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Discussion Starter #1
I'm leaning towards buying a Volt this weekend but I have a couple more questions. I don't commute (have a home office) so most of my use will be weekend drives around New England, generally 200-300 miles round trip, so I'll be using it mostly on it's engine (42MPG looks real good to me, my current car is 14-20). I've had a couple of test drives, one on a charged Volt, and the other on an uncharged Volt (different dealers). I seemed to be smooth and quiet in both modes but I just read a review where the author didn't like it in gas mode.

How does the 2016 and later Volt perform on long distance driving? How does it perform in the Mountains? (I go to Vermont several times a Summer).
 

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No Volt owner likes to run on gas if one can avoid it, but in my one trip to the local mountains, my relaxed ascent holding about 55 in the twisties produced little noticeable engine noise or vibration. Had I been in a big hurry and floored the pedal a lot, the engine would definitely make itself known, but it's really quite muted in the Gen 2.
Go for it, or maybe borrow a demo for the weekend and see for yourself.
 

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Yes, I find the switch between modes to be very smooth, and almost indistinguishable to passengers. However, the only thing that takes getting used to is that the engine can rev when you are not actually expecting it. No big deal.

As for mountains, it does fine. The car is not great in the twisties, but no one should expect that to begin with.
 

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I have experienced the transition from EV to ICE at surface street speed and at highway speeds (about 60 mph), both on flat terrain. So far, I have a difficult time hearing/feeling when the transition occurs. The best way for me to tell is looking at the ODO for EV and ICE, where there a switch in the readings as EV reaches 0 miles. As far as I can tell, the transition is smooth and no big deal. Great car for our daily drives, although I don't have much experience with long drives in the Volt.
 

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The transition is worse in town, at least on my gen 1. The reason is you grow spoiled by the silence, and secondly because revs don't always match accelerator pedal position. It is much worse if you drive aggressively, if you drive leisurely it probably won't bug you as much.

On highway it drives like other gas cars with CVTs for the most part after battery is dead. What I might do is drive in hold mode for long trips and save your battery for your destination. Just use up your charge before you plug in.

For example, if I went on a 500 mile round trip trip to Chicago, I would use hold mode to drive there, drive around on EV, and then drive back in normal. Assuming I wasn't planning on charging there.

The new Volt has something like 100 hp engine, so you aren't that likely to need mountain mode, but all it does is charge your battery up a bit so if you want to drive up a long steep hill at 80 mph you won't run out of power halfway up as long as you start it 15 minutes out or so. Using the electric motor and gas engine combined gives the car a lot more power, but can only do this if battery has charge. You could also use hold mode to maintain charge for the mountains.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yes, I find the switch between modes to be very smooth, and almost indistinguishable to passengers. However, the only thing that takes getting used to is that the engine can rev when you are not actually expecting it. No big deal.

As for mountains, it does fine. The car is not great in the twisties, but no one should expect that to begin with.
Could you be more specific about what you mean by "twisties", do you mean switchbacks?, and what specifically is the problem?
 

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As for mountains, it does fine. The car is not great in the twisties, but no one should expect that to begin with.
The OP is taking about New England mountains, which some from the Western states would call "big hills", and yes the Volt does fine. As for the "twisties", if you are comparing the Volt to sports cars such as Corvettes, Camaros, Mustangs, Porches (all rear wheel drive), then no it isn't comparable. But if compared to similar front wheel drive vehicles, I think it holds it own. In addition, many people think they are driving aggressively, but are really no where near the limits. For those folks, the Volt handles just fine.

VIN # B0985
 

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Could you be more specific about what you mean by "twisties", do you mean switchbacks?, and what specifically is the problem?
Hmmm...more specific, maybe you should tell me what you mean by "perform in the mountains" first, so then I can answer more clearly.

The front end is heavy and sluggish, so that when you are turning from side to side, as you go up twisty mountain roads the front end rolls this way and that. I'm sure the LRR tires with their weak sidewalls don't help, but as I said earlier no one should expect that to begin with, since it's not meant to be a sportscar.
 

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Hmmm...more specific, maybe you should tell me what you mean by "perform in the mountains" first, so then I can answer more clearly.

The front end is heavy and sluggish, so that when you are turning from side to side, as you go up twisty mountain roads the front end rolls this way and that. I'm sure the LRR tires with their weak sidewalls don't help, but as I said earlier no one should expect that to begin with, since it's not meant to be a sportscar.
Plus, it's heavy for it's size and form factor. That's lovely for a smooth ride, but it does rather urge prudence around corners. Especially if there's only a galvanized guard rail or (worse) three steel cables on a black and white cedar post between you, the road, and a steep and discouraging drop.
 

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I do a lot of long-distance driving in my Gen 1 Volt, and I've never had an issue. My advice is, if you are driving in mountains, you will want to keep it in Mountain Mode. The Volt's ICE can only produce about 50-60 kW of power, so if you deplete the battery while driving up a mountain, it might be a bit of a dog. I doubt that you will encounter the types of mountains we have to deal with out here in California, but I've noticed the difference even on 5-6% grades with ~ 3,000-4,000 feet of elevation change.
 

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There are no mountains east of the Mississippi River. With nearly a year of experience in the Colorado Rockies, I think that my 2013 Volt has performed admirably. I currently average 165 MPG, between 2 and 4 gallons of gasoline per month. My commute for work is within the 40 miles of range that I have in my battery pack. Longer trips fill me with dissatisfaction, not because the range extending generator is not smooth. I simply do not want to flip over to engine and reduce my lifetime fuel economy. Planning stops for re-charging on long-distance trips is painful and expensive because I go shopping and eat at restaurants while my vehicle is at a plug-in. I am planning a 3,000-mile trip to the Canadian Rockies in July, so will suffer losses. However, the Volt performs well in Mountain Mode, gaining charge down from the top of passes and engaging the gas generator as needed to climb over those 12,000-foot peaks. If you will be using the Volt primarily for 200+ mile trips, then you should also consider purchasing a Prius for fuel economy, since there is no comparative advantage for the Volt unless it is going to be used for shorter commutes fully-utilizing the plug-in charging. The Prius provides more cargo space and passenger room for the 50 miles per gallon that you will likely average with a Volt on long-distance trips.
 

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I THINK you will find that the VOLT is the best car you have ever had, as have most of us on the forum including myself no maintenance in 3 years, peppy, smooth, quiet and fun to drive
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Hmmm...more specific, maybe you should tell me what you mean by "perform in the mountains" first, so then I can answer more clearly.

The front end is heavy and sluggish, so that when you are turning from side to side, as you go up twisty mountain roads the front end rolls this way and that. I'm sure the LRR tires with their weak sidewalls don't help, but as I said earlier no one should expect that to begin with, since it's not meant to be a sportscar.
Is the body roll noticeable in normal driving, highway exits for example, or does it take something as extreme as a switchback? We don't have switchbacks in the East but there are some fairly steep grades on two lane roads in Vermont.
 

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Is the body roll noticeable in normal driving, highway exits for example, or does it take something as extreme as a switchback? We don't have switchbacks in the East but there are some fairly steep grades on two lane roads in Vermont.
I can't speak to body roll because my wife would give me dirty looks if I drove aggressively enough to cause it. But if GenII performance matches or exceeds that of our Gen I, you have nothing to worry about. Pikes Peak was a piece of cake - to the point of being annoyed by drivers poking along in front of us on the way up.

Our Gen I reminds me a bit of our Volvo S80-T6 in the cool mountain air of W. VA.. Both are as frisky as 1-year-old labradors in that environment. The T6 will press your tailbone against the seat back on an uphill climb with 4 passengers (plus luggage.) I've not had that many people in our Volt, but I feel confident that I'd handle it okay.

We've taken two trip >5K miles in our Gen I and find it as comfortable as the T6 on long trips. We have another >6K-mile trip planned for latter this year. I drove the T6 (alone) to Houston and back for Mother's Day and it still get's 27+ on the road, but it's not the same as our Volt - I'm spoiled now.
 

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It all depends upon your perspective, from what you've been driving before. I find that the car rolls easily under normal driving, but you get used to it.
Is the body roll noticeable in normal driving, highway exits for example, or does it take something as extreme as a switchback? We don't have switchbacks in the East but there are some fairly steep grades on two lane roads in Vermont.
 

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The car is not great in the twisties, but no one should expect that to begin with.
Maybe I'm missing something here. Are your tires soft?
Perhaps you've only experienced the lower speed handling, (I felt it didn't express the car's abilities)

I was astonished with the high speed handling of the Gen1 Volt when I punted it up the Reefton Spur. (amongst the best 'twisties' in Australia).
The Three performance modified Skylines I still own, would have a lot of trouble keeping up with this thing, despite having 3 times the power and less weight to boot. They might be old, but are highly developed tuners.
 

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The Gen 1 handling is acceptable with the OEM tires with a little roll. Changing to another tire makes the handling much better at the expense of a little range. There are many options depending on your needs.
 

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Keeping your tires at max sidewall pressure listed on the tire will help. We keep our Goodyear Assurance factory tires on our 2014 Volt at max 51 psi for all 4 tires and with nearly 40,000 miles perfect wear and probably 15,000-20,000 miles left to go...
 

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Keeping your tires at max sidewall pressure listed on the tire will help. We keep our Goodyear Assurance factory tires on our 2014 Volt at max 51 psi for all 4 tires and with nearly 40,000 miles perfect wear and probably 15,000-20,000 miles left to go...
That might seem counter intuitive to some, because many members of this forum feel that inflating beyond the 39 (?) psi recommended in the owner's manual would result in increased wear. While I don't run at the max 51 psi, I do try to keep the tires in the range of 42 to 46 psi, and my last set lasted over 70,000 miles before needing replacement. Perhaps increasing the psi beyond the manufacturer's recommended level will actually increase the life of the tires?
 

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That might seem counter intuitive to some, because many members of this forum feel that inflating beyond the 39 (?) psi recommended in the owner's manual would result in increased wear. While I don't run at the max 51 psi, I do try to keep the tires in the range of 42 to 46 psi, and my last set lasted over 70,000 miles before needing replacement. Perhaps increasing the psi beyond the manufacturer's recommended level will actually increase the life of the tires?
Recommended pressure does seem to wear the outsides of the treat prematurely on the OEM Goodyears. There was almost a 1/16th of an inch difference in tread depth between the center and the outside when I replaced what the Prior Owner had done to them.
 
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