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The 2012 Volt was just cool. Slipping along the road under electric drive was futuristic, quiet, and torque was ready in an instant. I loved the car for my entire two year lease. Living in the small town of Bend, Oregon I literally never bought gas unless traveling over the mountains to the Portland area. Those trips were a breeze. Simply fill up the gas tank and go! I would have kept the car for longer, problem was the lease buyout was way over the value, so back it went.

When I first saw the ELR; more power, luxury, out-of-this world styling, I was floored. But the price! The value equation was way off. Surely no one would ever buy one. Even the dealer agreed. So I looked and longed and watched the rise of the Telsa Model S. Seemed everyone loved that car. But for me it was not the solution. The Voltec concept with no range anxiety and fast fill ups was the way to go. Why would I pay a price, arguably higher than the ELR, for a car that would force me to wait potentially hours every time I filled up and to plan my trips around the outlets?

So when over the last year I saw the price for a new 2014 ELR dropping like a stone, I could barely contain my excitement. Here was in my opinion one of the best engineered, most beautiful cars in the world at prices just slightly above the Volt. There was no way I could resist, so I pulled the trigger and bought a beautiful Silver model with under 200 miles and the $7500 rebate still in place.

I am a car guy. I have owned a large number and variety of automobiles. From a Honda S2000 to a VW Phaeton to BMW (3 series, 5 series) to Audi A6 to Ford to Volvo (P1800 Sport Coupe) to a 260 and 350Z and many, many more. With that background I can say without hesitation that for daily driving 95% of the time the ELR simply kills everything else out there. Instantaneous torque at 300 ft/pounds and 207 horsepower add up with an electronically controlled suspension and Bose noise reduction (which I have used on my flights to Asia for years) to create a constantly fun, relaxed yet exciting, exquisitely controlled and quiet exercise in transportation. It makes the Volt seem like a child’s pedal car in comparison. It’s quieter than the VW Phaeton, who’s W12 is renowned for smooth and quiet propulsion. It’s quicker to jump off the line than my sport cars or BMWs. It handles in sport mode like it’s glued to the street. To say nothing of the styling. Every single time I see it I have a little smile inside. This is not a car like most people own. Sure folks with a $250K Ferrari get the same spark, but we’re talking under $50K here! The car is quite simply staggeringly good looking.

So when folks look at the ELR and scoff because they heard it was slower than the Tesla or the trunk and back seat are small, I just smile. Until you own one you can’t really understand that as a package, this car for two people in most situations really is one of the best automobiles ever built. There just isn’t anything better.
 

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Part of the problem with the ELR was that GM announced the car long before it was in the hands of reviewers and dealers. As a consequence, the geniuses who reside on the internet looked at the specs and decided that "the ELR is just a Volt with a nicer interior". That meme was a testament to ignorance, but once a meme gets established it's hard to get beyond it.

I liked the looks of the ELR but didn't think I'd get one. Until I did the test drive. My wife and I were both "Holy Crap" this car is good. Then of course the price was right. There is a reason the guy who does all the test reviews for the NY Times -- and drives hundreds of cars a year -- got an ELR for himself. Think of yourself as a discerning car owner! :D
 

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I wanted to buy this ELR, but when it was announced at $75k, it was insane to me, so 2 weeks later I bought a volt. Hindsight being 20/20 I wish I could have predicted the insane price drops. I'd be in an ELR if I didn't already have a perfectly good volt.

When the ELR first came out, I mentioned on this forum that it should have been priced below $50k, some called me crazy, but today I can find new ones for $48k before fed tax credit, and I've also seen some very low mileage ELRs at $32k. So is it wrong to wish to get Tboned so I can get a new car?
 

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Looking around Southern California Cadillac dealers it appears that each dealer has either one or zero ELRs in stock, and nobody is advertising anything beyond a $70K MSRP. How do you go about getting a dealer to knock $20K off a car they only have one model of?
 

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Looking around Southern California Cadillac dealers it appears that each dealer has either one or zero ELRs in stock, and nobody is advertising anything beyond a $70K MSRP. How do you go about getting a dealer to knock $20K off a car they only have one model of?
You buy one two model years older than the current calendar year. A 2014 has depreciated and you use that to your advantage.
 

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Looking around Southern California Cadillac dealers it appears that each dealer has either one or zero ELRs in stock, and nobody is advertising anything beyond a $70K MSRP. How do you go about getting a dealer to knock $20K off a car they only have one model of?
Advertised price has little or nothing to do with actual price of any new 2014 sitting on the lot... start making offers if interested, though you may have to look at non-local, but hey... that's what the internet is for!
 

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Advertised price has little or nothing to do with actual price of any new 2014 sitting on the lot... start making offers if interested, though you may have to look at non-local, but hey... that's what the internet is for!
And haggle like a ferengi. Don't let emotions carry you away into paying too much for a car. There are always more, that's what more means.
 

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You may have to travel. There are still a number of 2014 MY ELRs out there, and they are under $50K. May or may not be similar to a $67K 2016 MY. Cadillac cut the price significantly -- a 2014 MY would have a price of $82K whereas the 2016 MY would be $67K -- so I don't think you're going to be seeing too many 2016 MY cars discounted by $20K.

I'd look at leasing and see what the buyout number is.
 

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You may have to travel. There are still a number of 2014 MY ELRs out there, and they are under $50K. May or may not be similar to a $67K 2016 MY. Cadillac cut the price significantly -- a 2014 MY would have a price of $82K whereas the 2016 MY would be $67K -- so I don't think you're going to be seeing too many 2016 MY cars discounted by $20K.

I'd look at leasing and see what the buyout number is.
Agreed, there won't be any $20k discounted 2016 Rs in 2016. But maybe in 2017-18 when cars on dealer lots depreciate. I though the original $75k MSRP was outlandish. The new $65k MSRP is. Step in the right direction, but it really needs to be $49k.
 

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Nationally, low mileage 2014's are now commonly in the $34k range on dealer lots without much regard to ACC or Lux packages. Fascinating to see the pricing delta in CA, where asking for used ELRs is ~$42k.

As more come off lease in the coming year, my guess is the premium vs. a used Volt will be closer to $7500 or so. There just won't be a lot of demand for these cars, especially with gas prices being where they are.
 

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Nice post.

I agree that this car is massively underrated. It is wonderful to drive. Well aware of the many poor opinions out there of it, and surely taking some jabs of my own, I wasn't expecting to be thrilled by it when I finally drove it. I was shocked. It was really, really nice.

I'd still choose a Model S over it for a handful of obvious reasons, but wouldn't look down on anyone who chose an ELR, and if I knew them well enough, would certainly be asking to drive it here & there.

Here's my comparison of the ELR vs the BMW i8 vs the Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid vs the Model S: http://cleantechnica.com/2015/10/27/i8-vs-model-s-vs-elr-vs-panamera-s-e-hybrid-vs-i3-exclusive/
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Thanks Zachshahan. I had actually already read your excellent comparison write-up over at Clean Technica before seeing your post here, and I agree with many of your positives for the Model S.

If we ever happen to be in the same place, it would be a kick to swap rides for a bit. I am up for it if you are! Thanks by the way for fighting the good fight for the planet.
 

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We can debate on the.....mishandlings of the ELR release, to put it nicely, but there is really no debating the looks. The ELR is one fine looking ride! I saw 1 (the only one I've seen) in the wild a year or 2 ago, and it was dead sexy. If I didn't have a Volt (or 2 kids), I would seriously consider picking up a leftover '14.
 

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Great write-up! Coming out of a 2012 Volt, and having a Corvette Stingray as my non-daily driver, I'm looking to get into a new ELR and get back to electric driving again!
 

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ELR / Stingray "Combo Package"

Great write-up! Coming out of a 2012 Volt, and having a Corvette Stingray as my non-daily driver, I'm looking to get into a new ELR and get back to electric driving again!
I'm in the same situation... Bought my '15 Stingray last June and really like it. While I had visions of it being my daily driver, as the crumby, cold, wet winter weather arrived here in the Pacific NW, I decided I needed a winter daily driver. My research and short work commute had me targeting in on a '14 CPO ELR, which I purchased on New Year's Eve.

I've been really enjoying the ELR and have only taken out my Stingray on the few nice weather days we've seen this winter. Looking forward to more 'vette time soon, but will probably end up driving the ELR more than I originally had planned. --- Two outstanding cars with two completely different driving experiences... both of which I enjoy very much!
 

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Venturep. Let's drive sometime. I am the red 2014 cashmere in PDX. Only a handful of ELR's were sold in Oregon. I agree with everything you've said. Some are happy or curious when they see this car. Some get aggressive and dismissive. Most other Caddy owners are totally confused about just pulled up next to them. This is a different thing, which is why it didn't sell. My Volt was the best car I've ever owned. The ELR... very hard to describe.
 

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After owning a 2013 Volt for a couple of years, I started shopping around for an ELR when pricing was more palatable. Looked at Tesla too, but at the time, Model S was beyond my pay grade - and honestly, not that comfortable to drive. As much as I liked the Volt, the seats bothered my back on long trips. Prior to the Volt, I owned a 2011 Kia Optima SX Turbo. That was a great car, but I was spending $150 a month on gas. Traded in a 1999 Audi A6 Avant (wagon) for the Kia - bought as a fresh, off lease CPO car back in 2000. Owned that car for 10 years, and used Audi as a benchmark for build quality and long haul comfort. I was a rep for HP in my past life, and drove the Audi over 700 miles a week in my territory.

In May of 2015, we drove across PA and shopped new ELR cars, but lucked out and found a used one with 1309 miles on it in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. The drive back to Pittsburgh was a night and day difference than the Volt. First thing I noticed, is that I could see where I was going at night. And the car goes - not Tesla fast, but deceptively quick. Last, but not least, the 334 mile ride back home from Jersey was very comfortable and quiet, even with the generator running - thanks to the Bose active noise cancellation and the extra sound dampening material in the cabin.

I've mentioned this in previous posts, but if you're looking at a used ELR, make sure you check the tires, especially if the car has over 15,000 miles on it. Shame on GM for putting such terrible rubber on a great platform. End of rant.

What I like most about the ELR, is that it's a fantastic looking car, handles quite well in sport mode with good tires, is super comfy to drive long distances - and almost as thrifty as a Volt to operate. Have not put gas in it since December 22nd of last year. Charge on!


20170225_092842.jpg
 

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I agree with most of what you wrote about your ELR. When my Volt lease was up, I went and leased my ELR and now I'm in the last year before I have to decide to buy or give it back. I love this car and have had no problems to speak of with it. I still get excited when I get to drive it and it still turns heads. Still now, with it three years old, a week doesn't go by with out someone commenting on how nice it looks and asking me about the car. I would seriously consider buying this at the end of my lease but my big worry is the availability of parts down the road. I am disappointed that GM discontinued making this car or I would directly go and lease another. As of right now there isn't anything around now that fits my needs to to replace it with. I may have to go back to the Volt which is not a bad thing, but it just doesn't light the fire in me the same way the ELR still does.
 

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After owning a 2013 Volt for a couple of years, I started shopping around for an ELR when pricing was more palatable. Looked at Tesla too, but at the time, Model S was beyond my pay grade - and honestly, not that comfortable to drive. As much as I liked the Volt, the seats bothered my back on long trips. Prior to the Volt, I owned a 2011 Kia Optima SX Turbo. That was a great car, but I was spending $150 a month on gas. Traded in a 1999 Audi A6 Avant (wagon) for the Kia - bought as a fresh, off lease CPO car back in 2000. Owned that car for 10 years, and used Audi as a benchmark for build quality and long haul comfort. I was a rep for HP in my past life, and drove the Audi over 700 miles a week in my territory.

In May of 2015, we drove across PA and shopped new ELR cars, but lucked out and found a used one with 1309 miles on it in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. The drive back to Pittsburgh was a night and day difference than the Volt. First thing I noticed, is that I could see where I was going at night. And the car goes - not Tesla fast, but deceptively quick. Last, but not least, the 334 mile ride back home from Jersey was very comfortable and quiet, even with the generator running - thanks to the Bose active noise cancellation and the extra sound dampening material in the cabin.

I've mentioned this in previous posts, but if you're looking at a used ELR, make sure you check the tires, especially if the car has over 15,000 miles on it. Shame on GM for putting such terrible rubber on a great platform. End of rant.

What I like most about the ELR, is that it's a fantastic looking car, handles quite well in sport mode with good tires, is super comfy to drive long distances - and almost as thrifty as a Volt to operate. Have not put gas in it since December 22nd of last year. Charge on!


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Congrats. All this ELR talk has rejuvinated my desire to get one. I ran when the MSRP war $75K, but now I'm seeing used ones at $29K+, now I just need an excuse to get a new car. The 2013 volt is running too well... maybe I can get lucky and blow an engine or melt the battery, anything for a good excuse to start shopping for a new car.
 

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Congrats. All this ELR talk has rejuvinated my desire to get one. I ran when the MSRP war $75K, but now I'm seeing used ones at $29K+, now I just need an excuse to get a new car. The 2013 volt is running too well... maybe I can get lucky and blow an engine or melt the battery, anything for a good excuse to start shopping for a new car.
Your 13', like mine, has a lot of life left. May as well give up on the desire for the ELR...Ha! I, too, love the ELR and drove a grey one with kona. Was such a joy to drive, but the Volt serves me well as a daily commuter. I've come to accept that I'll be driving my Volt for at least 10 more years. Should be interesting to see the capabilities of EV's then. Going to Cleveland Auto Show tomorrow and look forward to seeing the Bolt in person.
 
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