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OK, first let me say I have a deposit on an Elise and am greatly looking forward to owning one. I started this thread in hopes of hearing anything anyone has to say that is negative about Lotus or the Elise. This site is fantastic and has a large amount of positive information (and to the site's credit, some negative information) about the car, but I thougt it'd be good to try to amass the negatives in one thread to help people make an informed decision.
So what problems do you anticipate?
 

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If you buy a Liz you will waste gas as you find yourself driving the long way everywhere you go. It will cost you money buying accessories like driving shoes. You may well even waste both money and time at the track time or at various events or meets.

All totally unnecessary. The trunk is too small, it's awkward to get in and out of , the roof will probably leak... The list goes on and on.

I think a better question is, knowing all the above and more, why would anyone want one?

PS: Can't wait to get mine:D
 

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Two points I can think of:

1) If you are looking for a car that can do everything well (ie: "best of both worlds philosophy), the Elise is not for you.

It's a car that does one thing well (performance and specifically handling), at the expense of comfort, luxury, and practicality. So, don't expect the Elise to be something it is not.


2) If you dont' really want an Elise, don't get one so people who really do want the car won't have to wait as long.
 

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One of the biggest problems, IMHO, will not be with the car, but with the motivation of some people for buying this car. It's a fantastic looking car. Most of the people probably have no idea what it's like living with a Lotus, or any limited production car. Those that can afford it as a third or fourth car as a toy won't care much.

However, those that are planning to use it as their daily, and only, driver will probably end up frustrated for obvious reasons that they are currently ignoring due emotion. For many, their dealer will be hours away...and the car will not have Toyota-like reliability (except of course the engine). Parts availability will probably be sporadic. I've waited as long a 9 months for a part (thankfully not a critical one). Some of us park our cars so we don't get door dings. With the Elise you also have to worry about damaged front and rear clams (very low and no bumpers). When you need to give a lady a ride and she is wearing a skirt, you will probably be a lot happier about it than she will. When you want to take that 4-day weekend trip with someone, and your luggage is twice the size of the trunk. When you find yourself pirouetting down a rain-soaked freeway after hitting a little standing water, or in your fourth hour of freeway hopping (California) in your LSS-equipped car with the neat wheels.

With a few exceptions, those that are buying the car with the intent of modding the engine, running LSS on the street, putting big wheels and tires on it, will probably end up disappointed in the car. They would probably be much happier with a modded Japanese car or an American muscle car.

Those that have previously owned a Lotus, or similar kind of car, are buying it for what it is and not what image they want to portray, and have alternate means of transportation will likely love this car (even those that come to hate it, will still love it as well). Those that are going to track it just for fun will love it.

This wasn't meant to offend anybody and is, of course, generalizations, but should serve as food for thought for anyone that can't afford to make a purchasing mistake...$45K is a lot of money to most people.
 

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No cup holders
No glovebox
No cruise control
No Nav system
No spare tire
Skinny tires
Too small
Too dangerous
Too fast
Too cool...;)
 

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In the FAQ thread (stickied at the top) I have pointed out some reasons why I think this car may be a bad choice for you.

Repeating what others have said...

1. It's a pain to get in and out. Sure, you can do it. But your body type, how limber you are, age, if you wear a dress, etc might put more emphasis on this. It's one of the hardest cars I know of to get in and out. Like climbing in a race car with a roll cage. Totally worth it to me, but for some people that is going to get tiresome.

2. Small. It's small. :) That means you need to be on your toes. Now IMO, drivers should be on their toes anyway, because even if you are in a 4000 pound car, you are no invincible. But some people might not like *feeling* more vulnerable. I wuold counter that I can avoid accidents better, but that is me.

3. Small. You will be sitting very close to the passenger. If you are one that carpools to work, you may get tired of bumping elbows. It's like sitting in a coach airline seat. If I was a Real Estate agent taking clients, this would not be my daily driver.

4. Small. Hauling. lol. Not a good car for home depot runs. This limits the car's function. If you are on that throws in 4 suitcases for a weekend driving trip, this might be a problem. You will have to learn to pack light.

5. No spare tire. You have a can of fix-a-flat and a AAA card.

6. Small quality issues. There is no way a company like Lotus building this number of cars can have a team of design engineers working them to design the window switch and then millions of dollars of testing factilities to test that switch. Because of this, some things might be a little quirky. You have to live with that. If you want a car that never has issues...then you may not be happy with the Elise.

7. Ride quality. Some people may not be used to, or willing to live with, a rough ride. What might seem like a great road feel to one person, can be harsh kidney bruising to the next guy. This is no Cadillac.

8. Midengined. Not for everyone. If you have little driving skill and don't know your limitations... please do not get LSS. :)

9. A lot of your driving is in bad weather or snow. May not be your best choice.

10. Distance from service. If you live far away from your dealer or designated service person, this is going to be a hassle. It just is.

11. Not used to a small company that does not have a lot of people to handle the PR and such. We have heard complaints about the official web site, the cars not being at other shows, the lack of information from Lotus, etc. A lot of that is attributed to them being such a small company.

12. Attention. I had a friend that had a very cool car like this and sold it because it drew too much attention.
 

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NO.1 reason not to get the Liz is bee or wasp bites.


A bee or a wasp can land on your seat, it isnt ez getting in the car so you will not be able to see the intruder and will sit on it, but not before getting a sting.

When you lurch from the shock you will nad yourself on the steering wheel. The pain will make you grab the handbrake and squeez it and release it. Just b4 you passout your knee will hit the shifter into neutral. Due to murphys law the following can happen.

You had parked on a hill, you were bout to drive to a mailbox next to send the check to your insurance company for the Elise, the bee you sat on goes for reinforcements b4 it dies, the city allowed a movie crew to blowup the bridge down the hill you parked on, police are about to bust a meth lab located b4 the bridge.

Sooooooooo as your car rolls down the hill the rest of the bee hive bees start catching up to you, (you are passed out) as you roll past the meth lab the crazed chefs stare at your car and see the reflection of the cops, then they see the bees chasing you and think they are tripping so they come out shooting, as you roll towards the busted bridge spiderman showsup to help the cops that also were staring at your car making them miss seeing the drug guys shooting at them.

Spideman sees your prediciment and helps by thwapping his web to each bee and then to your car causing the bees to lift you and your car to safety (this would be far fetched if the Elise wasnt so light). The tiered bees start to collaps, right in your car and yes they start to sting you.
 

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My biggest fears are
1) poor quality leading to many repairs
2) price of regular service
 

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This will be the most precious car I've ever owned. That will be both its biggest advantage and largest drawback. I'll eat a lot of Tums worrying about getting a little scratch or scraping the clam.
 

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MickOpalak said:
My biggest fears are
1) poor quality leading to many repairs
2) price of regular service
If Lotus was coming here with a cleaned up Rover or Renault or Jag motor I'd feel the same way. In fact I probably wouldn't buy one. The big buck repairs are drive train and we'll be getting Toyota (can't do better) The handling will be Lotus (can't do better).

Besides when you take your Lotus in for service you are always greeted by the friendly English accented service manager who no matter what your complaint will respond, TATWS. TATWS translates very simply "They're all that way sir" Therefore you have nothing to repair and no cost. Leaky roof, sticky latch, too much exhaust noise or not enough exhaust noise, badge that falls off or mirror that won't hold position anything at all. TATWS:)

This is a Brit sports car. Probably the best Lotus to date, but it's not a Honda. Then of course thats the good part also it's not a Honda.

Steve
 

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NMRJock said:
This will be the most precious car I've ever owned.
Fat Nasty SUVess... we hates thems doors we do... hurts my preciousssss....

 

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Sownman said:
If Lotus was coming here with a cleaned up Rover or Renault or Jag motor I'd feel the same way. In fact I probably wouldn't buy one. The big buck repairs are drive train and we'll be getting Toyota (can't do better) The handling will be Lotus (can't do better).
Exactly! I am not worried about the little things. I have some tools and I can turn a wrench. Those things will happen and we should be aware of them. But I understand that Lotus has improved these issues a lot.

I would be much more worried about drivetrain, and I am not with the Toyota.
 

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L ots O f T rouble, U sually S erious

A little troubling this may be more of a motto than an observation, at least historically.
 

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Hmm.

1) No bumpers; body is damaged directly in any accident (requires waiver).
2) Pedals too close.
3) Passenger-side space unacceptably small.
4) Negative luggage space with soft top stowed.
5) Lack of headlight coverage over a fairly significant angle (requires waiver).
6) Wheel bearing design (inner & outer bearings too close together) encourages short bearing life.
7) General fragility of design (gauges fall out? Really?) - easily bent suspension pieces.
8) Limited service availability (excepting engine).
9) Questionable long-term maintainability, due to minimal after-sales parts availability, in turn due to low numbers of this car model sold over time.
10) Minimal engine accessibility.
11) Risky catalytic converter location.

But it might be worth having anyway. ;)

----- Bill (not buying one... yet)
 

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wstrohm said:
Hmm.

1) No bumpers; body is damaged directly in any accident (requires waiver).
Who cares
2) Pedals too close.
Not really, the center divider has been moved over and it is now nicely positioned for heel toe
3) Passenger-side space unacceptably small.
Who cares
4) Negative luggage space with soft top stowed.
Your point?
5) Lack of headlight coverage over a fairly significant angle (requires waiver).
And?
6) Wheel bearing design (inner & outer bearings too close together) encourages short bearing life.
This seems like speculation
7) General fragility of design (gauges fall out? Really?) - easily bent suspension pieces.
I have never heard of gauges falling out... Do you sell Boxsters? And the people that bent suspension pieces were running racing slicks
8) Limited service availability (excepting engine).
My dealer is 2 minuites from my work
9) Questionable long-term maintainability, due to minimal after-sales parts availability, in turn due to low numbers of this car model sold over time.
So you have a crystal ball?
10) Minimal engine accessibility.
Not if you drop it out
11) Risky catalytic converter location.
What exactly do you mean by "risky"?

But it might be worth having anyway. ;)

----- Bill (not buying one... yet)
Stick to the TT, Boxster or Z4... The Elise is clearly not for you
 

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One word the car is a TOY.

What I mean by this is that it is very small.

Having driven both the old S1 and Euro S2's down in Australia last year. I can attest to this.

S2 is a better car than the S1 and our Federal Elise will be even better than the Euro S2's, but it will still be a small car.

I drove a Euro 111S from Tullamarine ( north of Melbourne) to Philip Island Race Circuit. It's about a 2 hour ride one way and it's mostly freeway. It was a warm sunny day about 86F.
I am 5'11 and weigh 200lbs. My buddy Kevin who rode down with me is 6'2 and 225lbs. We were practically sitting on top of one another. My elbow hit his arm on almost every shift. We felt like two Gorilla's in a toy box. When we arrived we got out of the car and felt totally shot and exhuasted. Keep in mind we had no AC in this car and no roof on it either. This car is a little on the rough side if you plan on doing long trips with two people. Luggage? forget it, not unless you and your passenger plan on sitting on it!!!
One the return trip us two Gorilla's were hungery. We pulled off the highway into a McDonald's drive thru. I am sure most of you have done this once in your life. We went to order. The menu board made us feel like two dwarfs. When we pulled up to pay, I had to literally stand up on the seat and pay the cashier. I could not reach up there for the life of me. The car sits way too low for just about anyone uless your name is Andre the Giant!!!!!!!!

A word of advice donot take your Elise through a drive thru window. The car just sits way to low and you will have to either get out or stand on the seat.

Having all this knowlege of the S2 Elise, I am still buying one. It will not be my daily driver since I already have two other vehicles to tool around in everday. Plus the North East winters are way too rough for this little car. I am approaching this car as a Toy/ Fun box. It will be my fun car. I have to say it is one of the Best Handling street cars I have ever driven. That is where this car will shine, on the race tracks and autocross circuits of the World.

LET THE FUN BEGIN;)

Best Wishes,
Mitch
 

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1.) Because you're a virgin :p

2.) Because you require constant attention.

3.) Because it's "oh so cute".

4.) Because you think it looks like a miniature Ferrari.

5.) Because you think you'll be winning drag races with it.

6.) You are a dedicated NASCAR fan and plan to put a "3" sticker on it.

7.) Cuz' you just winned you the lottery.

Note: Cleaning lady just walked into my office, I don't think she has been bathing lately. Must... escape... horrid stench. ZEE GOGGLES, ZEY DO NOTHING.
 

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MikeAR303 said:
1.) Because you're a virgin :p

2.) Because you require constant attention.

3.) Because it's "oh so cute".

4.) Because you think it looks like a miniature Ferrari.

5.) Because you think you'll be winning drag races with it.

6.) You are a dedicated NASCAR fan and plan to put a "3" sticker on it.

7.) Cuz' you just winned you the lottery.

Note: Cleaning lady just walked into my office, I don't think she has been bathing lately. Must... escape... horrid stench. ZEE GOGGLES, ZEY DO NOTHING.
:eek:

PS: Aren't these reason to by an Elise?
 
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