Lotus Excel Reviews - Page 2 of 2

1987 Lotus Excel SE 2.2 DOHC from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1987
First year of ownership2003
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 2.2 DOHC Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 2 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 1 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 2 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
4.2 / 10
Distance when acquired54300 miles
Most recent distance56570 miles
Previous carPeugeot 205

Summary:

Thirsty, unreliable and fantastic!!!

Faults:

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)!

General Comments:

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.

1985 Lotus Excel 2.2 from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1985
First year of ownership1989
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 2.2 Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 6 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.8 / 10
Distance when acquired24000 miles
Most recent distance107000 miles
Previous carOpel Manta

Summary:

A fast car that is easy to live with, but still turns heads

Faults:

A new clutch was fitted and the top end of the engine overhauled at 33,000 miles, the cost of which was largely covered under warranty.

Routine servicing, which is expensive, and replacement of parts like tyres and brake pads was all that was then required for many years and miles.

At around 100,000 miles, the engine started to burn oil, following an overheating problem. It has now been rebuilt with a second replacement clutch fitted.

General Comments:

If you want a good handling sports car that is now cheap to buy, can seat four, and is relatively practical, the Excel is well worth considering.

You need to either be well qualified to work on the car yourself, unlike me, or prepared to pay for the above average cost of main dealer or specialist maintenance.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th May, 2003

1985 Lotus Excel 2.2 from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1985
First year of ownership2000
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 2.2 Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 3 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 1 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
4.8 / 10
Distance when acquired100000 miles
Most recent distance104000 miles
Previous carCitroen BX

Summary:

Drive a Lotus! You will be forever smitten!

Faults:

I have replaced the windscreen, as it was cracked when I bought the car.

I have replaced the window runners on both sides as they were rotten.

The water pump failed recently, it's £200 for a replacement from Lotus.

The brake master cylinder has failed.

The power steering master cylinder failed. The car had been left standing for over a year before I got her.

The exhaust manifold had cracked - £330 for a replacement. The stainless steel exhaust is blowing and is in need of attention.

General Comments:

The car is a real head turner, it sounds, looks, feels and performs like a sports car should.

It's not expensive to buy but it can be costly to maintain.

The car is a 2+2, so there is some room in the back.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th January, 2002

Average review marks: 6.7 / 10, based on 7 reviews