Grtechguy
Grtechguy MegaDork
1/2/18 5:56 a.m.

Starting to shop for gas sipper commuter and was told of a 2011 Chevy Volt in Premium Trim that may be for sale soon.

I hear next to nothing about these as Prius seems to be the golden child in the hybrid world.

 

From what I've read 35-40mpg on gas is viable.  the supposed 30 mile electric range would get me to work, but not back.

 

Does anyone here own one or have seat time in one?

DrBoost
DrBoost MegaDork
1/2/18 6:24 a.m.

I'm not a GM guy, typically I don't like any GM offerings. But the Volt in intriguing to me. They look good, and knock down decent numbers. No seat time here. My friend has one, he says it's so boring he's looking to get an old Audi. He's going to get a whole different kind of excitement haha. 

Anyway, the radiator started leaking, 90 miles out of warranty.  $1,500!!!!!

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH MegaDork
1/2/18 7:41 a.m.
DrBoost said:

Anyway, the radiator started leaking, 90 miles out of warranty.  $1,500!!!!!

Wow, I'm guessing that's the cost of having the dealership supply and install it? That's enough to have a nice all-aluminum radiator fabbed and installed in its place.

dculberson
dculberson PowerDork
1/2/18 9:26 a.m.

A friend has one with way over 100k miles on it and has had absolutely zero problems. He plugs in at work and home and burns through very little gas. I've driven it and it's a lot more engaging to drive than a Prius. No, it's not an old Audi, but it has a ton of torque off the line and is pretty low to the ground. It runs out of "go" pretty fast so 0-60 isn't bad but 60-90 is pretty slow. It's comfortable, but a little odd feeling inside. 2011 doesn't get proximity unlocking so you have to actually push a button to open the door. (the horror!) You do get a backup camera but not bluetooth audio with the 2011 premium. You can easily add bluetooth audio using one of those round plug in things.

When I'm ready to move on from my Mazda6 wagon, it'll probably be to a Volt.

Chris_V
Chris_V UberDork
1/2/18 9:33 a.m.

Mine was the 2013 version with Hold mode. I'd look for one of them. More range, better fuel mileage and a number of other features that the 2011/12s don't have.

 

rob_lewis
rob_lewis UltraDork
1/2/18 9:43 a.m.

I considered it when looking for a replacement and they seemed like decent deals.  One of the things I didn't like, however, was the tunnel between the back seats.  You are limited to 4 people in the car total.  Might not a big deal for you, but thought I'd mention it.

 

-Rob

Erich
Erich UltraDork
1/2/18 9:52 a.m.

If I hadn't found the deal on the older Accord I have now, it would have been the Volt for my current DD. Driving on pure electric power is very addictive, and the many owners I've personally talked to, as a former LEAF driver, have been very satisfied. 

Chris_V
Chris_V UberDork
1/2/18 9:54 a.m.

I dunno, I've never been able to fit 3 adults across the back of any compact sedan or hatch and had them at all comfortable, and if you're using a baby seat, forget it. So it's never been that big a deal.

m4ff3w
m4ff3w UberDork
1/2/18 11:18 p.m.

We have a '14 and love it.  I'm typically a GM hater, but the tech intrigued me.  I'm really happy with it.

 

I was able to convert the included portable charger to 240v and now it charges fast enough to be usable.

My wife's commute is 66 miles round trip 3 days a week and she's averaged 78mpg (inflated by not counting electric) on commute plus around d town stuff since we've had it.

WonkoTheSane
WonkoTheSane Dork
1/2/18 11:38 p.m.

No personal experience, but the boss has one that his daughter is driving now that he has a Tesla.  He said it was a great car, much better than the Prius he had earlier.  He mentioned that the fit and finish was higher quality than the Tesla. It is a first year one, I'm not sure what year that is, though.

I believe it now has almost 100k on it, and he didn't mention anything wrong with it.  Until his daughter started driving it around school, he had only put in about 3 tanks of gas per year in it.  

dculberson
dculberson PowerDork
1/2/18 11:38 p.m.
m4ff3w said:

I was able to convert the included portable charger to 240v and now it charges fast enough to be usable.

Please elaborate; this is of much interest to me.

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
1/3/18 6:06 a.m.

I have a 2011 with right around 115k miles on it. I've had if for not quite a year and 20k miles. My wife drives it to work, my daughter is using it as her drivers training car, and we've autocrossed it twice now. I drove the first two generations of the Prius and the Volt before purchasing and the Volt was a much nicer car in every way. On a temperate day (no A.C. or heat) can get 44 miles on just battery. Throw in freeway driving, cooling the car down, or worse, heating it up, and range falls quickly. My wife commuting will regularly get 22-24 miles on battery. 

It's one of the few cars I've owned that I would replace with one just like it if it gets wrecked.

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
1/3/18 6:19 a.m.
GameboyRMH said:
DrBoost said:

Anyway, the radiator started leaking, 90 miles out of warranty.  $1,500!!!!!

Wow, I'm guessing that's the cost of having the dealership supply and install it? That's enough to have a nice all-aluminum radiator fabbed and installed in its place.

No kidding.  A new radiator is all of $100 from Rockauto.

If our office building ever installs charging stations, something like one of these would be hard to ignore.  It's just about 30 miles each way, now that I'm transferring to our PA office from NJ.  I'd use hardly any gas.  If they had made a wagon version, choosing one would be even easier.

DrBoost
DrBoost MegaDork
1/3/18 6:20 a.m.
GameboyRMH said:
DrBoost said:

Anyway, the radiator started leaking, 90 miles out of warranty.  $1,500!!!!!

Wow, I'm guessing that's the cost of having the dealership supply and install it? That's enough to have a nice all-aluminum radiator fabbed and installed in its place.

Yeah, it was. I think book time was 8 or 10 hours!!!

DrBoost
DrBoost MegaDork
1/3/18 6:21 a.m.
Chris_V said:

Mine was the 2013 version with Hold mode. I'd look for one of them. More range, better fuel mileage and a number of other features that the 2011/12s don't have.

 

Absolutely LOVE that color!

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Digital Experience Director
1/3/18 7:14 a.m.
dculberson said:
m4ff3w said:

I was able to convert the included portable charger to 240v and now it charges fast enough to be usable.

Please elaborate; this is of much interest to me.

Iirc the website is evseupgrade.com

Turboeric
Turboeric Reader
1/4/18 8:26 p.m.

I have a 2012 base Volt and absolutely love it (in an appliance/commuter context). We bought it used 18 months ago with only 28,500 km on it (that's 18,000 miles for those of you operating in furlongs per fortnight) for half the price of a new one. We've now doubled the mileage on it, and have had zero issues. 60 km (40 miles) reliably on electrons in the summer, about 40 km (25 miles) now that the brass monkey has frostbite. We regularly take it on long trips and average 6 L/100 km (39 mpg). What's most remarkable is how much of a normal car it is. If you didn't know about the magic electrons, you'd think it was a very quiet, normal sedan.

The instant torque is quite addicting. Now, regular automatics seem even more intolerably dim-witted, and the long wait while a gas engine finally builds torque seems interminable. The OE low rolling resistance tires are unfamiliar with the concept of grip, but canyon blasting isn't really the mandate of this car. I'm completely sold on them as a commuter, and would do it again in a heartbeat.

Nitroracer
Nitroracer UltraDork
1/4/18 9:17 p.m.

Another Volt fan here.  My fiance has logged 20k miles over the last two years and the car hasn't given us any trouble.  Its a bit heavy for its size, but having an electric drivetrain and gas engine on board will do that, it does handle the heft well though.  The daily commute is fully electric and anything further is 35-40mpg.  I think the lifetime average for the car is 75mpg. I really like the the technology aspect of it and for 13k it was a steal just off lease.  I would consider upgrading to a second generation Volt in a few years, because I don't envision a 3rd generation Volt staying as a hatchback and the used values are great for buyers.  I've started borrowing the car once a week since I can charge it for free from solar panels I have in the parking lot at work.  I drive in 'Low' all the time which gives maximum re-generative braking, but not quite enough to come to a complete stop.

Grtechguy
Grtechguy MegaDork
1/5/18 8:12 a.m.

Sounds like I may have to take a hard look into these.     Creature comforts decent?

Entropyman
Entropyman Reader
1/5/18 10:32 a.m.

I have a 2013 Premium with leather and the upgraded sound.  It is a nice place to sit.  Stereo is really good, seats are comfortable, and hvac works well.  Mine has 76,000 miles and it is still rattle/squeak free.  Passenger space is adequate for a compact car and cargo space is decent.

BAMF
BAMF HalfDork
1/9/18 2:12 a.m.

In reply to Chris_V :

That looks just like mine!

I bought a 2013 in May of 2015. I have put about 60k miles on it in that time, and I'm getting close to rolling over 90k.

I have Level 2 chargers at both offices. In my 3 days a week at the close office, it's all electric and would be even without plugging in. The far office is about 60 miles away, so 1/2 to 2/3 of my trip is electric.

Hold Mode is nice, and some of the infotainment stuff is supposedly different from 2013 on.

These really respond well to better tires. I put some Continental Extreme Contact DWS tires on and have been pleased. Body roll is more than I would like, and there aren't many options for aftermarket suspension. Some Chevy Cruze parts supposedly fit, but I haven't seen anyone actually make it happen.

m4ff3w
m4ff3w UberDork
1/9/18 9:50 a.m.
Tom Suddard said:
dculberson said:
m4ff3w said:

I was able to convert the included portable charger to 240v and now it charges fast enough to be usable.

Please elaborate; this is of much interest to me.

Iirc the website is evseupgrade.com

Many of the OEM portable chargers can be converted to L2 just by re-wiring, either the plug or internally.

Mine was just converting the plug to a 220V plug, the earlier Clipper Creek charger needs to be re-wired internally:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2-_pfCtPu4
 

Driven5
Driven5 SuperDork
1/9/18 12:57 p.m.
BAMF said:

...Body roll is more than I would like, and there aren't many options for aftermarket suspension.

Whiteline Chevy Volt Sway Bars

Our Preferred Partners
Hha1QoMItyhIy8mhHO8CBrT6BCZHV3SbBifHHbBUEYvQeLhXr6I9fA9SK6PG82NF