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Should early 2005 Elises be avoided???

3335 Views 50 Replies 46 Participants Last post by  Icedog_16
In tearing apart every page on this site I have read a few things regarding early '05 Elises and some of the problems they have. Are there certain months these Elises were manufactured in 2004 and 2005 to avoid? Is there a point in time where every Elise manufactured after is considered to be "safer" maintenance wise or more mechanically sound than any manufactured before?
Or are they all really more or less the same, and it's like a luck of the draw sort of thing?
ANY info on this topic would be greatly appreciated.
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I have a '05 Elise, probally manufactured in August or September, and have absolutely ZERO problems with it. I have never heard of any systemic problems with any of the cars.
I wouldn't say you should avoid the 05's but build quality does improve every year. The Series 2 Elise has been in production since 2002 so Lotus had 2 years of practice before we got them here with the exception of the the Toyota powertrain which was created for the Federal Elise in 2004 and is probably the most solid part of the car.
No problem with mine.
i have had an early 05 build since new and i have not had any problems to speak of. in fact, it seems the later years 06, 07 seems to average more issues.

however, if your buying used - just like anything - how the car was cared for counts for far more than the build year - i have seen 10k mile cars ragged out and 40k cars in like new shape.

honestly, the my differences are so minor. factory build quality can be random, but owners will have either set the car straight or keep it straight.
I see no reason to avoid an '05. A few of the things you will read about (shifter's breaking, soft tops coming apart, etc.) were all issues that have been taken care of by most owners under factory warranty.

In my opinion, I would just consider the previous owner, how they treated the car, serviced the car, etc. and not worry about model year.
Mine was built in February 2005, #2829, and I have had no issues with it related to quality.

All mechanical and electrical components work as designed.

I've had a few items repaired under warranty - otherwise, I drive mine every day, run it to red-line, and it still gets 29+ MPG

Have you driven one yet?
Mine was built in May of 2004, it's VIN #0073. The only real problem it's had was an AC leak which was fixed under warranty. I see no reason to avoid an early '05. If anything, the dual oil coolers might be a reason why you'd WANT one.
Early builds are the best!
I have an October 2004 build and have zero problems outside of the TADTS issues most model years seem to have. Of course I only have 15k on it, so it's just getting broken in. There are enough folks that don't take good care of their cars that its possible an '08 may have more problems than an '05. Have it looked at by someone who knows the car.
I've had zero issues ("knock on wood") with my Elise which was manufactured some time in mid to late 2004. :cool:
I've had zero issues with my early '05 (VIN 0369).

It is not always the case that build quality improves over time. Sometimes, the opposite is true as over a model's production run as there are periodic problems with such variables as, parts from suppliers, quality control diligence, etc.
Mine was built November 04 and I've had only small issues.
Real men drive 05's!
I had no problem with my 05 other than an AC problem...well there was also a waterproofing problem, but we wont talk about that:(
No reason to avoid them. 06/07s sometimes have some problems that 05s dont, such as the AC / ECU problem (dbw)
Mine is #39 MY05 and no problem. Some loose screws here and there but who cares.
No major issues here, mine was one of the last of the new unsold 2005s, bought it new in July of 2006 . And remember the Factory Lotus SC kit will be available for 05s first ! I am actually glad I did not wait, 2005 will probably go down as being one of the last non drive by wire production sports cars produced !
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