Description: The 2007 Elise is a 2-door, 2-passenger convertible sports car, available in one trim only, the Convertible.
Upon introduction, the Elise is equipped with a standard 1.8-liter, I4, 190-horsepower engine that achieves 24-mpg in the city and 29-mpg on the highway. A 6-speed manual transmission with overdrive is standard.
Strengths: Handling, braking, acceleration. It's sparse, light, and simple........ and it's about time.
Weaknesses: The price is high for what you get - Toyota engine and it's cheap to make a car simple. Wonder what it would cost if it was a "Kia"
Summary: Finally a sports car that is actually a sports car! I cant see why anyone complains about cargo room or radio or noise or cup holders. ITS A SPORTS CAR! There are lots of other choices if lazy fat Americans want that crap. I want no compromises and Lotus delivers.
Similar Products Used: MG Midget, Innocenti Mini, Triumph Spitfire, Porsche 911 Turbo, Fiat 500.
Rating Reviewed by: Scott McClintock(Unregistered User)
Review Date May 9, 2006
Overall Rating 5 of 5
Value Rating 4 of 5
Used product for More than 1 year
Visitors rate this review 4.75 of 5,
Review 3 of 17
Year / Model Reviewed: 2006 Elise
Strengths: Atmosphere!! The g's, the sound, the go-kart-like steering and (for the hedonists) oodles of 'fall off the seat' reactions from jealous onlookers. Serious fun -- serious, in that the car drives and behaves like a junior racer...the 'fun' part goes without saying. Someone mentioned the 'wooden roller-coaster'-like ride, and I couldn't agree more. The Mean Streak (at Ohio's Cedar Point) used to be my favorite vehicular experience...now it's at my fingertips, anytime I'm behind the wheel of an Elise. I've driven everything from Sunbeam Tigers to '32 Ford rods and this thing is, flat out, the most fun I've ever had. Ever been giddy all day, every day, morning, noon and night due to an automobile? If not, this wonderfully stripped and naked track-star could put a little of that joyful spring in your step. (I'm practically shaking while typing this...man oh man, do I love this car).
Weaknesses: Some people want to put cup-holders and stereos in these things...that's pretty weak.
Summary: I recently had a chance to spend several hours in a new Lotus Elise (British Racing Green -- of course)....I must say it was the most pleasurable and exciting driving experience I have ever had. It absolutely will not let go of the road. I took 35mph corners at 65+mph, with nary a peep from the tires -- amazing. I also had the great pleasure of taking it up to its 9,000+rpm redline (engaging the elaborate valve adjustment system -- wheeeeee!) on many (many!) occasions. I even did two top-end runs -- the most satisfying being the run at 140+mph, of which I have photo documented proof. (NOW where were the police?!). That was a landspeed record for me, and my girlfriend didn't scream once (save for in glee). If you have the means, by ALL means, drive this thing. For the price, there is hardly anything that compares. Truly a remarkable (and smartly engineered) automobile.
Similar Products Used: Porsche Targa, Sunbeam Tiger, Saab Sonnet,
Strengths: Handling. Low speed, high speed, medium speed. It's like owning your own [wooden] roller coaster. Miniscule amounts of body roll. Tenacious grip that will quicken the heartbeat of you and your passenger. I can not help but talk to myself while driving. No car can go around corners, that fast, with so little drama, can it?
Reactions to input via the steering wheel, accelerator, brake pedal are all right now - no slop, no waiting.
While only the seat distance is adjustable the driving position is perfect for spirted driving and comfortable too.
Inside looking out. The look over the bonnet is plain inspiring. The pontoon like fenders rising up, the nose falling away quickly, the center mounted wiper. And turning around you catch a glimpse of a flying buttress. It only took me thirty or so years to own a car with those.
Gets a staggering amount of attention - maybe this will fall off as more cars are sold?
Weaknesses: With a few minor exceptions the Elise has more trade-offs than weaknesses. It's light and raw so yes it is also noisy. I have the sport pak and the more you push the car the more I appreciate it but in normal driving it is punishing. Drive over a manhole cover (instead of around it) and the whole car jumps. The streets where I live are in horrible disrepair and trying to dodge the thousands of potholes, pathetic road patches and highway expansion joints becomes a bad video game that won't end.
All the rumors are true. Getting in, and especially out, of the Elise is a gymnastics exercise. There is simply no way to gracefully exit an Elise. Exiting requires a scoot and duck manuver.
Things Lotus realistically needs to improve include the quality of the paint spray - my $1,200 "lifesytle" color has some uneveness especially on some of the surface creases/breaks. The brakes are spectacular in their effectiveness and control put the pedal feel is nowhere as good as the pedal feel in the mules that were sent over for test drives. Too soft and too much travel.
The fit and finish are higher than I expected for a hand built car but not equal any $20,000 Japanese vehicle. There is excess glue on the seats and carpet doesn't quite fit so it buldges in places. The upgraded stereo is a total embarassment (the stock unit I can not even imagine). Either put an adequate stereo in or offer a delete and credit option.
The new car smell is not so hot. Smells like chemicals - the glue? Hopefully this will wear off.
Summary: Spectacular car. It drives very much like a junior formula race car. All sensations are extremely direct and mechanical feeling.
Incredible car for driving but a poor choice for transportation.
The car just comes alive when driven near the limit but without all the nanny engineering and patches (i.e. built-in understeer, stability this and that, early and predictable breakaway tires, non-peaky engine, etc) it requires both commitment and experience to appreciate and drive safely.
Similar Products Used: It's a totally different car but the car had the directness of the Lotus and was a blast to drive - a 1967 MGB.
My '96 M3 is faster but feels like a Buick compared to the Lotus. My '98 Subaru RS feels like a SUV in comparison.
My long ago 1985 MR2 drove very similarlly but had way less thrust. The first generation S2000s have a similar engaging and frenetic nature.
Strengths: digital precision for carving corners, and if for some reason that weren't enough, you can easily use feathered throttle to bring the rear in line. A near perfect balance of power to weight. I'm not a formula driver, but she handles so well I don't think there is too much power to get me into trouble. I've had nose heavy, high horsepower V-8's with poor weight distribution that ploughed through turns and then would break the rears loose when trying to compensate with throttle. Stark simplicity for redimentary driving pleasure. Everyone I test spin has the same silly grin on their face when done, and the same question for their wives, "can I have one" I actually talk to myself and laugh out loud when driving. Going to work is never a drag when you have that out in the parking lot waiting for you.
Weaknesses: Not a daily driver, small, loud interior, and poor road surfaces can rattle your filling loose. The upgraded CD player is basically useless, with the top on and at speed I can't hear it unless it blaring, and even then it has no bass. Climbing in and more to point out is not pretty, and needless to say you won't look cool doing it. Fit and finish in the grand scheme is adequate to good for a hand build, but I expect higher. Although the concept of the hard or soft tops is great they are somewhat involved to apply and remove. A tiny boot.
Summary: Holy cap, this car is a blast. I literally smile every time I think of her. Corners on rails, launches like a wild cat, and has looks to kill. I had a guy pull up next to me in a newer C5 corvette and ask me to trade. The attention at car shows is almost imtimidating. Out performs anything I've ever driven, owned or had the pleasure of standing next to. She's not a daily driver. Close, if you truely love to drive you could easily overlook the downfalls. I don't think it meant to a daily but a whimsical blast on the weekends for ice cream runs or a 40 mile ride for a pack of smokes. It is what it is a formula car for the road, not a family truckster.
Similar Products Used: There is nothing similar in my past