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Discussion Starter #1
I test drove a gen 2 and gen 1, fully expecting to go the cheap route and go for the gen 1. But I really enjoyed the gen 2 more. It felt much faster to me, but it was completely out of battery power, so it was also running the generator vs. the gen 1 that was completely in electric(~18 mi of range).

Overall the 0-35 mph or so on the gen 2 felt completely superior (running on genset, not sure if that makes a big difference?). While I know that's not the real intent of the car, I'm a "car guy," and found myself preferring that extra speed. Plus the interior of the gen 2 seemed nicer to me overall (except for rear visibility, but it wasn't horrible since I'm tall). The heated steering wheel in the Premier was amazingly, almost sinfully good. I just can't get over the price since I wanted my car payment to go down AND be paying less in gas.

Speed range was only up to about 45-50 mph on the test route I went on, the gen 2 felt stronger at all speed, but mostly below about 30-35 mph.



My main question for those that have owned both gen 1 and gen 2 Volts - how much faster is the gen 2 in daily usage? Does it maintain that speed differential after say 40+ mph? Or does it start to essentially equal the gen 1 in that realm?



Also since it seems most Volts on the sales lots have no battery power, can I put the car in mountain mode for say 5-10 mins while parked and get enough EV charge to feel what it's like to drive under just EV power?
 

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Not sure if this answers your question or not. Top speed of both is limited to 101MPH. However, The Gen 2 has better motors and the ICE is more powerful. I believe the accelerator is more responsive in the Gen 2. You should try Sport Mode.
You can charge the battery in Mountain Mode, Gen 1 will top out at ~40%, Gen 2 at ~20%
 

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It's a little faster but my sense, and the sense among friends I have who have had both, is that the Gen II feels slower. Your perception is actually more in line with the times for 0-30. The biggest difference to me is that the second generation has a much more comfortable ride. Either will get the job done.
 

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Motor Trend puts the Gen 2 about 2 seconds faster 0-60, but less than 0.5 seconds faster 1/4 mile, so the Gen 1 makes up a lot of time 60 to 85 mph.

The Gen 1 electric motors are more powerful combined, but they aren't used as efficiently at lower speeds. Gen 2 uses both motors together at low speeds, and Gen 1 does not. Gen 1 has a very noticeable lack of power around 40 or 50 mph, but seems fine at higher speeds.
 

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Running in gas mode makes no real difference that you would be able to detect by the seat of the pants. Your perceptions were accurate and will apply to all drive modes. The Gen 1 is no slouch, but Gen 2 is a beast off the line. It feels much quicker off the line to me. Very noticeable and impressive. If you want a car that will really launch off the line, get the gen 2. However, I still love my Gen 1, so if you want to save the money, you would get a great car with that one as well.
 

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EVs seem faster because electric motors have much more low end torque. They get off the line faster. There is also no torque converter spinning up to speed.
Many performance car people driving EVs as their daily driver to keep the gasoline costs in check.
 

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Agree that off the line, Gen 2 is pretty fast. Zero-30 mph is supposedly almost the same as a non-P Model S. GM rates 0-60 at 8.5 secs, but most car mags tested it at mid-7's. And it zips right up to 100 mph. Very nice for a daily driver. (I've not owned a Gen 1, so can't make a direct comparison.)

And as mentioned above, if you are test driving a Volt with depleted battery, driving it in Mountain Mode for a while is a good idea. On Gen 2, it will eventually bring the battery up to 14% charge (just showing two green bars on the display). Should be around 7-8 miles of EV range. Then place it back in Normal (or Sport) mode to try it out just as a EV. Gen 1 MM brings the charge up to about 4 bars.
 

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I test drove a gen 2 and gen 1, fully expecting to go the cheap route and go for the gen 1. But I really enjoyed the gen 2 more. It felt much faster to me, but it was completely out of battery power, so it was also running the generator vs. the gen 1 that was completely in electric(~18 mi of range).

Overall the 0-35 mph or so on the gen 2 felt completely superior (running on genset, not sure if that makes a big difference?). While I know that's not the real intent of the car, I'm a "car guy," and found myself preferring that extra speed. Plus the interior of the gen 2 seemed nicer to me overall (except for rear visibility, but it wasn't horrible since I'm tall). The heated steering wheel in the Premier was amazingly, almost sinfully good. I just can't get over the price since I wanted my car payment to go down AND be paying less in gas.

Speed range was only up to about 45-50 mph on the test route I went on, the gen 2 felt stronger at all speed, but mostly below about 30-35 mph.



My main question for those that have owned both gen 1 and gen 2 Volts - how much faster is the gen 2 in daily usage? Does it maintain that speed differential after say 40+ mph? Or does it start to essentially equal the gen 1 in that realm?



Also since it seems most Volts on the sales lots have no battery power, can I put the car in mountain mode for say 5-10 mins while parked and get enough EV charge to feel what it's like to drive under just EV power?

Motortrend tested the volt and 0-30mph is 2.2 sec and 0-60mph was 6.8 sec. A little faster than GM's claim. There is a noticeable difference between Normal mode and Sport. Also a difference when the ICE is running.
 

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There is a noticeable difference between Normal mode and Sport.
That is only a difference in how the pedal is mapped - the car isn't any faster, it just feels faster due to snappier throttle response.
 

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That is only a difference in how the pedal is mapped - the car isn't any faster, it just feels faster due to snappier throttle response.
Correct, but I never said the car was faster in sport. Just that there was a noticeable difference. Maybe I left out "feel".
 

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The gen 2 is lighter. 0-30 is about the same, even quicker than some Teslas. After 30 the gen 1 really drops, the gen 2 is a bit more powerful.

They are in the ballpark of each other. It depends on Battery SOC and temperature as well as if you are in normal or sport or mountain mode. Mountain mode give you the most power and fastest speeds in both cars.

The gen 2 is lighter and feels more nimble but also doesn't feel as stout or grippy as a gen 1.

It's really up to you. If you are considering a new gen 2 take a look at used ELRs. Way way more bang for your buck.
 

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Speed aside, the Gen 2 fixes a fairly long list of quibbles and annoyances in the Gen 1, which is why I swapped my 2014 for a 2016 and am glad I did.

I've happily forgotten most of the irritations, but I remember the pseudo-button console, worse forward and side visibility, weak headlights and substantially shorter range. The only things worse on the Gen 2 are the loss of the homelink and the lower glass panel in the hatch.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The gen 2 is lighter. 0-30 is about the same, even quicker than some Teslas. After 30 the gen 1 really drops, the gen 2 is a bit more powerful.

They are in the ballpark of each other. It depends on Battery SOC and temperature as well as if you are in normal or sport or mountain mode. Mountain mode give you the most power and fastest speeds in both cars.

The gen 2 is lighter and feels more nimble but also doesn't feel as stout or grippy as a gen 1.

It's really up to you. If you are considering a new gen 2 take a look at used ELRs. Way way more bang for your buck.
The ELR looks nice, but the big allure of a gen 2 is that WA state has no sales tax on new EVs (first $32k value or so, which is basically 100% of a discounted Volt price these days). While a used gen 1 Volt or an ELR I'd pay a 10% sales tax, which REALLY changes the equation. So the gen 2 Volt is definitely cheaper than any used ELR I've seen, and it's running about $8-9k cheaper than a ~35-45k mi used Volt.

Most of my commute will likely be in the 0-45 mph range on city streets now, so an electric motor and really punchy down low power makes perfect sense now which is also why I'm more drawn to the gen 2's driving dynamics. It was seriously quick at just half throttle up to ~35 mph, whereas the gen 1 was needing near 100% throttle to get the "ok, it's got some punch" feeling down low.


The lack of homelink in the gen 2 doesn't really kill it, as that's about a $200ish add-on that doesn't look too hard to do.

Oddly ACC seems super rare on dealer lot cars, but pretty much all Premiers have driver confidence I and II packages (I could do without DC II honestly). But if I'm getting DC II, I'd like ACC... First world problem I know.


I'm not crazy about restarting a new car loan period... but in the cold pacific NW weather and a fairly short commute I'm getting a whopping 12 mpg in my BMW E70 X5... So while I'm not putting many miles on the thing now, I'm going through a $65 tank in about 190 miles... Ugh...


I'm going to try to test drive both this weekend on EV mode and take them out on the highway.
 

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I owned a Gen 1 and switched to the Gen 2. The Gen 2 is objectively faster.

Nevertheless, I enjoyed tossing around the Gen 1 more. Suspension/steering in Gen 1 was weighted more towards sport--the electric steering boost of the Gen 2 is a bit too much in my opinion. I also thought the greater weight of the Gen 1 made it feel more planted on the road.

Gen 2 is better over bumps and uneven roads. More comfortable. But I definitely found the Gen 1 more satisfying to drive--keeping in mind that neither of these cars are "sport" sedans by any stretch.

So just go with what feels more satisfying to you personally.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I owned a Gen 1 and switched to the Gen 2. The Gen 2 is objectively faster.

Nevertheless, I enjoyed tossing around the Gen 1 more. Suspension/steering in Gen 1 was weighted more towards sport--the electric steering boost of the Gen 2 is a bit too much in my opinion. I also thought the greater weight of the Gen 1 made it feel more planted on the road.

Gen 2 is better over bumps and uneven roads. More comfortable. But I definitely found the Gen 1 more satisfying to drive--keeping in mind that neither of these cars are "sport" sedans by any stretch.

So just go with what feels more satisfying to you personally.
I agree with this feeling. The gen 1 felt like it had a lower CG to me, maybe it had more roll stiffness due to stiffer springs etc. But the gen 2 felt lighter, but more floaty with a lower roll stiffness. Honestly, for a daily driver around town I don't mind something I can more bomb over bumps with as long as the car has good power and doesn't have horrible suspension balance. I didn't notice many bad handling traits on the gen 2 except for some steady state understeer (normal on most new commuter cars).

If you can't tell, I'm leaning towards the gen 2. It's a higher car payment, but I think I'd enjoy it more, which means I might keep it longer before getting more car ADD.
 

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Speed aside, the Gen 2 fixes a fairly long list of quibbles and annoyances in the Gen 1, which is why I swapped my 2014 for a 2016 and am glad I did.

I've happily forgotten most of the irritations, but I remember the pseudo-button console, worse forward and side visibility, weak headlights and substantially shorter range. The only things worse on the Gen 2 are the loss of the homelink and the lower glass panel in the hatch.
Exactly. The list of annoyances solved is fairly long. I was like you, started with test driving Gen1s and finally settled on a Gen2. Car comes with really bad tires. I don't care if they give me couple more miles that would come into play if I totally deplete the battery. Tires are obviously aimed at saving GM couple more tenths of mpgs which is the whole point of the car for them. As a driver they are horrible. Before comparing any performance measures tires need to be fixed.
 

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I've owned them both; the gen2 is faster especially off the line. Ditto; a lot of minor annoyances were fixed like having more buttons and backup camera lines. And the gen1 has this "slow spot" around 45mph where it takes a half second for the gears to switch around when you want to accelerate (maybe it was in ICE mode). Course, I upgraded from a base gen1 so I've got all the fancy ACC stuff too.
 

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I agree with this feeling. The gen 1 felt like it had a lower CG to me, maybe it had more roll stiffness due to stiffer springs etc. But the gen 2 felt lighter, but more floaty with a lower roll stiffness. Honestly, for a daily driver around town I don't mind something I can more bomb over bumps with as long as the car has good power and doesn't have horrible suspension balance. I didn't notice many bad handling traits on the gen 2 except for some steady state understeer (normal on most new commuter cars).

If you can't tell, I'm leaning towards the gen 2. It's a higher car payment, but I think I'd enjoy it more, which means I might keep it longer before getting more car ADD.
See if you can find a used 2016. I got my 2016 used back in February with only 13k miles on it for $21k. That's much cheaper than a new one. My monthly payment is probably less than most people's lease payments and I own it!
 

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How Quick the one is over the other would be my least concern. The Added EV range. Heated steering wheel, ACC would my reason to go with a Gen 2. It would have to have those options for me anyway, I don’t care about slight differences in acceleration. I don’t drive my Gen 1 in sport mode either.
 
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