1990 Lotus Esprit SE 2.2L from North America
A True Exotic in Every Respect
Many little things have needed to be updated. The general build quality is good, but time takes it's toll on all exotic machines.
Slave cylinder failed.
Power antenna stopped working.
Turbo requires frequent rebuild (every 50K miles) if you do not buy a blow-off valve.
Gas tank needs to be replaced, they are know for leaking.
I find this car to be very easy to work on, considering I have never worked on any car before. Lotus is a car that needs attention, it is an exotic, all true exotics will have little things that will need some work, but that is part of the fun of ownership.
As a performer, the Esprit is an amazing car that has truly inspired many of todays rice rockets. The engine is strong, reliable, and requires little to keep it going. All the little things around the engine however, need checking, attention, and sometimes replacement. This car is very easy to upgrade its reliability. Most problems that occur can be repaired easily in such a way that the repairs could last a lifetime.
If you are the type of person that insists on having a dealer complete every minor repair and demand absolute perfection, then this car will be very expensive to own. If, however, you decide to tackle the little problems yourself and leave the big stuff to the dealer, then the cost of ownership can be very inexpensive.
Bottom line: love the car for what it is, take the good with the bad, and plan on learning a lot about these cars and spending a lot of time paying close attention to its needs. This car was built for owners to care for, not dealers.
An attentive owner will be rewarded with blinding fast performance, amazing reliability for an exotic, and will get more attention than from any other car in its price range.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 22nd October, 2003