2013 Chevrolet Volt 1.4L from North America

Summary:

Completely underestimated - Amazing Car

Faults:

One software update for the OnStar system, because the hands free calls were fuzzy sounding.

General Comments:

I have wanted a Volt since they began to sell in 2011. Finally, used prices started to drop and a bunch of off-leases hit the market. I found my 2013 Volt this past February for $12,900 and only 12,000 miles! Clean Carfax, 3 year lease, absolutely not one service history entry. The car has heated cloth, lane departure system, accident avoidance system (i.e. both safety packages), backup camera. I absolutely love the performance of the car, and the handling. You can really throw it into curves, believe it or not, due to its very low center of gravity from the HV battery location.

Put this thing into Sport Mode, and drive in "L" and you will have a blast.

BTW, my electric bill in SE Michigan went up ~$15 a month, and that is depleting the charge every day (about 45 miles on electric). We are fortunate to have very affordable kWh here.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th July, 2017

2013 Chevrolet Volt Base Hybrid from North America

Summary:

So far exceeded expectations

Faults:

Bought it as a lease return Sept 3, 2016. So far nothing has gone wrong.

General Comments:

I am totally impressed by the build quality of this car. On par with most high-end cars and totally a giant leap above the 09 Honda Civic LX I traded in for it. It is a solid heavy feeling car with impressive acceleration (for an electric, especially in the Sport mode). I've driven 922 miles on 3.7 gallons of fuel. I have a twenty mile daily work commute and re-charge every night between 12:30 AM and 6:30 AM.

The only complaint is rear visibility, like looking back into a tunnel. The rear view mirror is pathetic. This car has no backup camera so backing up is real challenge. I have added an aftermarket wide-view mirror which helps tremendously. We'll see how it holds up. Got it because I wanted a pure electric without range anxiety.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th October, 2016

5th Mar 2017, 23:51

Now six months in and a couple of minor issues have cropped up.

First the charge receptacle door kept sticking shut, throwing CEL codes. Dealer replaced the entire receptacle under warranty.

Next, with the heavy rains we've had in our area of California, the left rear tail light lens has filled with moisture. Never been hit or damaged. Took it to the dealer, and "out of warranty" on this and they want $478 to replace it.

Overall, gone 3718 miles on 14.7 gallons of fuel. Been to the gas station two times and I average 253 miles per gallon... Will fix the tail light myself; found the part on-line for $88...

6th Mar 2017, 23:53

The part that got me is staying up past midnight during a work week just to save more on electricity. Off peak means I would be off my peak at work in the morning.

7th Mar 2017, 16:10

Indeed, replace the lens yourself. I had the same issue when I accidentally backed into a garbage can. It's not super easy, but you'll need to remove the bumper cover and a part of the trunk interior to get at the light. The dumbest part is that there are 2 rivets holding a piece that is in front of the lens and you have to get that off. I just drilled them out and replaced them with self tapping screws. Also - if the little electric door sticks again, just spray the release mechanism with silicon.

8th Mar 2017, 13:54

I'd probably drop it off and pick it up after work. That's the easiest solution.

2011 Chevrolet Volt Premium 1.5 liter from North America

Summary:

Highly underrated, a pleasure to own

Faults:

So far, none.

General Comments:

We traded in a trustworthy yet old 2002 Prius for a used 2011 Chevy Volt. I had wanted one of these for years, but the costs new were far more than I cared to pay. Used, these cars are a lot cheaper. Even so, the one we got had low miles.

My overall thoughts about the car is that it's actually a fairly underrated car. The overall quality, fit and finish, interior, and handling are all something you'd think would be reserved for a luxury car. What's clear is that GM did their homework. Unlike any other car they've designed in several generations, this was a halo project and they HAD to get it right. Whatever experiences I've had in previous GM cars, which were rife with cheap, flimsy interiors and mediocre handling, were totally gone in this car.

The car is absolutely loaded to the rim with gadgets. The list just goes on and on: front and back sensors, backup camera, heated and cooled seats, powered electric charge port door, nice stereo system, and so on and so on. The interface is not too hard to understand.

As for the car's primary drivetrain, the battery's range has pretty much lived up to its advertised claim of about 40 miles. On the way to work when traffic goes freeway speeds, I can get close to 35 miles on a charge. After work when traffic is more stop and go, I can go about 42-45 miles, hence about 80 miles total going back and forth to work. After over a week of driving, the typical fuel economy has been over 80 miles per gallon, and would be higher except my wife goes to an event every week which requires her to drive 60 miles each way. As far as the engine, even with the battery drained I find the realistic MPG has been close to 40, and as high as 42 MPG. When the battery drains, the car more or less functions like a Prius with regenerative braking.

What surprised me too is that the car handles really well. With the weight of the battery close to the ground, the car feels confident on the road since the center of gravity is as low as it is. Due to its weight, it simply feels smooth as well. Since the wheels are electrically driven, the torque is instant and it takes very little pressure on the pedal to yield full power.

I do have some gripes though... The first one is that the car has NO SPARE. We found that out the hard way when my wife got a flat literally the 2nd day we owned the car and we discovered that no - it doesn't have one, nor did they come with one. I remedied that by buying a used spare from a 2003 Cadillac CTS. We'll take that on trips so we won't get stranded. Second gripe is the alarm system. If you don't unlock the car first, the alarm will go off when you remove the charge plug. That's happened several times so far at 5:30 AM, which I'm sure annoying the neighbors.

But all in all, I am pleased with the car and hope to get just as many miles out of it or more as we did with the old Prius.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th April, 2014

16th May 2014, 11:27

I figured I would update this review as now I've now owned the car for over a month. We drive A LOT, and so far we racked up over 2,500 miles in the first month. After getting into the groove with how to drive the car, I am now getting around 135 MPG, which is amazing considering that means I've only filled the small 9 gallon tank twice.

My one complaint so far is that it's very difficult to see out the rear of the car. It's like looking through a bunker window.