GM Volt Forum banner

1 - 20 of 38 Posts

·
Administrator
Joined
·
20,777 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Starting MY 2013, the Volt started to get "cheapened" by GM, no doubt to help bring down the price. For example, the air baffles used to smooth the airflow under the car were eliminated, items that were standard were made optional, the free OnStar service was reduced from 5 years to 3. No doubt, there are other changes in areas you don't normally see.

Recently I noticed another area: the inverter cover under the front hood.

What was an embossed aluminum plate is now a sticker (with air bubbles) that mimics the embossing. Nice, but a decal nonetheless. It makes no material difference on the car's performance and is in a place few drivers look at very often, but I like my embossed aluminum. The Caddy ELR uses an embossed aluminum plate, just like the MY 2011-12 Volts. I wonder if it also has air baffles too?

It makes me wonder if Gen 2 Volt, in the ongoing effort to reduce selling price, will be even more stripped down/cheapened compared to the current cars.

Image 1, embossed aluminum inverter cover (MY2011). Image 2, decal version (MY2013).

Inverter Cover Embossed Aluminum  MY 2011-12.jpg Inverter Cover decal MY 2013+.jpg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,130 Posts
Starting MY 2013, the Volt started to get "cheapened" by GM, no doubt to help bring down the price. For example, the air baffles used to smooth the airflow under the car were eliminated, items that were standard were made optional, the free OnStar service was reduced from 5 years to 3. No doubt, there are other changes in areas you don't normally see.

Recently I noticed another area: the inverter cover under the front hood.

What was an embossed aluminum plate is now a sticker (with air bubbles) that mimics the embossing. Nice, but a decal nonetheless. It makes no material difference on the car's performance and is in a place few drivers look at very often, but I like my embossed aluminum. The Caddy ELR uses an embossed aluminum plate, just like the MY 2011-12 Volts. I wonder if it also has air baffles too?

It makes me wonder if Gen 2 Volt, in the ongoing effort to reduce selling price, will be even more stripped down/cheapened compared to the current cars.

Image 1, embossed aluminum inverter cover (MY2011). Image 2, decal version (MY2013).

View attachment 48113 View attachment 48121
Well, I just looked at both photos and compared the two. Maybe it looks different in person, but from the photos I actually like the look of the "decoy". But I still think the 2012 was the best built Volt, which is why I purchased my Red, Loaded to the gills with every option, 2012
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
20,777 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well, I just looked at both photos and compared the two. Maybe it looks different in person, but from the photos I actually like the look of the "decoy". But I still think the 2012 was the best built Volt, which is why I purchased my Red, Loaded to the gills with every option, 2012
You can print Formica to look like marble, but it's not. You can print vinyl flooring to look like wood, it's not. Not that I have anything against Formica or vinyl flooring. In person, the decal is a nice looking decal, but it's not embossed aluminum.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,954 Posts
I just realized something...the only time I ever opened my hood was to install my HID headlights :)
The only time I've opened my hood was during my initial test drive, just to see what is inside. I better check the oil and fluids once in awhile.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,130 Posts
Interesting Steverino, and I am definitely not arguing; however, your comment reminded me so much of when my wife and I built our house. When we built our house we priced granite for our kitchen. We ended up going with formica that looked liked just like stone, most people think it is until they really start looking very closely (some we have had to tell them). My reasoning was (and I did the math) that I could remodel our kitchen counter tops over 7 times with formica before we would reach the price the granite set. Not once have we ever regretted that decision. Bottom line, the formica was a great all around choice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,954 Posts
Interesting Steverino, and I am definitely not arguing; however, your comment reminded me so much of when my wife and I built our house. When we built our house we priced granite for our kitchen. We ended up going with formica that looked liked just like stone, most people think it is until they really start looking very closely (some we have had to tell them). My reasoning was (and I did the math) that I could remodel our kitchen counter tops over 7 times with formica before we would reach the price the granite set. Not once have we ever regretted that decision. Bottom line, the formica was a great all around choice.
On the flip side, instead of a standard asphalt shingle roof, my wife insisted on a metal roof for our house, the builder tripled the estimate, and it turned out to be 10 times the cost. I could have bought an ELR for the price of my metal roof. But now when we get hit with gusts of high winds I have no worries given how heavy the roof is and the number of screws holding it down, while my neighbors are constantly repairing their shingles.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,188 Posts
Steverino... They also deleted the cover on the underside of the car that reduced drag. They removed the electronic charge port door actuator. They removed the exhaust resonator. They removed the hard drive from the entertainment system. They removed most of the software stability from the heating system. Thye have not updated the "My Volt" web site in two years. They seem to have fired a bunch of Volt advisors...

But GM also lowered the price by $4,500. from 2013 too.

Glad I still have a 2012 model. They will only get CHEAPER from here on...

On another note... I filled out the OnStar "customer satisfaction survey"... After that... I got a call from the "presidents office" at OnStar. I gave the representative an ear full about how most of the issues I have with my GM product is due to the woefully pathetic "RemoteLink" system being down 75% of the time for me...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,797 Posts
I just checked my 2012 model and it has the embossed version. But, I'd happy trade my embossed metal for the better firmware on the instrument display and center console of the 2013, as well as the 3 miles extra range!
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
20,777 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Bottom line, the formica was a great all around choice.
No argument from me. Bang for the buck, Formica wins hands down and doesn't weigh a ton. I'm merely pointing out it's not the same as granite.

On the flip side, instead of a standard asphalt shingle roof, my wife insisted on a metal roof for our house -llninja
I think metal roofs are great. I installed one on a backyard building I built. No maintenance.

===========
My point on the inverter cover is simply that GM apparently wasn't sure if the car was going to be a Cadillac, Buick or Chevy initially. Now that it's a Chevy, they seem to be moving the car downstream. Replacing real metal with a metal-looking decal is just one way that's being done. Again, it's not a bad looking decal, and it's not in an often visited area (except by me), but the ELR is using now the embossed aluminum while the Volt gets a plastic decal.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,954 Posts
I think metal roofs are great. I installed one on a backyard building I built. No maintenance.
Traditional roofs don't show any dirt, but our petina green will get a layer of dirt that requires power washing or a wet towel wipe to keep it looking nice, so there is a little maintenance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
530 Posts
I hate to disagree with you, but I don't think the 2013 and 2014 Volts are lesser cars because of the removal of a few insignificant bits and pieces.

I think the additional features on the 2013 and 2014 cars offset the things you mentioned. The newer cars have a larger battery, an available collision avoidance system, standard leather steering wheel for all trim levels (2014), available heated cloth seats, a standard energy usage display on the dash (i.e. power gauge), hold mode, a manual charge door (I think this is an improvement) and probably other things I’m not aware of.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,954 Posts
I hate to disagree with you, but I don't think the 2013 and 2014 Volts are lesser cars because of the removal of a few insignificant bits and pieces.

I think the additional features on the 2013 and 2014 cars offset the things you mentioned. The newer cars have a larger battery, an available collision avoidance system, standard leather steering wheel for all trim levels (2014), available heated cloth seats, a standard energy usage display on the dash (i.e. power gauge), hold mode, a manual charge door (I think this is an improvement) and probably other things I’m not aware of.
I wonder if carrying the extra weight of the underside covers vs. being more aerodynamic at high speeds makes any difference in the grand scheme of things, especially since I now rarely drive over 55 MPH to save on range. Then again, if cars perform better with a lower coefficient of drag, then maybe all the tiny little things on the car that affect drag (design creases in sheet metal, the black and chrome areas under the side windows, badges, even the funky pattern on the silver grille) should be smoothed out and also replaced by stickers. They could put the antenna into the windshield like in many cars. Whatever they do, please don't replace the wide low profile tires with ugly skinny ones like the Prius.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
791 Posts
A $40K car and the inverter cover is stickered? You kidding me?

Seriously, it's interesting to know where GM skimped on the newer Volts to lower costs. You would think the air baffles would be an important aerodynamic piece but maybe not. I may be wrong in my assumption but didn't the '11 Volt had standard leather steering wheel?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
14,156 Posts
I've always said the Gen I Volt would be the best built. I'm hoping I'm wrong -- would love that -- but I fear I won't be. A buck here, a buck there, and pretty soon you end up with ignitions like you had on the Cobalt. (Not picking on GM here, same issue with Toyota and the gas pedals). I recognize that for most people it's price, price, and price, so I get why this happens. But I'd rather pay $500 more and get a quality product.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,089 Posts
We put metal roofs on our cottage and boat houses because the snow slides off before it piles up enough to make the roof cave in. We used to have to pay someone to shovel them off. That's maintenance.

Back on topic: De-contenting a car as it goes through its production run is common. I remember the first Cobalt I saw, it was very well finished and equipped, on a par with any of its Japanese rivals - not so much the later ones. Honda Civics have moved steadily down market in the last ten years, so have VW Jettas. A new Jetta today costs less than one did in 2000, and if you look closely you can see why.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
918 Posts
I hate to disagree with you, but I don't think the 2013 and 2014 Volts are lesser cars because of the removal of a few insignificant bits and pieces.
twoheeldrive - you're misunderstanding what Steverino is saying. GM started to "cheapen" (read: reduce cost) the Volt to offer lower price to boost sales. In no way is Steverino alluding that MY 2013 & 2014 are inferior product to MY 2011 & 2012. Steverino is simply pointing out the areas where GM has de-contented more expensive components.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
918 Posts
They could put the antenna into the windshield like in many cars.
Volt's antenna is used for OnStar as well as GPS. It's not there to solely function as radio antenna. Windshield embedded antenna do not have the capability to function as GPS and OnStar antenna.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
332 Posts
Anyone know if the aluminum cover is heavier? Does it provide some better protection or something? I don't really pay much attention to stuff like this so I'm not sure of the implications.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,511 Posts
GM also removed the resonator (kind of like a muffler) in the exhaust system for 2014, which IMO should get the Brand Quality Manager fired. Now the engine sounds louder when it runs, especially from the back seat. At least the sticker issue is mainly cosmetic, but when they make the car louder or otherwise worse in quality, that to me is just plain disrespect to buyers, especially repeat buyers (like me) who don't expect the car to go downhill when it should be "new and improved". My 2014 also has a couple of little rattles that my 2011 did not have. Is it enough to make me switch away from GM next time? I'm not sure yet, but certainly could be.

And one more thing since it was mentioned above: Formica is not a wonderful choice. It can chip and is easily burned by a misplaced hot pot, it's fairly soft so it scratches, and people with any discerning sense at all can easily tell it's Formica, as opposed to granite, quartz, or even a solid surface like Corian. I don't want to sound snobby here, but granite is really not all that expensive. I think if you shop you can get some granites for $40 a sq. ft. installed. Even a pretty big kitchen is unlikely to have more than about 50 sq. ft. of countertop space, so you're talking $2000 for the countertop there. Maybe $4000 for a high end granite. Money you'll probably get back in resale, because most buyers are going to either pass on your house or expect a discount for kitchen remodeling when they see Formica countertops, which is sort of low-end condo material these days. The real money outlay in kitchen remodels IMO is in cabinetry, so skimping on the countertops really makes no sense to me at all unless you're really on a shoestring budget.
 
1 - 20 of 38 Posts
Top