For an eco-friendly driver who doesn’t want to give up luxury, the 2015 Cadillac ELR may be the perfect ride. First introduced last model year, this four-seater coupe shares many mechanical components with the Chevy Volt. The ELR offers the efficiency of a plug-in hybrid, combined with the level of style and luxury we’ve come to expect from Cadillac.
Minor Changes for 2015
This year, the ELR will only undergo minor changes; however, a more powerful drivetrain is expected to be added next model year. Those who like the ELR and its sibling the Volt can expect a battery boost of up to .6kWH, which will give the inline four-cylinder gas engine and the generator a little more kick. These slightly more powerful versions may be available as early as the middle of 2015.
The ELR coupe is only available in one trim level, and it’s only sold with front-wheel drive. It has a 157hp, 1.4L engine, managed by a single speed direct drive gearbox. Power mainly comes from the generator, with the gas engine feeding the battery pack.
The gas engine and the generator combine to put out 241hp and 295 lb. ft. of torque, offering surprisingly quick acceleration. The vehicle’s all-electric range is about 37 miles, but the gas engine and regenerative braking can keep it going a while longer. When you get home, just plug it into a standard receptacle for a full chage in about 18 hours, or upgrade to a 240-volt system for a recharge time of five hours.
The engineers at Cadillac made the hybrid fuel efficiency math as simple as possible, offering figures of 31mpg city/35 hwy – surprisingly low for a hybrid model. However, the ELR offers four drive modes: Mountain, Sport, Hold and Tour, which allow you to configure fuel and power usage to your driving habits and road conditions. By driving conservatively, you can increase the vehicle’s range to up to 340 miles.
The ELR may share a platform with the Volt, but it offers luxury options you won’t find on that model. 20″ alloys come standard, as do heated, adjustable mirrors and a rear spoiler. Open the door and you will find leather seating, wood and alloy accents and heated, adjustable seats. Cargo space is slightly low at 10.5 cu. ft., but the tilt steering, cruise control, parking sensors, rear camera and garage door opener make up for that minor shortcoming.
Tech goodies abound in the 2015 ELR; a hard drive-based nav system, OnStar with Bluetooth, and ten-speaker audio comes standard. Other standard additions are USB ports, an SD card slot and satellite radio. All of these are controlled by a ten-inch touchscreen display. Upgrades include better 20″ wheels, blind spot montoring, and a glove box-mounted CD player.
With all of the ELR’s eco-friendliness and luxury, the folks at Cadillac didn’t forget about safety. Standard features include ABS, side-mounted, front and rear airbags, fog lights, daytime running headlights and side mirrors with turn signals. OnStar comes standard, as does a remote alarm system and a post-crash safety system. With an MSRP of $76,295, it’s an investment – but a worthwhile one, in our opinion.