The Lotus Cars Community banner

1 - 20 of 67 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,709 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm once again in the market for another car and I'm looking into an Elise or Exige as a daily driver. These cars have been around much longer than my current Evora, so I'm pretty sure they're much more reliable also.

For those of you who DD your cars, to get a good idea of how well your cars have held up long-term.

So if you can please put down the year and model of your car and how many miles you've got on the ODO, that would be great.

Also it would be nice to see a few comments on how often you've had to take your car in for service, or what gripes you've had with the car and total cost of maintenance thus far as your long-term daily driver.

Thanks!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,633 Posts
Get a Honda Civic, I DD my car and I'm tired of picking bolts from inside the door, the soft top started to leak, the start button panel broke, the doors don't open all the way because the rubber cushion inside the hinges wore out and to make matters worse, at 65 MPH I have to chase my speaker grills cause they dance around the entire dashboard, just an embarrassment but other than that the Elise is a great daily driver...

P.S. BTW I'm not complaining :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,971 Posts
2009 Elise purchased new.

Up to 50,000 km now after about 2.5 years.

I do mainly highway driving and use it 4 out of 5 days typically, even in winter.

Only these problems:

1) The turn signals started blinking rapidly. The dealer replaced some resistors.

2) An oxygen sensor died. The dealer replaced that.

3) My passenger window dropped a bit. I opened it up and adjusted it myself.

That's it. No other problems. I am happy and a bit surprised since I had expected worse.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,044 Posts
2005 Mag Blue. Got it in 2009 with 18k miles.

Has 70k today. ZERO engine problems. Oil change religiously every 3000 miles. upgraded over the years and months, performance based. Getting supercharged installed as we speak :evil:

My biggest issue is the cosmetic repair and time it spends in the shop for insurance repairs (people don't watch where they're going...)

Other than that. LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,193 Posts
2005 Mag Blue. Got it in 2009 with 18k miles.

Has 70k today. ZERO engine problems. Oil change religiously every 3000 miles. upgraded over the years and months, performance based. Getting supercharged installed as we speak :evil:

My biggest issue is the cosmetic repair and time it spends in the shop for insurance repairs (people don't watch where they're going...)

Other than that. LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT
AMEN! (I have a very similar experience to KockinoPride, Supercharged and all).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,889 Posts
You letting go of the Evora?
 

·
Gamera The Atomic Turtle
Joined
·
3,349 Posts
12,500 miles - mudflap came partly loose, had to put a well nut in. I DD in the summer - 6 months - 8 months
Had to change my 12vdc accessory socket because the stock one doesn't grip american plugs. Had to wash & vaccum the car repeatedly. Getting supa-dupa charged in 2 weeks. yeah baby!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,096 Posts
05 Elise purchased in 2005
54,7xx miles.
It's my only car. I drive it everywhere. Park it anywhere, etc.
The water pump and clutch are the only major items I've had to have replaced so far.

I have all sorts of general complaints about the car here and there but all is forgiven when the top comes off :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,672 Posts
I would just drive the Evora. Their values are dropping like rocks so you might as well get some use out of it. Plus it would be easier to live with daily. I thought thats why they made them? If you are annoyed by the Evora the rattles and tenderness of the Elige will drive you nuts.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,637 Posts
2005 Elise, 5 months owned. Purchased 38k miles, now 48K miles.
Things that have broke:
Reverse lockout collar separated (plastic part and Aluminum collar) Epoxied/Fixed
Grit between voice coil of front speakers/scratchy. Inverted speakers, turned up volume, shook the grit out/fixed.
Exhaust rattle, replaced entire exhaust including headers.
Shifter cable broke, replaced.
Ignition key, when removed, stereo stayed on. Graphite lube and a couple days fixed it.
Driver's side window seized half way up. Disassembled and adjusted, better, not perfect.
Left turn signal popped out, breaking locking tab. Still working on a real fix.
Some of the upgrades in my signature were performed pro-actively to increase realiability.
She isn't the most reliable car I have owned, but each time I driver her, she reminds me she is worth it all (Like a beautiful ultra high-maintenance girlfriend).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,409 Posts
48k miles, 05 Elise, have put 16k miles on it since July...DD about 60 miles round trip.

Maintenance issues I have had thus far...umm..

um...

Tires go somewhat quickly if you DD it..so I would stick to Direzza star spec type tires over R888s or AO48s..but don't get all seasons..the car came with from the previous (previous) owner all seasons and they ruined the car..

My front side marker light tab broke..I RTVed it back no problems since.

And my brake master cylinder *appears* to be going out, but hasn't yet so we're waiting to get a definitive next time I take it to Hari.

Otherwise, no problems! I treat it like a queen but DD it and love it..and I average about 28-29 mpg


that being said..I think the Evora is a better DD car...but thats my humble opinion
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,116 Posts
i don't see the logic in DD an elise. it has lots of great attributes and non of them are on the DD list, and its has some defects, all of them on the DD needs list... i mean that in the snse of someone who wants a daily driver. not someone who wants a true sports car.

my second car is a 3 series coupe.

had my elise for over 7 years with something like 25k miles on it now. i think i have only had it in for service for a few little warranty things. the shifter recall, a leaky A/C compressor, that might be it - its been the most reliable car i have ever owned.

other than batteries dying in the alarm fob that have stranded me twice... put that up to user error in not pro actively replacing the batteries, not really a reflection of the car per see.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
713 Posts
It's fairly reliable.

My stats:
2007 Lotus Elise, bought used with 4k miles in 2009. Drove ~25k additional miles.
- ~5,000 of those miles are track miles


Stuff that broke:
- Hard top liner came unglued, needed a new liner re-glued
- Radiator leak, needed replacement
- Turn signal popped out, needed replacement due to broken clips
- A/C cold air duct popped off, easily fixed.

Some annoyances that I addressed:
- Shifter is SLOPPY, installed LETSLA and SCC cables = nice shifter
- Sector 111 RTV Brace, don't want toe link joints breaking at the track
- Better brake rotors and pads

That's about it. Not too bad. The rest of the stuff was regular maintenance.

It's a total pain in the ass to daily drive, though. It's tiny, people don't see it, and when it's rainy out, it's really easy to slip on the aluminum frame when getting in and break your head :). That being said, I drive it a lot as an every-other-day car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,980 Posts
2007 Exige S, Track Pack, Touring Pack
22k miles (19k under my command)

Issues requiring dealer service:
1 - Heavy shifter (shift cables replaced under warranty) (common)
2 - Squeaky driver rear suspension (suspension bushing replaced under warranty) (rare)
3 - Occasional stalling when coming to a stop (dealer could not solve, solved when I installed the Rev300) (common)

Other issues:
My car had an Odyssey PC680 battery in it, which discharges fairly quickly especially in cold weather (common). Solved by replacing with Chimera CBS (or battery tender)
Alarm system deactivation range is ludicrously short (like 5 ft) - fixed with the 'black wire mod' which takes about 5 minutes.

General comments:
I drive the car every day to work and back, rain or shine. I've driven it in snow (not recommended), on nasty pothole filled streets, on dirt roads, everything. Engine runs like a Swiss watch. Suspension feel is superb but some would consider it too harsh for daily use. Stock audio system is a joke, I would (and did) upgrade it. Interior is loud - recommend ear plugs if you do a lot of driving, or do some targeted sound proofing (next on my list). Getting in and out is easy, but if you are carrying stuff, it's less so. Trunk area gets warm, don't put ice cream in there for long. Enough space for a weekend vacation (or week long if you know how to pack.) Fixing body damage is *expensive*. If you have to replace a clam, expect to pony up $10k or more.

In my humble opinion, the Exige can be a perfectly fine daily driver if you can stand a raw car every day. If not, you can still make it into a nicer car but it will take some elbow grease or a willing pocketbook. I doubt it would compare to the Evora for DDing for *most* people.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
240 Posts
I daily drive my 2005 Elise has about 39k miles. Zero issues so far, I'm willing to do most of the work if something comes up. Might be hard to get it or out but when you are in you'll feel in a formula one and everybody envies you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
668 Posts
i daily drive mine... just hit 24 k. 6k were mine.. i live in chicago, so we have crappy weather, crappy roads, crappy politicians...uhm wait back to the car.. i upgraded my stereo, and did oil change... HID lights were a must... other than that... nothing bad has happened yet... :) like some have mentioned... when top comes off... all the leaky seals, rattling noises don't matter... :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,709 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Thank you everyone for responding to this survey. Know that each of your comments are weighing heavily in my search which road to take.

I am faced with a dilemma. I've been driving the Lotus Evora as my DD and every day has been a dream, with exception to a few nightmares of course ;)

My RX-8 had reached the end of its life (engine needs an overhaul) and I've now decided to retired it to become a project car. In the past year or so, I've driven my Evora exclusively, and have racked up considerable mileage on it, as I intended it to be my daily driver. Well, I now feel the car is really not up to the job.

Lotus intended to build the "everyday" supercar. The car really has everything I want in a car. It's gorgeous inside and out, supremely comfortable ride quality, loud only when you punch it, but as docile as "a lady's dress shop" (as Jeremy Clark puts it), good fuel mileage, etc.. But with the problems I've experience--seemingly acceptable to so many hardcore Lotus fanboys in this community--were simply not my idea of what I would found acceptable on car advertised as a daily-drivable car. I don't know about you, but most people find the basic failures unnacceptable for a DD car. Like not flooding after a couple of days sitting in the rain. Or not being able to withstand the typical warm California climate and conking out on the freeway at speed. Or a clutch that didn't even last 8000 miles before it had to be replaced. I could go on, but this I don't want to sound like I'm venting. Trust me, I've been very forgiving as an Evora owner. I honestly could easily lemon-lawed this car but I have tendency to get emotionally attached to my cars. I'm one who tries to make the best of every bad situation and generally focus on the positive aspects of things. I still without a doubt an fanatical about my Evora. Anyone who thinks otherwise is way off.

Anyway.. I digress. I don't think Lotus ever really believed anyone would actually buy this car literally as a daily driver. Lotus treated me as if I would be willing to just drop it off and leave it with them for as long as they want. I told them, "Hey, this is my daily driver, I NEED this car to go to work!" After 2 weeks of racking up car rental fees ($700) they graciously offered me a car to drive until the Evora was fixed.

But it goes to show you they weren't expecting anyone to really rely on this car as a primary DD.

So the plan is to keep the car as my weekend car. A daily beater, for me, has a minimum budget of $35k, and because I love the excitement of Lotus cars so much, I actually am entertaining the idea spending that money on a used Elise, assuming it to be more reliable given it's much longer tenure in the Lotus line-up. But from your responses, I'm not so sure my experience would be any different DDing that car either, and you've brought up some very good auxiliary points that lead me away from doing this.

Again, I'd like to thank everyone for responding.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
224 Posts
My suggestion would be to get a Honda Civic si or something along those lines as a DD. Extremely reliable, but has enough 'get up' for when you need it. You can leave it in the rain, not worry where you park it, and gets pretty nice MPG. But then as soon as you're home, park it and forget about it - grab the Evora keys and have a blast.

Granted this depends on everyone financial abilities and whatnot, but I think that would be a better fit for you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,709 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
My suggestion would be to get a Honda Civic si or something along those lines as a DD. Extremely reliable, but has enough 'get up' for when you need it. You can leave it in the rain, not worry where you park it, and gets pretty nice MPG. But then as soon as you're home, park it and forget about it - grab the Evora keys and have a blast.

Granted this depends on everyone financial abilities and whatnot, but I think that would be a better fit for you.
I drove Civics throughout my college years, and yes they were bullet proof, reliable little commuters. But my requirements having a spoiled foot, is something fun to drive. Subcompacts are not in the running. Some handle well but none have the passing power I "need" :) Plus I "need" RWD. I also "need" a 7-speaker system. Well maybe not need but I can afford something more exciting. I really want the most exciting car you could get for under $40k.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
224 Posts
I drove Civics throughout my college years, and yes they were bullet proof, reliable little commuters. But my requirements having a spoiled foot, is something fun to drive. Subcompacts are not in the running. Some handle well but none have the passing power I "need" :) Plus I "need" RWD. I also "need" a 7-speaker system. Well maybe not need but I can afford something more exciting. I really want the most exciting car you could get for under $40k.
Completely understand. I just don't think a double Lotus garage with a worry on reliability is the greatest idea. Perhaps an older M series or something along those lines - but that's up to you. Let us know what you decide!:clap:
 
1 - 20 of 67 Posts
Top