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I'm driving a 2001 Eclipse that I bought new when I was single and now have a wife and 6 year old. It's not what I'd consider to be a family car. I have cared for it and I've kept it for as long as I can.

I drive 40 miles per day to work round trip on a straight level highway. We also like to take day and weekend trips about two hours away with an occasional multi-day 100s of miles road trip. I think the Volt is perfect for that.

However, I have a couple of concerns. First, the reliability scores are poor. I haven't found a definitive source of where this poor score comes from. Sites I find always say that got the data from somewhere else. Was this just due to some early production problems on the Gen 2? What are the owners feeling on reliability? I don't live in a place where it would be convenient to take the car to the shop all the time.

Second, reviews indicate the backseat is very small. With a 6 year old in a booster, I'm not concerned (she fits in the back of my Eclipse still), but looking into the future when she's a teenager and taking a couple of friends along (or just a long trip with all of her stuff), how small is it? Is it comfortable for a couple of adults on a two hour road trip?

I'm hoping to test drive one this weekend, but I wanted some thoughts from others before I go through the hassle of dealing with a salesman.

Thanks for any input.
 

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Buy a Gen I Volt, it's rated in the top 5% of cars and would work well for your intended use.

Gen II volts are "average" rated, a tad better than a Toyota Highlander.

That said like any first year car they have recalls but most owners are happy and haven't had issues.
Needless to say the 2018 Volt will likely be better over the 2017 if that's what your going for.

Good Luck
 

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My Gen2 is very small in back; I wouldn't count on hauling teenagers anywhere more than a short distance. The "3rd seat" in the back is also a joke; the person needs to straddle the cupholder console.

EDITED TO ADD: I absolutely love my Volt and it's the perfect car for us, a couple with no kids. We routinely haul two large dogs in the back seat, but if there were kids in the mix, we might need something a bit larger.
 

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The Volt is a super car and would work for what you describe. However, you talk a lot about taking family trips and hauling passengers. Be aware that it is a compact car inside and not overly roomy. You will have to use the space wisely with 3 people plus luggage. The rear seat leg room and head room is lacking. You will be fully utilizing the space and not have much extra for "whatever."

Mine is primarily a commuter car, and fantastic for that. I can also do carpooling with my 11-13 year old boys and their friends, usually two passengers at a time, but it is starting to get tight. I am very tall, so my seat is all the way back, which makes the left rear seat leg room critical.

For out of town trips, it is great if it is just two people going, and 2 plus a kid would be fine, but when it is 4, we take the minivan. Having the choice between those two vehicles covers a lot of options, obviously, but if I were relying on the Volt more fully, it would be more of a concern and I would also be considering larger options like the midsize cars that offer a hybrid.

As for reliability, I consider it a very important consideration. These cars are high tech and some have had their gremlins. I think the car is essentially reliable and will last a long time. I am willing to get a few things fixed (especially under warranty) to drive such a groundbreaking car. I have been happier with mine than I ever thought I would be.

So far it has met my needs perfectly and has allowed me to drive 25,000 miles on just 100 gallons of gas (saved 733 gallons vs. my Civic) with zero range anxiety and a smile on my face.
 

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Having owned my Gen2 for 7 months-about 7800 miles and first service completed, I am happy with the Volt.My wife commutes to work about 21 miles each way & we recharge only at home (via solar PV & batteries).A full charge now shows 86-87 electric miles available (approximate of course) based on 50 MPH or less- amazing if moderately driven.Your immediate needs will be satisfied and it handles well.Set your mirrors correctly due somewhat limited rear visibility and it is a compact sized car.Take a test drive-enjoy!
@017 Gen 2 LT Heather Gray.
 

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The gen1 Volts (2011-2015) have been rock solid. There is one out there now (google Chevy Volt Sparky) with over 300,000 miles. I have both generations MY2013 & MY2016. The MY2013 has 49k miles and thus far it has needed one blinker bulb, one oil change, one engine air filter, one cabin air filter, and a handful of tire rotations. The MY2016 has 19k miles and has needed nothing but tire rotations. Keep in mind, as far as reliability is concerned, the hybrid components plus the battery and charging system are covered for 8yrs/100k miles, which arguably are the most expensive components to repair/replace. The gasoline engine has had very few problems and both generations have been placed on Ward's 10 Best engines list. I wouldn't be concerned with reliability on these vehicles, what would concern me in your case is the back seat room. I'm 6',2" and I have to have the seat all the way back. I'm comfortable, but nobody could sit behind me except a child. I don't have children and my wife and I rarely have passengers so it doesn't matter much for us, but you'll have to make that determination. Take your car seat along when you go test drive and see how it fits.
 

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To me the small backseat and limited storage behind the backseat are the biggest issue with both Gen1 and Gen2 Volts. It is a shame GM didn't address this with Gen2 (even if it had cost some all electric range).
 

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To me the small backseat and limited storage behind the backseat are the biggest issue with both Gen1 and Gen2 Volts. It is a shame GM didn't address this with Gen2 (even if it had cost some all electric range).
I'm 6' 3" I road 3500 miles out to Yellowstone and back in the rear seat, no major complaints.

As long as your front passenger isn't a dbag and your not a pansy it's fine.

I think Mericans are getting too soft and wimpy, some $8 a gallon gas like the rest of the world might help address that issue.
 

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I'm driving a 2001 Eclipse that I bought new when I was single and now have a wife and 6 year old. It's not what I'd consider to be a family car. I have cared for it and I've kept it for as long as I can.

I drive 40 miles per day to work round trip on a straight level highway. We also like to take day and weekend trips about two hours away with an occasional multi-day 100s of miles road trip. I think the Volt is perfect for that.

However, I have a couple of concerns. First, the reliability scores are poor. I haven't found a definitive source of where this poor score comes from. Sites I find always say that got the data from somewhere else. Was this just due to some early production problems on the Gen 2? What are the owners feeling on reliability? I don't live in a place where it would be convenient to take the car to the shop all the time.

Second, reviews indicate the backseat is very small. With a 6 year old in a booster, I'm not concerned (she fits in the back of my Eclipse still), but looking into the future when she's a teenager and taking a couple of friends along (or just a long trip with all of her stuff), how small is it? Is it comfortable for a couple of adults on a two hour road trip?

I'm hoping to test drive one this weekend, but I wanted some thoughts from others before I go through the hassle of dealing with a salesman.

Thanks for any input.

What's your budget? That is an important question as you may have a variety of options.
 

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The Volt is not right for your needs. I owned an Eclipse: never able to carry passengers in the rear. I owned a Prius: plenty of room for passengers in the rear. I own a Volt: no room for passengers in the rear. Consider buying the new Chrysler Pacifica if you want a plug-in with plenty of cargo and passenger room. You could also purchase a Prius Prime plug-in.
 

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My wife and I are now empty nesters. Our 2016 Volt works for us. She has a 32 mile round trip commute to her business and always arrives home with anywhere from 12 miles (winter), to has many as 30 miles (summer) left on the range indicator.

Even when running on gas over 40 mpg is what you should obtain. Ours is 45 mpg average over 17,000 miles, summer driving pushes the mpg near the 50 mpg mark.
 
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