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Discussion Starter #1
So I showed up last fall, asked you all a WHOLE bunch of questions...and then kind of dropped off the radar as instead of buying a G1 Volt we remodeled the kitchen in the house we had just bought (which had last been done around 1975).


Now, spring comes and with it the opportunity to replace my aging 2006 Saab 9-5. A Volt is still the only vehicle that would be of benefit to me/my family financially; on top of that it's a car I truly like and really would love to own. It comes down to two scenarios at the moment:

  • Pay off debts and get a 2013/14 whose monthly net cost would be negative (due to payoff of debts being roughly equal to the payment on a ~$15000 loan and the fuel savings being money saved)
  • Get a 2016/17 where the net cost could ALSO be negative, or close to $0 (due to payoff of debts + fuel savings being near the monthly payment on ~$30000).

Now, I realize you folks can't comment on what is best for me and my family or situation, but you can comment on which vehicle would suit better for long-term ownership (8-12 years).

Other facts:
  • Commute is ~72 miles each way
  • Current car also uses premium gas
  • Car will be parked in closed garage with 240V charging
  • Live in PA, so have full weather range
  • Will be able to 120V charge at work; MAYBE even 240V.
I'm looking for a car with heated seats and rear parking sensors minimum; I'd like front and rear (my wife is used to them on her 2010 XC70).

Elevation profile of my commute:
 

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Given the long commute, I'd say go with the Gen 2. With that alone, and being able to charge at work, you're looking at 106 miles EPA estimated electric range daily (53 both ways) instead of 76 miles (38 both ways). That's another gallon of gas saved every day, not to mention more time enjoying the nice silent electric drive.

But also remember, in general, everyone loved the Gen 1, it was the most loved car under $50k in fact. And yet, GM nearly literally improved the Gen 2 in every way. Only exception is no Homelink on the Gen 2. Oh, and EV Extend doesn't have an inverter kit for it yet. ;)

Otherwise, the Gen 2 has more electric-only range, better gas mileage when engine is running, quieter engine when running, no longer requires premium gas, seats 5 (ish), accelerates faster, more features, more refined displays, has options for rear heated seats and heated steering wheel, and most would say it looks better too.

Or yet another option? Get a Bolt EV and ditch gas altogether. :) But probably like you, I see a lot of value in the Volt for occasional extended trips; the Voltec architecture with gas extended range makes the ideal vehicle for me at this time.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'd lean towards the Bolt but I don't trust PA winters and 'thermal range loss' to get me all the way to work and back unless I could guarantee I'll be allowed to 240V charge at work.
 

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A smallish data point but depending on how cold your PA winters are, you might want to consider that you'll be driving in ERDTT for part of the year. The gen2 still has the unresolved chuggle but the gen1 is apparently clear with recalls/TSBs.
 

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My advice. Buy a CPO Gen 1 for less than half of original MSRP. Drive it for two years, sell it, rinse repeat. Profit. You'll be money ahead even if the Gen 2 has longer range and doesn't use premium.
 

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My advice. Buy a CPO Gen 1 for less than half of original MSRP. Drive it for two years, sell it, rinse repeat. Profit. You'll be money ahead even if the Gen 2 has longer range and doesn't use premium.
I second this thought process.
Is the G2 worth the higher cost to acquire and recouping savings over time vs savings upfront and slightly higher running costs per day.

I drive my G1 80 miles roundtrip each work day and I would love to have a G2, but to get the premium packages all sealed in would push me to an uncomfortable price point.

Good luck on a great decision! No matter which way you go.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I second this thought process.
...but to get the premium packages all sealed in would push me to an uncomfortable price point.
You know what doesn't help with that? Dealers that advertise prices on their websites with ALL incentives already thrown in. Sure, I'd take a new 2017 for 24,995! Oh, the finance cost is 36,800 because your advertised price includes the $7500 federal PLUS a $2500 state PLUS other incentives? Bye!

It's not strictly against the rules, but I've never known a skunk to be welcome at a picnic, either.
 

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Since you're burning gas either way (and it's cheap right now) you probably won't see much of a cost difference between operating Gen 1 or Gen 2, depending on your electric prices. However, there IS a big difference on up front costs.

However, I know operating costs are not the only items under consideration. As someone who owns a Gen 1 (but test drove a Gen 2), I can say that overall the Gen 2 is a more refined and likely more comfortable vehicle for a long-term commute (although some would say the seats are more comfortable in the Gen 1).

Personally, I would buy the most car you can afford right now--but the Gen 1 is absolutely a great deal.
 

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There are a handful of used low-mileage Gen 2 Volts for sale within driving distance of your locale:

https://www.cars.com/for-sale/searchresults.action/?zc=18603&rd=150&stkTypId=28881&yrId=58487&yrId=30031936&mdId=35025&mkId=20053&sf1Nm=modelYear&sf1Dir=DESC&sf2Nm=price&sf2Dir=DESC&page=1&perPage=50&sortFeatures=buryUsedLowPrice&sortFeatures=buryNewLowPrice&sortFeatures=buryLowPriceOlderThanSix&sortFeatures=buryNoPrice&searchSource=GN_REFINEMENT

As low as $27k for a 2016 Premium with <1,000 miles or $26k and <8,000 miles.

It's not a huge discount vs new with the tax credit, but it would still save you quite a bit over a new 2017 Premier.

Edit: On second thought, it would very much depend on how good of a deal you could get on a new 2017 Premier and with what options. Looks like in your area the discounts below MSRP are pretty meager, but in my area there are some advertised $5-6k below MSRP.
 

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I'd go with the newer generation. It has considerably more range and is better in just about every way. (I have the first generation BTW). The other factors are that I am not a fan of used cars -- too many bad copies creating a fairly big downside -- and the Volt is selling at a decent discount (about $30K or $22.5K after the tax credit for a base). Shop around and see what you can find. The more flexible you are the better the deal you can get.

Looking at your profile I'm thinking that the second generation might get you home without having the generator start, assuming you can charge at work and the weather is good.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
I don't think G1 had rear heated seats available. G2 does. If heated rear seats is a deal breaker that eliminates G1.
Not a dealbreaker, no - but thanks for the reminder about that. My Saab has heated front and rear; the rears almost never get used. They don't really do anything once you put a car seat on top of them.

Front heat is really all I'm concerned with, but if I could get heat all around and a heated wheel I'd take it!
 
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