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Back a second time with hopes to finally get a Volt

2679 Views 26 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  freshcut
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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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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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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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.
At highway speeds, it's more efficient to drive on the gas engine than on pure electric. The electric range lasts far longer in the city than on highways, so many owners opt to use gas on highways and save electric power for stop and go city traffic.
+1. This is why nearly every car made has a higher mpg rating for highway mileage vs. city mileage. The only exception I'm aware of are generally hybrids, though the Volt seems to buck the curve with better highway performance. The prius typically rates better for city than highway driving. I got lucky and found a '13 so I have the hold function. I will admit though I don't use it nearly as much as I had thought I would. I do like hold if I'm getting on the freeway for extended times, and I do like the ability to recapture and reset my hold level when making long descents so I can use that extra EV range where it makes more sense later, otherwise it's a rarely used feature that just equates to "nice to have" when I want it.
My understanding on the different drivetrains is that the Gen 1 is completely different from the Gen 2. Some similarities exist, but the Gen 2 definitely utilizes the engine under far more range than the Gen 1 was capable of. As for the varied load, I think that's part of why the Gen 2 is much more efficient than the Gen 1 since it is capable of producing both locomotion along with power through the MGA under a wider range of conditions as opposed to the Gen 1 which only produces electricity except a narrow window when the engine does provide locomotive power.
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