Lotus Elise (2001 – 2011) Review

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Lotus Elise (2001 – 2011) At A Glance


+Quick, engaging roadster with terrific handling and grip.

-They're getting cheaper second-hand but good used ones are still quite pricey. Potential head gasket failure models with the K Series engine.

New prices start from £27,450
Insurance Groups are between 43–44
On average it achieves 101% of the official MPG figure

Looking for a Lotus Elise (2001 - 2011)?
Register your interest for later or request to be contacted by a dealer to talk through your options now.

Car seat chooser

Child seats that fit a Lotus Elise (2001 – 2011)

Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.

Which car seat will suit you?

Real MPG average for a Lotus Elise (2001 – 2011)


Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

30–48 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

Satisfaction Index

Satisfaction Index What is your car like to live with?

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Ask Honest John

Buying a £15k sports car for track days and daily driving
"I have a stock Toyota MR2 roadster that is excellent for track days. I have £15k to spend on something in the same vein that I can use in the UK and Europe for up to 10 trackdays a year. I want to have a lot of fun, but it will need to be passable as a daily drive. Should I get a Mazda RX7 or Lotus Elise? "
Why not a Fiesta ST, maybe with Mountune mods. Not as pure a drive as an Elise, but huge fun and also practical as a daily driver.
Answered by Honest John
Am I mad to consider a Lotus Esprit?
"Having owned several Lotus Elans in the 1970s and 1980s I am aware that they are 'Lots Of Trouble, Usually Serious', but am nevertheless tempted at the thought of owning an Esprit. Am I barking mad? What models are the best and what should I look out for in particular?"
Completely nuts. But join the club, talk to the people who know, ponder what you hear, and make a decision on that basis. I have actually driven the V8 Esprit on a circuit and I loved it. Or did you accidentally type ‘Esprit’ when you meant ‘Elise’?
Answered by Honest John
Can you recommend a sporty estate for my wife's business and a mid-engined sports car for me?
"I have been struggling to find a balance of cars in our garage. Our current cars are a 12-year-old Range Rover converted to LPG and a modified 55 plate Audi S4 V8. The latter satisfies my need for speed and my part-time car touring business, but is mainly used by my wife for work (lucky girl). And we use the Range Rover for very rural living and driving in the Highlands, winter conditions and for towing a large trailer. I drive a small van otherwise. What we need is a more economical but sporty estate for my wife's business travel (about 18,000 a year) and I would like to buy a mid range, mid-engined sports car (Alfa 4C?) with hopefully some luggage space for the touring, and keep the Rangie for emergencies. I'm struggling with the estate I'm afraid and keep coming back to the S4, which I love to bits. Help."
For the wife, the recently facelifted SEAT Exeo ST 2.0 TDI CR 143 should do the business at around 50mpg. But don't bank on keeping it longer than three years and then you should avoid the problems that modern diesels start to develop. For you, difficult. No chance of an Alfa 4C without paying a ridiculous premium for being one of the first to get one. You might as well go for what it's copied from: an Elise / Vauxhall VX220, and I’ve seen a new Opel roadster being tested on the roads of Bavaria. If an Elise, make sure it has the Toyota Motor. Or follow Steven Sutcliffe and put your name down for a Ginetta G60 which he rates much more hard core than a Porsche Cayman R (see Autocar 26-10-2011).
Answered by Honest John

What does a Lotus Elise (2001 – 2011) cost?