Gateway drug to the EV world/GM's moon shot.
By Disco on Monday, November 09, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,900
overall rating 10 of 10rating details
- Overall Rating
Pros: "It's electric! high quality, torquey and quiet."
Cons: "smallish back seat."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This car has surprised and delighted my wife and I from day one. Very few vehicles fit the bill of perfect compromise but our 14 Volt does. I wanted a car that was 2+2(besides 60's GT cars where else you going to find that!), this car has that. I wanted something that was sporty and athletic looking, something that got incredible mileage, was extremely reliable and fun to drive. My wife wanted lots of gadgets, buttons and flashing gizmos. Also, something with 4 doors, space for things and car seats. With that list of wants you'd think we'd need the automotive version of a unicorn but no; The chevy volt fills all these wants.
On top of that it's electric, it's torquey, and Sport/Low drive mode makes every commute into a fun romp. The addition of back up Internal combustion means we get to drive the volt on long trips as well as short ones.
My wife and I had talked about replacing the increasingly costly 8 year old sedan we had at the time. One day while bored at work I just happened upon a review of the chevy volt and the more I read and the more I researched the more interested I got.
This lead to a test drive at a local dealer. I liked the car so much my wife and I went to buy it the next day... We got there and the dealer said they had just traded it to another dealer down south. So we lost out on our volt.
It took a concerted effort to find another one anywhere close. At this point I was willing to take any color, and any year so long as it was a volt. We found one 2 hrs away, never titled, a 2014 dealer demo car and we got it for song- $15,000 off MSRP.
After all the research I did I was most surprised at how wrong journalist sentiments were about this car. the Volt seems to suffer from poor representation among car magazines and for some reason journalists did not really review them accurately.
What i find most interesting about the car is how most of the complaints of journalists who test drive the volt seem not to be an issue or are insignificant. For instance many journalists complain about the lay out of the interior. If you got in the car for the first time, and stayed in it for an hour max. You'd leave slightly daunted, but the reality of living with the car is that nearly everything IS laid out in rational and easily find-able manner. It's not as hard to use the buttons, screens and menus as journalists made it out to be.
Another thing that Journalists often complain about is range. EV only the car is rated at 38 miles. Most people who own these cars knows that pack capacity increased year after year in these cars but that GM never bothered to re-certify them. With our 2014 Even at the worst range we've gotten so far(42 miles) It's never as low as journalists seem to manage. Our furthest range so far has been 54 miles.
We also found that getting into the routine of plugging the car in at night quickly became second nature. It's now kind of strange when I have to take our second car to the gas station because in the volt I never ever have too. This car gave us a kind of flexibility that we never knew we wanted. It's the REAL "flex fuel" car, gas or electricity we are not restricted in our mobility OR forced to by gas when it keeps going up and up. It's a new level of freedom.
a 5 minute internet search will bring up lots of complaints about a weak or non existent heater in these cars. It's patently un true. The heat in our volt way out paces the heater in our 2nd car. Even when only using the resistive heating element. A neat surprise was just how quick and effective the defrost is in this car. You get the impression you that there's pretty much no thickness of ice that could defeat the defroster in this car. It is IMPRESSIVE.
You will have to choose them carefully if they are to fit in the rear with people driving and sitting up front but it can be done. I am 6' 6 and I can drive this car with our rear facing car seat in the car.
This is the first hatchback we've ever owned and It has been a really joy to be able just to set cargo down in the rear and walk away. We can't even do that with our CUV. The hatch and high floor are really handy.
we have a 2 rate plan where we live, summer electricity rates are slightly higher than winter rates. Even with the summer electricity rate, including losses to the charger/cord/inverter etc we can charge the car for $1.23 That's 1.23/40-50 miles. There's no gasoline car that can equal that. Throw in the fact that brake pads are expected to last up to 20,000 miles( and where we live which is extremely hilly, this is a considerable yearly savings over a car without regen!), oil changes measured in multiple years, and you have a car that saves you a surprising amount of money each year.
We also found that insurance costs went down significantly when we traded the big sedan for this car. Another unforeseen benefit.
We couldn't be happier with our volt and GM has pleasantly surprised us with the build quality, fit, finish and thoughtfulness of it's design and engineering. These kinds of cars only come every once in awhile and I'm glad I own what will be in the future; a highly collectible, unique, and historic car."
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