Small but Great Value

Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England), March 26, 2004 | Go to article overview

Small but Great Value


Byline: By Paul Malley

I couldn't help but chuckle when I read Lotus was touting its Elise as a company car. Yes it's a lightweight car with lightweight tax, but I just can't see suits using it for business.

Why? Although it looks fantastic and is amazing fun to drive, it's not very practical.

The seats are so low down, you need to be a double-jointed gymnast to get into the car. And even if you make it into the Elise, getting out is an even tougher physical challenge and will leave even the most flexible businessman and woman flustered.

And ladies - heaven forbid if you're wearing a skirt because you won't have much dignity left once you've managed to wriggle out.

Apart from that, there's also only enough luggage room for a small bag or two.

But if you see neither of these things as a problem, then the 2004 model year Elise 111s that I test-drove last week is one of the finest value-for-money sports cars around.

For pounds 27,995 you get an aluminium-bodied convertible which is extremely lightweight at 806kg (including a full tank of fuel).

Combine this with a 160PS engine and you have a machine that flies out of the traps and keeps on accelerating and accelerating. The performance figures are very impressive and behind the wheel you can certainly feel the speed and power. …

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