PiP vs. Volt - cabin noise, handling, driver room from owners of both?

Discussion in 'Chevrolet Volt' started by Ursamajor, Mar 16, 2014.

  1. Ursamajor

    Ursamajor Member

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    I'm considering picking up one of these cars in the next month or two. As a daily commuter, as well as a road trip car, I'm trying to get a sense of what they'd be like to live with. Specifically, I'd like to hear from owners of both (I think there are a few switchers in this subforum) on three things:

    First, how noisy are they - road noise, wind noise, etc. I understand there are some good threads on sound deadening the PiP and I'll likely go in that direction if that's the choice, but I'm wondering if the Volt's noise level is substantially lower on a subjective basis? I'm coming from a Range Rover, which is blissfully quiet, but I also have a Honda Ridgeline (which isn't) and a JSW TDI (which isn't bad, but it's no RR). Your thoughts?

    Second, I enjoy driving. A desire for a manual transmission and upgraded handling drove my JSW purchase over an HEV Prius a couple of years ago, and I've been happy with it, but a friend would like to buy it and I'd like to move to plug-in electric, the PiP and the Volt seem to be the current choices. I've had a BMW 5 series (manual) in the past; I know that neither car is a sports sedan, but it seems that the Volt at least doesn't suck to drive (not that the PiP does..). Any thoughts from people who've owned both?

    A final question - did anyone notice a substantial subjective difference in front seat room (I'm a big guy)? I know the Volt has a smaller back seat and cargo room, but if I'm carrying more than one person or a lot of stuff, I won't be taking this car, so that's less important - my comfort as a driver is definitely important, however.

    When I look at the prices offered by Dianne W. in SoCal and by a similarly active SoCal Chevy dealer on the gm-volt site (plus my GM card points), my after tax-credit price would be pretty similar for the two cars. I understand the drivetrain differences, advantages and disadvantages in terms of electric range vs. ICE mileage, I'm just trying to get a sense of how they are to drive.

    Thanks very much for your opinions..
     
  2. ny_rob

    ny_rob Senior Member

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    I currently own a 2012 PIP- I've had it for 17 months now, ran up 22K miles on the odometer.

    I took a 2014 Volt for a test drive on Saturday.
    Things that stood out: it was quieter than the PIP, had better EV acceleration than the PIP and the driver seat was more comfortable than the PIP. It also doesn't have the terrible rear quarter blind spot the Gen III Prius in infamous for that makes lane changing a PITA.

    The Volt can only holds 2 back seat passengers- vs 3 for the PIP.
    The stock tires on the Volt are 17" vs 15" on the PIP.
    The Volt has 38 mi EPA battery range vs 11 mi EPA battery range for the PIP.


    I would suggest you go for a test ride in both vehicles on the same roadway if possible and see how they shake out.
     
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  3. zhenya

    zhenya Active Member

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    I considered both and ended up with the PiP for a variety of reasons, the primary being I got it for a price that the Volt couldn't touch, the secondary being that the PiP has more cargo and passenger capacity. From an enthusiast's and a driver's perspective I would have preferred the Volt which handles much more like a regular car and is much more an EV than an extended range hybrid.

    What is your typical day of driving like?
     
  4. Ursamajor

    Ursamajor Member

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    "What is your typical day of driving like?"

    TBD, which is why I'm uncertain. I live in Park City, Utah, where there's many excellent mountain roads nearby, fairly high speeds, but I recently spent quite a bit of time in SoCal, where I lived with ugly commuter traffic. The car would be registered and at least initially located in SoCal, so the green sticker is an incentive to move fairly quickly. I'm not sure where I'll go next, but 40 miles of EV range is a lot more likely to cover me than 12 miles. On the other hand, I like the PiP's better HEV mileage, which seems to be enhanced by the larger battery. From a cargo and passenger capacity it's definitely the PiP, but I'm usually by myself or with one other person, so less of a concern. With the price drop and bigger tax credit, pricing is a coin toss, as are the gasoline mileage vs. EV range balance. I think I'd be happy with either one, I'm just trying to get a sense of how big an improvement the Volt is in noise, cabin quality and handling from folks who've lived with both.
     
  5. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    Volt.

    Also if the HOV lane sticker is important to you, you need to buy PDQ. Only 3,000 Green High Occupancy Vehicle Stickers Left In California
     
  6. Zythryn

    Zythryn Senior Member

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    I would highly recommend test driving each.
    EV range, cargo capacity, etc are pretty straight forward.
    However, it sounds like on factor for you is also driving characteristics. That is highly subjective and really is best experienced for yourself.

    When test driving the Volt, make sure to put it in 'Sport' mode. Personally I would recommend driving it in Low rather than Drive to get stronger regenerative braking. To me, a car with stronger regen feels much more natural and responsive.
     
  7. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    No direct experience with either, but another poster once recommended putting the Volt in, IIRC, low and mountain mode to experience it at its noisiest.
     
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  8. dbcassidy

    dbcassidy Toyota Hybrid Nation, 8 Million Strong

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    Prius, the Volt ice mpg can't come close the PSD PRius system.

    DBCassidy
     
  9. Ursamajor

    Ursamajor Member

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    Double post.
     
  10. Ursamajor

    Ursamajor Member

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    Understood, but 40 miles of EV range vs. 12 outweighs that for me. I'm not interested in owning a hybrid, I'm interested in these cars as EVs, so that's probably the deciding factor. It's not an only car and I generally drive alone or with one other person on my commute, so I don't care that much about the Volt's smaller storage and rear seat room; I'm more concerned about the level of noise, the handling and the general driver comfort and driving experience. It's pretty much acknowledged that the Volt leads in those categories, as well as in quality of interior materials and finish (I've confirmed that at the two dealers), I'm just trying to get a sense of how much from those who have lived with both for long periods. When you deduct the respective tax credits, the price is a wash.
     
  11. Ursamajor

    Ursamajor Member

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    I will absolutely test drive both, and I appreciate the suggestions on the driving mode during the Volt test. I'm really looking for subjective thoughts from people who've owned both cars; things you think you can live with (or barely notice) on a test drive when you're taking it all in can become irritants after living with a car for a while, and vice versa.
     
  12. Zythryn

    Zythryn Senior Member

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    I'm afraid I have only test driven a PiP once and its battery was drained to where EV mode was not available.
    I have owned and driven two Gen2 Prius, but expect that isn't very similar to a PiP when driving on full electric.
     
  13. zhenya

    zhenya Active Member

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    The Prius definitely has a level of road noise that I was not accustomed to coming from Volvos, VW's and Mercedes as recent ownership experience. It's tolerable, but it's definitely not a refined vehicle.

    I think that if you want the EV experience, the choice is the Volt hands down. The Prius only works as an EV under certain specific circumstances, and any number of things can knock it out of EV mode - full throttle application, engine braking with a full battery, use of the heater, cold temperatures, etc. I understand that the Volt has some of these same characteristics, but overall it drives much more like a pure EV with well over double the EV-only horsepower and the ability to accelerate at full throttle, etc.
     
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  14. ggood

    ggood Senior Member

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    I have to say, compared to my test drive of a Nissan Leaf, the PIP does not drive like an EV at all. the gas engine kicks in if you jump on the pedal the least little bit, and you lose the smooth effortless acceleration of a true EV. That said, the PIP has it all over the Volt in the passenger and cargo categories. If that doesn't matter to you, and commuter distance is more important than long distance, the Volt is the clear winner. That said, both cars are coming up for a re-boot, so keep that in mind if you are not in a hurry to buy.
     
  15. usbseawolf2000

    usbseawolf2000 HSD PhD

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    If EV driving experience is important for you, go with Volt. If other things are more important, go with PiP to C-Max Energi.

    I cannot charge my PiP now (temporary) and am I glad I have PiP. Can't go wrong with being efficient with both fuels.
     
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  16. ny_rob

    ny_rob Senior Member

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    Well then, forget about the PIP as a EV as you'll be extremely frustrated by it's limited range and low EV power.
    The PIP has a 4.4 KWh battery, the Volt has a 16.5 KWh battery... you do the math.

    Right now with the still cold temps here- my starting range in the morning is down to 8.9 EV miles- and I get even less when I climb a grade and try to accelerate w/the rest of the traffic.



    FWIW- Full disclosure: I traded in my PIP for a 2014 Volt Sunday- I'm picking up the Volt tomorrow afternoon.
     
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  17. usbseawolf2000

    usbseawolf2000 HSD PhD

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    If you are ok with EV in city driving, PiP EV is more than sufficient. 50 MPG gas engine is great on the highway and refuels really fast. You can also use both battery and gas on highway.

    If you like the division of labor depending on driving conditions (I find the change of fuel fun as I can control) PiP has a lot to offer.
     
  18. Ursamajor

    Ursamajor Member

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    This is something I think about - we'll probably see the next-gen of both by next year, and we'll also see (I think) the Audi A3 E-tron and some others. I don't NEED to get something new now, the sense of urgency is brought on by the looming unavailability of green stickers and some pretty attractive pricing on both cars. That said, leasing either one for 2-3 years at very reasonable rates gets over the imminent obsolescence issue.
     
  19. John H

    John H Senior Member

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    I love the Volt but my son took it over and drives it like he stole it. Still, he averages 85% EV and doesn't know how to pump gas into it. If I steal the Volt and leave him the Prius he calls a friend for a ride rather than take the Prius.
     
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  20. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    I'm 6'-5". If you're over 6'-4" then you won't fit in the Volt front seats comfortably ... much less the back. That's my 'big person' view. Btw we used to own a RR too ... a 2001 model. It was blissfully quiet because it was in the shop - not running - all too frequently.
    :)
    I wouldn't mind at all, getting a volt if it were bigger, & its charge sustain mpg were 6 or 8mpg better. But that turns on how often & how far you drive ... whether or not it's driven frequently or infrequently distances over 60 or 70 miles ... and whether your regular route will allow you the opportunity to charge.
    .
     
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