1998 Lotus Elise Reviews - Page 3 of 3

1998 Lotus Elise Standard 1.8 petrol from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1998
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 1.8 petrol Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 4 / 10
Dealer Service marks 1 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.8 / 10
Distance when acquired14300 miles
Most recent distance15000 miles
Previous carLotus Esprit

Summary:

A great looking car with just enough performance to match it's style

Faults:

Nearside headlamp bracket broke during jet washing.

Excessive steering rack wear at 15,000 miles.

Failed MOT test just 5 months after buying it from a Lotus dealer.

Problems included the 2 points already listed, plus catalytic converter and brake imbalance problems.

General Comments:

I really enjoy owning, driving and posing in the Elise, but felt badly let down by my local Lotus dealer whenever faults arose, and liability issues were discussed.

Hefty repair and service bills should be expected after each visit to the workshop.

The Lotus warranty should be taken with a large pinch of salt.

When everything is working as it should, the Elise is quick away from the mark, handles superbly on corners and turns heads, just as they said it would.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 29th August, 2002

1998 Lotus Elise Standard 1.8 from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1998
First year of ownership2000
Engine and transmission 1.8 Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 2 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.4 / 10
Distance when acquired31450 miles
Most recent distance41766 miles
Previous carSAAB 900

Summary:

Expensive love affair

Faults:

Catalytic converter replaced to meet MOT requirements. Lotus charged 300 + £70 fitting and then VAT on top. Found out the next week that sports catalysts are available for 270 inc VAT and fitting.

First service (36k) cost £700, with no 'major' work being done. Got completely had by the garage I bought it from - it has been accident repaired which they failed to claim. Justice too expensive - I'll be £3k out of pocket even if I win (legal insurance/the courts generally award only 75% or so of incurred costs). The garage is claiming that I've done the damage - difficult to prove either way without dating which would cost £

General Comments:

If you can define a car as a love/hate relationship, then this is it. Have spent £1800 on the car in 8 months. Still love driving it, and it's a real head turner - people do comment on it which can be annoying if you're in a rush!!!

Miraculously no speeding tickets yet! But such fun in the summer - you do have to be careful in the wet though. Not as fast as people would have you believe - a 1.8 Astra gave me a bit of a go and between 30-60 nearly held pace (it may be that I'm not as good a driver as I'd like to think!).

Good sub-woofer makes all the difference to owning the car - cuts out the engine noise completely!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 14th September, 2001

1998 Lotus Elise 1.8 petrol from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1998
First year of ownership1999
Most recent year of ownership2000
Engine and transmission 1.8 petrol Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.6 / 10
Distance when acquired1200 miles
Most recent distance9500 miles
Previous carBMW 325i

Summary:

The best fun you can have with clothes on!

Faults:

A nut came loose on the throttle linkage, fixed in 30 seconds by a very nice man from the AA... who said it was the best car he ever worked on!

General Comments:

This car lives up to all the reviews and then some!

OK so it's difficult to get in and out of when the roof is up, but that misses the point of the car.

The car is a back to basics sports car, it grips the road like glue, performs brilliantly and there is so much scope for tuning.

Even the shortest trip to the supermarket leaves you grinning like a cheshire cat!

Try one and you'll buy it!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th September, 2000

1998 Lotus Elise 1.8 petrol from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1998
First year of ownership1999
Most recent year of ownership1999
Engine and transmission 1.8 petrol Manual
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 3 / 10
Dealer Service marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 3 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.6 / 10
Distance when acquired2000 miles
Most recent distance3500 miles
Previous carHonda Accord

Summary:

Excellent toy

Faults:

Throttle sticks, dealer tried three times before they sorted this problem out.

Ignition barrel had to be replaced at 3,000 miles.

General Comments:

The paint has a tendency to oxidise and go flat very quickly. I sorted this problem out by using a product called Tefloseal Paint Sealant.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th September, 2000

1998 Lotus Elise 1.8 Tuned K Series from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1998
First year of ownership1999
Most recent year of ownership2000
Engine and transmission 1.8 Tuned K Series Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 5 / 10
Comfort marks 3 / 10
Dealer Service marks 4 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.2 / 10
Distance when acquired3500 miles
Most recent distance8200 miles
Previous carBMW M3

Summary:

Great fun but one for the committed (or those that should be!)

Faults:

Radiator hose came off at high speed (no damage caused luckily).

Interior trim panels become loose for no reason and mark easily.

Soft-top is a pain to remove/replace.

Can feel a bit too much like a kit-car.

General Comments:

Not particularly sensible, practical or compromising, but the upside is manic acceleration, braking and handling!

Definitely a car for a sunny Sunday afternoon. It's possible to commute in one but it can get frustrating being stuck in traffic all the time - it's not much fun to drive at very low speeds, you can't be lazy with it.

The BMW M3 I had felt like a bus in comparison, mind.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd August, 2000

1998 Lotus Elise 1.8 petrol from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1998
First year of ownership1999
Most recent year of ownership2000
Engine and transmission 1.8 petrol Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 6 / 10
Comfort marks 4 / 10
Dealer Service marks 4 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.2 / 10
Distance when acquired2500 miles
Most recent distance18500 miles
Previous carBMW Z3 2.8

Summary:

A weekend rocket!

Faults:

Squeaks and rattles which appear for no apparent reason, which over time start to really get on your nerves.

Radiator hose came off unexpectedly, pouring coolant everywhere, luckily I was in a carpark, not on the road.

Exhaust blew, I know I drive it hard, but surely it is meant to be a sports car?

General Comments:

From a performance point of view this car is great, it's light, it handles like a dream and goes like a rocket. Also the 1800 K-Series Rover engine is reliable, very economical (30-40 mpg) and infinitely tunable!

Having said that, I would recommend the vehicle only as a weekend car. To start with the squeaks, rattles and little niggles like this are far less apparent when you are just taking it out on a Sunday morning for a blat.

Whilst it is a quick car, it is also a very high revving vehicle which derives almost all of it's power at the top end. This means that for day-to-day around-town driving it is noticably lacking in bottom end torque and I found myself often slipping the clutch in slow moving traffic.

Obviously it is impractical and not that comfortable (but that should go without saying) and the roof is a pain to take on and off (it's completely manual and comes apart bit by bit!), you get used to it after a while but it never ceases to be a chore.

My final opinion? Nice weekend car, but if I could afford a weekend car then I would probably opt for a Caterham 7 Superlight or something - faster, more fun and less common.

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

Review Date: 18th August, 2000

Average review marks: 7.0 / 10, based on 11 reviews