Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Why I Got a Chevy Volt

Why I chose the Volkswagen "Buy Back"

Last month, I sold my VW Golf TDI back to Volkswagen.  It was included in the emissions scandal, and I had the option to sell it back for more than I paid for it.  Even though I mostly loved the car, I had my reasons for choosing to sell it back. Here are some of the reasons which tipped the scales for me:

  • There were quirks that drove me nuts (3 sec. delay in acceleration, always complaining about my key not being in range, bluetooth microphone not working for media audio, worthless voice recognition feature, many more)
  • The mileage and age of the vehicle were getting to the point where things start getting expensive to maintain (90K).  
  • The fuel mileage was averaging about 35 mpg, which is not hard to beat using even a NON-hybrid modern gas vehicle.
  • To further this issue, a gallon of diesel comes at about a $.50 premium over gas, negating any fuel mileage advantages.
  • Also furthering this issue, is the relative difficulty of finding good sources of diesel (vs. good sources of gasoline).  

Why I chose the Chevy Volt

I have wanted an EV for a long time now, but at least once a week, I have a 140 mile round-trip commute with no access to a charging station.  The Tesla 3 is out my price range (and, although they are neat-o, the value proposition is just not there for what they are offering).  So I knew I needed a plugin hybrid. Sadly, Volkswagen does not have anything right now.  I considered the Prius Prime and the Chevy Volt.  I settled on the Volt because:
  • It has twice the range of the Prius (50 miles vs 25 miles)
  • It looks better
  • It has more torque and better handling
  • The trunk of the Prius Prime is compromised by a massive bump-up of the floor, whereas the Volt is like a regular hatchback.
Those are the main reasons.  After some searching, I was able to find a used 2016 Volt (2nd Gen) that is fully loaded.  It was tricky, because the used market on these cars is still pretty sparse.  I had to get it with Carmax and have it shipped.  Next year, these will really start coming off leases and the market will pick up.

In future posts, I will describe my experiences and thoughts associated with practical use, but so far I have not been the least bit disappointed.

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