GM Volt Forum banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,429 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm thinking about getting a Volt however I'm concerned about how it performs in winter?

1) How does it handle in the snow, it's FWD and that worries me, I've been driving an AWD car for the past 11 years.

2) How well does the heater work?, I've read a few reviews that say it's marginal.

3) How well do the window defogger/defrosters (front and rear) work?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,782 Posts
I'm in Dallas, so, we don't get that much ice/snow. However, when we did, the Volt handled as well or better than other cars/trucks (especially RWD) I have owned.

With the engine running, heat/defrost/defog work as well as any other car. On EV, a little weak ('13 Volt with known heater issues).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,429 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the response but I'd really like to hear from owners who live in places where they get a real winter (New England, Midwest, Canada). I live in Massachusetts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
172 Posts
We get pretty decent winters here in Colorado and my 2012 was a trooper in the snow. I never had any issues with slipping and sliding around or getting stuck anywhere, even in our most recent blizzards. I've since upgraded to a 2017 so we'll see how it does, but I'm assuming it'll be just as good. I've driven AWD and much prefer FWD.

I also never had many issues with the heater or defog/defroster. If you're very battery minded running the heater full blast will definitely affect the range, but mine always put out decent heat and took care of the windows without any worries.

All in all the Volt impresses!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,410 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
1) In South Dakota, we have just come through a relatively mild Winter. We did have a couple significant snow storms in the 8-10 inch range. Ice and wind were also issues. I am used to driving in snow, and had no issues with the FWD Volt. There were a few times when I would have felt more secure on ice with AWD, but in those conditions EVERYONE should slow down. The batteries add weight for better traction, and better stability due to low center of gravity. Stopping was not a big issue. Traction Control and Anti-Lock breaks work well.

2) The heater is OK except in extreem cold, say below 0 F. With my 2013 and mild temps this Spring, I am getting 35-40 miles on a charge. That is for a 100 mi RT commute mostly at 70 MPH on the highway. When you get down into the 40's F, range drops, and goes way down below 0 F. I was reasonably comfortable one morning when it was -19 F, but my wife was not. When it is cold I run the ICE until the cabin warmed up then switch to battery. If you run on <Comfort> setting you should be ok. With the remote start, you can also preheat the cabin and clear windows while still on the charger.

3) I have been very pleased with the defrosters. The rear is especially effective. I have noticed that the front is more likely to fog up when it is humid outside. And also in the Winter if close off the outside air. So I learned to let the air flow through most of the time.

In short, I have no major regrets or concerns driveing the Volt in Winter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,192 Posts
I live in Southern Ontario Canada on the edge of the snow belt. My 2013 Volt was a tank in the snow. Didn't even put snow tires on it (didn't need them). Not sure about my 2017 yet as I got it at the end of March and haven't seen too much bad weather with it yet. But the limited amount I've seen so far would indicate that it runs very similar to my 2013.

The Volt is a heavy FWD car. The electric powertrain allows for finer and faster traction control operation. It does fairly well. I've never seen the need for AWD as AWD doesn't help much with slipping it just keeps you from getting stuck a little better (Though some of the newer eLSD AWD systems are quite impressive) . With snow tires the Volt likely performs fantastic in the snow.

My 2013 heater was okay not good but not bad. My 2017 heater has been very good and the heated seats and steering wheel have made it that cabin heating is rarely used. Defrost works just fine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,429 Posts
Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
We get pretty decent winters here in Colorado and my 2012 was a trooper in the snow. I never had any issues with slipping and sliding around or getting stuck anywhere, even in our most recent blizzards. I've since upgraded to a 2017 so we'll see how it does, but I'm assuming it'll be just as good. I've driven AWD and much prefer FWD.

I also never had many issues with the heater or defog/defroster. If you're very battery minded running the heater full blast will definitely affect the range, but mine always put out decent heat and took care of the windows without any worries.

All in all the Volt impresses!!
Do you need snow tires? If so do you have a second set of rims? I'm currently driving a 2006 AWD Chyrsler 300C which has never needed snow tires, the all seasons work fine even in really bad storms. My previous cars were FWD and they needed snow tires but there was no such thing as traction control or ABS when I bought those cars.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,396 Posts
Do you need snow tires? If so do you have a second set of rims? I'm currently driving a 2006 AWD Chyrsler 300C which has never needed snow tires, the all seasons work fine even in really bad storms. My previous cars were FWD and they needed snow tires but there was no such thing as traction control or ABS when I bought those cars.
Snow tires are recommended for best traction, but honestly you will not be disappointed with standard all-seasons in a volt.
At least when they're fresh.
As tread wears, their grip will of course decrease and you might need to reevaluate at that point.

Volt is the best car I've used in the snow (I only have all seasons). Better than my family's Escape in winter tires, even.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,634 Posts
How well do they plow roads, and do you drive on any unplowed or service roads?

Well plowed roads do fine with RWD and crappy tires.

I went from Nissan Juke AWD to Volt, and it is a huge difference, but most of the time there is not that much snow on the road so I get by with the Volt just fine. It understeers badly, but traction control and skid control work well, and weight helps the traction. ERDTT was a bit of a surprise at first, and I ended up disabling it, due to my short commute and lack of hold mode on 2012.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
779 Posts
I live in NH and work in Westford. If you're not afraid to turn the heat on, the Volt handles the winter.

But that's me. I anticipate stopping, take it easy around turns, build up momentum before a hill, take it slow going downhill, I know how to drive in snow. Snow tires are for babies ;^)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
425 Posts
here in NJ we get some pretty bad winter weather that is probably 80 to 90% as severe as Mass. I just leave heater set on 'auto', with the temp set for 76, and the interior is fine summer an winter. In brights summer sun above 85 degrees, usually have to reduce temp setting a couple of degrees. Also, remote start the car 10 minutes before driving and it is toasty warm when i am ready to go and stays that way.

In other words, after constantly fiddling with the heater controls, I tried the auto setting, and the car does everything.

That is pretty much the story on everything about the Volt - just get in and drive and let the Volt manage everything. It handles very well in snow, when umplowed and on packed down snow as well. I have never gotten snow tires, just drive carefully . Am on my 2nd volt (had a 2011, now a 2014). Both are the best cars I have ever had with NO maintenance (except for recalls) in over 5 1/2 years expect for tire rotation and oil change.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,429 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
I live in NH and work in Westford. If you're not afraid to turn the heat on, the Volt handles the winter.

But that's me. I anticipate stopping, take it easy around turns, build up momentum before a hill, take it slow going downhill, I know how to drive in snow. Snow tires are for babies ;^)
You probably drive past my house on the way to work. Have you owned an AWD car in the past, if so how does it compare?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
249 Posts
Only issue I've had was starting on an uphill from a stop, which I have to do frequently since my driveway exits on a downhill. With worn OEM tires, the grip is not satisfactory after a while even when above the wear strips.

I've had Blizzaks on other FWD cars and they've performed as well as my 4WD Jeep and Truck in most conditions. I just swapped to a Continental tire this year and expect a ton better performance.

I wouldn't be concerned about the heat. I intentionally endured little heat in winter 2014-15 building a miles-without-gas streak, but during this last winter I drove with climate controls on automatic and still only used 2 tankfuls of gas for my commute. The heat when working normally exceeds the output of most other cars, and quicker because of the electric component. There was an issue with the heat on some 2013 models involving a bad module, but most have resolved it fairly easily.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
179 Posts
Hello from North Iowa
Just finished the 3rd winter in my Volt 2013, the first winter was cold and a lot of snow, the second winter still cold but not that much snow and the last winter was a mild and snow, hey its IOWA!
The Volt handle great in the snow, I work at a small College and I normal cut my own path to work the snow plows leave there building after I head out of town. I have not slide off the road, got stuck, but have plowed snow with the front bumper.
Heater was ok the first winter till we found a software update and works better. Comfort heats up the car but will use more of the battery, Econ will heat up at a slower rate but save on the battery. the trick is to run the in Hold mode and use fan only, it pulls the heat from the generator coolant. If it does not come from heated seats get a set of seat covers with heaters in them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
779 Posts
You probably drive past my house on the way to work. Have you owned an AWD car in the past, if so how does it compare?
Never AWD. Learned on R(ear)WD, had a few scary moments getting used to F(ront)WD. Where we live, the road crews do a great a job. On snowy days, I give the road crews a chance to do their magic and go to work late or if it is really bad, I work from home. The day after the storm, the roads are dry.

Honestly, for perhaps 2 or 3 days a year, is AWD worth it?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,051 Posts
I grew up in Montana and live in Nebraska now. I have as much experience with snowy roads as anybody so I feel well qualified to say the Volt is the best handling FWD car I've ever driven in snow. I drove mine through 2 winters on the stock tires and did fine 99.5% of the time. There were a few times that I had some unexpected sliding that the traction control and/or stability control system coudn't quite fix, but did a good job trying. This last winter I went ahead and bought a full set of dedicated winter tires and mounted them on their own rims. That turned a very good car into an unstoppable beast in the snow. The laws of physics seemed not to apply. I was able to drive around 4x4 trucks that were stuck in 12 inch drifts with their all-season tires and I only felt minor slipping that was easily handled without raising blood pressure. I frequently left my 4x4 pickup (also with dedicated snow tires) home when the weather was bad because I knew the Volt could handle the roads.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
172 Posts
Do you need snow tires? If so do you have a second set of rims? I'm currently driving a 2006 AWD Chyrsler 300C which has never needed snow tires, the all seasons work fine even in really bad storms. My previous cars were FWD and they needed snow tires but there was no such thing as traction control or ABS when I bought those cars.
I drove my 2012 with the factory tires up until this past December when I decided it was time for new ones. I never once got stuck or slid off the road. It really is a great car to drive in the snow. We ended our winter with a blizzard and a heavy snowstorm. I was able to get through about 10" of slushy spring snow without issue.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top