As one of the first to buy an ELR in 2014, I've had a lot of time to settle into the car, enjoy its strengths, grumble about its shortcomings, cringe at Cadillac's advertising and public statements, and bemoan the predominantly bad press it's received. So do I still like the ELR and the deal I got, or if I could do it all over again, would I have waited until July to buy?
I bought the ELR at the end of January for five reasons:
So #2 and #5 were hedges against a rather slim chance that the price wouldn't eventually drop due to low demand, and that California would decide not to issue more green stickers (or wouldn't add more green stickers by the time I ran out of time to buy the ELR due to my Volt lease ending).
- The dealership had the exact configuration I wanted
- I was offered a lease deal that was much better than I had expected based on the MSRP
- I could easily afford the payments, even though I knew and accepted that the ELR was overpriced
- The ELR ruined me for the Volt (which I had traded down to from a $65k gas guzzling luxury car)
- HOV stickers were running out with no guarantee that more would be offered by early July (the end of my Volt lease)
Looks like I lost both bets... According to this thread, new stickers are virtually guaranteed by mid-July since SB853 was presented to Governor Brown for his signature on June 19th. And reports from new ELR buyers and dealer advertising seem to indicate the ELR fire sale is already beginning.
Based on the most recent purchase report by Samsun, a fully-loaded ELR (minus Adaptive Cruise) which has an MSRP of $80,305 can be leased for $736/mo (39 months, $0 down), which either means a $9,000 discount off MSRP or a smaller discount with a near 0.0 money factor (or artificially adjusted residual).
People on this forum have reported discounts as high as $20,000 (although it's difficult to determine whether that $20k includes the $7,500 Federal tax credit and $1,500 CA tax rebate). But assuming for the moment that $20k is truly knocked off the MSRP, that is significantly better than my deal, especially if the down payment is now $0 instead of $6,000 to get ~$700/mo lease deals from Cadillac.
So to answer the question posed above, yes - I would have waited until July to get my ELR if I had it to do all over again. But while I may have overspent by about $100/mo and might have been able to save that $5,000 down payment, the only thing that really irks me is that instead of being able to use the HOV lane through August 2018, I'll have to give it up in February 2018 (unless I buy out the lease, which is extremely unlikely). But frankly, I suspect I'll be buying a pure electric come 2018 and therefore be eligible for the unlimited white HOV stickers (assuming CA still offers them), so all is not lost.
Cadillac has already released one software update for the ELR that improves some systems, and from what I'm told by my dealership, they're working on fixing the other problems I've identified. (Of course, that's assuming Cadillac agrees that my reported issues are indeed problems and some focus group doesn't disagree with me!)
Here's what I hope to see Cadillac fix by this time next year (pretty much in order of annoyance):
1) The ELR never forgets tracks, albums, and artists I used to have on my iPod Classic or iPhone. If I remove a song/album/artist from my device, the ELR still displays it in the list (which, when selected, shows "no content available). If I rename a song/album/artist, both the old name and new name display, but only one works.
2) No way to disable the car's annoying triple honk that occurs when I exit the vehicle with the keyfob without turning off the car, or occurs when I open and close the trunk while the car is on with the keyfob outside the vehicle (including when in preconditioning mode).
3) The image quality of the reverse camera in dark garages and at night is terrible; very blurry and with poor contrast.
4) The Center Stack Display, when switched to reverse camera at night or in a dark garage, doesn't properly compensate for exterior lighting conditions when the Instrument Panel Illumination Control thumbwheel is dialed all the way down (i.e., the reverse camera is not bright enough to see adequately). The reverse camera image should always display at full illumination.
5) The ELR doesn't sort Artist, Album, or Song titles properly by the "Sort Field" stored in the respective music files. So, for example, every artist and song whose name begins with "The" are all inconveniently listed together alphabetically under 'T' even when the "Sort By" field for title, song title, artist, etc. is filled in with the relevant article removed.
6) When I select an album to listen to from my iPod using the steering wheel controls with the Center Stack Display set to something other than Audio (try the Climate screen), the C.U.E. system correctly plays the songs on the selected album. But if I turn off the car and then restart it later (usually 15+ minutes), the song sorting reverts to "All Songs" alphabetically, so after the current song finishes, the next song alphabetically (from all songs on the iPod, not just the ones on the selected album) plays next, and the album order is lost.
7) The air-conditioning always defaults to 'Max' instead of 'Eco' when turned on. I would prefer for it to default to 'Eco' instead, or at least the previously used setting. One solution to this would be for each press of "Auto" to toggle 'Min', 'Eco', and 'Max' respectively so I wouldn't have to go to the Climate screen each time to change the setting.
8) The 'Climate Off' button functions as a toggle instead of just an off button, so if I press it when the A/C is already off, it inexplicably turns on the A/C.
9) When on the Climate screen, it's not possible to bring up the Favorites List either by swiping or via any Interaction Selector. So instead of a single touch to change radio stations from that screen, it requires three.
10) The Instrument Panel Illumination Control thumbwheel does not dim the instrument panel screens enough at night (mainly the Center Stack Display). Because of this, I need to turn off the center display at night since it's distracting, but then the time doesn't display.
11) Manually switching to Night Mode under Settings-->Display-->Mode doesn't affect anything. The screens don't dim; the Instrument Panel Illumination Control thumbwheel isn't enabled; the navigation map looks like same in 'Day Mode' and 'Night Mode' (aside from clouds changing to stars at the top); and every other screen has the same color scheme, brightness, and background regardless of which mode I've selected.
12) The Instrument Panel Illumination Control thumbwheel doesn't work during the daytime, and manually switching to Night Mode doesn't enable it. Because the Light Sensor apparently isn't sensitive enough to recognize when it's a dark, cloudy day, the instrument panels remain distractingly bright with no way to adjust the illumination.
13) No way to adjust the volume of the Forward Collision Alert beeping. (I don't like the alternative seat vibration setting).
14) There's no way to disable the dinging that occurs when I have the engine on and the driver's door open.
15) Passenger door does not open from the inside when door is locked. I understand that I've set the car to only unlock the driver-side door when I turn off the car, but shouldn't a passenger be able to exit without manually unlocking the door first? That seems like a safety problem.
16) Changing audio tracks from USB media (i.e., iPod, iPhone) via the "Seek Up" and "Seek Down" steering wheel controls can be sluggish, especially if skipping multiple tracks.
17) The "ETA Information Area" in the top right of the navigation map can't be set to default to the 'number of miles' to my set destination instead of 'estimated arrival time'. That tiny touch point on the Infotainment screen is very difficult to select since it's small and on the far side of the screen. (Ideally, it the C.U.E. System should show both miles to destination and estimated time to arrival at the same time like most other vehicles do in their navigation systems.)
18) C.U.E. sometimes can't pull up the currently-playing album information on the Center Stack Display. When I select Audio from the home screen of the Center Stack Display and press the Browse icon to the left of the currently playing song, the C.U.E. system often doesn't load the list of songs on the currently playing album and instead displays a spinning yellow circle of death and nothing else.
19) When browsing Media from the 5-Way Controller on the steering wheel, there's no way to quickly jump to the tracks on the album (or artist, or genre, etc) currently playing. Instead, when you press the right 5-Way Control button to access the media menu, you have to start all over (e.g., Browse-->Albums-->album name-->tracks).
20) When browsing Albums (or Artists, etc.) by holding Seek Up from the steering wheel starting at the first name alphabetically, the scrolling often stops at "#" instead of continuing backwards through the alphabet.
21) If music on an iPhone or iPod was being played in the car via USB, then I disconnect the device and change the current track to something else, then reconnect the device, the car instead plays the last track the car was playing, not the track I changed to while disconnected.
22) Pressing the Album artwork on the Audio main page should load that Album's track list. At the moment, Cadillac has the "Albums" icon unintuitively select the Album list instead. (At the very least, the Album list should appear with the currently playing Album displayed and highlighted.)
23) Inconsistent location and functionality of the Back/Exit buttons is confusing, and both are usually inconveniently positioned on the far upper right side of the Main Display instead of on the closer lower left side.
24) There's no haptic feedback from the Hazard Lights button, and if the car is off or the stereo is off or muted, the hazards have no aural feedback either.
25) It would sure be nice if the ELR offered a Driving Mode that combined Sport Mode with Extended Range Mode so that the ELR could achieve its advertised 7.8 second 0-60 acceleration time without first having to deplete the battery. I rarely deplete the battery, so I'm stuck with the slower 8.8-second acceleration (frustrating, since Cadillac advertises 7.8 seconds everywhere)
BTW, fun tip: You can press the digital clock in the upper right of the screen to bring up a full-screen analog clock with today's date. (That feature isn't mentioned in any ELR or C.U.E. manual.)
EDIT: For more about my thoughts on the ELR itself, please see post #22 later in this thread.