breaking down and living 2 hours from the dealer was taking too much of my time. I just traded the Allroad for a new Legacy GT. When the oil cooler problem occured, my dealer (LOA) had the car brought to them on a flatbed (c/o Lotus). The part was ordered and aparently Lotus figured out the problem as a few others had the same problem. After I picked the car up and drove about a mile I wasn't negative about the experience. The car was perfectly clean and the work was top notch. I was afraid the front end might not be assembled as well as before but it was fine. Although it was frustrating to have the car break after 2 weeks it was handled well and I view Lotus as a company that takes care of their customers.

I've heard a hundred times you shouldn't buy any car it's first year out. I ended up buying the first Elise I ever saw and I'm glad I did.

As far as ride comfort goes I could definitely drive my Elise every day. If you keep the revs below 6200rpms the car sounds normal and isn't hard to drive in traffic at all. I just need more room with my job and I'd rather not rack all the miles on it. It makes it that much more exciting to drive it when I'm used to cruising around in a soft suspensioned 3400 lb car.
 

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Let see, there's so much to mention.

1) Alternator went - 10 days to repair - they said I was lucky to even get one as they never go bad and there was 1 in the USA!?!?!
2) Immobilizer immobilized us 8 hours from home - 2 weeks and had to drive all the way back to get car.
3) After getting the car I have 2 bent wheels on the right side. Dealer claims innocence and I can't prove they did it but I know they did.
4) Front driver's side drive shaft was bent (other side of car from bent wheels). It caused a vibration in the car so hard that if you talked it would sound like you were talking into a fan. I told them 3 times where to check and this one problem took 4 trips to the dealer to get fixed! I even got new tires because they blamed the tires.
5) A random chirping started in the air conditioner that would make you go insane.
6) 1 week after getting the driveshaft problem resolved I got a loud creaking noise in the front end that made the car sound like an old rusty wagon. I lost my patience at this point and traded it.

I can't think of a few more things but I figured out that they had my car in service for about 5-7 weeks in the 14 months I had it.

I've had good luck with Audi's and still have an ALMS TT but my Allroad was nicknamed Noroad.
 

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eliseowner2b said:
Let see, there's so much to mention.

1) Alternator went - 10 days to repair - they said I was lucky to even get one as they never go bad and there was 1 in the USA!?!?!
2) Immobilizer immobilized us 8 hours from home - 2 weeks and had to drive all the way back to get car.
3) After getting the car I have 2 bent wheels on the right side. Dealer claims innocence and I can't prove they did it but I know they did.
4) Front driver's side drive shaft was bent (other side of car from bent wheels). It caused a vibration in the car so hard that if you talked it would sound like you were talking into a fan. I told them 3 times where to check and this one problem took 4 trips to the dealer to get fixed! I even got new tires because they blamed the tires.
5) A random chirping started in the air conditioner that would make you go insane.
6) 1 week after getting the driveshaft problem resolved I got a loud creaking noise in the front end that made the car sound like an old rusty wagon. I lost my patience at this point and traded it.

I can't think of a few more things but I figured out that they had my car in service for about 5-7 weeks in the 14 months I had it.

I've had good luck with Audi's and still have an ALMS TT but my Allroad was nicknamed Noroad.
Sorry to hear about your problems with the Audi. I, on the other hand (just for comparison sake), have a 2002 S4 with 58,000 miles and have had no problems at all. ( except for once, the check engine light was on....a gas cap problem). I'm having a hard time deciding whether to turn it in (end of lease) or buy it out. It's an awesome car!
 

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I think your all crazy ......... lol

Most owners in the UK have them as their only car and drive it to and from work, etc, 7 days a week.

Don't forget that it's always cold and raining here too, so you guys have it good :p

I've driven my VXT every day for around a year and I wouldn't have it any other way.

As for relability, I can't speak for the Elise, but the VX is one of the most reliable cars I've ever come across.
Not once have I ever heard of anyone on our forum complain that their VX let them down.
 

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Gedi said:
I think your all crazy ......... lol

Most owners in the UK have them as their only car and drive it to and from work, etc, 7 days a week.

Don't forget that it's always cold and raining here too, so you guys have it good :p

I've driven my VXT every day for around a year and I wouldn't have it any other way.

As for relability, I can't speak for the Elise, but the VX is one of the most reliable cars I've ever come across.
Not once have I ever heard of anyone on our forum complain that their VX let them down.
I am driving mine everyday and do believe I could drive it through the winter as well. My problem is not with me but with those around me. Drivers as a whole in the US are terrible. And as Surferjer has mentioned many times, Pennsylvania has more than it's share of these idiots. My concern is sitting at a light and watching a Suburban slide through the intersection and across the front of my car while the driver is talking on their cell phone and eating a big mac.
 

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Gedi said:
I think your all crazy ......... lol

Most owners in the UK have them as their only car and drive it to and from work, etc, 7 days a week.

Don't forget that it's always cold and raining here too, so you guys have it good :p

I've driven my VXT every day for around a year and I wouldn't have it any other way.

As for relability, I can't speak for the Elise, but the VX is one of the most reliable cars I've ever come across.
Not once have I ever heard of anyone on our forum complain that their VX let them down.
I agree with Gedi... I think we are thinking about this way too much. I go on the belief that you are what you think of... if they are negative thoughts, well... you know what I mean. I personal am going to drive the car everyday, maybe not as much when it rains, not because the car can't handle it, but because California drivers don't know to drive in the rain.

It's not a Ferrari guys (garage queen) it's a Lotus... IMO meant to be driven...

Neil
 

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Little Bastard said:
I agree with Gedi... I think we are thinking about this way too much. I go on the belief that you are what you think of... if they are negative thoughts, well... you know what I mean. I personal am going to drive the car everyday, maybe not as much when it rains, not because the car can't handle it, but because California drivers don't know to drive in the rain.

It's not a Ferrari guys (garage queen) it's a Lotus... IMO meant to be driven...

Neil
:clap: well said
 

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Daily driver? Hell YES!

I've been to Home Depot at least 6 times with the Elise. The wonderful thing about taking an Elise (or any Lotus) to Home Depot is that the project assigned by the significant other HAS to be small enough to fit in the boot! :clap:

Kiyoshi
 
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