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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone!

I've been watching EVs for a while now and got attracted to the Volt recently. I was looking at some Leafs but the battery degradation here in AZ was terrible and range anxiety is legit, so that got tossed out the window.

I'm not too familiar with the Volt so I'm doing my homework, but what do you all think of these 3 options I'm looking at?

Volt 1:
$11k
2013
85k miles
Premium features

Volt 2:
$7500+shipping from CA (maybe $450?)
2012
132k miles
Premium features

Volt 3:
$6850
2012
110k miles (Box C title meaning it's not actual)
Trim level unknown

I studied the Leafs quite a bit, so I need to educate myself on what to look for and look out for on the Volt. Any quick tips and pointers? Also is there some cool tool for diagnosing battery capacity left or engine miles or anything (ex. Leaf Spy but for Volts)?

Thanks for all your help! Hopefully I can find myself in a Volt soon!
 

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Of those three, I would go for the 2013 (Volt 1). In addition to being the only one with the Voltec Warranty still in place, the 2013 introduced "Hold" mode which allows you to run the ICE when you want to (e.g. when entering a freeway for example) in order to save the EV range for local streets. For 2011/2012, there is an app that you can use to simulate Hold mode (MyVoltHold I think) used in conjunction with an OBD-II connector.

#3 I would rule out just because of the possibility of odometer tampering. Price comes into play depending on how long you plan to keep the car and how much you have to spend.

Good luck with your research and purchase.
 

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You might want to look around a little more ... because if you're willing to either travel and drive one home, or have one shipped from further away, even that cost may be less than what you're looking at buying these cars for. I would agree with getting a 2013 or newer if you're going to purchase used and want that price point. BUT ... being the owner of both a Gen1 and a Gen2, if you can up your spending limit ... I would highly encourage you to get a Gen2 for the EV range increase, as well as the ICE mpg increase. I would suggest that you to do a search on Autotrader.com, adding any trim levels and or options you want, as there are MANY Gen2 Volts available for under $23k and with factory warranty time left as well. ( such as this one: https://www.autotrader.com/cars-for...searchRadius=0&makeCode1=CHEV&modelCode1=VOLT ... OR this one: https://www.autotrader.com/cars-for...searchRadius=0&makeCode1=CHEV&modelCode1=VOLT AND Here's a '14 as well https://www.autotrader.com/cars-for...searchRadius=0&makeCode1=CHEV&modelCode1=VOLT) Although I do feel like my '13 Volt has a better suspension feel (as in, it seems to hug the road better in curves, with what feels like less body roll) other improvements on the Gen2 are simply great in my opinion and make it a better car. Don't get me wrong, I'm very happy with my '13, which is why I decided to keep it, instead of trade it in on my '18 Volt. I believe that you can retro-fit the radio in Gen1 Volts to be able to use Apple CarPlay if that's something that matters to you ... Gen2 Volts have it from the factory.
My biggest worry now (living in Colorado) is that the cops are going to come raid my house (thinking I have some illegal marijuana growing) because I'm using 3-4 times more electricity than my neighbors since I'm charging 2 Volts! :D

The Volt is a great car and was not advertised very well by GM, nor is it well understood by people still today, and that's sad, because it truly is one (now 2) of the best vehicles I've ever owned. My Gen1 is now passing 174K miles, and not a single breakdown at this point. My wife actually likes driving the '18 Volt MORE than she likes driving our Camaro SS convertible! That should tell you something about the Gen2 and it's vast improvements. Best of luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Wow thanks for your great responses so far, guys! I should have also mentioned my needs for the car too.

I'm just using the car as a commuter to and from work. The commute is 25 miles each way and my office has an EV charging bay. I drive freeway the whole way (about 70mph until traffic slows down to about 35mph half way) with AC on so I wasn't sure if I would make the whole trip on EV alone or if the gas would kick in.

The third one is pretty sketchy (the whole ad and everything) so I wasn't too sold on it other than the price. My wife is totally leaning toward #1 since the miles are still lower, but if the engine isn't used much do miles matter much on these cars for maintenance?

I'm trying to keep the budget under $12k since it's just a work car and hopefully keep it for about 5 years until the used 150+ mile BEV market gets much cheaper. Does the Volt have any way to show lifetime gallons used or total gas miles (to help indicate engine wear) or is there any third party app that could identify it that you all know about?

Thanks again for all the help so far!
 

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Volt 1. Having your OWN car grow into an "out of all warranty" yawning pit of unknown is one thing. But buying someone else's yawning unknown is a little more of a leap.
 

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I'm trying to keep the budget under $12k since it's just a work car and hopefully keep it for about 5 years until the used 150+ mile BEV market gets much cheaper. Does the Volt have any way to show lifetime gallons used or total gas miles (to help indicate engine wear) or is there any third party app that could identify it that you all know about?
An active OnStar account will have those mileage figures on the mychevrolet website. You can also punt pretty good knowing the odometer reading and the lifetime MPG (from the dash display): 85,000 miles and 125 MPG tells you 85000/125 = ~680 gallons burned * 38 (MPG EPA) = 25840 gas miles / 85000 = 30% gas miles, 70% electric miles. There's a lot of variation and slop in that, and it gets wildly inaccurate at high lifetime MPGs, but if you're seeing upwards of 180 MPG lifetime, the engine's barely been used in the 6+ years it's been on the road and the owner would probably have been better off with a Leaf anyway... :)
 

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Volt 1. Having your OWN car grow into an "out of all warranty" yawning pit of unknown is one thing. But buying someone else's yawning unknown is a little more of a leap.
I agree with hellsop. At least getting something that has a bit of Voltec warranty left will allow you to make sure you aren't buying someone else's problem. If you can afford it, finding a newer 2014 or 2015 that is a certified Chevy will give you some powertrain warranty and a year of bumper to bumper warranty and less than 50,000 miles. These seem to be in the $14-$16k range, so you are getting a few more years of use for a couple thousand more dollars.
 

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Volt 1. Hold mode is great and I like the lower miles. Consider Safety 1 (backup camera) as a must have. Perhaps heated seats if you live in a cold area as it conserves EV range by heating you and not the entire passenger compartment.

The Volt is a GREAT used car. Zero range degradation due to the thermally managed battery (unlike the Leaf). Oil changes every two years is about the only maintenance needed. I've got 130K miles and it still drives and feels brand new. VERY reliable.
 

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I remember that car - Head and shoulders above anything on his list and much less likely to give him problems than any of his high mileage choices

Don
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well I decided to up my budget a bit and I'm glad that I did so! You guys helped point out that better ones are only a few grand away.

Here's a few questions I couldn't find after basic googling (I apologize in advance):

1. Are there different regen braking modes on the Volt (like a more aggressive one)?
2. Is there an app to schedule or manage Volt charging, AC and the like (like the Leaf had)?
3. Do any of you have pro tips for learning the car's key needed functions quicker?
4. Does the front collision warning simply alarm or does it actually break too (like smart cruise control)?

Thanks again and I look forward to being a new Volt owner hopefully by week's end!
 

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This is regarding a Gen 1 Volt...

There are 2 different regen braking modes. Putting the transmission selector in "D" has minimal regen. Putting the transmission selector in "L" has higher regen when lifting off the "gas" pedal.

The car infotainment allows setting charging times, and then you can override them with the keyfob on 2014 and newer models. For example, I have mine set to not charge during M-F from 11am-7pm, because my rates are higher then. You can set it up differently for each day of the week. Then I override it when I park at a public charger with the keyfob, or by changing it to a one-time "immediate" charging in the infotainment. You can also override it by plugging in, then unplugging, and then plugging in a second time.

It sounds like with all the research you are doing, you should be a pretty quick study. The biggest things to know are the 4 drive modes and how to use them to your advantage on longer trips (like saving the battery for slower speeds). But honestly, it does most of the work for you and you can get get in and drive. The amazing thing about the Volt is that it's basically no different to operate than a regular car unless you want to drill down into the menus and play with a few settings. You plug it in, and it's much quieter than a normal car, and a true pleasure to drive, but other than that, it's pretty normal.

The forward collision warning just alarms. However, one trick is to drive in "L" and use the cruise control on the freeway. If it senses a forward collision alert, it alarms and shuts off the cruise control, and the higher regen will slow down the car fairly rapidly and get your attention quickly to stop the rest of the way. You can set the gap for the alarm to 3 distances.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Wow, thanks for the thorough answer! Yes, I'm a pretty quick researcher in my free time and I love learning haha!

I'm going to test drive a Volt today, I'll check out the D and the L modes for regen. I like a more aggressive regen mode on other EVs.

Does this car lurk forward when stopped? If so, can it be turned off? And finally, any idea on it there's an app (the most I found was a "we're working on it" video from 2013 but nothing since so I assume not).
 

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Wow, thanks for the thorough answer! Yes, I'm a pretty quick researcher in my free time and I love learning haha!

I'm going to test drive a Volt today, I'll check out the D and the L modes for regen. I like a more aggressive regen mode on other EVs.

Does this car lurk forward when stopped? If so, can it be turned off? And finally, any idea on it there's an app (the most I found was a "we're working on it" video from 2013 but nothing since so I assume not).
The Volt is programmed to creep forward when you take your foot off the brake pedal. There is no way to change this to hold position (if the Volt is equipped with ACC and the Volt has slowed to a full stop using the ACC it will hold until you tap the accelerator pedal or the resume button the steering wheel.)
 

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Something to note is that the Volt has blended braking. When you hit the brake pedal, the Volt will apply regeneration up to the point of max regn. Once max regen is reached, only then will it apply the friction brakes. So driving in L and letting the car slow itself, or driving D and using the brake pedal to regen is purely a personal preference. I do a mix where I drive in L when in stop and go traffic jams where one pedal driving provides an immediate slowing response and D when on the highway when I want to "coast" a bit more when changing speeds, exiting the freeway, etc.

Also remember there was no Adaptive Cruise Control Option in Gen 1. Warning only.
 

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Does this car lurk forward when stopped? If so, can it be turned off? And finally, any idea on it there's an app (the most I found was a "we're working on it" video from 2013 but nothing since so I assume not).
It creeps and it can't be turned off. The whole design of the Volt is oriented toward "least surprise". You can literally drive it like any other car and it'll be a decent hybrid. If you remember to plug it in every night, you get rewarded by the first "gallon" of driving not coming out of your gas tank. But that's about all the thinking or learning about it that actually NEEDS to be learned -- 95% of the benefits of it being a PHEV are engineer in and pay back whether you're paying attention to them or not.
 

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Regarding an app, if you subscribe to OnStar you can get the MyChevrolet or OnStar apps which provide additional functionality such as locking/unlocking doors, remote start/pre-conditioning, locating the car in a parking lot, efficiency ratings, etc...

There are also several homegrown apps for the Gen1 that allow additional functions and monitoring (e.g. MyGreenVolt, MyVoltHold, etc...)
 
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