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(Moderator(s): Posted an intro yesterday, but got a time out error message, and then redirected to a blank screen. It seems to have vanished. If this is a duplicate, please delete one or the other.)

Just bought a used 2015 Volt. White (not my first choice, but it seems you can't order what you want from the Used Car Factory). Fully loaded. 14K miles, in service about 1 year, 3 months ago - so lots of the 3yr/36,000 base warranty left.

I actually sort of stumbled into this purchase, as I wasn't actively seeking an electric/hybrid car. So a brief (I hope) history: We have a 2006 Impala SS (traded for the Volt) and a 2006 Malibu SS. Both have recently had problems, and I've spent $7k in the last year, $10k in the last 2 on repairs. I just spent $3500 for a transmission for the Impala, and that was the last straw. I need something newer.

My shopping criteria: 1. Cheap. 2. Lots of warranty left. 3. Cheap.

Considered: New Malibu - nope. Currently only available with 4 cyl engines, and the turbo 4 reportedly gets crappy gas mileage. (Oddly enough, the V8 Impala SS got over 30mpg on the freeway.) Used V6 Impala - nope. If it is old enough to be cheap, then there is little warranty left. And vice-versa. Cadillac CTS - nope. Same problem as Impala, only worse.

I had given some thought to electric, as I live on a hill with a 1/2 mile long road averaging 20% grade. I'm sure I've wasted bunches of gasoline climbing that hill over the years, and I needed to replace brake pads every 25k or so because of wear going down the hill. Regen braking is certainly attractive for that reason.

While searching other options, I decided to check out used Volts. What struck home was the 8yr/100,000 warranty on the critical electrical bits. Seems 1st year depreciation is a bummer, but after that they level out. 2014s are abundant around here, and they seem to go for $17,000 - $18,500, depending on mileage and equipment. But 2013s are only perhaps $1500 less, and 2012s with reasonable mileage are still about $14k - $15k. So with such a narrow price range, newer would be better.

I just about pulled the trigger on a fully loaded red 2014. Very attractive car, great shape. But at 37,000 miles, the 3yr/36 warranty is gone. Price was right, though. Then I found this 2015. At $19,600 and most of the various warranties still intact, it was a no brainer. Just wish it wasn't white. Looks sort of like a kitchen appliance.

Impressions:
1. After a week of ownership, I really like the car. Keep that in context when I mention a few criticisms below.
2. It is probably the slowest car I've driven in 45 years behind the wheel (other than a Korean war surplus Jeep I had as a kid). Our freeway onramps tend to be uphill and short, and full throttle for the length of the onramp will barely get me to a safe speed to merge on to the freeway. (Shows over 100kW on the DIC wattmeter. Wow. That is a lot of electricity!) Also, that critical 50-80mph acceleration needed to pass on 2 lane roads is, um, lacking.
3. However, #2 above is not a huge issue, as the car will be used almost exclusively as a 'round town grocery getter. 0 - 40mph is reasonable. All the trips are short, and I doubt I'll need gas for months to come.
4. The regen on my hill is working out nicely. Going up the hill, the display on the DIC shows about a 50kW load (at 25mph) and the mileage graphic shows 4-5 miles depleted over the 1/2 mile drive. Going back down, I get -30kW going to the battery, and recover 3-4 miles on the mileage graphic. I'm curious how much, if any, the friction brakes enter into this descent.
5. Tires are extremely noisy. I've seen this mentioned on other threads here. If I weren't such a cheap bastard, I would replace them. But it is my habit to wring every last mile out of my tires.
6. Unexpected benefit: Around town driveability is much better than a typical auto transmission car. My driving style seems to cause auto trans to hunt for a correct gear a bit too much. Often the trans will upshift, only to immediately downshift - sometimes kind of violently - when I depress the throttle a bit more. Also, there is the hesitation going to a lower gear when some acceleration is needed. Consequently, I tended to shift manually. But the Volt essentially has only one gear (yes, I realize that the computers tinker with the ratios a bit in the planetary gears, but this seems unnoticeable to me) and responds instantly to throttle input.
7. Unexpected benefit #2: Many of you, I'm sure, simply like the idea of electric charging. But for me, it turns out to be more of a convenience thing. My nearest gas station (small town) is terribly inconvenient. Now, however, I just get out and plug it in. Like 5 seconds of effort, no more out of the way trips to get gas. I didn't realize how much of a difference this has made in my normal routine.
8. Going against recommendations, I am using an extension cord. I have little other choice. Got a 25', 12 gauge HD cord, and I can not detect any warmth at all in the cords or plugs on the 12amp setting. Used a bit of Stabilant 22 (contact enhancer - works wonders on relay contacts, etc.) on the connections just in case. And, also, I have little need to charge at 12 amps, 8 is fine.
9. Handling is surprisingly good. Suspension firm - the way I like it. Corners flat, understeer not too bad. But those rock hard tires have little grip. Scared myself half to death the first time going down my usual freeway exit. At 40mph (my usual in the 2 SS's), I just about went off the road. I'm sure some decent tires will fix this. (Someday.....)
10. A pillar is huge. As I have the seat nearly all the way back, it is at about 11 O'clock in my field of vision. I almost hit a pedestrian today.......

Anyway, I've rambled on a bit too long.

Hans.
 

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Welcome to the group. You have found the best kept secret at General Motors. If you find that you need to ride the brake pedal going down your hill, try shifting to "L". You may not need to touch the brakes at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hi, and thanks.

Yes, I do use "L", and still need to ride the brakes. My understanding is that the brake pedal provides more regen (i.e. on top of that provided by "L"). But I'm curious if there is a way to see if the friction brakes are being applied.

Hans.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I wish I could see your suggestions, but they are blocked out for new members to the forum.......

Hans.
 

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Also, that critical 50-80mph acceleration needed to pass on 2 lane roads is, um, lacking.
The Volt does have a transmission, and if you are driving around 50mph with light throttle, it may have switched into the more efficient gear. If you then slam the throttle down to pass, there will be a 1-second or so pause as it shifts into the more powerful configuration. Knowing this fact, you can intentionally trigger the "downshift" by goosing the throttle a couple of seconds before you decide to pass. Not a giant deal but does help a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
welcome, your experiences mirror many of our first volt weeks. My thoughts for new owners are linked in my signature.
thanks for posting.
Paul
Paul:

Could you provide that link in the body of a post? As a new member, I can't see stuff embedded in sigs.

Thanks,
Hans.
 

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Welcome! We leased a 2014 Volt, half expecting we wouldn't like it. It was the best car we ever had, and now we have a 2017 Volt that we plan to keep for many years.

Regarding your Volt being slow. Don't just put it in L. Rather, put it in sport mode AND L. The results are not too shabby IMO. Good luck with your new Volt.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Welcome! We leased a 2014 Volt, half expecting we wouldn't like it. It was the best car we ever had, and now we have a 2017 Volt that we plan to keep for many years.

Regarding your Volt being slow. Don't just put it in L. Rather, put it in sport mode AND L. The results are not too shabby IMO. Good luck with your new Volt.
,Yes, I use "sport". It doesn't speed the car up at all, just changes throttle response. Either way, my foot is flat on the floor....
 

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Imapala SS and Malibu SS are both fast cars. Then again, I've never heard of anyone buying a Volt because they wanted a fast car. ;)
 

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4. The regen on my hill is working out nicely. Going up the hill, the display on the DIC shows about a 50kW load (at 25mph) and the mileage graphic shows 4-5 miles depleted over the 1/2 mile drive. Going back down, I get -30kW going to the battery, and recover 3-4 miles on the mileage graphic. I'm curious how much, if any, the friction brakes enter into this descent.
Max regen is about -60 kW. So if you keep it below that, you won't be using your friction brakes much. Mostly the last few feet before you stop.
 

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Imapala SS and Malibu SS are both fast cars. Then again, I've never heard of anyone buying a Volt because they wanted a fast car. ;)
I beat a BMW M3 through an intersection from a stoplight. The Bimmer was really trying, but didn't have all his torque from a dead stop. Different story after a few hundred feet. I'm not thinking of getting a drag 'chute, at the moment!
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Max regen is about -60 kW. So if you keep it below that, you won't be using your friction brakes much. Mostly the last few feet before you stop.
Thanks. Somehow I thought I was mostly using regen, not friction braking. Sort of an intuitive thing, not based on fact. And, the energy recovery and reduced brake maintenance in my specific circumstance will likely trounce the cost savings that most of you experience. Again, not sorry for the purchase.

Hans.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Imapala SS and Malibu SS are both fast cars. Then again, I've never heard of anyone buying a Volt because they wanted a fast car. ;)
Malibu SS doesn't have bunches of torque, but the tranny compensates. The V8 Impala would spin the tires at will below 40mph w/o the traction control engaged. But I retired that car just to have a 'round town car. And, as I mentioned, the 0-40mph of the Volt works for that. And the solid body feel with minimal body roll will work nice once I get some decent tires.

But I confess to missing that 0-100 freeway merge that the V8 Impala gave......

Overall --- Not sorry for the choice. Will likely keep the Volt after moving to the current Monster RWD Impala SS in a couple of years.

Hans.
 

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A number of members on this forum find a Corvette fills in for the Volt when "the need for speed" rears its head. I hop on my Harley. I know, don't laugh. Not sure I'd classify a 182 as a vehicle, but a nice capable airplane for sure. Enjoy your Volt!
 

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Coming from a V8 Impala with 303HP there's no way you're not going to be disappointed by the power available in the Volt. However, you'll soon come to love rarely (if ever) buying gas, in frequent oil changes, and the surprisingly high reliability of the car. Welcome aboard, we're glad to have ya.
 

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... that critical 50-80mph acceleration needed to pass on 2 lane roads is, um, lacking....

....But I confess to missing that 0-100 freeway merge that the V8 Impala gave......
YIKES! I think I will avoid Oregon from now on.

I used to love Portland and the coast but now that they have 100 mph freeways and 80 mph two lane roads... :eek:

I would need some herbal therapy to calm my nerves after those drives.
 

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Welcome aboard! Hope you enjoy your new Volt in good health. These cars are a joy to drive and commute in.

We are still lusting for >then 22mpg on our 2014 SS.
Take care.
 
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