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Discussion Starter #1
My wife has a 2006 X5 and likes me 2012 Volt
So we are trying to decide what to replace the X5 with?

So what would you get as a second vehicle? I'm leaning toward something electric only with a farther range, maybe a Leaf? I like the i3 but not for the current used price.

Thoughts?

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Wait for the Chevy Bolt EV. Seating for 5, roomy CUV style, over 200 miles of range, in the same price range of the Nissan Leaf, also has Battery Thermal management, which the Nissan lacks.

Due out in October or November of this year. Nissan sales are in the tank right now, just because this car is coming. This is the one to get your wife.
 

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From your comment concerning the prices for a used i3, I assume you are only looking at previously owned vehicles? If that is the case, then the leaf is an obvious choice if you are looking for a full electric. Prices for used leafs are really low it seems.
 

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If you are looking to buy a used EV, your options are going to be very limited. You are replacing an SUV, so do you want to maintain similar capacity and cargo volume?

The Bolt will have similar cargo volume to the X5, but it isn't due to be released until the end of this year. Besides which, it will be brand new with very few discounts off sticker price, so you will be looking at a similar price for a new Bolt versus a used i3.

Another option for you might be the RAV4 EV. Many people leased, which provides a great buying opportunity for people in the used car market. I see several for sale in my region with around 30,000 miles in the low $20,000 range.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Good questions. I don't care much about cargo space but more price. I got my volt for $7k and would like to get something around $10k for her. It will probably end up being a Leaf I guess

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Does your wife typically drive more than the Volt's EV range? If not, what is wrong with a second Volt? You said she likes the 2012, so give her that one and buy a newer one for yourself.
 

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I don't see equating the Bolt with a CUV. It's not going to be any larger than a Honda Fit, and I really don't see it having a voluminous cargo area. It will feel very small compared to the X5, which is bigger than an X3, which is bigger than an X1, which is bigger than the Bolt will be.

Bolt visual size comparison. Check it out.

--Chris
 

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A used EV Huh? And it's more about price than size? Go to cargurus.com and look at prices on these: SparkEV. You'll see prices on used ones between 9,000 - 16,000. This is a small vehicle but has battery thermal management. It is a compliance car, so depending on where you live you'll have to have it shipped. Or a Kia Soul EV. About the size of a Leaf, but with better range and it also has thermal management. There's a nice one in Morrow, GA. asking price is $16995. (keep in mind EV's are hard sales, so don't pay asking price....dealers don't have a lot of prospects). Most likely have to have one of these shipped to you.

Then there's my favorite EV...The Mitsubishi i-miev. This little gem has thermal management and you can get a used one for $6500-$9000. I own two of them (because of price) but beware they are small...they are weird...they have the shortest range of any EV.....They will get noticed....and again you'll most likely have to get one shipped to you. BTW: There's a fully loaded one in Confluence, PA. exactly like one of mine. It has 15,000 miles Nav stereo, back-up camera, rear parking sensors, bluetooth, steering wheel controls, and a DC fast charge port for $6250. Miev owners have a forum too, go to myimiev.com if you want to hear from other owners....Do some research!

If you want one that you can get local.....Yes! unfortunately it's the Nissan Leaf. Perhaps you can tell, but I'd jump through a lot of hoops before I'd buy one.
 

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I don't see equating the Bolt with a CUV. It's not going to be any larger than a Honda Fit, and I really don't see it having a voluminous cargo area. It will feel very small compared to the X5, which is bigger than an X3, which is bigger than an X1, which is bigger than the Bolt will be.
And where is the definition for Compact Utility Vehicle that lists a minimum size? I have not found one. CUV seems to be a marketing term that manufacturers apply as they see fit. There are some loose definitions, but nothing definitive.

Anyway, the Bolt would be something to look at. Given Nissan's handling of the "wilted" Leaf batteries I will not consider buying a new Leaf, much less a used one. Chevy's battery thermal management engineering is superior to Nissan's short cuts in my opinion.
 

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Your wife likes the Volt. Your wife, not you, should be deciding what vehicle she will be driving. Send her to a Chevy dealer to try driving the 2017 Volt, then wait a year to buy a Certified Used Volt at a discount from the new vehicles in inventory now. The Volt has the convenience of unlimited range. The 2017 Volt has about 20% greater range off the plug-in charge than the 2012 Volt. Therefore, you wife is likely to enjoy driving her own Volt.
 

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All CUV means is 'shaped like an SUV, built on a car platform'. That's it. SUV definition has to be built on a truck platform.
Hatchback is more specific as it is car shape, with a hatch.
These are stretched to be taller, like an SUV.
In an imaginary venn diagram in your head it's the intersection between SUV and hatchback = CUV.

I second not buying a used leaf. Unless you don't like your wife, then that's a whole other story :)
The only leaf I'd buy (I wouldn't, but if I had to) was new and a lease that is out of my hands before things get too bad.
Buying used/off-lease, you're likely picking it up just as things are getting bad.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Your wife likes the Volt. Your wife, not you, should be deciding what vehicle she will be driving. Send her to a Chevy dealer to try driving the 2017 Volt, then wait a year to buy a Certified Used Volt at a discount from the new vehicles in inventory now. The Volt has the convenience of unlimited range. The 2017 Volt has about 20% greater range off the plug-in charge than the 2012 Volt. Therefore, you wife is likely to enjoy driving her own Volt.
It is up to her. She asks me to present some options.

New cars are off the table. I'll never spend more than $10k on transportation.
All CUV means is 'shaped like an SUV, built on a car platform'. That's it. SUV definition has to be built on a truck platform.
Hatchback is more specific as it is car shape, with a hatch.
These are stretched to be taller, like an SUV.
In an imaginary venn diagram in your head it's the intersection between SUV and hatchback = CUV.

I second not buying a used leaf. Unless you don't like your wife, then that's a whole other story :)
The only leaf I'd buy (I wouldn't, but if I had to) was new and a lease that is out of my hands before things get too bad.
Buying used/off-lease, you're likely picking it up just as things are getting bad.

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I don't see equating the Bolt with a CUV. It's not going to be any larger than a Honda Fit, and I really don't see it having a voluminous cargo area. It will feel very small compared to the X5, which is bigger than an X3, which is bigger than an X1, which is bigger than the Bolt will be.

Bolt visual size comparison. Check it out.

--Chris
It has nothing to do with marketing labels. The Bolt will have similar cargo space to the X5, period. If that was a consideration, then it is worth noting. However, the OP said that it is not. It sounds to me like his primary concern is price, and if that is the case, I would also recommend a second Volt over a Leaf.

It might sound counter-intuitive, but given how rapidly the Leaf's battery degrades, you are more likely to get more electric miles out of a used Volt than you are a used Leaf. See link.

If size isn't a consideration, and you want to go pure BEV for cheap, you might also want to consider a used Spark EV. It has better range to start than a Leaf, and its battery will last much, much longer. I've also heard that they are quite a hoot to drive. You can read about owner experiences on this forum in the Spark EV section.
 

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tutti57 said:
New cars are off the table. I'll never spend more than $10k on transportation.
Actually, Your situation seems a lot like mine! I was thrown off when you said your wife owns an X-5. I thought you were looking for a similar style vehicle, but you are looking for a cheap dependable EV. I went with two i-mievs for that very reason. cheap and dependable.

Unfortunately they have received a lot of unfavorable reviews from professional reviewers because of their small size and weird looks. If you can get past all that, owner reviews are quite the opposite. Owners love them, and don't understand why professional reviewers just don't get it. These vehicles are excellent for the purpose the were created for....a short range errand/commuter car. Range in ideal weather is 65-70 miles.
 

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New cars are off the table. I'll never spend more than $10k on transportation.
Then a used iMiev may be in your future. It will be hard to find a used Volt under 10K. Of course if you wait a few more years...
 

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Acquisition cost and cost are related but different concepts. Hard to believe an X5 would ever rank high on either scale, unless higher cost means a higher score. Pretty much everything on a luxury brand is more expensive. For example, a four year extended service plan for a Model S, which is supposedly similar to what you can get on other luxury vehicles, costs $8K + $200 per repair. The same plan + service for a Volt would likely be less than $2K.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Acquisition cost and cost are related but different concepts. Hard to believe an X5 would ever rank high on either scale, unless higher cost means a higher score. Pretty much everything on a luxury brand is more expensive. For example, a four year extended service plan for a Model S, which is supposedly similar to what you can get on other luxury vehicles, costs $8K + $200 per repair. The same plan + service for a Volt would likely be less than $2K.
I don't ever buy the warranty. The x5 was only $6k.

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I don't ever buy the warranty. The x5 was only $6k.

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Because we are talking hard dollar values, it's worth considering that a Volt (or any other EV) will save you more in five years of driving versus the X5 than the entire car will cost (say $10,000). That's not even counting basic maintenance or repairs, so that might be a reason to consider paying a slightly higher premium for an EV.
 

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A friend is considering a BEV for a second vehicle. He came up with a Ford Focus EV as a practical alternative to the ubiquitous (at least around here) Leaf. Used ones can be found at lower prices than the leafs, the range/performance is comparable, and the battery has at least a bit of temperature/charging management. And the look and feel is a bit more traditional. Certainly not something I would have considered, but used, it might be worth considering.
 
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