'07 Elise vs. '07 SLK 350 - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

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#1 Old 05-17-2009
 
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'07 Elise vs. '07 SLK 350

So I have found a great '07 Elise at Lotus of Vancouver which is a bit less than a similar '07 SLK in Edmonton where I live.

I have always loved Lotus cars, but wonder about them as i have never driven one. I am planning to fly to Vancouver to test drive it and see. The only hassle is there is no service dealer near me. They would have to fly a tech to see me or me drive a 16 hours to get it serviced. I have a feeling the thrill would be better in the Lotus, but it would lack obviously the luxrious comforts I love in my current C300.

Any thoughts/ideas, etc?

Thanks.
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#2 Old 05-17-2009
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Drive the lotus, see if you can live with it. Very spartan interior, and much more of a pure sports car than an SLK. I've never owned one, but my friends who do seem to spend a lot of time getting the electrics repaired...



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#3 Old 05-17-2009
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Ive had two an S1 and an s2 later fitted with 300bhp motor. Great as a second car but awfull as only car. If you hate rattles and noise its not for you, however chassis feel and steering are great. Maintenance is a continual process with a lotus and much more expensive than expected to run.
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#4 Old 05-17-2009
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#5 Old 05-17-2009
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I've not driven the Elise, but I think that it is a very different car from the SLK 350. I think of the Elise as a modern day Lotus 7, basic and barely removed from race car. Sort of 'less is more'.

The SLK is softer, heavier and more refined.

For normal motoring the SLK, for driving around with your hair on fire, the Elise..

It depends a lot on what you want from the car. We could have had an Elise instead of our SLK, but while the Elise would (I'm sure) have been great fun, I glad we went for the SLK.

Cheers!
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#6 Old 05-17-2009
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I believe in straight talk. I'm sure the Elise is a fun car, but couldn't be considered pratical. I wouldn't consider it under any circumstance.
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#7 Old 05-17-2009
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I've driven the Elise and it is a fabulous car. If I were 25 and had something else to drive full-time it would be very high on my list. But for daily duties and comfort combined with performance, I'd go with the SLK (or a Z4 or a Boxster, etc.)

I'd still love to get a Lotus one day, but it'd be way down on the daily use list!

Although the Exige and the Elise are a bit different, Top Gear did a comparison between the Exige and the Mustang. Worth a look if you've never seen it.

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#8 Old 05-17-2009
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I don't think that an Elise would be the best choice for an Edmonton winter. If it's to be a summer only second car that lives for the track, get the Elise.

Also, the Elise is not designed for all body sizes. You do need a test drive.
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Originally Posted by Driller View Post
I don't think that an Elise would be the best choice for an Edmonton winter. If it's to be a summer only second car that lives for the track, get the Elise.

Also, the Elise is not designed for all body sizes. You do need a test drive.
I have an '08 C300 that I would keep. Elise/SLK would be summer only. I am also glad i'm not a big guy....

I appreciate all the advice. I used to do Autocross with my Acura, so in a way, looking more for a pure sports car and obviously it is a bare bones car. It's purely a car, with few amenities. The one down side is, with my girlfriend, is that she'd have to only bring one outfit on a weekend trip to the Banff Springs...maybe that's a good thing.

Also, what is the difference between '06 and '07 SLK?
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#10 Old 05-17-2009
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The 06 and 07 are basically the same. As to the Elise, great track car but getting in and out is a pain. 6-8 inch threshold and 12 inch drop to the seat.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmjonez View Post
I've driven the Elise and it is a fabulous car. If I were 25 and had something else to drive full-time it would be very high on my list. But for daily duties and comfort combined with performance, I'd go with the SLK (or a Z4 or a Boxster, etc.)

I'd still love to get a Lotus one day, but it'd be way down on the daily use list!

Although the Exige and the Elise are a bit different, Top Gear did a comparison between the Exige and the Mustang. Worth a look if you've never seen it.

THanks for the video post. That video basically tells me that if I were to fit and that maintenance wouldn't be a nightmare that I'd love the car. But will still test drive SLK, Elise and perhaps a Boxster.

The one advantage to the SLK is that my Benz Dealer already treats me very well and if I have two cars and then get the girlfriend hers, that will be 3 cars in less than 2 years.
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#12 Old 05-18-2009
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I had a vx220 turbo (small vauxhall based on an elise but with 220bhp) for a brief period and simply couldn't stand it. Ingress and Egress were a night mare, and taking the roof off though not terrible, was still a get out the car then 5 minute job. It leaked, it rattled, it was so lonw you felt totally vulnerable all the time.

yes it was fast, yes it handled well, but it didn't handle that much better and wasn't so much faster than my then evo 9 that it was worth all the downsides.

I think if you can handle the impracticality it will be fine, but in your position, knowing what I know about their maintenance/upkeep and poor performance in bad weather, there is no way on earth I'd consider one.

What's the prevailing climate like where you are, because even with the heater on full blast these thnigs are COLD. They have no insulation, and shoud you mist up your windows no aircon to demist quickly.

Bear in mind that everything fitted to the car is paired down to reduce its weight, which means every job you need it to perform it does in the most bare bones way.

If I were you, I'd rent one for a good few weeks before making a jump like that.
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#13 Old 05-18-2009
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I think Lotuses are fun to look at and fun to drive but I doubt I would ever considering owning one.

As you mentioned in your original post there is no dealer nearby and service would be a hassle. I would avoid the Lotus for that simple reason.

Plus lets not forget, the SLK350 is a great car also, and you'll have lots of fun with the retractable hardtop fitted with a Smarttop module
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#14 Old 05-18-2009
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Two very different cars. The Lotus is really a great SCCA or track car, not much in the way of comfort. Like DJ, would on my list of ones to own someday. But the SLK is an overall more practical and comfortable choice. Really depends on what you are going for.
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#15 Old 05-18-2009
 
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Originally Posted by slkluv View Post
I think Lotuses are fun to look at and fun to drive but I doubt I would ever considering owning one.

As you mentioned in your original post there is no dealer nearby and service would be a hassle. I would avoid the Lotus for that simple reason.

Plus lets not forget, the SLK350 is a great car also, and you'll have lots of fun with the retractable hardtop fitted with a Smarttop module
What is a Smarttop module?
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#16 Old 05-19-2009
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A smarttop module is an after-market device can be fitted to the car to allow one-touch remote operation of the roof and allows the roof to be opened or closed while the car is moving (up to about 30 mph). I don't have one of these, but apparently it's not a hard mod to do..
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#17 Old 05-20-2009
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A few years ago I drove an Elise in a Speed Circuit and love it, but for a regular use its too uncomfortable because of its stiff suspension and the lack of some comforts that all the cars have.

In the other hand the parts are less expensive in Mercedes than in Lotus and you have a dealer in any major city.
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#18 Old 05-24-2009
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I have been to Edmonton (I lived in Calgary and PA), and think that you will get more time driving the Benz; it would be a better car in marginal weather. Also, you have to consider service: on one hand you have your closest service 80 miles away, on the other hand you have a good relationship with the local MB dealer. I'd go with the Benz.
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#19 Old 05-24-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -1- View Post
I believe in straight talk. I'm sure the Elise is a fun car, but couldn't be considered pratical. I wouldn't consider it under any circumstance.
As a dedicated track car, it would be near the top of my list. As a DD, near the bottom. Actually, same goes for the SLK as a DD
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#20 Old 05-25-2009
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Edm17el,

first off, welcome to the forum! Just saw your post and thought I should chime in. I own both Lotus and Mercedes vehicles (Exige S and SLK55AMG). They really are different animals. If your intended use is as a daily driver, the SLK is far more comfortable and practical. I'm sure roads up by you are often in the same shape as roads are by me when spring arrives. I guess that's why I store both cars from November to April.

Also, as noted by others, service appointments will be much less of a hassle with the SLK.

However, if your intended use is more for fun time, it will be difficult to beat the Lotus in that department. I see you have a new racetrack being built in your neck of the woods (http://www.badlandsmotorsportsresort.com/) which i'm sure would be a blast to become a regular visitor to.

There is also a dedicated group of Lotus enthusiasts who regularly meet in the Calgary area (I know of owners in Red Deer, Okotoks, Edmonton & Calgary to name a few). So there are other Lotus owners not too far away. I'm sure they all have some secretive bunker location where they are servicing those toyota engines

You could probably make contact with some Alberta folks over at the Lotus Forums to answer your servicing questions, meetups, etc.

Good luck with the search! And if you're like me you'll just end up buying them both anyways
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