Will the Chevrolet Volt be a failure or a success?

Discussion in 'Chevrolet Volt' started by Reginnald, Jan 20, 2011.

  1. PriusSport

    PriusSport senior member

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    The Volt is priced as a niche car, and not intended to achieve high volumes.
    The Prius and Insight are priced to be serious competitors to ICE cars.
     
  2. Felt

    Felt Senior Member

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    Interesting thought. I have often said the Volt is a "niche" vehicle, then explained that the "niche" is very small .... I was thinking: rich buyers, two (or more) cars in the stable, small family, short commute, warm winters, inexpensive electrical power and etc.

    Perhaps .... the "niche" is solely to satisfy congress? There is no profit motive ... the government just rewards GM with funding.
     
  3. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    All the hype certainly did. It was heavily promoted as a game-changer immediately upon rollout. Now, we're seeing lots of downplay to just "early adopter" status instead from the enthusiasts remaining, those who haven't become disenchanted. New owners who hadn't been involved during the hype typically aren't aware of that history, hence such a different perspective.

    Reality is, the point of Volt was to be a mainstream choice when $4 gas returned and that goal wasn't achieved. It failed.

    Round 2 could be a success. But in the meantime, the GM buyers are flocking to Cruze instead. That sure looks like missed opportunity...
    .
     
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  4. gwmort

    gwmort Active Member

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    My first week in the volt is now up.

    I find I love the ride, gadgets, and appointments, even the ipod-esque control panel (and I really love controlling my actual ipod on the console screen via the USB connection.

    I've got just under 700 miles on it so far, including the 210 mile drive home from NY on purchase, and just under 300 of those on electric. I've refueled once for 7 gallons and according to the screen I have about 189 miles of fuel range remaining now.

    My economy in CS mode has been pretty dead on the 37 mpg from the sticker, and my daily AER has been 35 miles pretty reliably (temps in the 30s-40s, higher one day this week when it was really warm).

    My daily use is about 50 miles, so I was burning some fuel everyday. Yesterday I got permission to charge at work and completed the whole day with no gas (53 miles total). When I knew I'd end up burning gas I tended to drive more conservatively and avoid going to far to keep my lifetime mpg numbers in the system higher, it was freeing yesterday to be able to zip home carefree in electric (glanced down at speedometer at one point and realized I was going 87 mph and hadn't noticed).

    Compared to my old prius, it is less efficient when burning gas. Even my old Gen 1 was still getting 42 mpg reliably after 8 yrs and 168,000 miles. However it (the Volt) is a lot more fun to drive and feels much classier (I have premium trim).

    I think the money I am spending is worth the car I am driving and I know of many other professionals in my field that would feel the same way. I predict this tech is here to stay and the Volt as a model will be a success. Gen 2 may be more commercially successful than Gen 1, but if they sell every Gen 1 they make how do you measure that?
     
  5. Skoorbmax

    Skoorbmax Senior Member

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    Are there any big negatives? I perused the volt forum and didn't see any. There have to be some. I wonder if some of the purchasers are doggedly defending it--as we've seen in the Prius forums. But I can rattle of shortcomings of the Prius all day despite liking it a lot (backup beep, various reports of rattles, ICE knock on some starts, 5% overestimate by computer on mileage, etc.). Where are such threads for the Volt? It must have issues.
     
  6. malorn

    malorn Senior Member

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    Biggest issue is the initial rollout strategy: 4 states, california, michigan, texas and New york.
     
  7. evnow

    evnow Active Member

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    Strawman ? I've been following Volt for a long time and never saw this as "the point of Volt".
     
  8. malorn

    malorn Senior Member

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    The real point of the volt was to influence perceptions of GM and Chevy in particular much the same way the Prius has for Toyota. It is a great car which may be another step in the evolution away from petroleum.
     
  9. Skoorbmax

    Skoorbmax Senior Member

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    I'm being serious. Your drawback is like being asked in an interview for a weakness and saying "Sometimes I work too hard."

    There are problems with the Volt, I want to know from real Volt drivers what these problems are. The volt forums I've looked at seem to be cheerleading meets.
     
  10. malorn

    malorn Senior Member

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    I doubt you will find much in Volt forums. Like you said earlier about this forum, nobody wants to say they made a poor decision. GM needs to make 100k a year so they could drop the price down to around 30k. i think at that price point demand would be incredible.
     
  11. skilbovia

    skilbovia Member

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    Everybody says the heater sucks. I wouldn't buy a car I had to drive cold. I don't drive a Volt...Its a Chevy.
     
  12. gwmort

    gwmort Active Member

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    Skoorbmax,

    These are what I would describe as the shortcomings so far:

    1. The lease was advertised as $2500 down and $350 a month, well thats fine and all but we didn't qualify for that money factor and had to pay it down a bit more to get the payments back there and had to prepay tax and tags etc... so it was closer to $5000 down.

    2. From "real world" reports on the volt forums I was hoping for mileage in CS mode in the low 40's but under the conditions I was in it was coming up pretty consistently at the EPA figures (37 mpg combined), similarly I was hoping the range would squeak out over 40, but so far it hasn't (I remain optimistic it may once the temps warm up).

    3. The back seats are really limited in leg and headroom, it works great for my kids (6 and 7), but taking co-workers out for lunch you have to pick and choose the little ones to sit in the rear.

    4. Oddly enough the biggest one I would describe is range anxiety, not in the "Leaf may leave you stranded" sense, but in being anxious about how I used up my electric range when I knew I'd burn gas each day. The volt shines in its all electric range, it makes the most sense when not burning gas. I would drive with reduced climate system loads and slower than I would have preferred to eke out as much of it as I could. Now its just a personal thing, others would just drive normally and burn more gas, but that seemed to defeat the purpose. Now with charging at work I feel so much better tooling around in electric knowing it will be replenished before I head home.

    Driving around in all electric is cool, really cool. I really love my car and it is fun as heck to drive. I think once most people get a good taste of electric driving it will be hard to go back, and I think that is one issue the PHEV Prius may run into, its going to whet appetites for all electric driving, but is not going to be able to keep it up very long each day.
     
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  13. gwmort

    gwmort Active Member

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    I have not encountered this with regards to the capability of the heating system. Now the coldest I've had to contend with so far is mid-30's, but with the climate system set to "comfort" and the auto electric seats adjusting for cabin temps, I stay nice and toasty. I think a lot of the complaints are from people trying to run the climate system in "eco" to preserve more all electric range (the setting makes a big difference overall, perhaps to the tune of 5 miles of range or so).
     
  14. Skoorbmax

    Skoorbmax Senior Member

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    Thanks!
     
  15. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    That's what we call Spring here. So, mid-30's is hardly a good representation.

    Winter is when the daytime highs don't even reach 20°F and the morning commute is in single digits. In Minnesota, we routinely see temps below 0°F during the depths of the cold season.
    .
     
  16. gwmort

    gwmort Active Member

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    I understand the Delaware climate is far from extreme, thats why I gave the value for reference. I can't speak to what owners in Minnesota are experiencing, only what I am. But for the record April is still spring time here as well (as mentioned earlier I've only had the car 1 week).

    If it helps with perspective, I always had trouble with my Gen I Prius heater in the winter mornings. The car never seemed to want to idle in the driveway to heat up so I was a good 10 minutes down the road before it ever started to get comfortable.
     
  17. billnchristy

    billnchristy Active Member

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    Are the Volt and Cruze cousins? They look very similar.
     
  18. Felt

    Felt Senior Member

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    If my understanding is correct, they are "kissing cousins." Same platform.
     
  19. Skoorbmax

    Skoorbmax Senior Member

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    1st cousins or second?
     
  20. gwmort

    gwmort Active Member

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    See 2003 Prius and 2003 Toyota Echo, same bones, similar skin, very different guts
     
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