Lotus Elise: Real Owner Comments:
Gunther write more about using the Elise as a daily driver...
From: Gunter Roland <email@example.com> Subject: Re: Elise as a daily driver Date: Wed, 7 Jan 1998 21:04:56 +0100 (MET)
Well, I finally feel obliged to contribute to the discussion about the use of the Elise as a daily driver. I feel I'm somewhat competent in this matter, having driving 28.000km in mine since Feb.7, 1997. So here are some questions & answers:
- Does it leak? Yes, but not while moving. The leakage rate while standing still can be minimized by careful adjustment of the hood.
- Does the heater work? In principle yes, but in my case the efforts of the heater are partially negated by a cold air leak somewhere around the steering column/heater control area. But it's tolerable.
- What is it like in the wet? Well, it feels a little skittish, but if (unlike me) you know how to drive that should be ok. In the dry you can hang the tail out of 1st gear bends and feel like you know what you're doing. In the wet it took me 100 meters and the full width of a 3-lane road until I had finally figured out again which way the front wheels were pointing. Also the brakes truly suck when they are wet and cold. I sometimes use the left foot to try to put some heat into them. It feels exactly like on a bycicle with chrome-plated steel rims.
- What it's like in the snow? Forget it. If you are really good you may have fun (I didn't). Unless the snow is more than 15 cm high, in which case the wheels won't touch the ground and that's it.
- Is it reliable? Mine hasn't broken down yet and no major parts have fallen off. Aparts from clunks and rattles, a loss of cooling fluid (at the right front in my case) does not seem uncommon. You've heard about the window winders.
- Rear visibility? Miserable anyways, so it doesn't get much worse in the cold - it's just harder to accelerate into gaps.
- Misting up? A little, but no big problem.
- Cost? Not much, so far. Insurance, gas, oil are roughly like for a 90HP VW Golf. Rear tyres are a problem - mine are completely gone. I'm sure things will get more expensive when the warranty runs out (4 weeks).
So is it useful as a daily driver? In principle yes, but I somehow felt stupid racking up the miles in shitty wetter or sitting in traffic jams. That's why I just bought a Cinquecento Sporting for the rainy days, keeping the Elise for nice days only (or whenever I feel like it). I see it as a sign of appreciation for the Elise - it's a car I really want to keep for a long long time (or until the VVC version becomes available....).
Hope this helps,