1987 Lotus Excel SE 2.2 DOHC from UK and Ireland
Thirsty, unreliable and fantastic!!!
The car had been largely unused for five years or so until I took delivery of it, however I am using it as everyday transport. This has unearthed a large array of problems with the car. Two days after I bought it the diff started to leak from the pinion seal and the drive shaft seals. Parts were difficult to find and the repair was expensive. A week later the headlining fell out and a week after that the exhaust front pipe cracked at the manifold end. I had this repaired, but two days later it cracked at the opposite end. The throttle jammed open, nearly killing me and the resulting heavy braking to stop the runaway car warped both front discs. The front off side wheel bearing has just gone and under braking every light except the headlights goes out (including dash lights)!
All these problems are insignificant when the car is on form. It has brisk though not shattering performance and handling that would shame many far more expensive 'supercars'. It sounds and looks amazing and turns heads everywhere it goes. It also looks like it cost a great deal more than it actually did which is no bad thing. In short it is a fantastic car that is sadly spoiled by atrocious build quality. However on a sunny Sunday morning on an empty B road there is nothing to touch it and I defy anyone who drives it to get out without a huge smile on their face!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 21st October, 2003
29th Oct 2009, 09:44
I own a 1986 Excel. Properly organised owners check out their cars in a systematic way BEFORE taking to the road for fast driving. This may take days/weeks, but is the only way to expose any weaknesses or technical problems that may present themselves during use of the car. After correcting any problems, only then can you expect to have a reliable car. Anything less than this will lead to breakdowns and disappointment.