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Discussion Starter #1
I'm sorry I haven't read through to see where the appropriate place to post might be. I feel in "crisis mode" - although I have to laugh at myself (first world problems).

I had my heart set on a Tesla Model 3. So much so that I pretty much ignored or dismissed other possibilities. The big 'reveal' was tonight and I was sorely disappointed. I remember the Volt was probably my #2 choice (although distant). I'm wondering if you wouldn't mind providing some insight that I can't really look up with facts and figures.

#1 - I live in a mountainous region. Long steep grades (8.5% - so not insane, but significant) and high speeds (120kph / 75mph). When the electric range is used up, how is this thing in the hills? I drive a Honda Fit now and it is woefully underpowered and I often can't hold the speed limit. More bothersome, however, is how bloody loud it is from the engine noise. That's a main reason I wanted a BEV.

#2 - It is listed as having a tiny 10.5 cubic foot cargo space... surely it isn't really that little, is it? When the seats are folded, etc... can you make a trip to Costco of any significance? Or is it as useless in that regard as the specs indicate?

#3 - How is it for tall guys? I'm 6'4, mostly in the legs. For anyone that's driven a Honda Fit... that's about as tight as I can go. I wouldn't call it comfortable, but I manage.

#4 - One problem with the Fit is that my kid... er... no longer "fits" (pun avoided as best as I could). He's 5 and still in a child seat and he's getting cramped. Again, can anyone relate to the Fit?

I'm really hoping someone's got experience with both the Volt and the Fit and can advise if I'm looking at a significant upgrade or not.

Thanks so much.
 

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Why not visit a dealer and look at the actual car and test drive it? I'm having difficulty envisioning a 5 y.o. still in a car seat getting cramped. If he's still not big enough to not need a car seat how can he not have enough room?
 

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Welcome and sorry to hear the M3 wasn't quite what you were expecting to see.

#1 the Volt has a feature called "Mountain Mode" which will run the engine to "recharge" the main battery to a predetermined level. This allows full power for climbing and maintaining speed through mountainous territory as the mode suggests. I have a '13 and just south of me there is a 6% grade climb and I have NO problems maintaining the legal 65, and frequently find myself at 70 to 75. Keep in mind that an electric motor has full power available as long as it has a power source (battery). A standard ICE will be limited at higher altitudes due to available oxygen. That was one thing that I definitely noticed is that the Volt, even though rated lower for HP than my previous ICE could maintain and even accelerate on a climb where I was barely able to maintain and frequently would find myself slower than the speed limit before.

#2 Like most hatchbacks, they never really list with the seats down. Plenty of room in that case. In fact, I was able to throw 4 OEM wheels and tires into the rear space and still had room. A trip to costco should be no problem.

I can't help on 3 and 4, but I can say that adults seem to be ok in the back of mine. I'm not terribly tall at 5'7" so I don't have to pull my seat way back and that allows more leg room for the rear.
 

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I'm 6'4" with a 36" inseam. I can tell you there is enough room. The only part I dislike is being in a "box" ! My knees are up against the center trim by the ON button....not a deal breaker but inconvenient. I solved this problem by using 2 small pillows for my knees on long trips....around town is NO problem :)
 

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As mentioned if the climbs are really steep you can use Mountain Mode or just put it in HOLD. That reserves sufficient power, allowing the battery to work with the engine, which provides more peak power for climbs. Usually don't need it for most climbs. Would be unusual to need it on major roads because the grades are usually lower. Again, it's peak not average power. Keep in mind that the 1.5L engine in the current generation Volt can most likely provide most of the power you need. The first generation Volt had a 1.4L engine, so the shortfall was greater.

Noise is interesting. At higher speeds there is more road and wind noise than engine noise, so the difference between an ICE and an electric vehicle is pretty minimal. You'd see a bigger difference at lower speeds. Passengers in the Volt can't tell when you switch from the battery to the engine. You may be able to tell because you get a bit of engine vibration through the steering wheel.

I believe you're mistaken about the size of the cargo area. It's double what you're looking at. Plenty of space for most things. With the seats down, if you can get something through the opening you shouldn't have any issues.

Legroom for the front is luxurious and there is more than ample headroom. I'd be surprised if you have a problem. It's the back which might be challenging. I couldn't sit back there, but I can't sit in the back of a Model S either (different problem same result). The only way to see how this works for you is to go in person and test it out.
 

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#1 - I live in a mountainous region. Long steep grades (8.5% - so not insane, but significant) and high speeds (120kph / 75mph). When the electric range is used up, how is this thing in the hills? I drive a Honda Fit now and it is woefully underpowered and I often can't hold the speed limit. More bothersome, however, is how bloody loud it is from the engine noise. That's a main reason I wanted a BEV.

#2 - It is listed as having a tiny 10.5 cubic foot cargo space... surely it isn't really that little, is it? When the seats are folded, etc... can you make a trip to Costco of any significance? Or is it as useless in that regard as the specs indicate?
I have driven both of our volts to Las Vegas and back to San Jose six times, a 1000 mile round trip. The journey requires us to transverse 2+ mountain ranges. We do not recharge the Volt during the trip so it is essentially all gas. Sometimes I will drive over the mountains and I will twiddle with mountain mode. Sometimes my wife drives over the mountains and does not twiddle, she just drives.

We have noticed no power loss driving 70+ mph on cruise control over the mountains except when you want to put your foot in it to pass a slow moving "PIUS". It works a lot better when you are in mountain mode and you have the ability to give it a shot of electricity especially at 4000' elevation. So I have gotten in the habit of driving in mountain mode if I am going to consume all of my electricity on every trip.

I think the genius of MM is that if you deplete your traction battery (ie. forget to engage MM when you have the juice), if you engage it 10-20 minutes before you "need" it, it will be charged to the ~20% and be held there.

Needless to say, the cargo space is manageable, like for example, on these long trips we usually take a big ice chest, clothes and food for two, plus my golf clubs.

I'm adding a spare tire to the mix because we probably should have one during our trips through the Mojave desert.

I'm convinced that the cargo space we lose because of the tire, is not that big a deal.

Test drive one on a freeway; put in "Hold" mode, to force it to operate solely on gas. I am sure you will be surprised how much power the car has.
 

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Hi,

I'm six foot all legs and it fits great, my son is about 6'4 and he fits fine...but recommend you try it out! I love driving my Volt over the Appalachian mountains. My strategy is to put it in hold mode as soon as I get on the highway and back to electric as I get within range of my destination. This provides some battery umph if needed. I drive in low which means I don't have to worry about the car speeding up in cruise control going down hill....love it. I honestly think you will be fine, especially if you are willing to think about how to use mountain mode and hold mode...its a thinking person's car. One possible concern is the backseat...not so roomy. Your son will probably be six foot plus at some point..... Lastly I agree you should consider the Bolt. I have one of those too and the backseat is bigger and the car sits up a bit so it is easier to mess with car seats. Let us know what you decide and please check out all advice during a long test drive of the car.
 

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ONe more thing. The storage will almost certainly be a-OK with the back seats folded. in my opinion just ok if the seats are up and full of passengers.
 

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I'm sorry I haven't read through to see where the appropriate place to post might be. I feel in "crisis mode" - although I have to laugh at myself (first world problems).

I had my heart set on a Tesla Model 3. So much so that I pretty much ignored or dismissed other possibilities. The big 'reveal' was tonight and I was sorely disappointed. I remember the Volt was probably my #2 choice (although distant). I'm wondering if you wouldn't mind providing some insight that I can't really look up with facts and figures.

#1 - I live in a mountainous region. Long steep grades (8.5% - so not insane, but significant) and high speeds (120kph / 75mph). When the electric range is used up, how is this thing in the hills? I drive a Honda Fit now and it is woefully underpowered and I often can't hold the speed limit. More bothersome, however, is how bloody loud it is from the engine noise. That's a main reason I wanted a BEV.
I purchased my 2017 Volt LT in May. The only time the gas engine wasn't up to the task was while driving east (downhill) across Kansas at 78 MPH with a 30+ MPH head wind. I put the car in mountain mode when I got on I-70 just west of Limon and by the time I made it to Kansas City I had depleted the battery. This was 400+ miles of head wind for an effective 108+ MPH wind speed drive which is actually faster than the car's 102 MPH road speed governor. Coming back across Nebraska (west & uphill) I had no wind or issues at the same speed. I don't think you'll have any issues - Kansas is somewhat unique in that I seem to always drive into a headwind, east or west. Also, the car has more than sufficient power in Normal EV mode to charge up I-70 west of Denver, which is a 10 mile long 6 to 8% grade starting at 6,000 ft. above sea level.

#2 - It is listed as having a tiny 10.5 cubic foot cargo space... surely it isn't really that little, is it? When the seats are folded, etc... can you make a trip to Costco of any significance? Or is it as useless in that regard as the specs indicate?
Yes it's not as big as some other cars. My previous car was 15.25 cubic feet of trunk space so it was an adjustment for me as well. Drop the rear seats and you can get a lot of stuff in there however. I haven't taken it to Costco yet but only because I haven't had the need. I wouldn't think twice about doing so, however. As with all hatch and lift backs, the one thing you have to watch out for is not loading the cargo area too deeply. I have met people who broke their hatch/lift back window by too deeply loading cargo. The Volt can easily handle 24 inch deep cargo all the way back to the end of the cargo area. I was pleasantly surprised at how deep the cargo area is.

#3 - How is it for tall guys? I'm 6'4, mostly in the legs. For anyone that's driven a Honda Fit... that's about as tight as I can go. I wouldn't call it comfortable, but I manage.
Go sit in one. My visual estimate is that it's bigger inside than the Honda Fit. The front seats can go a long ways back if needed. What's really nice about the Volt is the steering wheel is not only tilt but also telescopic so you can do what I do and push the seat a long ways back for your legs and then pull the steering wheel out to be comfortable for your arms.

#4 - One problem with the Fit is that my kid... er... no longer "fits" (pun avoided as best as I could). He's 5 and still in a child seat and he's getting cramped. Again, can anyone relate to the Fit?

I'm really hoping someone's got experience with both the Volt and the Fit and can advise if I'm looking at a significant upgrade or not.

Thanks so much.
I've had two adults in the back seat of my Volt with no issues. Also since the Volt is a 5 passenger car it has a seatbelt and latch points for car seats in the middle of the back seat area.

Your best bet will be to go test drive a Volt. Take your son and have him climb in the back just as you would normally go somewhere with him.
 

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The big 'reveal' was tonight and I was sorely disappointed. I remember the Volt was probably my #2 choice (although distant). ...
With the answers from here in mind, go look at and test drive both a Volt and a Bolt, sounds like you have will have a good gut feel one way or the other.

The Volt should seem like a LEXUS compared to the FIT, but tell us what you think.
 

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#2 - It is listed as having a tiny 10.5 cubic foot cargo space... surely it isn't really that little, is it? When the seats are folded, etc... can you make a trip to Costco of any significance? Or is it as useless in that regard as the specs indicate?
You know those 18-gallon Rubbermaid bins with the lids? You can put six of those in the thing with the rear seats down, and have plenty of room around them for things things that are flexible or small.

#3 - How is it for tall guys? I'm 6'4, mostly in the legs. For anyone that's driven a Honda Fit... that's about as tight as I can go. I wouldn't call it comfortable, but I manage.
Never drove a Fit. I'm 6"3, north of 300 lbs, and I'm comfortable with the driving seat on the third stop forward of the limit. I've never owned a car that I didn't have the seat all the way back before.
 

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It seems like people's answered 1-3, but not 4. The rear seat has plenty of space for a 5 year old, but my 5'1" 22 year old daughter hates sitting in the back. So in just a few short years if that 5 year old grows into a football player. You might lament getting such a small car. But if you are the type that trades in often, then the volt is perfect for now.

I too put in a model 3 reservation at the initial reveal last yaer, but by April, I figure out it was too small for my needs and decided to keep the volt and sit on the sidelines until something bigger comes along. The volt is a great commuter car for me and my youngest daughter, it's usable for short day trips to Chicago, indy, St. Louis, but my next car will need to be significantly bigger.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Why not visit a dealer and look at the actual car and test drive it?
Well, that's a longer story than you probably want. One *HUGE* reason I never really considered the Volt or Bolt is because - where I am at least - the dealerships have zero interest in selling one. I wrote an email last night and got a response this morning. Same response as always: "we don't have one". They have 100's of huge trucks and dozens (amazingly) of Corvettes. Not a single Volt. They can get one in... but I have to buy first. I won't be buying from this dealer if I get one, I'll drive down to Vancouver to do that where they take it a little more seriously. But I'd like to get some questions answered prior to making the 4 hour trip for a test drive, if you don't mind.

I'm having difficulty envisioning a 5 y.o. still in a car seat getting cramped. If he's still not big enough to not need a car seat how can he not have enough room?
I'm not sure if you don't have kids (recently) or you just lack knowledge of car seats. He's actually big for his age. He still fits the car seat (designed for 60 pounds). It is safest to keep them in as long as possible, not rush to get them out. But with the seat in place, his leg room is compromised. Soon he'll be out of this particular seat, but the law here still requires a seat until 9 yrs old or over 4'9" (he's not).
 

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Hmm.. I'm not seeing my reply. Moderated?

I also just noticed that there were way more replies here than just the first! Thanks so much. I have a busy afternoon so I'll read them later. I'm not used to such an attentive forum :)
 

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I've had a read through all your responses. Thank you so much for the help. Really inspiring to see an active community like this.

- Mountain mode. Awesome! Didn't know it had that, so I'm glad I asked.
- "Thinking man's car"... you don't know how much I see that as a plus :)
- Leg room. Thanks for your insights. Obviously I'll need a testdrive to tell for sure, but now I know its worthwhile arranging said test. Sounds like it will be fine.
- Cargo. Amazing that I can't find seats down specs. My Fit, for example, is 20.4 cubic feet up and 57.3 down. Its right there in print. I don't know why I can't find that about the Volt. I was starting to wonder if they folded down at all.
- Kid in the back. This still seems like the X factor. I appreciate your attempts at answering, but again... test drive will tell.

You folks are right that we'll outgrow the car. That's inevitable as my son gets bigger. And probably sooner than is convenient (we typically keep a car 7 to 10 years). But I'm committed to driving an EV and I'll put personal comfort on a backburner for that. At the moment, I don't believe there are any EVs that suit our needs for the future other than the Model X - which is just too much $. I hesitate with the Volt because it isn't a pure EV, which is primarily why I've always dismissed it. I figured that if I'm going EV, I may as well do away entirely with the gasser. But there's no non-Tesla EV that works for us as our primary vehicle in this are due to lack of charging infrastructure. For long distance travel, really it is Tesla or bust at the moment. For that reason, the Bolt is out.

The Volt (electric only) meets 90% of our needs and its gas extender makes the other 10% possible. Every short range EV meets our needs for the same 90% but fails completely at the 10%. Long range EVs of course still meet the 90%, but for the 10% its either a minor inconvenience with a Tesla, or a significant challenge otherwise. Actually where I said 10%, I meant 9%. Then there's the 1% where I go north... maybe 1 trip every 5 years or so... no EV can go there. But then for that we'll either keep the Honda (probably not) or rent something.

I said the Bolt is "out", but that's not a final decision. I'll take another closer look at charging to see if it would meet our 9% - in case things have changed. But then... there's the matter of availability, which is worse than the Volt. I've been told I can't have one until 2019 here - but that was by a dealership that I had to convince (and this is just this past May) that it even existed. They kept insisting I meant Volt with a V (*sigh*).

Again, I appreciate the insights. I'll arrange for a testdrive when I visit vancouver on the weekend of the 11th and I'll go from there.
 

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I've had a read through all your responses. Thank you so much for the help. Really inspiring to see an active community like this.

- Mountain mode. Awesome! Didn't know it had that, so I'm glad I asked.
- "Thinking man's car"... you don't know how much I see that as a plus :)
- Leg room. Thanks for your insights. Obviously I'll need a testdrive to tell for sure, but now I know its worthwhile arranging said test. Sounds like it will be fine.
- Cargo. Amazing that I can't find seats down specs. My Fit, for example, is 20.4 cubic feet up and 57.3 down. Its right there in print. I don't know why I can't find that about the Volt. I was starting to wonder if they folded down at all.
- Kid in the back. This still seems like the X factor. I appreciate your attempts at answering, but again... test drive will tell.

You folks are right that we'll outgrow the car. That's inevitable as my son gets bigger. And probably sooner than is convenient (we typically keep a car 7 to 10 years). But I'm committed to driving an EV and I'll put personal comfort on a backburner for that. At the moment, I don't believe there are any EVs that suit our needs for the future other than the Model X - which is just too much $. I hesitate with the Volt because it isn't a pure EV, which is primarily why I've always dismissed it. I figured that if I'm going EV, I may as well do away entirely with the gasser. But there's no non-Tesla EV that works for us as our primary vehicle in this are due to lack of charging infrastructure. For long distance travel, really it is Tesla or bust at the moment. For that reason, the Bolt is out.

The Volt (electric only) meets 90% of our needs and its gas extender makes the other 10% possible. Every short range EV meets our needs for the same 90% but fails completely at the 10%. Long range EVs of course still meet the 90%, but for the 10% its either a minor inconvenience with a Tesla, or a significant challenge otherwise. Actually where I said 10%, I meant 9%. Then there's the 1% where I go north... maybe 1 trip every 5 years or so... no EV can go there. But then for that we'll either keep the Honda (probably not) or rent something.

I said the Bolt is "out", but that's not a final decision. I'll take another closer look at charging to see if it would meet our 9% - in case things have changed. But then... there's the matter of availability, which is worse than the Volt. I've been told I can't have one until 2019 here - but that was by a dealership that I had to convince (and this is just this past May) that it even existed. They kept insisting I meant Volt with a V (*sigh*).

Again, I appreciate the insights. I'll arrange for a testdrive when I visit vancouver on the weekend of the 11th and I'll go from there.
Completely agree on the price of the model X. Here's another thing to consider. The volt is a great commuter car, and would be a great hand-me-down when the kiddo gets his learner's permit. I'm amazed that our youngest baby is now driving, collecting her hours behind the wheel and counting the days to when she turns 16. By the time you ad the keys over to your son there will be many other choices.

I saw a bolt first hand, and unsurprisingly, it looks like a slightly bloated Honda fit. Still not the car for me to augment my volt. If I didn't already have a volt, it might be a good commuter car. The problem is there isn't much anything else yet. The Volvo XC90 is a bit pricey. The Audi Etron is short on battery miles. The cmax is almost the same form as the bolt. And the Pacifica PHEV has paused their shipments with a serious issue. So it's either buy a volt or wait.
 

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Hmm.. I'm not seeing my reply. Moderated?

I also just noticed that there were way more replies here than just the first! Thanks so much. I have a busy afternoon so I'll read them later. I'm not used to such an attentive forum :)
I think it's moderated until you have 10 posts. But don't try any tricks like one guy who posted 10 times with 1, 2, 3... in an attempt to het to 20. Think he got a wrist slapping for that. But if you look at my number of posts, I really need to find a different hobby
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I hadn't thought about the hand-down. Though, given the point in EV history we are (just a few years away from tons of options I think), I'm wondering if this isn't the time to lease. I've never leased before, but maybe looking at this as a monthly payment instead of an ownership thing might be better this time.

I don't know.

I just drew out a spreadsheet comparing the 3, S, X, Volt and my current Honda. It further rules out the 3 for me, and virtually dismisses the idea of standing pat. It highlights the things lacking in the Volt compared to Tesla - and they are considerable - but the price + things that really count = pretty good.

Test drive time.

Cheers.
 
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