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My budget is probably not that large in comparison to others here but I have seen Elise's in the range I am looking to spend however reliability, maintenance, usability and fun factor are key. I considered buying an E46 M3 however the potential problems of the car as well as the maintenance leaves me believing I will enjoy it less and worry about it more.

I don't know if you all remember the show but it was on the year before last I think. It was called bull run, that was my first dose of Lotus and I have been intrigued ever since. I am not sure how accurate my info is but what I know of the Lotus Elise thus far is that it's powerplant and drivetrain are either Toyota/Honda and are very reliable and can the car overall can withstand plenty abuse. I heard however that body damage no matter how slight can be seriously expensive which I am not concerned about really, be careful, and have insurance right?

I would have two cars, one for the poor weather (a beater) and of course I would try and drive the Elise as much as possible unless this car is really one you'd get sick of and frustrated with on normal roads.

-end intro
 

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Welcome aboard, there's lots of great info here!
 

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first of all, let me say that Mr Know ALWAYS put that pic when he welcomes ppl. 2nd, I can help you find a good deal. see sig.:D
 

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I sold my 2005 E46 M3 after owning it for about 2 1/2 years....it was 100% reliable for me - no problems whatsoever. Just as a comparison, the M3 is much, much more comfortable than the Elise...I love BMW's, and personally, their service and reliability have been great! (My M6 has no problems either). So don't discount the "M" cars...

I got the Elise for, as you mentioned, "fun factor." Completely different feel vs. the M3. Basically, you feel everything, but for a small price...comfort. No big deal for me because I do DD my Elise.
 

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:wave:


...and check your PM's.
 

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:wave: I think I've seen you over on e90post. I'm over there only because I no longer have my Elise due to reliability issues (search for P1302 and you'll see what I'm talking about), so I don't know whether I exactly agree with your comment on abuse (I didn't even do that.) of the Toyota powertrain. If you are considering one, I recommend having the valve cover pulled and the intake cam and valvetrain inspected.

FWIW, I have a 335i now, but still wish I had my Elise. Despite being faster, the 335i just doesn't push my buttons the way the Elise did. It is far more usable, but I don't buy a car for its usability. ;)
 

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Hello Forged, and welcome.

I think you'll find this site contains everything you need and more.

If you're stuck between the M3 and the Elise, go drive both. I guarantee that you'll know right away which of the two cars you'll want.

In my case, when I test drove an Elise this past weekend, I took it out with the salesman, pushed it (or thought I did) and was pleased. Then, the salesman took over and REALLY showed what the car was capable of.

I was speechless. Actually, that's a lie, I did swear quite a bit through a few corners. I knew the car handled very well, so I thought I knew what to expect. But I was appalled at the performance of 2000 pounds of plastic and glue.

As AZSkyCop says, Lotus should really have a disclaimer posted regarding their cars, "Warning, DO NOT test drive until you are ready to buy!" Because once you've beenin one, it's just a question of what color you want.

You may get back from the test drive wanting either car, but you'll definitely know right away.


Best of luck to you,

- Shorty
 
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