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2009 Lotus Elise

$50,065 — $59,465 USED
Convertible
2 Seats
23-24 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
Compare 2 trims

Overview

Is this the car for you?
(5.0) 2 reviews

The Good

  • Handling
  • Racing heritage
  • Performance
  • Gas mileage

The Bad

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

What to Know

about the 2009 Lotus Elise
  • Lotus-tuned 189-hp four-cylinder
  • Available 218-hp supercharged Elise SC
  • Six-speed manual
  • Removable hardtop available

Our Take

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

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.

Exterior
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


Interior
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 T...
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.

Exterior
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


Interior
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


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


Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

5.0
2 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(5.0)
Performance
(5.0)
Interior Design
(4.5)
Comfort
(3.5)
Reliability
(5.0)
Value For The Money
(5.0)
(5.0)

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-... Read full review

(5.0)

Telepathic backroads cruiser 2009 Elise SC

by Bluesman from Boston MA on August 16, 2013

I have owned dozens of cars and this is one of my fav's for sure. Much fun to drive, amazing handling, reliable, and tons of torque from the Supercharged engine. Surprisingly comfortable with the thin ... Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2009 Lotus Elise currently has 2 recalls


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2009 Lotus Elise has not been tested.

Latest 2009 Elise Stories

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Elise received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

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.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

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.

What is included in 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).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

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.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker