For 2016 Cadillac has decided to give the ELR hybrid coupe a major overhaul. This isn’t a simple facelift. Oh no, Cadillac has gone the extra mile in making the ELR an altogether better vehicle. As such it gets more power and has better handling compared to last year’s model. There’s more interior tech as standard, but the best thing is the price. It’s $10,000 cheaper, a massive improvement over the old car. That’s a huge price gap and opens the ELR to a whole new market and people who previously wouldn’t even think about buying the ELR.
According to Cadillac, the ELR is the first extended-range electric car manufactured by a full-time luxury car maker. If nothing else, they have a unique product and sure know how to place it strategically. To be completely honest, sales of the ELR have been so low that a limited production Ferrari has outsold it. None the less, the new upgrades are here to change all that. Cadillac seems to have targeted and addressed all of the major flaws which troubled us with the old car, but is it enough for it to gain a lot more traction? Let’s find out.
2016 Cadillac ELR design
The exterior has remained the same which is a good thing in our book. The old car wasn’t exactly ugly, we kinds liked it. In fact, it was what you’d call handsome and appealing. Not beautiful but handsome. The extremely sharp angles and lines, the sudden creases followed by immediate angular features do make for a great head turner. It’s a car with a lot of presence, both on the road and when stationary. You would certainly look twice if this car passed by you. Some people might not be a fan of the angular design, but we think it fits well with Cadillac’s current design vision. Chances are if you like other Cadillac models in the current lineup you’ll like this one too and vice versa.
The rear end has very short overhangs, but the front isn’t far off as well. The chromed details have been added along the flanks of the car and around the windows. The front end is very pointy and not just from a head on angle. Take one aerial shot of the ELR and you realize how narrow it is at the front. It tends to shrink as it gets the nose of the car, effectively giving off at that aggressive look we talked about earlier.
The headlights and taillights do manage to tie everything together with a great design of their own. It’s a design language which manages to blend everything together really well. There isn’t a single feature standing out or a single feature sticking out. It’s just right, perfect balance, everything is composed well. The biggest difference between this model and last year version is the front grille or rather the lack of vertical slats on it. Instead of those, in their place now we have a squared-off crest with no circular surroundings, making for a much cleaner appearance.
Even when it debuted, the 2016 Cadillac ELR was one of the most luxurious vehicles in this and neighbor segments. Still, if Cadillac was going to boost sales of the ELR it had to change something. Now changing and fixing its weak points and shortcomings is always great, but what better way to showcase something off than doing the thing you’re good at, that thing being a luxury for Cadillac. So, the 2016 Cadillac ELR has been fitted with even more luxurious options to make it that much more attractive to potential buyers.
There’s now an OnStar system along with a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, all of this being the standard of course. The system supports connectivity of up to seven devices at any given time, and the wireless web connection will be active at any moment during which the ELR is running as well. As a bonus, you get a three-month or three-gigabyte data trial. Like any other great luxury vehicle, the ELR has wireless inductive mobile charging unit on the instrument panel, which can feed up to three USB ports for various other uses.
The information is showed on an 8-inch display which the keeps driver informed at all times. There are even four levels of information detail so you can quite well optimize it for yourself. The Driver Assistance system does a wonderful job of preventing any accidents and helps you out to stay safe. There are rear cross-traffic alert, Intellibeam headlights, and a side blind-zone alert. IF you’re especially into that, you can go for the lane-change alert or even the adaptive cruise control.
Other interior features include the handcrafted upholstery which is just gorgeous, a Semi-Aniline full leather option for the seats, a microfiber suede headliner, and surrounding trim as well as a few other minor details. The seating position is comfortable even for long journeys and although there’s a lot of headroom and legroom we need to complain about boot space that is average or slightly below it. Don’t get us wrong; this is not a deal breaker, but we would like to get slightly bit more.
The old ELR received a lot of criticism for its underpowered engine and performance which left a lot to be desired. Well, Cadillac obviously noticed and listened to the complaints, and they say that this problem was seen by them, which is why they have given the new 2016 Cadillac ELR 25 percent more power and improved its handling.
The speed boost starts off with a simple software upgrade, increasing power that resulted in better acceleration and even better electric range. The Sport mode has been finally modified in the way we all want it too. It now combines the ICE and the electric motor to give the ELR the power it deserves. The electric drive can deliver 373 lb-ft of torque in the blink of an eye, in an instant. It manages to reach 60 miles per hour in just 6.4 seconds, making it around 1.5 seconds faster than the old car. The top speed is now higher as well and stands in at 106 miles per hour, which is still far from sporty, but you will not need more than this.
Cadillac ELR 2016 price
With the help of the 1.4-liter petrol engine generator, the ELR can technically reach 330 miles or 39 miles on electric power alone. Prices now start at a far more reasonable $65,000 rather than the ridiculous $74,000+ asking price the old car was going for. Is it finally good enough to sell in great numbers? We honestly can’t say. It is a whole lot better, but it isn’t everyone’s and certainly not our cup of tea.