I started my search for a Volt three years ago, but at the time I couldn't justify the price of the car (even with the rebates) and I was mostly worried about the reliability and cost of ownership feeling that the technology was still a bit green (pun intended).
Fast forward to three years later and I found myself driving the 2004 100K miles Toyota Corolla we bought 7 years prior for the kids and figured it was time to treat myself.
(The Civic went with my son to the west coast. Great car, really reliable and excellent gas mileage - got 38mpg from Chicago to San Jose. And even though it was basically loaded options-wise, it's just not an inspiring drive.)
Last January I started my search to replace the Corolla - bouncing between new and used Volts. Again I couldn't justify the cost for a new Volt as much as I tried - the biggest issue this time was the loss of the state rebate. So I pretty much decided on a used off-lease Volt. Given the 3 additional years of data, I felt comfortable and didn't have the same reliability concerns like I did in 2014.
I tried buying from area dealers but all those experiences were miserable:
- Contacted a dealer; was told car was there; received all sorts of confirmation calls for my appointment; promised that the car would be charged when I got there; drove the 45 minutes on a Saturday morning and was told the car was sold.
- Showed up at a dealer; told them I wanted to pay cash; came back with a financing offer trying to tell me that financing was the best way to go since then I could build equity. Oh dear.
- Drove quite far to look at a car at a dealer; it was listed at $14,500 CPO; after test drive salesman comes over with an offer that was $21,000! I walked out; manager comes chasing me down and I just laughed at the guy; still not sure how they were able to add over $6000 to the out the door price - I think that was to add a warranty since it wasn't really a CPO.
- Actually found a non-titled 2014 with 4K miles at a dealer and tried to make a deal but they wouldn't budge from a few dollars below MSRP.
I was also watching Carvana and had a couple of cars reserved a couple of times but once the 360 view was available they were a bit more beat up than I would have liked or were missing an option I wanted. I still think they have the right business model - especially given my dealer experiences. And had I not connected with Lewey Marcucci I would have bought my Volt from Carvana.
Lewey has been around the hybrid/electric car world for a while. He owns https://www.carpronto.com/
and his business model is to find out what you want and then look for it at the auctions. He then contacts you when he finds something you might be interested in. He provides free delivery, a 10 day return policy and a 100 day bumper-to-bumper warranty.
A few weeks ago he found a loaded 2014 Premium and delivered it last week.
I only have a week with the car and only couple of hundred miles, but what a great car.
It completely affirms my feelings about electric cars in general and the Volt in particular.
And I have to say when it switches to gas I hardly notice it except for the MPG dropping like a stone.
I fully expect to replace it with an all electric car in 3-5 years.
And a big thanks to this forum. It provided tons of insight on what to look for on paper and during test drives.