Anyone Volt-Curious? The CT just got a 2013 Chevy Volt stablemate
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Thread: Anyone Volt-Curious? The CT just got a 2013 Chevy Volt stablemate

  1. #1
    Member MomsLexusCT's Avatar
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    Anyone Volt-Curious? The CT just got a 2013 Chevy Volt stablemate

    We've added a 2013 Chevy Volt to the family , so now the 2012 Lexus CT200h is no longer the newest baby.

    I saw there were some discussion threads early last year about the Volt, but the thread seemed to lack factual, objective information. Please feel free to ask me anything about the Volt. I love both cars equally, but for different reasons.

    In a nutshell I would say the ideal car would be to drop the Chevy's Voltec drivetrain and battery into the Lexus. That would be an amazing car.

    Some people will argue that it's not fair to compare a Chevy to a Lexus. I'm here to tell you that 1) If anyone had told me 5 years ago that I'd have a GM product today I would have laughed at them, and 2) I can't speak for the other vehicles in the Chevy lineup but they really outdid themselves with the Volt- it is refreshing to see something decent come out of Detroit. It is a nicely appointed car and well built- a very pleasant surprise. This Chevy has leather seats, touch screen LCD, nav, park assist, pre-collision, automatic headlamps, automatic climate control, auto dimming rearview mirror, lane departure warning, backup camera, heated seats, Bose (AM/FM/XM/BT/Aux, DVD/CD/MP3/USB, Pandora, Stitcher, Gracenote), keyless entry and ignition.

    The Lexus is more comfortable, roomy and has better seats, navigation, and controls. The CT offers radar cruise, rain sensing wipers, and a power memory seat. Volt doesn't offer those features.

    Imagine EV mode in the CT for all speeds with a range of 35-40 miles before the gas engine comes on--- that's how the Volt drives. It's smoother, quieter and quicker. In 7 weeks of having the Volt we've put gas in it twice (once for practice) and are currently at 140 MPG (lifetime). At SDG&E electric rates, the Volt costs about $1.40 to fully charge from empty. IRL it is working out to be closer to $1.25 per day because the battery isn't always completely depleted every day. It charges with the EVSE (plug set) that came with the car in a normal 120 volt outlet that was already in the garage. It charges in 8-10 hours (overnight).

    The bad: The Volt has cheesy buttons on that center stack console (it doesn't have to come in white) which are distracting and confusing to operate. The seat cushions (the butt part) are short front-to-back, and the rear seat only seats 2. There are other minor quirks here and there.

    The ugly: The Lexus CT is so pretty. The Volt...well I think it looks like a modernized Citation hatchback...but many people compliment it's looks. I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder. We tell the Volt she's pretty on the "inside". LOL

    Cornering and braking- both are about the same.

    Interesting parallels:
    CT has sport Mode, Volt has sport mode.
    CT has "B" for increased regen. Volt uses the "L" position on the PRNDL to do the same thing.
    CT has eco drive mode, Volt has eco as a climate control setting.
    CT has "EV mode", Volt calls it "normal"
    CT has normal mode, Volt calls it "hold" (hybrid gas mode)
    Volt adds a "mountain mode", which increases the battery buffer for long inclines.
    Brake pedals feel very similar in both cars- same transition from regen to friction.
    Both cars get about 40 MPG when in gas burning mode driving in similar conditions.
    Both cars have about equal noise and vibration from the ICE when it's on.

    There are many price incentives offered for the Volt, which brings its net cost down: 7500 tax credit, about 2000 rebates are offered from banks (US Bank and Ally) so it costs less to finance even if you have cash, 1500 from CARB (California), and 1000 downloadable coupon from GM (usable as cash). I negotiated a deal for $2500 under dealer invoice (not MSRP)- so a loaded MSRP of 45,100 came down to just under 31,000, effectively. I ended up being too chicken to buy it (we haven't bought a new American car since Carter was president), so I leased it instead. The Volts seem to be very reliable so far based on feedback from those brave early adopters in 2011. Because the Volt's ICE is used so infrequently, the only maintenance needed for the first couple of years are tire rotations.

    ...so there you have it. Apples and oranges. Please ask anything.

    2012 CT200h Premium -Tungsten Pearl, Water Grey Leather, LED HL, NAV, PCS/Radar Cruise, Illuminated Door Sills

    1996 Acura Integra
    1987 Toyota Camry
    1974 Dodge Swinger 318
    1967 Dodge Dart 273
    1960 VW Beetle

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  3. #2
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    B does not increase regeneration. It supports the breaking with the help of a spinning combustion engine. But the combustion engine can not regenerate energy.


  4. #3
    Senior Member coubs's Avatar
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    Sounds like you are loving it an d thanks for the info. I find it hard to get accurate information - or determining what information is accurate these days online (did you hear about the NY Times car guy that said the Tesla Model S battery isn't what they say it is - then got roasted when they showed him they had proof he didn't charge it fully and even drove in 100 foot circles to deplete the battery. I wonder what Oil comapany paid him to do that.).
    I am really keen on getting an EV for my next car or at least a plug in Hybrid.
    2011 CT200 Obsidian, Black Nulux, Canadian Tourning Edition - Non Nav

  5. #4
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    Great review! I was also looking at a Volt as a potential purchase. The couple of things that swayed me to the CT are its exterior design and the proven reliability of the Atkins drivetrain. I'm pretty confident the CT will last me easily last me with relatively low maintenance to 200k. I felt that I would be taking a gamble with the Chevy. You sound like your pretty happy with your purchase and that's what matters, congrats!

  6. #5
    Senior Member tk1971's Avatar
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    Please post a picture. I'd like to see it side by side with the CT to get a visual comparison.



  7. #6
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    I drove a Volt and was quite impressed! Rearward vision is somewhat compromised, like the Prius; with the split rear window; but so too is the CT! Sounds like you got a pretty sweet deal; good luck with your new car!

  8. #7
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    Nice write up. Congratulations on your new car.

  9. #8
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    I cross-shopped the Volt, Leaf, CR-Z, and CT200h. I loved the technology of the Volt but wasn't crazy about the looks inside or out. I ended up picking the CT200h based on our experience with our 2007 Prius (knowing how the drivetrain works, reliability, etc) and looks. Also the CT200h is about 7 inches shorter which is good for my smaller size garage. I really wanted to find a used Volt in the $26K - $28K range (which is what I paid for my 2011 CT200h) and I just could not find one in my area. People were wanting to charge more for a used Volt than a new one minus the tax rebate! So that was pretty much the deciding factor for me.

  10. #9
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    That's cool. I've seen a few on the road, but never have been that serious about the Volt - just not proven yet. I have had my eye on the Cadillac ELR, which is due out this winter. It is running the Volt powertrain but I expect it to be rather pricey.

  11. #10
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    Ya, I read some speculation on Autoblog Green that the ELR is going to be in the $50K+ range. If the Volt is $40K you would have to think the ELR will be at least upper 40's if not past $50K.


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