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We've added a 2013 Chevy Volt to the family :cool:, 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. :)
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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!
 

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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!
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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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Hi! We now have a 2012 Volt and a 2013 CT200h. My wife didn't like the idea of having 2 Volts! I understand that so we looked for something else. We considered all plug-in cars and finally bought the CT200h for the price, equipment, look and quality. For sure I prefer the Volt for many reasons like the trunk volume, all electric mode, 2 moderns screens, the place for skis between the rear seats, road noise, etc. The CT200h is a wonderful car with good things also. We have the Volt since 4-5 months and the CT since 1 week. So the time will tell more about the Volt for reliability and other battery concern. But let me tell you that the quality seems very good, not what Chevrolet generally offer. If you have any questions about the Volt, ask me!
 

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I am most interested in hearing your impressions on ride smoothness and interior noise - while I love my CT (2011 premium) I find the ride to be a bit harsh, I guess many would call it "sporty", my wife thinks it rides like a truck. And interior noise is high, especially over a well used concrete roadbed. How does it compare with your Volt?
 

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I was seriously thinking about a Volt last year but when i got into the dealership to inquire about one ( looking to just get a book and any other information on the Volt ) the salesperson said and i quote "I'm not giving you anything because you probably won't get one". Not only was i floored at what he said i was genuinely serious about getting a new vehicle in 2 weeks. I told him thanks for nothing and proceeded to the Lexus dealership and purchased my CT the very next day.

Once i got my car I took it to the same Chevy dealership and found the salesperson and had him come outside to have a look at the new car i just paid 100% cash for. The look on his face was priceless!!!! I will NEVER goto this dealership again.

I should of put up a bigger stink at the dealership at the time but it wasn't worth it. I didn't feel it was worth it to give them my money after the kind introduction.................

Now that my rant is over........thanks for the comparison i found it very helpful. I got more info from you, a consumer than i did from the dealership.....glad your happy with both vehicles. :)
 

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I am most interested in hearing your impressions on ride smoothness and interior noise - while I love my CT (2011 premium) I find the ride to be a bit harsh, I guess many would call it "sporty", my wife thinks it rides like a truck. And interior noise is high, especially over a well used concrete roadbed. How does it compare with your Volt?
LOL my wife is the completely opposite. I used to have a Mini Cooper S with 18" wheels before the CT. My wife had been in my Mini about 5 times since I owned it for 4.5 years. She just cannot take the "truck" like ride. Now whatever I am home and she has to go out to get something, she takes my car. I guess everything is relative. :p
 

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First off, there is a huge difference between harsh and stiff ride (suspension). And there is no interior noise rather you hear road noise. Changing your tires to softer type will reduce road noise and probably soften the ride a bit. Make sure your tire pressure is NOT too high.
 

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Thanks CaspianM, I guess in my mind interior noise is a combination of anything, engine, CVT whine, but mainly road noise - I think ol' Mother Lexus could have put better sound proofing in the CT - I recently purchased a rear mat which seems to help a bit but please, it still a noisy environment for Lexus.

RUnning my tires at 32 PSI and still on the original Michellens Primus - which tires do you think would reduce road noise? _ should be changing these out in the next year or so.

Do appreciate your thoughts.
 

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The only noise is the Volt is the tires. But it is very quiet! No wind noise. I think the Volt is a bit smoother then the CT. I love my Volt! I'm really sad that someone here didn't have a good sale rep. This is a unique car that deserve a very good sale person to answer all the questions and everything. I am able to drive the CT often in all electric mode. This is nice! Now with the new GM rebate and provincial incitative, I think $ for $ the Volt is a better choice, but it all depends your needs, driving style, etc. For my case, 5 months with the Volt, 2,5 L of gas!! :)
 

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Thanks CaspianM, I guess in my mind interior noise is a combination of anything, engine, CVT whine, but mainly road noise - I think ol' Mother Lexus could have put better sound proofing in the CT - I recently purchased a rear mat which seems to help a bit but please, it still a noisy environment for Lexus.

RUnning my tires at 32 PSI and still on the original Michellens Primus - which tires do you think would reduce road noise? _ should be changing these out in the next year or so.

Do appreciate your thoughts.
Perhaps I was a little too technical. CT is not a luxury car plus some prefer a bit of road noise. I have not looked into tires yet as mine is fairly new. Perhaps someone with better insight could offer an opinion.
 

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The saying is, " It's easy to get new customer but it's harder to retain existing customer". My first GM car was the Pontiac "J " car in the early 80's, it lasted less than 50k, since then I never touch any GM car. The only EV car I will look at is the Tesla BUT it's way too expensive for what it's worth.
 

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The only EV car I will look at is the Tesla BUT it's way too expensive for what it's worth.
I don't think it is that expansive comparing to other luxury cars, and the $7500 tax credit made up for some of the differences. I am trying to talk my wife into getting the Model X when it comes out to replace her X5.
 
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