2014 Cadillac ELR
2014 Cadillac ELR Review
Though test drivers say the 2014 Cadillac ELR has stunning looks and exquisite cabin materials, they can’t get past the car’s lackluster performance.
The ELR is a front-wheel drive, plug-in hybrid coupe. Two electric motors provide power for the ELR, while a four-cylinder gas engine acts as a generator when the battery is empty. The 2014 Cadillac ELR gets 85/80 mpg-equivalent city/highway in EV mode and 31/35 mpg in hybrid mode, which are good estimates for the class. Though test drivers like the smooth, instant power delivery when the ELR is in electric-only mode, they complain that the gas engine is frustratingly loud when it kicks in. Reviewers say the ELR handles winding roads with good composure for a heavy, front-wheel drive car, but they say it isn’t very engaging to drive and that you can feel even the tiniest road imperfections.
The four-seat Cadillac ELR’s handsome cabin design and superb materials receive praise from test drivers, who also think the front seats are comfortable and supportive. They point out that in true coupe fashion, the back seat is small. The ELR’s trunk is also very small for the class. Though reviewers like the high-tech driver assistance features available on the ELR, they say the CUE infotainment system is hard to use and slow to respond to touch inputs. Standard features on the Cadillac ELR include forward collision alert, lane departure warning, front and rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, a safety alert seat, Cadillac’s OnStar telematics system, heated side mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, Bluetooth, a 10-speaker Bose audio system, Cadillac’s CUE infotainment system, navigation, satellite radio, three USB ports, an auxiliary audio jack, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats and a heated steering wheel. The ELR is available with leather seats, automatic high beams, automatic collision preparation (which can apply the brakes if the system senses the car might hit the car in front of it), rear cross traffic alert and blind zone alert.
- "As a plug-in hybrid luxury coupe, the ELR is something unique in the market. And as pure automotive sculpture, it's utterly gorgeous. But it doesn't push the technological frontier forward or deliver the sheer driving joy that has made new Cadillacs such as the ATS and CTS so compelling. And that's frustrating." -- Car and Driver
- "Sure, the engine coarseness in extended range won't bother you much if your sphere of operation keeps you within the EV range. Volt owners do it all the time. But this car costs twice as much. The beauty of a plug-in hybrid is you can drive it anywhere, but if you fork over this much you want to enjoy yourself every mile. The 2014 Cadillac ELR seems to shed half its price and sophistication when the motor kicks in." -- Edmunds
- "There are many impressive pure electric and hybrid gasoline-electric vehicles on the market today (the Tesla Model S and Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid, for instance), and just around the corner (the Audi A3 e-tron comes immediately to mind), but the ELR isn't one of them. GM's misstep is that the company is peddling the Chevrolet Volt's five-year-old E-REV technology in its brand-new 2014 Cadillac ELR, and then asking $75,995 for the privilege. The company is clearly hoping the coupe's exquisite styling will overshadow its uninspired powertrain, but in this case, its beauty is only skin deep." -- Autoblog
- “At $75,995, the ELR has been boldly priced to compete not only with the Tesla Model S but also German coupes like the BMW 6-series and the Mercedes-Benz E- and CLS-classes. As stylish as the 2014 Cadillac ELR is both inside and out, it's keeping very tough company." -- Automobile Magazine
- "If you have 75 grand to spend on a car, you probably aren't worried about saving a few bucks on gas. You are looking to make a statement about saving gas, even if you are just making that statement to yourself. I think the ELR will be a relative success, but nothing close to the rocket launch of the Model S. It is a pretty good alternative car, but it wouldn't be compelling enough for me to make the sacrifice." -- Motor Trend
Other Cars to Consider
The Tesla Model S has a lower base price than the ELR and seats five versus four in the ELR. The all-electric Model S can drive 139 miles on a full battery and gets and EPA-estimated 93/96 mpg-equivalent, which is better than the ELR’s mpg-e estimate. Test drivers like the Model S’ athletic handling, large cargo area and user-friendly tech features.
The Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid is a rear-wheel drive plug-in hybrid car that’s new for 2014. It has a supercharged V6 engine and significantly more horsepower than the ELR. Porsche says the Panamera S E-Hybrid’s lithium-ion battery can be recharged in 2.5 hours using a 240-volt outlet, which is half the time it takes to charge the ELR on a 240-volt outlet.
Details: 2014 Cadillac ELR
The 2014 Cadillac ELR is an all-new four-seat plug-in hybrid coupe with front-wheel drive. Two electric motors provide power for the ELR, while a four-cylinder gas engine acts as a generator when the battery is depleted. The ELR is only sold in one trim, but optional features and packages are available.