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Original MSRP: $47,250 - $54,990
MPG: 21 City / 27 Hwy
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2010 Lotus Elise Interior

This interior review was written when the 2010 Lotus Elise was new.

Auto writers find that the Elise's cabin isn't particularly comfortable, luxurious or practical. However, its functional design does help it maintain its performance edge over other sports cars.

  • "This is a weekend toy, and even then, the distance traveled on any given weekend will be limited by the Elise's miniscule interior and cargo space." -- Edmunds

Seating

The Elise seats two passengers. While reviewers say its cabin is difficult to enter and exit, most agree that its seats are supportive -- if you're the right size.

Compared to its rivals, only the Audi A5 and TT provide more seating capacity. Still, critics note that even these four-seaters are better suited for two.

  • "Many people over 6 feet simply don't fit in this car. And some under 6 feet, particularly those of broader beam, don't fit very well." -- New Car Test Drive
  • "Getting into and out of the diminutive Elise can be an adventure, particularly if you're taller than the average bear. The wide door sills, low steering wheel and butt-on-the-floor sport seats require some contortionist movement -- which is made worse if the top is in place. Tall drivers also might find their knees heavily interfering with the shifter -- they can add this to their ‘sucks to be tall list,' along with airplane coach seats and helicopter rotors. Those of shorter stature fare better and will find the Elise to be the most in-tune driving environment one can enjoy." -- Edmunds

Interior Features

Inside, the Elise prioritizes function over luxury. As such, it doesn't offer much in the way of convenience features. However, its minimalist design does help to keep weight and distractions to a minimum -- a perk that only gear-heads could appreciate.

With the exception of the Exige, which also features a sparse cabin, every other car in the class of luxury sports cars offers more interior comfort and amenities. Even the no-frills Corvette's cabin is more inviting. 

  • "Creature comforts are kept to an absolute minimum, with accommodations being little more than two sport seats bolted into an aluminum cockpit. Secondary controls are few and far between." -- Edmunds
  • "Minor controls are few, but somewhat randomly placed and in every case cryptically marked if marked at all.  ... The standard Alpine audio is fair at best. Worse, its 1-DIN layout, microscopic controls and low placement in the dash make it difficult to operate and adjust while underway; then there's the annoying, flashy LED. Then again, there's enough engine and road noise to drown out music or talk anyway." -- New Car Test Drive

Cargo

The Elise isn’t cargo friendly. But because it's not meant to be a grocery getter, reviewers don't seem to mind. If you're in the market for a luxury sports car with practical cargo room, check out the Chevy Corvette coupe, which provides 22.4 cubic-feet of storage room. Another interesting choice is the Porsche Boxster, which features two cargo holds.

  • "Aside from the small trunk behind the engine, the only storage space is behind the passenger seat, and this is not enclosed. Groceries? On the passenger seat or footwell. With no luggage space, the Elise is not an airport car." -- New Car Test Drive
Review Last Updated: 4/12/10

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