1992 Lotus Esprit Review

1992 Lotus Esprit Turbo SE 2.2 from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1992
First year of ownership2000
Most recent year of ownership2001
Engine and transmission 2.2 Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 1 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 1 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.6 / 10
Distance when acquired30000 miles
Most recent distance50000 miles
Previous carHonda CRX

Summary:

Lotus - lots of trouble, usually serious!

Faults:

Anti lock braking system failed.

Engine cooling pump failed.

Clutch master cylinder failed twice.

Gear train failed.

Clutch was destroyed by the above fault as the car struggled to the Lotus garage.

Fuel tank leaked into the cabin.

Turbo charge cooler broke.

Front spoiler always catching on ramps etc.

Steering rack failed.

Gear train failed (again).

Electric windows failed.

Air conditioning failed.

Electric antenna failed.

Exhaust failed and caught fire.

General Comments:

The Lotus Esprit is a staggering car in two ways. Firstly its performance is absolutely devastating; with 280bhp this model will reach 60mph in well under five seconds and attain a top speed of around 165mph. The car handles very well, able to corner positively and remaining stable even at exceptionally high speeds.

However, even more staggering are the running costs and the rate at which things go wrong with this most unreliable super-car. I used to joke with my friends that the Esprit would beat every car on the road... and then break down. This joke wore very thin as a succession of faults sent me to the main dealer time and time again.

Despite a full Lotus service history and my careful adherence to the maintenance schedule, things went wrong very regularly. And not just little things.

The car interior is very comfortable and roomy for a 2 seater; a pleasure to drive on a long haul trip lasting many hours. Despite its mechanical shortcomings, actually driving the Esprit was always a great pleasure, and the only thing lacking in the cabin was a decent sound system (the standard one is very poor indeed).

Owning the Esprit was a real love/hate relationship! I am hoping my next performance car, a new 996, will be more reliable, if a bit slower!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 19th January, 2002

3rd Feb 2003, 09:57

Is this one of the few cars left that are actually still made with pop-up headlamps?

13th Nov 2003, 06:10

Don't forget the Corvette, though I hear they are changing to regular lights.

Average review marks: 5.6 / 10, based on 1 review