2016 Cadillac ELR Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2016 Cadillac ELR was new.

Scorecard

Interior: 7.3

Test drivers are impressed with the Cadillac ELR's first-rate interior materials and handsome cabin styling. The 2016 ELR's front seats offer great comfort and adjustability, reviewers say, but the rear seat is tight and has little headroom. Auto writers agree that the CUE infotainment system's slow response time makes it frustrating to use, though some find the system works well. The ELR's trunk is smaller than that of most competitors.

  • "The 2016 ELR's cabin is much like its skin - sleek, sophisticated, and smaller than you may expect." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Inside the ELR you'll find a handsomely sculpted dashboard and doors draped with multilayered amalgamations of leather and simulated suede." -- Edmunds
  • "Also adding to the ELR's luxury experience is its high-end interior, which combines Alcantara, supple leather, wood or carbon fiber trim and the brand's useful CUE infotainment system." -- AutoTrader
  • "The interior is an inviting mix of beautiful high-quality leather and sueded microfiber, with bright chrome, genuine wood and carbon-fiber accents offered in a variety of packages - I would argue that the ELR's cockpit is Cadillac's most luxurious to date." -- Autoblog (2014)

Seating

The four-seat 2016 Cadillac ELR comes standard with power-adjustable, heated front seats, and leather upholstery is available. Critics agree the 2016 ELR’s rear seat is incredibly cramped and that the sloping roof limits headroom. However, they report that the ELR's front seats are comfortable and roomy, as well as easily adjustable.

  • "Of course, the back seat doesn't offer much room. Hip room and leg room [are] nearly nonexistent, and a sloping roofline cuts into the headroom of nearly any rear passenger." -- AutoTrader
  • "Beyond that, the 2016 ELR's dramatic roofline creates some major packaging issues: The backseat is small to the point of being almost unusable. …" -- Edmunds
  • "The ELR's 20-way front seats are comfortable and highly adjustable. The two rear seats, however, are tiny and difficult to access." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "While Cadillac has thoughtfully put four seats inside the ELR, only the front are fit to be occupied by an adult (the automaker acknowledges its 2+2 configuration). I found both the driver and front passenger seating position exceptionally comfortable, with plenty of leg, shoulder and head room for my six-foot two-inch frame. I climbed into the rear seats, which are comfortable buckets for the lower half of the torso, but I was unable to sit upright without my head pressing awkwardly, and uncomfortably, against the roof." -- Autoblog (2014)

Interior Features

The 2016 ELR comes standard with forward collision alert, lane departure warning, rear cross traffic alert, side blind zone alert, front and rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, a safety alert seat (which vibrates when it senses the car might hit something), Cadillac’s OnStar telematics system, heated side mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, Bluetooth, a 10-speaker Bose audio system, Cadillac’s CUE infotainment system, navigation, satellite radio, 4G LTE with a built-in Wi-Fi hot spot, three USB ports, an auxiliary audio jack, dual-zone automatic climate control and a heated steering wheel. Available features include automatic high beams and automatic collision preparation, which can apply the brakes if the system senses the ELR might hit the car in front of it.

Test drivers complain that the CUE system, which controls many interior functions, is slow or unresponsive to user inputs. Critics also note that the touch screen’s haptic feedback feature, which vibrates when touched to indicate your input has been accepted, doesn't work very well. Still, a few reviewers say that the navigation system is effective.

See 2016 Cadillac ELR specs »

  • "While we like the look of the cabin, the CUE system detracts from its functionality. This touchscreen interface manages audio, climate, navigation and phone functions, but it can be slow to respond and sometimes misses touch inputs entirely. The system's vibrating haptic feedback is meant to make it easier to use on the move, but the sensations can be awkward until you acclimate." -- Edmunds
  • "The rounded dash and paneling resemble a wave flowing down, and most controls on the center-mounted command module are flush-mounted. In the center sits the high-resolution command screen for navigation, audio and app functions. This touch screen differs from others with its haptic feedback, which slightly vibrates against your finger to confirm it got the message. It's neat in theory, but hit-or-miss in execution." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Cadillac's much-maligned CUE infotainment system is standard, and after spending a couple of days driving around L.A. in various Cadillacs, we have to say that the navigation function is superb, even if the haptic touch-screen interface can make you want to tear your hair out." -- Automobile Magazine (2014)
  • "I have experienced CUE in the ATS, CTS and XTS - the identical system in the ELR is equally as frustrating to use as the buttons are difficult to actuate and slow to respond, while the gloss black surface quickly becomes covered in fingerprints." -- Autoblog (2014)

Cargo

The Cadillac ELR has 10.5 cubic feet of trunk space, which is small for the class. Rivals like the Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class and Tesla Model S have 15.3 and 26.3 cubic feet of trunk space, respectively. The ELR has 40/40 split-folding rear seats (the center section is stationary) that collapse down to increase cargo space. But critics note that the trunk’s small and oddly shaped opening makes it difficult to load.

  • "The ELR's roof also intrudes on the trunk opening, which is reduced to an awkward vertical slot (imagine loading videotapes into a VCR). Cargo capacity comes in at 10.5 cubic feet, which is less than most plug-in hybrid competitors and luxury coupes alike. Each of the rear seats folds down (with a fixed center console in between), giving you a little more flexibility when running errands." -- Edmunds

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