2014 Cadillac ELR Review: The Perfect 33-Mile Car
I have no clue how many of these things Cadillac intends to sell, but at a base price of $75,000 and an electric-only range of 35 miles, it’s not going to be many. Nevertheless, the Cadillac ELR is an intriguing car, both in its gorgeous looks and its fun — yes fun – driving characteristics. It makes a compelling case for itself if you don’t live too far from the office, and don’t drive around much during the day.
Let’s start with the price. It’s spit-take-worthy. Even in base form, it’s the single most expensive vehicle in Cadillac’s line, including the massive, luxurious Cadillac Escalade ESV– even if you select all-wheel drive. It blows any idea of saving money on fuel out the window.
Consider this: If you compared the fuel cost savings in an ELR (with a combined MPGe rating of 82), and a CTS-V (with a combined MPG rating of about 16), it would take you more than five years of driving 15,000 miles a year to save enough fuel to add up to the cost difference between the ELR and CTS-V. You don’t buy a $75,000 car to save money, though.
The other thing to consider is that this isn’t just a Volt. It’s longer, lower, wider and has a longer wheelbase by significant dimensions. It’s also decidedly a coupe, which you’ll notice if you bothered trying to fold yourself into the rear seat. The powertrain might be the same – with reprogrammed software to generate up to 217 hp and 295-lb.ft. of torque – but the car around it is a significant improvement.
Looks-wise, it’s stunning. While I was out taking photographs in MetroWest Massachusetts, a salesman from the local Toyota dealer on his way home spotted me in traffic, followed me to where I parked, and sheepishly asked me to take his picture sitting in the driver’s seat. That has happened in exactly zero times in the Volt, and only in one other press vehicle I’ve driven in 15 years. It says something for this beautifully styled coupe’s appeal. As you can see from the photo link below, it’s strikingly similar to the Converj ELR Concept that Cadillac showed in 2011.
There’s a big jump between the $75,000 base price and the $83,130 as tested price (including $995 in destination charges). That’s largely in part to the $2,450 Kona Brown leather seats, with a million different adjustments. Our tested ELR also came with adaptive cruise control and intelligent brake assist ($1,995), and a luxury package including massive 20-inch wheels, rear cross traffic alert and side blind spot warning ($1,695). Throw in another grand for the Crystal Red “Tintcoat” paint.