GM Offers The Cadillac ELR On Lease From $699

JAN 19 2014 BY JAY COLE 32

We Spotted This Cadillac ELR Recently At the 2014 NAIAS In Detroit

We Spotted This Cadillac ELR Recently At the 2014 NAIAS In Detroit

The Cadillac ELR – the luxury, extended range plug-in vehicle based on the Chevrolet Volt went on sale late last month;  and with an announced starting MSRP of $75,995, the general reaction was: “That is a lot of money.  Too much money” and comparisons were naturally made with the $40,000 cheaper sister Chevy.

The 2014 Cadillac ELR Is At The Detroit Auto Show This Week

The 2014 Cadillac ELR Is At The Detroit Auto Show This Week

But perhaps between pricing of the car and actually having it arrive on dealership lots, GM got the public’s message; and rather than undercut their credibility by adjusting the MSRP, they decided to offer an aggressive lease deal…because as far as electric vehicle leases go, that’s what it is.

Here is the deal:

$699/month with $5,999 down for 39 months.  If you happen to also own (or lease) a GM product now, the deposit is reduced by $1,000 to $4,999

Naturally, this is not the $269/month 36 month lease with $2,679 due at signing” that the Chevrolet Volt is offered at nationally, but make no mistake, the ELR lease is the best thing going.

Consider recently uncovered leasing details by InsideEVs on the BMW i3, where a base model with REx (range extender) from $45,200 will cost a consumer about $500/month with $5,000 down on a 36 month deal as proof of the value on the Cadillac.

2014 Cadillac ELR National Lease Offer

2014 Cadillac ELR National Lease Offer

Overall when it comes to residuals, the average plug-in vehicle has a residual of about 40% on a 3 year term; with the exception being on the ‘lease/non lease’ deal with the Model S – in which Tesla guarantees you the car will be worth 50% going into year 4 – and if you want to sell it back to them, that is what they will pay you for it.

Looking at the fine print on the Cadillac:

“Payments are for a 2014 CADILLAC ELR with an MSRP of $76,000. 39 monthly payments total $27,261.”

2014 Cadillac ELR At The NAIAS

2014 Cadillac ELR At The NAIAS

Taking that number + the $7,500 federal credit and the $4,999 deposit, the total paid to GM on the 39 month lease is $39,760.

That leaves 48% of the vehicle’s value left with GM – and remember that includes an extra 3 months of driving over the normal 36 month lease structure.

Meaning all leases being equal, one would expect the Cadillac ELR’s MSRP to be more like $59,995 looking at just its lease numbers…and I think that figure is more along the lines of what we expected for a MSRP on the Caddy.

However we do have to mention one thing we don’t like – the mileage rider in the lease, as Cadillac allows a fairly low allowance, and a fairly high penalty:

“Mileage charge of $0.25/mile over 32,500 miles.” – which is about 6,500 below the industry norm, and about 5 cents higher on the cost of extra miles

Overall, while we believe the MSRP of the Cadillac ELR will be quite difficult for many potential buyers to swallow, the ELR lease is a considerably more manageable number.  Indeed, we imagine most buyers will choose this option…and it will certainly help GM sell a lot more luxury plug-in cars.

Categories: Cadillac


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32 Comments on "GM Offers The Cadillac ELR On Lease From $699"

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33 grand for little over 3 years. You still get robbed but less than if you buy it.
It’s puzzling why automakers offer their cars cheaper as a lease.
And yeah if they sold it at 59k$ then it wouldn’t be quite as big a joke as it is now. Still be ridiculous but no more than it would still fool most

Not that I care for either vehicle but I’d be hard pressed to find a reason to lease this one instead of a 299$ Volt..

You can play with the numbers all you want. That lease is no deal. Nice car but I would not even consider it, period!!!!

Sorry, but I’m still not impressed with the lease price. I think it should be at least $100 less than it is, maybe $200. Because $700 per month is still a lot to swallow when you can lease a Volt for half that much.

I just looked at Cadillac’s website and the ELR is literally the most expensive vehicle they sell, even more than the giant escalade hybrid at $74,425.

Fully agree that this is not a fantastical lease, but under the same conditions/lease scenarios as other plug-ins, this lease on a $76,000 car would be something like $5,000 down, $925/month. I will say that my own personal experience lead me to write this article with the ‘sub story’ of a decent lease – as opposed to just blurbing out the facts and moving on. — For myself, I have had little interest in buying a Cadillac ELR. But I do have a desire to get out of the ‘basic’ plug-ins (LEAF/Volt) and into something a little higher end, not that there is anything wrong of course with the LEAF and Volt…its just after 3 of them, I’m ready for a change and I’m used to buying more luxury cars. So I decided a year or so ago I would wait and switch to the Infiniti LE – which of course is the eternally delayed car, so I had to switch to another vehicle. Enter the BMW i3 w/rex. Which is not really all that much higher end, but a 80 mile+ EV with extender is appealing to me. However, pricing out the i3 REx with just a few basic… Read more »

You make a good point about the ELR vs. the BMW i3 when leasing. I can see the logic there. And I think the fact that this comparison is even possible is due to two reasons. One reason that the i3 lease really isn’t all that impressive and seems a bit expensive, reflecting the cost of a higher priced car. For example, our Volt had an MSRP of $46,000 yet we’re leasing for $311 per month with $2,000 down. That’s the same ballpark price as a BMW i3. So if you have an unfairly high price lease from BMW, and a low priced lease from Cadillac, then they sort of do come together.

Indeed, you basically made the point I was trying too…but a lot more concisely, hehe.

The convergence of the not-so-great BMW i3 REx lease and the pretty decent Cadillac ELR deal is going to create some cross-shopping that quite frankly I would have not though possible if you asked me a week ago.

There’s other things too. Supposedly the ELR is much more richly appointed. Scott200’s analysis here showed this car $14k cheaper than a model S, assuming you can get along with the lack of sports car acceleration.

I took my first extended Test Drive of a Model S yesterday, and, while a very nice car, I felt high pressure to purchase the car (curious since the salesmen don’t claim they’re commissioned), and possibly worse, the interior trim levels available left me underwhelmed compared to the Cadillac. The model S is nicer in one respect though, its Impala sized vs the Caddy Compact.

Bringing BMW I3 into the equation in my view is no contest which car i’d buy if they were nearly the same cost.

How about you buy a model S witch is more car with less problems

For myself, I like to buy all my vehicles, and I have difficulty with the notion of paying $90,000+ for a car out the door…probably because I had very little money when I was young and I can’t shake my ‘thriftiness’ today – and also because I couldn’t buy the 60 kWh version Tesla knowing the 85 kWh is there for ‘just that much more’.

For that reason I am also not seriously considering the ELR, as it would still have to be a purchase for me. If I was ‘ok’ with leasing, then it would be in the mix today to some degree.

Without regretting the purchase later, I think mid 50s is about the most I would be willing to pay for a plug-in car today. Maybe low 60s if it was an electric SUV.

It seems you’ll be waiting for Model X …

The $90000+ number you mention … while it is possible to keep on checking boxes and drive the cost up, if you factor in the Federal incentive, then the lowest cost Model S is out the door for $65000 + whatever tax your state charges.

And I think people often overlook the 60kWh Tesla. It is still a phenomenal car, with EPA range > 200 miles. In contrast 200 miles is more than the total range of the i3 (electric + gasoline).

For sure there is cheaper options, sorry perhaps my comment wasn’t clear enough.

For myself personally, I just couldn’t buy the 60 kWh knowing the 85 kWh was out there because I know I would regret it later and I would always be thinking about it knowing I had the option of driving the higher trim. For the 85 kWh you are looking at starting at around 83k (before incentive) and 95k for the fully enabled P85 kWh.

However, the 60 kWh from 75ish (before incentives) may perhaps be the perfect choice.


The 85 kWh Tesla is only $7000 more than the 60 kWh with supercharging and Michelin LLR tires. Just get it. 🙂


PS. Go easy on the options however, otherwise it gets expensive.

I will allow that I may eventually break down and do it – but I am still at war with my own sensibilities atm. I don’t ‘want’ to pay the price, but I don’t ‘want’ to not have the top of the line model with.

That conundrum has me in perpetual limbo, (=

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

I dunno, but buying an EV if you’re not putting lots of miles on it doesn’t make sense to me. EVs are a different value proposition: technology is improving more quickly than with legacy vehicles, so that is likely to take a toll on residuals. I reckon folks should buy vs lease if they can get all of the subsidy back, and if their mileage needs run farther than lease deals allow.

For that price you could lease 2 Volts. One would always be at home charged up and ready to go.

I wonder if the idea of overpricing the ELR was to make the cost of the Volt seem much more attainable.

Checked out the ELR last night, for the seats. No test drive. -bench front features a bolster that extends about an extra inch -power rake of the bench much nicer than the Volt’s lack of support/flatter bench -More cushion, but only marginally, kind of dissappointing. -Lumbar support didn’t stick up/down/out that much -Lowest seat setting higher than the Volt’s manual seat, a bummer at 6′ but i was not into the headliner -lateral support effectively the same I’d consider swapping seats, but for less money than if they were an improvement in more ways. That’s what drove the visit. A bench that rakes up, for folks with a tall inseam, really helps support the legs and get the weight off the butt during those 1.5+ hour commutes/trips. I’ve seen other power seats that don’t go as low as their manual counterparts. I’m not interested in the ELR. Jeff Cobb has a good article at GM-Volt, being frank with a few GM people and getting a pretty dead response on their commitment to electrification. The pricing strategy, and what I’d say is not much style difference from the CTS, that this black ELR was next to, all seem to jive with… Read more »
Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

-Lowest seat setting higher than the Volt’s manual seat, a bummer at 6′ but i was not into the headline

Appalling. My head already touches the headliner when I hit a bump. What a disappointment.

> It’s puzzling why automakers offer their cars cheaper as a lease.

On ICEs, leases are usually more expensive.

EV leases are a great deal because the finance company rolls the $7,500 tax credit into the lease – which is about half the price of purchase, so it’s like getting twice the credit.

If you also get a state credit, the lease deal goes from great to amazing, for the same reason (in California, $2,500 applied to, say, $200 x 36 = $7,200 + $1,000 down = $8,200. So you get an additional 30% off just on the state rebate) If purchasing a $35,000 car, that would only be a 7% discount.

Here’s a reality check. I went to a local Cadillac dealer and got firm lease numbers to share. This is for an ELR with the Luxury Package and Adaptive Cruise Control package ($79,685). This is for a 39-month lease, only 10k miles per year, and a 51% residual ($40,639.35): $79,685.00 price $ 2,412.49 drive-off cash (i.e., out-of-pocket at delivery) $ 3,000.00 GM Card redemption (or additional drive-off cash, if no GM Card) $ 5,575.00 Ally Bank incentive ($1,925 less than the $7,500 tax credit) $ 628.00 government fees $ 3,759.33 total taxes (CA – 9%) ———- $ 925.54 monthly payment The gross cap cost for this deal is $80,480; the net cap cost is $71,905. The base payment (before tax) is $849.12, and then $76.42 in CA (Los Angeles) sales tax is added. The drive-off cash includes the first month’s lease payment ($925.54), upfront sales tax ($778.95), first year fees ($636.75), and “other” ($80). NOTE: The drive-off cash would be $1,000 more for customers who do not qualify for the GM loyalty discount. Total out-of-pocket cost for this lease will be $36,096.06 for monthly payments + $2,412.49 drive-off + $3,000 GM Card or additional drive-off, for a total of $41,508.55.… Read more »

As Jay has said, the most compelling think about the ELR’s lease is BMW’s even worse lease option. Ironic help from the competition…

You can follow my conversation on this at

but in a nutshell, the i3 lease is a huge unknown. If it is a bad as it sounds like it could be, and the ELR lease is as good as what I’m hearing, I can tell you I would definitely want an ELR over an i3. I drive a Volt now and love it. A second one is the likely outcome but sure would love stepping up the level up luxury.

Here in Illinois, seems like they’re practically giving away the remaining 2013 Volts.

For example, take a nice $42K MSRP Volt, minus $9K dealer discount, minus $7.5K federal credit, minus $4K state rebate, minus $3K GM credit card rebate. The final cost is about $18.5K before the taxes and surcharges. Makes it hard to justify anything else.

I’m scheduled to take ownership of my 2013 Volt tomorrow! 🙂

Open-mind can you tell me what dealer you found that deal at? Been looking for one for my father but our local dealers don’t want to deal.

I can’t answer for open-mind, but Phillips Chevrolet in Frankfort, IL has great Volt prices and selection.

Also check out and search for 2013 Volts.


I used the very powerful “Find Cars” feature of the AutoTrader web site:

Just search for a Volt that has the color/features you want that is within a specified distance, sorted by price from low to high. It will search across all dealerships, with lots of pictures, and often will show the discounted selling price. FUN! 🙂

Would rather lease 2 Volts instead, Red and Diamond White.

Or lease a a base 911 for 24 months for not much more…

Jay, I thoroughly enjoyed your article, but I must say I come down on the side of naysayers for three reasons; * the cost of this vehicle, which really offers nothing more than some comfort items, when compared to the Volt, is, by any measure, outrageous! * the ridiculous milage allowance would make the car nothing more than an occassional use oddity and of very little utility value * my last reason is, for me the most troubling; All of the manufacturers , dealers and press that tout electric or hybrid EV’s fail to warn of the extremely poor resale & trade-in values. Having sold cars it is a dirty little secret amongst auto dealers that only two types of people would by a used hybrid or EV; wealthy people who can afford the probability of an expensive battery failure or ignorant people who have little knowledge of the risks inherent in these vehicles. Its such a problem that to get people to buy the Tesla, Tesla had to guarentee a buy-back of their vehicles. It is significant that recently when looking for a 36-month lease on a Toyota Highlander with a 12K/yr allowance; the difference between a conventional Limited… Read more »

At this price, I would give a serious look at the Testler

Actually, the battery will likely be the least of your worries in either a hybrid or a battery electric, although it may depend a little on where you live and exactly which car you buy. For example, California’s Air Resources Board mandates a 10 year or 150,000 mile warranty for vehicles designated as “partial zero emission vehicles,” or PZEV. This includes the electric drivetrain (and the battery) of a hybrid electric vehicle qualified under that designation. Other states with the Clean Car act, (14 states so far) also get a 10 year 150,000 mile warranty. The standard warranty on a Nissan Leaf, Chevy Volt and Ford Focus battery packs are 8 year, 100,000 miles. (60-month/60,000-mile powertrain and electric vehicle system coverage on Leaf) That compares favorably to the 5 year/60,000 miles for a conventional drivetrain from Ford, a bit less than the 5 years / 100,000 miles on ICE powertrains from Chevy. Nissan also offers five-year, 60,000 mile coverage against battery capacity loss (below approximately 70%. Tesla goes even further: The Model S batteries are covered by a “no fault” warranty. The 60kw Model S has an 8 year, 125,000 warranty and the 85 kW Model S has an 8… Read more »
Insider, I can only speak to my experience selling cars & owning a hybrid in Texas & my current Hybrid is a 2009 Honda Civic. My warranty on the “electric drive-train” was 6-yrs or 80K miles & I ran out out of milage. Battetry was replaced twice under warranty at 32K & 82K ( I had documented problems & Honda stood behind warranty beyond 80K miles) & in both cases had I not had a warranty, I would have been stuck with repairs in excess $3K. I wonder if the longer warranties you mention are transferrable to secondary owners? Whether they are or not does not alleviate the problem that should you be outside of warranty & a battery failure occurs ( a likelihood) then current owner is stuck with a significant repair bill or with a car that without the battetry auxiliary is an underperforming dog. Additionally, I compare the longevity with my 95 Honda Accord that my 09 Civic replaced. The Accord had 366K miles on it on the original engine/transmission & is still running now with over 400K miles with the current owner. Perhaps it is only in Texas where these cars depreciate at a much faster… Read more »

Go for it, Jay. You are right about the 60 S as being a bad buy from a psychological standpoint- for that kind of coin, you don’t want to kick yourself in the ass from coming up short. It’s going to be several years before the Supercharger network covers all roads. In contrast, there’s no paved road beyond the ELR’s range. it is simply stand out stunning looking. Wrap yourself in luxury and hit the road without worries, and enjoy the ride.