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.