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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I'm looking at buying a used Volt. I know in some of my other car-shopping adventures, I've found cars that are mis-listed, where the trim level is wrong.

What is the best way to definitively determine what trim level a Volt is by looking at pictures or particular listed options?
 

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Any Gen 2 Volt with Driver Confidence Package 2 (DC2) will also have Driver Confidence Package (sometimes referred to as DC1) installed.

There are two ways to tell if a Gen 2 Volt has DC2: The lane keep assist (LKA) has a button on the left side of the steering wheel, when activated (LKA only operates at speeds at or above 35 MPH) the Driver Information Console will display lane borders in green with a vehicle graphic in the center. If the vehicle strays out of lane the lane borders will change from green to orange, the Volt will gently steer the vehicle back into the lane..

The Intellibeam Auto High Beams are controlled by a button on the turn signal stalk. If there is no button on the stalk then this option is not installed.

If a Gen 2 Volt has Adaptive Cruise Control it will also have DC1, DC2 installed. You can tell if a Gen 2 Volt has ACC by looking closely at the front bumper. In a non-ACC Volt the lower bumper insert trim has a faux chrome finish. In a Volt with ACC the lower bumper insert trim is a light brown or beige colored plastic instead of chrome so as not to interfere with the radar signal. You won't find ACC on any of the 2016 model year Volt vehicles. ACC first became available in the May/June 2016 time frame on the 2017 Volt Premier.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Great info, thanks! What about Gen 1? (I haven't decided whether I really need Gen 2 yet)

Also, what about Premium vs. LT, any way to determine that?

Any Gen 2 Volt with Driver Confidence Package 2 (DC2) will also have Driver Confidence Package (sometimes referred to as DC1) installed.

There are two ways to tell if a Gen 2 Volt has DC2: The lane keep assist (LKA) has a button on the left side of the steering wheel, when activated (LKA only operates at speeds at or above 35 MPH) the Driver Information Console will display lane borders in green with a vehicle graphic in the center. If the vehicle strays out of lane the lane borders will change from green to orange, the Volt will gently steer the vehicle back into the lane..

The Intellibeam Auto High Beams are controlled by a button on the turn signal stalk. If there is no button on the stalk then this option is not installed.

If a Gen 2 Volt has Adaptive Cruise Control it will also have DC1, DC2 installed. You can tell if a Gen 2 Volt has ACC by looking closely at the front bumper. In a non-ACC Volt the lower bumper insert trim has a faux chrome finish. In a Volt with ACC the lower bumper insert trim is a light brown or beige colored plastic instead of chrome so as not to interfere with the radar signal. You won't find ACC on any of the 2016 model year Volt vehicles. ACC first became available in the May/June 2016 time frame on the 2017 Volt Premier.
 

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Great info, thanks! What about Gen 1? (I haven't decided whether I really need Gen 2 yet)

Also, what about Premium vs. LT, any way to determine that?
The LT has the 5 spoke wheels (upgrade optional) and a gray bezel around the speedo cluster. The Premiere will have the web wheels and chrome trim around the speedo.
 

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If it's a 2014 or 2015 Volt, I believe they did away with trim levels and they are all called "Base"

For 2014, you'll need to look for:
Enhanced Safety 1 (rear camera, rear park assist , auto-dim mirror) (look for the ultrasonic sensors in the back bumper)
Enhanced Safety 2 (Front park assist, land departure warning, forward collision alert) (look for ultrasonic sensors in the front bumper, or for the 2 buttons for the lane departure warning and forward collision alert on the steering wheel. There's also a camera in the windshield on the outside above the mirror).
Premium trim (look for heated seat buttons and leather. There's also an armrest in the back seat)
Nav (they usually show this or you can look for the Nav button added to the radio)
Chrome wheels were a standalone option
Bose system, you'll have to look for the small Bose logo on the front speakers. This adds a small sub-woofer too, but it's not visible.

I love my Gen 1, and it's still a great looking car. My only wishes are for the increased range, and for blind spot monitoring. 40 miles still works for me most days, and I only fill up every couple months. I have every option. I don't think the Navigation is a must have. I barely use it. I have the lane departure turned off because it's too sensitive, but I like having the front sensors and the forward collision alert (I have that set to the shortest gap). Enhanced Safety 1 is considered a must have to me, as are the heated seats (which were available in 2014 or 2015 with both the cloth or leather seats. They are standard with leather.
 

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All of Gen 1 (2011-2015) was basically la carte and the descriptions emg77 provided are spot on. The only thing I can add is there were a few rare Gen1's ordered with heated cloth seats.

The general consensus is the Safety 1 (rear camera) is highly desirable and a must have. Heated seats are desirable and worth it if you live anywhere above I-10 as it will help you extend your range in the winter by limiting the use of the electric strip heater. Bose and/or Nav weren't worth much according to most. Cloth v. Leather and painted v. chrome wheels are a personal preference.

Some of 2014 and all 2015 had a slightly larger battery. 2013 and up had Hold Mode, which is very desirable - but came at the expense of the removal of several underbelly aero coverings. There is a potential of a bad bearing issue in pre-2013 models. Overall Gen 1 is extremely reliable and very problem free. Gen 1 was built to save the company and it shows. IMO, it's the best used car value period.

With that said, dealers are generally clueless on how to price a used Volt. With a $7,500 federal rebate and often state rebates on top of that, most buyers paid far less that MSRP. Negotiate hard and you will get a great vehicle at a great price.
 

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This applies to the 2013, but may apply to 14-15's as well. DC1 will include the rear bumper park sensors and rear camera, DC2 includes the front facing camera in the windshield and also front bumper sensors. Those are the easiest way to determine if those safety packages were installed from a glance, particularly since most sellers don't include pictures of the steering wheel buttons. If it happens to have an image of the center radio stack, it will show a NAV button if it includes navigation, and will also include the Bose option (required for NAV). Heated seat options will also be obvious in the radio stack picture as it shows the seat controls just below the temp and fan speed controls. Of course leather will almost certainly be obvious unless it's got the beige interior in which case the leather option is a blend of leather and suede.

There is another post on here that shows how you can determine if the car has leather/nav/enhanced emissions based on VIN which can be helpful if you're looking for one, some or all of those options but unfortunately doesn't indicate any of the DC 1/2 options.

post #3
https://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?14347-What-Volt-do-I-own
 

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There is also a way to tell trim level and features from the VIN. This is helpful for when you are shopping online because sometimes the pictures and the descriptions are off. Search the forums and you'll find a guide to VIN.

I have Gen 1 Base (2015) with heated seats as the only upgrade. I love the car and I got an incredible deal when I bought it new but I would consider trading in for Gen 2 with leather and premium audio if I could an equally amazing deal.
 

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There is also a way to tell trim level and features from the VIN. This is helpful for when you are shopping online because sometimes the pictures and the descriptions are off. Search the forums and you'll find a guide to VIN.
That varies a lot by year. The earliest (2011, 2012) you can basically only tell "nav" or "no nav", and the former implied Bose but the latter didn't mean "no Bose". All the rest of the options were not coded into the VIN.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Is the backup camera visible? I looked up the manual to see where it's located (just above the license plate, according to that) but I haven't yet seen a picture where I can see the camera, even on listings that say they have it.
 

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I would just get a 2015 Premier, and not use the options you have no use for! You'll get every option you want/need and the price may be only 1K difference if that. My 2011 was totaled and I came across a 2015 Premier for 15K (39K miles). I would have pushed for out the door 14.5K, but the car was Black...Black cars in LA headache. I opted for a 2019 LT. 1660 Power Convenience Pack (leather, power seats etc.) other options I had absolutely no interest in added $600, car was just delivered (part of their fleet order) so, I took a lease on it. Good deal, not a great deal! All my engineering friends say the 2011's engineering wise and quality build is superior to 2nd Gen. I'll find out eventually.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
What do I need to be able to communicate with the car via one of the mobile apps? Was that there in 2015, or would a Gen 2 be required? What about a subscription?
 

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What do I need to be able to communicate with the car via one of the mobile apps? Was that there in 2015, or would a Gen 2 be required? What about a subscription?
You mean for unlocking doors and seeing if it's done charging? Any Volt, a smartphone, an active OnStar subscription and a little luck. Because that whole system is... er.... "rich, and promotes growth". Yes...
 

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Discussion Starter #17
You mean for unlocking doors and seeing if it's done charging? Any Volt, a smartphone, an active OnStar subscription and a little luck. Because that whole system is... er.... "rich, and promotes growth". Yes...
Excellent. Thanks! I see you're pretty close to me. Maybe I'll see you on the road! Currently driving an i3, but replacing it with a Volt in the next week.
 

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Excellent. Thanks! I see you're pretty close to me. Maybe I'll see you on the road! Currently driving an i3, but replacing it with a Volt in the next week.
I see one i3 pretty regularly -- commuter car that parks in my neighborhood (south of Third Ward) during at least some workdays. And there's at least six Volts that I see pretty often. Another silver one, two different black ones (they have different bumper stickers), two white ones (one has MCTS badging on it), and a red.
 
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