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Old 09-25-12, 03:26 PM   #1
Hoovey2411
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Default Quick Spin: 2013 Chevrolet Volt

2013 Chevrolet Volt


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Engine: 1.4L I4, 111 kW Motor
Power: 149 HP / 368 LB-FT
Transmission: Single Speed
Drivetrain: Front-Wheel Drive
Curb Weight: 3781 LBS
Seating: 2+2
Cargo: 10.6 CU-FT
MPG: 62 MPG-E (comb.)
MSRP: $42,780 (as tested)

Chevrolet has taken an aggressive tack to move units of its revolutionary Volt, selling a fair number to government agencies, offering really fantastic lease deals and marketing the hell out of the car. After a week of driving (and generally enjoying) the 2013 iteration of the extended-range hatchback, I tend to think that customers should just take advantage of the current confluence of market forces rather than bemoaning the larger state of affairs with General Motors as a whole.

After all, one of the biggest knocks on the Volt has always been that its MSRP is too high, a fact that largely negates the very low running costs once the car is in your garage. Well, a $260/month lease eases that pain a lot (even if that rate is for the 2012 car, and not the 2013 model that I tested). And what you're left with is a very nice-to-drive, forward-looking if fractionally flawed car.

Driving Notes
The slightly revised 2013 Volt offers a "Hold" driving mode that allows one to conserve the battery power for optimal efficiency. For those that have long commutes and might want to let the gasoline-powered generator do its thing on the highway while saving the EV juice for around town this new software makes a lot of sense. I didn't find much chance to make use of it in my city-centric daily errands.

I live in Ann Arbor, Michigan, which is, I will admit, fairly progressive as far as Middle America goes. That said, our city has recently been fitted with a large number of 240-volt stations in parking lots and parking structures. Driving the Volt primarily around town (I live about a mile from the city center) for the week, I was able to keep my charge going using these sometimes-free chargers to great effect. In fact, I got more juice from Republic Parking than I did from my own house. Cheers!

When the Volt's batteries were topped-up, I usually saw about 32-miles worth of charge on the car's central display. Over eight days of driving no single trip was farther than 15 miles, one of the benefits of working from home I used 0.1 gallons of gas for around 120-miles traveled.

So, I'll admit, the usage-case for me is a little bit different than normal. But general observation, logic and some quick statistics hunting tells me that more and more people will work out of home offices as time passes. Long story short: I could almost certainly use a car like the Volt without having to use the gas-powered generator/engine for two-thirds of my driving year. And that's being conservative. Better still, if I'm charger surfing, using public power or parking structure power to fill up, the individual cost to me is reduced even further.

The Volt is an exceptional vehicle for music lovers, even without some ultra-high-end 38-speaker English sound system. Why? Number one: The audio system is pretty respectable. Number two: The car is simply so quiet, even at speed, that you have a better soundstage in the Volt than you do in pretty much any other car on the market. You don't truly realize how much even very good audio setups are fighting car-based noise pollution until you jam out in a Volt for the first time.

The front lip, completely designed for maximum aero aid, makes the Chevy almost unusable in certain situations. The approach from the street to my driveway is not particularly steep, but it's a sharp enough angle that there is no way to get the car up and down without rubbing the bottom of the lip on the concrete. I know that in my neighborhood with houses from the 1940s and 1950s most driveways are more aggressively raked than mine, too. Anyone living in an older part of a town or city may have to consider if they can drive the Volt close enough to their garage or house to charge it without damaging the car each time. Aero be damned, it's silly for the Volt to sit lower than most supercars.

A quick followup to the point above: Get used to hand-washing your Volt if you take the plunge. I don't know of any automatic conveyor-type car washes with tire guide rails low enough to accommodate the front lip of this car.

http://www.autoblog.com/2012/09/25/2013-chevrolet-volt/
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Old 09-25-12, 06:09 PM   #2
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Given the (IMO) gross overpricing of both the base and dealer-out-the-door figures (even with the tax-credits), the $260 a month leasing for leftover 2012 models does look nice. But the article doesn't give the lease-duration, and, affordable lease price or not, one still has to put up with the ridiculous ergonomics on the dash, gauge-panel, console, and shift-lever tunnel.

Sorry to keep ranting about this car, folks, but those of you who follow my reviews know I thought it was a price rip-off and poor ergonomics from Day One. I still do, though the lease price, as the article suggests, does take some of the price-sting out...as long as you stay within mileage and wear-and-tear lease-clause limits.
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Old 09-25-12, 09:29 PM   #3
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i remember when this was such an anticipated car, heck even I was on the waiting list after seeing the concept car at the car show.... then GM dropped the ball and released something that wasn't even CLOSE to the concept car as far as looks... I dropped off the waiting list and so did everyone else.. how could they have gotten it so wrong.
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Old 09-26-12, 04:14 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmarshall View Post
Given the (IMO) gross overpricing of both the base and dealer-out-the-door figures (even with the tax-credits), the $260 a month leasing for leftover 2012 models does look nice. But the article doesn't give the lease-duration, and, affordable lease price or not, one still has to put up with the ridiculous ergonomics on the dash, gauge-panel, console, and shift-lever tunnel.

Sorry to keep ranting about this car, folks, but those of you who follow my reviews know I thought it was a price rip-off and poor ergonomics from Day One. I still do, though the lease price, as the article suggests, does take some of the price-sting out...as long as you stay within mileage and wear-and-tear lease-clause limits.
it is 24 month lease, pretty crazy...
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Old 09-26-12, 12:42 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spwolf View Post
it is 24 month lease, pretty crazy...
drive it for 2 years then threaten to turn it in, residuals are probably way high.

But GM extended warranties are so cheap, its hard NOT to do this deal.

just contemplating...so my wife doesn't drive the wheels off her A5.

I actually like the looks of this car...plus she would be using no gas versus $50/weekly.


also --- they were leasing for $199/mo......specs...

MSRP: $42,130
Base Cap Cost (Selling Price): $38,700
Cap Cost Reduction: $6,700 (Rebates)
Acquisition Fee: $795
Net Cap Cost: $32,795
68% Residual = $28,648.40
1% Interest
10,000 Miles Per Year
This is a Zero out of pocket Lease. The only adjustment to the payment would be what Taxes, Title & License would be for your State.

Thanks,
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Last edited by bagwell; 09-26-12 at 12:54 PM..
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Old 09-26-12, 01:20 PM   #6
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Imagine how much more mmarshall would hate the Volt if it had a gated shifter!
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Old 09-26-12, 04:32 PM   #7
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Imagine how much more mmarshall would hate the Volt if it had a gated shifter!
lmfao

I drove the GSh 519 miles so far this month and under 1,000 last month...a Volt for $200-$300 a month with maybe no gas used? It piques my interests oddly.
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Old 09-26-12, 05:18 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by pbm317 View Post
Imagine how much more mmarshall would hate the Volt if it had a gated shifter!
Actually, GM, to its credit, doesn't use gated shifters in most (if not all) of its American-market products. The Volt, though, still has an annoying hole in the forward-end of the console/dash to stick the lever in and out of Park.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1SICKLEX
lmfao
So did I, when I saw the way the dash/gauges/console/shift-tunnel was designed.
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Old 09-26-12, 05:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bagwell View Post
drive it for 2 years then threaten to turn it in, residuals are probably way high.

But GM extended warranties are so cheap, its hard NOT to do this deal.

just contemplating...so my wife doesn't drive the wheels off her A5.

I actually like the looks of this car...plus she would be using no gas versus $50/weekly.


also --- they were leasing for $199/mo......specs...

MSRP: $42,130
Base Cap Cost (Selling Price): $38,700
Cap Cost Reduction: $6,700 (Rebates)
Acquisition Fee: $795
Net Cap Cost: $32,795
68% Residual = $28,648.40
1% Interest
10,000 Miles Per Year
This is a Zero out of pocket Lease. The only adjustment to the payment would be what Taxes, Title & License would be for your State.

Thanks,
residuals are crazy high... it is very good deal... they are basically giving you 10k off the vehicle in the terms.
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Old 09-26-12, 08:04 PM   #10
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I've mentioned in a couple other threads that I am a prime buyer for a Volt. I drive about 5 miles per day, but occasionally take a 40-50 mile trip to visit relatives. I'd like an electric car, but the occasional long trip means I need something that can make it without charging. The Volt is the obvious answer. It has amazing lease deals right now, so much so that my hatred for Government Motors subsided and I took a real look at leasing one.

However, there is absolutely no way that I am willing to deal with the interior of that car. It's horrid. It's the worst interior of any car that I have ever been in. I tried to talk myself into it, and just couldn't do it. I have no idea why they couldn't just put a normal interior in it. It's like they don't want to sell this car. And how they could let it go for a second year without fixing that disgusting nonsense of an interior is beyond me. That's why my electric car of choice remains a Prius, even though it isn't electric.
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Old 09-27-12, 04:53 AM   #11
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That's why my electric car of choice remains a Prius, even though it isn't electric.
http://www.toyota.com/prius-plug-in/

available in limited areas, but you could always have it shipped to you or go pick it up.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 10-01-12, 10:29 AM   #12
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interesting numbers....

https://www.voltstats.net/

1770 "Fleet" Total:
EV miles= 11053885.66 miles
Total miles= 15432628.88
EV% = 71.6
MPG = 128.71
MPGe = 64.64
MPGcs = 36.52

MPG: Simply total miles driven divided by total gallons of gas burned. This is how the Volt reports MPG, although since the electricity is counted as "free" it doesn't give a true picture of the energy used. On the other hand, this is literally accurate.

MPGe: Counts all electric miles driven as 93 "MPGe". See this wikipedia page for the gory details, but in short, 33.7 kw*hrs of energy has been determined to be equal to one gallon of gasoline, and the Volt is rated at a combined 93 MPGe (0.36 kw*hrs/mi) by the EPA. This gives a better account of the true energy usage of the vehicle, in a number that's easily comparable to traditional cars. However, this is just an estimation - I cannot currently read raw kw*hrs from Onstar, so actual energy usage could be better or worse than this number. Hopefully we can get a real MPGe calculation in the near future. The formula is: Total Miles / (Gallons Burned + (EV Miles / 93))

MPGcs: Charge-Sustaining MPG, or what the Volt is getting on gas only.
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Old 10-01-12, 11:02 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Ty419 View Post
I've mentioned in a couple other threads that I am a prime buyer for a Volt. I drive about 5 miles per day, but occasionally take a 40-50 mile trip to visit relatives. I'd like an electric car, but the occasional long trip means I need something that can make it without charging. The Volt is the obvious answer. It has amazing lease deals right now, so much so that my hatred for Government Motors subsided and I took a real look at leasing one.
The Prius Extended-range Plug-in Hybrid (which is electromechanically simliar to the Volt), though not cheap, starts for almost $10,000 less than the Volt to start with. Depending on the loan-rate/length and your credit-rating, you might be able to actually buy and own one (without mileage and wear-and-tear clauses) for not much more than a Volt-lease would run. The Plug-In Prius is starting to arrive now at East/West-Coast dealerships, but not yet in the center of the country. It should be nationwide, though, in a few months.

http://www.toyota.com/prius-plug-in/

Quote:
However, there is absolutely no way that I am willing to deal with the interior of that car. It's horrid. It's the worst interior of any car that I have ever been in. I tried to talk myself into it, and just couldn't do it. I have no idea why they couldn't just put a normal interior in it. It's like they don't want to sell this car. And how they could let it go for a second year without fixing that disgusting nonsense of an interior is beyond me.
Agreed. In my Volt review, I found the ergonomics of its dash, gauges, console, and shift-lever-tunnel an insult to human intelligence. Prius ergonomics greatly vary by model.....though I haven't seen or sat in the new Plug-In yet, and can't comment on its interior.
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