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Buy a 2016 Volt?

Discussion in 'Electric Vehicles' started by Skotty, Jul 10, 2015.

  1. Skotty

    Skotty 2014 Model S P85

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    I have a decision to make this year. I currently drive a 2012 Volt. I really want to buy a Tesla some day, but that day just isn't here yet. There are still some key superchargers missing (1 in particular that is critical to my business travel), there's still only the Model S available and it's still a bit more expensive than I'm prepared for, and I am somewhat tempted by the CPO program but I'm wary of getting out of warranty on a car I can't easily work on myself. Also, I think we will really end up wanting a Model X, and that's realistically a couple of years away still.

    This gets me back to the Volt. I wouldn't buy a 2012 Volt again, if there was a newer model. But the 2016 Volt isn't the 2012 Volt. GM has improved it in a number of significant ways. But there are a couple of downsides for me personally as well. Here's how the pros/cons currently look for me for the 2016 Volt vs my current 2012 Volt:

    Pros (the first 2 are important because I take a lot of long business trips):
    Quieter engine (doesn't have to rev as high)
    Better MPG when driven on gas
    50 EV miles vs 2012 having 35
    Quicker off the line
    Nicer looking interior
    Regular gas (premium no longer required)

    Cons:
    No DVD (I like to listen to movies while on the road; I can fix this by taking along a portable DVD player, but it's a downgrade)
    Fake engine noise at low speeds (this one really irks me)
    No visor mirror lighting (based on what I've read; we do use the lighting from time to time, and it just feels cheap not to have it)
    It's still a Chevy (what can I say, I'm a Ford fan, but Ford isn't stepping up to the plate properly)

    Neutral:
    Updated looks. I like it, but it does look somewhat common.
    5th seat -- can't say I really care either way on this one
    Color choices -- I don't like them, but it's not like they got any worse than they were before

    Missed Opportunities (things that could have been pros, but they didn't do):
    More color options
    Sunroof, moonroof, or pano roof
    Signficantly more rear seat room (I hate having to squish my driver seat up every time I haul the kids)
    Higher charging rate (not DC fast charge, just faster L2; far as I've heard, the 2016 Volt will still be stuck at 3.3 kW; my charger at home can go up to 7.2 kW)

    At the moment, I can't decide if I want to pull the trigger on this or not. But I have a few months to decide, as the 2016 Volt won't be sold in my state for a few more months. Thought I would post to see what other considerations people might come up with.

    Anyone else tempted by the 2016 Volt?
     
  2. Rifleman

    Rifleman Now owns 2 Model S's!!!

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    I have to turn my first gen volt in this September, and am going through the same thought process you are. I need another car, and cant afford another Tesla yet. This car is for my wife, and what she really wants is a model X, so we are hoping to lease something to allow up to keep saving up, and get a CPO or inventory Model X in 3 years at the end of its lease.

    The biggest problems with the Gen 1 volt are (for me at least) :

    Tight back seat
    No middle seat
    Slow 3.3 charging
    Poor driver visibility
    Underpowered HVAC

    The gen 2 does not fix the tight rear seat, for all practical uses does not fix the 5th seat (it is more accurate to say it has 5 seat belts than to say it seats 5), and does not fix the slow charging. It may or may not fix the HVAC and visibility, I wont know for sure until I am able to sit in one. The range boot is a huge plus, and will allow it to really operate more as an EV than as a plug in hybrid. I am undecided on the new styling, I like the look of the old volt as well.

    It's a tough call, the new 30 kWh Leaf or the B-Class are starting to sound like better options. If you can live with their limited range, they seem to do better in all the areas where the volt falls short. Living in Ohio, the Gen 2 volt will be tricky to get in septermber, I will have to order from out of state, as GM thinks we are not worthy of replacing our current volt with a gen 2 until November at the earliest.
     
  3. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Active Member

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    Charging is slightly faster at 3.6kW, I think might be by allowing full 240Vx15A.
    Apparently they have made heating more powerful and there are vents under the front seats which should improve rear HVAC. Rumor is an ERDTT override thanks to the boost. Range boost and ERDTT override should make is a better EREV and new transmission should make it a better PHEV. :p Sadly no heat pump (yet). (Andrew Farah said it needed more development. Maybe coming with the Bolt?)

    I definitely think their changes are interesting. Not buying myself; holding out until 2019 to replace then 9 1/2-year-old Prius, with a BEV, hopefully a Model 3; won't replace Volt until 2023 unless some really amazing stuff happens.
     
  4. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    Well, you won't see lighted visor mirrors in the Model S either. Wonder if the X or 3 will have them???
     
  5. liuping

    liuping Active Member

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    The Model S and the old Volts don't have DVD players either, so I would not really count that as a Con. You can rip DVD audio pretty easy on Computer and put it on you phone or iPod/MP3 player.

    I hate fake engine noises too, but all EV's will have that soon, so it can't really be a con specifically for the 2016 Volt. Also, I doubt you'll hear it much inside the car.

    The biggest cons for the our current Volt for me were the horrible visibility, rear leg room and the ugly/awkward dash board. The dash has been significantly improved, hopefully the visibility is better (really it could not be much worse unless the made the rear window opaque ;)). it looks like the read seat leg room is not really much better.
     
  6. bsbomber

    bsbomber Member

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    I drive a 2013 Volt as my daily driver (My wife drives the Model S). I do really like the Volt, and have driven 21K miles on 90% electric. My only complaint with the Volt is it too cramped and small for me. I always look forward to driving the Model S when I can. I would recommend buying a used Model S from a private owner. Almost all of them are still under warranty and you can pay Tesla 4K to extend it until 100K miles. In the next 6 months, there will be some great deals as folks like us decide to upgrade.
     
  7. Oil4AsphaultOnly

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    #7 Oil4AsphaultOnly, Jul 10, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2015
    "I really want to buy a Tesla some day, but that day just isn't here yet. "

    From that, I gather you're saving up for an X or a model 3?

    "... I take a lot of long business trips"

    I'm assuming that you have quite a few miles on your volt, so its trade-in value isn't going to be very high? In which case, your new car down payment will probably wipe out the benefits of the features:
    - Better MPG when driven on gas
    - 50 EV miles vs 2012 having 35
    - regular gas vs. premium

    Which leaves you with the prospect of buying a new car for these features:
    - quieter engine
    - quicker off the line
    - nicer looking interior

    I'd say stay the course and save for the Tesla you wanted. The 2016 volt is a better volt, but not better enough to side-track you from a Tesla
     
  8. Evbwcaer

    Evbwcaer Member

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    I was thinking the same thing, keep the Volt 1 and continue to wait for a Tesla: the cars will become cheaper and the Superchargers more numerous.

    Is the price of a Volt 1 dropping a lot?
     
  9. jeffro01

    jeffro01 Active Member

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    Tesla needs a supercharger in Emporia KS but... I digress... :)

    In any case we have a 2013 Volt we "bought" (0% financing...) that we're looking to swap out for a '16 lease. It's my Silverado that the Model S will likely replace and it's lease is up in December.

    The Volt has been a pretty decent car to be honest, my only real gripe with it is the horrible OnStar experience... The free trial is about to run out (3 years on the 1st gen Volts) and we have zero intention of renewing it...

    As a car though, I wouldn't hesitate to get another one.

    Jeff
     
  10. 3mp_kwh

    3mp_kwh Member

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    I like the Volt's shorter, more nimble, wheel base. It's a better urban car, than the Tesla, to me. Better, more even 4 wheel brake bias/regen, IMO. Even softer touring suspension, also w/o body roll. The seating position is lower, and as coupe like as the ELR. Great if you're tall. I'd echo the deal-breakers others do, however, such as rear seat room and having the to move the seat constantly forward, for passengers, and downward w/o memory, or power, whenever my wife gets out. Hated the view, and the safety it compromised (all bad, if you're ~6'). Didn't like the controls, either. I don't like touch screens, and this is a place where at least Tesla's executes pretty consistently (when you manage to lean forward, look, and hit the target). The Volt requires a lot more double-strikes and is slow to raise/lower temp, and things like that.

    I would regret not having a Tesla more if I didn't own one, but having had it I would tell a Volt owner / Tesla lust'r not to think of it as so huge a leap. Power, yes. Corporate mission, definitely. The car? Not so much, even if you can throw $10k chunks of wealth around. Volt 2 will have even more refinement, and, I bet, continued great reliability.
     
  11. vdiv

    vdiv Chief Grump

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    Was rather repulsed by the downmarket shift (simplification) of the 2016 Volt and GM's behavior in general towards EVs, and specifically towards Tesla. I'd say keep the 2012 Volt for a little longer and see how things develop. If you are really bent on having a 2016+ Volt it will be around, no need to get the first one.
     
  12. igotzzoom

    igotzzoom Member

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    I almost got a Volt before I got my Sonata. But I was going on the premise that I'd put more miles on it than the lease term permitted, which at the time was the only feasible financial option for me. It turns out I put a lot fewer miles on the car than I expected, so I could have made it work. But at this point, I think I'm just going to hold out for the Model 3, assuming it's going to be on-sale late '17, early calendar '18.
     
  13. mzpolo

    mzpolo Member

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    How about the Ford Fusion Energi? Even the Lincoln Hybrid? 40K for the Lincoln and you will average (if you are in Virginia Beach VA) about 45 mpg.
    The Tesla is far better than both. How often is the business trip that is too far? Rent a car for those trips
     
  14. OlderThanDirt

    OlderThanDirt Member

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    Ok, I've been lurking here long enough. After a lot of experience with the Gen 1 Volt I'm going to have to say NO to the Gen 2. We can go back and forth about the pluses and minuses but the bottom line is the Gen 2 is already a dated design. The cabin layout is the big one. The T battery goes back to EV-1 days. That thing kills the cabin space. What will this car be worth in a couple of years when the Model 3 and other next generation EV's are available?

    Our Gen 1 Volt has been a great car but when the price of the Gen 2 was announced my wife and I easily agreed there was no way we would pay that for that car. We would rather wait however long it takes for the Model 3 to be available. After some quality seat time in the Model S we found it to be the direction we are going. Just haven't decided if it will be late this fall or very early next spring.

    Keep the Volt, wait for the Model 3 or a used Model S.
     
  15. Skotty

    Skotty 2014 Model S P85

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    A couple of notes. The 2011 and 2012 Volt do have the ability to play DVDs (audio only when in Drive, but when stopped you can watch it on the touchscreen). I think they removed the DVD player at the 2013 model year.

    My travel for work is an almost weekly thing. About 250 miles round trip, with little to no destination charging at the half way point. That greatly limits the EV options. Even with Tesla, I really need a Supercharger that they haven't built yet (it's on the plan for this year, but seems to be endlessly delayed).

    I tend to play resale in a very pessimistic way. I generally don't plan on any resale value at all, and then anything I do get is a bonus. I do agree the 2016 Volt may have poor resale due to Model 3 on the horizon.

    I seriously considered a Ford Fusion Energi. I like the new Fusion. But it's plug-in drivetrain is just not that impressive, and the real deal breaker is the trunk. The trunk of the Energi is like a giant ad for why people should dismiss EVs and plug-in hybrids, and I don't care to try to explain it away to every person I ever met who brings it up.

    Thank you all for the responses so far. Lots of things to consider.
     
  16. Drucifer

    Drucifer Active Member

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    I considered the 2016 Volt as I need to turn in my 2013 Volt at end-of-lease next month. A few things kind of killed it for me, but I think they may be minor for a lot of people.

    1. It won't be available here until almost the end of the year.

    2. Added 1 inch of back seat leg room when they needed to add at least 3 inches

    3. Increased the L2 charge rate from 3.3 to 3.6 when they really needed to go to at least 6.6 for public charging.

    4. Made the look more common (like a Civic or Kia Forte or next gen Cruze) and also cut costs in some obvious ways (less chrome accents, side turn indicators removed from mirrors, C pillar glass piece replaced with plastic)

    a Pro for me is the LTZ black/burgundy interior, which looks pretty good

    In any event, I already have a Model S that is the replacement for my Volt. I really love the Volt - it is a very well planned and precisely engineered car that is well sorted out. I hope they maintained the quality in the next generation given the amount of cost reduction GM needed to attain in that car.
     
  17. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Active Member

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    2016 Volt is more efficient, more powerful, has more range, more legroom, better HVACmore features available and most importantly has replaced the Gen 1's terrible, terrible center nuttons with proper buttons and knobs, and declunked the shifter somewhat. I fail to see what the problem is.
     
  18. eloder

    eloder Member

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    I personally would never go with a Volt, though I don't have those commuting requirements you do. Full-on BEV benefits are just too good.
     
  19. SmartElectric

    SmartElectric Active Member

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    I test drove a Gen I Volt and found it a nice car. I chose the Smart ED as my first EV due to the way it drives, and the fact it is pure electric.

    Here in Canada, a new Volt is 60% of the cost of a CPO Tesla, so it took me some time to rationalize why I would go with a Tesla, but eventually just bought one, as I couldn't wait for the Model 3.

    In my opinion, there is no comparing the Volt to a Smart ED to a Tesla, but having driven all three, I picked two of them and not the other, and I think the fact one of them needs gas was the ultimate reason.

    GM has a lot to answer for in terms of it's anti-Tesla stance, but you can't fault the Volt from a technical standpoint, it is a very nice car, and if I was willing to compromise and buy a partially gas powered car, it would be high on my list.
     
  20. Drucifer

    Drucifer Active Member

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    Just for clarity.

    A Volt can never be plugged in and operate 100% on the range extender (ICE).
    A Volt can be run as an EV using as little as 3/10 of a gallon of gas per year (just enough for Engine Maintenance Mode, to ensure the engine is run just enough to be reliable and for the oil and fluids to be circulated periodically (.03 gallons every 6 weeks does this).
    A Volt can be something in between.

    The engine NEVER comes on as long as the SOC in the battery is showing above 0% as displayed to the driver (technically above 23% since that is the lower limit allowed by GM). 100% charge in the Volt as displayed to the driver is actually 88% SOC. The Volt battery is the best protected of any plug-in car with less degradation over time than even Model S. Of course with approx 10.5 kWh usable in a 16.5 kWh pack, degradation would be a real problem if you intend to drive in EV mode all of the time, depending on your commute distance - much more of a problem than your 85 becoming an 83 or 81.
     

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