Lotus Evora Review
The Lotus Evora is a sleek two-door coupe that’s the only mid-engined car on sale that has rear seats. However, alternatives have more lavish interiors filled with the latest technology.
This score is awarded by our team of expert reviewers after extensive testing of the car
- Inspires confidence at speed
- Great around corners
- Great-sounding engine
What's not so good
- Gearshift sub par
- Tight for space inside
- Expensive to buy
Lotus Evora: what would you like to read next?
The Lotus Evora is the antidote to the trend of cars getting heavier and heavier making it a good choice if you don’t want your sports car to weigh the same as your executive saloon from a few years ago. In terms of pricing, the Evora is close to the Porsche 718 Cayman GTS that’s already an excellent sports car, making the case for the Evora that bit more difficult.
Well, in terms of looks, you might say that thanks to the low front end and short rear it looks like a mini supercar, but to others the elongated shape might appear less classy than the sweeping lines of the Porsche.
This difference continues inside, where the Evora sticks to old sports car conventions of giving the driver a wheel, some pedals and a stereo but not much else in terms of things to ease the strain of a traffic jam, for example. Yes, there is an optional touchscreen infotainment system with sat-nav but comparing it to the 718 system is like comparing an iPhone 4S to an iPhone X – graphics and features simply are outdated in the Evora.
The Evora makes for a pretty good purchase if you want a track-day car, but alternatives are easier to live with every day
What’s absolutely not outdated, and arguably the Evora’s best feature, is the way it drives. Lotus as a company is no stranger to making cars go around corners with agility and ease, giving the driver the confidence to drive quickly. The same is true for the Evora – it doesn’t have fancy adaptive dampers or trick active suspension, but instead relies on years of Lotus experience of setting cars up just right. It has worked. Perfectly, at that, meaning the Evora is one of the most forgiving cars to drive fast when you consider the impressive pace it’s capable of – it’s even decently comfy when you’re not going hell-for-leather.
The Evora is no slouch – the standard 400hp version gets from 0-62mph in a brisk 4.3 seconds and there’s also a 410 Sport version that cuts that time to 3.9 seconds – a time that would worry a more expensive Porsche 911. Power comes from a Toyota 3.5-litre V6 that’s been supercharged – the combination of the exhaust note and the supercharger whine make the Evora quite a special car to drive.
There are drawbacks, however, and it’s mainly to do with the gearbox, which is fine for everyday use, but can’t deliver the sort of quick and precise shifts you need out of a performance car. There’s also an automatic Evora, but its reactions are too slow for it to be enjoyable when you’re really pushing it.
Another area where the Evora is behind is equipment. The standard equipment is nothing impressive (floor mats, air-con, stereo) and you have very little options to personalise or add more features to your Evora – stand out options include an infotainment system or an alcantara steering wheel. Another thing is that you get two airbags and that’s it for safety as far as Lotus is concerned – on the other hand, you can get emergency auto braking, adaptive cruise control, blind spot alert and a parking assist with a camera for the Cayman.
Now, all of the above isn’t to say that the Evora is to be avoided. It’s simply a car that is very focused in one area and not so much in others – that was fine a few years ago, but now, alternatives are not only getting really close to the dynamics of the Evora but also provide a better day-to-day experience making them easier to live with. The Evora is still laugh-out-loud fun to drive, then, but it simply isn’t such great value nowadays.