Lotus Elan Reviews - Page 2 of 2

1974 Lotus Elan +2 S130/5 1.6 from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1974
First year of ownership2004
Most recent year of ownership2004
Engine and transmission 1.6 Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.0 / 10
Distance when acquired141000 miles
Most recent distance143000 miles
Previous carMercedes-Benz A-Class

Summary:

The smell of the leather, the wood dash, the performance and the exhaust note is intoxicating

Faults:

Headlamp vacuum pod failed.

Choke cable failed.

General Comments:

My wife and I were searching for a second car. We wanted something that was sporty, could carry at least two adults and two children, was relatively cheap and would not loose or cost a small fortune to run.

We looked a Triumph Stags, but disliked the styling. We came across the Elan +2 by accident and immediately fell in love with its looks.

On the positive side it is quick, extremely comfortable (I would put it on par if not better than most modern saloons I have driven), its boot size is practical coping with the weeks family shopping. It is also a head turner and being British brings warm comments from people.

The engine in this car has had much work and is very strong. For the short period, 7 months, in out possession it has been faultless.

The gel coat is cracking, a common problem and will no doubt be an expensive repair to correct. However, as this is not structural and requires close inspection to see we will not carry out for some time.

Access the engine and transmission components are generally very good. For even the simplest of work I remove the bonnet as it is so easy.

Interior is typically 1970's British motor car. Leather and wood, the smell on entry to the cabin has to be experienced.

Driving the car is to something to be experienced, especially with the windows down so you can fully enjoy the wondeful exhaust note.

Parts availability is pretty good. Engine and transmission overhaul services are readily available and relatively cheap. Full overhaul for 5 speed gearbox is 250GBP plus parts.

Cost of ownership I would put on par with out Mercedes A-Class although I would point out that I am mechanically competent and carry out repairs myself. However, pay a little extra and get a fully restored unit and there is little to go wrong.

Technical advice is available on the Internet and the workshop manual is the best I have ever seen for a car. These are available for 10GBP on ebay-buy one.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th July, 2004

23rd Nov 2006, 12:19

There was a UK company doing complete new fibreglass shells for the Elan, but they cost an absolute fortune.

1991 Lotus Elan SE Turbo 1.6 turbo from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1991
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 1.6 turbo Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.2 / 10
Distance when acquired22000 miles
Most recent distance31000 miles
Previous carFiat Bravo

Summary:

Buy one. Now.

Faults:

So far only minor niggles.

- Heater wasn't working on nearside wing mirror when I bought it.

- Came with a TOAD alarm system that can be a bit quirky when using the remote central locking.

General Comments:

What a fantastic car.

I always wanted to own an Elan, and when I finally got the chance I when straight out and bought a Calypso Red one.

An Elan in mint condition will set you back only around £14,000 which is cheap for a car in this performance bracket.

Handling :

- Superb. Extremely precise steering

- Stiff suspension means that you can really feel the road. However this can be a bit bone rattling on long journeys

- Brakes were a bit soft, so I upgraded to AP calipers. Much better now.

Performance :

- Out-of-the-box, the car is seriously quick, thanks to it's light weight (e g plastic body panels)

- If you're a speed freak however, after a few months you end up wanting more. Fortunately, upgrading is straightforward. I chipped my car to increase the turbo boost, upping it to around 218hp.

My wife was initially sceptical, but after driving around in the summer with the roof down, the amount of people watching her plus car changed her mind!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th November, 2003

1972 Lotus Elan +2S/130 1.6 DOHC from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1972
First year of ownership1978
Most recent year of ownership1982
Engine and transmission 1.6 DOHC Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.2 / 10
Distance when acquired40000 miles
Most recent distance60000 miles
Previous carMoskvitch 412

Summary:

I want another one!!

Faults:

Flywheel bolts sheared during start after standing 3 months. Dealer replaced under (clutch) warranty.

Heater hose burned on exhaust manifold due to incorrect placement during service. Dealer fixed with apologies.

Headlight pods would raise when driving at 120mph, leaking vacuum reservoir.

General Comments:

1972, <1600cc, 126bhp stunning performance even by today's standards.

Handling was the best I have ever experienced. On the first day I owned it I spun out at 65mph with 3 passengers on a hairpin when I hit a patch of loose gravel (totally my fault!!). Even under those conditions it handled impeccably despite my incompetence.

These cars had everything, looks, style, power, handling and a sexy exhaust note.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st July, 2003

10th Nov 2008, 00:13

You might find it interesting that my brother bought a brand new 1972 Lotus Elan S130 +2 Brand New! I have the original paperwork and would love to know if the car still exists. He hit a patch of ice, got in a small front clip with a parked car, but the downside was the ignorant police towing who DID NOT KNOW how to tow a fiberglass car back in 1973 ended up ripping the entire front end off... he later sold the car to a local for $400.00 :-( I was only a kid back then, and now he's dead and would like to find the car. It was one of 7 imported to the U.S. (that is what he was told). It was brown with a brown interior, teak wood dash, 4 speed, knock off wheels, no radio, etc... really nice.

1991 Lotus Elan SE Turbo 1.6 turbo petrol from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1991
Engine and transmission 1.6 turbo petrol
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.2 / 10

Faults:

Various minor problems over last 7 years of ownership -- 59,000 miles.

Problem with heater -- fixed by dealer.

Problem with mainbeam relay -- fixed by dealer.

New headlamps.

General Comments:

Very reliable in general.

New brakes due to being parked up and not used for a few months.

Other repairs par for the course on any car.

New tyres required every 30,000 miles in my experience.

Used to be serviced by main dealer, but now by local garage.

Minor service -- 6,000 -- around 120 UKP.

Great car -- buy one today!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th February, 2000

Average review marks: 8.1 / 10, based on 7 reviews