Cars & Bids Bargain of the Week: 2014 Cadillac ELR

2014 Cadillac ELR on Cars & Bids article highlights:

  • The Cadillac ELR was a plug-in hybrid luxury coupe that used the Chevrolet Volt’s drivetrain
  • A 2014 example with an aftermarket wrap is currently listed on Cars & Bids for the below-average price of $18,500
  • Although not a best-seller, an ELR makes a good used luxury PHEV that should be reliable with proper maintenance

Looking to cut fuel costs but can’t afford to go all-in on an electric car? Besides switching to a bike or motorcycle, going hybrid is a solid option. Particularly if it’s a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) that lets you run EV-only without worrying about finding the nearest charging station. And while new PHEVs aren’t exactly cheap, used ones can save you money at the pump and the bank. This even applies to some luxury models, like the 2014 Cadillac ELR up for grabs this week on Cars & Bids.

The 2014 Cadillac ELR wrapped the Chevrolet Volt’s hybrid powertrain in a luxury coupe suit

2014 Cadillac ELR
Engine, motor arrangement1.4-liter four-cylinder engine with starter/generator and AC permanent-magnet synchronous electric motor
Horsepower (combined)217 hp
Torque (combined)295 lb-ft
TransmissionContinuously-variable transmission
Battery capacity16.5 kWh
EV-only range37 miles
Charging time4.5 hours (Level 2)
Curb weight4070 lbs
0-60 mph time9.0 seconds (EV Mode)
8.1 seconds (Extended Range Mode)

Cadillac might be making major EV inroads today, but this isn’t its first attempt. That was back in 2014 when GM decided to give the Chevrolet Volt a luxury counterpart. The result was the first Cadillac plug-in hybrid, the 2014 ELR. Well, I say ‘plug-in hybrid,’ but there’s a lot of confusion over the Volt’s and ELR’s classifications.

Some call them range-extended EVs because they usually drive using just their electric motors. Then, if their batteries run dry, the gasoline engines fire up to recharge them, like how the BMW i3 worked. However, depending on the drive mode, the Cadillac ELR can accelerate with all its powerplants. Add in the ability to recharge using Level 1 or 2—remember, no DC fast chargers in 2014—and the ELR technically qualifies as a PHEV.

Classifications aside, even with its sleek lines and federal tax credit qualifications, the Cadillac ELR didn’t sell well. Part of the problem was its sticker price: roughly double the Volt’s price. But it also didn’t help that its sharp, two-door exterior meant cramped rear seats and a tiny trunk. And not only is it, um, not fast, but the four-cylinder engine isn’t particularly refined.

However, although the 2014 Cadillac ELR has some Volt hardware, it’s not just a Volt in a sharp suit. Firstly, the ELR has a different suspension layout as well as standard adaptive shocks. Secondly, in addition to its rakish sheet metal, the ELR’s interior is far more luxurious than the Volt’s cabin. It features comfortable and supportive leather seats, a configurable 8” digital gauge cluster, navigation, and plenty of real wood, metal, and Alcantara, InsideEVs says. Also, the front passengers at least have plenty of space. And not only can the ELR glide down the street like the Cadillacs of old, but it’s not bad on sweeping roads, either.

One of these Cadillac EVs is currently listed on Cars & Bids

RELATED: 3 Used Electric Cars You Can Buy for Under $20,000

Another reason why the Cadillac ELR didn’t sell well was that GM charged extra for some advanced driver-assistance safety features. Fortunately, that’s not an issue with the 2014 Cadillac ELR currently listed on Cars & Bids. When the original owner bought it, they checked the ADAS boxes—and a few more besides.

In addition to the previously-mentioned features, this 2014 Cadillac ELR has a heated steering wheel, heated front seats, LED headlights and ambient lighting, carbon-fiber interior trim, and a 10-speaker Bose audio system. Also, in 2014 the ELR came standard with forward-collision alert, lane-departure warning, and front and rear parking sensors. But because this car has the Luxury Package, it has rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot monitoring, and automatic high beams.

Technically, this 2014 Cadillac ELR has Ashen Gray paint. However, it now wears a black vinyl wrap, including on its bright exterior trim pieces. Furthermore, it has tinted rear and side-marker lights. Other than that, though, it’s stock.

Speaking of cosmetics, this ELR has some scattered chips, scratches, and scrapes, as well as some scattered underbody surface rust. But the biggest concern is arguably just the loose rear driver’s side window seal. On the plus side, though, this 2014 Cadillac ELR has less than 53,000 miles on the clock. And the sale includes a spare set of wheels with mounted winter tires as well as the original charging cable.

This used Cadillac ELR is a hybrid luxury car bargain—and should be a reliable one, too

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As of this writing, this 2014 Cadillac ELR is listed at $18,500 with three days left in the auction. Keep in mind that this PHEV coupe originally cost $77,690 in 2014, which is roughly $95,925 in 2022 money. And while the ELR, as well as the Volt, has depreciated significantly, the cheapest example with similar mileage on Autotrader costs about $7500 more. That makes this Cadillac a true used hybrid bargain.

Since it’s a used luxury hybrid, a pre-purchase inspection is recommended. But it’s worth noting that Jay Leno has regularly commuted in his Volt for over a decade without issue. Furthermore, InsideEVs’ long-term ELR test only revealed one minor power-seat and power-window issue that turned out to be a loose bolt. And while Cadillac did recall the ELR twice, the work should be done by now.

So, if you want to save gas and cash in luxury, this 2014 Cadillac ELR could be your stylish fuel-sipper.

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