Cadillac Gave Up On The ELR And Doug DeMuro Knows Why

Despite its interesting appearance, the Cadillac ELR never made it past being…controversial.

Back in 2016, before pulling the plug officially, Cadillac president Johan de Nysschen stated that he will continue to admire the ELR as one of the most beautiful cars on the road. From certain angles, we can understand why.

Unfortunately for the automaker, not even a more budget-friendly sticker price could save this model, which ended up getting cancelled in February of 2016 after sales went down by a massive 22% compared to the previous year.

So what did Doug DeMuro think about Cadillac’s failed project? Well, not a lot of good things. He hated not just the price tag ($76,000) and the performance (or lack thereof), but also the poor EV range (39 miles/62 km), which unfortunately meant you were stuck with an 83 HP petrol unit after running out of juice.

Of course, the roasting doesn’t stop there as DeMuro goes on to mention the ELR’s lack of basic luxury features plus the narrow trunk opening. In total, there are a whole bunch of other quirks that DeMuro didn’t appreciate at all, with the low rear visibility possibly in the top spot.

How much would you spend on an ELR today? In spite of its shortcomings, it’s still a plug-in hybrid vehicle and has a premium badge.

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  • I’mCallingYouOut

    DOUG. Don’t ever stop.

    • brn

      I agree, but the Doug Score is wrong on this one. Given the depreciation, it’s an impressive vehicle (the 2016, which is much improved over the 2014, is anyway) for the [depreciated] price.

  • TheBelltower

    When the ELR was launched I remember arguing with a guy about it… a real GM faithful old man. He was arguing that this was going to go head-to-head with Tesla. We both loved the visual design of the car. But my argument was that GM was still too tied to manufacturing conventional gasoline vehicles with conventional manufacturing techniques on existing production lines with existing UAW labor. I also thought that the decision to make it FWD was going to spell doom for the ELR, and that this was not going to be even slightly competitive with Tesla for a long list of reasons. Turns out that FWD layout was the least of the ELR’s problems. GM is one of the world’s largest companies, a company with all of the resources in the world at their disposal, a company with existing distribution and market penetration, and a company that had the benefit of using the Model S as a benchmark. There is no excuse for the ELR, and it did nothing for them except to show the world that GM lacks a firm understanding of the marketplace.

    • S3XY

      GM is an old age company. Tesla is truly revolutionary and leads the new era of automobiles. Adapt or evolve or get stuck in the gas past.

      • TheBelltower

        Yep. To witness the hundreds of thousands of Tesla’s pre-orders for a car that’s not going to be available for two years, you would think that someone at Ford or GM would see this as an opportunity. But no. They’ll continue to disappoint us with mediocrity, hoping that customer tastes will shift in their favor and the good ol’ days will eventually return. Anyone seen a line around the block for a Lincoln Continental or ATS?

      • Six Thousand Times

        Hey, you got someone besides yourself to upvote one of your comments! Bravo!

  • kachuks

    Still the best looking Cadi of the decade. What a shame.

    It’s begging to have that horrible drive train stripped out and something high revving put in the rear.

    • S3XY

      It’s 2017. Electric is the present and future. Any drivetrain that has high revs is horrible.

      • kachuks

        If this ELR is the present and future, then the future blows.

        Where’s Marty’s DeLorean time machine.

      • Status

        Why do you keep upvoting your own comments? Are you insecure?

        • brn

          If you don’t love yourself, how can anyone else?

      • gary4205

        Nope. Electric motors and batteries are still an expensive and dumbass idea.

        Just like the 1920’s.

        Gasoline is plentiful, the USA alone has centuries worth, and it’s CHEAP.

  • Karl

    Oooch! I really hope the planners and business managers of this failed product are no longer in the auto industry.

  • Callanish

    Did Doug ever mention the cost of that ELR, because I don’t think he made that clear. 🙂

  • TB

    A. Hilarious
    B. Very Accurate Review
    C. Who in the blue hell would pay $76K for that???

  • BlackPegasus

    This car was never meant to be a volume seller. I think it was an exhibition exercise for GM. It was a Halo car for the time. It’s still a nice looking car though.

  • Six Thousand Times

    It was too little for too much too soon.

  • ck

    The Cadillac ELR was a symptom of GM’s ongoing arrogance and disconnect with what its customers and the market at large want. Cadillac is a dying brand while foreign luxury competitors are surging and making huge margins for their brand.

  • SamSalamay

    Doug, I have a 2016 and it’s a lot quicker (0-60 in 6 seconds), has Brembo brakes and it’s giving me over 70 mpg. Your review is obviously biased and flawed. This is a great car. I love it more than my 2017 c300 cab and Tesla, yuk. No range anxiety either. Luxurious, quiet and refined.

    • venturep

      Doug and Sam, I agree with Sam. I have 2014 bought new in 2016 at almost half price. Fast, quiet and I never use gas unless heading out of town. Have owned Audi, BMW, a Volt, many others and totally love the ELR.

  • Ron

    Dougs numbers are inaccurate, but hey, alternative facts are cool these days and people love to blindly follow.

  • MarkA

    I currently lease a 2016 ELR. It’s so much better than the 2014 he is reviewing (0-60 in 6.2sec), and lease deal on the 16’s was just crazy low….car comes fully loaded, looks incredible (more and more people stop and look and give a thumbs up all the time). Another plus is that it was very limited produced, so you never see any…makes you more special! A full charge in the Summer gets me about 48-50 miles……I drive 30 miles round trip to my job, and plug in every day….plus you can re-gen power from the paddles or brakes….I can be in traffic for 30 minutes and just use 1 mile of electric…..I have not put gas in the car for 5 months…..once my lease is up, it will be turned in (won’t be buying it) but I may get another used one on Ebay, since it’s cheaper than my buyout……..overall…just a great car and fun to drive…and I don’t have to worry about running out of juice…the gas engine just kicks in!

    • venturep

      Mark and Doug, I agree with Mark. I have 2014 bought new in 2016 at
      almost half price. Fast, quiet and I never use gas unless heading out
      of town. Have owned Audi, BMW, a Volt, many others and totally love the
      ELR

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