Pros Driving as Electric when needed/desired gas when not
Comfortable, Smooth Ride
It "Just Works"
Cons The car is too expensive for most
In winter, even with heated seats, heat is still a little underpowered
Summary I have never owned a car that just worked (no rattles, weird issues, quirks) like this one. It is exceptionally well-designed. I purchased (leased) it because my daily commute is just about 35 miles, so it is perfect for me. I am not ridiculous about "charging up" but I have only needed to completely fill the car's 9 gallon tank once in over 3 months. Considering how complicated it is to run this vehicle (software, components, etc.), I am stunned at how flawlessly it works. Truly, I was fully expecting far more "beta-tester" experiences than I have had. I feel...proud?...that the USA could engineer something as well as this?
It is fun enough to drive, looks decent, and fulfills my "gadget geek" side in spades. Unless gas is ridiculously expensive in Dec. 2013, I will be sad to give back this car when the lease is up- I can only hope that with planned improvements to reduce costs the quality remains as high as it currently is. If my experience continues like this, I will DEFINITELY consider the next version of the Volt.
"Too expensive"- If you want one, and can't afford it or can't justify the cost, then I agree, it is too expensive. If you can afford to pay, I honestly feel you get appropriate value for your money. Would I like it to cost less? Yes, of course, but I don't feel like I overpaid dramatically, this car genuinely feels worth the cost (also, I am leasing, so I haven't actually shelled out that much, yet).
"Not practical": Specifically, with reference to a lack of a middle rear seat. I have owned/drive compact 4-door sedans with a middle seat for much of my life. I can count on one hand the number of times I have *needed* a rear middle seat. In this day and age, if one needs a car to seat 5 people regularly, one probably isn't looking at compact sedans, honestly. I think this criticism is dumb.
"GM boondoggle" or some variation/complaint that this thing is a total waste of money nobody wants/will want- That remains to be seen. Honestly everyone I have let drive the car has really liked it. Some have said "Too bad it costs as much as it does" but I have not met anyone who has spent any significant time with the car who has said "Who would ever buy this?!?" It is a well-made, well-engineered, trouble-free (so far) vehicle. From what I can tell, dealers can't keep them on the lots very long (don't cave in and pay a premium, as some people are doing and some DUMB dealers are charging. You can get this car for MSRP, and Chevrolet is even willing to assist if you contact them about greedy dealers charging over MSRP)
"Replacing the battery will be ridiculously expensive": Don't know if this will be a valid criticism. So far, batteries seem to be doing just fine. I have to chalk this one up to "You just can't tell yet". If the future is that scary, this probably isn't the car for you.
"It's not really green, since electricity is primarily from coal" - It depends on where you live. 15% of the electricity I buy comes from coal, but the rest comes from other sources. Even though I am in the Northeast, I am only paying 11cents/kilowatt- not the best rates some people can find, but not terrible.
"The heat/range sucks" - There is no denying that in the winter, the electric range is definitely at the lower end of things, and the heat is anemic. Folks in warmer climes will get the most out of this car year-round, no doubt. I don't mind cold that much, and if I really cared I could "Precondition" the car (via remote start) which warms it up "enough." It might be for you, but it simply isn't a dealbreaker for me.
In Summary- I wouldn't consider myself a ridiculous "fanboy" but this car has genuinely won me over. I went in with reduced expectations, and have had them surpassed consistently. Now here's hoping that, having said all this, my car doesn't have some crazy problem to make me eat my words :)
Pros Very well appointed interior (this is a Chevy?) especially with the premium trim package.
Great in-car tech
Consistently getting 100mpg+ on a combination of gas and electric (all the benefits of electric with none of the drawbacks)
Cons Small back seat
iPod does not pause when Nav is talking to you
Handsfree phone takes WAY too many steps to make a phone call
The white console trim and funky door trim (IMHO) tries too hard and is ugly - order the dark trim it is a lot nicer
Glove box is
Summary We've had the Volt for about 1,500 miles now, and we are one of those early adopters for whom the car has exceeded expectations. The is the first GM I've bought since I owned a 1974 Opel GT when I was a kid in high school in the 80s.
It is a fantastic little eco-sports sedan. We are in warmer climates (Texas) and we get a consistent 40-45 miles on our charge (the lower when we are at freeway speeds). With the premium package the interior etc. looks and feels like any high-end sports sedan we have owned (BMW, etc.).
Aside from some badge snobbery, I think this compares extremely well to a BMW 328. It is about the same size (interior and exterior) and comparably equipped (with nav, bluetooth, leather, heated seats, backup camera, etc) they both retail for $43k MSRP but the Volt gets a $7,500 tax rebate that brings it down to $36k. Yes, the BMW gets through the quarter mile two seconds faster than the Volt, but the trade-off is that the BMW only gets 18 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. Meanwhile our Volt is averaging well over 100mpg, getting a consistent 42mpg when it is on gasoline only. Put another way, In the first 1,500 miles I have burned through 14 gallons of gasoline (mostly because I've done several road trips) at a cost $50 plus about $30 in electricity or $80 total. In the 328 we would have spent about $240 in gasoline over the same drive period.
I suppose if you are looking for a $20k car you should not be shopping for BMWs or Volts. But if you are looking for a sedan in the mid 30's, after 1,500 miles I cannot think of any other model we would rather own. This has completely changed our view of GM cars (no offense to the long-time GM fans out there).
Pros Gets 40 miles per charge as specified by GM. Real world MPG when on gas is about 40 MPG. It is very comfortable to drive on long trips and around town. Enough room for the average person.
Cons Some of the top touch sensitive buttons are to close to the touch screen and easily touched by accident. Could use a cargo cover that pivots up when you open the hatch.
Summary I have had this car now for about a thousand miles and have easily handled my commute to work, about 22 miles with ease. In colder weather I was getting 166 to 200 MPG on warmer days without the use of heat, I am able to do the round trip on electricity alone. So my cost is from $1.69 (cost to charge) to $2.44 which includes the small amount of gas burned due to cold weather. I am into my second week on the one and only refill I have done since picking up the car. Still have 105 miles of gas in the tank. On the highway I tend to average about 40 MPG and have seen 45 to 47 in around the town driving. I love this car, it is so far one of the best cars I have ever bought. It may be expensive, but worth it from almost every perspective.
Pros - 40 mile all electric range
- Less than 10-hour recharge using standard 120V outlet
- Very luxurious interior
- Extremely quiet
- Very high build quality
- Very quick acceleration
Cons - Turning off the radio also turns off the display screen.
- Voice recognition is not as accurate as in other vehicles.
- Heat is not plentiful during 20-40 degree days
- No back window wiper
Summary I have had my Volt for a week now. I have driven over 100 miles and used 0.0 gallons of gas. The recharge time has varied from 4-7 hours since I have not completely used the 40 mile range each day.
Most of my vehicles have been in the $35,000 - 40,000 range and the content of this vehicle is comparable to them. The features include heated leather seats, AM/FM/XM radio with 30Gb hard drive, Bose audio, navigation system, rear-view camera, power windows w/one-touch up/down driver's window, power door locks, Homelink, voice recognition, steering wheel controls, chrome wheels, and more.
The vehicle is almost completely silent, and interior noise is extremely well controlled. I drove one of the other cars today, and for the first time really noticed just how noisy a standard vehicle is. The Volt is truly the next generation of what the automobile should be.
"Worth the cost"on by Gmvolt
Pros Luxury trim, ride, and finish. Great mileage, cool gadgets. My kids love the rear bucket seats.
Cons Always feel guilty exceeding the all electric range because I know it will lower my lifetime mpg. I have experienced some visibility issues, particularly when intersecting streets are not at right angles.
Summary This is by far the nicest car I have ever owned. I've had a couple cars in the mid $30k range and this is a whole world apart with the premium trim package, and all the cool gadgets (onstar, XM, bluetooth, the USB for the ipod, the smartphone app. etc...).
I'm probably a little outside the target market as I drive more than 40 miles a day. I'm finding I do about 60 miles burning about 1/2 gallon, but even at that rate I'll only need to buy 8 gallons or so every 1000 miles which works out to around 125 mpg.
I didn't give it 5 stars because I am a little disappointed that it doesn't get at least 40 mpg in gas burning mode, and while I'm consistently getting 30-35 miles of electric range I haven't broken 40 yet, so the 35-50 mile claims by GM haven't panned out for me yet.
But don't get me wrong, I love the car, there is just always room for improvement.
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