Consumer Reports: Cadillac ELR Is Overpriced


Cadillac-ELRWhen GM announced the Cadillac ELR would be priced at $76,000, the collective jaw of the automotive writing world dropped. Is an upscale Chevy Volt really a contender for the Tesla Model S? Nope, not even close according to Consumer Reports, which says the Cadillac ELR is “priced out of its league.” A Tesla contender this is not.

Consumer Reports did love the interior of the Cadillac ELR, and thought the cabin was rather quiet, but despite a $7,000 Federal tax credit, the ELR’s sticker price of $75,995 still doesn’t feel justified. Consumer Reports called the ELR too “ordinary” to justify the price, and the 300 mile total range isn’t all that much more than the Tesla Model S, officially rated at 265 miles per charge. That said, Consumer Reports does think that as a luxury coupe, the Cadillac ELR makes more sense than the cramped 2+2 setup of the four-door Volt.

Cadillac executives have announced that they’re going after Tesla with cars like the ELR, but their first effort has fallen short, not because of the car itself, but the outlandish price tag. It’s as though GM didn’t hear all the complaints regarding the Chevy Volt’s too-high sticker price for the past three years, and instead only saw the line of people willing to pay $70,000+ for a Tesla Model S.

The difference of course is that the Cadillac ELR is based on the Chevy Volt, itself a heavily modified version of the Chevy Cruze…you know, a compact rental car type vehicle. The Tesla, meanwhile, was built from the ground-up as an electric car, is among the safest vehicles ever tested from the NHTSA, and is the highest-rated car by both Consumer Reports and actual owners.

Is the Cadillac ELR really more than double the car the Chevy Volt is? Obviously I’m not alone in thinking that no, it isn’t even close to worth it. GM needs to chop at least $10,000 off the MSRP, and when coupled with the $7,000 tax credit, the ELR might be at a price point that makes it a contender. As it stands though, this is just a Tesla pretender.

Source: Consumer Reports

About the Author

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.
  • Over-priced, under-doored, and missing the “Cimarron” name tag.

    • egogg

      You forgot the rich, Corinthian leather.

      • Corinth is famous for its leather.

    • Care to explain how?

      • Sure thing! “Over-priced” indicates it has been priced too high. “Under-doored” implies that it doesn’t have enough doors to be competitive in its market. “Missing the ‘Cimarron’ name tag” implies that this car, which is based on the much less-expensive Chevy Volt and offering little in the way of “objective” benefits over that car, is an example of Old-GM-type “badge engineering” of the worst kind. That’s just a series of opinions, though- GM makes plenty of solid products, but this ain’t one of ’em (especially at $80K).

  • Jason Carpp

    Too expensive, ugly, and nothing like the Cadillac of 40 yrs. ago.

    • jameskatt

      1. Yes it is too expensive.
      2. It is pretty, not ugly.
      3. It is much better than the crap Cadillacks of 40 years ago.

      • Jason Carpp

        I agree with 1, I disagree with 2 and 3. You think it’s pretty, I think it’s ugly. I prefer the styling of Cadillacs of 40+ yrs ago.

      • 1. it is too expensive.
        2. it is really quite awful, IMO.
        3. it is MUCH better than the Caddys of 1974. Yes.

  • bobbleheadguru

    The ELR itself looks really nice both inside and out.

    However, it is not worth 2x the price of a Chevy Volt.
    But does that matter to collectors looking for their 5th or 6th car?

    Comparing a Volt to a Cruze is like comparing a $1200 Macbook Air to a $600 Windows laptop. Macbook users will swear by the benefits of the sold state drive, aluminum case, superior operating system, lack of viruses etc. Windows laptop users will point to processor power and RAM and declare they are “almost the same”.

    Not understanding the author’s the zingers against the Volt which has achieved the highest satisfaction of any car under $50K in 2011 AND 2012 AND 2013 according to Consumer Reports.

    Just because the ELR is overpriced, does not make the Chevy Volt with it $26,650 effective price tag a bad car.

    • Christopher DeMorro

      @ bobbleheadguru

      I’m not “comparing” the Volt to the Cruze. The cars share the exact same basic body arcitecture, i.e the Volt is based on the Chevy Cruze.

      While that is “acceptable” for a $40,000, for an over $75,000 car? Unacceptable.

  • Rob

    They are in Telsa territory pricing. This car should start at 59,000 before the 7,500. Just when i thought GM was getting it right the do this.

    • At $59,000 they might have something- I wonder what the typical transaction price will be.

  • J_JamesM

    This thing won’t sell. Not at that price. Everyone will buy Teslas instead.

    • Not GM dealer principals and their wives …

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  • eledrive

    Just putting a Cadillac badge on a Volt does not justify double the price, interior notwithstanding. And a 2-door? Very few people buy 2-door cars anymore. The people at GM who did the Volt got it right, but apparently the ELR project had some Old GM (circa early-1980s) thinking that has yet to be banished.