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Chris_V
Chris_V UltraDork
2/20/13 9:29 a.m.

I know it's not too terribly grassroots, but I brought home a new Volt this past weekend. Traded my Mustang GT convertible for it. Not gonna lie, I'll miss the convertible in the summertime, and the hoonage that could be had with a touch of the throttle, but the Volt is fun in it's own way, and definitley more efficient to own.

Blue Topaz with the Pebble Beige leather and suede interior (fairly rare color combo) with heated seats and the leather as the only options (no nav or backup cameras or expensive BOSE speakers, which is fine by me).

The car is actually fun to drive, leaving it in Low gives it an agressive regenerative braking profile that mimics drop throttle engine braking. Put it in Sport mode and the throttle remapping makes it quite peppy (it's quicker than our '11 MINI Cooper). I love the techyness of it, and the connectivity with both my android phone and my wife's iPhone 5 (being able to remotely monitor the charging, lock and unlock the doors, remote start and pre-heat the car from the phone, plus the '13s got streaming bluetooth audio so I can play my Pandora and iTunes playlists wirelessly from the phone). It drives like a quiet version of my old BMW E38, only feeling even more luxurious, ironically.

It's so quiet, and solid feeling (and well it should as it's a 3800lb car), but solid in a good, luxurious way, with great noise control and ride. It really feels like GM spent extra time getting the car right as a car not just as an EREV.

I didn't get it to save money overall. No new car can really do that. Had I wanted only to save money over the Mustang, I'd have sold it outright and used the equity to buy another $1000 beater and leave it at that. That being said, it's still more economical to own than the Mustang. Payments are slightly more but insurance is cheaper, as are fuel costs (by an order of magnitude). No, I got it for being a nice, new, geeky fun daily driver that is more practical than either of our 2 door cars for carrying people and stuff in (we tend to carry at least a third and often a fourth person, and making them climb into the back of the MINI or Mustang was comical and slightly cruel) and my wife also does jewelry shows eveny month as the weather gets nicer, and all her stuff (tables, chair, display, tent, and product) will fit in the Volt. Before, we were using the dually to carry the stuff to the venues, as it was the only thing the stuff woudl fit in, and that's just plain inefficient. And yes, a $2500 Subaru outback with 150k miles on it would have sufficed, but I'm kind of tired of dailying old POS cars that need to be worked on to safely transport my family around in.

I love driving this litle blue spaceship. I was kind of hoping to see more from the GRM project Volt, but it is what it is.

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy UberDork
2/20/13 9:41 a.m.

I like the way this car looks - the blue is one of my favorites. Enjoy!

RossD
RossD UberDork
2/20/13 9:59 a.m.

It is a pretty car.

Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
2/20/13 10:41 a.m.

Man, I'm really thinking one of these will be SWMBO's next car... Love that color!

Anti-stance
Anti-stance UltraDork
2/20/13 10:44 a.m.

Somehow Chevy was able to pull off a desirable "hybrid" car that I would actually like to own.

DuctTape&Bondo
DuctTape&Bondo HalfDork
2/20/13 11:05 a.m.

Very nice.

Sky_Render
Sky_Render HalfDork
2/20/13 11:16 a.m.
Chris_V wrote: I know it's not too terribly grassroots, but I brought home a new Volt this past weekend. Traded my Mustang GT convertible for it.

SACRILEGE!

Chris_V
Chris_V UltraDork
2/20/13 11:59 a.m.

Yeah, it's no Prius, thank god. It drives very nice, so far it seems quite comfortanble (the seats have good bolstering and the right amount of grip with the suede inserts), and it actually looks good, I think.

The stock tires suck, however. Goodyear assurance low rolling resistance black teflon rim protectors is all they are. And they are supposed to be up at 38 psi (I have them at 36 and it's a bit better for ride and the handling feels the same). But since they'll wear longer than the lease is for (3 years, 36k miles) then they'll probably stay on the car.

The lease will be good for me if for no other reason than it'll keep me from wanting to spend money modifying it... lol!

Chris_V
Chris_V UltraDork
2/20/13 12:03 p.m.
Sky_Render wrote:
Chris_V wrote: I know it's not too terribly grassroots, but I brought home a new Volt this past weekend. Traded my Mustang GT convertible for it.

SACRILEGE!

Well, it was suposed to be an only fun times car, only coming out on nice days, not a daily driver through the winter. Truth be told, it's not as fun to drive every day, especially in the winter. And since both of our cars were two door cars, I decided that I could sacrifice the fun car for a couple years to drive the practical, future car.

Joe Gearin
Joe Gearin Associate Publisher
2/20/13 12:04 p.m.

I'm a huge fan of the Volt---- it's gotta be kind of cool driving the most technologically advanced car on the planet!

Congrats, and don't worry---- JG still has his, and has been fiddling with it....more to come.

Knurled
Knurled UltraDork
2/20/13 12:14 p.m.

I can't wait for plug-in hybrids to become common enough that you don't have to get one of those super-bright displays with it.

I love the idea, I love driving them, I hate being blinded by the instruments, which are also illegible to my not-so-good eyes.

yamaha
yamaha SuperDork
2/20/13 12:23 p.m.

I don't think they should be allowed to put an MPG calculator in those.....How far can you go on a kWh and how much does that cost on the electric bill?

I'm not hating, I kinda like those....not enough to buy, but I don't view them as I do Prius's

Chris_V
Chris_V UltraDork
2/20/13 12:33 p.m.
yamaha wrote: I don't think they should be allowed to put an MPG calculator in those.....How far can you go on a kWh and how much does that cost on the electric bill? I'm not hating, I kinda like those....not enough to buy, but I don't view them as I do Prius's

Well, 10kwh is what it takes to go 40 miles. That's about 80 cents at current prices here in MD to go 40 miles. It's the equivalent of about 120mpg at present gasoline prices. It'll get even better as fuel prises rise this summer.

Basically I'm looking at charging at off peak rates at night, and adding about $20 to my total electric bill a month. Considering the car cost me $30 LESS a month than the Mustang to insure, it's a net savings over operating the Mustang that it replaced, due to the mustang getting 14 mpg on the commute.

Simply put its way cheaper to go a month on pure electric than it would be to go a month on gas in a car like a Prius. Of course, unlike a Leaf or other pure EV, I can go on long trips now if I want to without worrying about charging along the way. it doens't get the greatest fuel mileage on gasoline (as it runs the gas engine as a generator to keep the batteries up when driving in hold mode), tending to averaeg 35-40 mpg whenteh gas engine kicks on. But for 90% of daily use, the engine only kicks on when it's too cold to maintain heat in the car.

Duke
Duke PowerDork
2/20/13 1:02 p.m.

nice trade! I'm actually thinking EV for my wife's next car. Her commute is such that even DDing 5 days a week and using it as the weekend runabout, we still only put 4500-5000 miles a year on her car. She would go many many days without ever running the gas engine at all.

mtn
mtn PowerDork
2/20/13 1:25 p.m.

I really like those. Mind me asking what you're paying for the lease?

The local Mitsubishi dealer (Mitsu's USA headquarters are here) has a deal, lease one of those electric cars for $2000ish down + $99 a month, or $170ish a month with nothing down. There are plug in stations (Fo Free!) all over town. It is seriously tempting me.

slowride
slowride New Reader
2/20/13 1:38 p.m.

How long will it before someone rips the hybrid out of one of these and installs an LSx?

Chris_V
Chris_V UltraDork
2/20/13 2:36 p.m.
mtn wrote: I really like those. Mind me asking what you're paying for the lease? The local Mitsubishi dealer (Mitsu's USA headquarters are here) has a deal, lease one of those electric cars for $2000ish down + $99 a month, or $170ish a month with nothing down. There are plug in stations (Fo Free!) all over town. It is seriously tempting me.

Well, the Volt is one of the more expensive of the EREVs, at a $39k base MSRP (before tax credits). If you lease a base one, the national rate with $2000 down is $299 a month. Mine had an MSRP of $41k due to the premium interior option, I rolled the TTL into the lease, and only put $1500 down (actually only $500 down, as I had equity in the Mustang even at trade in prices), and at 12k miles a year it came out to $410/mo, which puts it about $50 higher than the '06 Mustang was per month (that was a conventional loan). If you lease, you don't get the tax credits ($7500 federal, and for me, $2000 for the state), the leasing company does, which is how they lower the payments on what is a $40k car down to that of a $30k car.

If you buy it, you get the tax credits on your next return, but you're still financing a $40k car, so the monthly is MUCH higher, and since it's new tech, you could be in a rather obsolete car at the end of the payments, with high tech that is out of warranty (though the battery warranty is 8 years/100k miles, so it's not THAT bad).

The Mitsu is an interesting little toy, but as a car it's got aways to go to match the Volt. A Leaf would be better, and there is a new version coming out that is supposed to have a $19k MSRP, which should lease out real good if you can get by with the approx. 100 mile range (and most people can as a second car, and many can even as a primary)

Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker MegaDork
2/20/13 2:39 p.m.

I'm going to make a blanket statement that [cringe] "I happen to find the whole GM line-up except the Camaro somewhat appealing to the eye".

Good luck with it. It is a nice looking car both inside and out.

mtn
mtn PowerDork
2/20/13 2:45 p.m.
Chris_V wrote:
mtn wrote: I really like those. Mind me asking what you're paying for the lease? The local Mitsubishi dealer (Mitsu's USA headquarters are here) has a deal, lease one of those electric cars for $2000ish down + $99 a month, or $170ish a month with nothing down. There are plug in stations (Fo Free!) all over town. It is seriously tempting me.

If you buy it, you get the tax credits on your next return, but you're still financing a $40k car, so the monthly is MUCH higher, and since it's new tech, you could be in a rather obsolete car at the end of the payments, with high tech that is out of warranty (though the battery warranty is 8 years/100k miles, so it's not THAT bad).

The Mitsu is an interesting little toy, but as a car it's got aways to go to match the Volt. A Leaf would be better, and there is a new version coming out that is supposed to have a $19k MSRP, which should lease out real good if you can get by with the approx. 100 mile range (and most people can as a second car, and many can even as a primary)

I realize that it is an apples/oranges comparison (or at least apples and pears). The Volt is a really nice car; the Mitsu is... well, it is basically a toy. A golf cart that I would be able to drive for $170 + insurance a month total. Which is tempting.

Chris_V
Chris_V UltraDork
2/20/13 2:50 p.m.

You may be able to get the Leaf for damn near that of the Mitsu, and it's also a much more of a car than a golf cart. I don't find the Leaf very pretty though, and think the Mitsu actually looks a bit cooler. FWIW.

e_pie
e_pie HalfDork
2/20/13 3:09 p.m.

Once the Insight reaches a point it's not worth keeping on the road I could see replacing it with one of those.

dj06482
dj06482 Dork
2/20/13 3:34 p.m.

I think the Volt is one of the better-looking cars on the road today. Please continue to update us throughout your ownership!

Cotton
Cotton SuperDork
2/20/13 3:48 p.m.

That's a great color. I dig the dually too.

ultraclyde
ultraclyde Dork
2/20/13 5:39 p.m.

That may be the first one I've seen in something other than stormtrooper white. It's really nice.

So, what did you do to the Stang to get it down to 14mpg? Supercharger?

mad_machine
mad_machine MegaDork
2/20/13 7:09 p.m.

the only shame about the volt... I have only seen one on the street.. and I live 2 miles from a chevy dealer with several on the lot. Yet, I see dozens of prius every day

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