I've watched the Chevy Volt saga for years. I watched as President Obama demanded that the price of the car remain as close to 30k as possible. I suppose when you allow your government to buy a bankrupt auto maker, you get the proven track record of an owner that has screwed up everything it has touched. Obama, master car designer and businessman, lynched GM CEO Rick Wagoner shortly after the takeover. It was an easy sacrifice. I mean after all, Wagoner had the audacity to fly in a corporate jet to those congressional hearings. The outrage!
The Chevy Volt costs an astounding 41k. Throw in some sales tax, an option or two, dealer prep and doc fees, some bank interest and voila! You have a 50k car. Oh you'll be eligible for a tax credit.The same tax credit you'd get on another hybrid vehicle.
I can't get excited about GM's new flagship car. Here are my reasons why in no particular order.
1. The price. I don't give a shit about tax credits. The cost of this car is insane. Comparable models are half the price.
2. The gas math/MPG simply doesn't pencil. You can buy 7000 additional gallons (3.00 a gal.) of gas with the money you'd save on a Hyundai Sonata, base model. That's 220,000 miles worth. You still have to put gas in the Volt and charge it.
3. The Volt uses electricity. Guess where we get that from? Coal fired generators and I have no idea what the cost of charging this car would be. If you charged it every day, I am guessing 30-45 bucks a month.
4. It is a first run car. I never buy first year model runs. I worry about defects.
5. Performance. I don't think the Volt can hang with most Japanese/Korean models. The Sonata has 200 horsepower, the Volt has a whopping 83. http://autos.yahoo.com/car-compare/overview/?trimId0=28586&trimId1=29774&trimId2=27284
6. Most of my driving is done on the highway. After you have drained the Volt's 40 (tests show 35 miles) mile battery charge, you will be using gas again. A home charger is required for this car, but it is small and you can take it with you. Once you have drained the 35- 40 mile electrical charge, the Volt only get 31 MPG on what appears to be a woefully under powered gas engine. It takes about three hours to fully charge the car. All this car would do for me is save me one net gallon of gas on most trips. Hardly enough to justify the absurd price.
7. The Hyundai Sonata hybrid waxes the Volt it in every category. It has twice the performance and horsepower, gets 38 MPG, and costs 16 grand less. At 38 MPG v 31 MPG it would only take 5 gallons of gas to exceed the savings of Volt's 35 mile electrical charge. http://www.hybridcars.com/vehicle/hyundai-sonata-hybrid.html
8. The warranties are comparable. Sonata's basic warranty is 60, 000 miles or 60 months while the Volt's basic warranty is 36, 000 miles or 36 months. They have the same 100,000 mile power train warranty.
9. I simply can't support GM. Taxpayers had GM's bail out jammed down our throats. Unions made very few concessions nor did Obama or the Car Czar force them to. For some astounding bullshit, a "you love you" theme, and a huge dose of Obama ass kissing- read this...http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2010/10/14/the_car_czar_speaks Nice of Obama to save car jobs huh? What about those other 30 million unemployed workers? Ford stood on it's own and I'd damn sure buy a Fusion hybrid for that reason alone.
10. Initially, I expect to see some morons run out and buy this car. After the smoke clears, I think this car is going to be a bust. I am not sure the Volt will hold it's value and I damn sure wouldn't want to try and resell it if the bottom falls out of it. Remember GM's Pontiac Fiero? I do.
I have been studying various cars for a couple of years now- expecting to buy a new one soon. Obviously I have a big lean on the Sonata. General Motors should have been allowed to fail. They are still making crappy and over priced cars just like they were a few years ago. Motor Trend's "Car of the Year." We'll see how that pans out.