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Consumer Reports Verdict: 2014 Cadillac ELR 'Priced Out Of Its League'


IndyCar driver Simona de Silvestro at the 2014 Cadillac ELR production line

IndyCar driver Simona de Silvestro at the 2014 Cadillac ELR production line

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A Cadillac badge is only worth so much.

The 2014 Cadillac ELR extended-range electric car is based on the Voltec system used in the Chevrolet Volt, but costs more than twice as much.

And Consumer Reports thinks it's just not worth it.

In its first assessment of the car, magazine's testers wrote that they suffered from sticker shock. Consumer Reports praised the ELR's styling and quiet cabin, but said the car was "priced out of its league."

The ELR starts at $75,995, including destination. It is eligible for a $7,500 Federal tax credit, along with various state and local incentives.

The Chevy-based ELR just feels too "ordinary" compared to other cars of roughly the same price, Consumer Reports said--particularly the Tesla Model S, which starts at $69,900 before incentives.

On a positive note, the magazine said GM's plug-in hybrid powertrain makes more sense in a luxury coupe than a five-door hatchback like the Volt.

The ELR makes no pretension of practicality, so the interior space sacrificed to house the car's battery pack is less of an issue than in the Volt itself.

2014 Cadillac ELR 'Regen on Demand' paddle shifters

2014 Cadillac ELR 'Regen on Demand' paddle shifters

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That powertrain consists of a 1.4-liter range-extending gasoline engine, an electric motor, and a T-shaped 16.5-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack.

Total output is 207 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, making the heavier ELR notably more powerful than the 149-hp Volt.

The ELR will also feature "Regen on Demand" variable brake regeneration, controlled by paddle shifters, and four driving modes: Tour, Sport, Mountain, and Hold--which allows drivers to prioritize gasoline or electric power.

Cadillac says the ELR's electric-only range will be around 35 miles, with total driving range "in excess" of 300 miles. EPA ratings for the car have not yet been released.

A full charge from a 240-Volt Level 2 charging station will take around 4.5 hours, Cadillac says.

The ELR comes with far more equipment than the Volt, including Cadillac's CUE infotainment system with an 8-inch capacitive touchscreen, and a host of electronic safety systems.

Cadillac ELR assembly begins this month, and the first cars will arrive in showrooms during January.

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