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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

If you have read my saying hello topic in the Newcomers area you can see that the last post from me was :
it is no go for our family. And we were serious looking for an Outlander or Lexus car.
Long story short (it was a very long intensive story from our end): we have decided to go for an Ampera/Volt.
Our goal remains to buy one early 2018. I would prefer Jan / Feb.
Still some time to look around. And spend even more time on the forum here. Have already spend a lot of time.
And I really like the vibe on this forum.

Here we go.
Since i'm now serious looking for an used 1st gen ampera / volt. A little information.
I'm from The Netherlands. Here we have basically 2 choices for almost the same car.
We can get an Opel Ampera or we can go the Chevrolet route and go for an Chevrolet Volt.
We see more Ampera's over here as Volts. Our Opel dealers in the past sold both cars.
For maintenance we go to the Opel dealer with the Ampera & Volt.
Thats no issue. In fact it make the Volt cheaper to buy 2nd hand.
Personally I like the volt a bit more as the Ampera. Like the white interior.
The Ampera you can buy from the official Opel dealer with 1 year warranty. The volt is no longer offered from Opel dealers. So max 6 month warranty. For both are 160.000 km's (roughly 100K miles) / 8 year on powertrain.

Used ones:
For an Volt I see only the MY2012 version used here in NL.
Ampera most are as well MY2012. A few MY2013 and sporadic an MY2014.

To give an example currently as used:
Chevrolet Volt (LTZ) My2012 with close to 37.000 miles: $15870
Opel Ampera My2012 with 36.500 miles : $17.221 (Sept 2012)
Opel Ampera My2013 with 37.000k miles :$20160 (Okt 2012)
Opel ampera My2014 with 40K miles : $22336 (just 1 at the moment). (Dec 2013)

As you see the price gap is pretty big between 2012 volt & Ampera.
For my understanding the MY2012 Volt LTZ & Ampera are basically the same.
Both leather, bose, parking sensors, camera.
Only thing you see on the Ampera is an optional Rain sensor that most people did add. Didnt see this on the volt.
I must admit that on our current car we have rain sensor as well, and this is fantastic.
But is it worth the few thousand extra....

How I see it. For our family an My2012 car will do. They are fairly cheaper as an 2013 model.
I see that on both models there can be some issues. On the other hand, I have an new Benz and
never had so many problems as with my other cars in total. First Benz and the last one.
You never forget your first Benz... TRUE!

Ergo:
Volt cheaper to buy. Only model is the MY 2012
Ampera more expensive, models MY2012 & MY2013. MY2014 is sporadic, I consider this as none.

If I would consider an MY 2013 ampera. For roughly the same price as the Volt +/- $15k.
The car would have +/- 62k miles on it. But is it worth it.
I read there are some troubles with the my2013 model as well.

What would you do? Go for the MY2012 or MY2013. And for me /us very important to know : WHY?

I apologise for the long text, trying to expres myself in another language is not easy.
 

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You did very well expressing yourself.

I have a MY13. I have had very little issue with it. So I would go with the MY13. You do get "Hold" mode that the MY12 does not have. And you get a slightly bigger battery. Hold mode is the ability to run the ICE before the battery is depleted. The question is, are the differences worth the extra $4.300?
 

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I think the differences in the various cars is small and the price differences seem large. For that reason, I would personally be looking at the least expensive one I could find. But only you can decide how much you value the rain sensor and hold mode, etc.

As for the value of hold mode (started in 2013), I think it is an interesting feature, but not in any way necessary. The car is almost always at its best in normal mode anyway. I would not miss it.

There may also be a difference in the headlights. I think the extra lights that we refer to as "daytime running lights" are on at night on the Ampera, but off at night on the Volt. Not sure if that is true of the European Volt or not. Also not sure if there are other differences. The headlights are weak to start with, so improvements here are welcome. The lights can be easily modified and upgraded if you want to work on them a little.

One more thing is that a backup camera is very helpful in this car, since it is hard to see to the rear through the windows.
 

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I concur with RFE. Hold Mode is a game changer. You also get a larger battery (16.5 kWh vs 16.0 kWh) in the MY13.

I have no idea about prices in The Netherlands, but those look really high compared to the US market. We have the advantage of a $7,500 rebate, so that may account for some of the differences. My Base + Safety 1 MY14 was only $18,570 brand new (after rebates and incentives). It's not uncommon for a used My2013 with 37,000 miles to be in the $13,000 - $14,000 range.

As for longevity, operating cost, and driving experience, you can't beat a Volt/Ampera. The best all-around used vehicle on the market - period.
 

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Do you have information on accident damage and service performed on each of these cars? In the USA there is a company called Carfax which is widely used. There is also service history available from the dealership.
After 5 years a Volt or Ampera should have a complete flush and refill of the 3 cooling systems and probably a new 12 volt battery.
Test the cabin heater in electric mode.
 

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I don't think the Model Year matters. Hold Mode is not a huge deal IMO and you can always use Mountain Mode as a substitute. Everything else is fairly marginal though, in contrast to many models, IMO the first Volts/Amperas had fewer issues than later ones, mostly relating to the heater. But it's not a huge deal one way or the other.

Consequently I'd look for the car you think is better and not worry about the model year.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks much for the reply's. That is helping.
I assumed the MY2012 Volt would have the hold mode like the Ampera has. Our dutch Ampera's my2012 are having the Hold mode.
We did use that already in our 2 day test drive with an my2012 Ampera. Keep the battery charged, as soon we arrived in the city, back to battery power. Worked very well.

That will drive me a bit to the Ampera then. They have hold mode. And most have an rain sensor to.

About the lights on the car. To be honest i'm an total idiot with that. In our Mazda we have halogen lights, in our Benz we have led lights. And yes the leds give more (other) light on the benz, the difference is big. But it won't stop us drivin in the Mazda at night. I never had the idea that i needed more light. Perhaps because my previous cars always had just the halogen lights. Used to it.
I'm not very handy, so I won't dare to go the DIY route for just a bit more light.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Do you have information on accident damage and service performed on each of these cars? In the USA there is a company called Carfax which is widely used. There is also service history available from the dealership.
After 5 years a Volt or Ampera should have a complete flush and refill of the 3 cooling systems and probably a new 12 volt battery.
Test the cabin heater in electric mode.
If we go the Ampera route we go for an dealer car. We have an pretty decent dealer here with lot of knowledge about the Ampera /Volt. Have already an paper with points I want to check with the dealer. I know the dealer and had my previous Opel's in maintenance overthere.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I don't think the Model Year matters. Hold Mode is not a huge deal IMO and you can always use Mountain Mode as a substitute. Everything else is fairly marginal though, in contrast to many models, IMO the first Volts/Amperas had fewer issues than later ones, mostly relating to the heater. But it's not a huge deal one way or the other.

Consequently I'd look for the car you think is better and not worry about the model year.
That is an good advise to. We did test drive it for 2 days. So what do we know. We live in a very small village. If I must guess are driving is 95% not in the city but very small villages. Only in the weekends we go so now and then to an big city.
If the price gap is indeed about 4000,- for just hold mode. Then that is too much for the benefit.
 

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I read here somewhere that Hold mode was originally developed for the Ampera, then later added to the Volt (in the 2013 model year). So it is understandable that the 2012 Ampera you drove did have Hold mode.

A lot of folks like the Ampera styling over the Volt styling. The Ampera wheels were eventually offered as an option on Volts. And as mentioned above, the 2013 and 2014 will have a slightly larger battery than the 2012 - giving an extra 3-4 km of EV range.

As with any used car, it is best to get the newest/lowest mileage car that fits in your budget.
 

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A European 2012 Volt may not have the same options / items list that American Volts did.
I'd be checking what the Volt actually has before making assumptions.

My 2012 Australian delivered Holden Volt has hold mode, lane departure warning, rear camera, nav, leather, heated seats, etc.
I can't remember all the differences I've discovered, but many of the included items appear to have been put in this local model earlier than many other countries.
It is worth noting that 2012 was the first model here. I don't think any were sent here after 2013 model, although inventory might have languished a while as the car didn't seem to get any marketing.

My preference is the Volt over the Ampera, primarily due to appearance. It would be a little more exclusive there too.
 

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Low miles, from experience, is the way to go - not model year.

From what I've read, the earlier Volts seemed to have less problems, or the owners being early adopters and EV fans just complained less. At any rate, the earlier cars have underbody cladding that GM removed for budget reasons on the latter cars. This provides better aerodynamics at highway speeds, and cleans up the car underneath - which for your area and snow - seems an important point.

I saw it as a cheap move by GM - after all, who looks underneath their car? - Answer: I do. It's something most people just didn't notice.

If range is top priority - the later battery packs are a bit larger ( or the buffer further utilized ). If it was me - I go for best price vs. lowest mileage.

Nice to know about Mercedes. I've read bad things in the last 8 years or so. Too bad for a company who made their wealth upon their good reputation. You sound wise in that you choose powertrain ( unique innovation in Volt ) over fancy interior and bonus features of a luxury/premium car brand. What more luxury than silent, smooth electric drive? -
 

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From what I've read, the earlier Volts seemed to have less problems
To be frank, I've not read of any substantial widespread problems in early or late Gen 1 models. Any problem that happened (such as the pre-2013 bearing issue or the hatchback struts) was corrected with a Recall or Service Bulletin. Perhaps the WOT coolant sensor issue might qualify as a unaddressed issue, but that's a simple fix. The rest of the issues, such as some electric heaters (covered under warranty) and infotainment system reboots are pretty rare.

We've seen one engine go bad and a few battery packs replaced. That's a pretty strong record for such a complex car.
 

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If I remember correctly, Hold mode was on Amperas from the beginning, to beat congestion charges in European cities. I'm not sure if this applies to Euro Volts.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
If I remember correctly, Hold mode was on Amperas from the beginning, to beat congestion charges in European cities. I'm not sure if this applies to Euro Volts.

As far I know the early Volts does not have the Hold mode. As far my knowledge goes the version where the roof is not black they have hold mode.

Currently there is an my2014 (august 2013) Ampera with a bit more as 69K miles with the same price as an MY 2012 (Jul 2013) who has 31k miles.
In this case I guess the lower miles win? Same color etc.
 

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As far I know the early Volts does not have the Hold mode. As far my knowledge goes the version where the roof is not black they have hold mode.

Currently there is an my2014 (august 2013) Ampera with a bit more as 69K miles with the same price as an MY 2012 (Jul 2013) who has 31k miles.
In this case I guess the lower miles win? Same color etc.
I think in that case it would come down to a matter of who you want to do business with. There will be some minor differences in the vehicles but nothing really significant. It's easy to check what drive modes are available when you get into the car, and I believe you would find 'Hold' in both.
 

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Hi,

If you have read my saying hello topic in the Newcomers area you can see that the last post from me was :
it is no go for our family. And we were serious looking for an Outlander or Lexus car.
Long story short (it was a very long intensive story from our end): we have decided to go for an Ampera/Volt.
Our goal remains to buy one early 2018. I would prefer Jan / Feb.
Still some time to look around. And spend even more time on the forum here. Have already spend a lot of time.
And I really like the vibe on this forum.

Here we go.
Since i'm now serious looking for an used 1st gen ampera / volt. A little information.
I'm from The Netherlands. Here we have basically 2 choices for almost the same car.
We can get an Opel Ampera or we can go the Chevrolet route and go for an Chevrolet Volt.
We see more Ampera's over here as Volts. Our Opel dealers in the past sold both cars.
For maintenance we go to the Opel dealer with the Ampera & Volt.
Thats no issue. In fact it make the Volt cheaper to buy 2nd hand.
Personally I like the volt a bit more as the Ampera. Like the white interior.
The Ampera you can buy from the official Opel dealer with 1 year warranty. The volt is no longer offered from Opel dealers. So max 6 month warranty. For both are 160.000 km's (roughly 100K miles) / 8 year on powertrain.

Used ones:
For an Volt I see only the MY2012 version used here in NL.
Ampera most are as well MY2012. A few MY2013 and sporadic an MY2014.

To give an example currently as used:
Chevrolet Volt (LTZ) My2012 with close to 37.000 miles: $15870
Opel Ampera My2012 with 36.500 miles : $17.221 (Sept 2012)
Opel Ampera My2013 with 37.000k miles :$20160 (Okt 2012)
Opel ampera My2014 with 40K miles : $22336 (just 1 at the moment). (Dec 2013)

As you see the price gap is pretty big between 2012 volt & Ampera.
For my understanding the MY2012 Volt LTZ & Ampera are basically the same.
Both leather, bose, parking sensors, camera.
Only thing you see on the Ampera is an optional Rain sensor that most people did add. Didnt see this on the volt.
I must admit that on our current car we have rain sensor as well, and this is fantastic.
But is it worth the few thousand extra....

How I see it. For our family an My2012 car will do. They are fairly cheaper as an 2013 model.
I see that on both models there can be some issues. On the other hand, I have an new Benz and
never had so many problems as with my other cars in total. First Benz and the last one.
You never forget your first Benz... TRUE!

Ergo:
Volt cheaper to buy. Only model is the MY 2012
Ampera more expensive, models MY2012 & MY2013. MY2014 is sporadic, I consider this as none.

If I would consider an MY 2013 ampera. For roughly the same price as the Volt +/- $15k.
The car would have +/- 62k miles on it. But is it worth it.
I read there are some troubles with the my2013 model as well.

What would you do? Go for the MY2012 or MY2013. And for me /us very important to know : WHY?

I apologise for the long text, trying to expres myself in another language is not easy.
As much as I like my Volt...I don't know if I'd recommend one to someone living in Europe UNTIL the dust settles over GM's apparent exit from the European marketplace until the details of how the PSA group will actually get Volts and Bolts and parts for them from GM and in what quantities... https://www.inverse.com/article/28680-general-motors-psa-group-leaving-europe
 

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Discussion Starter #19
The day started as regular day. Looking for some cars. Ampera/Volt. Outlander phev.
Heart did go for an Ampera. Outlander phev, still expensive. Battery degradation starting. No warranty left on the drivetrain from vehicles earlier as 2015. So after 6 months of limited warranty it is basically : good luck!
Does not feel good at all.

Today I did visit the page of an Opel dealer. What I do regular. And saw an perfect Ampera. Black. Looking good. Jumped in the car to go see the car in real. And it was stunning. Looking brandnew. Shiny. No dents or things. Wheels 100% ok.
After some talk, did an test drive. To make a long story short. We made an deal where both where happy with.
And on the end of the day i'm proud owner of an Black Ampera.

Car is from March 2013. Has 59K miles on it. 1 year full warranty. And then the remaining warranty till march 2021 on the drivetrain if we stay below the 100k miles. We drive around 9300 miles per year.
We made the arrangement with the dealer to get the car half Januari 2018. I'm still having my lease car. So it is a bit silly to have 3 cars in front of the house.

Some pictures from the website. And some taken after the test drive in the snow...





















Things that we going to change pretty fast:
Rear windows (cant find the right words in english) making darker (tinting?)
Dvd / video player in the both headrest for the kids.

So i'm (almost) part of the club.
 
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