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After years of watching and waiting, I finally pulled the trigger and got a 2018 Volt LT this past week. It took me a while for my financial situation to make it work, plus I had to convince my wife that the small back seat was not the end of the world. We moved up from a 1st gen Cruze which we rarely used the back seat anyway (we have a Subaru Outback that we use for anything requiring more space anyway), and to be honest, other than the head room, I think the Volt actually feels more spacious in the back than the Cruze.

So far I'm loving it!

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Congrats on the purchase! It's a great car, a lot of fun, and the savings will add up.

You're taking a similar approach that we did. One larger car for hauling, one smaller efficient car for everyday commuting. Confirmed before the purchase that our next car was likely to be a compact crossover of some kind. At least that was the plan before we got the Volt, we'll see if it holds up once my soon to be wife gets used to electric driving.

You're absolutely going to love it.
 
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After years of watching and waiting, I finally pulled the trigger and got a 2018 Volt LT this past week. It took me a while for my financial situation to make it work, plus I had to convince my wife that the small back seat was not the end of the world. We moved up from a 1st gen Cruze which we rarely used the back seat anyway (we have a Subaru Outback that we use for anything requiring more space anyway), and to be honest, other than the head room, I think the Volt actually feels more spacious in the back than the Cruze.

So far I'm loving it!
Congratulations! I almost purchased one on Monday, might return to the dealer today to finalize the deal. I'm struggling with the decision as I currently own an Outback and the Volt would be replacing it. The Outback is so practical (and fun, it's turbo charged) I'm finding it difficult to replace it. Since I don't drive much the gas savings with the Volt will never approach the acquisition cost. So I need to decide based on other factors (such as the Outback having 155K miles and being 12 years old)
 

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Congratulations on your new Volt!. You will love it! I too came from a first gen Cruze ( 2011 Eco MT).......oh wait, I'm still driving that car when my wife has our Volt!

Fortunately I really enjoy driving a stick so love driving both cars but for very different reasons.

We rarely carry passengers so the back seat is not an issue. On the other hand the hatchback comes in real handy on the Volt. We have already hauled many items that would never make it in a Clarity, or my Cruze.

Jon
 
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Congratulations! I almost purchased one on Monday, might return to the dealer today to finalize the deal. I'm struggling with the decision as I currently own an Outback and the Volt would be replacing it. The Outback is so practical (and fun, it's turbo charged) I'm finding it difficult to replace it. Since I don't drive much the gas savings with the Volt will never approach the acquisition cost. So I need to decide based on other factors (such as the Outback having 155K miles and being 12 years old)
You didn't ask my opinion, but here it is anyway, haha.

If you are committed to remaining a 2 (or more) car household, I cannot see any reason to postpone buying a Volt where you will get $12.5K off a $30,000 car in Colorado. That's like freaking Kia Rio money. If you're considering downsizing to one car after the Subie dies, then by all means, drive it to death.

This is particularly true when 1) Your state has been somewhat ambivalent about the future of the extremely expensive state program, and 2) $7500 of the rebate/tax credit money likely goes away by the end of 2018, regardless of what Colorado does. Chevy will certainly have to respond to this with more aggressive incentives of some kind, but I doubt they'll be offering $7500 off MSRP.

Frankly, I think the smartest thing you can do is either buy the Volt and keep your Subaru as a third car (or your kid's car for the future if that's on the horizon) or use it as a "final bargaining chip" at the negotiating table. Reach your deal on the new car price, say you want 4-5K on your trade, talk about how reliable it's been, hem and haw about whether you really need a new car or not. If they give it to you, great, you just sweetened your deal even more. If not, get the Volt, move on, bring your Subaru home and drive it into the ground on errands where you need more space.

The reality is, at 155K miles, you're likely going to need a new car sooner rather than later. Nobody's forcing you to trade in the Subaru though. Take it out of the decision-making tree and decide if you want/like a Volt (or other PHEV/BEV). Then decide if you want $12,500 off your car automatically and all of the chips in your pile at the negotiating table, or you want to pay something much closer to list price in 2018.

Your points for the dealer are:
1) I have a car I like. I don't need a new one, but I am open to making a deal.
2) I'd like to keep my reliable wagon for snowy days/kids/hardware store runs.
3) But if you can sweeten the deal on my trade, I'd like to have it all done with today, not inconvenience myself with coming back to pick it up, etc.

One last point: If you wait for the Subaru to die, you HAVE to replace it, which puts you in a much weaker negotiating position than merely being interested in a car at the right price.
 
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Thanks for the feedback Jonesy, I welcome all feedback. To address some of the points you raised:

1) The Outback, at least monetarily, isn't a factor. If I purchase a Volt I'll do a private party sale of the Outback.
2) I've already negotiated on a Volt and was about to pull the trigger and then a hail storm hit. I delayed the purchase because I want to ensure the car did not sustain any damage. By having done so I am now back to questioning whether I should move forward.
3) The incentives are very nice in bringing the price of the car down. However the price is not really the issue but rather do I want to give up my beloved Outback. I bought it for specific reasons (AWD, cargo capacity, taking it on the back trails to get to the camp site, beater [is it hailing? I don't care...lol!], and fun factor [it's a turbo charged manual]). It still meets all those objectives to this day.

Reasons why I am considering a Volt:

1) I love the idea of using pure electric for 95% of my driving. Not for money reasons as I will never recover the cost of the Volt given the limited driving I do.
2) As the Outback is older, with higher mileage it is going to need more and more attention (above what I've already given it). I don't mind the repairs as my mechanic is literally half a mile away. But maybe I should just get something which will require less upkeep over the coming years.


Ironically it would be a lot easier for me to buy the Volt if the Outback were to experience a problem. Then I'd have to replace it and the Volt is at the top of my list. The decision really boils down to: Do I want to replace a car I am completely happy with and does all I need it to do with another car which has some negatives in comparison (i.e. no AWD)? Fortunately the negatives are things which are not show stoppers. Maybe I should borrow my friends Volt for a week to see how I like hers.
 

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Well, looking at the cost of gasoline, I would strongly look at the advantages of driving in electric mode locally. The Outback is a great car, but not as economical as the Volt. What are YOUR requirements? I just finished an 8100 mile road trip with my 2014 Volt, My average MPG was 40.9. Would your Outback match that.... for long distances? Locally, owning a Volt would make your costs be less because electricity is less costly than gasoline.
 
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The decision really boils down to: Do I want to replace a car I am completely happy with and does all I need it to do with another car which has some negatives in comparison (i.e. no AWD)?
Why are you determined to get rid of the Outback? If you had a more efficient car to drive 90% of the time, the Outback could be kept and only used for what it's best at and it might last you another ten years in that mode

I love driving the best vehicle for the job at hand. In our case, that means the wife and I have 4 cars. We each drive our own Mitsu iMiEV about 90% of the time because nothing does what it does nearly as well - Not even the Volt. We also have a van that we seldom drive, but when we need the van for a trip, nothing else will do. It would not surprise me one bit but what we are driving the same 4 vehicles 10 years from now and that's fine with us. As things stand now, we're putting about 7,500 miles on each of the EV's every year, maybe 5,000 on the Volt and about the same on the van

Don
 
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Nor sure of your State situation but here, I have a '88 Tercel Wagon 4X4 that I'm restoring (had it since '89). I can register it as a collector vehicle along with another (TR7 FI Spider) with cheap collector insurance. It's great in the snow (a few days a year we get it) but people are always walking up to me saying "I had one of those". Nothing wrong with more than one vehicle if you can go collector route on the others.
 

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(You ex PanAM?)
As previous owner 2 Outback automatics & now 2017 Volt LT-note Volt really low to ground so camping trip likely not recommended for a single car.
Sounds like you plan 2 car family(any kids?),so for short work commute,why not consider a BEV ,depending your location/weather etc.?I always buy new but understand used BEVs can be obtained cheaply.Volt would certainly provide all electric work commute,recharging at home,with backup of engine generator-in my case the perfect solution to one car use .See what is best price negotiable on new Volt with incentives & surprise yourself with good value,or,perhaps another make since you may be able to accept less electrical use.If you live in suburbs,Volt could comprise 90% of your useage and all electric!Try your friend's Volt for a few days!
 
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Well, looking at the cost of gasoline, I would strongly look at the advantages of driving in electric mode locally. The Outback is a great car, but not as economical as the Volt. What are YOUR requirements? I just finished an 8100 mile road trip with my 2014 Volt, My average MPG was 40.9. Would your Outback match that.... for long distances? Locally, owning a Volt would make your costs be less because electricity is less costly than gasoline.
My Outback does fairly decently. Approximately 19 MPG city and 28 MPG highway. These are observed numbers for my driving situation. Given 95% of my driving is city the Volt is the ideal car (I'd like a Bolt but that other 5% is the killer for it). The problem is I don't really drive a lot...I might average 120 miles in any given week.

If it were about saving money in fuel costs this would be an easy decision but I can't rationalize the purchase on that factor. The purchase is more about buying the technology. I think it would be cool to drive 95% of the time on electrons.

I just learned my company has partnered with one of the local Chevy dealers to offer employee pricing on any new or used vehicle. I'm going to call them this morning to see what kind of discount that is.
 
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Why are you determined to get rid of the Outback? If you had a more efficient car to drive 90% of the time, the Outback could be kept and only used for what it's best at and it might last you another ten years in that mode

I love driving the best vehicle for the job at hand. In our case, that means the wife and I have 4 cars. We each drive our own Mitsu iMiEV about 90% of the time because nothing does what it does nearly as well - Not even the Volt. We also have a van that we seldom drive, but when we need the van for a trip, nothing else will do. It would not surprise me one bit but what we are driving the same 4 vehicles 10 years from now and that's fine with us. As things stand now, we're putting about 7,500 miles on each of the EV's every year, maybe 5,000 on the Volt and about the same on the van
I already own a second vehicle (BMW X5) and I'd rather not keep a third. Given the low number of miles I drive in a year it just doesn't make practical sense. But then if I end up missing the Outback I could always buy another one. I'd just rather not do that right after getting rid of the one I have (I did this once, bought a new car and immediately regretted trading in the previous one).

I've arrange with my friend to borrow her 2013. This will give me a feel for what it will be like to live with one day in and day out. I think that will be very helpful in making my decision. I'm probably putting way too much thought into this.
 
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Could you use the Bolt for your everyday stuff and the X5 for trips? Just an idea, but I was in the same place as you (fiance with an ICE) and went with a Volt for the few times I'll need to take a long business trip each year.

A dealer near me (in a very far away part of the country from you) was recently offering Volts at "Employee Pricing" for about 27.5K for a base LT. Your experience may vary but if similar, that is a slamming deal with the $12.5K extra off.

Borrowing the 2013 will give you a decent idea of the everyday experience of driving and charging. Just remember when driving it that the Gen 2 is quieter, a little more spacious in the back, and has a little better suspension tuning.

Good luck with the decision. Especially in Colorado, you have very little downside risk -- if you don't like the car, you will likely actually be able to sell it sometime after claiming the tax credits for more than you paid for it. Since you're not trading the Outback, you can also hang onto that if you have misgivings about the Volt for a while. I don't think you will, but it's nice to have the security.

You also might be able to get more for a private sale of the Outback in the wintertime when somebody panics about the need for a cheap AWD car.
 

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(You ex PanAM?)
Nope, just a play inside words.

@pe1979, I hear you. I'd be very hesitant to give up an Outback for a Volt, but then again, I do not have a second SUV type vehicle. Keeping the Outback is non-negotiable with my wife. We use it a lot for camping and going up in the mountains in the wintertime. It's our old workhorse.

Space wise, switching from the Cruze to the Volt was really a non-issue, like I said, mostly ceiling height was the difference.

After a week of owning it, I'm very pleased. I've driven over 400 miles and used only about 2 gallons of gas. I've got a couple of long trips coming up this next week which will certainly drain the tank (one 160 miles roundtrip, the second about 400 miles roundtrip), so my stretch of days without using gas will end on Monday, but still, this is one great car.

My first-week impressions are great. I love the efficiency, driving dynamics, and front-seat comfort. I drive over a large hill on my way to/from work, and I love being able to put the Volt in "L" and regenerate down the hill instead of riding the brakes down the hill like I used to do.

Although it hasn't been terribly hot where I live yet, so far it appears the A/C works better than my Cruze A/C did. The Cruze A/C would hardly blow any cold air until the car got moving. On a really hot day, even slowing down and getting off the freeway, you could feel the air get warmer coming out of the vents.

On a side note, is there a place somewhere that shows your lifetime EV and gas miles other than the OnStar app? I'm not going to keep OnStar past the trial period, but I'd like to keep track of that. In a way, I don't really care so much about how things have gone since I last "fully charged" the battery as the energy stats show. I'm more interested in being able to reset those stats myself or perhaps have them tied to a trip meter.
 
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