Is The Chevy Volt Your Best Bet For A Used $15,000 Car?


When considering only $15,000-ish used, is the Chevrolet Volt the cheapest car to drive?

Wouldn’t it be fantastic if more people realized that they can pick up a used Chevrolet Volt for $15,000 or even less and it will only cost them pennies for their daily driving? While its battery is just large enough to offer compelling (really class-topping) range, it’s small enough that it doesn’t take very long to charge and you’ll barely notice the impact on your home electric bill. In addition, it’s fairly sporty and unique as well.

Most Volt drivers rarely use gas — aside from road trips or extenuating circumstances — and if you look at many of these used Volts’ lifetime mile-per-gallon, you’ll discover that it often sits between 100-200 mpg! That’s a crazy figure, but it’s because of the above-mentioned fact that it’s not very common for Volt drivers to use the gas engine often. Added to this, let’s say you find a used Chevrolet Volt with some 30,000 to 50,000 total miles. There’s a really good chance that only 10 percent of these miles are on the gas engine itself.

As with any used car, there are a plethora of variables, so we can’t guarantee that you’ll find the perfect Volt with low miles, a cheap price, high lifetime mpg, little use of the gas engine, and minimal wear and tear. However, though you may have to spend some time searching and expand your search area (depending on where you live), you may be pleasantly surprised at the possibilities.

YouTuber WatchJRGo takes us on a deeper dive about owning a Chevrolet Volt. He says while the car is not necessarily the best car for the environment, it will definitely save you money. We agree on the saving money part, but after everything we’ve shared and he shares, we disagree somewhat on the environment part. We go so far as to say that the Volt may be the best car Chevrolet has built to date, with some disclaimers and caveats for sure. Anyhow, let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

Video Description via WatchJRGo on YouTube:

Is The CHEVY VOLT The Cheapest $15,000 Car To Drive?

We’re talking about the car that saves your wallet, not the environment, and probably not the hunger for speed. For me, buying a Chevy Volt was an obvious choice because it’s impossible to beat the ownership costs and I drive a lot of long distance where it really shines (also the Tesla just can’t go places the Volt can). I just wish it had AutoPilot.

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40 Comments on "Is The Chevy Volt Your Best Bet For A Used $15,000 Car?"

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The ’57 Chevy was the best car they ever built, though the Volt and Bolt are in the top 5.
Where can it go that a Tesla can’t? Hyperbole.

The Tesla can go, but even with supercharging it’ll take substantially longer

8 gallon tank, at 40 mpg…

Most electric miles I could get at the time here in NC.
I’m a bad Volt owner and get like 64% on all electric. It paid for a third of itself in gas savings and a fifth via tax rebate so a great economy car that’s not too slow for heavy traffic.

As much as many don’t like them because of its battery cooling compromises, used C-Max Energi’s are also amazing value for money cars. I recently bought a 3 year old (2015) Energi SEL (with leather trim and premium driver assistance package) for $13,500. The car had 22,500 miles and the battery (that some have seen early degredation with) is still showing the performance of a brand new one. If your commute is short or you can charge at work, this is an ideal commuter car.

The C-Max is good as probably the cheapest (and only) electrified small minivan at it looks like you got a good deal on the standard equipment. My dissenting opinion on it is that the C-Mas has the trunk space quite restricted to accommodate the battery, so it does not perform as well. Besides a range degradation on a 20-mile range battery after only 22,5k miles is way too concerning. For a little more you could even get an i3 and have extra range, cargo space and value retention in the long term (personal opinion).

If you don’t mind the poor performance once the EV charge runs out and the piss poor gasoline range of the i3, sure. If anything I’d suggest a Volt over the i3 in favor of the C-Max if utility was a concern. However to be fair you can get a lot done with the C-Max with the rear seats folded down if that is an option. I’ve taken a couple road trips in mine with 3 people as well as hauled stuff from Ikea or the local home improvement warehouse without issue. It’d only ever be a major issue trying to haul big bulky items that won’t fit into the hatch area.

If you want to fit 3 people in the back, the C-Max has a very nice back seat while the G1 Volt and the i3 are both 4-seaters. Until we bought our Pacifica Hybrid we had 3 car seats across in the back of the C-Max and it worked very well.

The cargo space configuration is weird and annoying, for sure.

Having put 50K miles on both a G1 Volt and an Energi I can tell you the Volt is hands down the better driving machine while all your passengers would definitely prefer the C-Max. Even though the batteries are quite different I still ended up with about the same lifetime MPG at the end of ownership (roughly 80) over the same commute.

The Ford C-Max is a piece of junk, with a battery in the trunk. You were ripped off Bro.

The answer is – NO! The Toyota Camry hybrid and Prius are your best used hybrid bets. You may spend a little more on gas, but the reliability and resale value of them will more than make up the difference.

Our 2014 Volt has 75k miles and the only required maintenance was 2 oil changes, an air filter (amazon) and tires. The range is about what it was new and perfect for 90% of our trips. Having solar means we’re driving around on sun power. No way I’d trade it for a Camry or Prius.

And I have a 175k miles 2011 Volt that in the last 8k miles I’ve owned it never required any maintenance.

The Volt has VERY good reliability. And battery issues are extremely rare.

You realize you’re taking your life in your hands posting that on an EV site? (-;

They are not plugins. So they are not even in the same class for discussion.


however from an environmental perspective, PHEV’s are better because they use grid electricity instead of gas, and from what I understand even if the grid was 100% coal powered, PHEV’s would still be better from a co2 perspective. you may be talking about the prius prim PHEV’s but those are still more expensive than a used Volt right now right now because Toyota didn’t start making the Prius PHEV until 2016 or so right?

In your opinion. I’m guessing you don’t have real-world with the Volt. If you do, spell out the case study.

Dashboard Light puts the Prius as the most reliable compact car out there. Prius is also considered exceptionally reliable by Car Complaints, True Delta, and Consumer Reports, which is why I bought one a couple years ago when my last car got totaled. And I got mine for approximately half the price of the Volt they’re advertising. The Volt is a good car, but for my needs and budget, there was nothing better than a Prius for reliability and cost of ownership.

As the owner of a 6.5 yr old Volt, I’d say the PPR messages that I get indicate that it may not be such a great idea to get an old Volt. My once superb lifetime MPG has fallen from over 260 MPG down to 245 and will continue to drop as my commute is 40 miles and I only get about 30-33 miles, and when I do run out of charge, the gas engine revs high to recharge the batteries (assuming due to sagging voltage) and uses anywhere between a quarter and half gallon of gas for the last 10 or so miles.

The difference between 245 and 260 lifetime MPG is negligible. It is the difference between 85% EV driving and 84%.

The point is that it is still falling, and will continue to fall. The typical single-charge MPG I get is now around 150 or so. Way lower than what I’d like, and what I was getting prior to, what I assume, is battery degradation. This negatively impacts ROI (I was estimating an 8 year ownership cycle), and I’m getting close to the point where I want to take it in to a Chevy dealership and see if they’ll replace the battery.

As the owner of a Volt for the last 4 years, the Volt is the best car I have owned, and it is the best way to learn
about electric cars, the change from ICE to EV is easy if you use the Volt as a stepping stone.

Couldn’t agree more. My wife was skeptical about going full EV so we got the gen 2 volt. It’s been such an easy transition and have learned a lot about EVs, especially the impact on highway speeds on range. This is a crucial component to BEVs.

As a BEV advocate, I always recommend the Volt to folks who cannot deal with a BEV as their only vehicle but want to drive electric as much as possible.

I don’t recommend the Prius or its PiP cousin. I tell my readers honestly that:
1) Prius drivers get a bad rap for driving slow in the carpool/fast lane.
2) The PiP annoys all BEVs for their bad habit of leaving their vehicles fully charged for a long time at EV charging stations (they’re just hogging prime parking).

My 2012 Volt with 60k+ miles still going strong! Still getting 42-44 miles and about 10.4-10.7 kWh per full charge. And that’s with high rolling resistance Bridgestone runflat tires installed. Range should be taking a hit soon with the colder temps rolling in soon, though I can still make my ~41 mile roundtrip commute on all battery most days.

How does your Bolt do in the cold?

My experience is very similar to yours. My 2012 Volt is phenomenal and still drives like it did on day one. Superb vehicle. I’m seriously considering trading it for a used Bolt in 2-3 years.

My 2013 Volt is still golden. My wife drives it now with her 2 mile commute. I have to drive the new M3.

Longtime commenter Thomas Thias, and GM salesman, talks about his Volt.

Not sure a used Volt for $15k is as good a value as a new Volt for less than $22k when factoring in federal and state incentives.

I think used Volts are pricey, mainly because they are so reliable and popular. That is usually the best reason to buy a new one instead.

I purchase my 2014 Volt Premier for $13,900 with only 19k miles, in October, 2017. While I miss my Leaf, the Volt is a fantastic car, and I will keep it until used Bolts are had for ~$15k.

A few months ago I bought a 2015 Volt Premier for 17k dollars with 24k miles and full Chevrolet warranty left along with a 12 month bumper to bumper warranty.So far it’s used 2 gallons of gas in everyday driving.I have grown to really like it for the way it drives and handles.Even if it were not electric,it would still be a great car.The surprising feature is that it’s actually pretty fast in sport mode,ask the guy with the Mercedes who tried to cut me off in a lane merge.

I have a gen 1 Volt, 70k miles and running strong. I had an issue with the charger once and besides that there were electronic parking brake issues that were eventually fixed. Currently only put gas in it once or twice a year, the rest of the time I commute on electricity and fill up (for free) at work. Battery is still in great shape, no range loss perceived as I still get 36-41 miles of range on a full charge.

I’ve been rolling around in my Volt for almost a month with about a half gallon of gas in the tank. I get the “low fuel” alert every day. I think I’ll have to finally fill up this week, as colder weather will force me to use a little gas. =/

I’d love one for my commute, but at 52 miles each way, even charging at work I still would go through a couple gallons a day. Been passively watching G2 Volt prices as that would be about perfect (probably still engine would come on especially in the MI winter), but would be very close to doing my commute.
Though I’d rather just jump for a Niro EV or Ioniq EV, though I have a feeling neither of those will be available in MI anytime soon…

The Gen2 (2016+) Volts have an official battery only range of 52 miles. I get more than than the official range in my Gen1 2014 Volt 3 seasons of every year. Only in the dead of Winter will it be less due to cranking out the heat.

So you will use only ounces of gas on your commute if you can charge at work, and only about a gallon if you can’t, getting about 100 mpg overall for most of the year.

I bought an 2012 Opel Ampera (=Volt Gen.1) in january 2018. The car had done only 55k km (35k mls). Since then I’ve added slightly over 18k km (11k mls), only 800 km (500 mls) of which were on petrol. Economy so far 0,28 l/100km (1010 mpg). Single charge range is 60-70 km (about 40 mls). On top of it all, it’s brilliant to drive. I paid over €17.000 for it, so still a bit pricier than its American cousin.

Just as with a new car, how much you spend on (and what model you end up searching for) is strongly dependent on how many electric miles you want/need.

If you have a very short commute (10 miles, say), then a used C-Max is hard to beat. Well featured and CHEAP. If you have a longer commute (30-ish miles), you will be quite happy with a gen 1 Volt. At the article’s price point of $15k, you can walk onto any CarMax and pick your trim/color. If you have a longer commute and cannot charge at work, you are looking at an i3. Bring your speed-dial, knowledge of when to walk away, and your negotiation A-game. They can be found for $15k or less, but they do not stay on the market long at that price.

i really like they style and look of the 2nd gen Volt; almost bought one but opted for the BoltEV when it first came out. I’ll probably get a used 2nd gen Volt at some point; having driven it a few times I find it a very well made car

70 mile ev range is actually not difficult with the Volt, provided you don’t travel at speeds with much wind resistance, you brake in a way to recapture most of the energy and don’t accelerate wastefully.