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Buying a used Volt 2015 vs 2016,2017

6873 Views 10 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  burns201
Hello everyone,
I'll be purchasing a used Volt and am trying to decide between a 2015 or 2016-17.Most important factors are reliability and range. Either way I'll be getting a fully loaded model with 35K miles or less. My daily commute is 43 miles round trip, cannot charge at work. I live in Northwest PA so pretty cold winters and will be also taking kids to practice etc.. a few times a week.
Leaning towards a 2016-17 only thing holding me up is I keep hearing/reading that the 15 is more reliable and I know I can get one for alot less $$.
Your Thought? Please help me decide:)
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I’ve owned a 2015 and now a 2019.

I would eliminate the 2016 from your selection process since there were several reliability improvements made to the 2017.

I firmly believe the 2015 (gen1) was over engineered and will last a very long time. Perhaps even longer than a gen2.

But there are creature comforts and significant technical enhancements in the second generation to make it very compelling. You would also get the EV range your commute demands with a rare weather-based exception.

If you are on a very strict budget, can live with the infotainment system and buttons/controls in the 2015, don’t mind using some gas part of the year — and you intend to keep the car a very long time — then I’d say do the Gen1.

If you prefer having a modern controls interface (especially Android Auto / Apple CarPlay), want to maximize EV miles, or find the gen2 more comfortable (as I do), then find a low mileage 2017 model.

I don’t think you will be making a bad decision either way.
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I would also keep an eye out for internet specials on leftover 2018s at dealers in your area. It may also be worth a few calls to see if they are willing to deal. Because you are in PA, you will be eligible for the $3750 Federal Tax Credit and an extra $1000 rebate from the state, so reduce the listed price for the car by $4750.

Depending on where you are planning to buy your used Volt from, a new model may be comparable in cost. The prices I've seen on 2017s with ~20,000 miles on places like Carvana is similar to what I would expect to pay for a 2018 after credits, discounts, and rebates are accounted for.

I personally feel that many of the reported issues with the second generation Volt on this forum are the result of spammers, but generally the feeling seems to be the 2015 is slightly more reliable. All things considered, if the price were close, I would still take a second gen car with more time left on the (exceptional) 8 year, 100,000 powertrain warranty.
I've owned both a 2014 and a 2017. I was so glad to get real knobs for climate control, extra range, location based charging, etc.
I too would buy the 2017. (Had one and had zero issues til I totalled it -- my fault. Now I own a 2018 with 10,000 miles and no issues). I believe another plus for the Gen 2 is it runs on regular gas! The 2015 calls for premium gas.
The Gen 2 Volt (2016 - 2019) has Apple Carplay and Android Auto; neither is available for any of the Gen 1 Volts (2010/11 - 2015)

Starting in early summer 2017 the Gen 2 Volt Premier (2017 - 2019) started to become available with adaptive cruise control (ACC). If you do any commuting driving on local roads or highways ACC can reduce your driving stress level and right foot fatigue by at least 50%. I would not purchase another vehicle that does not have this type of radar cruise control.

You would have no problem navigating your daily commute of 43 miles solely on the battery even in winter. Except for longer distance trips you will wonder why you even purchased another vehicle with a gas engine since you will rarely need it.

Right now the sweet spot would be a used 2017 Volt (I would only consider a Volt Premier with DC, DC2 and ACC) or a new 2018 Volt. The 2019 Volt Premier offers a few features that may matter to you; power driver's seat with lumbar support but no memory seat settings, 7.2kW charging so you can fully charge in 2.25 hours, advanced ACC (you can choose to use regular cruise control if weather conditions prevent use of ACC) but if the weather and roads are bad you probably should not be using cruise control anyway. HD backup camera, higher resolution and updated driver information center screen display, higher resolution infotainment screen, There are a few more minor convenience features available on the 2019.
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I love my 2015 volt and was seriously considering upgrading it recently.

On the used side the price difference is just too large in my opinion. The quirk specials for a 2018 LT with leather was 15.5k after the federal tax rebate. Factors in about 2-3k of profit on the trade and buying at kbb price and similar to carvana prices.

A 2017 with 35k miles is hard to find under 17-18k which makes little sense to me.

Expect to lose half your range in the winter - cold + winter tires. Using gas actually isn't bad to heat up the car and protect your battery.

ACC ane Android Auto / Apple Carplay are Generally 2 only options. A Gen 1 with NAV, Sirus and Bluetooth generally does all of that. Western PA, traffic is less of an issue and ACC is less of an issue. The NAV system is great and the OnStar send to vehicle option is a great way to get addresses plugged into your car.

I'd say save some money and find a good 2015 Gen 1. I would also be open to higher mileage. Remember that the car essentially has two systems a gas and electric one and there is a ton of over engineering in the Gen 1. Look at the overall mpg. If you plan to charge overnight every night don't be afraid of higher engine usage/lower lifetime mpg, the battery likely has fewer cycles and you will likely use your engine less.

Prices in the used market are cheap. You can get a loaded Volt for less than a loaded Cruze in many cases which makes no sense to me.

Doing the math, I would think about cost to own to get to 8 years/100k miles where the Voltec warranty ends up. Plug in a low salvage value past that point (3-5k). Think about your cost to own the car in years and miles (before financing cost if applicable) up until 8yr/100k miles. The 2015 volt should come up way ahead in every case.
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I owned a 2011 and now own a 2018. I would go for the Generation 2 Volt. It is a huge improvement over the Generation 1.
Previously owned a 2013 Gen 1. Current car is a 2017 Gen 2 Premier. The Gen 1 was sold, but here’s why I would go for a Gen 2. Range - I would get around 35 mi out of my 2013 battery. I consistently get 45-53 mi out of the 2017, depending upon weather. Handling - The 2017 has better balance, with less understeer. It turns in much better. You can point and shoot this car. It goes where you want it and seems more responsive to steering corrections mid-corner. Infotainment - Lightyears ahead of Gen 1. I use Waze for navigationg. The stock navigation screen is too cluttered for me. Ditched my Garmin too. Better Acceleration - Not sure if you care, but the torque curve is better from a standing start. That is the first thing I noticed when test driving the 2017.
I wish I could have sold you my 2017 Premier in December when I turned it back to the leasing company so I could buy a 2019. After 30 months and 33K miles, I never had a lick of trouble with it, ever. It sold at auction for $20,300. On MA roads, I consistently got a battery range in the 70s during mild weather and minimal highway driving. In addition to other things mentioned in this string, the huge drawback to the Gen1 Volt is the tiny controls on the center stack. Gen2 controls and information displays are superb and it has the regeneration paddle that is a wonderful addition for ease of driving, energy efficiency, and conservation of brake pads. In my mind, the Gen2 is head and shoulders above the Gen1 in performance, technology, and overall design. It would last you for a very long time and you would be very happy with it.
Going shopping tomorrow, 2016 LT, comfort package and leather. 20k miles for $16k
I’ll post pics if I get it.
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