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Will the Elise "last"?

1754 Views 18 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Randy Chase
I was talking to someone about vehicles and their worth down the road. Very few cars appreciate in value.

Do you think the Elise will hold its value short term? Long term?

5-10 years down the road will it be worth nothing or will it be very much in demand and easy to sell.
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With any desirable vehicle, especially low production ones where demand exceeds supply, there will alwyas be a healthy resale market. The Elise will hold it's value mucher better than the average car. Look at the new MINI Cooper. It's been out over a year and dealers are still getting top dollar. Look at I bet you'll find used MINI's at prices hgiher than msrp.

Don't worry, if you don't like it after owning it for 6 months, you'll be able to sell it for at least what you paid for it...
Oh Im sure I'll like it and have no plans to sell, im just curious how they'll fair depreciation wise.
I'm more worried if the damn thing will fall apart or not. The build quality seems terrible.
Vantage, I must say that over the course of your 9 posts ive noticed a trend of complaints and handwringing over the elise.

I have to ask why you even want one at all? I think if I were you I'd look elswhere as it seems you're going to be very uhappy with all aspects from what Ive seen...from build to motor.

I have to chuckle a little at the scoff at Lotus when Mercedes was just ranked the absolute worst in the industry for quality this year. My father is fond of mercedes, which is why I wont buy one.

Sounds like you'd be happier with a Maybach, I have access to one right now if you're interested in buying.
We've had the Elise for a few years now, the residuals are pretty good. You'd still have to pay £ 18000 plus for a good S2, a really clean S1 can still get that kind of money.
OneFastMiata said:
Vantage, I must say that over the course of your 9 posts ive noticed a trend of complaints and handwringing over the elise.

I have to ask why you even want one at all? I think if I were you I'd look elswhere as it seems you're going to be very uhappy with all aspects from what Ive seen...from build to motor.
On a hint, I decided to use the little search button in the upper right hand corner of the screen and re-read my nine posts. Whatever little complaints I have are valid. I complain about all of my cars. Is there something wrong about pointing out the shortcomings of a vehicle? Or need you only concentrate on the positive to validate your purchase? We all know what this car does well already...

I've only complained about two aspects of the car: build quality and the motor. Please point out what else I have been unhappy with. Both issues are seemingly being addressed. I asked about the reliability of the car, and no one answered. Many of us have driven the yellow example with Georgia plates. All of us have noticed the body rattles quite loudly over even small bumps. A gentlement posted that his throttle linkeage broke while he was on the road. Personally I want to know these things. Instead of telling me to get another car, why don't you try and prove if what I'm saying is incorrect. I want to know the truth.

Regarding the motor, I will continue to say I'm opposed to the engine in the Celica GT-S. Is it a bad motor? No. Are there better ones? Yes. Do we even know if it will be in the Elise? No.

BTW, my Mercedes hasn't been giving me trouble. Lucky I guess. I'l never drive the Elise to work, and that's why I have a daily driver.
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Go buy a Boxster and stop bitching !

"build quality and the motor" give me a break ! What do you like !!

Really mate, you have to go into this with an open mind and understand the product, if you want 100% build quality and the comfort of a true Grand Tourer keep well away from the Elise. The Elise is all about engaging the driver and a connection with the car that you get from no other road car. If your not interested in that then please, please don't buy one, you WILL be disappointed.

I've had an S2 from new for a year, I drive it every day, yes there's been a few problems (principally with the window mechanism) but the K series is absolutely sound, the engine problems all emanate from the S1 and the general build quality of the original car. I can't recall anyone having problems with the K, it's well know as a really sound engine.

My car has some rattles and squeaks but I really really don't care, I knew what I was getting into and got more that I expected, an absolutely fabulous drivers car.

Seriously you are asking the wrong questions and I doubt you'll enjoy the Elise experience, if I went into Elise ownership with these things at the top of my list i'd not have bought one.

Spend some quality time here :

. . . rant over :)
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Your second paragraph is exactly the kind of real testimonial I want to hear. All I want is for the car not be in the shop twice a month, which is what I had heard up until this point.

Why so hostile here? It's just a message board. Too much assumption is coming from the fact that I own a cushy Mercedes. So does Randy Chase (sorry to bring him into this)! The truth is, you know nothing about my driving priorities. The K-series motor is great...I never doubted the reliability of any engine. If you actually read my other posts, you'd realize this. My complaint with the Celica engine is in it's power delivery. I was sold the moment I drove the S2 at Symbolic.

When did I say I wasn't going to buy this car if it wasn't a Lexus in reliability? I just want to know what I can expect. I don't need the comfort (do you think I'm dumb enough to buy an Elise and expect comfort?). I simply want to make sure the thing won't fall apart after 10k miles. I don't think I'm much different from the person who posted this thread:

If this is the type of attitude you guys would like to take, then I'll find another board.
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Please don't. Everyone call down.

There is room in the world for cushy and sport and sometimes both. Yes, I have been known to drive a Lexus SUV also. And a minivan. And a kart. And a rally car. Different tools for different things.

I think it's pretty fair to think a couple of things, at least IMHO.

1. With new parts such as a Toyota drivetrain and other "refinements", we can expect better quality.

2. We should not expect the quality of cookie cutter cars or $500k cars. It is after all a Lotus and we should expect some quirkiness and character. :)

I also don't want an unreliable car, but I don't expect it will be.

And to answer the original question, yes, I expect the lower numbers imported will help the car retain it's value of the years. The one thing that will hurt that is improvements in the same model, if that happened. Let's say that in 2006, Lotus came out with the Elise S4 that weighed 1400 pounds and had 250hp. Ouch.


Again, in the words of someone who was famous for 15 minutes, can we all just get along?

(stuck in a hotel room somewhere on the west coast)
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Vantage, I wrote my response in the early morning hours and was half loopy so I apologize if I came off cranky.

My point was, build quality and motor are the two things you seem to have a problem with and build quality and motor are two pretty important aspects of a car arent they? lol

I think what prompted me to respond was a post I noticed last week where you complained about the wimpy motor specs ( which are similiar to my miata which I lOVE) and then suggested the motor needs to be more like a mercedes. I didnt comment in that thread. So when you came in this post complaining you were worried the care would fall apart I reacted to it.

My dad has had 6 mercedes since I was a kid and every one of them have had problems, fortunately my fiancee used to work for Mercedes and the problems were taken care of.
So, maybe due to my personal experience I was a bit harder than I should have been towards the little Diamlers.

Im not sure why you brought up the little 190 they had at Lotus USA? Did someone tell you thats what Im basing my assesments on?

Yeah, I drove it, and Ive driven an S2m, to be frank neither of them put me off. I thought they were both ok but Im used to spartan cars and dont mind a few rattles. So I figure if Im happy with the Eurospec cars Ive driven, then I'll prolly be more than happy with the US spec cars.

PS, I was serious about the Maybach. :)

No need to move on to a different board, its just spirited conversation. Heck we're a bunch of empassioned car nutters...sure theres gonna be some heat. Its all in good fun Im sure! And this is the best US board on the net IMHO, it'd be a shame to move on! Stay awhile!
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OneFastMiata- It's hard to say, it's a specialized car with limited appeal . It’s strength - The light weight handling, come at the price of size and practicality. The small production numbers, reasonable price and exotic nature of the car / brand… good chance it’ll have good to great resale value. Long term we’ll have to see how they hold up.

Vantage- I and for the most part most of us to some extent or another share some of your concerns. Lotus does have a “rep” to overcome. As been mention most of the problems have been with the earlier S1. Build quality has become pretty good. But these are hand built cars and it can be hit or miss on the general build quality. The motor will be tune by Lotus to better match the car & with the light weight at this point not too worried about it. The thing of it is at this point we don’t know much about what we’ll get. Once the details are made public, we’ll have a better idea. When the cars hits the street & have been around a while we’ll know for sure. If you’ve already put a deposit down, would suggest you sit tight for now. If your later on the list you’ll have a idea of how the car is doing or you might want to wait till the second year.
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By the way, I am up north driving the freakin Minivan, because my Mercedes unexpectedly died on me. I eventually got it restarted, but I was concerned about driving it for a long distance. :)

There is a lot of controversy I guess about the engine and torque and peak hp. I think we have to see what we get and how it works. In my opinion, the guys at Lotus seem smug about the choice. If the car is light enough, a peaky motor is not a big deal. Want to feel peaky? Try my racing kart. You really don't feel the power until over 10k rpms. :p But you also don't really notice.
PS, with regards to engine, I too dont like peaky motors, thats why the S2000 has never interested me thought I think its a lovely looking car. I may get shot for saying this, because im sure there are plenty who LOVE these types of motors, I just prefer a little more grunt down low, so vantage, with respect to that I agree. Its all about what you prefer. When driving the 190 the peaky motor didnt seem too bad because the car is so wonderfully light.

Again I think its all Point of View. When my miata was stock I used to argue, STOCK MIATAS ARE THE BEST!! ra! ra!

Then when I got a turbo I thought, well heck, TURBO MIATA'S are the best ra! ra! How could I ever go back to stock!? lol

I also used to watch people say Monster Miatas (v8's) were nose heavy and handled like land sleds, so I assumed they handled awful. Now I own one and realize 90% of people who used to rag on them didnt know what they were talking about.

Many people LOVE 3rd gen RX7's. My fiancee has several of them, all race prepared and I hate to drive them. I dont like the cars at all. They're great cars, I just dont like them. My point is, I think, that its all about personal preference I suppose so we all throw our goofy ideas into the melting pot here and enjoy the banter. :)

Ive only driven a few lotus's and those only for a few hours so I dont want to misrepresnt them, but I also think that Lotus is going to be really careful with this venture and I think they'll do right by us.

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My 2cents' worth on this-

RE: the original question - long-term value, I think that the Elise should hold up pretty well, they've been in production since 1996 now and I haven't heard any problems of them really falling apart (aside from recent reports of floorpan corrosion under floor mats, which Lotus is apparently taking very seriously and working on a fix).

RE: the general issue of reliability and worries thereof, I am going into this purchase with the up-front understanding that Lotus, like many other Marques (British and others) have had real problems in the past. I'm trying to go into this with my eyes wide open and with a sense of adventure, and the knowledge that the Elise will very probably NOT be as reliable as my current drive (Mazda Miata) and definitely NOT as reliable as a good ole' Honda Accord, say. There's going to be a trade-off, and the trade-off will be a really quick and high-spirited, idiosyncratic drivers' car. I think that jrgibb has a point, in the sense that those that are expecting "the best of both worlds" (performance AND econo-box reliability) may be disappointed.

Cheers, y'all
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No problems here :)

Jenn, was is your affiliating with Maybach sales?

Looking at other short production, high performance, sub $50K, foriegn sports cars:

Model            MSRP            Going rate*
------------     -------------   ------------
93 - 96 Supra    $36K - $50K     $23K
93 - 95 RX7      $33K - $38K     $16K
92 - 95 MR2      $17K - $29K     $8K
*The going rate is based on the average price of all cars for sale on for the years specified.

I'd say that it will hold up fairly well. Even more so considering it will be normally aspirated and is likely to have a reliable powerplant.

Keep in mind that the RX7 has a horrid track record when it comes to reliablity, which drives their price down considerably. Something else that may be skewing these numbers is the quality of the cars for sale - there are an awful lot of MR2s that have been mauled by highschool kids trying to be fast and furious (blowing through engines and installing "combat" body kits), whereas the number of manhandled supras is quite a bit less - hence the difference in price reduction.
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The volume for the Elise will be around 1/4 of those cars. The Lotus name will carry more then a Toyota or Mazda, more so if the quality is half way decent. It does give you some hard #'s to go by...
LarryB said:
The volume for the Elise will be around 1/4 of those cars. The Lotus name will carry more then a Toyota or Mazda, more so if the quality is half way decent. It does give you some hard #'s to go by...
Agreed. Probably less Elises will be imported overall by far. There were many thousand MR2s imported. The Elise will be a much rarer car and like you said, it will be a Lotus.
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