2.5 Years, 25k Miles On A Chevy Volt: Should It Stay Or Should It Go?

SEP 23 2018 BY WADE MALONE 63

YouTuber Rob Ferretti says during his 3 year 2016 Chevy Volt lease, his maintenance costs have been $0

After 2 1/2 years of ownership, Rob Ferretti is reflecting on his experience with the Chevy Volt. The car has been hassle free so far with no mechanical issues and is still on the original set of tires. Other than a single free oil change, his car has been exceptionally easy to maintain.

The only issues he has had with the Volt at this point is that the estimated electric range is not always accurate. In addition, Ferretti lives in an apartment in the Northeast that does not have access to overnight charging.

Even still, with opportunity charging he is averaging 77.4 MPG lifetime. Filling the car up is not much of a hassle either. Even if you run down the battery and gas tank, with the high efficiency and the relatively small gas tank, filling up costs less than $20.

So what is his verdict? Overall he has been very pleased with the vehicle. If his payoff at the end of his lease is low enough, he is likely to keep the Chevy Volt and recommends the car as an efficient, no compromise, trouble free daily driver. Especially for those with a daily commute within the electric range of the vehicle.

For the full review, check out the video above.

Chevy Volt MPG

Video Description via superspeedersRob on YouTube:

A quick update to my leased Chevy volt I bought about 3 years ago. The lease is coming up and I don’t know whether or not I should get rid of it or keep it. Overall though, great commuter car.

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63 Comments on "2.5 Years, 25k Miles On A Chevy Volt: Should It Stay Or Should It Go?"

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I would argue that his mix of highway and city driving is not well suited to the Volt. The median Volt user gets 144 MPG. Personally, I am getting 189. He just just spends too much time driving in gas mode. Apparently, he lives in an apartment and cannot charge every night. He would probably be a good candidate for a BEV if he he has access to a public high-speed charger.

I agree I think. Obviously his lifetime MPG is far better than he could achieve with a traditional hybrid.

But if there is enough L2 and DCFC charging nearby, a long range BEV such as a Model 3 or Bolt might suit him better.

But it depends on his driving habits of course.

“Obviously his lifetime MPG is far better than he could achieve with a traditional hybrid.”

But his running costs may be even higher since he probably has to pay high rates found at so many public chargers and when using gas @ 42mpg he’s nowhere near as efficient as the best hybrids.

yep, agreed – but he proved even WITHOUT charging access overnite/at home he managed 77mpg, which is OUTSTANDING IMO.

“If his payoff at the end of his lease is low enough, he is likely to keep the Chevy Volt”
Can’t he just look at his contract and find out?

My assumption is he has not done so yet, or he is looking to compare his payoff to other used Volts on the market. 🙂

Oh, yes….i think it’s about comparing too.

If he’s in CA, he should just lease the next better volt which is going to,have a faster charging capacity at 7.2kwh instrsad of 3.6. At an apartment or not he will get more ev miles with the 2019 volt when he does charge.
He should also introduce the idea of L2 chargers at the apartment complex as a great amenity to have. Often times there are great regional or local govt incentives to have them installed and an array of solar PT could easily help defray the electrify use.
Or…the apt manager could simply have a small monthly surcharge for evs driven by tenants to help defray charging costs. $20/month would probably be acceptable to most ev drivers at such an apartment complex. This could be a win/win/win for ev drivers, apt owners and environment too.

Guessing he recieved a highly substidized lease from the Mass “drive green” program…If he’s paying $200/mo now for example and a MY19 lease offer is $350/mo, guessing he wouldn’t do it…

It’s not that easy as many dealers hit you with extra mileage or damage repair costs when you end your lease.

If you don’t take a follow up car they fleece you.

Not my experience. If you go over the miles that’s on you and you can easily see how much extra will cost you.

2.5 years of his 3 year lease so he’s mulling the options…
He should know his project “payoff” already, what’s probably meant is his payoff in relation to resale value…You can attempt to haggle with the lender (GMF), you can also extend a GMF lease up to six months…

This is one amazing car from GM! I think it’s held back a bit by the msrp. I suspect many look at that and don’t realize the credits you have for it.
Earlier in the year i manage to get a lease offer for $5300 net after credits for 36 months. Add gas savings to that and you may end up with a new car for under $50 per month. It really is surprising that the car doesn’t sell in bigger numbers.

Agree, the Volt is still to this day the gold standard for plug-in hybrids. With the feature updates for 2019, the Volt should hopefully get a second wind. But Honda is giving the car some real competition finally.

And the Prius Prime, while an inferior electric, has a great price and the much beloved Prius brand to move a lot of units. Lots of great PHEV options out there now for those not ready to go full EV.

I’ve always liked the Volt, it’s a good value for single guys, and couples starting out.
But, if they only offered a wagon version, with rear seat headroom.
And this is a clear case of GM not expanding the product line, to Not Increase Sales.

But, be forewarned. Smart women like this car.
Of my friends, they only got married when they found a smart woman, that picked them. This car is dangerous for a single guy.

Remember, it’s not advertised, and has a limited production line.
You could almost say, it’s a green car to shut up the greens, and nothing more for GM.

If you like the Bolt , Get A Model 3 …It will Blow Your Mind !

This article is about the Volt, a different type of EV which can do things the Model 3 can’t.

A bit over the top, wouldn’t you say.

Amt, there’s no call for that kind of comment.
You make Tesla buyers look bad. Or, are you a troll trying to do exactly that.

Volt, “A different type of EV that can do Things the model 3 Can’t”… There are at Least a million Foolish Comedians Out 0f Work, and you’re Trying to be Funny ! ha ha ha lmao

Like be purchased for less than $30k.

Or go 400 miles on a charge and tank of gas, get a 5 minute fill up, and hit the road for another 350 miles with no range anxiety. Or hope that the car isn’t going to fall apart from the inside out from shoddy assembly. Or be one of Elon’s beta-testers since the TM3 got very little road testing.

I’ll get a Model 3 when you buy it for me. In addition, if you like the Model 3 get a Model S P100D… it will blow your mind!

Oops, wrong person.

Why all the hate? The Volt is a prefecture good solution while waiting for batteries and infrastructure to catch up with the wants of most consumers. In most cases people drive exclusively on battery power and only fire up the generator on long trips.

If it had had rear seat headroom, and an independent rear suspension, I’d be a buyer. It is a handsome aerodynamic car, with typical GM wide stance for better handling.

I cross-shopped the Model 3 and the Bolt. Yes, the Model 3 blew my mind. Surprisingly, so did the Bolt. It’s not nearly as sexy as the 3, but it’s very, very good, and for now it’s much cheaper than a 3. The Bolt’s hatchback was also a plus for me. I ordered one.

Dump the wannabe hybrid and get a Bolt. Volt is an EV for apologists.

Bolt EV doesn’t have enough charging stations and charges to slow to be useful in many areas. The Volt eliminates range anxiety for many.

I switched from a minivan to a Clarity PHEV last December. 21,000 miles later I have saved over 1000 gallons of gas. I still burned about 200 gallons. The Model 3 LR would have saved me 1,200 gal, but would cost $20,000 more for options I wanted.

I love the Model 3, but hybrids still have a place until infrastructure has improved.

I don’t get the hate for PHEVs in these forum. Sure it’s Not a full electric, it’s a transition technology, but transitions are important. We can’t wait for full BEVs for all before starting. In the meantime most people reduce fuel consumption by 80% with a PHEV. What’s not to like about that?

Yep. We got a PHEV Pacifica to be able to load up the family and gear for trips. No full-size EV in the market that is affordable.

Fanaticism is difficult to understand.

Then don’t wait. The industry has addressed any issue. Since I got my leased leaf in 2013, the range of the cars has increased by four times, the charging speed has more than doubled, and the number of superchargers on the road has gone up by orders of magnitude (comparing 2013 leaf and 2018 Tesla M3). There is no “transition”. The transition is between your ears. Do it or don’t do it, but hybrids are just an excuse with wheels.

So I’m guessing one of two things is the case:

1) You still own another ICE car along with the Leaf
or
2) You bought a Tesla that costs ~2-3x as much as a Volt

Car payments are not “between your ears.” When the subject of the article picked up a Volt 2.5 years ago, a stripped-down Tesla would have cost over twice as much to lease, and a well-equipped one would have cost three times as much.

With BEV technology and charging infrastructure in its current state, if you want to buy a new car under $50k, and you can only afford one car, a PHEV is a much more reliable solution than a BEV. BEVs make great second cars but I don’t recommend them as an only car (yet)… unless you’re the type of person who could also get away with not owning a car at all.

My only problem with the Volt is the complicated transmission. The engine is not a generator as he states. It does help propel the car even when their is battery power available under some circumstances. So it is like most PHEV out there but just has one of the best all electric ranges. Other then that a solid car for anyone still afraid or range anxiety.

“My only problem with the Volt is the complicated transmission”

Myth again….

Volt’s Voltec is actually far simpler than traditional 8/9/10 speed transmission.

I don’t think you have to worry about the ‘complicated transmission’. Not sure about the GEN2, but the GEN 1 volts have been supremely reliable, – one big improvement over a conventional automatic is that there is no ‘band’ (or clutch in the case of the volts) wear, since they actuate/de-actuate under zero torque conditions. The 3 clutches in the GEN 1 have been replaced in the GEN 2 by 2 clutches and a simple over-running clutch (think ‘coaster bike’). Whether the car is “GENSET” equipped (like the VIA) or has a multi-mode engine misses the point.. In my ELR, the old-fashioned but reliable 4 cylinder is treated with kid gloves, and special care is taken to make sure the engine is lubricated properly during cold engine start up. Changing the oil and filter once every two years or 24,000 miles is all it ever needs for ‘oil changes’, and air filter, or spark plug changes are really, really rare. Example: The fan belt should be CHECKED (not replaced necessarily) at 100,000 miles. These Voltecs are built to last. And there is no DAMN timing ‘rubber band’ belt to change or cause havoc since the car uses the more premium… Read more »

Want to stop anxiety? Take a pill, there are several. Lets see, this “super hybrid” has what? 20 to 40 miles of range? My cars have 240 and 310 miles of range. We fill once a week. I have made trips of 500 miles plus.

Hybrids are for people who never owned BEVs. The need is just not real.

There are still places where charging is only opportunistic at best.

No need to have 1 solution for all cases, we need both right now.

If the TMS is only average in reliability, how well will a de-contented TM3 hold up? If that center screen goes out, you’re in deep doo-doo. GM did 750,000 miles of testing before it released the gen1 Volt, but Elon hardly did any for the 3, choosing to let the early adopters be the beta-testers. YOU GO FIRST!

The Volt is the best way out of hurricane alley. 50 miles of Electric range, and then 400 miles of gas. In other words, you’ll be out of state before you need gas.

I like The Clash reference, as to the dilemma Rob faces:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BN1WwnEDWAM

Answering the question directly…NO! If he or anyone is smart he should not purchase a first or second year redesign of any vehicle. Consumer reports has clear numbers and statistics telling us that recalls, safety problems, trouble spots, etc are all much more likely in those first two years of a vehicle design cycle with the first year being usually twice as bad as the second. Third year on is usually as good as you’re gonna get when it comes to reliability overall…which for almost all new cars is much better than it used to be last century.
But why drive the worst years of a great vehicle? He should consider leasing or purchasing a 2019 volt if he really likes it that much.
But I also agree with some below that he should consider a bolt or another long range bev for his travels too. That’s getting easier n easier to charge all over the place…and maybe he could sneak a L1chqrger at carport electrical outlet nightly for some juice too.

Yes, I think he should pick up another Volt lease, and then buy that version at end of lease. It has sufficient upgrades to justify, with higher charging speed. And the used car market needs more Volts.

But, GM should offer the safety features standard across the line to sweeten the offer.

I have 97K on my 2013 Volt. I had a few issues early on that required attention under warranty that were compounded by some mistakes by the dealer. The car has been rock solid since. My son took a chance on a 2015 GM certified lemon Volt that failed as soon as the battery charge was depleted and the dealer had little success dealing with it and he was able to get out of that. He ended up with a 2016 Gen2 Volt that’s been flawless.

Whoa…A few months ago I bought a 2015 certified Volt off lease.I’m impressed with it and it’s been flawless.You’re scaring me.

My 2016 Volt has been flawless as well.

Trade up to a full EV BOLT.

After 2 1/2 years, I personally probably would have just moved to another apartment where I could charge. They do exist.

But my only personal experience with apartment living was college, where I moved twice a year and it wasn’t a big deal at that point in my life. I’m sure other people’s experience is very different, and whatever he does needs to work for him now, and not me ‘back in the day’.

I bought out my 2013 Volt’s lease. They wanted $18.5k, I think, and I think they settled for $14.5k. It has been a while so I am not positive about the numbers, just positive that they took a lot less than the buyout was supposed to be. Super reliable car. Other than 2 flat tires that merited a flat bed ride since there is no spare, I am really happy with the car. I wish it was quicker and that the back seats were roomier, but other than that the car is super reliable, fun to drive and my total fuel bill is just under $25 a month. Around $22 worth of electricity and 3/4 of a gallon of gas every month. I have used 43 gallons in around 62 months. Voltstats says I am getting 950 mpg, but that doesn’t count the electricity so I take that with a grain of salt. A lot of my gas miles are on my monthly 130 mile round trip to Maryland.

There are more charging stations all the time, he is still getting over 77MPG, way better than a Prius, so he should keep it. Maybe his apartment complex can add charging stations for the tenants? Or at least regular wall plugs to use. Or lease another new one? When my lease came up on my 2013, the least company wanted $25,000, but the dealer said if I want to buy it, wait until they put it back on the lot for $17,500. We almost bought it, but the 2016’s came out and I bought one of those instead. We have taken many 2000-3000 mile trips and are still at a lifetime MPG of 142! We also went 154 miles on electric through Yosemite on one charge! And on a few trips close to 1000 miles have had 57 MPG.

I would keep it.

I am still happy with my 2012 Volt with almost 90K miles…

My only gripe with my Volt is that I have to manually switch it to 12 ampere charging every time it is charged. It defaults to 9 amperes every time the car is driven. This is bad software. Once the user switches to 12 ampere charging it should retain the setting. Otherwise the car needs 19 hours to recharge and is again burning gas because of this. How do you contact Chevrolete to provide feedback?

This nagging annoyance of constant default back to 8 (from 12) is due to the lawyers. They do not want an owner to plug in a substandard receptacle and cause a fire – the user is WARNED each time they go to 12.

IN the new volts and bolt evs, the ‘location based’ charging can ‘ remember’ if 12 amperes is desired every time, but again, it is the USER who decides, and this is what holds GM harmless.

I’d think they’d already be in the clear since there are plenty of warnings in the Owner’s manuals, but I guess they just want to be doubly careful.

Sadly, EVs at this juncture are not worth nearly as much as a comparably aged/mileaged ICE vehicle. Therefore, it’s a long-term vehicle and I’d keep it.

I make the effort to only use electricity for my Volt. My screen in the car says 250+ MPG because that’s as high as it goes. Lifetime is over 650. But it came with 200 gas miles on it. Without those, I’ve really been getting 1,000 MPG. I want to trade it in for a full BEV when a good one is available. I’m looking at the Kia Niro EV.

Niro EV! And you’re guaranteed the $7500 fed tax rebate. It’s bigger than the tiny Bolt, will be about the same price, and goes just as far. The Kona EV looks promising as well. I wish Honda would get its shit together and offer more EV’s like a CR-EV or HR-EV. I HATE GAS!

I’m about halfway on my ’17 lease with a 20k payoff ahead, and like the car, but not keeping. With so many quality cars coming, the hard parts are waiting and paying – the good ones so pricey. Really hate using any gas so will probably try to get the Bolt.

He definitely should not keep the car. I was in the same situation 2.5 years ago: I was coming off a lease of a 2013 Volt and debating whether to keep it or buy a new 2017. For my leased 2013 Volt (fully-loaded, sticker price $44,545), the buyout price was $25,390. The (also fully-loaded) 2017 Volt I ended up buying had a sticker price of $40,430, but I negotiated it down to $36,737. After the $7500 federal rebate and $1500 CA state rebate, that left me at a net of $27,737. So that means that I could have bought a 3-year old 2013 Volt for a little over $25k, or for $2500 more, I could get a BRAND-NEW 2017 with more range, better MPG on gas, more features, etc… and 3 more years of warranty! (Simply buying a 3-year extended warranty on the 2013 would have cost me at least $2500 by itself!)

It’s a no-brainer. As long as the federal tax credit is available, you should NEVER keep a leased EV. Hand it back over and get yourself a brand-new one if you want to buy.

CA state refund for Bolt is $2,500.

Yeah its quite obvious he doesn’t charge up much. Most people get over 200 mpg. Even my 2014 ELR which is my ‘goto’ vehicle for vacations (which I also rent to my Nephew for his vacations – so the vehicle is used A LOT far from home) has its lifetime mpg at 146.

I would suppose it would depend on exactly what he plans on getting. If he can arrange for free charging somewhere close to home, he might actually do better with a BEV – assuming it fits most of his needs.