Slick styling; gasoline-hybrid drivetrain; luxurious interior; 300-mile range; plenty of torque
Give Cadillac credit: the ELR does little to indicate it packs a high-efficiency powertrain. The car is a looker, with low slung angular styling that is very aggressive. On looks alone, the ELR certainly seems like a worthy competitor to other big luxury coupes. Of course, the ELR is much more than just a pretty face.
The Cadillac ELR has a powertrain similar to that found in the Chevrolet Volt, what GM calls an "extended range electric." This means that the car can be charged at home and then driven roughly 35 miles while using no gasoline whatsoever. Should owners exceed that range, a small displacement gasoline engine starts up, seamlessly powering the electric motors that move the front wheels. Cadillac claims this powertrain is good for a range of about 330 miles. Drivers will rarely need to put fuel in the car provided they only use it about town, but the powertrain's flexibility serves to allay range anxiety but also allow the impromptu longer road trips when desired.
Styling and futuristic drivetrain aside, the ELR must also has credibility as a luxury car, and that means plenty of goodies and interior amenities. The interior of the car is swathed in leather and carbon fiber, feeling expensive and stylish. There are two small seats in the back for children or the occasional adult, but most ELRs will spend much of their time with only one or two occupants. Those occupants will benefit from Cadillac's latest CUE in-car infotainment system, which makes Bluetooth pairing, navigation and stereo operation easier and more powerful than ever. The system has plenty of other trick features as well, including a proximity sensor, haptic feedback, multi-touch controls and speech recognition.
Other stand out features on the ELR include a Bose 10-channel stereo with noise cancellation technology, electronically controlled suspension capable of adjusting dampening rates continuously and on the fly, 20-inch wheels, LED headlamps, programmable charging schedules, SMS text functionality, OnStar with 4G LTE connectivity, wireless inductive charging for smartphones, and an 8-inch configurable touchscreen for CUE controls.
Safety has not been neglected and the ELR comes with forward collision and a lane departure warning system. Optional safety enhancements include a blind spot warning system, rear cross traffic alert and adaptive cruise control. Anti-lock brakes, traction control and stability control are also standard.
The Cadillac ELR was all-new for 2014, though the model wasn't produced for 2015. It returns for 2016 with some notable changes. For starters, the MSRP has dropped significantly, down from about $75,000 to $67,000. Subtle exterior changes include a revised grille and badge along with 20-inch satin graphite painted alloy wheels.
Chassis, steering and braking tuning has been enhanced for a sportier ride, and the ELR now features a higher-output electric motor for more power and torque. Inside, the 2016 ELR adds SMS text functionality, OnStar with 4G LTE in-car WiFi connectivity, wireless charging for smartphones, a lane change alert and more. Additionally, Cadillac's CUE touchscreen user interface sees a host of improvements that include faster speed and better mapping functions with new navigation interface.
New colors for 2016 include Crystal White, Red Passion and Stellar Black Metallic, while Black Raven and Crystal Red have been dropped.
The Cadillac ELR is a hybrid luxury sports coupe starting at about $67,000. It competes with other luxury coupes from the likes of BMW, Mercedes and Audi. Of course, most of its competitors make due with a standard gasoline engine, with the one exception being the Tesla Model S. However, the Cadillac should have a better range than the equivalently priced Tesla, since the ELR has a built in gasoline engine that is capable of recharging the electric batteries on the go. The Cadillac ELR's value is further enhanced by tax rebates associated with purchasing an alternative fuel vehicle.
Vehicle Price: 65,995.00
*Estimated payments are for informational purposes only and don't account for acquisition fees, destination charges, tax, title, and other fees and incentives or represent a financing offer or guarantee of credit from the seller.
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