GM Volt Forum banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
121 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My wife's 14 year old car died, it ate the timing belt ( actually the belt is fine, the exhaust cam sprocket failed), so it likely has some bent valves. This forces the issue - some time with it apart in my driveway, or another car sooner than the gen2 arrives.

We'd been planning on driving this until Gen 2 was out, in out area and the prices had settled, or until there were better BEV vehicles ( 85 miles won't cut it). But my wife is getting antsy, and she wanted to test drive a bunch of cars, including a Prius.

I kept quite about what she should expect, sat quietly as she tried to make a Prius C and then a regular Prius accelerate quickly and turn sharply. At the end 5 miles or so in each, with all of 23.7 mpg showing for our short trip ( in the normal Prius, and yes I'd reset it at the start!), she said, "I don't like the way they drive." I explained that most people described their feel as like a wet rag (I was being nice). Coming from the Volt directly to the Prius is stark, no one this forum is surprised by this, but most drivers have no idea how much more substantial a Volt is.

On the way to the next place, I said "You should drive" - we were in my 2014, which she used to be like and always commented on the quietness, but now feels it's too big - which is really her saying the sitelines are too poor.

I'd be happy with a 2nd gen1 volt for her, the prices now are great, but realize the Gen 2 would be better suited for her. Anyway, I subtly put the car in sport mode, and while the difference was night and day compared to the Prius, and she likes to accelerate fast from a stop, she started digging against the Volt.

I may fix this car to buy the time, though we may wind up with a Mazda 3 - their mileage is good, and the car drives well for the price (even though it'd be more out of pocket than clearance pricing + gov't incentives for a 2015!!!)


Lumos
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
304 Posts
My wife's 14 year old car died, it ate the timing belt ( actually the belt is fine, the exhaust cam sprocket failed), so it likely has some bent valves.
You might be surprised. I expected a messed up valvetrain when my 1985 Honda Prelude snapped a timing belt, back in 1988 or so. But my buddy and I lined everything up, put a new belt on and everything was fine. I loved that car and kept it another twelve years.

Two weeks after the belt broke, I got a recall notice from Honda in the mail...offering to replace the timing belt because they were frequently breaking. Timing is everything. :p

As someone with both a Volt and a Prius in the garage, I can't imagine how somebody would prefer the Prius, especially after driving both. But my spouse is from Japan and wants a Japanese car. That doesn't stop her from occasionally saying "Maybe I should have bought a Volt" while riding in mine. :cool:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
294 Posts
As someone with both a Volt and a Prius in the garage, I can't imagine how somebody would prefer the Prius, especially after driving both. But my spouse is from Japan and wants a Japanese car. That doesn't stop her from occasionally saying "Maybe I should have bought a Volt" while riding in mine. :cool:
I went from an '07 Prius to a '15 Volt. From a gas mileage point of view, I've found that the Prius beats the Volt handily. I was happy with the way the Prius drove but when I got the Volt, it took me a while to realize that it actually had enough acceleration to pull in front of other vehicles (unlike the Prius).
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
20,151 Posts
From a gas mileage point of view, I've found that the Prius beats the Volt handily.
The Prius is rated 60 mpg city /51 mpg highway and the Volt 35/40 mpg. Not really a surprise. On the other hand, for trips under about 150 miles the Volt will use less gas than a Prius. So it really depends on the amount of driving you do on a day to day basis.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
304 Posts
Considering the last two times I bought gas for the Volt were December 26, 2014 and July 5, 2015, I'm pretty comfortable living with the lower gas mileage. ;) I do understand that people who have to drive a lot of ICE miles might see things differently.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
4,862 Posts
I went from an '07 Prius to a '15 Volt. From a gas mileage point of view, I've found that the Prius beats the Volt handily.
For the sake of clarity of readers of this forum, you're referring to when the Volt is strictly running on gas (battery depleted). Of course, the majority of miles put on in a Volt are done with the battery and NO gas, so the effective MPG is much much higher than a Prius (except for those people who ALWAYS drive 120+ miles per day).

See also http://www.voltstats.net for real world statistics. ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,533 Posts
The Prius is rated 60 mpg city /51 mpg highway and the Volt 35/40 mpg. Not really a surprise. On the other hand, for trips under about 150 miles the Volt will use less gas than a Prius. So it really depends on the amount of driving you do on a day to day basis.
What Prius is rated 60/51 ?
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
1,308 Posts
The Prius is rated 60 mpg city /51 mpg highway and the Volt 35/40 mpg. Not really a surprise.
Yes, the Prius gets much better hybrid gas efficiency than the Volt but those numbers are not comparable. I think you are quoting the old pre-2008 numbers before EPA changed their estimate calculations to be more pessimistic (realistic).

Using the present EPA rules, a 2004-2009 Prius gets 48 mpg city / 45 mpg highway and 46 mpg combined. That's just a tiny fraction worse than the 2016 Malibu hybrid which is 48 city / 45 highway and 47 mpg combined. The present generation Prius which came out at the 2010 model year gets 51 city / 48 highway and 50 mpg combined.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
304 Posts
What about a Ford C-Max Energi? At least that's a plug-in. The Mazda3 is not.
My close friend just bought one. She's loving the mileage (and the carpool lane!) but is frustrated by the odd drivetrain, twitchy handling and limited EV range. After charging, the EV miles vanish quickly and the engine still starts up all the time, as the electric motor is under-powered. There is an "EV Later" mode that is supposed to be equivalent to our "Hold" mode, but the EV range still drops dramatically while using it.

I was kind of shocked when I saw the battery, it gobbles up half the available cargo space, compared to the non-plugin version. It's just dropped in there, with a big shelf on top. I have to wonder how that impacts the handling characteristics, having all that weight added to one end.

On the plus side, the interior is nice, certainly better than the Prius and more conventional than most hybrids. I'm really not a big fan of the Volt interior design, especially the touch buttons on the center console. (I really don't like the Prius interior, it seems cheap, plasticky and laden with cheesy LCD displays...like some 1980's digital watch.) There is definitely a lot more room in the back seat (compared to a Volt) which isn't important to me but understandably is for many people. I'd say the ride and handling are better than the Prius, but nothing like the luxuriously smooth, refined feeling the Volt provides.

It seems like a pretty nice car overall, but the drivetrain feels like a bit of a kludge, cobbled together quickly just to get a plug-in version on the road.
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
1,308 Posts
I went from an '07 Prius to a '15 Volt. From a gas mileage point of view, I've found that the Prius beats the Volt handily. I was happy with the way the Prius drove but when I got the Volt, it took me a while to realize that it actually had enough acceleration to pull in front of other vehicles (unlike the Prius).
Hybrid powertrains are not inherently slow. The Prius is optimized for maximum efficiency. The Toyota Camry hybrid does 0-60 mph in just under 7.5 seconds which is faster than the Volt at about 8.5 seconds on gas or 9.0 seconds in EV. The 2016 Malibu hybrid will be both very efficient at 47 mpg combined EPA and fairly brisk at 0-60 in just over 8 seconds. The Prius takes just over 10 seconds.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,539 Posts
the exhaust cam sprocket failed), so it likely has some bent valves.
Not all gas engines are interference designs, though it is increasingly more likely these days of 'efficient' engines. What's the engine?

Keeping a wife in a car she likes can be a very big cash saving, as you are thinking!!! :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
121 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
It's an interference engine. The car is a 2001 Volvo V40, with a 1.9liter 4 that I think is made by mitsubishi. The sprocket that failed in an Aisan part. There's a lot threads on the volvo forums about this failure mode, but except for looking up specific diagnostic info, I don't follow those forums much. There were two distinct symptoms before the failure, that had I be aware, would have had me change this sprocket along with the belt ( though the belt wasn't due for 35k more miles)

As for replacement vehicle options, I don't think a C max energi is a good choice for us - we talked about checking one out, but I mentioned complaints of small storage space that steered her away from it. An electric or hybrid would be the best choice for her driving, when it is used to commute ( s trip usually done by train), it's lots of stop and go traffic. Seems silly to keep an engine idling for that, and for some reason start/stop technology isn't common in the US.

Lumos

Not all gas engines are interference designs, though it is increasingly more likely these days of 'efficient' engines. What's the engine?

Keeping a wife in a car she likes can be a very big cash saving, as you are thinking!!! :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
534 Posts
The Volt doesn't have a "gas-only" mode. In normal operation, the Volt maintains some charge in the battery. So even if the battery is "depleted" the Volt will charge a little and then use up the charge, maintaining the depleted level. It's impossible to get "gas-only" mileage. The longest trip I've taken was 200 to 250 miles and my mileage was mid-40's. I'm just curious what would cause the battery to become totally dead and what would happen in that case.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
430 Posts
...

As for replacement vehicle options, I don't think a C max energi is a good choice for us - we talked about checking one out, but I mentioned complaints of small storage space that steered her away from it. An electric or hybrid would be the best choice for her driving, when it is used to commute ( s trip usually done by train), it's lots of stop and go traffic. Seems silly to keep an engine idling for that, and for some reason start/stop technology isn't common in the US.

Lumos
You could also look at Tesla. The Model S has a lot of storage space, with both a trunk and under the hood (frunk storage). You may want to check out cars.com:

http://www.cars.com/for-sale/used/tesla/_/N-ma9Zlt3Zm5d?feedSegId=28705&rpp=50&requestorTrackingInfo=RTB_SEARCH&stkTypId=28881&PMmt=1-0-0&zc=33431&rd=100000&mkId=28263&searchSource=SORT_USED&crSrtFlds=stkTypId-feedSegId-mkId&pgId=2102&sf1Nm=price&sf1Dir=ASC&sf2Nm=miles&sf2Dir=ASC

Tesla also has their Certified Preowned (CPO) program:

http://www.teslamotors.com/models/preowned
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
121 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
I'm surprised, but I checked out some used CMax energy's. Didn't drive them (they were at a Ford dealer and had flat 12V batteries- not every dealer that's bad at selling electric cars is Chevy) but the rear space deficit from the battery wasn't as bad as I'd thought.
Not impressed by the highly stressed air cooled battery nor by the highway mpg. Have these batteries been holding up? Any thoughts on these cars?

Thanks, Lumos
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
7,289 Posts
I'm surprised, but I checked out some used CMax energy's. Didn't drive them (they were at a Ford dealer and had flat 12V batteries- not every dealer that's bad at selling electric cars is Chevy) but the rear space deficit from the battery wasn't as bad as I'd thought.
Not impressed by the highly stressed air cooled battery nor by the highway mpg. Have these batteries been holding up? Any thoughts on these cars?

Thanks, Lumos
I leased a '13 C-Max Energi last March (replaced a GMC Terrain; needed 5 seats, so another Volt was out of the question), and it has served me pretty well. It became the "family hauler" for our family, despite it being classified as a compact car, though we had to buy some accesories (rear cargo box, roof rack/basket), but as it is mainly my commuter to work (17 mile R/T), cargo space really isn't much of an issue. For everyday use, the C-Max's hatch is fine. It is 19.2 cubic feet, which is currently the largest among the PHEV crowd.

Battery longevity has been a concern of Energi owners, and some believe they are experiencing degradation. I believe my C-Max might have experienced some slight degradation, but I can't tell for sure. What I do know is that the C-Max's HV battery gets pretty hot during the summer. I've been playing around with Torque Pro and an OBD II adapter, and while the Volt's battery seems to live between 75-85 F most of the time (even in 95+ degree days), the C-Max HV battery has constantly been observed above 90 F this summer, with temps reaching as high as 110. At 113 F, the ICE automatically comes on regardless of the SOC of the battery. If I had purchased rather than leased, I might be concerned about the battery, but since it was a 24 month lease, I've just been plugging away regardless of the conditions.

Here's a thread about my observations of my C-Max: http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?103369-My-initial-review-of-my-2013-C-Max-Energi...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
244 Posts
What about a Ford C-Max Energi? At least that's a plug-in. The Mazda3 is not.
I had a C-Max Energy for 2 1/2 years between the 2007 Prius and the 2017 Volt. It was a very good car and superior to the Prius in just about every way - handling, ride, power, room, equipment, and was a much more solid vehicle. My only problem was the EV range, for me, about 32 summer and 27 winter. When I retired and no longer needed the space, I bought the Volt. I don't remember the last time I had more than two people in my car, so the Volt fits me fine. My other two cars are both German two seater convertibles.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top