Chevy Volt Among Best Used Hybrids And EVs Under $20K, Says KBB15
More consumers may seek out an affordable hybrid or electric used vehicle in the coming years as gas prices continue to rise. GM fans that find themselves in the market for a well-priced, second-hand hybrid can remain loyal to the company, as the 2016 model year Chevy Volt is among the best eco-friendly used vehicles around, according to Kelley Blue Book.
KBB recently published a list counting down the top ten best hybrid and electric vehicles for under $20,000, with the 2016 model year Chevy Volt appearing in ninth place on the list. Editors say the Volt is the “best of both worlds,” offering up the driving characteristics and dynamics of a pure EV with the range and convenience of a plug-in hybrid. The publication also says the Volt is “just a solid car,” and boasts “nice driving manners, a comfy interior, and peppy power.” As an added bonus, the Volt is a bit of an under-the-radar nameplate and may be easier to get a deal on than models like the Toyota Prius and Hyundai Ioniq, which can sometimes be in higher demand in certain markets.
The best plug-in hybrid or EV for less than $20,000 is the 2015 model year Toyota Prius, according to KBB, which “leans on the brand’s multiple generations of experience to deliver one of the most affordable, efficient, and practical hatchbacks on the road.” The 2017 Toyota Camry was second on the list, followed by the 2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, 2013 Toyota Highlander Hybrid and 2015 Honda Accord Hybrid. The Chevrolet Volt is the only entry on the list from a domestic manufacturer, with every other model being from either Japan or Korea.
GM discontinued the Chevy Volt nameplate at the end of the 2019 model year as it shifted its focus to battery-electric models like the Chevy Bolt and Bolt EUV. The second-generation Volt debuted at the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit in 2015, with retail deliveries commencing in the U.S. and Canada in October of that year. The four-door liftback features an 18.4 kWh lithium-ion battery pack and a single, front-mounted electric motor producing 149 horsepower and 294 pound-feet of torque. A 1.5L four-cylinder range extender works to charge the battery, giving it an estimated range of around 420 miles and an EPA-estimated fuel economy rating of 42 mpg.
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To me, gm made a huge mistake- and they’ve made many over the years- dropping this Voltec technology. Those on the fence regarding EVs may have taken a closer look has this tech been available in larger gm vehicles. Instead gm is banking on an “all or nothing” EV approach that could very well blow up in their faces.
Same I never understood why GM never put the Voltec system into Trucks and SUVs.
They did. The Voltec was an evolution of the GM 2-Mode Hybrid system, which itself was a scaled-down version of Allison’s power split technology.
The 2-Mode ended up in the Tahoe/Yukon/Escalade, Sierra/Silverado, as well as small numbers of the Durango/Aspen, the BMW X6, and Mercedes ML450.
The Voltec was the FWD/transverse repackage of this system, plus a bigger battery and AC battery charger. The idea was it would be smaller and more affordable, replacing some engine size with batteries. They were wrong.
Ultimately, what killed all of them was simple: too expensive. GM lost $20k/unit on the Volt.
The economics was completely different on buses. The Allison hybrid system sold well and is still available today; most of the hybrid city buses you see are running this.
Also, the same idea was used on the Koenigsegg Regera “transmissionless” hybrid. I’m guessing some of GM/Allison’s patents expired.
Thank you for the history of the design but I have a question about the Regera. It uses a high-tech torque converter and a traditional looking clutch if you watch the “248 MPH Without A Gearbox: Direct Drive — /INSIDE KOENIGSEGG” on THE DRIVE Youtube channel.
What does that have to do with Voltec that uses a planetary gearset?
I always thought that the Volt powertrain would have garnered much more interest had it been used in something like a CUV, Buick Encore, rather than a sedan. And what a waste in the Cadillac ELR. Who buys a 2 door today with a restrictive trunk opening.
Fully agreed, and a main personal pet peeve of mine against GM dropping Voltec. The Voltec system was a huge potential game changer, only badly advertised and managed by GM, probably deliberately. I honestly believe GM should standardize a new updated Voltec 2.0 technology across all brands linking the Ultium system with multiple range extender engines depending on type of vehicle, while still offering BEVs to the market. With the old Voltec battery T shaped layout, internal space was somewhat compromised. But with the new skateboard design of Ultium, internal space efficiencies are maximized. Imagine if you will, a muscular aggressively styled midsize Pontiac sedan with its own brand specific power train setup using Voltec 2.0? GM should seriously consider bring back Voltec. Current Volt owners love their 1st gen and 2nd gen Volts,
It will blow up in their faces in the Truck market. There is no way a truck can tow 100% EV. You get about one mile per kWh while towing a 5th wheel. Truck owners will want at least 400 mile towing range. 400 to 500 kWh batteries do not make any sense when most days you only use 20 kWh.
A truck with a 100 kWh battery and a gas engine that can produce 75 kWh per hour then you have a truck that can tow all day if necessary but if you stop to pee (charge) every 2 hours for 15 minutes, you will get better MPG than a Prius while towing a 5th wheel.
I agree that GM made a mistake in no longer offering gas-electric hybrids. While our plug-in Bolt meets our needs well, there are other buyers who need what a hybrid offers.
GM did a piss poor job of advertising the Volt, just as it did until recently with the Bolts. People still come up to me in parking lots and say “I didn’t know Chevy was producing electric cars. I would have considered one had I known.”
There also needs to be considerable attitude adjustment among Chevy dealers concerning electrics. I tried to buy a Volt from our local dealer several years ago but they would not finance it, but then offered me a gas powered car at virtually the same payment and it was quickly approved. A dealer in a nearby city never showed any real interest in selling a Volt and never seemed to have a demo charged and ready when my interest shifted to a Bolt. Another dealer in the same city, however, was actually advertising them, had a demo available, and was happy to sell us one. And looking around in traffic shows that there are plenty of buyers for EVs in this area: I notice Teslas, Leafs, and others each time I go out, and even now an occasional new Bolt EUV like ours.
GM made a huge mistake dropping this technology. I’m owner of an Opel Ampera/Chevy Volt with 300.000 kms on the odometer and the car has needed practically zero maintenance and runs like new. If I trade it, it will be for another one with less mileage or for a Tesla Model S. I’ve never considered the Bolt since its range is mediocre and it’s a crossover. Not everybody likes SUV’s or crossovers.
the volt does not meet zero emissions requirements of some states.
How can a leaf and ioniq be better than a volt! Maybe by price if those are thru the fall to purchase.
I leased a Volt in 2012 and was spoiled by its smooth, quiet, instant response when running exclusively on battery. Not having to worry about getting stranded when the battery charge petered out was an upside, but it was also something that I found to be a minor disappointment whenever the gasoline engine took over. So to mitigate the guilt of using gasoline, I would try to plan my driving in ways that would maximize the full electric portion of its propulsion capability. It became a game where winning brought relief and satisfaction while losing (when the gas engine kicked in) brought that ‘aw shucks’ kind of disappointment.
Soon after my lease ended and I turned the Volt back in, I took over a lease on a Spark EV which had a year and a half left on it. My intention was to see if I could live with an all-or-nothing, fully electric car. One which had only 90 miles of range. With the Spark EV’s limits being well defined, I used a pickup truck I also owned for any driving beyond.
Eventually the lease expired, and the Spark was returned. I realized that I really liked the ‘all-or-nothing’ aspect of a fully electrified EV. Months later I decided to buy outright a Bolt EV which, with its 240+ mile range became my daily driver to this day.
To sum things up, the Volt was a very good car to become familiar with the great aspects of fully electric driving, while still offering a ‘safety net’ in the form of its gasoline powered backup. An excellent car to transition from all gasoline to zero gasoline.
I also leased a Volt; a 2018. I bought out the lease with a residual value of ~$18,500 and then sold it a few months later to Carvana for ~$23,500. It was simply too small for us (I’m 6’2″ tall and my wife is 5’11”). It was a decent investment, but we sure do miss the extremely low operating costs! It also was a 3rd vehicle for us. We still have a Silverado and an Equinox (wife-mobile). We considered getting another EV and/or econobox of some kind, but being realistic; you can buy a lot of gas with the money you save from NOT buying and insuring an extra vehicle.
My 2013 Volt with 269K miles is doing well despite the abusively hard driving i put it through for food delivery. full speed over pot holes, speed bumps and around corners and full acceleration quite often. Bought used with 133K.
Have replaced the fronts struts recently after one started dribbling when it hits the right bump. Front wheel bearings some time ago. Drive shafts clicking. All inexpensive repairs by a shop.
Battery is about 85% capacity however voltage sag is showing it’s face once only a few miles remain and flooring it. Hits 290V on the app and power is limited. It doesn’t go into Reduced Propulsion Mode but it throttles power to keep it at about 290V. Thanks software update. Also noticed sitting idle voltage change from cell to cell is up to about 45mV, not good. But if I keeps it at about 3 miles remaining, more like 15mV.
Note that hybrid mode with no miles remaining I still get full propulsion power due to help from engine. But keeping pack healthy is priority so i engage hold mode at about 3 miles and just use the remaining on an easy drive home. Probably got close to 10 years before battery gets to be too weak to drive even with Hold mode at full miles.
Can’t disagree w any of this. Bought a 2017 Premier w 42k on it. Probably the best car I have owned so far. My gf has a Model 3. GM really screwed the pooch w this car especially the 2G. I believe that if they were still building this car, it would be flying out of the showroom. Altho a hybrid, at least for my needs, I rarely need to go w gas. Most of my driving is within the distances covered strictly by battery. I also installed 220v both for myself and my gf’s Tesla. So the Volt charges up within 5hrs.