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Discussion Starter #1
One of the main reasons I'm considering a Volt, other than the obvious environmental and cost savings is road noise. We have a Honda Fit that is obnoxiously loud on the highway and on uneven streets. That, and it doesn't feel "SOLID."

Great car, but I live in Orlando and all our roads are toll roads that are 65+ MPH. Many times, traffic is moving at 75+. Ok good problem to have, but will the Volt be competent in this city + fast highway environment?

Because CarMax does not charge their EVs or PHEVs, I have been unable to see what a volt is like running on the batteries alone.

I know I want a Gen1 for budget reasons, but are there any places where I can rent a volt for a few days to see how it handles (and sounds) in these different environments?
 

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Go to a Chevy dealer and test drive a Gen 2. This car exhibits, oh, about 80% of the road noise of Gen 1-- which I never found unobtrusive on mine and which many say is mostly caused by the Goodyear tires that came standard. Now look for a Gen 2 demo or get a good lease rate and you will be a happy camper. If you must have a Gen 1, check out the tire threads on this site for the quietest choice.
 

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The Gen 1 Volt doesn't like 75+ speeds, unless you can stay under 25-30 miles of range. Once you run out of juice, the ICE will run at a very high RPM in order to power the car that fast. At the require engine RPM it is quite loud in my opinion. My experience could be a bit biased by the fact that the only time I ever run that fast is on a 10-mile stretch of road that happens to be a fairly steep uphill climb over a small mountain range. So if others chime in a disagree with me and they drive that fast on the level, go with their opinions over mine. :)
 

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If you can do a test drive from carmax, and want to see what the car is like as an EV you can use mountain mode to charge the battery up to approximately 40% charge, this will give you 10 miles of highway driving or 15 miles at under 40 mph driving to test out the cars quiet driving :)

Keith
 

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See if you can find a Gen 1 at a Chevy dealership. They let me have mine for a weekend before I bought it.
 

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Unfortunately a common problem when test driving these, even when new.

Use Drive Mode button to switch to Mountain Mode until charge buffer is satisfied or at approximately 4 bars showing. In our case, we did this while parked at dealer. Engine will ROAR at low charge in Mountain Mode as it will be running over 4,000 RPM trying to catch up the buffer, so ignore the noise for the first 10 minutes or so. Once the buffer is satisfied or nearly so, switch the Drive Mode back to Normal or Sport.

The engine noise at high RPM you'll hear in Mountain Mode is rare and usually reserved for hill climbs at zero state-of-charge. I doubt you'll experience it much in flat Florida, even at high speeds.
 

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if carmax has something you are interested in -- tell them exactly what you told us.

If they want to sell a car - they will loan it to you for a weekend, you can go find a public charger, pay a few bucks to get the battery to 50 or 100% and then take a spin wherever you like to see if you like it.

If they don't want to play ball -- they just lost a sale. Plenty of other places to get a Gen1 from.
 

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If you do some digging I'm sure you can find an EV club near your area and someone in that club is bound to have a gen1 Volt that would probably have no problem letting you test drive theirs. I've done that for people in western NC that post to the Blue Ridge EV Club Facebook that are looking to get into EV's for the first time. Alternatively, I bet there are some Floridians lurking in this forum that would allow you a test drive in their gen1.

Florida EV Clubs I found with a Google search: http://www.centralfloridaeva.org/ & http://spacecoastevdrivers.com/
 

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Go ask Carmax to plug the car in because you want to drive it tomorrow. I'll bet they'll do it.
This is what I would do.

Should not be a problem with the Volt but I also would like to see what full charge is on the battery meter before any purchase. Nissan Leafs can have a very degraded battery after a couple years and you definitely want to know full charge.

If they say they have a policy against charging or something I would either not buy it or tell them I had a policy of paying 4K less to take the risk there is a charging problem if I can't see it works.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Dang You guys are the best. I think I am going to like being a part of this club.
Great ideas, all around.

Enterprise won't confirm if they actually have Volts, leaves, or Priiiiiiii so I cancelled my reservation and am going these other routes.
I have already recently test driven at carmax so I am going to find a chevy dealer first and ask them to charge it up before test driving.

Thank you!
 

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Should not be a problem with the Volt but I also would like to see what full charge is on the battery meter before any purchase. Nissan Leafs can have a very degraded battery after a couple years and you definitely want to know full charge.
If you are talking about the actual charge indicator it will show a full charge if the car is fully charged. Since the Volt has no "expected and acceptable" battery degradation it does not have a system of lights that show you how f'ed up the battery is. If you are talking about the guess-o-meter, after a bunch of test drives by lead foot prospective buyers and not being charged ever by carmax I would expect it to read between 30 and 35... this number is meaningless.

Keith
 

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Dang You guys are the best. I think I am going to like being a part of this club.
Great ideas, all around.

Enterprise won't confirm if they actually have Volts, leaves, or Priiiiiiii so I cancelled my reservation and am going these other routes.
I have already recently test driven at carmax so I am going to find a chevy dealer first and ask them to charge it up before test driving.

Thank you!
CarMax in both Orlando and tampa each have a few 2013 volts for sale, I just went to their website
good luck on you're purchase
 

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Discussion Starter #15
CarMax in both Orlando and tampa each have a few 2013 volts for sale, I just went to their website
good luck on you're purchase
I drove a volt there a few weeks ago, but it was not charged. The lady i tested with knew I was just testing and kinda sloughed me off. THe car i drove was not charged. I did take it to 87 mph on the highway to gauge road noise on ICE, and i was impressed.

She proceeded to tell me a carmax salesperson died in california on a test drive in a Corvette Z06. #buzzkill

Do they keep track of your activity at CarMax? (he came in drove one and left.) - i've tested like 10 cars there now. lol.
 

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I drove a volt there a few weeks ago, but it was not charged. The lady i tested with knew I was just testing and kinda sloughed me off. THe car i drove was not charged. I did take it to 87 mph on the highway to gauge road noise on ICE, and i was impressed.

She proceeded to tell me a carmax salesperson died in california on a test drive in a Corvette Z06. #buzzkill

Do they keep track of your activity at CarMax? (he came in drove one and left.) - i've tested like 10 cars there now. lol.
I'm sure they're just indulging you for the goodwill that will EVENTUALLY come when you need a car, or happen on one that you really like.
 
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