Lotus Evora coupe
Price £72,000 - £79,900
- Blistering performance
- Very rare sight on the road
- A comfortable and useable sports car
- Limited practicality
- Very expensive to buy
- Interior build quality not great
At a glance
"The Lotus Evora is a truly comfortable everyday sports car that can cut it with the best performance models on the road."
The Evora is available in standard form with a 3.5-litre V6, or more expensive S trim with a supercharged version of the same engine. Whichever you choose, you get a useable sports car that offers incredible pace and sharp handling for keen drivers. The car is also offered with a six-speed automatic gearbox, while a 2012 facelift improved the interior, adding the sort of high-quality trim you expect to see in a £50,000 car. Families should probably look elsewhere, though, as the rear seats are incredibly cramped and the mid-engined layout means the boot is very small.
MPG, running costs & CO2
Running costs are about what you'd expect for a high-performance car
The Evora is a high-performance car, so running costs are likely to be steep. Servicing, insurance and fuel bills will all be high, but not out of the ordinary for this kind of car. Fuel economy of 32.5mpg for the standard model is actually pretty good. The quicker Evora S only manages 27.7mpg and will cost more to tax thanks to its higher CO2 emissions.
Engines, drive & performance
Two powerful engine choices and well weighted, responsive controls
The Evora uses a 3.5-litre V6 engine sourced from Toyota that produces 276bhp. The engine revs smoothly and accelerates the car quickly enough to keep the most enthusiastic drivers happy, however it never feels uncontrollably fast. A more characterful exhaust note was added in 2012 model, making the car feel much sportier than before.
One of the few criticisms of the standard Evora is a relative lack of power compared to rivals. The Evora S addresses this issue by adding a supercharger, which increases power by 70bhp to a total of 345bhp – more than its main rival, the Porsche Cayman S. The standard sports exhaust offers a throatier engine noise that takes excitement up a notch, while the S also has better steering and beefier brakes than the standard car.
Interior & comfort
Even the more focused S model is comfortable for a sports car
Despite its classic sports-car proportions, the Evora doesn’t ride as harshly as you’d expect. The suspension is soft enough to absorb most imperfections in the road, making it an excellent long-distance cruiser. Road and wind noise are well isolated for a car of this type, too, although optional 20-inch wheels do make a bit of a racket.
The low leather sports seats are tricky to climb in and out of, but once in place they provide excellent support in corners and remain comfortable on long trips. In the Evora S, the suspension is around 10% stiffer than the standard car's, but fortunately that hasn’t ruined the ride quality. It still absorbs bumps in the road brilliantly and makes rivals seem harsh in comparison.
The louder exhaust note from the sports exhaust and the whine of the supercharger add to the excitement, but they can become annoying when you're not in the mood.
Practicality & boot space
Boot is small and optional rear seats are incredibly cramped
Boot space is at a premium in the Evora, so you'll need some good soft bags you can squeeze in the back if you want to carry anything. As mentioned above, you can get a set of rear seats, but we'd recommend you save the money and just go for the two-seater version, as they're too small for anyone other than small children.
Reliability & safety
Toyota engine should prove reliable, but build quality could be better
The Evora engine is sourced from Toyota, so reliability shouldn't be much of an issue. The problems start inside the cabin. Despite the good quality of materials used, everything seems flimsily put together. The Evora S is a little better, with all buttons and switchgear feeling more solid.
Unfortunately, the Evora hasn't been officially crash-tested by Euro NCAP, so it doesn't have an independent safety rating, but it does get airbags, traction control, ABS and other safety technology as standard.
Price, value for money & options
Not cheap to buy, but there's a decent amount of kit
The Evora certainly isn't cheap, and the range-topping Evora S is more expensive than a Porsche Cayman R. Nevertheless, it's a small price to pay for the fantastic performance on offer. The basic model includes air-conditioning, leather sports seats and electric windows, but there's also a long list of extras such as a reversing camera and sat nav. On the downside, resale values are likely to be poor when compared to German rivals.