• (5.0) 2 reviews
  • MSRP: $51,119–$57,999
  • Body Style: Convertible
  • Engine: 189-hp, 1.8-liter I-4 (premium)
  • Drivetrain: Rear-wheel Drive
  • Transmission: 6-speed manual w/OD
  • Seats: 2
2009 Lotus Elise

Our Take on the Latest Model 2009 Lotus Elise

What We Don't Like

  • Seating space
  • Ride comfort
  • Cargo room
  • Sparse cabin

Notable Features

  • Lotus-tuned 189-hp four-cylinder
  • Available 218-hp supercharged Elise SC
  • Six-speed manual
  • Removable hardtop available

2009 Lotus Elise Reviews

Vehicle Overview
The Elise is a compact, lightweight sports car meant for track driving. As such, its competitors, such as the BMW Z4 and Porsche Boxster, generally boast more comfort but fewer at-the-limits performance attributes. The Elise comes in two trims: the entry-level Elise with a non-supercharged four-cylinder, and the Elise SC, which adds a supercharger for 29 more horsepower.

New for 2009
There are no significant changes to the Elise and Elise SC for 2009.

Countless cars are described as "aggressive," but the Elise truly looks the part, with its huge air intakes behind the doors; its long, sloped headlight covers; and its ground-hugging stance.

  • Chassis weighs just 150 pounds
  • LED taillamps
  • Composite body panels are used, and the entire car weighs slightly less than 2,000 pounds — about 300 pounds less than a Toyota Yaris hatchback
  • Standard black cloth top, available body-colored hardtop

Two occupants sit in composite sport seats. An aluminum gearshift knob and handbrake sleeve help keep the Elise's weight down, and they complement the aluminum chassis.
  • Momo steering wheel
  • LCD screen displays essential vehicle information
  • Air conditioning standard, but can be deleted to save weight
  • CD stereo
  • Power door locks
  • Starter button and immobilizer alarm
  • Available Touring Package adds full-leather seating, power windows, an upgraded stereo and a double-insulated fabric top

Under the Hood
The Elise has a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine sourced from Toyota and tuned by Lotus. It incorporates variable cam timing and lift technology to produce 189 hp at 7,800 rpm and 133 pounds-feet of torque at 6,800 rpm. The Elise SC adds a supercharger to make 218 hp at 8,000 rpm and 156 pounds-feet of torque at 5,000 rpm.
  • Six-speed manual transmission
  • 0-60 mph time of 4.4 seconds in SC, 4.9 seconds for base Elise
  • Coil-spring suspension can be equipped with Bilstein shock absorbers
  • Eight-spoke cast-aluminum wheels
  • Yokohama tires: P175/55R16 in front and P225/45R17 in back
  • Available Sport Package adds wider front tires and lighter wheels (56.2 pounds for all four, versus 70.4 pounds with the standard wheels)
  • AP Racing twin-piston front brake calipers and Brembo single-piston rear calipers; all four discs are cross-drilled to resist brake fade
  • Optional traction control and limited-slip differential

While traction control is available on the Elise, stability control is not an option. Safety features include:
  • Dual front airbags
  • Antilock brakes

Consumer Reviews


Average based on 2 reviews

Write a Review

Unique and fast

by Hugo Furst from Austin, TX on July 20, 2015

I've had my Laser Blue SC beauty since she was brand new. Never had a lick of trouble. I still get up some mornings at 0430 just to drive on my very favorite road: sweeping curves, tight essex, off-ca... Read Full Review

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2 Trims Available

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Wondering which configuration is right for you?
Our 2009 Lotus Elise trim comparison will help you decide.

Lotus Elise Articles

2009 Lotus Elise Safety Ratings

Crash-Test Reports


There are currently 2 recalls for this car.

Safety defects and recalls are relatively common. Stay informed and know what to do ahead of time.

Safety defects and recalls explained

Service & Repair

Estimated Service & Repair cost: $4,100 per year.

Save on maintenance costs and do your own repairs.

Warranty Coverage





What you should get in your warranty can be confusing. Make sure you are informed.

Learn More About Warranties

Warranties Explained


Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.


Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

Roadside Assistance

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

Free Scheduled Maintenance

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

Other Years