Author Topic: Volt vs. Bolt vs. Leaf vs. Prius  (Read 4857 times)

mstache67

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Volt vs. Bolt vs. Leaf vs. Prius
« on: March 18, 2018, 06:16:47 PM »
Husband and I are in need of a replacement vehicle! We will be sharing this car. We have no children, both work from home except for occasional airport ride 30mi one way which can just as easily be Ubered. We are FI. Car will be purchased with cash.

We don't do long road trips, the longest distance we drive is 60 mi one way, only once a month or every couple months. The car is mostly used within town (25 mi radius).

We value reliability (looking to keep this vehicle up to 200,000+ miles).

I can get a used 2013 Volt with 30k miles for $14,000, a new 2017 Bolt reduced to $27,000 then eligible for $7500 tax credit (no used ones available), a used low mileage Leaf for probably around $10k, or a used Prius for various price points depending on mileage.

I honestly can't decide between them!! I love all 4!

I know Prius is considered the gold standard of reliability, but we love the electrics. Should I contact the dealerships with 2017 Bolts and ask what's the best they can do if I buy today, and try and get it down to around $24,000 minus 7500 tax credit = $16,500 for a brand new Bolt?

Has anyone considered all 4 of these options? Any reliability concerns on the Volt, Bolt, or Leaf?

My only argument against the Leaf is that it doesn't have the battery range preservation features that Chevy put into the Volt/Bolt. It meets our needs now (with occasional recharging midtrip), but not sure about mile 100,000+ where the range will be.

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twe

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Re: Volt vs. Bolt vs. Leaf vs. Prius
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2018, 06:48:16 PM »
I'm a Volt driver. 2016 model, so 53 electric mile advertised range, which varies from low 40's to 70+ depending on the temperature. I'm at about 80% lifetime electric, with about 10-15 longer trips (100 miles +) which is where the majority of my gas usage comes from. Also have a decent number of times when trips around town added up to use all the battery, but not a significant mileage amount. For me, limiting gas usage was very important.

The car has been like magic so far. No maintenance issues, tire rotations only.

With your limited driving mileage, you could get the Leaf and just rent a car for longer trips. Or, if you value convenience like I do, the Bolt for longer range, or the Volt for unlimited range.

Mezzie

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Re: Volt vs. Bolt vs. Leaf vs. Prius
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2018, 07:23:39 PM »
I have a 2013 Leaf and can get 70-80 miles per charge reliably. For longer trips, I take public transit or carpool. There are occasional inconveniences, but I went several years without a car at all; I can manage. The car is awesome.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Volt vs. Bolt vs. Leaf vs. Prius
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2018, 05:30:05 AM »
I have a PHEV and wish I’d gone full EV; the savings would easily cover rentals to go out of range.

csprof

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Re: Volt vs. Bolt vs. Leaf vs. Prius
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2018, 06:00:36 AM »
Husband and I are in need of a replacement vehicle! We will be sharing this car. We have no children, both work from home except for occasional airport ride 30mi one way which can just as easily be Ubered. We are FI.

We don't do long road trips, the longest distance we drive is 60 mi one way, only once a month or every couple months. The car is mostly used within town (25 mi radius).

We value reliability (looking to keep this vehicle up to 200,000+ miles).

I know Prius is considered the gold standard of reliability, but we love the electrics. Should I contact the dealerships with 2017 Bolts and ask what's the best they can do if I buy today, and try and get it down to around $24,000 minus 7500 tax credit = $16,500 for a brand new Bolt?

Has anyone considered all 4 of these options? Any reliability concerns on the Volt, Bolt, or Leaf?

My only argument against the Leaf is that it doesn't have the battery range preservation features that Chevy put into the Volt/Bolt. It meets our needs now (with occasional recharging midtrip), but not sure about mile 100,000+ where the range will be.


The 6500 you save on the leaf will let you buy another used leaf-equivalent in 11 years and get the benefits of 11 years of EV progress (and a lot of model 3s on the used market). That's a pretty nice form of battery insurance.

It's not crazy to think that EVs 11 years from now will have 40% greater range (at the same cost) than they do today, plus much improved safety / driver assist capabilities.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2018, 07:50:43 AM by csprof »

nereo

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Re: Volt vs. Bolt vs. Leaf vs. Prius
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2018, 06:07:39 AM »
My parents have and love their Volt.

That said, your post indicates you are a very infrequent driver (which I'll define as driving <6,000 mi/year). If so.. all of these cars are way more than you need.
Financially better to consider a much less expensive car. Even a car that's got 150k on the dash should last an infrequent driver another 10 years.

Slow&Steady

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Re: Volt vs. Bolt vs. Leaf vs. Prius
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2018, 10:27:12 AM »
We have a 2017 Leaf and a 2006 Prius (we had an 08 Prius too but sold it to family).

2017 Leaf - My DAILY commute is about 45 miles each way.  This requires me to charge every day during colder months, I usually charge a little each day during warm months too just to have that extra reassurance.  Do you live in a colder climate or warmer?  Batteries really dislike cold temperatures.  Are there charging stations in your area or to the area you will be driving the most often?  I love my Leaf, even with charging it so frequently.  We also have solar at home that was installed with the power needs of the Leaf in mind.

2006 Prius - This used to be my commuter car.  It has over 300k miles on it at this point and the only "problem" we have ever had was when we left it parked for 6 months.  The batteries NEED to be used more regularly than that, that oversight on my part caused us to need to replace the batteries at around 9 years old and 250+k miles.  Yes I did feel like it was worth it to replace the batteries vs scraping the car that I knew had no other issues with it.  This car is now DH's work car and it gets driven a couple times a week at least, it will probably soon be the teenager car. 

I bought both of these cars brand new (my non-MMM preference).  The Leaf (especially with the fed tax incentive) was cheaper than the Prius but I was not able to take the full tax benefit and it is not one that can roll to future years, so you might check on this.  However, I am not sure the Leaf will make it 12 years and 300+k miles. We will see because I hate buying cars but I am not as confident as I was when I got the Prius.  Oh and the recommended maintenance for the Leaf is NOT cheaper than a gas engine recommended maintenance as they like to claim, or at least it has not been for me in the 35K miles that I have had the Leaf so far.  The "fueling" cost for the Leaf is cheaper than the Prius, I estimate that with my horrible commute the cost of energy both at home and at charging stations save me approximately $75/month over what the Prius cost me.  I would definitely buy another Prius and once the family size starts decreasing again it will probably be the next car that we buy (in about 5-10 more years).  I love the Leaf but I am the only one in the family that likes it and really drives it, I am also the most environmentally and budget conscious of the family.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2018, 10:38:57 AM by Slow&Steady »

farmecologist

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Re: Volt vs. Bolt vs. Leaf vs. Prius
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2018, 03:28:26 PM »
One thing I'll say about the Prius is that they are 'established'...meaning parts are plentiful and easy to acquire.   There is also a thriving community of friendly 'gurus' available at any time ( pruischat.com ).    Also check out the youtube channel 'nutzaboutbolts'.  They have a huge variety of Prius maintenance videos that have been invaluable...even to an idiot like me.  :-)

Of course, the things I mentioned above only apply if you are a DIY'er.   If not, the equation might change somewhat.

Oh..BTW we own a 2010 Prius and a 2012 Prius v (wagon).  Both were purchased used and I have been able to easily maintain both of them using the outlets described above.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2018, 03:31:38 PM by farmecologist »

mstache67

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Re: Volt vs. Bolt vs. Leaf vs. Prius
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2018, 08:57:50 PM »
My parents have and love their Volt.

That said, your post indicates you are a very infrequent driver (which I'll define as driving &lt;6,000 mi/year). If so.. all of these cars are way more than you need.
Financially better to consider a much less expensive car. Even a car that's got 150k on the dash should last an infrequent driver another 10 years.
Yes I admit any of these 4 options are way more than we need for our 7,000 +/- miles per year. We test drove a Prius with 110k miles on it that I would've been perfectly happy with, but husband has only ever had new cars, and only Porsche, Mercedes, etc, so I think a used Volt/Leaf/Prius with ~50K miles or a new Bolt that we could drive til the wheels fall off is a huge improvement. I was hoping he would decide between the 4 since I can't but he doesn't have a preference. He did comment how nice the Leaf and Volt drove, though we have yet to test drive a Bolt.

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nereo

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Re: Volt vs. Bolt vs. Leaf vs. Prius
« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2018, 05:04:58 AM »
My parents have and love their Volt.

That said, your post indicates you are a very infrequent driver (which I'll define as driving &lt;6,000 mi/year). If so.. all of these cars are way more than you need.
Financially better to consider a much less expensive car. Even a car that's got 150k on the dash should last an infrequent driver another 10 years.
Yes I admit any of these 4 options are way more than we need for our 7,000 +/- miles per year. We test drove a Prius with 110k miles on it that I would've been perfectly happy with, but husband has only ever had new cars, and only Porsche, Mercedes, etc, so I think a used Volt/Leaf/Prius with ~50K miles or a new Bolt that we could drive til the wheels fall off is a huge improvement. I was hoping he would decide between the 4 since I can't but he doesn't have a preference. He did comment how nice the Leaf and Volt drove, though we have yet to test drive a Bolt.

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Fair enough.  Like I said, the Volt is really, really nice.  Never driven a Bolt but it's supposed to be equally good, though its newer so there may be some more birthing pains (typical of all new models).
Final thought - its going to be very hard ofr you to 'drive til the wheels fall of' regardless of which you choose.  One great advantage of the EVs is the run longer, in the case of a car like teh Volt you're going to  use the gasoline engine very infrequently - since you are going on mostly short trips the engine might run for 1,000 miles for every 10,000 you drive.
Regardless, all should be reliable well past the 200,000k mark. Suppose you picked up a Volt/Leaf with 50k; that's 20 years until it needs replacement, so long as you are not in a high-salt area. FWIW this is basically my parents' plan (unless it gets in an accident I'm pretty sure this is my parents last car ever). You might want to replace the battery-pack in 12 years, but who knows how much battery tech will have improved by then.

Mgmny

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Re: Volt vs. Bolt vs. Leaf vs. Prius
« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2018, 03:06:09 PM »
2017 Leaf - My DAILY commute is about 45 miles each way.

Holy smokes! I know the 2017 Leaf has a longer range than the older models, but a dealer refused to sell me a 2014 Leaf and my commute is 17 miles each way. He told me I'd have too big of range anxiety and need to trade it back within a month....

nereo

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Re: Volt vs. Bolt vs. Leaf vs. Prius
« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2018, 03:22:59 PM »
2017 Leaf - My DAILY commute is about 45 miles each way.

Holy smokes! I know the 2017 Leaf has a longer range than the older models, but a dealer refused to sell me a 2014 Leaf and my commute is 17 miles each way. He told me I'd have too big of range anxiety and need to trade it back within a month....
You actually had a dealer refuse to sell you something?  Sketchy...
the '17 Leaf has an EPA rating of 107 miles, so 45x2 is doable, but pushing it.  However, if there's even a simple 120v plug at work I wouldn't think twice - even a 'short' 6 hour day would let me recharge 40 miles or so...

Range anxiety seems akin to "SUV-need"; the affliction where normal people buy off-road vehicles based on a very rare circumstance where they might actually benefit from 4x4 and added ground clearance.  With a range of 107mi 'range-anxiety' might be a bit more real, but only slightly and for some.

Slow&Steady

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Re: Volt vs. Bolt vs. Leaf vs. Prius
« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2018, 07:28:08 AM »
2017 Leaf - My DAILY commute is about 45 miles each way.

Holy smokes! I know the 2017 Leaf has a longer range than the older models, but a dealer refused to sell me a 2014 Leaf and my commute is 17 miles each way. He told me I'd have too big of range anxiety and need to trade it back within a month....

REFUSED to sell it to you? Really, I feel that unless you contribute to my family (financially, emotionally, or physically) you get zero say in my decisions, a car dealer does not contribute to by family.

I live in the country, but chargers (sometimes even the super fast ones) abundantly available near work.  Beyond that I feel like if I was going to run out of "juice" I would be pretty close to home by that point anyways so it is a quick tow and then just plug it back in for the night.  I feel that peoples fears of be stranded on the side of the road should have become obsolete as soon as they were handed a cell phone, but I understand that I am one of very few that feel that way.

nereo

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Re: Volt vs. Bolt vs. Leaf vs. Prius
« Reply #13 on: March 21, 2018, 09:12:10 AM »
...

I live in the country, but chargers (sometimes even the super fast ones) abundantly available near work.  Beyond that I feel like if I was going to run out of "juice" I would be pretty close to home by that point anyways so it is a quick tow and then just plug it back in for the night.  I feel that peoples fears of be stranded on the side of the road should have become obsolete as soon as they were handed a cell phone, but I understand that I am one of very few that feel that way.

I've had the same thoughts. It seems like the fear of being 'stranded' has never gone away, even as car reliability has increased, cell phones are omni-present and the overwhelming majority of people never venture off roads where another 100 cars won't pass by over the next hour (or in many cases over the next 5 minutes). I think 'range-anxiety' has budded from this fear... OMG - what if I suddenly and unexpectedly have to drive another 50++ miles than I had planned to get somewhere? What if when I get there there's no source of electricity to recharge??  really... how likely is that to really happen? If you are in a super-rural area and do lots of long drives an EV may not be for you just yet.  But for the other >90% of us, they do just fine and IME you can always find a place to recharge overnight - even at small motels and throughout small towns.

Mgmny

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Re: Volt vs. Bolt vs. Leaf vs. Prius
« Reply #14 on: March 21, 2018, 02:58:03 PM »
2017 Leaf - My DAILY commute is about 45 miles each way.

Holy smokes! I know the 2017 Leaf has a longer range than the older models, but a dealer refused to sell me a 2014 Leaf and my commute is 17 miles each way. He told me I'd have too big of range anxiety and need to trade it back within a month....

REFUSED to sell it to you? Really, I feel that unless you contribute to my family (financially, emotionally, or physically) you get zero say in my decisions, a car dealer does not contribute to by family.

I live in the country, but chargers (sometimes even the super fast ones) abundantly available near work.  Beyond that I feel like if I was going to run out of "juice" I would be pretty close to home by that point anyways so it is a quick tow and then just plug it back in for the night.  I feel that peoples fears of be stranded on the side of the road should have become obsolete as soon as they were handed a cell phone, but I understand that I am one of very few that feel that way.

Really, really! The dealer told me he would not sell me the 2014 Leaf because of my 17 mile commute. It might be worth noting that i live in Minnesota where the winters can get cold (-15 F is not unheard of for a morning commute a few times a winter).

My work's parking lot has absolutely 0 plugs. I've looked everywhere for them. So, i just kept my current car.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Volt vs. Bolt vs. Leaf vs. Prius
« Reply #15 on: March 21, 2018, 04:38:33 PM »
Well, I’m sure you could find a used Leaf now lots of places.

Mgmny

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Re: Volt vs. Bolt vs. Leaf vs. Prius
« Reply #16 on: March 22, 2018, 06:56:21 AM »
Well, I’m sure you could find a used Leaf now lots of places.

I'm just going to stick to the car i've got, i think. I've only gone into the office 5x this year so far, so I'm sorta guessing that it's not super important that I even own a car, haha.

Slow2FIRE

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Re: Volt vs. Bolt vs. Leaf vs. Prius
« Reply #17 on: March 22, 2018, 11:34:08 AM »
We considered the Volt vs Prius Prime.

Due to the low reliability ratings of the Volt on various sources (such as Consumer Reports) we decided to go with the Prius Prime.

I would bet the full electric options may be the MOST reliable as they don't have a complex engine and emissions system with all the additional failure points.

mstache67

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Re: Volt vs. Bolt vs. Leaf vs. Prius
« Reply #18 on: March 22, 2018, 11:43:14 AM »
We considered the Volt vs Prius Prime.

Due to the low reliability ratings of the Volt on various sources (such as Consumer Reports) we decided to go with the Prius Prime.

I would bet the full electric options may be the MOST reliable as they don't have a complex engine and emissions system with all the additional failure points.
Darn it :/ I did not know about Volt low reliability ratings. Will google when I get home. Everything I've seen on Volt reliability has been positive so far, ie two years later reviews with no loss of range, no mechanical problems, etc. We are test driving a 2015 Volt with 19k miles this weekend.

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nereo

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Re: Volt vs. Bolt vs. Leaf vs. Prius
« Reply #19 on: March 22, 2018, 12:10:40 PM »
We considered the Volt vs Prius Prime.

Due to the low reliability ratings of the Volt on various sources (such as Consumer Reports) we decided to go with the Prius Prime.

I would bet the full electric options may be the MOST reliable as they don't have a complex engine and emissions system with all the additional failure points.
Darn it :/ I did not know about Volt low reliability ratings. Will google when I get home. Everything I've seen on Volt reliability has been positive so far, ie two years later reviews with no loss of range, no mechanical problems, etc. We are test driving a 2015 Volt with 19k miles this weekend.
I don't quite understand the low reliability ratings. According to CR, the 2017 got 'excellent' or 'above average' marks for reliability in every category except 'in-car electronics' which they got an 'average' score.  No trouble-spots. 2016 is very similar - all excellent and very good except for the in-car electronics. 2015 is also good... pre 2015 not-so-much (additional problesm with the drive system, power equipment and climate controll).

I think 2018 is a redesign year, and as such they automatically give re-designs a lower score due to teh fact that they are, across the board, more problematic.

just fyi

gaja

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Re: Volt vs. Bolt vs. Leaf vs. Prius
« Reply #20 on: March 22, 2018, 12:18:58 PM »
OP: why do you need a car? Can you use a bike? Could it be cheaper to Uber the days you need to go outside biking range?

2017 Leaf - My DAILY commute is about 45 miles each way.

Holy smokes! I know the 2017 Leaf has a longer range than the older models, but a dealer refused to sell me a 2014 Leaf and my commute is 17 miles each way. He told me I'd have too big of range anxiety and need to trade it back within a month....

REFUSED to sell it to you? Really, I feel that unless you contribute to my family (financially, emotionally, or physically) you get zero say in my decisions, a car dealer does not contribute to by family.

I live in the country, but chargers (sometimes even the super fast ones) abundantly available near work.  Beyond that I feel like if I was going to run out of "juice" I would be pretty close to home by that point anyways so it is a quick tow and then just plug it back in for the night.  I feel that peoples fears of be stranded on the side of the road should have become obsolete as soon as they were handed a cell phone, but I understand that I am one of very few that feel that way.

Really, really! The dealer told me he would not sell me the 2014 Leaf because of my 17 mile commute. It might be worth noting that i live in Minnesota where the winters can get cold (-15 F is not unheard of for a morning commute a few times a winter).

My work's parking lot has absolutely 0 plugs. I've looked everywhere for them. So, i just kept my current car.

I live in Norway (a fair bit north of Minnesota), and bought my first EV in 2014. The first one was a 2011 leaf with a degraded battery (known problem on the 1. generation, it was fixed in 2012), now we use a 2014 eNV200.  17 miles is well within the range of an "old" leaf. You would probably only have to charge every other day or so. Maybe every night at the middle of winter, if you want to drive a toasty warm car. Before I totalled the leaf in a collision, we had lost ~30 % of the battery capacity, and even with that car your commute would still be within range. Sounds like a seller who wanted you to buy something more expensive, or something where he would have a larger upside on the maintenance.

@Slow&Steady claimed that cold climate is a problem for the batteries. I disagree. It is true that if you charge the batteries when they are cold, it will take more time. But usually when I'm in a rush to charge, I have been driving the car, and start the charging with batteries that are warm from use. When I slowcharge at home overnight, it doesn't make any difference. Heating the car on cold days can take a lot of energy, and therefore some of the range, but how much depends on how well you dress. If you need to sit in your car in shorts and tshirt in -26C, you will not get very far in an EV. But why would you do that?

Our maintenance costs have been very low, compared to the ICE cars we've had. But then we always buy second hand, so the ICE cars have had a lot of issues due to age and milage. The EV costs have only been windshield fluid, a new starter battery, and service controls. They never find anything, so I would prefer to skip the services, but for some reason DH wants to have the car checked before I take the kids on 5000 km long road trips.

mstache67

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Re: Volt vs. Bolt vs. Leaf vs. Prius
« Reply #21 on: March 22, 2018, 12:21:24 PM »
We considered the Volt vs Prius Prime.

Due to the low reliability ratings of the Volt on various sources (such as Consumer Reports) we decided to go with the Prius Prime.

I would bet the full electric options may be the MOST reliable as they don't have a complex engine and emissions system with all the additional failure points.
Darn it :/ I did not know about Volt low reliability ratings. Will google when I get home. Everything I've seen on Volt reliability has been positive so far, ie two years later reviews with no loss of range, no mechanical problems, etc. We are test driving a 2015 Volt with 19k miles this weekend.
I don't quite understand the low reliability ratings. According to CR, the 2017 got 'excellent' or 'above average' marks for reliability in every category except 'in-car electronics' which they got an 'average' score.  No trouble-spots. 2016 is very similar - all excellent and very good except for the in-car electronics. 2015 is also good... pre 2015 not-so-much (additional problesm with the drive system, power equipment and climate controll).

I think 2018 is a redesign year, and as such they automatically give re-designs a lower score due to teh fact that they are, across the board, more problematic.

just fyi
Yeah my other question was if anyone's heard of computer-type problems with the Volt or Bolt. If we're planning on putting 200,000+ miles on it, that's easily over 10 years. That seems like expecting an ipad to last 10-15 years. The center console computer in the Bolt especially makes me nervous. What happens if the computer goes on the fritz when the actual car is still relatively young (9, 10 yrs etc). Is this super expensive to fix or replace? I would hope it would be like a $1000 replacement, not a $5k one because it's hooked in with the electric battery in a complex way or something. I've never heard of someone having this issue but these models are still relatively new.

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boarder42

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Re: Volt vs. Bolt vs. Leaf vs. Prius
« Reply #22 on: March 22, 2018, 02:05:03 PM »
so the bolt price got me looking/thinking- i can get a new bolt for 20k after rebate - is there a time line i have to keep the car?  b/c used bolts with 5k miles are listed around 28-29k around here so you could feasibly buy one drive it for a year sell it rinse repeat.  you'd eat the cost of the taxes on the first one but where i live it would be swappable annually doing that. shit you could do it multiple times a year.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Volt vs. Bolt vs. Leaf vs. Prius
« Reply #23 on: March 22, 2018, 02:25:22 PM »
I’ve seen those used bolts for effectively more than new, but it’s hard to imagine that they’re selling.

nereo

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Re: Volt vs. Bolt vs. Leaf vs. Prius
« Reply #24 on: March 22, 2018, 02:36:34 PM »
so the bolt price got me looking/thinking- i can get a new bolt for 20k after rebate - is there a time line i have to keep the car?  b/c used bolts with 5k miles are listed around 28-29k around here so you could feasibly buy one drive it for a year sell it rinse repeat.  you'd eat the cost of the taxes on the first one but where i live it would be swappable annually doing that. shit you could do it multiple times a year.

Nothing 'wrong' with this - but one aspect of the $7500 federal rebate (plus state rebates, should you be so lucky) is that it's impacted the resale market for almost-new cars.   MMM went into it a little bit when he 'justified' why he bought a new Leaf vs a used model.

Putting it another way, the 2 year old used EVs aren't selling for ~70% of their MSPR new-list price as you'd expect based on ICE cars.. they are selling closer to 60%. Why?  The rebate. Gently used models that are priced based on historical algorithms aren't selling, because buyers realize they can get a new one for that.  So to sell them you have to drop the price way down.  I saw some Leafs recently that had <40k and were selling around $14k.  Would have bought one if I had a better way of charging it (i live in a condo with on-street parking)

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Re: Volt vs. Bolt vs. Leaf vs. Prius
« Reply #25 on: March 22, 2018, 07:20:42 PM »
We considered the Volt vs Prius Prime.

Due to the low reliability ratings of the Volt on various sources (such as Consumer Reports) we decided to go with the Prius Prime.

I would bet the full electric options may be the MOST reliable as they don't have a complex engine and emissions system with all the additional failure points.
Darn it :/ I did not know about Volt low reliability ratings. Will google when I get home. Everything I've seen on Volt reliability has been positive so far, ie two years later reviews with no loss of range, no mechanical problems, etc. We are test driving a 2015 Volt with 19k miles this weekend.
I don't quite understand the low reliability ratings. According to CR, the 2017 got 'excellent' or 'above average' marks for reliability in every category except 'in-car electronics' which they got an 'average' score.  No trouble-spots. 2016 is very similar - all excellent and very good except for the in-car electronics. 2015 is also good... pre 2015 not-so-much (additional problesm with the drive system, power equipment and climate controll).

I think 2018 is a redesign year, and as such they automatically give re-designs a lower score due to teh fact that they are, across the board, more problematic.

just fyi

I didn't find anything about low reliability either when researching the Volt. 2017 was the new model, 2018 is pretty much the same as 2017, I thought.

boarder42

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Re: Volt vs. Bolt vs. Leaf vs. Prius
« Reply #26 on: March 22, 2018, 07:23:01 PM »
so the bolt price got me looking/thinking- i can get a new bolt for 20k after rebate - is there a time line i have to keep the car?  b/c used bolts with 5k miles are listed around 28-29k around here so you could feasibly buy one drive it for a year sell it rinse repeat.  you'd eat the cost of the taxes on the first one but where i live it would be swappable annually doing that. shit you could do it multiple times a year.

Nothing 'wrong' with this - but one aspect of the $7500 federal rebate (plus state rebates, should you be so lucky) is that it's impacted the resale market for almost-new cars.   MMM went into it a little bit when he 'justified' why he bought a new Leaf vs a used model.

Putting it another way, the 2 year old used EVs aren't selling for ~70% of their MSPR new-list price as you'd expect based on ICE cars.. they are selling closer to 60%. Why?  The rebate. Gently used models that are priced based on historical algorithms aren't selling, because buyers realize they can get a new one for that.  So to sell them you have to drop the price way down.  I saw some Leafs recently that had <40k and were selling around $14k.  Would have bought one if I had a better way of charging it (i live in a condo with on-street parking)

Now could be perfect timing since GM rebates are scheduled to run out in q3 2018

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Volt vs. Bolt vs. Leaf vs. Prius
« Reply #27 on: March 23, 2018, 04:39:02 AM »
I did have a Volt I was borrowing break down on me recently. After switching to gas while going uphill I got “Propulsion Power Reduced” and a CEL. The very early Volts only switch to gas when the HVB is depleted (later ones you can press a button to preserve charge for later), and it’s now at a dealership getting some battery parts replaced under the 8-year warranty.

I think that the programmers told it to switch after using X kWh instead of X% of battery capacity, and after slight degradation that leaves it with nothing to go on when it switches. Just my guess. But, that may be a reason to avoid very early Volts.

nereo

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Re: Volt vs. Bolt vs. Leaf vs. Prius
« Reply #28 on: March 23, 2018, 05:26:09 AM »
I did have a Volt I was borrowing break down on me recently. After switching to gas while going uphill I got “Propulsion Power Reduced” and a CEL. The very early Volts only switch to gas when the HVB is depleted (later ones you can press a button to preserve charge for later), and it’s now at a dealership getting some battery parts replaced under the 8-year warranty.

I think that the programmers told it to switch after using X kWh instead of X% of battery capacity, and after slight degradation that leaves it with nothing to go on when it switches. Just my guess. But, that may be a reason to avoid very early Volts.
yeah, based on CR's reliability history I'd be wary of models from 2011-2014.

mstache67

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Re: Volt vs. Bolt vs. Leaf vs. Prius
« Reply #29 on: March 23, 2018, 08:17:45 PM »
I made a mistake--the Volt we are test driving on Sunday is a 2013..will have to research reliability of that year more :/

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Mr Mark

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Re: Volt vs. Bolt vs. Leaf vs. Prius
« Reply #30 on: March 24, 2018, 01:11:01 PM »
Just PTF

mstache67

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Re: Volt vs. Bolt vs. Leaf vs. Prius
« Reply #31 on: March 25, 2018, 07:15:01 PM »
Hey OP here just wanted to let anyone who's still following know that we test drove a couple more cars today and bought a 2015 Leaf! This will be our sole vehicle. I figured with the 4k saved over a used Volt I can probably completely replace the battery in 6 years or so if need be. $3000 on a cash back credit card to be paid immediately of course, and the remainder on my debit card. Felt wonderfully honest and "clean" to buy a car this way! Excited to join the club of sensible car ownership :)

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Just Joe

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Re: Volt vs. Bolt vs. Leaf vs. Prius
« Reply #32 on: March 25, 2018, 07:37:21 PM »
...

I live in the country, but chargers (sometimes even the super fast ones) abundantly available near work.  Beyond that I feel like if I was going to run out of "juice" I would be pretty close to home by that point anyways so it is a quick tow and then just plug it back in for the night.  I feel that peoples fears of be stranded on the side of the road should have become obsolete as soon as they were handed a cell phone, but I understand that I am one of very few that feel that way.

I've had the same thoughts. It seems like the fear of being 'stranded' has never gone away, even as car reliability has increased, cell phones are omni-present and the overwhelming majority of people never venture off roads where another 100 cars won't pass by over the next hour (or in many cases over the next 5 minutes). I think 'range-anxiety' has budded from this fear... OMG - what if I suddenly and unexpectedly have to drive another 50++ miles than I had planned to get somewhere? What if when I get there there's no source of electricity to recharge??  really... how likely is that to really happen? If you are in a super-rural area and do lots of long drives an EV may not be for you just yet.  But for the other >90% of us, they do just fine and IME you can always find a place to recharge overnight - even at small motels and throughout small towns.

If that be the case then buy a Bolt/Volt/Model 3/etc so you have twice or three times the expected range. I can see an 80 mile range sneaking up on a person but not 200 miles. "Oh, I forgot to charge it..."