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Model 3 or Volt?


May 29, 2015
Lexington, TN
Hellonfellow members. I am in a bit of a predicament as the title suggests. I am currently driving a barely 21 mpg Ford Taurus and am looking to get a better car after I graduate school. While the Volt offers the convenience of a gasoline engine, it is a simple car and is liable to become outdated after a few years. The Tesla on the other hand, would update over the air for the foreseeable future, and, of course, autopilot, the coolest thing since supercharging. But of course, the Tesla will be more range prohibitive than the Volt. I assume that I will have to place a deposit down on the model 3 as soon as it becomes available if I wish to receive my car in a timely manner, so I ask you, forum members, would it be wise to purchase a model 3

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When I refer to the Volt as simple, I simply mean that it does not have autopilot or updating capabilities


Well-Known Member
Feb 17, 2013
United States
To be perfectly honest... if I were in your shoes... I would get the volt. OR perhaps a better option would be to get a used volt which you can find for ~$10k to tide you over 'till the M3 is available to the masses.

The M3 will likely be a better car for the $$$ but it's unlikely you would be able to take delivery before 2018.


May 29, 2015
Lexington, TN
Of course, not planning on doing anything until they announce everything for sure which I assume they will do in March at the reveal, but they have already stated it will be around 35,000 and 200 Mi range


Supporting Member
Apr 8, 2014
New Hampshire
When I refer to the Volt as simple, I simply mean that it does not have autopilot or updating capabilities
In fairness to Chevy, while the Volt doesn't update over the air, the Volt has most of Tesla's (current) autopilot features (std or as options): autosteer/lane keeping assist, blind spot warning, autopark, auto high beams, and auto emergency braking/forward collision warning. The 2017 Volt adds traffic aware/adaptive cruise control.

OK, the Volt won't change lanes for you, but I could live without it.


Knows where his towel is
Apr 23, 2015
At this point, even if I could afford an S or X, and not worry about it, I'd still wait until they come out with the 3 specs. If I were to buy a car this day and couldn't wait it'd be a Volt.


Dec 15, 2013
SW Ontario
If you like the Volt, get it. If you don't mind burning gas in the Taurus for another three or four years while you wait for the Model 3, then wait.

Even after the reveal in March we probably won't know much more about the Model 3 than we do today, except we'll have an approximation of what it will look like. Consider how little we knew about the Model X two years ago.


Dec 19, 2014
Vermillion, MN
The Volt has be PHENOMENAL for me. I had an X reservation that I cancelled because it ended up being more vehicle than I needed once I switched jobs and moved to a 1923 house with a garage that could barely hold a Model T.

Don't wait, used Volt's are the best bargain out there and are a great gateway car for you to prepare for pure BEV which is clearly the future.


Dec 24, 2014
The Model X is just starting to roll out. And knowing Tesla, it's probably going to be two years before you can get the 3. Slightly sooner if you're up high on the waiting list.


S85: "Sparky"
Aug 19, 2013
Victoria BC Canada
The Volt was actually my first choice in late 2013 because a Model S cost far more than I could afford. So my plan was Volt to get my electric feet wet, and Model 3 in 2018. Meanwhile TSLA stock happened to appreciate somewhat. Somewhere around Xmas 2013 I realized that the purchase price of a Volt plus the purchase price of a Model 3 came pretty close to the purchase price of a Model S (-ish. Fudge is more than a sweet food when you're motivated). That plus the TSLA stock appreciation actually put me in the running to stretch like h*ll and get a Model S in early 2014. (BTW: no regrets)

My calculations cleverly and somewhat deliberately ignored that I would actually be able to sell the Volt upon the Model 3 purchase, making the 2-car plan cheaper.

I think the Volt is a great car. It will teach you a lot about your driving habits and "needed" range. You may be surprised to find that the Model 3's 200 mile range is plenty, especially with Tesla's supercharger build-out for long-distance travel. Bottom line is I would recommend getting a Volt as soon as you can afford it, and switch to a Model 3 (if that's what you want, future-you) in 2019 or so when Model 3 production is up and running well (read: fewer early-production foibles).

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