GM Volt Forum banner

1 - 20 of 38 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
80 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I was a latecomer to Apple.
Got the iPods (several), then the iPhone (3GS, 4, 5S, 7+).
The iPad replaced my laptop. Last one was a Sony in 2006.

Why Apple?
Because their stuff works.
Every day.
All the time.
No matter what.

That’s always how I wanted it to be with electronics, but it never was.
PC’s and their stupid batteries lasting all of ten minutes, Plug ‘n’ Pray cards and failing motherboards, but worst of all — the Microsoft monster, WINDOWS. OH, how I screamed bloody murder. It failed and failed. How I hated the Windows PC.

The Volt ain’t quite Apple, but I would say the Voltec drivetrain pretty much is. My 2013 has been the most trouble-free car of my life. And arguably, the most pleasant to own and drive.

You know what’s a problem?
Nothing.
I charge, I drive, I recharge.
Any questions?

I would submit that the Volt is the only EV currently available that comes with NO RESTRICTIONS WHATSOEVER.
Nothing extra to worry about.
Apparently, more than one owner neglected to learn that the car could be plugged in.
Go that route and you still get a nice luxury ride with up to 42 mpg on regular (2nd gen).

I was going to buy a Tesla.
I had the money, and liked the car.
I loved that 17-inch screen and Insane Mode.

But there was one thing I didn’t like:
I wouldn’t be able to fully use it without changing my behavior to deal with its limitations — mostly range.
The opportunity to spend five times the money to get something I’d have to worry about.
Can I make it to Vegas?
Will there be an available working charger in Barstow?
Will a drive to Phoenix or Laughlin or Reno prove practical?

In the end, that killed Tesla for me.

After a decade of reliable Apple products, and a similar expectation for my car, I need a car that just works all the time in every situation. That’s why cars are so valuable to us: they let us take short, medium, or long trips anywhere whenever we want without worry we’ll be stranded.

For this reason alone, as of 2018 I think the Volt is the car to lead the masses to the world of electric.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
376 Posts
As the original owner of a 2012 Volt I will say this has been the most exciting and enjoyable car I have ever owned but unfortunately I haven't had the same trouble free experience. Agree with you regarding range anxiety and the Tesla or Bolt. I live just south of Detroit and make a 250 mile trip to Alpena periodically but could not do that with the a Tesla or Bolt due to lack of public charging stations, although I have made that same trip numerous times with my Volt.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,488 Posts
We have a 2016 Volt Premier, my wife's car, with nearly 52,000 miles. The advantage over a Tesla is the Volt can run on electric or gasoline, your choice. Here in northwestern Oregon along the coast severe winter storms can knock out electric power for days. With 5-6 5 gallon gas cans safely stored in the garage, we can still use the Volt and still get well over 40 mpg on gas while doing so. The Tesla not so much....
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
1,027 Posts
Apple, it just works. until we brick it becuase we didn't get a cut or you tried to repair it without [paying the apple tax.

GM/Volt. works, until it decides to brick itself and even the dealerships have trouble figuring out what is wrong without throwing parts at it for weeks and giving you the bill for all of it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,181 Posts
The Volt is my choice for the same reason. Yes, I dislike running on gasoline but I know the car can and will do this for me when I need it to.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,440 Posts
Yeah, I wouldn't call it the "car" that just works. Maybe the "EV" that just works (as long as nothing goes wrong). Compared to cars in general, I have had very reliable ICE cars that "just worked" without all the glitches, quirks and reboots of my 2013 Volt. Overall I love the car, but I wouldn't describe mine as a car that "just works." Much more similar to an old Windows computer than an iPhone. Mine works fine for me since I can tolerate dealing with quirks.

A perfect example happened this morning. I pressed the button to pop open the charge port door, but it didn't open. No problem for me since I know the trick to open it. An unfamiliar driver might be stumped and frustrated by that. I could list a number of things like that about my car including inadequate stock headlights, nav function, HVAC function, wind thrumming, etc. I realize most have been resolved in later model years, but then some new ones have cropped up in later model years as well. And I would agree with the comment about how the dealership approaches repairs, plus the fact that getting it repaired anywhere besides a dealership is basically out of the question for anything Voltec related.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,429 Posts
I despise Apple and their need to control everything about your experience and their complete refusal to use standards, I use Linux on my computers and Pixels for my phones. I'm on the fence about Tesla. I test drove a Model 3 and was seriously considering getting one but there are a few things that made me decide to wait until GM and maybe VW comes out with their next generation BEVs.

Pros and cons on Tesla

Pro
Over 300 miles of range and a good enough charging network. Ever since I bought the Volt I've been keeping an eye on Tesla's supercharger network. As of this summer they've reached the point where they have superchargers in all of the places that I would need them, and they are well sited. The range of the Model 3 is long enough that I could do all but two of my normal road trips, and I do 25 a year, without having to charge. There is no other BEV in the world that comes close to being adequate for my needs.

Driving and handling. I test drove the Model 3 and it's hands down the best driving car I've ever been in. However this test drive needs to be taken with more than a grain of salt because of where the Tesla showroom is located, that will bring me to the cons.

Con

No dealer network. Tesla feels that they have to do everything themselves, this is an Apple like fault, so they have no dealer network. As a result they have only two show rooms in New England, both in terrible locations for a test drive. One showroom is in Boston, not the worst place in the world to drive a car, Cairo is worse, but about as bad as it gets in the US. The other is in Natick, MA, which is better than Boston but still very crowded and no access to a highway.

No dealer network II. The only place to get service on a Tesla is in Watertown which is inside of route 128, that's just awful. I have three Chevy dealers within 15 minutes of my house, all are accessible without having to get on a crowded highway. I've been happy with the service at my dealer in Nashua but if they screw up I can just as easily go to the dealer in Acton and if they screw up I can go to Lowell. If I were willing to go as far as the Tesla service center there are 20 Chevy dealers to choose from.

No Android Auto. This is the Tesla has to do everything themselves problem again. With AA I can stream any radio service that I want, I'm using Pandora and Amazon, occasionally Google, and for a while iHeartradio. Tesla only supports some no name service, if you want the others you have to just use bluetooth but then how do you control the phone without a touch screen?. The Tesla also isn't always listening like AA, you have to press a button to give it a voice command. There is no Waze and no Google Maps although they do use Google Map data so their maps are probably usable.

Awful user interface. Putting everything on a touch screen is an terrible idea. When I'm wearing gloves I want a button for the heater. Also the user interface is completely unintuitive, even starting the car is strange. I'm sure I'd adapt in a few minutes but what happens when I hand the car to a parking valet? The Volt has all of the life critical information, like speed, on the driver instrumentation cluster which is simple and therefore reliable. The Volt's console has more complicated software and it's not reliable, it fails to boot on occasion, but that doesn't stop you from driving the car because all your really need is the drivers display. I worry that Tesla's system, which does much more than the Volt's, might have bugs. Because it's the only display you can't drive the car if it crashes.

Getting into the car. The Volt has a key fob that sits in your pocket, the battery is good for years, there is nothing to go wrong. The Model 3 relies on your phone. Bluetooth on phones is highly unreliable and phone batteries run out, using a phone as the primary means of getting into your car is idiotic. As a backup means it's fine, the Volt has that mechanism also, but it shouldn't be the primary means. Tesla just introduced a key fob for $150 extra, but it doesn't have passive entry, what's up with that?

Getting into the car II. The Model 3 has a door handle that's flush with the door and no place to get your fingers under it. Last week there were several stories about how the Model 3s doors are freezing shut. I've never had a problem getting into a car in winter, but I've always driven cars from Detroit, a Ford, three Chryslers and two Chevys. They have winter in Detroit, they don't in California. I don't know if this is really a bad problem or not but it was on Tesla enthusiast sites that I read about it so it's not something that's coming from anti Tesla people.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
974 Posts
No dealer network.
Doesn't Tesla do some service repairs by sending out service tech's to visit the car? They often know what the problem is through the computer codes, and can dispatch a fix to the car itself. It would be interesting to see what percentage of service and fixes are handled this way.

As far as no dealer network goes, I have begun to wonder if they are on to something in this regard.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,429 Posts
Doesn't Tesla do some service repairs by sending out service tech's to visit the car? They often know what the problem is through the computer codes, and can dispatch a fix to the car itself. It would be interesting to see what percentage of service and fixes are handled this way.

As far as no dealer network goes, I have begun to wonder if they are on to something in this regard.
They can do onsite service if they don't need a lift and of course they can do software upgrades over the air, those are good things but it's no substitute for a nearby dealer.

The thing that dealers bring to the table is capital. A dealership costs millions of dollars to set up, money that comes out of the dealers pocket not the auto companies. GM and Ford each have about 5000 dealers in the US, Tesla can't come close to replicating that. In all of New England Tesla has only two show rooms and two service centers, all in MA, nothing in NH, Vermont, RI or Maine. The showrooms are both in malls, that's fine for an Apple store but sucks for a car dealership. Dealers have a terrible reputation for high pressure tactics but it doesn't have to be that way. In fact when I bought my Volt I got none of that, both Chevy dealers were helpful, as was the Audi dealer, and when I bought it they made no attempt to pile on any extra crap or extended warranties. But when I walked into the Tesla showroom they were all over me, there was a real hard sell to get my to buy that day even though I told them on the way in that this was by first visit and that in my 64 years on this earth I've always bought my cars in May.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,314 Posts
When everything works, I truly love our 2017 Chevy Volt....

Earlier I truly hate it when the ACC didn't work after I've become addicted to it. Now all the kinks are gone from the free service recalls, and I know the required cleaning maintenance of the sensors to make the ACC work all the time. The uptime of the ACC is now at 98% and never had any issues for the past 8 months out of the 27.

I also didn't like when the media screen goes blank and remained blank as it drives me nuts when I can't check the progress of my EV miles driven and the kWH consumed! It has happened to me a few times. I can't set to use the higher 12A for 120 recharging at other places when the screen is blank! But the car is fully operational. I'm just efficiency nerd that need to watch out energy consumption on the progress of the trip. Whenever I scheduled to fix the blank display, appointment day, just as I take the trip to the dealer, the media screen returns in all of its glory! Now I think I know how to reset it when it happens again. Just an overnight full charge with no preconditioning and no checking of vehicle status on my app. This is just a minor annoyance, not a show stopper.

Yes we love our Volt, and it has more up time than my Apple MacBook overall.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
782 Posts
The Tesla also isn't always listening like AA, you have to press a button to give it a voice command.
Huh? I press the button on the steering wheel to get AA to listen to me. I don't particularly like Big Brother Google listening to everything I say.

As for "it just works" - yeah, until it doesn't. A car that "just works" would be able to figure out how long it takes to charge the car and do it correctly according to the programmed schedule. I'm still not sure if it's my car or my situation (L1 charging on a rate schedule), but this is something that just DOESN'T work.

I have to admit, however, that in three years of driving I've had no other serious issues with the car. Then again, that's been true for every other new car I've ever bought.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
605 Posts
I wouldn't compare my Volt to Apple. Apple may "just work", but only for what little they allow you to do... and only if you believe their excuses when they don't work! Like Apple slowing down my mom's iPhone 6 Plus due to the bad battery issue, then replacing the battery at a low cost because it was a known problem, only to have the new battery be worse than the original/bad one in less than a week. When she took it back the second time, they admitted, "Yeah, the replacement batteries are actually worse but all we can do is give you your money back for the battery repair. Perhaps you should just upgrade to an iPhone 10!"

P.S. At our software company, we have just as many if not more problems with macOS machines compared to Windows 10 machines. And software development on the Mac side is much more difficult due to the fact that almost nothing is documented as far as macOS API's like it is in Windows (MSDN).

Mike
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
897 Posts
Getting into the car II. The Model 3 has a door handle that's flush with the door and no place to get your fingers under it. Last week there were several stories about how the Model 3s doors are freezing shut. I've never had a problem getting into a car in winter, but I've always driven cars from Detroit, a Ford, three Chryslers and two Chevys. They have winter in Detroit, they don't in California. I don't know if this is really a bad problem or not but it was on Tesla enthusiast sites that I read about it so it's not something that's coming from anti Tesla people.
I also read about the doors freezing shut on the Model 3. Apparently, the window has to go down slightly every time the door is opened too.

Here in Minnesota , it's not uncommon for our windows to freeze shut and stay that way until the interior is good and warmed up. We rarely have a problem getting the door opened though. The 3 does not sound like a good car for Minnesota, unless they do some kind of fix.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
974 Posts
In all of New England Tesla has only two show rooms and two service centers, all in MA, nothing in NH, Vermont, RI or Maine. The showrooms are both in malls, that's fine for an Apple store but sucks for a car dealership.
I have read that dealer networks have sued and barred Tesla from having show rooms in a number of states. Is this part of the reason?


Tesla, Inc. has faced dealership disputes in several U.S. states as a result of local laws. In the United States, direct manufacturer auto sales are prohibited in many states by franchise laws requiring that new cars be sold only by independent dealers.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesla_US_dealership_disputes

From the Tesla Website:

Map_Where_Tesla_Can_Sell.jpg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
80 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
In saying “it just works,” I was really talking about the Voltec drivetrain — and specifically in relation to other EV’s.
It’s not only fairly troublefree, but more critically free of the limitations imposed by other EV’s.
That’s of paramount importance to me, as I believe it is to others considering the scary switch to electric.
With the Volt, they need not be worried.

Quirks?
I could write ten pages listing them for every car I’ve owned.
Almost all of the Volt’s quirks are in the Infotainment (don’t you hatethat term?) system.
But as someone pointed out, they don’t keep you from driving the car.
And really, any such issues have nothing to do with the Volt specifically. Rather, they’re just the unfortunate and inevitable consequence of yet another nascent technology — found in many current autos — that as of yet doesn’t ... quite ... work.
(See: WINDOWS — a history of $#@& not working.) Newer Volts already sport MUCH better center console functionality. In a few years we might get one that works all the time.

Speaking of the Q-word, I thought BJ did a great job exposing many of Tesla’s lesser known ones.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
782 Posts
I have read that dealer networks have sued and barred Tesla from having show rooms in a number of states. Is this part of the reason?
No. It is entirely because some states' laws protect dealers by requiring any vehicle to be purchased from one, and that is entirely because of dealers' political clout, which they exercise entirely because they are greedy. Customers' interests have almost nothing to do with it, except as cynical justifications for laws that prevent them from circumventing dealers if they want to.

In saying “it just works,” I was really talking about the Voltec drivetrain — and specifically in relation to other EV’s.
It’s not only fairly troublefree, but more critically free of the limitations imposed by other EV’s.
Here I agree with you almost completely. The number of complaints I've read about drivetrain issues is vanishingly small. That said, there was a batch of gen II's with a backfiring issue, which was more annoying than serious, and which GM finally got around to fixing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,429 Posts
Consumer reports just gave the Volt a really bad reliability rating but I don't know why. The only persistent problem that I've had is the infotainment system failing to boot on occasion, I've had several firmware updates but it's never been resolved. It's not a hardware failure, if I turn the car off for a few minutes the problem goes away. You also can't call it a Volt problem, Chevy uses the same box in all of their cars. While it's annoying I wouldn't classify it as a serious reliability problem. New Chevy's are having problems with their new ridiculous high gear count transmission, the best thing about the Volt is that it doesn't have a transmission. Of the five cars that I've owned in the past two have died because of the transmission, Volt has only a single gear, one because it blew it's turbo, Volt has no turbo, the last one needed new catalytic converters, that car had a big V8 and two catalytic converters the Volt has a small 4 banger that it only runs 45% of the time so I don't expect that the catalytic converter will ever have a problem. I did have a brake warning problem in my first couple of months but that was fixed with a firmware update. Has anyone had any problem that might justify Consumer Reports 2/5 reliability rating? BTW if you look at their review all they show for problems is the in car electronics, i.e. the infotainment systems, everything else is either better or best.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
974 Posts
Customers' interests have almost nothing to do with it, except as cynical justifications for laws that prevent them from circumventing dealers if they want to.
.
HAHAHA. So true! You were on a roll there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
974 Posts
While it's annoying I wouldn't classify it as a serious reliability problem.
I totally agree. Based on what I know, the rating seems a bit unfair on the part of consumer reports.

New Chevy's are having problems with their new ridiculous high gear count transmission, the best thing about the Volt is that it doesn't have a transmission.
Yeah when I have test driven these, I really didn't like how they shifted at all.
One thing I love about the Volt is, put it in cruise control, and on hills it never downshifts! I wonder why? Oh yeah, it is single speed.
Down shifting of multi gear automatic transmissions in cruise control drives me nuts.
 
1 - 20 of 38 Posts
Top