Cadillac's radical wedge of a luxury commuter car remains an interesting proposition in search of buyers who will appreciate its leading-edge design attitude and greatly improved performance -- and are willing to pay for it.

Pricing and Equipment

Forget the incomplete and misguided "dressed-up Volt" stereotype. The ELR does share a general layout and some mechanical components with its Chevrolet cousin, but everything else here is model-specific and modern Cadillac -- which we find to be a very good thing indeed. The 2016 ELR combines ambitious design inside and out with a greatly improved driving experience.

The ELR's base price is the big story for 2016, though. Cadillac all but admits that it grossly overpriced the ELR on introduction and has lopped a full $10,000 off MSRP, dropping it to $65,995. Factor in subsidies provided by the federal government and a handful of states, consider what the ELR provides to a discerning buyer, and the price becomes more realistic.

In contrast to the car's still-high sticker price, the only option of note is a bargain. The Performance Package adds 20-inch wheels wearing high-performance summer tires, Brembo brakes, and specially-tuned suspension components for $1,295.

Performance Pros

2016 Cadillac ELR

The driveline engineers seriously fussed with the hybrid software, resulting in a big jump in power (now a rousing 312 total system horsepower and 373 pound-feet of torque). The 0-to-60 time has dropped by a full second and a half to a manufacturer-claimed 6.4 seconds when running in extended-range mode.

  • The chassis has been thoroughly reworked to provide a much more responsive, upscale feel. Add the Performance Package with its 20-inch wheels and upgraded chassis tuning and your eco-minded luxury hybrid becomes a legitimate corner-carving backroad threat.
  • Even with the aggressive suspension setup, ride quality is excellent. Credit goes to the computer-managed Continuous Damping Control.

Performance Cons

  • Electric-only range is rated at a middling 39 miles. Owners will want to make a habit of plugging in when possible.
  • Fuel economy with the gas motor spinning is good but not great, and the 1.4-liter inline-four makes an uncharismatic drone while running.

Interior Pros

2016 Cadillac ELR Interior

The ELR's strongest point is its gorgeous high-tech interior, which mixes the very advanced (reconfigurable gauges, Bose active noise cancellation, Cadillac's touchscreen-and-voice-controlled CUE infotainment system) with the very traditional (sumptuous leather seats, beautiful wood accents).

Apple Play is standard, as is a 4G LTE connection and a wi-fi hotspot if you need your laptop to do something beyond what the car's impressive digital capabilities can provide.

Interior Cons

The ELR is really a two-seater; the rear seats look attractive but are not reasonable for carrying adults for any significant length of time.

The Most Pleasant Surprise

Cadillac is serious about addressing the ELR's weaknesses, completely redrawing the car's dynamic profile and cutting MSRP closer to reasonable territory.

The Least Pleasant Surprise

They probably didn't go far enough, especially on the difficult sticker issue.

The Bottom Line

Still very underrated, still somewhat overpriced, still worth serious consideration on its merits.