Will the Chevrolet Volt be a failure or a success?

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

  1. mfennell

    mfennell New Member

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    I've had mine for a month. 1100 miles, 750 in EV mode (one long trip). I didn't obsessively count down the days to release - when they showed up locally, I test drove a couple, then leased one because I liked it. I (honestly) don't feel that I have anything "invested" in the car except some money. If it sucked, I would be happy to say so. As it happens, I've been nothing but impressed with the build quality, performance, handling (for what it is) and the cohesiveness of the package. Everyone (and all my friends are weird car people like me) who has been in or driven the car has had the same opinion. I think they were hoping to get a big laugh at my expense. :)

    I have never been in a Prius so I can't compare to one. FWIW, my other "normal" car is a Jaguar XJR and I have a couple two seat sports cars.

    Anyway, there really are not any big negatives that anyone seems to be encountering yet. Really cold weather (20s and below) AER is bad apparently. I've had few mornings below freezing and still saw 33+ but I admit I'm willing to be a bit chilly. Ownership in the brutal SW may be problematic - GM has said as much - but we don't know yet. If the owners were collectively hiding something, it would be the first time in the history of Intarweb forums when such a thing has occurred. :) It's been my experience that people who have waited in anticipation for a looooong time tend to voice their displeasure early and often if they don't like something.

    Back on topic, I do have two complaints related to the design:
    1) Bad buffeting over 40mph with one window open. Settles down if you open a rear window.
    2) Hit the right kind of mid-corner, one wheel bump at 7/10ths or better, it feels like the rear of the car takes a 6" diversion to the outside, then comes right back. Too soft bushings IMHO but a cure here might bite right back in ride compliance. There's one spot in my daily drive that highlights this - otherwise I would never have noticed.

    And one fit/finish complaint:
    The plastic hood doesn't fit quite right. It's fractionally too wide up by the A pillar, by a mm or so. I've been curious to see a later serial car to compare but I haven't had a chance.
     
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  2. Skoorbmax

    Skoorbmax Senior Member

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    Thanks, mfennell, for joining to post those comments.

    BTW, I just in a thread yesterday posted my buffeting experience in my 2010 Prius. You say it's bad in the Volt, but I can't imagine it's any worse than the third gen Prius, which basically creates a super-sonic ear-drum splitting wave when driving at speed with a rear window open by itself.
     
  3. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    Mine didn't. Of course, it wasn't intended to be warmed up by non-driving. You're much better off driving it immediately after starting. Heat is produced much faster that way.
    .
     
  4. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    Other than price, is way off target for mainstream buyers. But that doesn't express your criteria for failure or success. How would you measure that?
    .
     
  5. gwmort

    gwmort Active Member

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    Thats what I would end up doing as a practical matter, but I remember the manual said something about not driving it until the blue thermometer thing went away, but it never would until I started driving it.

    I guess the point I was trying to make is the heater in the Volt is at least as good or better than the one I had in my prius (I can't say how it would compare to later generation prii).
     
  6. mainerinexile

    mainerinexile No longer in exile!

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    Every car I've owned has had the same sonic-vibration issue when a rear window was done--Matrix, Corolla, Accord, Civic.
     
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  7. mfennell

    mfennell New Member

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    *shrug* It costs what it costs. I've spent more on dumber things. I think it's a success in that it does everything GM claimed it would and better than I expected. I guess that's my criteria. YMMV, as they say.

    Regarding price specifically: Anecdotally, I've noticed that a lot of people in a Prius who appear to be relatively price insensitive, at least in my area. As it happens - and I swear I am not making this up - I stopped by the Chevy dealer (All American, in Middletown NJ) to pick up my plates this evening and a Prius owner was picking up his Volt. His father had picked up his own Volt the evening I leased mine a month ago. They are down to only their demo, from a high of 5 in stock.

    Even as I was picking my own up a month ago, I was expecting the car to ultimately be a sales disaster but now I'm not so sure. It's not going to sell in the 100s of thousands, but I am starting to think they won't be offering blow-out incentives either.

    For now, GM is serious about this car. I just received a package in the mail with a bound history of the volt book and a FlipHD "to record all those awesome places you go with your Volt". :rolleyes: They even have an 800 number specifically to connect you to a Volt Advisor to answer any questions/concerns. I've never owned a GM car before but I suspect this is not typical stuff.
     
  8. mfennell

    mfennell New Member

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    It seems to be a common problem with very aerodynamic cars. They don't test windows down in the tunnel, apparently. I guess it's hard to put the windows down on a clay model! A GM engineer on another forum I read said that merely sticking two fingers up from the mirror into the air stream will stop the buffeting but I haven't tried it myself.
     
  9. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    Cost was the decision of GM, other configurations were possible.

    As for fulfilling claims, no. The hype didn't come close to reality. Many of us still clearly remember that past. It wasn't long ago.

    Volt will still be a compelling choice for enthusiasts, but the purchase priorities of mainstream consumers are different. That's why the choice of a second model continues to come up by so many supporters.
    .
     
  10. gwmort

    gwmort Active Member

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    I don't think the pricing is as far off as you seem to think reasonable.

    For example I just went over to the Ford website and priced out a Fusion Hybrid at about $34,000 similarly equipped to my Volt. With the tax rebate they are only a couple of grand off. Now the Ford is slightly bigger and has a third seat in the back, but gets less than 1/2 the mileage I am seeing. Without a significant change in design, just economies of scale, the Volt price should be able to compete head to head (with the tax credit) fairly evenly price wise.

    All GM really needs to do is find a way to lower the price about $7500 before the tax credit expires after 200,000 units.
     
  11. usbseawolf2000

    usbseawolf2000 HSD PhD

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    Fusion hybris is one class bigger (compact -> midsize). It is cordless so it doesn't require to be plugged in nor consume electricity. It also runs on regular gas. Fusion hybrid would save about as much gas as the Volt, yet government does not give tax credit to it.

    The tax credit is not based on gallons saved. It is based on the size of the battery with a plug. Volt's battery is not even manufactured in the US. In fact, Volt is not even a domestic car (40%) American content.

    If you bought the Volt to save gas and support American company, Fusion hybrid would probably be a better choice.
     
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  12. gwmort

    gwmort Active Member

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    I checked, the Fusion is 1/2 inch taller,1.5 in wider and has a 2 in longer wheel base, like I said its a little bigger but still comparable in my book.

    Being cordless is a negative that weighs in favor of the Volt. Even if you ran the Volt strictly on gas it would still beat the Fusion on fuel consumption, although the premium vs regular thing would pretty much make that a wash.

    I'm just saying it looks like a much closer competitor, similar buyers in the market for a $34,000 fusion may consider dropping $36,000 on a Volt (after tax credit), and in that analysis saying the Volt is priced grossly out of the marketplace seems a little far fetched.

    I agree the price needs to come down so they can lose the tax credit crutch, but otherwise it is not unreasonable.
     
  13. tpfun

    tpfun New Member

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    You are not alone in making that observation. The San Jose bay area is relatively more affluent than Sacramento and that shows in the number of Priuses I see on the road, perhaps 1 in 20 in the bay and 1 in 100+ up in Sacramento.

    Indeed. The Volt should sell as many as GM can make them this year.
     
  14. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    Per Side-by-Side Comparison, the FFH has 11 more ft^3 of passenger volume and is a midsize car vs. the Volt, which is a compact.

    As for "even if you ran the Volt strictly on gas it would still beat the Fusion on fuel consumption", would it? The FFH is EPA rated at 39 mpg combined vs. 37 mpg combined for the Volt and again, the Volt requires premium.
     
  15. usbseawolf2000

    usbseawolf2000 HSD PhD

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    The difference in 11 cubic feet is huge. Just look at the interior volume range in different classes.

    Subcompact: 85 to 99.9 cubic feet
    Compact: 100 to 109.9 cubic feet
    Midsize: 110 to 119.9 cubic feet

    Cordless or corded being negative is debatable. Where are you getting your electricity? What is your goal by driving the Volt rather than a cordless hybrid?

    Fusion hybrid is not even in the same class as the Volt. Volt's competitor is Lexus CT200h, Insight II, and the upcoming Prius C -- all of them are compact cars and all of them have lower tailpipe emission than the Volt.

    Volt's tailpipe emission is also higher than the Fusion hybrid, any Toyota, Lexus or Honda hybrids (including SUVs and V8 hybrids). Just give that some thoughts.
     
  16. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    Another reason you need to trade in your car and get an SUV. Just think how much extra space per dollar you can get. NOT. Front passenger comfort is higher in some smaller cars. If you care about your 3 huge adults in the back its HUGE.

    Yes having a cordless car is a big advantage. The inability to plug in the car will save you millions. In fact I wish I could buy a car without a back seat and HVAC. The prius is special in being cordless. All of the SUVs have cords in them now I think. :D
     
  17. gwmort

    gwmort Active Member

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    FYI, the Volt doesn't have a tailpipe, and I've run it as a ZEV for the past four days and 150 miles, so the emissions are really a function of use, as opposed to a "cordless" dinosaur burner.
     
  18. telmo744

    telmo744 HSD fanatic

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    Amazing, what they do to lower the purchase price! :D
     
  19. Skoorbmax

    Skoorbmax Senior Member

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    The Volt definitely has a tailpipe.
     
  20. mfennell

    mfennell New Member

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    The trouble the Volt encounters in the test is that it shuts down its engine more than any of those cars. It's tough to keep the cat hot with the engine off!
     
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