2001 Lotus Exige S1 1.8 vhpd from UK and Ireland





General Comments:

Such a great looking car from every angle and a real super car experience for BMW money!

No ABS, no traction control, no power steering, a real driver's car...

They don’t make them like this anymore, and over time they become more appreciated...

Initially from the factory they run a bit lumpy, but a simple remap and they run much better, but they are racing cars for the road, so a clear open road and you're in a very special car!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th January, 2024

2008 Lotus Exige S 240 Sprint 1.8 supercharged from UK and Ireland


Brilliant second car for fun and occasional track days, perfectly reliable and cheap to own


One shock absorber is apparently a bit soft though it drives perfectly. Otherwise no faults at all in six years.

General Comments:

Looks great, always fun to drive, very fast and sounds fantastic with an exhaust upgrade (2bular). It has been perfectly reliable with no repairs in 6 years other than routine servicing and tyres. Very firm ride, but fantastic handling and grip once the tyres are warm. This is a car for driving, though you can have fun at surprisingly low speeds. Hard to get in and out, but worth it.

The car has not depreciated at all since I bought it and is now probably worth a bit more than I paid, so very cheap to run overall. Servicing has averaged about £350 per annum at Bell and Colvill (highly recommended).

It averages around 35 MPG (except on the track).

It is garaged and lasting very well - it looks almost new inside and out.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th August, 2017

2009 Lotus Exige S 1.8 petrol from UK and Ireland


Belter to drive like you're 8 years old again!


The tyres wear incredibly quickly.

General Comments:

Very good through the corners, if not exceptional in terms of brute strength, then it makes up for it in the corners.

Driving is brought back to basics and this lightweight car is blinding to drive. This is essentially a race car, something to take to a trackday and leave you smiling for a week. Very good British engineering.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd August, 2009

20th Apr 2010, 08:28

I love Exige's, and am thinking of buying one. I love your comments, and the irony of your previous car being a SAAB 9-3. One car loves and dives hard into corners, the other is famous for torque steer and lane changing. It must be a refreshing change, all be it a more bumpy ride.

2001 Lotus Exige S1 1.8 VHPD from UK and Ireland


Best used as a 3rd or 'fun' car


Needed engine rebuild at 22000 miles due to oil starvation. (£4000), window assembly broke meaning the glass slid down into the door and nearly broke, wobbly drivers seat. Needed new brake discs and pads, rattly exhaust, eats tyres every 4k road miles at £900 a set.

General Comments:

An S1 Exige... When running right they are good cars. You need to be on windy roads and keeping the revs over 6000rpm to fully enjoy the cars performance. Looks, sounds and feels like a racecar on the road and gets loooads of attention.

But... expensive parts and servicing. Needs constant pampering and you are always paranoid something is about to go pop so you can never feel safe thrashing the car. Bunnyhops from cold until she's warm.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 18th December, 2005

29th Aug 2006, 05:40

Nice review.

I always wanted an Exige, but never trusted the K-series engine in VHPD guise. This version of the K-series was not only developed without any consultation with the original engine design team at Rover, but apparently turned out to be so far out of factory tolerances that Rover publicly distanced themselves from it after they got their hands on one. I have also yet to hear of any VHPD K-series that has done more than 30,000 miles without total failure or major surgery.

Such a shame, as the S1 Exige is a peach of a car.

10th Mar 2007, 14:56

That was a very superficial review. All the "problems" the author listed are either a result of poor maintenance or little knowledge on the car. Cars need their oil changed. If you don't change the oil then the engine will have to be replaced. Duh. Also, the tires that come on the car stock are racing tires. All racing tires wear our much faster then normal driving tires. They are designed to grip, not last.

The build quality of the Lotus cars is exceptional. But it is a drivers car. This is not a car one would buy to drive to work everyday. It's designed to beat supercars costing many times more.

9th Sep 2007, 07:18

No, I have a lotus exige S and it does break down a lot! The car is not expensive, but they screw in another way! But still, it's a F1 on the roads and that's what make the car fun!