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We bought our two Volts more than six years ago (2011). We were one of the first "two volt" families with VINS 1680 and 1703. We had to sell 1680 after 4 years and 60k Miles to be replaced way for a work truck (long story) but still have 1703. As our time with the Volt nears its end, I thought it was worth reflecting on what has been good, not so good, and genuinely awful about our experience.

Good
  • The cars have performed as advertised with only two major maintenance failures (fixed under warranty).
  • With the better part of 140,000 miles on the Volts we operated on ~85% electric while enjoying the long-range capability when we needed it.
  • The Volt Advisor program has been a godsend on several occasions.
The Not-so-Good
  • Before the Volt was launched one of our most hoped-for features (a thread on here somewhere) was OTA - or at least routine - software updates. It was not to be. The car's software is six years old, it was not great to start with, and it is replete with uncorrected quirks and unrealized potential. GM needs to get this right before we buy another of their products.
  • Unfortunately, GM never really got behind the marketing for the car and its resale has been disappointing for a $45k vehicle.
  • The physical limitations of the vehicle (small back seat, low roof line) have proved an increasing irritant over the years.
  • There are some mechanical quirks (e.g. getting stuck on crawl mode if one drives "too aggressively") that GM swears is normal operation but has only ever surfaced on one of the vehicles. Hmmm...
The Awful
Other than the OTA software issue, I would be happy to recommend the car (and often have) to friends and family except for the one AWFUL thing about owning a Volt: General Motor's terrible dealer network.
It started when the first dealer tried to charge us $5000 over MSRP and has never really improved. For the past six years we have visited several area dealers with our Volts. Four different dealers, same story. They do not understand the vehicle, the are largely incapable of maintaining and repairing it, and they CHEAT like nothing I have seen. The attached scheduled maintenance recommendation I was given at a recent visit sort of drives home the point. If I did what the dealer told me I was supposed to do I would have spend thousands of dollars in pointless and unneeded maintenance over these past six years. When I brought this to the attention of the Volt Advisor they repeated "they are independent businesses" mantra.

It is too bad that the GM dealer network is such a disaster.

View attachment 137737

In any case, our time with GM is fast coming to an end. We are soon to become a two Model 3 family (mid November if the unofficial Tesla Delivery Estimator is to be believed). GM had something really great here but IMHO battery improvements and fast charging technology are quickly making the Voltec concept obsolete. The Volt was a fine bit of engineering but the GM dealer network has been a weak link throughout these past six years and I will be glad to be done with them.
 

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You really need to see Paula, my Chevy service advisor. I've only done oil changes and occasional fixes and tweaks, and she hasn't tried to screw me (wait, that came out wrong). I even had a passenger seat airbag sensor go bad after the B2B warranty expired, and she replaced the part for me for $100 - normally an $800 procedure and part. She also torqued my nuts (axle nuts that started making a popping sound).

So in the sea of mediocrety, there are some honest Chevy service departments out there. I take my Suburban, CTS, and Volt to Paula.

BTW, after you leave the land of voltdom, please check in once in awhile to let us know how the Model 3s are holding up. You are right, $45K was too much to pay for the volt. I got my 2013 Premium for $21k new after the great $5K price drop and a ton of state, fed, and manufacturer incentives. I had a model 3 reservation that I put in during the reveal, but then decided it was too small. Only time will tell whether the model 3 will have the quality that we expect from a luxury car manufacturer, or whether the desire to hit $35k might have cheapened the car too much. I'm not willing to be that guinea pig so I'm glad someone else is taking one for the team

https://youtu.be/ZvqkXHphvgs

Finally, I agree with your cons list. I'm probably not getting another volt, primarily because I need more space, more cargo, more towing. I'm still waiting for the next perfect vehicle to augment the volt, not duplicate it.
 

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The only thing I *hate* about the Volt is there is no CUV version.

I need a vehicle that's easier for my wife to get into and out of, and to haul around the grand-kids. I hate to say I'll end up with a gas vehicle, but it's looking more and more like that. The Pacifica would be a good fit, but they are having launch issues, and it's still a Chrysler.
 

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The only thing I *hate* about the Volt is there is no CUV version.

I need a vehicle that's easier for my wife to get into and out of, and to haul around the grand-kids. I hate to say I'll end up with a gas vehicle, but it's looking more and more like that. The Pacifica would be a good fit, but they are having launch issues, and it's still a Chrysler.
I can sum up the one thing I _hate_ about our 2013 Volt in one word: HONK!

There are other irritating things but the HONK!ing is embarrassing and annoying.
 

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The only thing I *hate* about the Volt is there is no CUV version.

I need a vehicle that's easier for my wife to get into and out of, and to haul around the grand-kids. I hate to say I'll end up with a gas vehicle, but it's looking more and more like that. The Pacifica would be a good fit, but they are having launch issues, and it's still a Chrysler.
I'm in the same boat. I they make a CrossVolt or a Voltec Equinox, I'll be a happy camper. But I might end up buying a Subaru Outback, Land Rover Discovery, or Subyukonade if GM doesn't hurry up and make and EV or PHEV CUV, SUV, or pickup.

I can sum up the one thing I _hate_ about our 2013 Volt in one word: HONK!

There are other irritating things but the HONK!ing is embarrassing and annoying.
You must mean the triple honk... there is a workaround, albeit a little cumbersome. Leave the car on, open the drivers side window, get out, close the door, with the key fob in hand reach into the car through the window, pull out, autoclave the window, lock the car with the keyfob, no triple honk.
 

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GM tried to eliminate a lot of crappy dealerships when they went through the bankruptcy restructuring. Unfortunately they ran into the exact same issue Tesla is running into trying to get into some states - the Auto Dealers Association. This trade union has one goal in mind - keep dealerships from being closed or outcompeted by competition.

It's unfortunate the dealerships in your area are all run by crooks. Dealership service makes or breaks vehicle ownership satisfaction.

As for the Voltec concept nearing the end of its useful life, I have to disagree. When you can charge your BEV in 15 minutes for another 300 miles or so of highway driving and the charging network is as ubiquitous as the ICE refueling network, then the Voltec concept will no longer be needed. We're at least a decade, and very possible much longer than that, before we no longer need to depend on liquid fuels for transportation.
 

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First gen. Volts would honk every time they started charging.
Plus there was a software update that triple honks if you leave the car running and try to walk away.
 

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I'm with Ilninga and Mr. Dave on this one. My dealer service department has been good on the Volt and our other car. Salesforce, on the other hand, not so hot.
 

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We're very fortunate to live only a mile or so from our local Chevy dealer. So far the have been terrific, even repaired a charge port that was our fault. They have never suggested any unnecessary maintenance. We love both of our Volts and our dealer. We didn't even buy from them, but they treat us like family.
 

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OK that does sound annoying, but they fixed it on Gen2s.
A "chirp", not a "honk". That little chirp when you start charging is reassuring, not embarrassing.
 

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What are you talking about? What honk?
Two key honks:
- Getting out and closing the door with the car turned on.
- Plugging in.

It's not so much that it makes a sound, but that it's so damn loud.
My Prius beeps if I close the door with the car left on. It's at a much more appropriate volume or is a much more appropriate sound.

I disabled the fob left in vehicle alarm because it doesn't work correctly: it can (and frequently did) sound the alarm when the driver exits and closes the door before the passenger and the passenger has a fob. My Prius never had that problem.
 

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That's not a chirp. If it were a chirp, people wouldn't wax poetically about birdsong.
It's quieter than most of the cars that make noise when their lock their doors, or the owners that "forget" to turn off their alarms before opening the door. (There's one guy here that forgets about twice a week. Has since he moved in. No rhythm to it at all -- it's not even just a pre-coffee bleariness in the morning. Actual ALARM too, not flashing the horn and lights.)
 

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You must mean the triple honk... there is a workaround, albeit a little cumbersome. Leave the car on, open the drivers side window, get out, close the door, with the key fob in hand reach into the car through the window, pull out, autoclave the window, lock the car with the keyfob, no triple honk.
That's it! That's the problem! I've been skipping the *^%&# autoclaving step!

By the way, you forgot to mention that this procedure only works on Tuesday evenings with a full moon, and then only for people with green curly hair.
 

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I'm with Ilninga and Mr. Dave on this one. My dealer service department has been good on the Volt and our other car. Salesforce, on the other hand, not so hot.
It's LLninja, not ILninja.

The Chevy service department 3 miles from my house are crooks. The one 18 miles away is wonderful. But my wife gets jealous that I see Paula so much (3 GM vehicles in the driveway).
 

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That's it! That's the problem! I've been skipping the *^%&# autoclaving step!

By the way, you forgot to mention that this procedure only works on Tuesday evenings with a full moon, and then only for people with green curly hair.

It really isn't that much work. Left hand rolls down the window, right hand holds the fob, exit normally except for the fob insert/extraction/closeup/lockup procedure which can be done with one hand once you get used to it. Just don't drop the keys inside the cabin while the window closes and you press the lock button - otherwise you'll reach back in and your arm will get squeezed by the window.

Works all hours of the day and night, even for people with black straight hair.
 
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