When the Cadillac ELR came out in 2014 I was amazed at how sexy this car looked. The CTS coupe captured a lot of the same flare and styling cues but I never really thought the CTS was as sexy looking as the ELR. Plus the ELR was a Plug in Hybrid to boot, with amazing technology. I was sold.
Until they put it out, and it started at $75,000. Yeah not happening.
Chalked up as one of GMs biggest flops in years, it doesn’t change the fact that this car is sexy as xxxx. I followed the devaluation in the used car market after watching critics scratch their head while they tested this car and gave almost universally bad reviews that were primarily because of the price. They generally all loved the comfort, tech, ride, etc, so I kept hoping the usual 50% in 4 years Cadillac devaluation would pay off for me.
2018 came around and the first gen cars were coming off leases like crazy and getting certified at Cadillac dealerships for resale. Still, many were in the 40-50k range and I could really probably find a fun car at that price with a “real engine.” I’m close to 50, ok financially, have a teenage son, so I wanted a coupe, something sporty but comfortable, room to move stuff once in a while, but ultimately a comfortable daily driver.
Over the last couple of years I test drove a C7 Corvette (loved it, but not terribly practical), a Camaro SS, a Dodge Challenger, and a Mazda Miata just to try out what’s out there. All the while I kept looking at the ELR market. In six years I only saw one ELR in the “wild” and managed to actually have a conversation with the owner who loved his, had it for 3 years already and planned to drive the tires off of it. So I kept a nationwide search up for an ELR and kept my options open.
Finally got one at the price, mileage, color and options that I wanted (had to have the Luxury package with Adaptive Cruise Control) and could not possibly be any happier with the car. The previous owner kept the sticker in the car and it MSRPed in 2014 for $79,825. I picked it up for $19,998. Cadillac devaluation is brutal anyway, but this one really dropped.
It doesn’t change the fact that the car feels great, rides great, has more than enough electric range for my needs, and is a complete head turner for men and women alike. The tech while six years old still feels up to date and modern. If you google this car the #1 complaint is the CUE system. For what it’s worth, it’s not terribly fast but it’s not as bad as I expected either. I’m not sure who sits and uses every screen in the system every day, so the number #1 complaint really I means very little to me. Most of the time I get in, set it to what I want to listen to and go. The nav system works fine, but my phone covers that anyway.
The car systems, lane departure, adaptive cruise, cross traffic warning, etc all work great and no complaints. Battery range has been a bit less than I expected but I’m figuring it out.
Driving it to maximize range takes a little bit of effort, I’ve learned to drive in L instead of D to maximize regenerative charging, and the paddles on the steering wheel are great for regeneration once you get used to them. I hardly ever touch the brakes unless coming to a complete stop and then it’s just tap and go.
Charging takes a lot longer than I expected with the level 1 portable charger that comes in the trunk so I had a higher output level 2 charger installed in my house. It charges the car in 1/3 the time of the portable charger (portable charger can get from 0 to full in about 12 hours, the level 2 charger I got cuts that to 4 hours, and it’s really all the car will take at 12 amps).
....and everywhere I go it turns heads, young and old, men and women, etc. Some days it gets old when I have stuff to do, but I always stop and answer question. Nobody can believe it’s a hybrid until I pop open the plug port or point out that they can’t see an exhaust (it has one, it’s just tucked up under the rear bumper). This car needs the right owner and the right driver but if that’s you, it’s very rewarding to drive and I can’t help myself but turn around and look at it every time I get out of it. Knowing that there are fewer than 3,000 of these floating around the country puts you in a fairly rare club, and I’m more than happy to be in that club.