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Hey everyone! I've been a long time Prius driver and have owned 4 different ones. Well I currently have a 2012 Prius v wagon (the biggest one) but it looks like it is starting to consume oil.. it only has 106k on the clock. So if it keeps on or getting worse I might trade it for a Volt. I'd be looking at a 2011-2013 Volt. And I AM aware of the differences in the 13+ Volts. Here are my questions

My main concern is how the car actually drives when the battery runs out, since I will still drive it a lot on gas only mode. Does the engine turn off when coasting, stopped, low speed driving? I'm just worried that I'm so used to my Prius it will feel odd in city driving when my battery is depleted. My V wagon will shut down the engine anytime you take your foot of the gas below 46 MPH and can coast/drive along silently.

How many gallons do most of you actually put in the tank when you fill up from empty?and would running mid grade be okay?

would it achieve 40 MPG on a 200 mile highway trip at 70 mph?

I drive from Nashville to Alpharetta GA pretty often and my car currently gets 43 mpg doing that.

Sorry for all the questions, I've been lurking for a long time now. Finally a member. Thanks in advance!! :) -Aaron
 

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The Volt feels exactly the same when the battery runs out, it is still mostly an electric car with just the electricity being produced by the ICE powered generator. There are some elaborate hybrid mode at certain speed, but you dont really feel it.

It also tries to only run the Gas engine powered generator when the car is above a certain speed, this means it keeps a charge buffer in the battery, so that the ICE it turned off when you stop, and electricity is still used to start and at low speed.

But this is mostly to prevent you from hearing the engine. As far as how the car operates, it basically always is an electrical vehicle, and you wont notice any difference between running on the battery, or on the range extender.
 

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The biggest thing you will notice is that there is a strange disconnect between your gas pedal and the engine RPM. FYI I had an '13 and would get around 39 mpg doing 80+mph. ( I have a '17 now)
 

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I owned a 2002 Prius for 8 years and a 2010 Prius for two years. I don't know how different the engine sounds are between those and your 2012 Prius V. I can tell you that the Volts are much quieter than the Prii I owned. I leased a 2012 Volt for three years and I now own a 2014 Volt. I've made two road trips in my 2014 and pretty much limit my speed to the speed limit or 65 mph, whichever is less. On my 8,500 trip, I never plugged in and in driving only in CS mode I averaged 41.5 mpg from the ICE. On my 10,000 trip, I drove in the same manner and obtained 42.6 mpg from the ICE. I buy only 91 octane or better and recommend that you do the same. The Volt is a road car and is very easy on the driver. I make 600 mile stretches getting from one destination to another when road tripping. The only drawback that I foresee for you is the reduction in interior space you will find in the Volt, which is classified as a compact car.

The Prii are good cars from a reliability standpoint, though you have to replace the oil and filter every 5,000 miles. I have 41,990 on the odometer and currently have 42% life left on the oil. I replaced the oil and filter once with 49% life left, at 23,967 miles, as I was about to lose the chance for a free oil change. My driving is currently 27% EV (11,337 miles) and 73% ICE generated electricity (30,653 miles).

The only problem I have had with my Volt has been a nail induced leak in a tire. The total cost to run the Volt, less insurance, has been 6.6 cents per mile, and that includes the cost to fix the leak, tire rotation and relearning the TPMS.

When I am not on a trip, I keep 2-3 gallons of fuel in the tank. I rarely exceed the range of the battery locally. Yesterday's jaunt was 29 miles and my efficiency was 4.5 miles per kWh. OAT 53 degrees. Tire pressure was 42 psi. I have the 17.4 kWh battery which the 2015 has in my 2014 (built in May 2014) and usually consume between 10.2 to 10.7 kWh before the car switches over to CS mode.

I'd be happy to answer any other questions you may have.:)
 

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Volt is a great highway car. Quiet and stable. 750 pounds of battery planted low and right in the center is the key. Depending much on type of tire, highway mpg 36-40 at 70 mph. I'm a left lane cruise control set 77-78 mph type driver, mileage per gallon more like 33 with a headwind 37 with a tailwind. And that's on Michelin Primacy MXV4's. OEM Goodyears get better EV range and highway mpg.
 

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40 mpg on a 200 mile drive should be easily attainable. I've done a couple Vegas drives (300 miles each way) and with a half battery (mountain mode engaged) and full 9.3 gallon tank I managed an average of 43mpg. As for driving around town on CS, you will find that the engine only really runs when necessary. At stops it will automatically turn off, occasionally as your coasting to a stop and turn back on again once you get moving. It doesn't act like your description of a set mph though and will turn on any time the system determines it needs enough energy to maintain or build back a minimum SOC.

As for driving characteristics when on battery vs. CS, not really much difference. Full power is always available in either mode. This is accomplished by maintaining a 15% minimum charge in the battery at all times which can be dipped into somewhat if the engine can't produce enough energy. Like some of the others stated though, there really is no real correlation as to engine speed and accelerator pedal position which can be an unusual feeling as sometimes it feels like the engine is revved up when your driving at a slower speed but this is usually to allow it to again build to that minimum charge. Overall it's a hybrid, but it will do things very differently from a prius since it takes a different approach than Toyota takes.
 

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I lifetime averaged 36-37mpg on my 2014 Volt; most of the ICE mileage was 65-75mph highway driving. The gen2 really does gets ~15% better ICE mpg and so far I'm averaging 44-45mpg on the highway, and the gen2 uses regular unleaded gasoline. On my gen1, I used 91 octane Premium, as well as 89 Octane "mid grade" premium, and even 87 Octane Regular unleaded. My rationalization was that I only would only use regular unleaded on my gen1 if I was going to burn the gasoline in the next day or two since gasoline does age. All three grades worked exactly equivalently for me; same MPG, same driving characteristics. GM said for the gen1, that it was safe to use regular unleaded in a pinch, but recommended using Premium unleaded with 90 Octane. At the end of every gen1 road trip, I usually filled up with 91 Premium since I knew it could be six months or more till my next fill up.
 

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I bought a 2008 Prius for $20,000 with 7,000 miles on the odometer. I drove the Prius for 80,000 miles before trading it for a 2013 Volt Premium for $20,000 with 10,000 miles on the odometer. The Prius gave me about 48 MPG. The Volt gave me 42 MPG on a 4,000-mile trip through the northern Rocky Mountains last summer, without electric charging along the way. My overall average is now 86 MPG with almost no use of gasoline on my daily 20-mile commute. When running on gasoline, the generator running pace is only vaguely associated with the road gradients and speeds maintained. When operating in temperatures in the teens and below, the engine automatically burns about one-tenth gallon of fuel to warm the battery pack system. The Volt has similar cargo and passenger space to my former Mitsubishi Eclipse, a two-seater with enough room for two people to go camping or backpacking. I usually carry two to four gallons of Premium gasoline as back-up, providing a range of 100 to 200 miles. Plug-in charging every night is a bit inconvenient for me, since I must use a charger that is nearly a half-mile from my condominium and must retrieve my vehicle after two hours of charging every night when I would often rather be sleeping because I work 66 hours weekly. Sorry for the run-on sentence, I am a bit tired tonight.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Wow everyone! Thank you so much for the many replies. Y'all are making me feel right at home!
Glad to hear everyone's experience in gas mode. Although i always seem to hear slightly different high speed fuel economy numbers from different owners over the last months I've been digging around. Probably tires? I know that the tires on a Prius make a large difference in fuel economy LRR tires vs regular ones.

As of the moment, I'll keep my eye on the market within about 150 miles or so. Not in terrible rush to switch cars, but if a good deal shows up that isn't to far away.... they might have to watch out!

I really want to find one with the beautiful leather seats, as I really don't like the fabric inlay pattern on the cloth. What was Chevy thinking?!?!

One more thing, I know the Volt has a liquid cooled battery, but does it also use air? If so is there a fan that needs cleaning?
 

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My main concern is how the car actually drives when the battery runs out, since I will still drive it a lot on gas only mode.
The Volt has a 150 hp electric motor. Top speed of 100 MPH is all-electric. This means the Volt really drives like an electric car, even when it switches over to gas mode. The main thing you'll notice is the disconnect between the accelerator and the gas engine. For example: If you're stopped and you floor it, the Volt accelerates instantly, jumping off the line, then after a second or two the gas engine kicks in, but by then you're already going around 25MPH.

Does the engine turn off when coasting, stopped, low speed driving?
Coasting: Yes, the engine shuts off at lower speeds, maybe less than 35 MPH, I'm not sure.
Stopped: Yes, the engine is generally off.
Low Speed Driving: Yes, the engine usually cuts off below 20 MPH or so.

I'm just worried that I'm so used to my Prius it will feel odd in city driving when my battery is depleted. My V wagon will shut down the engine anytime you take your foot of the gas below 46 MPH and can coast/drive along silently.
It will feel different, but in a good way. It really feels more like an EV than a hybrid, even in gas mode. Electric grin...

How many gallons do most of you actually put in the tank when you fill up from empty?and would running mid grade be okay?
Gen1 Volts specify premium gas. I always use premium, and I always fill it up. For the amount of gas we use, the price difference is minimal. I've also heard premium gas is less corrosive. Keep in mind that many Volt owners go several months between fill-ups. In fact, some Gen1 Volt owners have exceeded 20,000 miles on a single gallon of gas. So stale gas can become an issue. The software in the car will automatically run the engine every few months to keep it healthy, and use up stale gas within a year or so, but cheap regular gas may be going stale by then.

Similarly, Volt oil changes may only be every 2 years, depending on your driving pattern, according the oil-life software built into the car. But GM specifies pure synthetic oil, and I always use pure synthetic oil for longevity.

In other words: Since the gas engine may go long periods of time without use, higher quality gas and oil make a difference.

would it achieve 40 MPG on a 200 mile highway trip at 70 mph?
Let's see, if you start with a full charge, you'll drive the first 38 miles gas-free. For the reamining 168 miles, you'll get around 37 MPG, which means you'll use 4.4 gallons for the 200 mile trip, which averages out to 46 MPG.

I drive from Nashville to Alpharetta GA pretty often and my car currently gets 43 mpg doing that.
I often drive from Northern NJ to Washington DC area. The Volt works extremely well for long trips. The extra weight of the battery makes is ride like a much larger car. Very smooth. Seats are firm, no back fatigue. Interior is very quiet. Note: For longer trips, I often use "Hold Mode". So I start out with 38 miles of electric range, but I save that for traffic jams, residential roads, traffic lights, etc. In particular, stop-and-go traffic is a lot less annoying in pure electric mode, without the engine starting and stopping constantly. Then before I reach my destination, I switch back to normal mode to use up the EV range for max MPG.

I've been lurking for a long time now. Finally a member. Thanks in advance!! :) -Aaron
Hope this helps,
Dave
 

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That mountain in the way between Nashville and Alpharetta may impact your mileage a bit. And tire choice - with the oems you should be able to do 40 pretty easily, but other kinds, maybe not so much.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for all the info! Right now I use about 5 gallons each way. I would be filling the Volt up with gas every week probably. So I wouldn't have to worry about the gas sitting around and going bad. The 2011-2012 didn't have hold mode correct?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I thought the mountain would help economy since I can charge on the way down? The mountain actually does raise my average trip mpg in my Prius believe it or not!
 

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Mountain has nothing to do with charging on the way down. Your regenerative breaking does that no matter the drive mode. If you put the shift lever in L it will regenerate more and consequentially keep your speed from climbing very much as you descend the hill.

All mountain mode does is preserve some battery (45% or depending on the model year, less) to help the otherwise anemic REX get up mountains.
 

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My main concern is how the car actually drives when the battery runs out, since I will still drive it a lot on gas only mode. Does the engine turn off when coasting, stopped, low speed driving? I'm just worried that I'm so used to my Prius it will feel odd in city driving when my battery is depleted. My V wagon will shut down the engine anytime you take your foot of the gas below 46 MPH and can coast/drive along silently.
When running Charge Sustaining ("CS Mode" -- you'll also see terms like "MPGcs"), the operation of the car when the battery is "empty", there's a small buffer charge that is used. The engine running will charge up to the top of that buffer, and when it gets drained some, the engine will restart and charge it back up. So in typical city driving, the engine will run at different times, only semi predictably. At a steady 25-35 MPH, it'll even cycle on and off while you're just driving down the road, run for a few seconds at lights, and you'll probably get 50 yards down the street before it comes on when the light turns green.

How many gallons do most of you actually put in the tank when you fill up from empty?and would running mid grade be okay?
I pretty much fill it up when I fuel, because I do drive further than electric range fairly often. In the past year, I've been at a pump seven times, adding as few as 2.2 gallons (didn't need fuel, but that station had a car wash that didn't take cards and wasn't attended so I bought five dollars in gas, and an eight-dollar car wash with the code printed on the slip), and as many as 7.5 gallons. The last bar on the blue meter means I've got about 2 gallons left in the tank, which is between 60 and 100 miles the way I drive.

Premium, always. What would I buy with a year of savings trying to use midgrade? A Big Mac and fries? Following what the manual says and feeling smug about it is worth the difference in price.

would it achieve 40 MPG on a 200 mile highway trip at 70 mph?
In Tennessee? Almost always, even ignoring the electric range. You'll get close to 45 if it's above 70F, and close to 50 if you slow down to about 60MPH and the weather's nice.

Adding in the electric range, and you'll be boosting that by 20%. It takes at least 200 miles for a Prius to catch up to that electric advantage.
 

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Thanks for all the info! Right now I use about 5 gallons each way. I would be filling the Volt up with gas every week probably. So I wouldn't have to worry about the gas sitting around and going bad. The 2011-2012 didn't have hold mode correct?
Right, no hold mode in the 2011 and 2012. And my experimentation has made me think that Mountain Mode is ... more aggressive about maintaining the buffer, and will prioritize that over things like fuel economy or sometimes even passing acceleration. So it's not quite the same.
 

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I do a 425 mile drive (each way) around 4 times a month. The Volt does a terrific job and is why I purchased it over the Prius. Seats are more comfortable, the ride more stable, cabin more quiet, and just better all-around for road trips. Starting with a full battery and driving at posted speed limits of 75 MPH, I average close to 40 MPG on Pirelli Cinturato P7's. I have the 2014 Volt with hold mode and use it to save my battery for small stretches of small-town driving when speeds are lower and use Charge Sustaining (CS) mode on the highway. In that trip, I never have the engine running below 55 MPH.

The bonus of the Volt is that around town locally, you will never (or rarely) ever use gas at all. All local driving is full EV and it's addictive... that's for sure. Once you go electric drive, you never go back.

In all honestly, while I've owned more luxurious vehicles, the Volt is by far the best car I've ever owned mechanically. There are a few known minor issues (a quirky coolant sensor), but nothing serious that can't be fixed for under $50. We're starting to see 200K+ mile Volts entering VoltStats with no issues. It's rock solid reliable.

One big benefit is the Volt climate control runs on electric so if you need to pull over and take a quick nap, you can do so with the AC on and the engine off. We even camp in ours making it into a tiny RV.

Do a test drive, you wont regret it. The only consideration I think you have is going with Hold-Mode (2013+) or no Hold-Mode (2011, 2012).
 

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Discussion Starter #18
My worries have been cured by all of you! I do have one worry, something that y'all will think silly... so my dream car is a Lexus RX450h AWD, I'm worried that once I go electric I won't ever want a hybrid again. A Volt will make a hybrid seem silly wouldn't it ��Haha
 

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I did a 300 mile trip with 3 adults and averaged 39mpg at 65-75mph on a route full of hills and Mtn passes. One of the passengers drives a Prius and he commented on how quiet my car was compared to the Prius. It's not a big car but it feels big. It feels like a larger sedan to me. One quirk I've noticed: the heater/AC fan seems loud. It isn't really, but the car is so quiet you notice the fan more.
 
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