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After hanging around here over a year, I finally drove my first Volt today. I tested a 2017 LT model in the awesome Kinetic Blue that I first saw in the Electrek review last year. Up until then, I never really paid any attention to the Volt or electric cars in general.

I was pleasantly surprised to find the car had a small charge (25 miles) so I could not only test it, but also see how it acted when the battery dropped out and went to the ICE, which was almost unnoticeable. I test drove a 2017 Leaf late last year so I expected the smooth and quiet ride but the Volt's quickness was certainly exhilarating in comparison. Even more so when I thought I'd just try out the Sport mode "real quick." I was suddenly doing 68 when I saw the approaching highway patrol. Ever have that moment? I'm sure he noticed the dealer tag and realized what was going on, and me standing on the brakes probably also contributed to him not turning around to give me a "performance award!"

I immediately drove to the only hill anywhere close by, to check out the regen coming down. With less than 100' elevation difference, I didn't see much. However, in "L" and on flat ground, it was noticeable when I let off the gas. Somehow I never used the regen paddles. I spent some time watching the "flow" screen, which reminded me of an old 2002 Prius we had at work that I used to enjoy driving. (Someone almost lost their job over buying a non-domestic vehicle. I certainly haven't seen one since and my employer buys upward of 500 fleet cars/trucks yearly.)

Also played around with the other modes. I've read here about a "cs" or charge-sustaining mode. Is that MM or something different that I just didn't see? I did try MM but it didn't really build up any miles, probably due to my technique.

With under 300 miles on the car, I was surprised to see it wanted to do an EMM. It said it would take 15 minutes so I figured I might as well see what it does - counted up to 100% but didn't notice anything else. The dealer had filled it up recently because the pictures on the website show less than 1/4 tank.

All in all, I enjoyed the drive. My daily commute is 60 miles with no chance of work charging available. Thus my dilemma as I've begun to consider whether I should try to find a good used Gen 1 or possibly Gen 2, wait for exceptional sales on new Gen 2 (new 2018 MY coming out soon), or even wait for the Bolt to be available here. I've read posts here where owners tell of getting well over the EPA mileage on the Gen 1's into the 50+ range so a used one may be in my future. Certainly I'm looking around but there are very few in my area. Thus my posts in the recent Carvana thread in the Buying, Leasing, and Selling forum.

This particular dealer is Bolt/Volt certified but the salesman - who was very pleasant - looked in the system and couldn't find that the manager had ordered any Bolts yet. He was honest enough to say that I probably knew more about the car than he did, which is true but driving it really sealed the deal. The salesman offered almost $3,000 off MSRP (partly due to very minor hail damage - I only saw one spot but the car was dirty) but I'm in no hurry. I'd start to consider at $8-10k off and then throw in some cash down. They originally ordered two and sold one quick but this one has been on the lot for 5 months. I haven't bought a brand new car since 1991 so I can afford to be patient. Plenty of nice used vehicles have served me well. But I would like ACC...

Drove my granddaughter by there later and it got the "Pretty Car" seal of approval, lol. Anyway, thanks for reading. I'll probably think of more things as soon as I post this. Now I know what all the fuss is about. :cool:

Joe
 

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CS mode is Hold mode. Charge sustaining means it keeps the battery at the exact level when you entered hold mode. We use it when driving on a long highway stretch to save the battery for city driving.

I have a 50 mile round trip commute that transmogrified into 65 miles when my daughter was in school. I have a gen1 and am lucky to get 35 miles of range (heavier 18" wheels, stickier Yokohama tires, and willingness to take on anynand all pony cars and ricer boys. I;m still getting 70 mpg lifetime which blows away any Prius. In one sense, the fact that I know i'll be hitting Dino juice no matter what has released me from hypermiling and trying to do heroics to get 50+ miles on the smaller gen1 battery. I did 51.8 miles once, but have not been able to repeat it.

So whether to get a gen1 or gen2 should be a function of what you can afford. If you've got the cash to buy a gen2 outright, then go for it. If not, then consider getting a used gen1 as it's possible to get one for 4 figures.

And don't worry about forgetting to use the regen paddle. To get the most range, you actually don't want to maximize regen, but instead preserve momentum and drive like a grandpa, training to time the lights perfectly so you don't have to stop. Minimizing regen and driving in normal D usually yields the best results.
 

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My recommendation is to hold out and get a loaded Premier with the P1 and P2 packages and ACC. You are driving a lot of miles and if they save you one time, they pay for themselves. The 17's and 18's are the same except for color and options you can get on an LT. So, for the lowest cost, buy a 17 when the 18's come out. You can buy a used one, but if you have taxable income that you can't write off, you can get an additional $7500 off on a new one from Uncle Sam. Many of us in this forum in California have been able to negotiate at least $5K off a new Premier. When the 18's come out, find a dealer that has a lot of 17's and negotiate 10K off a new Premier... so roughly 42K - 10K - 7.5K - 1.5K California rebate + 10% tax and license (on 32K), you should net out under 30K if you get the federal tax refund. If you don't have taxable income, the $7500 Federal Tax Rebate doesn't work and you definitely should go the Used route but good luck finding an ACC car. If you finance it at 0% interest, the dealer will charge you another 1K to cover his early payoff penalties.

Why you want the safety items:
The Volt has a big blind spot on the C pillar and you need the extra help. I learned to trust that the car would tell me if another car was approaching while backing out of parking space. I learned that it would tell me if someone was standing close to the car when shifting out of Park. I learned to trust the yellow lights in the side mirrors to determine if it was safe to change lanes. I learned how to safely use the ACC and will not buy another car without it.

If you have to drive 60 miles per day and can't recharge the Volt, then use the ICE when you exceed 55 mph for a few miles. You should be able to get 60 electric miles each day with regen if you keep a light foot on the juice pedal.

My biggest complaint is I can't always see out the back window, but it's not earth shattering. I wish we had a rear view mirror with a camera view like they had in the ELR. The upscale Bolt has one. You have to seriously consider a Bolt with your long commute. You'll never see a gas station again but will have to live with range anxiety. If you have 220V in your garage already (like I had), either car is a slam dunk.
 

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Base 2017 LT's seem to be advertised for about $31k around here; it is probably worth it to get a Premier's with I & II, safety packages, but the LT is a great car.
 

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Wait and see what kind of deals are offered on the 17 when the 18s come out. Last summer in July they ran the 20% off MSRP special and we bought a second 16....


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And if you can possibly wait until dec 2017 dealerships will become desperate to get 2017's off the lot, plus the fed tax credit is right around the corner. If you buy in jan 2018, then you won't get that tax credit until spring 2019, though you could cut back on withholdings to pocket the $7500 early. Just make sure to remember to turn those withholdings back on or else you could work yourself into a tax problem.

If history repeats itself, volts might get even more heavily discounted in its 3rd model year. People here are talking $3-6k off and I chuckle. With all the tax credits, state rebates, and discounts, I got my $4k MSRP volt for $21k including state sales tax in oct 2013. So maybe, just maybe in August 2018 the 2019 models could see a price cut like themgreat $5k price cut on 2014 models, and GM gave $5k rebates on leftover 2013s. It all depends on how patient you can be and whether you like playing chicken (weighing in colors and features of leftover dealer stock). I originally wanted a base model and not a premium, but the premium was so heavily discounted compared to a 2014 base that I went for it, and really like thenbose, backup camera, polished wheels, and pebble suede leather. I can't,say I love the naV and sometimes wish I had front sensors.
 

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My daily commute is 60 miles with no chance of work charging available...
Drove my granddaughter by there later and it got the "Pretty Car" seal of approval, lol.
I have commuted ~60 miles over hilly terrain (see attached elevation map of my commute, one-way) and if I avoid the freeway and take side streets and the weather plays nice (no rain, 65F +/- 10F), I can go 100% EV with some mild hypermiling.

BTW, how old is your granddaughter? My Kinetic Blue has illicit some nice comments from 1 elderly lady and 2 twenty-to-thirty ladies. I always thought it was a neat color, didn't realize women find it "pretty", which they have all mentioned. Not trying to be pervy or anything, just curious if the color really is "pretty" and I read somewhere that women perceive more colors and was curious if the trend will continue across ages.
 

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