KBB Editors' Overview
By Zach Vlasuk
- Updated Date: 1/29/2014
Sharing major powertrain and chassis components with the Chevrolet Volt, the 2014 Cadillac ELR is an all-new nameplate and the latest entrant into the developing world of high-end green cars. By blending the efficiency of a plug-in hybrid with the sleek silhouette of an upmarket sports coupe, the Cadillac ELR is essentially an amalgamation of two niche vehicles. Starting at $76,000, the ELR's exclusivity factor makes it an attractive alternative to such upscale alternative energy vehicles as Tesla's all-electric Model S, the Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid and, to a lesser extent, the forthcoming BMW i8. The ELR also has an aversion to range anxiety, as its versatile EREV propulsion system provides up to 37 miles of pure electric range before a gasoline generator kicks in to deliver the next 300 miles.
You'll Like This Car If...
If you've had your eye on a conventionally-powered luxury sports car like the BMW 6 Series or Mercedes-Benz CLS, but express an unshakable interest in eco-conscious transportation, the 2014 Cadillac ELR could be the ticket. Drivers with lengthy commutes will also find the ELR significantly more flexible than the electric-only Model S.
You May Not Like This Car If...
Purchasing a Cadillac ELR is an expensive proposition, even when taking into consideration federal and state tax incentives. Furthermore, the ELR should be viewed as a 2-seater rather than a traditional 2+2 coupe, as the rear seat is unsuitable for all but the smallest children.
What's New for 2014
The 2014 ELR is an all-new touring coupe and Cadillac's first plug-in hybrid.
Although Cadillac engineers managed to extract an additional 22 lb-ft of torque out of the Volt's propulsion system, this power increase is largely negated by the ELR's additional heft. Therefore, straight-line performance is nearly identical between the Volt and ELR, but that's where the similarities end between the two cars. Cadillac developed an array of specialized suspension components for the ELR, including a HiPer Strut front suspension to help mitigate the effects of torque steer (front-wheel-drive cars can have a tendency to pull left or right under hard acceleration), a semi-independent rear suspension with a Watts Z-link for better stability in corners, and Continuous Damping Control that adjusts shock dampening every two seconds in accordance with the current driving situation. Combined with proprietary Bridgestone low-rolling-resistance tires and a trio of active noise canceling microphones, the ELR delivers a driving experience that's on par with other luxury coupes at this price point.
REGEN ON DEMAND
Activated via steering wheel-mounted paddles, Regen on Demand allows the driver to supplement (or in some instances, bypass) the brakes by converting rolling momentum into stored energy.
SAFETY ALERT DRIVER'S SEAT
Included as standard, the ELR's haptic-enabled seat alerts the driver to the direction of possible hazards by vibrating different sections of the seat.
For vehicle details and pricing notes…