1995 Lotus Esprit S4S


Bargain exotic


Car started leaking oil.

Idle was rough.

Problems with the indicator lights coming on during high speed driving.

Car was running hot.

Had difficulty getting parts.

Was losing boost pressure, had to get the turbo redone at 17,000 miles.

Had to replace the fuel lines, the car was smelling of fuel in the cabin.

Interior trim started fading, driver's seat bolster was getting worn down, dash was taking a beating.

General Comments:

For the first 5,000 miles the car ran great.

At about 12,000 miles I started having problems one after the other. Every time I took it out it wouldn't be too long before I had something that needed repairing.

At 130+ mph you can tell it's not solid, lots of rattles.

I was disappointed, I looked far and wide for a Lotus S4S with the lowest miles I could find, I figured I would get at least 20,000 miles out of the car before I was going to get major problems.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 5th September, 2001

1st Jun 2005, 15:36

My Lotus 1995 S4s is everything I hoped. Solid, fast, great handling and more unsolicited praise than any of my previous fun cars ('73 MGB, '69 E-type Jag, '60 MGA, '64 Corvette, '91 Porsche Turbo)

35,000 miles on it when I got it 18 months ago. Easy driving in both stop-and-go traffic, country roads and highway.

Looked at four S4s (Cincinnati, Atlanta, Scottsdale and Huntington Beach) before buying the one in California.

9th Aug 2008, 08:58

Since you spoke of rough idling and a turbo problem, I may suggest that your ECU was at fault.

When an ECU fault occurs the car can no longer run at full boost and will chug heavily when idling.

1991 Lotus Esprit SE 2.2L intercooled turbo


The best performance bargain in exotic cars


Front left shock leaked.

Horn collected dirt and rust, and failed.

Woodruff key on the accessory drive sheared.

Clutch hose expanded in 100+ heat, and caused the clutch to work poorly.

Tires became hard and needed to be replaced.

General Comments:

Super fast when on the boost, with distinct mid-engine handling dynamics (i.e. quick turn in due to low polar moment).

Excellent handling with understeer at the limit, although it is fairly easy to induce controllable oversteer by lifting or using the throttle.

Compared to other high performance cars like Ferrari, Lamborghini, or Porsche, this car is fairly inexpensive to maintain. Expect maintenance costs equal to about twice that of a BMW M car.

The Connelly leather interior and burled walnut dash impart a classic British sports car feel.

If you are under 6' tall like I am, this is a very comfortable car.

For very complete information on Esprits, www.espritfactfile.com

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th August, 2001

2000 Lotus Esprit


Nothing at all.

General Comments:

The car runs as reliable as my 2000 Mercedes S-Class. Now, that's saying a lot.

I often trade my cars in every 6 to 12 months for something else. Not this time. The only car this Esprit would be getting the trade on is another one.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st May, 2001

30th May 2001, 17:22

Yeah, I thought the same as you about not changing mine, but in the end I was torn away by an F355. Still, I have fond memories...

Dave, UK.

1989 Lotus Esprit Turbo 2.2 turbo gasoline


Replaced front wheel bearings at 26,000 miles.

Recharged A/C at 36,000 during routine "C" service.

General Comments:

This is the most sophisticated and reliable of the six Lotus cars I have owned (never more than one at a time)... I characterize it as being "Toyota reliable" although I recognize that this is not always a characteristic of Lotus cars.

The car is beautiful, exquisitely finished, and a reward to drive and be seen in. It draws favorable comments from a huge variety people everywhere I drive it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd July, 2000

9th Sep 2012, 15:43

I am going to look at one next week. I'm investigating the maintenance costs ahead of time. I know this is impossible to hit to the nearest cent, but assuming an average condition one, what do you estimate the annual maintenance cost to be? It will be mostly highway driving and let's say 3000 miles per year. Any input is appreciated.

5th Dec 2012, 06:28


I just bought an Excel. After extensive research, I found that all the "average" ones will cost you as much, if not more, to put right, than a "good" one.

Make sure it has full service history, and buy the most expensive one you can afford; it will be cheaper in the long run, I promise you.


1995 Lotus Esprit S4s 2.2L


Best exotic bang for the buck bar none


Catalytic converter replaced under warranty.

General Comments:

Wonderful car. Superb exotic looks and the performance to back it up. Small displacement turbo engine requires lots of RPMs to produce power and exhibits typical turbo characteristics. Car handles like a dream and feels just as steady at 170mph as it does at 25mph.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th July, 2000