GM Volt Forum banner

1 - 20 of 29 Posts

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
2,356 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
After a protracted test regime, Consumer Reports finally released their review of the 2016 Volt last week. They've been testing it since the winter. I'd like to think they waited so they could see how it performed in warmer temperatures.

The Road Test score is 70, up a bit from Gen 1's 67.

Overall, the car gets a Recommended rating and an Overall Score of 69, considering road test results, reliability, owner satisfaction, and safety.

Pros:
50 miles of electric range
No range anxiety due to gas engine acting as a backup power source for long-distance driving
Rides well
Easy infotainment system

Cons:
Hard to see out
Hard to get in and out
Tight cabin, with meager rear-seat space
No running cost advantage over a Toyota Prius when gas is $2/gallon
Long charge times

Full results are available to subscribers on the CR website.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
741 Posts
No running cost advantage over a Toyota Prius when gas is $2/gallon
I find this tough to believe. well actually, highly improbable requiring someone to skew the results.

and gas wont always be 2 bucks a gallon. gas is the enemy, even if no price break.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,782 Posts
"No running cost advantage over a Toyota Prius when gas is $2/gallon"

Where the heck did they get that? What about oil changes at the very least.

For my older-tech ELR, electricity costs 66c for 40miles vs $3 for premium for the same 40mi. Plus, I changed the oil once in 22k miles with the oil life thinger still at 51%. Plus, that oil change was free (included).
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
2,356 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Maybe that's based on a national average? Certainly here, where gas is $3.78/US gallon ($1/litre) operating costs for the Volt are much lower. Starting next year overnight charging will be free.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,130 Posts
Chevrolet’s battery-powered hatchback returns, with a revised version of its supplemental gas engine that eliminates the dreaded “range anxiety” of electric vehicles. When the Volt’s batter is full, it operates just like an electric car for about 50 miles-covering most commutes on a single charge. In electric mode, it leaves the line silently but robustly, thanks to the motor’s instant wallop of torque. The Volt sprinted to 60 mph in a zippy 8 seconds. When the battery runs low, the Volt transitions to a 1.5 liter gasoline engine-whereupon it uses both gas and electric power to propel the car. We measured 38 MPG, overall in that hybrid mode, providing a total of 390 miles of range. For those who just want to run on juice, it takes 4.5 hours to fill the battery with a 240 volt connector or 13 hours with a standard 120 volt plug. The Volt initially feels responsive through curves but is reluctant to change direction at speed. At least the suspension smooths out bumpy pavement. The quiet interior allows you to hear the complaints of your passengers. The front seats have a short cushion under your butt and thighs, the foot wells are cramped, and there’s no lumbar adjustment. The awkward and tight rear seat makes fitting three across impossible. Plus the car’s low stance and narrow door opening require a gymnast’s flexibility. Forget installing a child seat in the rear-center position. For infotainment, a new center console with conventional knobs mates to GM”s reliable, intuitive My Link system. The Volt is improved-yet still flawed. If you drive locally and charge often, the Volt’s economics makes sense.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
741 Posts
so people drive 390 miles a day on a consistent basis?

that would be the lowest mpg (38) I have ever heard on a gen 11 and worse than most gen 1's (well any of mine driven at 70 or below in 50 plus weather). assuming 50 miles electric, that is 33 mpg on gas. that would be about 30 on a gen 1. I have 80k plus among 4 gen Is and have never seen a number as low as 33 mpg let alone 30.

bizarre.

I guess if the goal is get get bad mpg, one can certainly do it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,439 Posts
listing "No running cost advantage over a Toyota Prius when gas is $2/gallon" as a con only makes sense if you are trying to justify buying a Prius. Couldn't that have been just as easily worded as a Pro, like "as economical as a Prius while being better for the environment" or "even more economical than a Prius when gas is above $2"?

It is more logical to state it that way since gas prices are not currently and usually have not been below $2 in recent history. Today's US average price for regular is $2.234.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,130 Posts
Chevrolet’s battery-powered hatchback returns, with a revised version of its supplemental gas engine that eliminates the dreaded “range anxiety” of electric vehicles. When the Volt’s batter is full, it operates just like an electric car for about 50 miles-covering most commutes on a single charge. In electric mode, it leaves the line silently but robustly, thanks to the motor’s instant wallop of torque. The Volt sprinted to 60 mph in a zippy 8 seconds. When the battery runs low, the Volt transitions to a 1.5 liter gasoline engine-whereupon it uses both gas and electric power to propel the car. We measured 38 MPG, overall in that hybrid mode, providing a total of 390 miles of range. For those who just want to run on juice, it takes 4.5 hours to fill the battery with a 240 volt connector or 13 hours with a standard 120 volt plug. The Volt initially feels responsive through curves but is reluctant to change direction at speed. At least the suspension smooths out bumpy pavement. The quiet interior allows you to hear the complaints of your passengers. The front seats have a short cushion under your butt and thighs, the foot wells are cramped, and there’s no lumbar adjustment. The awkward and tight rear seat makes fitting three across impossible. Plus the car’s low stance and narrow door opening require a gymnast’s flexibility. Forget installing a child seat in the rear-center position. For infotainment, a new center console with conventional knobs mates to GM”s reliable, intuitive My Link system. The Volt is improved-yet still flawed. If you drive locally and charge often, the Volt’s economics makes sense.
This is the exact article per my consumer reports minus a few typos :) It seems pretty accurate to me. I don't see what the fuss is about.
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
2,356 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Here's more detail on the Prius comparison:

Pricing starts at $33,170 for the LT and goes up to $37,520 for the Premier version. That's about a $6,000 price drop compared to the original Volt we tested in 2011. Plus, the Volt still benefits from the $7,500 federal tax incentive available to electric car buyers. That means that the effective purchase price ends up being about $26,500, very close to a Toyota Prius.

On the topic of cost, with current gas prices -- which sit in the low $2.00 per gallon range -- there is nearly no real cost benefit to driving the Volt over a Toyota Prius, which gets 52 mpg overall. The only time the Volt makes more fiscal sense than the Prius is if you pay less than 13 cents per kWh of electricity to recharge the battery, and rarely use the Volt's gas engine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
677 Posts
I'm a subscriber and I read the full review, and I'd have to say that it was fairly spot-on and unbiased...

Full results are available to subscribers on the CR website.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
741 Posts
Here's more detail on the Prius comparison:
wow so they use the EPA Prius numbers and the "real world" Volt numbers?

EPA Volt Gen II is 42 mpg plus 53 electric. using the 390 mile drive that would be about 48.75 mpg. and that would be one unusual day for about 99% of the country. that is a mere 3 mpg apart for one very long day. and then they say less than 13 cents a KW AND "rarely use the Volt's gas engine" with less than 2 buck gas.

they are full of sh*t.

I would never ever give consumer reports any money for a review of anything, esp cars. I learned that lesson decades ago.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,130 Posts
wow so they use the EPA Prius numbers and the "real world" Volt numbers?

EPA Volt Gen II is 42 mpg plus 53 electric. using the 390 mile drive that would be about 48.75 mpg. and that would be one unusual day for about 99% of the country. that is a mere 3 mpg apart for one very long day. and then they say less than 13 cents a KW AND "rarely use the Volt's gas engine" with less than 2 buck gas.

they are full of sh*t.

I would never ever give consumer reports any money for a review of anything, esp cars. I learned that lesson decades ago.

CR averaged 52 MPG in the Prius.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,429 Posts
My guess is that their reviewer is at least 6' tall which would account for the criticism of the Volt's visibility and claiming that the Volt was hard to get into. I find the Volt's viability to be exceptionally good, there is glass everywhere, and I don't have any problem getting into or out of the Volt, but I'm 5'7 and the Volt seems to have been optimized for people of my approximate height. When I've shown it to tall friends they have a real problem getting in and out of it.

Their fuel economy numbers seem to be way off. I'm getting 45 MPG on the gas and .25 KWH per mile, I've never gotten less than 42 MPG on the gas. I mostly drive long distances because I don't commute and I take long day trips (250-400 miles) every Saturday in the summer. The Volt does fine on those trips. The gas engine is much quieter than any conventional 4 cylinder engine and the range is incredible, for me it's 450-460 miles on a combined full battery and full tank.

The Volt suffers from being a Chevy when it comes to handling, I find that the handling on curves is significantly worse than my last car (a Chrysler 300C AWD), but it's tolerable.

We've found the front seats to be very comfortable, the other car I considered before buying the Volt was an Audi A4. The front passenger seat of the Audi was much less comfortable than the Volt's because there is a hump on the transmission that intrudes into the passenger's leg room (my 300C had the same problem), that hump was a significant contributor to my buying the Volt instead of the A4. I do wish that they had offered power seats in the Volt, the Cruze has them so why not the Volt but you don't adjust seats very often so it's not a deal breaker.

The lack of rear seat leg room is a valid criticism, I can't imagine anyone sitting there for a long ride. The Volt is a two person car, it's definitely not a family car.

I don't remember if they criticized the Volt's storage capacity, that's the other area where the Volt fails. The trunk is tiny but maybe you can blame that in the Volt being a small car. In addition to the tiny trunk the center console and door pockets are inexcusably small. There is no reason the center console couldn't have been several inches deeper. The door pockets can't even hold a magazine, there is no reason that they couldn't have been a couple of inches longer.

They reviewed a 2016 instead of a 2017 so they missed one of the best features of the Volt, Android Auto. The built in nav and entertainment interface are pretty good for something that a car company came up with, but they are primitive compared to Android Auto. The built in voice recognition doesn't work, but Android Auto's uses Google's voice recognition which works very well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,634 Posts
I find this tough to believe. well actually, highly improbable requiring someone to skew the results.

and gas wont always be 2 bucks a gallon. gas is the enemy, even if no price break.
In CT where CR is based, regular gas averages about $2.38 right now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
So, at the risk of being flamed into oblivion, their economics are not that wrong. The G2 volt takes about 16 kWh to charge the 14.2 kWh useable battery. For me that is $0.14/kWh*16 = $2.24. I get about 60 miles per charge. On my G3 Prius, I get ~55 MPG. Here gas is about $2.08/gallon. Thus it costs me almost exactly as much to run my G2 volt as my G3 Prius in Fuel. Maintenance costs are likely lower on the volt but are also pretty low on the Prius. The G2 volt will only need an oil change every year or so, and the G3 Prius has only ever needed an oil change every 10K miles (required service interval). I love my Volt (and I still love my Prius), but it is more than an economic argument. Both are great cars. The volt is a lot more fun to drive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
322 Posts
Driving a Volt won't shovel money into the kingdom of Saudi Arabia which is pretty much responsible for all the ills of society today.

It would pay triple to drive an EV if it means one oil sheikh has less money to spend on his whores and booze.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,429 Posts
Driving a Volt won't shovel money into the kingdom of Saudi Arabia which is pretty much responsible for all the ills of society today.

It would pay triple to drive an EV if it means one oil sheikh has less money to spend on his whores and booze.
Depends on how you use the Volt. If you mostly commute and do local driving then you can be on the battery most of the time, if you use it like me, i.e. no commuting just long trips, then the Volt is going to use as much gasoline as the Prius. I'm getting 45 MPG on the Volt's gas engine, that's pretty good, but I've read some reviews that said the new Prius gets up to 58 MPG.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
741 Posts
So, at the risk of being flamed into oblivion, their economics are not that wrong. The G2 volt takes about 16 kWh to charge the 14.2 kWh useable battery. For me that is $0.14/kWh*16 = $2.24. I get about 60 miles per charge. On my G3 Prius, I get ~55 MPG. Here gas is about $2.08/gallon. Thus it costs me almost exactly as much to run my G2 volt as my G3 Prius in Fuel. Maintenance costs are likely lower on the volt but are also pretty low on the Prius. The G2 volt will only need an oil change every year or so, and the G3 Prius has only ever needed an oil change every 10K miles (required service interval). I love my Volt (and I still love my Prius), but it is more than an economic argument. Both are great cars. The volt is a lot more fun to drive.

If you drove short trips, less than 10 miles one way, the prius will not get 52 mpg, whereas the Volt would not suffer those losses and it wouldnt pollute anywhere near the amount that a cold engine pollutes. I go for weeks never using a full charge, never running the engine, and never traveling more than 7 to 10 miles before a shut down. CR only used 2 variables in their argument, no driving style or use.

and oil changes for me are every other year, as I never hit below 20% on oil life monitor. that means 15 fewer quarts of oil pollution as well.
 
1 - 20 of 29 Posts
Top