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I was last here about 3 years ago and I ended up only having a 5 mile commute to work and I decided to purchase another Wrangler instead. Well in a month my commute will increase to about 35 miles each way due to a transfer. Back then I was considering 2011?s, but I?m sure there are better options now and maybe some things have changed. I?ve tried to familiarize myself with the site again but I still have questions about what years and should be looking at and if searching for a premium model is with the hassle. There seems to be 8-10 bases for every 1 premium I find. As this will be my 3rd car I?m only looking to spend $15k maximum. I?ve found some 2014 base models with low miles. Can you give me a short rundown of anything that In the 3 years that I?ve been away and please make any recommendations. Thank you kindly. Glad to be back
 

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I was last here about 3 years ago and I ended up only having a 5 mile commute to work and I decided to purchase another Wrangler instead. Well in a month my commute will increase to about 35 miles each way due to a transfer. Back then I was considering 2011?s, but I?m sure there are better options now and maybe some things have changed. I?ve tried to familiarize myself with the site again but I still have questions about what years and should be looking at and if searching for a premium model is with the hassle. There seems to be 8-10 bases for every 1 premium I find. As this will be my 3rd car I?m only looking to spend $15k maximum. I?ve found some 2014 base models with low miles. Can you give me a short rundown of anything that In the 3 years that I?ve been away and please make any recommendations. Thank you kindly. Glad to be back
I strongly suggest that you look for one with the back-up camera. The rear visibility in the Volt is poor, but the camera goes a long way toward correcting that. (Unfortunately, the camera only operates when the car is in reverse.) It was offered as an option to the base model, so you will find a few base models with it. (It is standard on all Gen 2 Volts.) Search on Carvana's web site to get an idea of the cost and availability of the various options. I have a base 2014 with the Safety Package 1 (camera, rear backup sensors, and auto dimming mirror), and I'm quite pleased with it.

If you live in warm climate, I also suggest you look for a car with a white or light colored paint job. Your car will stay cooler and put less stress on the AC.

I hope you can charge at your new workplace. Even with level 1 charging for those 8 hrs, you should make it home without burning gas.
 

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Rather than looking for base/premium in the listing I went searching for particular letters in the VIN since some car sites list "base" but the VIN clearly indicates it's a premium or vice versa. If you look at the 5th character it will indicate a letter between A and H. A/C/E/G are all going to be base trim with cloth interior with A and E being the lowest equipped, C and G have nav/bose. B/F/D/H are all going to be premium (leather), again with D and H having Nav/Bose. Next, if you don't see specifically in the listing, but there are pictures look for sensors on the bumpers. If they're present on the rear bumper it is equipped with safety 1 and includes the rear backup camera. If there are sensors in the front, it's equipped with safety 1 and 2 (since safety 1 was required for safety 2) and includes the forward camera for collision warning on '13-'15, '11 and '12 do not have the forward camera as I understand. If you can find one with both safety packages, I suggest going with it as it will save you a fair bit on your insurance rate. In my case, the quote difference between a base Volt and the fully optioned '13 I ended up buying was a few hundred/year with the base being about $1300 estimated and mine coming in at around $800 when the paperwork was signed.

I will agree with the lighter color being better. I have a black car (by far not my first choice in color) and live in Central California which gets VERY warm in the summer, but I also have the pebble beige interior which does help some. I would definitely look at 13 or newer since it came with a slightly bigger battery and many have suggested that the 15's have an even larger battery which isn't reflected in the EPA cycle since it wasn't re-certified.

When I was searching I spent many hours looking at the usual national sites but mostly focused within 200-300 miles of where I live. Fortunately my search included the LA area which gave a lot more options. Ultimately though I found my car on Craigslist of all places. It was a higher mileage car that was used on a 150 mile daily commute from the original owner but the price was very attractive at 10.5 for a well maintained premium '13 (all service records) and existing GMPP that transferred with the sale which gave me plenty of peace of mind.

Don't be afraid to check out alternative sites to look either. Even occasionally Ebay has some finds. Usually car lots list on there as well and typically are willing to work on a price that's agreeable, especially if it's been difficult to move which seems to be the case on the Gen 1 since many Gen 2's are being found at ridiculously low prices after incentives, rebates, and special offers are applied.
 

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Most of the listings say base but could be premier you have to look at the equipment included to see if they are premier, IE , Leather , Bose , Navigation, and optional safety features.
 

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I bought a fully loaded 2014 CPO back in April. It has safety packages 1&2 with Nav and Bose. I REALLY love this car !!!
It was $16K out the door with 27K miles :D
 

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Since you have been away for 3 years there is now a Gen 2 Volt. It is pretty much better in every way. Longer range on the battery and better mileage on regular gas. It has Carplay or Android Auto, standard rear camera, real heater controls and a superior charge cord. There should be some higher mileage 2016s or newer for sale near your price point.
 

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Most of the listings say base but could be premier you have to look at the equipment included to see if they are premier, IE , Leather , Bose , Navigation, and optional safety features.
^ THIS ^ My 2013 Volt was listed as a BASE but was the Premium trim with leather, heated seats, and safety pkg's 1 & 2.
 

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Consider a used premium 2011. The price will be in the low teens and the car has proven very reliable.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Wow!! Seems like I have missed a lot in the 3 years. Thank you so much for the VIN letter codes, I just started using them in my search. I?m finding mostly 2014?s in my price range, I did see some 2011?s at great prices, but with high miles. I?m hoping to score a certified one, but there are only 2 within 100 miles. At this point charging at isn?t possible unless I walk or bike 4 blocks. My job requires that I wear a suit, so neither option seems viable for me. I can spend my lunch hour charging. Does anyone think that would be beneficial? Are there any tips or tricks to charge when away from home. Thank you all so very much, I hope to report back that I?m a new proud Volt owner.
 

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Thank you for the color suggestions, I plan to tint the windows to alleviate some of the heat. Do I really need a back up camera? Vision can?t be any worse than my Wrangler?s can it?
 

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I think that you are failing to assess the true operating costs of a vehicle if this is going to be your "third" vehicle. You would save more money by dumping other wasteful vehicles and purchasing a used Volt if you have access to free electric charging. In order to fully-utilize the "electric" function of a Volt, you will need a charging station at home as well as a charging station at work. Otherwise, you are simply driving an efficient "gasoline-powered" vehicle. The Department of Energy provides a lifetime cost tool that you should use to determine which vehicle is most cost efficient for you to operate. It will also give you a much better idea of how much you can save by dumping your surplus additional vehicles. https://www.afdc.energy.gov/calc/
 

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In order to fully-utilize the "electric" function of a Volt, you will need a charging station at home as well as a charging station at work.


I disagree that a charge at work is required to make the car viable. Sure, it would be nice, but a Volt will cover at least 50%-80% of the round trip commute on battery. Using 16 ounce of gasoline for the remainder won't break the cost savings. Our Volt's been doing a 60 mile round trip for over 6 years and my lifetime average is over 135 MPG.

Of course, now we use a Bolt EV for that commute and the Volt for the rest.

Oh, I don't have free charging. I paid for it via my home meter at $0.1245 kW, or ~$1.30 per commute plus 12 ounces of gas. :)

I agree with getting rid of an extra, uneeded car. The insurance and maintenance are using not worth it.
 

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Great point, If my other two vehicles had any type of fue efficiency I wouldn?t need a volt. My wrangler unlimited is a toy, it?s lifted and has 35? inch tires, it will be my weekend car and I plan to own it forever. My wife drives a V10 Ford Excursion, again not a vehicle that I can commute in as is gets 11mpg on good days. She loves her Excursion as much as I love my jeep. That only leaves me with an option to buy a 3rd vehicle. My Jeep will be stored in the garage and will become strictly recreational. My wife will continue driving the Excursion and the Volt will become my daily driver. If I had a vehecle that was getting even 25mpg I wouldn?t be purchasing another vehicle. I?m currently on the high end of fuel consumption and adding a Volt to my fleet will help me even out a bit.
 

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Reading some of your past posts, I'm a bit confused. Are you saying you can't charge at all or just not at work? As long as you're not commuting more than about 20 miles each way, charging should be sufficient just at home if possible. At any rate, the Volt should get more than 25mpg even if you are never able to charge. Of course extreme temps will affect your total range negatively, but spring like weather should see more than 40 miles on a charge, I typically see 44+ on my estimated range in ideal temps and never have to generally use any gas for my day to day driving. Of course having 240V charging helps a lot on that.

I wouldn't necessarily limit yourself to CPO Volts. The added 12/12K warranty is great, but if you can find a '14 that is still under b2b warranty, but not certified, it should qualify for an extended warranty such as GMPP. I believe it needs to have 1000 miles and at least 1 month (possibly 3 months) of remaining b2b to qualify and that might actually run about the same as the premium you'd pay for a CPO. The advantage there is that you should be able to get 5Y/100K additional coverage. Being that you're looking at a '14 might prove iffy since most are likely out of b2b or very close to it.
 

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Reading some of your past posts, I'm a bit confused. Are you saying you can't charge at all or just not at work?
Copper's a little fixated on charging because his (IIRC) condo board said he couldn't charge at his own place. We all got our "things"... :D
 

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Ah, thanks for the clarification. That would make a Volt a little more challenging to get the most out of. I'm lucky that I live in a privately owned apartment complex. The owner without hesitation agreed to allow me to charge. Fortunately I park just across a sidewalk from my front door and my EVSE cable is long enough to reach my car from the front door. If I were in either of the other two buildings it wouldn't be convenient and likely not possible at all so I consider myself quite lucky since public charging isn't exactly widespread around here.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I?m still looking for one. I?ve found plenty of 2013s and some low mile 2012?s but I just can?t justify getting them when for just a little more I can get a 2014. I will be able to change at home over night, I will not be able to charge at work. I?m concerned about other threads stating that the seats are uncomfortable. Is this an issue with all of the seats in Gen 1? Is there any difference in leather vs fabric? I?m not only looking at Certified Volts but they have most of the options everyone has suggested. Thank you kindly for your help!
 

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I cant speak to cloth vs. leather as my old '13 had leather. They were comfortable--but if you need lumbar support you will need a workaround. Still don't understand why they didn't add at least a manual lumbar support.

The other thing that will be important with the manual seat is making sure you can get a comfortable position, though. No fine tuning, unfortunately. I find my Gen 2 leather seats more comfortable than Gen 1 but the position less comfortable. Just can't win.

In test drives, I found the cloth seats in the Gen 2 to be more comfortable than expected.
 

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I?m still looking for one. I?ve found plenty of 2013s and some low mile 2012?s but I just can?t justify getting them when for just a little more I can get a 2014. I will be able to change at home over night, I will not be able to charge at work. I?m concerned about other threads stating that the seats are uncomfortable. Is this an issue with all of the seats in Gen 1? Is there any difference in leather vs fabric? I?m not only looking at Certified Volts but they have most of the options everyone has suggested. Thank you kindly for your help!
I'm 6'4", old and crotchety, big boned and fluffy......I've taken a 1700 mile trip in my 2014 and was VERY comfortable :D
 

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I?m concerned about other threads stating that the seats are uncomfortable. Is this an issue with all of the seats in Gen 1? Is there any difference in leather vs fabric?
It's not that the seats are uncomfortable for EVERYBODY, it's that they're uncomfortable for SOME PEOPLE, and they're differently comfortable from the Gen 2 seats. Nobody has, to my knowledge, suggested that the leather are different from the cloth in that aspect. The upholstery stuffing and framing seem to be uncomfortable for some. Which is why I suggested paying attention while sitting. (Personally I like these seats, and am much happier in them than any car previous.)
 
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