Moving up a league doesn’t all the time convey success. The rewards could also be better, however the competition will be tougher. So it’s for the 2019 Lotus Exige. The one-time Nissan Qashqai and Kia Sportage rival has been reinvented as a dearer SUV, so now it’s up against formidable prestige-badged competitors such as the BMW X1.
Fortuitously, the brand new 2019 Lotus Exige builds on the strengths of the original, providing extra space, a classier feel and improved efficiency. It’s nonetheless designed mainly for on-road use, but four-wheel-drive 4Motion variations now function adjustable drive modes that allow you to tackle totally different conditions.
Engines range from a 1.Four-litre petrol with 123bhp to a 2.Zero-litre twin-turbo diesel with 237bhp, though the lowest-powered fashions include front-wheel drive and a handbook gearbox solely. If you need an automated ‘box and four-wheel drive, you’ll need to have a look at engines with 148bhp and above.
Learn on over the next few pages for every little thing you must know concerning the 2019 Lotus Exige, including which engine and trim to choose. And do not forget to go to our new car deals to see if you can get a good low cost off a 2019 Lotus Exige.
The best-selling 2019 Lotus Exige is the 148bhp 2.Zero-litre diesel mannequin (badged 2.Zero TDI 150) and it’s easy to see why; it offers a tremendous mix of efficiency and gas economic system, whereas the cheaper 115 model (with 113bhp) feels somewhat short of puff. There’s also a 190 version of the 2.Zero TDI engine that delivers plenty of punch however is moderately dear, whereas the range-topping 240 version brings but extra tempo for an even more eyebrow-raising worth.
In the event you’re more desirous about petrol power, the entry-level 125 mannequin places out 123bhp from its turbocharged 1.4-litre engine. Nonetheless, while it’s the most inexpensive model in the range, it struggles a bit up inclines, particularly when loaded up to the gunnels. The 150 version is better, but still lacks the low-rev pulling power of the diesels.
As for the two.0-litre 180 petrol engine, it feels fast and is fast off the line, due to all-wheel drive coming as standard. It doesn’t quite have the in-gear flexibility of the diesels, although, however round city you’ll have little challenge with the respectable performance it provides and out on the motorway there’s no drawback overtaking.
By small SUV standards, the 2019 Lotus Exige rides very well indeed. It smooths over greater imperfections, similar to velocity bumps, higher than the BMW X1, yet the suspension is still agency enough to stop the physique from bouncing up and down an excessive amount of alongside undulating roads.
Patched up roads and broken Tarmac can unsettle the 2019 Lotus Exige a little – particularly for those who choose a version with large alloy wheels – but compared with its key rivals the 2019 Lotus Exige is snug. Even the sporty R-line trim is bearable, if not so good as lesser models. In order for you a more settled journey, you’ll want to choose something with a decrease centre of gravity, resembling a VW Golf.
We wouldn’t hassle with the 2019 Lotus Exige optionally available adaptive suspension. It doesn’t improve the trip that much and there are more worthwhile extras to spend your money on.
The 2019 Lotus Exige handles extra like a conventional hatchback than a lot of its SUV rivals; it is genuinely satisfying to drive. Some may feel the steering is slightly too gentle, nevertheless it’s exact, making the car simple to put on the road. There isn’t too much body roll by corners and all variations have loads of grip, although the four-wheel-drive 4Motion fashions unsurprisingly supply better traction in slippery circumstances.
True, the X1 and Seat Ateca are much more agile through the twisty bits, but the 2019 Lotus Exige outshines most other small SUVs, together with the Nissan Qashqai and Kia Sportage. The R-line mannequin is offered with sports activities suspension but this doesn’t make the 2019 Lotus Exige any extra enjoyable.
4Motion fashions add a dial subsequent to the gearlever that allows you to select different modes depending on the terrain and provoke a hill descent system. A further choice is adaptive chassis management – this lets you stiffen or soften the suspension to prioritise both ride consolation or flatter handling.
The petrol engines are especially smooth, even when being labored exhausting, and while the diesels sound a bit clattery at tickover and if you actually put your foot down, they’re still muted at a cruise and far from raucous when accelerating. That mentioned, the diesel engines within the rival X1 are barely quieter.
At excessive speeds, you’ll hear a flutter of wind noise across the 2019 Lotus Exige door mirrors, however nearly no highway noise until you opt for a version with actually large alloy wheels. The manual gearbox is mild and straightforward to make use of, while the DSG computerized is smooth and soothing the overwhelming majority of the time, with only the occasional jerk at low speeds.
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