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Hey all, I am looking to replace my beloved 2015 Mini Cooper, and I've been eyeing the Chevy Volt as a potential replacement. So far, it's my number one pick, even though I work at Hyundai and have been waiting for the Kona EV but it's going to take too long to arrive on the lot.
I went down to a local Chevy dealer that had a Certified Pre-Owned 2016 LT with around 14,700 miles on it for 20,000. Not a bad price and low miles, and seem like good people to work with (hopefully, as I work in the same dealership mother company) but I am concerned about a few things with this particular car.

Pros:
The car was comfortable, and the infotainment screen is high resolution and looks awesome. The base stereo isn't half bad either. It has a decently sized cargo area, but I could be wrong as any trunk is bigger than my MINI's. The center screen is a full of a lot of detailed information and I appreciate how there are different configurations to choose from. The paddle is a nifty feature, and makes controlling regen easy, like a downshift paddle on a regular car. On the short jaunt on the freeway up to around 75 mph, the car seemed to have excellent stability and passing power, and it's quiet at highway speeds, even on rougher concrete SoCal freeways.

Cons:
Holy mother of god. Visibility out of the rearview mirror is essentially nothing. If a backup camera did not come standard I would not even put it on my list. Side visibility is good, but I wish there were more Premiers available with this low of miles and decent price. I found that looking over my shoulder and adjusting my mirrors farther out than normal compensated for the huge blind spots over my shoulder. The car did not feel nearly as sprightly as 294 lb ft. of torque suggests. I'm not gonna lie, my Cooper with a turbo 3 cylinder and 134 hp felt a lot quicker from a stop. I did only drive it in Normal, not Sport mode, so maybe another test drive is needed.

Concerns:
The car had was fully charged and showed an EV range of 54 miles. We ended the 12 mile test drive with 54 miles of EV range. The gasoline engine was on the entire drive. Both me and the salesman thought the car was in hold mode. No dice. The car was in Normal mode. We used about .40 gallons of gas per the energy screen and only managed 35.1 mpg. Low, considering it was mostly city and a brief sprint to freeway speeds. I am aware of the maintenance cycle that occurs sometimes, but for this long and to use this much gas? It felt strange, and it honestly felt like a regular hybrid that got "okay to meh" gas mileage driving it. The Volt specialist said that it could just be that the car is trying to burn through that tank of fuel as it could have been sitting for a long time, but I am not sure I believe that answer. The car had half a tank, so maybe putting new fuel in it will enable it to run in electric only mode.

TL;DR:
Volt I test drove had a full battery but ran on gasoline the whole time. What gives? Also, visibility out of the back is non-existent. The rear-view camera/mirror in the Bolt would work wonders in this car. Thanks for your help lovely ladies and gents!
 

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The Volt Specialist was probably right. Old fuel in the tank. The Volt is smart enough to know the average age of gas in the tank. When it gets over a year, it requires you to burn some and add fresh to bring the average age down. It why some of us with a high % of EV miles normally only keep a couple of gallons in the tank.

The backup cam is invaluable when backing up.

Blind spot detection and associated rear cross traffic alert is also really handy. In the 2016 and 2017 they were only available in the Driver Confidence 1 package on the Premier. In 2018 and 2019 the DC1 option was also available in the LT.
 

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I don't know about the price. Even with only 14k on it it's a 3+year old car. I bought my 2016 LT new and after my trade in and the Federal Tax Credit I ended up paying 22.5k. And that was before NY had their $2500 rebate. I am sure with the Fed and CA incentives you can pay a few K more than that for a new 2018 or maybe even find a loaded 2017.

My opinion only.
 

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Yes it will run on the old fuel until it is burned off or unless you add some fresh fuel to mix bringing it up to "younger" fuel (which you didn't do). I am currently at 57 mpg (imperial, you do the conversion) on a Gen 1. The car will not seem like it is accelerating fast because there is no reving up and down and changing of gears or noise like an ICE vehicle because it is one speed (not CVT). The first time I test drove a Gen II car I accelerated onto freeway from on ramp until I thought I was doing 50 mph and I looked down at seedo and I was doing 82 mph. There isn't the sense of speed because of quietness of car, no engine roar, no shifting through the gears, it drives like a much bigger car. I don't have a problem much with a Gen 1 car and don't know how dealing with backup camera with gen 2 car would be after I got used to it so can't comment on that. As far as price, it depends on your area, how much a new car warranty would mean to you versus the extra you would have to pay. I my area (Canada West Coast) they were asking 21 to 22 thousand (Cdn) for a used Gen 1 car and I talked them down to $16,000 because I stayed at my offer. My decision was a used car because I had the money in the bank or a new premiere for $40,000 all in which meant I had to sell some stock. Although the Gen 2 is a better car all round (although arguably not over engineered like the Gen 1) I went for the Gen1 because of it'd querkiness that I liked better or put another way Gen2 was to mainstream. All personal preference.
 

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If you qualify for the 7500 tax credit -- move quick before March 1 -- then 20K for a 2016 is actually a really horrible deal. You can easily find a heavily discounted 2018 LT now for under 30K and maybe less if you negotiate hard. After tax credit, you're not far from 20K. Not too many good deals on the 2019, but still plenty of new 2018s sitting around if you don't mind a base model.
 

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You can buy new 2019 Volt LT for $30K and get $11K back ($7500 + CA $2500 + SCE $1000). I paid $30.5K for my new 2016 LT one month after it came out and I got $11k back . Been solid vehicle for 32k miles so far.

I would not touch 2016 for $20k... But $17k is a good price.
 

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I am not sure 20k is not an ok deal. 15k miles on a 2016 is a rare animal. And certified seems to command a premium over just another used car. Are there any packages installed over the base? My search on autotrader around here kind of places it slightly on the high end of 2016 LT but none have that low of mileage. It certainly doesnt hurt to press them on it. I would probably have them put new rubber on it for that price if they are weather cracked at all and maybe even regardless of that. On the 7500, you have to either have 7500k laying around or finance that as part of the car and wait for it. and zero interest days are gone. That is if your taxes are high enough. I think Volt pricing is going to change a lot when the tax kicker disappears and then new car as well.
 

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Hey all, I am looking to replace my beloved 2015 Mini Cooper, and I've been eyeing the Chevy Volt as a potential replacement. So far, it's my number one pick, even though I work at Hyundai and have been waiting for the Kona EV but it's going to take too long to arrive on the lot.
I went down to a local Chevy dealer that had a Certified Pre-Owned 2016 LT with around 14,700 miles on it for 20,000. Not a bad price and low miles, and seem like good people to work with (hopefully, as I work in the same dealership mother company) but I am concerned about a few things with this particular car.

Pros:
The car was comfortable, and the infotainment screen is high resolution and looks awesome. The base stereo isn't half bad either. It has a decently sized cargo area, but I could be wrong as any trunk is bigger than my MINI's. The center screen is a full of a lot of detailed information and I appreciate how there are different configurations to choose from. The paddle is a nifty feature, and makes controlling regen easy, like a downshift paddle on a regular car. On the short jaunt on the freeway up to around 75 mph, the car seemed to have excellent stability and passing power, and it's quiet at highway speeds, even on rougher concrete SoCal freeways.

Cons:
Holy mother of god. Visibility out of the rearview mirror is essentially nothing. If a backup camera did not come standard I would not even put it on my list. Side visibility is good, but I wish there were more Premiers available with this low of miles and decent price. I found that looking over my shoulder and adjusting my mirrors farther out than normal compensated for the huge blind spots over my shoulder. The car did not feel nearly as sprightly as 294 lb ft. of torque suggests. I'm not gonna lie, my Cooper with a turbo 3 cylinder and 134 hp felt a lot quicker from a stop. I did only drive it in Normal, not Sport mode, so maybe another test drive is needed.

Concerns:
The car had was fully charged and showed an EV range of 54 miles. We ended the 12 mile test drive with 54 miles of EV range. The gasoline engine was on the entire drive. Both me and the salesman thought the car was in hold mode. No dice. The car was in Normal mode. We used about .40 gallons of gas per the energy screen and only managed 35.1 mpg. Low, considering it was mostly city and a brief sprint to freeway speeds. I am aware of the maintenance cycle that occurs sometimes, but for this long and to use this much gas? It felt strange, and it honestly felt like a regular hybrid that got "okay to meh" gas mileage driving it. The Volt specialist said that it could just be that the car is trying to burn through that tank of fuel as it could have been sitting for a long time, but I am not sure I believe that answer. The car had half a tank, so maybe putting new fuel in it will enable it to run in electric only mode.

TL;DR:
Volt I test drove had a full battery but ran on gasoline the whole time. What gives? Also, visibility out of the back is non-existent. The rear-view camera/mirror in the Bolt would work wonders in this car. Thanks for your help lovely ladies and gents!
The 2016 Volt you test drove was probably in the middle of a Fuel Maintenance Mode cycle. Once this starts the only way to suspend using up the old fuel in the tank is to add a proportional quantity of fresh fuel. You don't have to fill the tank but you do have to add enough fresh fuel to make a significant dent in the average age of the fuel (old + new) in the tank. If you are really set on buying this particular Volt then ask the salesman if it is ok for you to purchase a few gallons of fresh fuel for the vehicle to see if the Volt will resume running on the battery as would be expected in Normal mode. Assuming the tank is half full of old fuel then 4.25 gallons would extend the period until the next FMM by 6 months, ~2.125 gallons should extend the time until FMM is again activated by 3 months. Less than that may not be enough to reset the FMM clock.

Personally I would suggest you keep looking until you find a 2016 or 2017 Volt with DC1. As you noted, the Volt has limited side and almost no rear visibility. The blind spot warning with cross traffic alert is probably the most useful safety feature on my 2017 Premier. I really like the adaptive cruise control (ACC) but realize not everyone cares about ACC (this feature in only available on the 2017 Volt Premier vehicles manufactured from about June 2016 onward.)
 

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The Volt has shown me that I don't need to be able to see out the rear window in order to drive since it's visibility is so poor


Been driving for 3 years like this. I just don't care. It's whatever to me. I can drive with or without a rear window


But I will say when I step in a Tesla everything opens up. Visibility everywhere you can see. Which is nice
 

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The Volt has shown me that I don't need to be able to see out the rear window in order to drive since it's visibility is so poor


Been driving for 3 years like this. I just don't care. It's whatever to me. I can drive with or without a rear window


But I will say when I step in a Tesla everything opens up. Visibility everywhere you can see. Which is nice
I agree about finding a Volt with DC1 ideally, but even without it I could manage in our 2018 Volt.

One can set the mirrors to eliminate the blind spot, using an alternate method that I've been using on all my cars for many years.


https://www.caranddriver.com/features/a15131074/how-to-adjust-your-mirrors-to-avoid-blind-spots/


As for the lack of rear visibility, I drove postal vehicles for many years with no back window at all, so it's no big deal to me. Also, the high back has an advantage in that it prevents some headlights from shining in through the back window. I actually like that "feature" quite a bit.

I can't afford a Tesla.....yet, so it's superior visibility is irrelevant to me.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
 

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I agree about finding a Volt with DC1 ideally, but even without it I could manage in our 2018 Volt.

One can set the mirrors to eliminate the blind spot, using an alternate method that I've been using on all my cars for many years.


https://www.caranddriver.com/features/a15131074/how-to-adjust-your-mirrors-to-avoid-blind-spots/


As for the lack of rear visibility, I drove postal vehicles for many years with no back window at all, so it's no big deal to me. Also, the high back has an advantage in that it prevents some headlights from shining in through the back window. I actually like that "feature" quite a bit.

I can't afford a Tesla.....yet, so it's superior visibility is irrelevant to me.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
More than the blind spot warning, I find the cross traffic alert warning that is integrated with the blind spot warning system to be especially useful when backing down my driveway and when backing out of parking spaces at shopping centers.
 

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More than the blind spot warning, I find the cross traffic alert warning that is integrated with the blind spot warning system to be especially useful when backing down my driveway and when backing out of parking spaces at shopping centers.
I agree completely on that. Cross traffic alert is pretty awesome, and it's difficult to totally compensate in it's absence.

This is my first vehicle with even a back up camera, so it's hard for me to envision one without cross traffic alert. It does not sound desirable though.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
 

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People need to stop talking on the phone, texting while driving, pay attention to what the heck they are doing behind the wheel and just drive. Don't drive drunk, under the influence of drugs or Rx, stoned etc or over tired... All these lane assist, adaptive cruise is just allowing bad drivers to be worse and even more distracted.

Hence why I just installed the dash cam.

Back up camera is handy, esp if you drive a cargo van, commercial vehicle etc. They are great for hooking up to a trailer. Too bad Chevy didn't put a glass panel in the back of the hatch. That would have helped a lot.


Fully autonomous is fine, but this semi autonomous is giving drivers a false sense of security. Just like people who blindly follow the navigation app and drive across a runway or into a lake...
 

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Reminds me of a news story the other week where a Tesla driver fell asleep at the wheel. The cops couldn't wake him up (sound sleeper or really tired). They stopped him by getting in front and slowing down so the ACC brought the car to a stop.
 

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I agree - run the numbers on a new one with tax credits. When I got my 2014, a new one was less than used when you factored in the $11K in credits ($7,500 US + $2,500 Texas + $1,000 GM Private Offer). Negotiated another $7K off MSRP and other "stuff"...
 

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Reminds me of a news story the other week where a Tesla driver fell asleep at the wheel. The cops couldn't wake him up (sound sleeper or really tired). They stopped him by getting in front and slowing down so the ACC brought the car to a stop.
It is a true story. He was DUI and fell asleep. It happened on U.S. 101 not far from here. The guy had Autopilot enabled so the car was maintaining itself in the lane as well. Good thing too. If the car had careened out of control, no telling how many other cars he'd have collided with.

Maybe I'm just getting older, but I find I'm liking some of these active safety systems more and more. For example the Lane Keep Assist: Yes it is lame because it doesn't keep you centered in the lane. But every once in a while it catches me drifting too close to a line.
 

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For those who've encountered FMM, it is basically the same as being locked in hold mode? My 2018 feels less responsive in hold mode at times, because it feels like it is attempting to just wait for the ICE to deliver the torque, and the ICE is not a zippy one. Other times hold mode feels quick to respond, but I think its when it is deciding to use battery on top.
 

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If the car is in Fuel Maintenance Mode, the center stack display will briefly show a message stating that every time the car is started. Also, if the car is driven in below freezing weather the engine will start, then run intermittently to keep the engine temperature up.
 

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If the car is in Fuel Maintenance Mode, the center stack display will briefly show a message stating that every time the car is started. Also, if the car is driven in below freezing weather the engine will start, then run intermittently to keep the engine temperature up.
I would've understood this, but both myself and the salesman did not see any messages in the gauge cluster or the center screen. I have been looking around elsewhere for Premier Volts with driver assistance packages and am coming up dry. I am looking for a car with relatively low miles (below 20,000) and below $20,000. I have run the numbers on a new 2019 Volt, but I do not qualify for leasing because my credit is too new, and I do not make enough money to take full advantage of the tax credit, only the California rebate.

I am strongly leaning toward this particular Volt now. I have been in communication with my salesman. He put fresh gas in it, and told me it ran in electric mode. It also has brand new tires on it, and I qualify for the employee discount as my Hyundai dealership is owned by the same parent company. They have a certified Premier as well with 43,000 miles on it and all of the driver assist features sans adaptive cruise control for the same price, $19,500. I am going to test drive both again, and come to the conclusion of whether or not those safety features are worth the extra miles.

One final thought for this long post: How reliable has this new generation been for you all? I scoured the 1st Gen Volt forums for months when I was first considering it a year ago, and saw many high mileage owners that are satisfied with how their cars have performed. I am quite worried about the long term reliability with the 2016-2019 Volts as it seems there are a lot more reported issues like the "chuggle" or big ticket items like bearings and other things being replaced. I plan to put a lot of miles on my next car, so reliability is priority #2, behind great gas mileage.

Thank you all!
 
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