What's New for 2014:
- All-new plug-in hybrid model
- Powertrain shared with the Chevrolet Volt
- Cadillac-estimated electric-only range of 35 miles
- Can be completely recharged in as little as 4.5 hours
- Smartphone-integrated charging options
The 2014 Cadillac ELR is a 4-passenger, plug-in hybrid 2-door coupe that shares much of its technology and architecture with the Chevrolet Volt. This front-wheel-drive (FWD) model is available in one trim level that uses its advanced powertrain to achieve an EPA-estimated 85 MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent in the city). There are currently no direct competitors for the ELR, but shoppers looking for luxury coupled with relatively high efficiency may also consider the Acura RLX Hybrid, BMW 535d (diesel), Infiniti Q70 Hybrid, Lexus GS 450h, Mercedes-Benz E250 Bluetec (diesel), and perhaps the electric Tesla Model S.
Models and Features
Every 2014 Cadillac ELR that rolls off the assembly line is equipped with a host of premium amenities, among which are 20-in. alloy wheels, LED headlights and taillights, 10-speaker premium sound system, Bluetooth connectivity, Cadillac's 8-inch touch-screen integrated infotainment system, and remote start. The list of luxury features also includes heated front seats, heated power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, dual-zone climate control, auto-dimming rearview mirror, and a navigation system.
Options and Packages
Since the 2014 Cadillac ELR is loaded with content in its standard configuration, there isn't a lot left over for the options list. However, there are a couple of add-ons worthy of mention, such as two-tone leather upholstery and a Luxury package comprised of painted alloy wheels and extra safety features.
Under the Hood
As a first for Cadillac, and the luxury market as a whole, the 2014 ELR utilizes a plug-in hybrid powertrain that includes an 84-horsepower, 1.4-liter gas generator, which does not offer direct propulsion, but instead serves to recharge a 16.5-kWh Lithium-ion battery pack connected to two electric motors that drive the front wheels. Net output for the entire system is 207 horsepower and 295 lb.-ft. of torque. Cadillac claims the ELR can be fully recharged in just 4.5 hours using a 240-volt power outlet, and, as an added convenience, a smartphone app allows owners to remotely schedule and monitor that process.
All hybrid components are covered by an extended 8-year/100,000-mile warranty.
According to the EPA, the 2014 Cadillac ELR coupe has an electric-only range of up to 37 miles (dependent upon factors such as weather conditions and driving style), after which point the gasoline-powered generator kicks in and contributes to ratings of 33 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway.
The afore-mentioned 85 MPGe figure is useful for apples-to-apples comparisons among plug-in hybrid and electric models. It tells how many miles the ELR would operate on the electricity equivalent (kWh) of one gallon of gas.
Safety Ratings and Technology
As this overview is written, neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has rated the crashworthiness of the 2014 Cadillac ELR.
In terms of standard safety equipment, the ELR features 4-wheel anti-lock and regenerative disc brakes, 8 air bags, forward-collision and lane-departure warning systems, front and rear park-assist sensors, rearview camera, and General Motors' OnStar telematics system with emergency response services and more. For an extra degree of safety, the ELR can be fitted with active high-beam headlights, rear cross-traffic and side blind-zone alert systems, and intelligent cruise control.