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Opinion

Why that is the fuel-efficient and cheap sedan you are in search of

Means again in 2010, it appeared just like the Chevy Volt was about to take America by storm. The premise was strong: A couple of hours plugged in in a single day would depart the Volt driver with round 35 or 40 miles (relying on the way it was pushed, GM stated it’d to 25 to 50 miles) of electrical driving every day; loads for the typical commute. As soon as the battery was depleted, an environment friendly gasoline engine would kick in to maintain every little thing working easily. No vary nervousness, no muss, no fuss. 

And it labored precisely as marketed, too. I examined a brand new Volt myself shortly after its debut, and in per week’s value of driving that included working round my neighborhood and several other hour-long runs on the highways to cross the Phoenix space, I averaged higher than 100 miles per gallon of fuel. Even together with the electrical energy I pumped into the battery pack, the Volt was simply probably the most environment friendly highway-capable technique of transportation I’d ever skilled as much as that point, and it was truly fairly enjoyable to drive.

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  • The Chevrolet Volt “Freedom Drive” throughout the nation concludes at Pier 92 through the annual Macy’s Independence Day fireworks show over the Hudson River in New York, Sunday, July 4, 2010. The “Freedom Drive” started 4 days and 1.776 miles in the past in Austin, Texas the place Chevrolet introduced New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Texas would be part of Michigan, California and Washington, D.C. as launch websites for the Volt later this 12 months. (Picture by Emile Wamsteker for Chevrolet)

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  • Chevrolet publicizes Thursday, July 1, 2010 it’s including Texas, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut to the launch markets for the Volt electrical automobile. The retail launch in Texas and New York will start with Austin and New York Metropolis in late 2010. The steadiness of Texas and New York, in addition to New Jersey and Connecticut, are scheduled to start receiving Volts in early 2011. The Chevrolet Volt (pictured right here) in entrance of the Texas State Capital in Austiin, Texas Wednesday, June 30, 2010. (Picture by Steven Noreyko for Chevrolet)

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  • A pre-production Chevrolet Volt passes a trolley whereas navigating the steep climbs of the San Francisco Bay space whereas on an engineering growth drive Saturday, April 25, 2010 in San Francisco, California The Volt can be accessible in California over the last quarter of 2010. (Picture by Martin Klimek for Chevrolet)

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  • A pre-production Chevrolet Volt navigates the steep climbs of the San Francisco Bay space whereas on an engineering growth drive Saturday, April 25, 2010 in San Francisco, California The Volt can be accessible in California over the last quarter of 2010. (Picture by Martin Klimek for Chevrolet)

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  • The brand new Chevrolet Volt electrical automobile with prolonged vary drives by campus at Columbia College on Earth Day, Thursday, April 22, 2010 in New York, NY. (Picture by Todd Plitt for Chevrolet)

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  • The Chevrolet Volt Freedom Drive throughout the nation continues in Fairfax, Virginia Saturday, July 3, 2010 because the Volt participates within the annual Independence Day Parade. The Volt, an electrical automobile with prolonged vary. will end its four-day, 1,776 mile route in New York Metropolis on Sunday. (Picture by Mark Finkenstaedt for Chevrolet)

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  • The Chevrolet Volt Freedom Drive throughout the nation continues in Fairfax, Virginia Saturday, July 3, 2010 because the Volt participates within the annual Independence Day Parade. The Volt, an electrical automobile with prolonged vary. will end its four-day, 1,776 mile route in New York Metropolis on Sunday. (Picture by Mark Finkenstaedt for Chevrolet)

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  • A pre-production Chevrolet Volt electrical automobile with prolonged vary travels round Pier 92 throughout a media check drive in New York, NY on Monday, March 29, 2010. (Picture by Steve Fecht for Chevrolet) (3/29/2010)

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  • A Chevrolet Volt battery on the Normal Motors International Battery Programs Lab in Warren, Michigan Wednesday, June 30, 2010. The Chevrolet Volt will supply clients an unprecedented commonplace 8 12 months/100,000 mile guarantee on its lithium-ion battery. GM engineers have accomplished greater than 1 million miles and 4 million hours of validation battery testing since 2007. Every Volt battery pack has 9 modules and 288 cells. GM designed and engineered 99 p.c of the 155 parts in every battery. (Picture by John F. Martin for Chevrolet)

A second-generation Volt debuted in 2016 with many enhancements, together with extra electrical vary and higher effectivity. We lamented its retreat from the market again in 2019 when Normal Motors determined to drag the plug, actually and figuratively, on the Volt experiment. A couple of years have handed because the Volt’s loss of life (and the following Bolt EV hatchback’s arrival), and totally electrical autos are making increasingly more sense for increasingly more Individuals, a minimum of those that have entry to a charger at residence or sufficient plugs close to them. 

However the Volt nonetheless makes a complete heck of a variety of sense as a used buy, with costs hovering at round $10,000 on the low finish and nonetheless nicely beneath $30,000 for a low-mileage mannequin from the ultimate 12 months of manufacturing. These figures symbolize present realities at at present’s inflated charges, and they’re anticipated to drop in due time together with different used autos. However even for present sums, the Volt is an especially enticing choice.

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The closest competitor that gives an analogous possession expertise to the Volt could be the Toyota Prius Prime. Between these two, the Chevy is healthier to drive, extra environment friendly for many drivers and, although seems are in fact subjective, for my part far more enticing no matter which Volt technology you examine it to. It’s additionally cheaper. Blue Guide worth for a well-equipped 2017 Chevy Volt in superb situation with 50,000 miles at present stands at $18,658. A Prius Prime with comparable choices from the identical 12 months (its first available on the market) is $25,044.

In fact, the Volt has been available on the market fairly a bit longer than the Prius Prime. It’s not onerous to seek out an older Volt with round 100,000 miles for lower than $10,000 or one with considerably fewer miles for simply $1,000 or so extra. That strikes me as an incredible discount for a strong automobile. And whereas I totally anticipate the Prius Prime to be dependable, the identical is true of the Volt, which has strong reliability and satisfaction scores throughout the board from companies that publish rankings.

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It’s additionally value mentioning {that a} drivetrain similar to the Volt’s was used within the Cadillac ELR, a slinky two-door coupe full of all of the luxuries you’d anticipate from a automobile carrying the Wreath and Crest. These don’t promote at costs as little as the Volt, with a 2014 mannequin’s guide worth hovering round $23,000 proper now. The upgraded 2016 version is kind of a bit pricier. Both approach, the ELR could possibly be a possible collectible — it was massively overpriced when new, that means few had been bought, and oddities typically achieve traction after a few many years have handed.

In the event you’re out there for an especially environment friendly automobile that isn’t totally beholden to accessible charging plugs and are in search of a deal, the Chevy Volt deserves a detailed look.


Searching for extra low cost automobile offers? Listed here are our picks for the most effective used automobiles beneath $10,000, and the most effective used SUVs and crossovers for beneath $10,000, and our automobiles on the market hub.

Chevrolet Volt Info

Chevrolet Volt