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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've had my used Volt less than 2 weeks and my appreciation for it has been climbing quickly;
so much so that if the Gen 2 has more to offer, I might buy a new car for the first time in my life.
That said, here is my list of...

Top 3 things Chevy could do to stymie Volt[ec] progress:

3) Fail to address the driver's field of vision and center stack issues.
2) Make the Volt more like a typical GM/Chevy car.
1) Cheapen the interior to recoup drivetrain costs.

My reasons:

3) The poor rear vision and center stack were the top reasons against buying a Volt during my car shopping/research process. I have to lower my seat as low as it will go in order to see above the spoiler in my rear view mirror; I'm 6' tall, this shouldn't be an issue. Deciphering the center stack buttons distracts the driver; pictographs, colors and tactile surfaces are proven interfaces. The current center stack buttons don't respond when I'm wearing gloves.

2) I've driven as my daily vehicle: Mazda, Toyota, Saturn, Nissan, Ford and a Volt. There isn't a single other GM/Chevy car that I would consider buying. And if I won as a prize a tricked-out top-end Corvette, I would trade it for a Tesla at the same price point ($70K) and not just because of the electrons. The Volt brings new customers to Chevy. If the Volt were more like a typical GM/Chevy, it might not have that draw.

1) One of Gen 2's driving forces is cost reduction. I bought my Volt because I got a car laden with quality-options for $23K (used). I got a 2012 instead of later years because of ALL-leather seat, not just the leather-trimmed seat. The hard plastics on the doors and dash are serious turn-offs; I hope it doesn't get worse. The driver's left arm rest should be a serious driver-comfort concern and not a two-inch, hard plastic ledge for pete's sake!
 

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The center stack buttons were hard to learn. Two years later I'm still learning the finer points. But I will say this, I LOVE the center stack touch buttons because it's so easy to clean. No pulling out Q-tips to get all the dirt and dust out of the nooks and crannies. The way the whole front of the Volt is, It's a piece of cake to clean and make it look like a new car in under a minute. Amazing!

Now that pocket in the center just behind the shifter, that needs fixing. From day one until now, I like to put my iPhone 3GS in there but it often gets in the way of the shifter when I put it in Low. I'll report back how the 6+ works out when I get it later this month.
 

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Congrats on your nice pickup of a loaded '12. The small window below the spoiler helps greatly with rear vision, I don't think the gen 2 will have that window.

Don't be so tough on GM cars, they've been turning things around and they've made some pretty good work in the last few years. Unfortunately, their image will take longer to shine brightly again than the iron they put out. Me, as much as I like Tesla, I'd keep the Vette...
 

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About #3, some people have posted that their rear view mirror was actually upside down. Check and see if the light sensor 'dot' is on the top or bottom part of the mirror. If it's on the bottom, your mirror is upside down, and you need to flip it rightside up. I own a 2012, and it seems that the '12s have a slightly better build quality than the following year models. At least the complaints seem less. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The small window below the spoiler helps greatly with rear vision
Not for me. All I can see is the nose of the nearest vehicle during city driving. On the highway, all I see is pavement flashing by.

Don't be so tough on GM cars, they've been turning things around
I've read good things about the Impala and I'd like to test drive one. But I wouldn't consider buying one unless it got >40mpg and was silent at stoplights (i.e. had stop-start). Has two weeks with a Volt spoiled me already?
 

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Thicker A pillars is the side effect for better rollover and front/side crash protection. It is not going away. Many newer cars have the same issue (look at the BMW i3).

I'm pretty sure Mark Reuss mentioned in an analyst meeting that the dash would be "improved".
 

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The Volt brings new customers to Chevy. If the Volt were more like a typical GM/Chevy, it might not have that draw.
The Volt definitely makes conquest sales, and I hope GM doesn't misunderstand what this means. Typically a conquest customer is going to be more likely to buy another one of your products in the future, but only if you have products to offer that meet their needs. GM basically has the Volt and nothing else like it.
 

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I'll agree with most points. The poor visibility is my biggest issue, and it still bothers me after over two years. The A-pillars are thick and seriously impair visibility at the 11 and 2 o'clock positions. I've overlooked pedestrians, which is just dangerous. I have made it a habit of shaking my head to see around the pillars. For driving backwards there is no other option than to trust the rear camera.

I suspect that the thick pillars are the result of the heavy weight of the car, requiring the roof to carry much of the structural integrity. It would be possible to engineer this better in the 2.0 Volt.

As for the center stack: I hated it at first because of the brain dead layout: useless functions get a butting, while important ones (such as accessing the presets) require two clicks. But now I quite like the clean and subtle click of the capacitive buttons. It does what is should do and it is nicely different than most other cars.
 

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Not for me. All I can see is the nose of the nearest vehicle during city driving. On the highway, all I see is pavement flashing by.



I've read good things about the Impala and I'd like to test drive one. But I wouldn't consider buying one unless it got >40mpg and was silent at stoplights (i.e. had stop-start). Has two weeks with a Volt spoiled me already?
You can eliminate majority of the rear blind spot with a.good quality clip on convex mirror for around $10. Personally, I use them on ALL of my vehicles plus aspheric outside mirrors to eliminate rearward blind spots 100%. I haven't found a way to eliminate blind spots from the A pillars other than looking around both sides of the pillar.

FYI, what you may think is 100% leather seat is leather on seating surfaces only. I'm assuming you're comparing your seat to ones with alcantra-like inserts. You'll find leather like "plastic/vinyl" on $100k plus German and British luxury cars on non-seating surfaces. You can thank Lexus for that cost savings route employed by all major auto manufacturers.
 

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I rented a Hyundai Elantra for a weekend business trip. Some impressions from a volt owner.
Nice to get back to the three knob HVAC system.
Lots of interior room and a real trunk.
Remarkable control of NVH, cruising on the highway it was like electric drive.
Fuel economy was 40+ mpg, most of the time 72-77 mph with some urban driving too. Same conditions the volt would get 33-34 on premium.Volt 1 ice is definitely showing is age.
Volt 2 has a high bar to clear. Imo
 

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The monolithic block of controls on the center stack would be improved by use of shape and color I agree. I do like the touch sensitive and they work for me even wearing leather gloves.

Yes, I am a conquest sale. This is my fisrt GM car, heck, my first American car. I'm inclined to buy another but only if its as ground-breaking as the Volt. Like others, I still have my doubts about GM management (not it's engineers) especially seeing how awful they are at marketing a superb car.

I'm 6-2 and have no rear visibility issues, so not sure what to say about that other than YMMV
 

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Pretty small nits to pick imho.

All cars have their own karma and Volt has some warts in there as well. However, Volt is THE BEST car I have ever driven. Warts and all.
 

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I rented a Hyundai Elantra for a weekend business trip. Some impressions from a volt owner.
Nice to get back to the three knob HVAC system.
Lots of interior room and a real trunk.
Remarkable control of NVH, cruising on the highway it was like electric drive.
Fuel economy was 40+ mpg, most of the time 72
 

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I rented a Hyundai Elantra for a weekend business trip. Some impressions from a volt owner.
Nice to get back to the three knob HVAC system.
Lots of interior room and a real trunk.
Remarkable control of NVH, cruising on the highway it was like electric drive.
Fuel economy was 40+ mpg, most of the time 72
Interesting. I spoke to an owner of a new Elantra recently. I had an '05. He said he was disappointed with the fuel economy and was only getting about 25 mpg. I just did a road trip last month with 2 passengers, the rest of the car packed with luggage, 70 mph, lots of elevation changes, and got between 38 and 40 mpg. Last shorter highway trip I took with the Elantra with four passengers, no luggage and maybe 60 mph max, I got about 28.5 mpg.
 

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I've had my used Volt less than 2 weeks and my appreciation for it has been climbing quickly;
so much so that if the Gen 2 has more to offer, I might buy a new car for the first time in my life.
That said, here is my list of...

Top 3 things Chevy could do to stymie Volt[ec] progress:

3) Fail to address the driver's field of vision and center stack issues.
2) Make the Volt more like a typical GM/Chevy car.
1) Cheapen the interior to recoup drivetrain costs.
1: Drivetrain costs are already reduced on Volt 2 vs Volt 1. It combines the inverter with the module, and appears to use two smaller electric motors. Volt 1 uses an 111 kW traction motor and 55 kW generator, where Volt 2 appears to use an approximately 85 kW traction motor with a second 45 kW generator/traction motor. This is a net reduction of maybe 35 kW power, or a reduction of cost of about 20% (in the two motors). However, Volt 2 makes smarter use of them and can combine the two at low speeds for approximately 130 kW power and maybe better gearing at high speeds to help 0-60 time. These numbers are based on my educated guesses based on what has been said: Power ratio would remain similar between motor A and motor B, at low speeds the car would have up to 20% more power (Volt 1 has 111 kW only at low speed), and motors are visibly smaller in drivetrain video.

2: With the T battery, don't think they can do this.

3a: I don't like the cab forward design, but it actually helps visibility out the sides. The A pillars are far enough forward that they don't block my vision of cars going side to side like most newer vehicles. I can't see traffic lights when I am stopped, but that just means I have to tilt my head to the side a little until it turns green.

3b: At least they probably can't make the center stack worse. It looks good, but ergonomics nightmare. A simple off button for the climate control would have gone a long way.
 

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The Volt definitely makes conquest sales, and I hope GM doesn't misunderstand what this means. Typically a conquest customer is going to be more likely to buy another one of your products in the future, but only if you have products to offer that meet their needs. GM basically has the Volt and nothing else like it.
^^This^^

I do think the signs are generally positive for Volt 2.0, even if not for me. It seems that they've been working with an approach of "make it better and also cheaper" and improved in multiple areas, which should help with broad appeal. So, no signs yet of getting a GM BEV in 2019, but possibly a Volt n:n>1 in 2023.

I'm sure they'll do something about the center stack. In my 2013 it's way too sensitive to the point that when I was trying to deal with a pairing/finding issue it would keep turning the climate on because a finger was touching one of the climate buttons.

There are other niggles and irritations that if fixed could encourage existing owners to update.
 

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Most owners are getting around 30, and probably 85% are doing better than 25. A similar percentage are probably getting 35 or better as getting 25 or worse.
http://www.fuelly.com/car/hyundai/elantra
I double checked the figures by miles driven and gas actually purchased, it's 40 mpg. So it's not a gross error by the fuel computer on the dash. I have to say before the trip I would have expected to get low 30's knowing what the speeds are on I-69 between Lansing and Indianapolis. Plus I had a significant number of miles city driving around Indy.
It's interesting that drivers can get such different numbers, I guess a car fits a driving style or it doesn't. Or some stations are selling gas with way more ethanol than its supposed to have.
 

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Hopefully someday soon a brand you actually like and respect will make a competitive car to the Volt and you can be put out of your misery. IMO GM doesn't need customers who hate their products and brand already from the get-go. Which I personally find ridiculous because GM makes a number of nice vehicles.

This is the sometimes myth of "conquest". You apparently like your Volt fairly well, but your opinions about Chevy and GM have not changed at all. Maybe a plug-in Prius is more your style.
 
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