2000 Lotus Elise Millennium 1.8 from UK and Ireland


Fantastic fun for very little money


Very little.

Er nothing...

...the dealers have caused more problems than the car itself.

General Comments:

It's a great car.

For the money, especially with 2nd hand prices falling, it's an excellent buy.

You can use them every day without any problems, though the hardtop is great for winter.

The Millennium is a rare & in my view the best looking of the S1 Elises.

Very cheap to own in my experience (though I know others who've had major problems).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st November, 2001

2000 Lotus Elise Standard 1.8i from Malaysia


Where angels fear to tread


Boot catch failed at about 7000km.

Soft and hardtops leak in medium to heavy rain all the time.

Horn wiring developed a fault at 16000km and would honk intermittently on track corners.

General Comments:

The Elise is a simple and delightful car for those who love driving. It is not for those who merely like fancy cars to be seen hopping in and out of at fancy hotels.

Its steering is sheer poetry. no other car comes close but for maybe a couple of mid engined wonders. The 360 Modena has amazing steering for its weight, but is just short of the magic which the Elise employs.

The brakes for this car could have had more bite. They also cease to operate when wet until decently warmed up.

The Elise squeaks, moans, has coolant piping which rattles and develops an acoustic gumbo with any and all tuning options, but it drives like nothing else one will ever own.

It is a slow car by most performance car standards, but if kept on higher revs, it can keep up with many more powerful cars on twister roads on second and third (and this means Porsches and Ferraris built at the same time). In the hills, only the new Porche Turbo and GT2 will be faster. Drivers of other super cars will be hampered by the weight of their cars and the fear of plumbing past a limit.

The Elise is not a car that was designed for the motorway. It is happiest on the back roads and the hills and in the city. It is not the best for one who appreciates occasional track days. A powerful two stroke kart will provide more thrills safely than an Elise. A more serious track head will have to tune the Elise appreciably.

It is a great first car for the first three months, unless one lives close to work. Then add a couple of months more. After that, it should only be taken only twice, maybe three times a week, without water and on an empty stomach. Any less and it will be missed. Any more and you will begin to understand the true meaning of commitment.

After an Elise, marriage will never look easier.

Cheers to the petrol head.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 15th October, 2001

28th Jul 2003, 15:58

Previous car a Ferrari 360 modena? a year before they went on sale? - clever trick...

29th Apr 2005, 23:46

True drivers will never comment on its hard ride and comfort. It's an ultimate driving machine, and comes with some disadvantages. It's not a Maserati, mate!

2000 Lotus Elise 160 1.8 from UK and Ireland


Waste of money


On day one I pulled into a petrol station and removed the ignition key, but the engine continued to run. Were it not for the steering lock, I could have continued to drive the car around without a key at all.

On collection the edge of the boot lid had been scuffed down to the fiberglass after coming into contact with the bodywork opposite the corner of the boot lid. Obviously owing to bad quality control at the factory and the receiving dealership.

Boot lid catch sticks open and has to be pushed back into place.

Since 2000 miles: Knocking front suspension over bumps, becoming worse with time. Now the rear suspension knocks as well. The service department insists that they can find nothing wrong.

Headlamp button failed to stay pushed in. Had to drive around for two evenings with one hand on the button.

General Comments:

Roof leaks: Regardless of how you fit the soft top or the hard top, water flows easily into the cabin and gathers in pools just inside either door. Don't even think about going near the car with a jet wash.

After rain, a couple of pints of water gather in the radiator well. Once above 60 MPH this water is ejected onto the windscreen and completely obscures vision for long enough for it to be dangerous.

Rear alloy panel under the car has become loose after the fixing on one corner broke away from some weakened fiberglass.

General build quality: Atrocious. All over the car (inside and out) are hard-to-locate squeaks, rattles, buzzes, knocks and bumps. On any normal car, a single persistent squeak or rattle would be a nuisance and require investigation, but on the Elise it's something that you just have to accept. All these noises magically disappear when the car is test driven by the service department.

Noise: With the roof off it's almost bearable. But that's only relative to what it's like with the roof on. The hard top is worst, the soft top is not much better. After long journeys my ears ring for several hours. Don't bother with a stereo because the combination of poor acoustics (alloy interior) and massive engine noise will be too much for it. The noise could be forgiven if it sounded like a TVR (for example), but it doesn't. It's just noise and there's lots of it.

Performance: 0-60 is pretty quick. In fact 0-100 is not bad too, but after 100mph it takes a long time to get much further. Handling is perfect, steering is very light and accurate. This car would be great fun on a tack, but on the road it's no big deal unless you're prepared to break the law.

After sales service is very poor. It's almost like they've got my money now and they couldn't care less any more.

I paid over £30k for a car which looks fabulous and, for about 1% of the time when the road is dry and empty and I'm able to take the roof off, it's a fantastic car. It's everything I expected it to be in terms of handling and performance. The other 99% of the time it's a real pain. The pro's don't even come close to outweighing the cons. If you've got money to burn then buy one for the weekend.

I've been trying to sell it for months now, but have yet to find a buyer. At the current price, this car has depreciated in value by about £1000 a month since new. By any stretch of the imagination it is certainly not worth that much. On almost every level, this is the worst car I have ever owned and I will not be buying anything so much as a key fob from Lotus again.

The main thing I'm looking forward to when this car goes? Not having to tolerate other Elise drivers giving me the obligatory self-congratulatory wave as they pass me on the other side of the road.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 18th July, 2001

19th Sep 2001, 19:10

You are a Lotus fan then? I had the same problems with my Elise, but the main thing was knocking front and back. The service department had my car in bits "NOTHING WRONG SIR" was the usual, but after much shouting an engineer from Lotus tested the car and then told my dealer to replace all the shocks and dampers. Problem solved...

Hope you find a better car.

27th Sep 2001, 23:48

I have to agree that the wave to someone with the same car nauseates me. I don't mind it if the car is really unique and has character and the other person has character too (e.g. a 1978 2lt Escort driven by a cute girl).

But to have to wave to every granny in an MX5/Elise/TT/etc. and to put on that forced smile makes my stomach turn.

31st Oct 2001, 02:54

I also owned an Elise for about 14 months. My first service (after 6 months) was £500. Second service (after 1 year) war £1900. I had many of the above problems too but the pro's easily outway the cons. Take it on the track and you'll see. I now have a Carrera 4 coupe but nothing compares to the Elise. Stick to your MX5.

9th Feb 2008, 11:46

NONE of you deserve the pleasure of an Elise! Go get a Eurobox to drive around in!