"Honestly, the best car I have every owned"5.0 starson by tatecg
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 :)
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