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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,

So I've been reading as much as I can on the forum and would love some input on my current situation. I've asked the same question on other forums with some so-so responses, so here it goes:

So I’m looking for a way to make my work commute/expenses better for 2018.
I’ve been looking at '13-15 Chevy Volts and see them ranging from 12-16k anywhere from 30-50k miles.

Would definitely appreciate some insight!

Here’s my current situation:

I drive 27/mi each way to my office passing through downtown LA 5 days a week. I easily spend at least 3 hours a day driving.
I occasionally drive around the county for work ranging from 10 to as far as 120 miles. I believe I racked up about 25-30k in 2017.

My current vehicle is a 2015 Acura ILX 2.4 Manual. It’s sitting at 62k miles w/about $16.5k left for the loan.
My dad wants the car and is willing just to take over payments, so I need another car.
After seeing how much I drove in 2017 and facing LA traffic, the Volt can definitely help with saving time and money.

My main concerns with the Volt are:

Reliability (I know they come with 10yr/150k warranties on battery in CA)
Value (it’s depreciated so much since new, could it really get that much lower??)
Maintenance (unfamiliar with an electric car, American cars in general as well)

What should I be looking for in a Volt? (ex. lower miles > year)
Premium vs Base (worth it?) Ideally I'd love the Bose stereo + leather, but price-wise I really don't wanna spend too much. (looking around 13-14k)

Would love some feedback from the Volt community!

Thanks!
 

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Not sure why nobody has replied.
Reliability has been excellent!
Depreciation has made these Gen 1 Volts an excellent value for the money.
Good luck!
David
 

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With the used market you take what you can get as far as amenities.

About 40 miles of electric driving then the rest of your day running the ICE.

I got about 38 miles to the gallon when I was driving with an empty battery (the way I got the car).

I think a prius could beat that, if you're going to do that much driving.

I find I can get better mileage with the ICE if I save the battery for running around town then go to hold mode when I get on the freeway. So try and save all the stopping and starting for the electric motor.

Most of my trips are all electric so the Volt is perfect for me.
 

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With that commute If you charge only at home you will average 80+ mpg in a 2013 - 2015 Volt. If you can charge at work it will be much better. My commute is 36 round trip and don’t use any gas and just charge at home. For two years I only burned one tank a year.

I would look for a volt with low engine miles. You can get an idea by the lifetime Mpg reading in the car. The car max reading is 250+ mpg. Mine had 372 mpg because voltstats.net kept track for me. 53,000 miles on my car but only about 4,600 on the gas engine
 

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Go for test drives and shop around. Is the Bose that good?
The 'Maintenance Costs' are that good! 2 yr oil changes if you drive mostly EV.
I understand you won't be but you'll be getting better gas mpg than you current car.

If you could plug in at work (for free?!), you'd be golden!

You won't be sorry and you'll be stepping into the future !
With one foot in the past,,, the gasser part...
 

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While my commute is shorter and on surface streets, I can say that the Volt sounds like a good fit for you. The EV range is there if you should need it, and the electric savings will far outweigh the little bit of gas that you may have to burn.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I appreciate all the insight! Seems like there are a lot more Base models than Premium, do you think it's worth it? All I really need is a nice stereo & backup cam.

I can definitely charge my car at work and if I don't have to go out of the office, I can just use the battery!

@tacman7 I also forgot to mention another big reason for choosing a Volt > Prius is the opportunity to use the HOV 2+ lanes for free here in CA. About 12 miles is via Expressway and can cut my commute time by a decent amount.
 

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2014 Base w/nice options owner here:

Stock radio should be fine, from what I have gathered on this board is that the Bose radios really don't have much of an advantage over the stock radio.
Look for one with Safety package 1 or 2. These will have the backup camera and the radio will have bluetooth.
My commute is 42 miles one-way, since I bought the car in march of last year I have put a little over 20,000 miles on it. 0 defects. Heck I still have over 40% life left on the oil that the car came with.
Over the past year the carpool stickers have been wonderful. They cut about 10-15 minutes off of my commute. But keep in mind the greensticker program only runs to 2020.
These cars LOVE stop and go traffic. Even with the hills I have to drive over I can sometimes get home on just the battery charge if I hit traffic.
The sueded leather seats are nice, especially in the summer but I still haven't figured out how to properly clean them.
Ceramic tint is a must for the summer.
Resale I can imagine is not going to be all that hot after a few years, but you are definitely going to get your value out of the vehicle in just fuel and maintenance savings.
 

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I appreciate all the insight! Seems like there are a lot more Base models than Premium, do you think it's worth it? All I really need is a nice stereo & backup cam.

I can definitely charge my car at work and if I don't have to go out of the office, I can just use the battery!

@tacman7 I also forgot to mention another big reason for choosing a Volt > Prius is the opportunity to use the HOV 2+ lanes for free here in CA. About 12 miles is via Expressway and can cut my commute time by a decent amount.
I have two Volts, one with Bose and one without.
There isn't any difference that I can hear.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the insight. I think a Base model is probably what I'm aiming for since there's a good amount of them available.

As far as the usual things to look for in a pre-owned car, what is recommended on the Volt?
If anyone can shoot some useful threads down my way, that would be great as well..I'll be looking as well.

I know the lifetime MPG is a great indicator of how the car was previously driven.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well, I am now a proud owner of a '15 Volt Premium. Picked it up from a first owner with 22k miles, great service history and had a lifetime MPG of 216 (sad to report I've lowered it by 2mpg already)

Initial impressions: I saved 25 minutes driving to work one-way, didn't use any gas and L mode is GREAT for LA traffic.

So far so good, thank you to all for the input and I look forward to being an active member!

IMG_1839.jpg
 

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Congrats! I too have a 2014 Premium. I really like the car and my only problem has been warranty replacement of both outside rear view mirrors when the glass loosened up. My lifetime MPG is 70. I take long trips on the interstate 2-3 times every year.
 
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I thought I'd reply to this to bump this. I took a drive in a Gen1 with no options, then a Gen2 with all the options. I paid particular attention to the radio playing the one local radio station. The difference between standard and Bose was night and day. That test concluded that I had to have Bose as an option on a used car or get the Premier. Back up camera would be nice, navigation useless (better to have phone navigation or after market), the confidence packages were just toys and video games, the auto parking was neat if a little intimidating the first times, leather seats were nice but cloth has its own merits. I figured on a new Gen2 with all the options but the navigation. I got turned down on a Gen 1 that I offered $16,000 (Cdn) on from a list of $20,900. Another dealer had a Gen 1 with Bose, slightly more miles and I offered $16,000 (Cdn) on list of $20,900 (that's the going price here) and they eventually took me up on the deal. Got the Bose if not the colour I wanted. The only down side to a newer car is they have gotten to the point where you almost have to take them to a stealership to get serviced. I may have to bolster/update my automotive skills in the future. Bottom line is unless you have a tin ear, get the Bose.
 
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I thought I'd reply to this to bump this. I took a drive in a Gen1 with no options, then a Gen2 with all the options. I paid particular attention to the radio playing the one local radio station. The difference between standard and Bose was night and day. That test concluded that I had to have Bose as an option on a used car or get the Premier. Back up camera would be nice, navigation useless . . . .
I agree with your assessment of the Gen2 Bose - By far the best OEM sound system I've ever heard and I was prepared not to care for it, having heard a few Bose systems in other cars which were nothing special, for sure. I finally bought a car that I won't have to replace any part of the audio system

Love the DC 1 & 2 options and especially the ACC - Will never buy another car without that!


My car also has the MyLink with Nav and I really like that too. Maybe I'm just too easily impressed? :p

Don
 

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Electric cars in general are great for stop and go traffic. When they're stopped, they're essentially off except for accessories. When it's time to go they're on and going instantly. You can't beat it.
 

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I have a 2014 Volt with 103,000+ miles.

Reliability is awesome. Nothing but fluid changes and a scattering of recalls early on. Most reliable car I've ever owned (even counting multiple Honda's and Toyota's).

Depreciation really ins't that bad when you factor in all the incentives. I paid $14,570 for a new MY2014 in 2014 after all the incentives, rebates, and such. Even if I only got half of that now in a trade-in (not that I'm looking), that's a great price per mile.

• I LOVE the electric drive and is whisper quiet operation in stop and go traffic. Will never go back. Best commuter car ever built.
• Bose isn't worth it. Fine if you find it, but not worth paying more for. It's not that much better than the stock radio.
• Backup camera (Safety 1) is a must. Safety 2, not so much.
• Factory navigation is useless in the world of Waze and Google Maps.
• I got cloth seats but would opt for leather if I did it over. The seats are good, but not great.
• Heated seats would be nice.
• Hold mode is something I use all the time. MY2013 or newer has it.
• Get a Level 2 charger. Well worth the extra cost for the faster charge at home - especially during the weekend when running countless errands.
 

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• Factory navigation is useless in the world of Waze and Google Maps.
I'm presuming from this that you essentially never drive anyplace that doesn't have cellphone coverage and you absolutely never STOP anyplace that doesn't.
 
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I have a 2014 Volt with 103,000+ miles.

Reliability is awesome. Nothing but fluid changes and a scattering of recalls early on. Most reliable car I've ever owned (even counting multiple Honda's and Toyota's).

Depreciation really ins't that bad when you factor in all the incentives. I paid $14,570 for a new MY2014 in 2014 after all the incentives, rebates, and such. Even if I only got half of that now in a trade-in (not that I'm looking), that's a great price per mile.

• I LOVE the electric drive and is whisper quiet operation in stop and go traffic. Will never go back. Best commuter car ever built.
• Bose isn't worth it. Fine if you find it, but not worth paying more for. It's not that much better than the stock radio.
• Backup camera (Safety 1) is a must. Safety 2, not so much.
• Factory navigation is useless in the world of Waze and Google Maps.
• I got cloth seats but would opt for leather if I did it over. The seats are good, but not great.
• Heated seats would be nice.
• Hold mode is something I use all the time. MY2013 or newer has it.
• Get a Level 2 charger. Well worth the extra cost for the faster charge at home - especially during the weekend when running countless errands.
That seems like a ridiculously good price for a new 2014 at the time. Are you in California? Colorado?

I think either generation, the biggest must-have option is seat heaters given the toll that the standard heat takes on the battery range. In gen1, what I've heard is Bose stereo is the second must-have, not so much because it is that great, but because the standard stereo is so subpar. I haven't been blown away with Bose in my Gen2, but it's a nice stereo. I heard they made the stock stereo considerably better.
 
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