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Hello everyone. I've been doing some research around this forum for a little while now and decided to actually create an account since I more than likely will be a 1st Gen Volt owner soon. Long story-short(ish) of what brought me here... I've been a reservation holder for the Tesla Model 3 for a while. I was extremely close to finally taking the plunge and ordering my ideal configuration, a $55,000 car... And well, some things in my life changed recently and suddenly which made me realize that this is NOT the right time for me to be taking on such an expensive car loan. I've driven the Model 3, and in my opinion the car lives up to all the hype. It's still my dream car, etc, etc; but I simply can't take on that financial burden right now.

The problem I'm running into by deciding to wait on purchasing the Model 3 is that I'm still driving around my 2006 Toyota 4Runner, and it's getting to that point where it's becoming too expensive to operate for me to want to keep around. I honestly don't know how much longer it's going to last before it becomes a vehicle that only an experienced mechanic, and welder, would or could want to drive it. I am neither of those.

While looking for an interim vehicle, I was initially drawn to the Volt because I've always liked the look of them. The 1st Gen has a Blade Runner/Ghost in the Shell kinda 80's-90's cyberpunk futuristic car look IMO haha. I've also been wanting to switch over to an EV (Tesla or not) due to wanting to decrease my carbon footprint, and to save money on daily operating costs. Like a lot of people, I could do the vast majority of my driving with the ~40 mile battery-only range the Volt offers. I currently spend around $100 a month JUST on gas for the 4Runner, and I don't even drive that much. I'm also interested in the Volt because from the homework I've done it seems like a very reliable vehicle. From looking around this forum and elsewhere, it seems like the vast majority of owners are very pleased with their cars.

Anyway, I'm going to Ohio this weekend to visit a friend, and it just so happens that a dealership just down the road from him has a couple of grey (color I want) 2015 Volts in their inventory. Essentially, two versions of the same car, even similar mileage; just that one is a Premium and one is not. Unless I end up hating the car for some reason when I test drive them, I'm most likely going to be bringing one of them home. :D
 

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When you test drive the 2015 Volt(s), if the dealer has not charged the battery, select Mountain Mode and the Volt will charge up to 40% battery state of charge within 20 minutes. Even if you only stay in MM for 10 minutes before switching back to Normal mode this should give enough charge to the Volt's battery to be able to drive for up to 8 miles in EV mode.
 

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Reliability-wise, they're rock solid. I was in a similar situation with a Jeep Cherokee, except with my annual driving being about 32,000 miles. I was spending over $300 a month in gas. Now, the Volt is essentially paying for itself in gas savings. My only regret is that I didn't buy a full BEV, and without a doubt my next vehicle will be fully electric. Even though my daily commute is 55 miles, I have free charging at work and school, so I am able to do 100% of my daily driving on electric. The only times I've used gas are on a road trip to Denver, and then a second road trip to Montreal. Occasionally in the winter I get the engine running due to extremely cold temperatures (I'm in Michigan), but it's not the norm. Worth every penny, even in the short run compared to the price of gas and maintenance for an SUV. As of October 2nd I've had mine for exactly a year.
 

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IMO, Gen 1 is the best used car value anywhere. When it was designed, GM was in a deep financial hole. The Volt was designated to usher in the new GM as a symbol of modern engineering and design prowess.

As such, a public failure with such a high profile vehicle was not an option and GM engineers got priority over the bean counters. The result is an amazingly reliable vehicle that is fun to drive and works remarkably well. The infamous Sparky went 313,000 miles before the first breakdown, was repaired relatively inexpensively, and is now well over 450,000 and still going strong. The question isn't to Volt or not, but which Volt to get.

In general, Hold mode is a great feature and available in MY 2013 and beyond. MY 2013 also got a slight increase in battery capacity. MY 2014 added a slightly better radio/infotainment system. Late MY 2014 and all of MY 2015 received another slight battery increase and thus have slightly longer range.

The only real mechanical problem was a bearing issue in the drive train of some MY 2011 and 2012 (a circular saw sound). That fix is well documented. All Gen 1's may develop a slight click on acceleration/deceleration that requires a 1/4 turn on the front axel nuts and takes about 30 minutes to complete. I'm not aware of any major mechanical issue beyond those. Battery range is holding even at extremely high milage and there are no know problems with the EV systems.

The general consensus here is Safety 1, which includes the backup camera, is a highly desirable feature. Safety 2 (forward collision alert) is nice, but not a considered a must have by most. If you live in a cold climate like PA, you will want the heated seat option as it is more efferent to heat you rather than the entire cabin. The Premium package was basically heated leather sets and a back seat console box. Heated cloth is rare so you'll likely be looking for a Gen1 with the Premium package. Bose is not really worth paying more for and Nav is all but useless in the age of Google Maps and Waze. The only other option was painted rims or polished rims. A 240V charger at home makes life much better and it worth the investment if you do a lot of running around on the weekends.

The lifetime MPG will give you some idea of how many ICE (internal combustion engine) miles vs EV miles are on the car. Most think less ICE miles are better as the ICE theoretically has a shorter life span, but we've not yet seen many issue with the ICE, even at high milage.

Most used car buyers are still a bit nervous about the Volt and small cars overall are not in much demand right now. It's a buyers market so negotiate hard -- you have the advantage. Like you, I'm a Model 3 reservation holder and see it as an amazing car. Still, my Volt does everything so well that we'll be keeping it regardless. Best of luck and welcome to the forum!
 
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