Used 2011 Lotus Exige

2011 Lotus Exige
List Price Estimate
$28,830 - $41,921

Pros & Cons

  • Ultralight weight
  • super-sharp steering
  • good fuel economy
  • uncompromising sports-car performance.
  • Spartan interior with little space
  • difficult entry and exit
  • poor outward visibility
  • rough ride quality
  • peaky power delivery
  • limited dealer network.
Lotus Exige years

Edmunds' Expert Review

The 2011 Lotus Exige represents one of the most engaging cars built today, but its focus on performance means comfort and convenience are low among its priorities.

Vehicle overview

What are you willing to give up in the name of performance? In the case of the 2011 Lotus Exige, we'd give up quite a lot. It's loud, cramped, harsh, impractical and unforgiving. Yet a true driving enthusiast -- one who intends to use this car at its full potential on a racetrack – finds these sacrifices only minor inconveniences compared to the unparalleled driving experience this little sports car delivers.

Starting with a very lightweight aluminum chassis that is chemically bonded (instead of welded or bolted) for rigidity, the Exige follows the core Lotus principle of founder Colin Chapman: "Simplify, then add lightness." Everything about the Exige is built for lightness, from the fiberglass and carbon-fiber bodywork to the deletion of unessential convenience features. Reduced weight allows a small-displacement engine to deliver supercar performance. In this case, it's a supercharged 1.8-liter Toyota inline-4.

The resulting weight-to-power ratio comes in at an impressive 8.33 pounds per horsepower, a ratio even more favorable than the likes of the 2011 Audi R8 or 2011 Porsche 911. Opting for the even more powerful Lotus Exige S260 Sport will give a driver even more to smile about. And let's not overlook the Exige's handling, which has the immediate response of a manic hummingbird. Once you factor in the feel through the steering and even the seat of your pants, it's as if you have nerve endings that extend to the contact patches of the tires.

This combination of driving dynamics and visceral feedback leaves the Exige with little in the way of competition at its price point. The 2011 Porsche Boxster Spyder represents the closest rival for a track-tuned weapon, but while the Spyder is much easier to live with on a daily basis, it isn't nearly as communicative. For ultimate driver engagement and thrills, it's hard to beat the 2011 Lotus Exige.

Lotus Exige models

The 2011 Lotus Exige is a midengine, two-passenger rear-wheel-drive coupe that is offered in two trims: the S240 and the S260 Sport.

Standard features for the Exige S240 include forged-aluminum wheels (16-inch front, 17-inch rear), Yokohama Advan A048 high-performance tires, Lotus/AP Racing and Brembo ventilated and cross-drilled brakes, Bilstein dampers with Eibach springs, air-conditioning, power windows and locks, sport seats with Probax anatomical padding, black cloth upholstery, a leather-trimmed Momo steering wheel, a four-speaker Alpine stereo with a CD player, and adjustable traction control and launch control.

An optional Touring Pack adds additional acoustic insulation, a cupholder, an interior stowage net, a full carpet set, iPod connectivity, center console divider and leather upholstery for the seats, door panels, handbrake and center console. The Track Pack adds manually adjustable Ohlins dampers and height-adjustable springs. A paint-protection film, limited-slip differential and special-order exterior colors are also optional (although some of these colors are more expensive than all the other options combined).

The Exige S260 Sport ratchets up performance with a boost in power output, numerous carbon-fiber body panels, a front splitter, a rear spoiler and a carbon-fiber race seat. The S260 also incorporates the limited-slip differential and Touring and Track Packs as standard equipment. The paint-protection film is also available as an option.

A special Roger Becker Edition of the Lotus Exige debuts for 2011, honoring the longtime director of Lotus vehicle engineering, who recently retired. This model is based on the S260 and includes the Touring package, along with the limited-slip differential. It will only be offered in a handful of colors with a black leather interior.

2011 Highlights

The 2011 Lotus Exige revives the hard-core S260 Sport model, while a special Roger Becker edition also debuts.

Performance & mpg

Powering the 2011 Lotus Exige S240 is a Yamaha-engineered and Toyota-built four-cylinder engine. This supercharged and intercooled unit produces 240 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque. The version in the Exige S260 Sport gets a slight increase in output to 257 hp and 174 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual is the only transmission offered.

Lotus claims a 0-60-mph acceleration time of 4.5 seconds for the S240, while the S260 Sport is estimated at 4.0 seconds. Despite the Exige's high sporting potential, fuel economy does not suffer, as both models return 20 mpg city and 26 mpg on the highway.

Safety

Since the lightweight Exige strives for all-out performance, safety equipment is as bare-bones as federally mandated rules allow. Front airbags, antilock brakes and traction control are included, but side airbags and stability control are not available.

Edmunds braking tests of a similar Lotus Elise yielded a very short 110-foot stop from 60 mph. We expect the Exige to meet or better this figure.

Driving

While the typical driver might bemoan the sacrifices of comfort and convenience made by the Exige, true enthusiasts will celebrate the purity of the driving experience. The manual steering, firm brake pedal and stiff suspension alert the driver to what the chassis is doing in no uncertain terms. On a smooth racetrack, there is simply no production car quite like it.

Unfortunately, there is also nothing quite like this Lotus when it's on public roads. Every rut and bump is transmitted directly into the spine of the passengers. The car is also incredibly loud in terms of engine, road and wind noise. The 2011 Lotus Exige is intended for enthusiasts to be sure, but it also demands the kind of enthusiast willing to sacrifice nearly every modern comfort and convenience for outright driving performance.

Interior

Among any car currently being produced, the Lotus Exige has the most sparsely appointed cabin you're likely to encounter. The few controls available are not very user-friendly (especially the tiny radio buttons), and the trim amounts to bare metal and hard plastics. The sport seats offer excellent lateral support and are surprisingly comfortable, but accessing them requires a high level of flexibility in order to limbo past the low roof line while clambering over the high door sills. If you're tall, you'll probably find the cabin as enjoyable as a straitjacket, as your right leg can get painfully wedged between the steering wheel and shift lever.

Storage space is also hard to come by, since there is neither a glovebox nor interior pockets. The comically small trunk can only accommodate 4 cubic feet of cargo, and that cargo would have to fit past a very narrow opening. Furthermore, anything placed back there will be slow roasted by heat from the engine and exhaust. Fortunately, the Exige is fast enough to get home from the supermarket before your ice cream becomes a milkshake.

Scorecard

Overallundefined / 5

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2011 Lotus Exige.

5 star reviews: 0%
4 star reviews: 100%
3 star reviews: 0%
2 star reviews: 0%
1 star reviews: 0%
Average user rating: 4.0 stars based on 1 total reviews

Trending topics in reviews

    Most helpful consumer reviews

    4.25 out of 5 stars, Incredible car, may be the last car like this ever
    scm6079,

    The Exige is an amazing car that Makes you forget about any shortcomings when you take the next corner. Mine is not a daily driver, and although I love the car there are days you need to carry passengers and cargo. This car is incredibly light weight and a type of car I fear may be dissapearing forever as cars continue to grow in size and weight and even lotus themselves is talking about transforming into a Ferrari competitor with much heavier cars. Although cliche, this car really is a useable go-kart for the street.

    Write a review

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    Features & Specs

    S240 2dr Coupe features & specs
    S240 2dr Coupe
    1.8L 4cyl S/C 6M
    MPG 20 city / 26 hwy
    Seats 2
    6-speed manual
    Gas
    240 hp @ 8000 rpm

    S260 Sport 2dr Coupe features & specs
    S260 Sport 2dr Coupe
    1.8L 4cyl S/C 6M
    MPG 20 city / 26 hwy
    Seats 2
    6-speed manual
    Gas
    257 hp @ 8000 rpm

    S260 Roger Becker Edition 2dr Coupe features & specs
    S260 Roger Becker Edition 2dr Coupe
    1.8L 4cyl S/C 6M
    MPG 20 city / 26 hwy
    Seats 2
    6-speed manual
    Gas
    257 hp @ 8000 rpm

    See all Used 2011 Lotus Exige features & specs

    FAQ

    Is the Lotus Exige a good car?

    The Edmunds experts tested the 2011 Exige both on the road and at the track. You probably care about Lotus Exige fuel economy, so it's important to know that the Exige gets an EPA-estimated 22 mpg. What about cargo capacity? When you're thinking about carrying stuff in your new car, keep in mind that the Exige has 4.0 cubic feet of trunk space. And then there's safety and reliability. Edmunds has all the latest NHTSA and IIHS crash-test scores, plus industry-leading expert and consumer reviews to help you understand what it's like to own and maintain a Lotus Exige. Learn more

    Is the Lotus Exige reliable?

    To determine whether the Lotus Exige is reliable, read Edmunds' authentic consumer reviews, which come from real owners and reveal what it's like to live with the Exige. Look for specific complaints that keep popping up in the reviews, and be sure to compare the Exige's average consumer rating to that of competing vehicles. Learn more

    Is the 2011 Lotus Exige a good car?

    There's a lot to consider if you're wondering whether the 2011 Lotus Exige is a good car. Safety scores, fuel economy, cargo capacity and feature availability should all be factors in determining whether the 2011 Exige is a good car for you. Check back soon for the official Edmunds Rating from our expert testing team Learn more

    How much should I pay for a 2011 Lotus Exige?

    The least-expensive 2011 Lotus Exige is the 2011 Lotus Exige S240 2dr Coupe (1.8L 4cyl S/C 6M). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $65,690.

    Other versions include:

    • S240 2dr Coupe (1.8L 4cyl S/C 6M) which starts at $65,690
    • S260 Sport 2dr Coupe (1.8L 4cyl S/C 6M) which starts at $74,950
    • S260 Roger Becker Edition 2dr Coupe (1.8L 4cyl S/C 6M) which starts at $70,750
    Learn more

    What are the different models of Lotus Exige?

    If you're interested in the Lotus Exige, the next question is, which Exige model is right for you? Exige variants include S240 2dr Coupe (1.8L 4cyl S/C 6M), S260 Sport 2dr Coupe (1.8L 4cyl S/C 6M), and S260 Roger Becker Edition 2dr Coupe (1.8L 4cyl S/C 6M). For a full list of Exige models, check out Edmunds’ Features & Specs page. Learn more

    More about the 2011 Lotus Exige

    Used 2011 Lotus Exige Overview

    The Used 2011 Lotus Exige is offered in the following submodels: Exige Coupe. Available styles include S240 2dr Coupe (1.8L 4cyl S/C 6M), S260 Sport 2dr Coupe (1.8L 4cyl S/C 6M), and S260 Roger Becker Edition 2dr Coupe (1.8L 4cyl S/C 6M).

    What do people think of the 2011 Lotus Exige?

    Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2011 Lotus Exige and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2011 Exige 4.0 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2011 Exige.

    Edmunds Expert Reviews

    Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2011 Lotus Exige and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2011 Exige featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

    Our Review Process

    This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

    We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.

    What's a good price for a New 2011 Lotus Exige?

    Which 2011 Lotus Exiges are available in my area?

    Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2011 Lotus Exige for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2011 Lotus Exige.

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    Find a new Lotus Exige for sale - 9 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $8,381.

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    Why trust Edmunds?

    Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.

    Should I lease or buy a 2011 Lotus Exige?

    Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

    Check out Lotus lease specials