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Prius Plug-in vs Chevy-Volt thoughts

Discussion in 'Chevrolet Volt' started by mozdzen, Mar 8, 2012.

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  1. mozdzen

    mozdzen Member

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    I just noticed why GM has "paused" production of this car - every dealership I have checked has several cars on the lot.

    The arrogant dealer I talked to before the Volt came out was bad-mouthing Toyota by saying the rumor was that Toyota was going to charge a premium over MSRP. Turns out it was GM jacking up the price $4K over MSRP and Toyota holding the line.

    Now I see you can get a Volt for $4K under MSRP in some cases. In one case, it is $10,000 under MSRP (what's up with that car? - was it the official demo? It has no options).

    Anyway, some of you out there are dual car fans and I'd be interested to hear your thoughts.

    I swore off GM forever after buying a Catera in 1999. I've got a PiP on order, but a Volt below MSRP sounds tempting. I just hate going back to GM even if this car is good as their attitude was, "it is usual for you to get a garbage car from us, quit complaining."

    That 40 mile EV range is really tempting, but the reliability of the Prius and the smooth operation of the HV and EV mode is really nice. Wish the Prius had another 15 miles of EV range.
  2. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    Obviously you aren't going to find a lot of Volt fans here so I hope you are also asking your question on their forum too: GM-Volt: Chevy Volt Electric Car Site

    It sounds like you prefer the Volt performance envelope but still have buying reservations so I would recommend looking into leasing a volt.
  3. ukr2

    ukr2 Active Member

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    Or you can add Engineer's Lithium battery pack and get more charge and weight and less HV mpg and less hatchback storage space and it might break the warrenty.

    But you will get more miles.
    Not sure of the price.
  4. TonyPSchaefer

    TonyPSchaefer Your Friendly Moderator Staff Member

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    There are Volt owners around here. The Volt is a very nice car: it rides well and drives well. My initial impressions were very positive.

    Unfortunately, there is a lot of negative press surrounding the Volt. And make no mistake, they have made several missteps in terms of Marketing. But from what I've seen and heard, the Engineers of the Volt were committed to producing the best car they could without exception.

    Personally, seven years of Prius ownership have completely won me over and I'm planning on getting a PiP eventually. But if you are leaning towards a Volt, then take some test drives and see what you think.
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  5. gwmort

    gwmort Active Member

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    Seriously? There are literally dozens of threads on this topic.

    Heres the low down:
    The Pip has more room, less electric range, and better HV mileage

    The Volt has more EV power, better acceleration and handling, more EV range, and will likely displace more gasoline for most drivers if that is your thing (it is for me).

    I traded a Gen I prius for my Volt. The prius was a great reliable economy car, but it always felt like an economy car. Fine when I was in college/law school, but the Volt feels more like a sporty entry level luxury car (my entirely subjective opinion). I feel more professional taking clients out to lunch in the Volt than I ever did in the prius.

    There is really very little difference in price after the tax credits, IMHO its purely a subjective test of which you prefer, drive both and pick one.
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  6. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    Cost is the problem.

    PHV will displace far more gas than Volt by the simple reality that far more can realistically be produced & purchased. It's a strong business approach, reducing market risk while reaching a very wide number of consumers.

    HSD itself can offer more & better too, as we clearly see from Camry. That system is potential for plug-in expansion.

    What will happen with the system in Volt?
    .
  7. drinnovation

    drinnovation EREV for EVER!

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    I seriously considered the Prius + plug in Kit, PiP, Volt, Leaf, Tesla.
    Bought the Volt and am Very glad I did. best car I've ever owned, but a wide margin. I had been with Honda for 17 years before that.. so not a "GM'" guy. The Volt is more a caddy than a chevy in fit/finish/quality of ride.

    When looking my goals (in order of priority)
    1. Minimize gas (and move to use renewable energy)
    2. Good ride
    3. Good style
    4. reasonably balance costs with above

    For my driving the Volt is an ideal match to minimize gas. I had logs of my drives so it was easy to analyze. I presumed 15 EV for PiP and epa of 35 for Volt, 73 for Leaf, and 160/230 for Tesla. With the Volt as a baseline, For my family, the leaf would use 40-60 gallons MORE of gas, because of my long trips would need to use my wife's outback. A teslaS@160 miles would use 40-50 more and a TeslaS@230 would would have use 20-30 gallons more gas. I had estimated a PiP would have used 120 gallons more.

    I must admit I mis-estimated a bit as I had not considered the Volt's engine-running-due-to-low-temp and engine maintenance mode so I've used a bit more gas than expected but I'm also getting much bette EV range and lower kwh use (average is 39-40 EV range in winter and was 43-50 in the summer). My lifetime, including our long trips, is about 145miles/gallon (and with my kWh usage, its about 75MPGe). More recent winter data, is in my sig.

    I recommend you drive the cars. A new car is not about $$, its about what matches your needs/desired. Some people like different things in what they drive. I found the Prius Soft and non-responsive. I found the Volt (and Leaf) a better ride with more responsive. The PiP was not available for a test drive (I drove a regular as well as a boulder conversion Plug-in). I did not drive a Tesla (but pricing and timing helped me decide it was not the best match for me).

    But fo me in the ends I've displaced more gas using the Volt than another of the other choices. My total cost (after credits) was 30K which was acceptable I could have displaced more with a Leaf/Tesla if I could get my wife to drive a prius, but she absolutely wants awd and room to haul stuff landscape stuff. Until there is a awd PHEV, I'll be in a PHEV.
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  8. drinnovation

    drinnovation EREV for EVER!

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    Unless the OP is buying a fleet, the number to be purchased does not impact how much gas a person's choice will make. It also does not matter how many different products either car company will create around it. The OP has a choice what to buy, not deciding in which company company to buy stock.

    John may focus on Cost. I focus on Value.. what I get for what I pay. That of course depends on your priorities. Some people consider apple products worth the "preimum". Some people think the "hybrid" is worth the Premium.

    The PiP price was not even announced when I made my decision, and in my analysis I expected the PiP to be 7K less than the Volt (after credits) and still decided a Volt was a better value. When the PiP price was finally announced I felt even better in my decision.

    Best Value != lowest cost econo box.

    I was worried about cost I'd still be driving my Honda (it only had 130K on it.. had years of good use left in it).
  9. usbseawolf2000

    usbseawolf2000 HSD PhD

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    Dealer demo? Make sure you go over to the Volt forum to see the type of problems the early builds had. Software updates, charging cord over heating, radiator coolant leak, etc. I am not suggesting all of them will happen to you. If you really want to get it, make sure they have all the fixes / updates performed already, especially the battery fire "recall".
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  10. devprius

    devprius /dev/geek

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    I would never have considered a Volt originally, but JeffN let me test drive his (and I let him test drive my PiP) and I have to say that some of my preconceptions about the car were rather off. The car is definitely fun to drive. I love the displays. The cockpit seemed to be rather well laid out. The acceleration is quite good. Way better than the PiP. Jeff was nice enough to explain the different drive modes and point out ways to get more regen out of the system.

    That said, I'm still confident that the PiP was the right car for *me* to buy. I think it fits my needs better than the Volt would. That doesn't mean the car is bad, it's just not for me.
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  11. Jeff N

    Jeff N Senior Member

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    Every Volt should have the software update already but it can't hurt to check. The other issues were reported by a small number of people. I drive the 42nd car off of the production assembly line and had none of those problems. Cars built prior to February 2012 are just beginning to be retrofitted with the battery crash test update. That's nice to have but not urgent and, frankly, I'm going to wait a few weeks and let the local mechanics practice on other cars first. My 2001 and 2004 Prius have been through several "service campaigns" and at least a couple of official safety recalls but it was totally worth getting them when I did.
  12. rudiger

    rudiger Active Member

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    I get the impression that much of the negativity directed at the Volt is from an ideological agenda rather than anything that has to do with the actual vehicle. IOW, many are upset that GM received a bailout to fend off bankruptcy and taxpayer money was used to fund (indeed, it was a condition to receive the money) the Volt project. So, they pile-on and trash it at every opportunity whether it's actually warranted or not.

    I despise GM as much as anyone, but I can think of much worse ways to spend federal money than the R&D of alternative/high fuel mileage vehicles. Everyone seems to forget that Japan's government has assisted car manufacturers for decades with phenomenal results. All things considered, the Volt didn't turn out that bad (especially for something built by GM).

    Of particular benefit of the Volt in regards to the Prius is that the Volt is serious competition that should motivate Toyota to keep improving their product, rather than diminish (i.e., decontent) it as Toyota seems to be having a rather bad habit of doing lately.
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  13. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    That comes from such heavy focus on engineering and disregard for actual need. Had the technology been developed with choice available rather than the one-size-fits-all system we got, outcome would have been different.

    Sure, anyone can justify an individual purchase, but support for the masses is another matter entirely.

    Then there's the attitude. On the forums supporting Volt, it's not a matter of good old fashion competition & rivalry. Instead there's "vastly superior" declarations and endless excuses, avoiding consideration of consequences from weak sales. They don't acknowledge the history of Two-Mode or BAS either.

    To makes matters worse, there's the issue of disenchantment. You shouldn't just abandon those who's expectations were not met. Yet, that's exactly what happened. Look at the diversity we get from Toyota and the concepts they continue to reveal. It's a very situation quite unlike that from GM.

    Basically, there's no good way of addressing the problem without sounding negative. Setting new expectations would be wise next step.
    .
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  14. usbseawolf2000

    usbseawolf2000 HSD PhD

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    Volt is a good car. It does have short comings that needs to be addressed.

    You already covered the political angle. GM really isolated themselves from Prius owners by the CEO saying he wouldn't be caught dead in a Prius. Volt supporters trashed Prius and claiming HSD is obsolete (when the new model roll out and sales still increasing).

    GM also went up against EV supports by claiming the Volt as better than EVs with the "more than electric" ad. They also started the whole range anxiety thing.
  15. gwmort

    gwmort Active Member

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    I was clearly referring to displacement for the individual consumer comparing one car to the other. I will concede if he has a multiple car household and wants to buy a couple of PiPs he may displace more gasoline than buying a single Volt.
  16. cycledrum

    cycledrum PSOCSOASP

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    I sat in Volt a lot at the SF auto show. I'm a tall guy, 6'2" in fact, but I expect to fit reasonably well in the backseat of a 4-door car, especially one that weighs over 3,500 lbs. Volt has some of the worst rear seat room, it's basically like most coupes. Worse with the rear center console.

    I should have hung around the Volts more at the car show, see how many checking it out. Not many while I was looking. Prius v had constant lookers.

    gmwort said he feels better taking clients out in Volt than '01 Prius. How is it taking two 6ft clients out in Volt? Hopefully you never have to. ...

    Fitting four 6 ft adults in PiP is a walk in the park. Some people want practicality over 'fun to drive'.
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  17. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    Prius hybrid I find is a wonderful family car with lots of room for passengers and junk and you can add roof box and really have lots of space. I consider Prius a mini-SUV.
    Volt from what I hear is more luxurious excellent smooth ride, Jay Leno likes to take one to work. But it is not so roomy behind front seat. You can couple Fed+State rebates and get up to $13500 off Volt (not sure about Arizona). Couple that with $4- 10K off MSRP and you have a good deal triple whammy if this is your style of car. I am thinking the lower price Volts are the ones not qualifying for CA HOV lanes but not sure.
  18. wick1ert

    wick1ert Senior Member

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    As far as a short drive, since gwmort let me drive his last summer, it was OK. My brother, just shy of 6' said the back seat was OK. Granted, we didn't spend an hour or two in the car, but between the 3 of us, I think all of us are relatively around the 6' mark. But, to be quite honest, most vehicles I've sat in the back seat weren't exactly comfortable except the monstrous SUVs.

    That said, the Prius does have more back seat leg room and more versatility with the hatch. But, for the OP, it's really up to him to decide what the priorities are and which vehicle best fits his needs.
  19. mozdzen

    mozdzen Member

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    Thanks for all of the comments. After looking at the Volt forum, I'm thinking they have a way to go on the learning curve. Seems like a good first step. Toyota seems to improve the Prius every step of the way and has had 10+ yrs of this type of schooling. I'm not going to pay for GM's learning. My Cadillac Catera had a different item break every 6 weeks on average for the 1st 4 yrs (typical example: have you ever had door hinges fail because the door was too heavy? - as in both passenger and driver sides?)

    I've got to stick with Toyota for peace of mind - too early for me to reward GM with any kind of sales.

    I've test driven a Volt and do enjoy the pickup and smoothness, but I did feel like the interior was a big cozy - almost like a hand fitting inside a glove - but that was just me. The display panel seemed a bit distracting. I owned a 2006 Prius for 3 yrs and now a 2010 Prius for 2 yrs and love those cars - so much that I can't see buying a regular ICE car anymore. The Prius, while being a less sophisticated ride, can be very versatile. It recently found out it could carry my big telescope - a 16" diameter tube 6 feet in length plus the wooden stand for it. I didn't think that was possible until I gave it a try. It would never fit in the Volt.
  20. daniel

    daniel Cat Lovers Against the Bomb

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    Which car will use less gas depends entirely on your driving distances. You just have to run the numbers: Volt's greater EV range against PiP's higher mpg when using gas.

    The Volt is a very nice car to drive, but like you, I mistrust their reliability.



    John is comparing Toyota to GM: Toyota "saves" more gas by putting more PiPs and Priuses on the road, compared to GM's much smaller numbers of Volts.

    But in this case, that's really not the issue. The issue here is whether an individual will use less gas with a Volt or with a PiP, and that depends on what kind of driving they will do.

    IMnot-soHO, I achieve the best efficiency by driving an EV in and around town, and my 2004 Prius for road trips. Zero gas for trips up to a couple of hundred miles, and 50 mpg for trips longer than that. One-car households do not have that option, but many two-car families would do quite well with a Leaf and a regular Prius, or a Leaf and a PiP or Volt.
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