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Hey, it’s time for me to belly-up to the bar and purchase a second shot of the nectar. That would put another Volt in the garage, adding to the Ms. Kingfish reverence for same. On the remote chance you are familiar with my recent lead-up complimentary posts (Formulating a Plan + Sizing Up Current Gen 1 Market), you know that I have been ever-so-slowly angling up to that proverbial purchase point. Now some might say – you’re putting way too much time & effort into this thing -- just enjoy the process and buy yourself an automobile (i.e., it’s not rocket science). Yeah, I get that. It’s a curse; for me just the very-involved way I purchase new wheels. Humor me.

Anyway, that labyrinthine purchase process is finally taking shape. There’s the Gen 1 buyer’s market to assess and there’s the Gen 2 product to identify. The latter is far and away more straightforward (less competitive) and less time consuming. It’s largely about understanding and choosing from the available options, and defining the price for same. The G2 will be a hot product through summer and dealer pricing will be reflective. And while one can certainly bask in that “great” product, the new car acquisition process is relatively mundane.

Conversely, the landscape for the G1 is vibrant and evergreen. First quarter sales for the new design were up 113 percent, so used lots have robust and growing quantities. Theoretically that buyer’s market should boost the brand, bringing value-seeking first timers on the heels of all those prior-owner geeks trading up. Electronically monitoring those stalwart used lots, I see the following:
• The offerings change daily; vehicles coming and going
• Private sellers faithfully asking unreasonable high prices
• Color red is popular (higher cost); opposite for white
• The market is dynamic; patience will be rewarded
• An abundance of terrific deals and bargaining power on low-option vehicles
• A disproportionate expense penalty on high-option vehicles

On the last, that means you will see loaded vehicles commanding a price that may challenge your personal worth quotient. A quick example: Anytime you graph en masse offerings (a scatter chart, mileage vs. price) you will generate a best-fit line traversing from the NW to the SE. This would be the normal relationship (high mileage/low price), but with loaded vehicles that can be skewed. My personal product preference is for NAV, but my 2014 model graph had the best-fit line going in the exact opposite direction (high mileage/price); very strange. It showed conventionally on my 2015 graph, so maybe a small sample-size anomaly. In any event, it’s phenomena worth recognizing.

So, to buy G1 or G2? That is the question. As noted above, G1 cost is a moving target. And then of course, there’s the end game. When comparing my best offering in both camps I find a $13k premium attached to the G2. In rough terms, that’s a low-mileage loaded 2014 ($18k) versus a loaded G2 ($38k), with local taxes and the full federal tax credit applied. As with most tangible things in life, it all comes down to money doesn’t it? And why is the calculated gap so large? Because at this moment we have a galloping G1 buyer’s market paralleling (not so coincidentally) a very immature G2 market. Humble opinion.....

In closing, did I mention that I enjoy this ever so convoluted buy process of mine? As always, your comments are most appreciated.
Thanks,
TheKingfish
2014 Brownstone Metallic / Pebble Beige Leather-Suede / purchased April 2014
 

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There is the used versus new issue and then there is the G1 vs. G2 issue. A lot depends on how long you expect to keep the car. On new v. used, a new car gives you an extra three years of a bumper to bumper warranty, which is worth a few thousand dollars, and the used car market is broken. You're likely getting a better chance of not getting a cast off with a Volt because a high percentage were leased, but the used market is still dicey. You also can't lease a used car.

On the Gen 1 vs. G2 issue, if you expect to turn the car over after a few years the difference you pay on the front end will likely be reflected on the back end. If you expect to keep it ten years then not so much.

That said, I'd go for a G2 with the safety options and ACC. Having these on the ELR I can tell you that they're worth the money and then some.
 

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That said, I'd go for a G2 with the safety options and ACC. Having these on the ELR I can tell you that they're worth the money and then some.
Yeah, Verily, DonC speaks and I listen (cause he's saying exactly what I'm thinking!). And as I tend to keep my cars until they are destroyed I'm not all that worried about depreciation. Funny thing though is here in sunny SoCal almost no cars are coming in to the dealers are equipped with ACC! Bummer. With my commute (190 miles a day through west LA) that's something I really want. Will probably have to custom order a car just to get this - but I can't move on it until the end of July (have a grant application in with my local AQMD and while it's recommended for approval, I have to wait until voucher is in hand before I can initiate a purchase <Sigh>). And the one thing about the G2 that really bugs me is the seat color selection in the Premium Blue (black only - would have preferred gray or two tone) and no Homelink remote system (all right - that's two things but they both bug me). Other than that, load it up with everything EXCEPT the fancy wheels, get it in red and get my two tone interior (still would rather have had Blue w/gray interior).
 

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I don't think it's great value vs. great product. Gen 1 was and still is a great car. Many of the other plug- in hybrids out or coming soon, still can't match it's EV range.
 

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I don't think it's great value vs. great product. Gen 1 was and still is a great car. Many of the other plug- in hybrids out or coming soon, still can't match it's EV range.
If I could buy my 2011 for $15k I'd do it in a heartbeat. But my 2011 is not for sale. I bought it new and am keeping it for 10 more years.
 

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Yeah, Verily, DonC speaks and I listen (cause he's saying exactly what I'm thinking!). And as I tend to keep my cars until they are destroyed I'm not all that worried about depreciation. Funny thing though is here in sunny SoCal almost no cars are coming in to the dealers are equipped with ACC! Bummer. With my commute (190 miles a day through west LA) that's something I really want. Will probably have to custom order a car just to get this - but I can't move on it until the end of July (have a grant application in with my local AQMD and while it's recommended for approval, I have to wait until voucher is in hand before I can initiate a purchase <Sigh>). And the one thing about the G2 that really bugs me is the seat color selection in the Premium Blue (black only - would have preferred gray or two tone) and no Homelink remote system (all right - that's two things but they both bug me). Other than that, load it up with everything EXCEPT the fancy wheels, get it in red and get my two tone interior (still would rather have had Blue w/gray interior).
homelink is not a problem. I installed a gentex 536 rearview mirror w/homelink and compass in my gen2 volt based on calbear write up: http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?226593-DYI-Auto-dimming-Mirror-w-HomeLink-Compass-Installation

The installation was easier than I thought and it looks really clean, as if the factory had installed the mirror.

I purchased the mirror used on ebay ($76) from a 2013 Kia Optima.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Hey, no argument on G1 being a great car; that was my contention/premise going in. In that context, we have two (2) very attractive products, with one entering a phase of acute value (great car/price). Two years ago Ms. Kingfish paid $26600 (effective) for her 2014. Today I can effectively buy her car (brand new w/NAV) for $16497. If I want that in the 2015 model it can be had for $17490. That’s what I’m talking about, a terrific current price-point irrespective of personal hold time or other factors. The G2 has effectively drained the swamp on G1 pricing. New or used, it is the best late-model car value on the street. And to our great benefit -- we all get the opportunity to drive an incredibly premium car on the cheap!

Gee, in retro it seems no one noticed that I failed to provide an answer to my own question (which to buy). Hmmmm. Had I done so in my Original Post, it would have been rather anti-climatic (in your heart you know that’s true). That plus the OP verbiage meter was running and I was well past the normal attention-span limit. For our species anyway.

There are three excellent reasons for me to embrace the purchase of a G1. Having put so much time & effort put into the pursuit, it would be a shame for all of that to go for naught. Plus being a true devotee of value, I love a genuine buyer’s market (a market that grows stronger every day). Add to that, the G1 would be an inexpensive Volt experiment for me given my trepidation with size (first preference is for a slightly larger vehicle). But no -- expense torpedo be damned -- I am going with the G2. I probably should have more than three reasons for doing so, but I have just one. Life is short.....

So, my plan is to now pivot and post another note devoted exclusively to my new-car search within our (always daunting) dealer network. There are lots of tentacles there, including financing, negotiation strategy and the like. You probably noticed that I’m an inordinately patient buyer so hatching a plan and receiving some good forum input for that path is my new goal. Please hang in there with me.
Thanks,
TheKingfish
2014 Brownstone Metallic / Pebble Beige Leather-Suede / purchased April 2014
 

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...thekingfish.
My first GM car-2017 Volt LT-your choice of G2 better looking,better AER,fine handling.
Full charge now provides me 87-88 e miles.Just wish I had another bank of batteries in the garage.How can you go wrong ?
Regards-------Don
 

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Mr. Kingfish - So, have you purchased yet? It's been almost 8 months....I can appreciate the "slow & steady" purchasing trail, but also wondering if the Bolt has got you looking at a 3rd option.
 
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