Potential new owner

Hi everyone. I’m seriously considering an Exige as after a short time I’ve decided to give up my rally rep days. Too much of the wrong kind of attention and subsequent insurance company “jokes”.

I did have a short, not-booting-it test drive of an Exige last summer, so I have a small idea of what it’s all about, but a couple of things concern me prior to handing over �20k+…


  1. This will be my first RWD car, after a FWD Integra Type-R and 4WD Evo VI. Is this sensible!? Am I likely to lose it in the wet or would I have to be asking for it?

  2. I’ve seen a few posts mentioning engine rebuilds at �3500+. Chances are that would clean me out - is it a common problem or does it tend to be confined to those cars used regularly on track?

    I’m sure I’ll have a few more questions, but I’ll keep it short for now! Oh, and if anyone is looking to move to an Evo VI, part-ex is more than welcome…

Hi, and welcome
As long as you’ve got some idea of what you’re letting yourself in for, I’m sure you won’t regret buying an Exige.

The Exige certainly deserves respect in the wet, but it’s not going to try too hard to spit you off the road. Traction is actually very good. The main thing to watch for is not going into a corner too fast and then suddenly coming off the power (or braking ) mid corner. I’d recommend a bit of driver training and some practice at track days to get really familiar with the handling.

Engine rebuilds are fairly rare, but certainly not unheard of. The engine is usually resonably solid if you pamper it. As long as you don’t let it overheat, don’t thrash it from cold, and check the oil regularly, you should be OK.

What are you waiting for? Just go and buy one.


I came from a Scooby and had the same worry over RWD, but the Exige doesn’t have turbo type torque, so you’re not going to powerslide off at the first bend! I’ve never found it a problem.

To be honest on the engine front it’s hard to say but if you stop as soon as there is an engine problem you’re likely to save yourself big money. Exiges do have their costs - regular servicing, expensive tyres, etc - but they are worth it!

As Brendan said, get on with it, as summer is here and prices are climbing!


Yeah, I appreciate the lift-off oversteer issue. That would certainly require a bit of re-programming on my part, as I drive now I would take my foot off if going wide in a corner which clearly would be a bad idea in RWD cars! Actually, it’s not the best idea in the Evo with AYC, really you should nail it and it actually comes back in. Weird sensation.

The Evo is hardly the cheapest car in the world to run, although the tyres are cheaper. Servicing at 4500 miles �200+ a time averages out a little more than an Exige’s schedule though. Also, insurance would be about �800 less for me on an Exige this year! Doesn’t include trackdays though

One other issue I might have is the height of the car, simply because our company parking spaces are in a multi-storey. Anyone had problems with that in an Exige (notably Broadmarsh in Nottingham if anyone’s from round here!)?

If your looking for a good exige then mine is has just gone on sale. The car is very well known on here and has had loads of tlc through out its life. It has had every upgrade possible on the mechanical front and comes with all the luxuries inside too. This is a very genuine car and has had no resprays to cover any mister meaners up.See Pistonheads.com for spec. Neil Ashby

Looks lovely Neil, sadly I must shift the Evo first though. �23.5k might be slightly pushing my budget too, depending on what I get for the VI, but I don’t doubt your car’s worth it!

Those ramps in multi storeys do look a bit worrying, but I’ve never actually had a problem with them. I always approach them slowly, and I try to come at them from a bit of an angle.
I haven’t actually tried the Broadmarsh one, but I have used a couple of the NCPs in the lace market area without trouble.


You would love an exige, i’m sure of that and the servicing and upkeep costs are probably going to be very similar to the Mitsubishi.

On the reliability front, there is no way the exige will compete with japanese build quality and robustness but if you really look after an exige by keeping a close eye on everything from tyres to brakes and engine oil levels and coolant temperatures, as well as making sure it is properly serviced and warmed up before giving it ‘big lix’, then I don’t think you will need regular �3500 rebuilds. The k-series in our cars is fairly highly strung but depending on your use it should last pretty well as it has many upgraded parts as standard.

How long would you expect to keep the car?

Well, how long I keep it, aside from my financial situation of course, depends on how much I love it and how much I get to use it. If it’s the car I think it is (bearing in mind my short test drive thus far), I can see me having it at least a couple of years, more if I get to the point where I can keep it solely as a track car (at the moment it wouldn’t be a track car at all thanks to my insurance situation ) Are you asking with the overall running/servicing cost in mind?

I made a mistake getting rid of my Integra in some ways, it’s much more a driver’s car than the Evo, much more involving and driver-focussed. The Evo is astoundingly quick, especially for its size, and you have absolute confidence in it thanks to 4WD, but I went for it cos I’d always wanted one and it is to all intents and purposes the fastest thing on the road.

Sadly, it’s not as much fun, it’s a damn sight more expensive to run (but supercar performance brings that) and I drive around half expecting to be car-jacked at any minute which detracts from the pleasure of owning it.

My driving habits are basically commuting (5 miles each way) with occasional client visits (anything from 10-100 miles) plus infrequent trips to friends around the country (Manchester, London, Sheffield). I’ve got a crappy old Astra for the less salubrious journies and lugging jobs, and I would probably split the commuting between the two - I don’t like to hide nice cars away if possible, although equally I don’t want to put needless miles on. I think it would be a weather-based decision really!

I wouldn’t be so sure about Japanese build quality across the board by the way, my Evo has been fine but I see a few recurrent problems on the Lancer Register (often from modded cars, admittedly). Having said that, the engine is generally bullet proof at normal spec, it’s just the clutch, brakes and active yaw control that are the problems!

Honda though, that’s a different proposition. Bullet proof in my and many others’ experience, built at least to BMW standards (although why they should be the benchmark I don’t know!) and at the performance end, built first and foremost for the driver.

I digress. I’m very used to warming up/down now, it’s a must with turbos. Oil temp takes at least 10 minutes to reach normal and I like to think I look after my cars on the regular checks/general servicing front, although I’m no mechanic. I certainly treat cars with respect and mechanical sympathy, for instance I can’t stand it when people keep their foot on the brakes/clutch when stationary or breach 3000 revs a minute after they set off.

sounds to me like you would get on just fine with an exige… go have some fun test drives…