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Yesterday I took my first test drive in a Chevrolet Bolt. I currently have a 2017 Volt but am considering trading it for a 2020 Bolt. I am concerned with the complexity of the VOLTEC system in my Volt. While I have experienced absolutely no problems, the Bolt is a much simpler machine and aside from the computers, there should be less that could go wrong. If I kept my Volt, I could be faced with more maintenance issues as the vehicle aged. Now that the vehicle has been discontinued (sad), there will probably be fewer technicians competent to work on it. The test drive went well. The major impressions I came away with were as follows:

The Bolt is definitely not as attractive as the Volt. Parked side by side, the difference is quite striking. But I digress…

While having less cargo space, I appreciated the increased rear seat leg room in the Bolt.

I was disappointed that the Bolt lacked the excellent nav system standard on the Volt. Apple Car Play running Google Maps is not nearly as good.

I am sure I can get used to it, but I did not think the One-Peddle-Dirving set up was as smooth as on my Volt.

I liked the better visibility and fewer blind spots in the Bolt.

I was disappointed with the low-resolution camera display in the Bolt. While a little smaller, the display in the Volt is much sharper.

I was not able to fully evaluate the handling of the Bolt, but it seems to have a softer suspension than the Volt. The Volt handles more like a sports car, but I think the Bolt would be more comfortable in every day driving.

I noticed that the Bolt did not have automatic parking, a feature that works perfectly in the Volt.

Range anxiety also worries me. If I switch to a Bolt, my only other vehicle will be a pick-up truck which is not suitable for long distance traveling. In the Bolt, it appears that any trip over about 200 miles will require multiple stops. The way I figure it, the cost of DC Fast Charging is actually greater than the cost of gasoline; and on a 400 mile trip, the Volt would arrive over an hour sooner.

All considered, I am leaning toward a new Bolt. I think the Volt is a better designed vehicle but I think that all-electric has the advantage. I feel the Bolt is an interim vehicle however and in two or three years, something a LOT better will be in the showroom. Therefore I think a lease would be preferable to an outright purchase. Decisions, decisions…

Comments and/or advise wold be appreciated.
 

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I skipped the Volt and also hybrids. Waited for an affordable all electric. But your Volt is the same model year as my Bolt. Couldn't imagine trading in my Bolt at this point. You should be able to get 10 years minimum out of your Volt. Save your money and wait for the right full electric.
 

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Your Volt is almost new so I don't think you'll have any issues with it for a long time. I agree that if you aren't 100% sold on the Bolt, just wait. There are so many EVs coming out in the next few years. GM is supposed to be releasing a redesign of the Bolt in 2021 and a CUV based on the platform as well.
 

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I traded my 2017 Volt LT for a 2019 Bolt Premier in June. It was time to go all electric so my "reasons" were kinda thin. One way I justified it was that the warranty had just expired on my Volt and the Volt was discontinued. Another was that in the 2 years I owned the Volt, I only drove long enough to switch to gas twice: so the maintenance for the gas engine didn't make sense. To address some of your points:

I think the Volt looks better/sportier but it does look basically like a Cruze and the Bolt is unique: over time, it has found a place in my heart at least as a "cute" car.

Nav is not standard in the Volt LT (which I had). Nevertheless, I always prefer Android Auto over any vehicle nav for one reason: map updates and features.

The Volt does not have (full) one pedal driving. Sure, you can use regen, but only down to about 3 MPH where it still rolls. The Bolt regens more... and to a full stop without using the brake.

The rear camera in my 2017 Volt is comparable to my 2019 Bolt: they are both poor resolution. Maybe you had a 2018+ Volt?

As far as handling and performance, being lower to the ground makes the Volt feel sportier but I'm convinced that both handle similarly at their limits. The Volt is faster off the line, but only to about 25 MPH as the Volt absolutely dies above about 45 MPH. The Bolt is quick, even at passing speeds. As I said, I don't take a lot of long trips so with the Volt, I was annoyed by the gas engine coming on for a few minutes once a month and the buzzing sound that made. That engine maintenance mode isn't a big deal because it's once a month for a few minutes but each year in September, it'd go into fuel maintenance mode and run the entire tank dry before switching back to electric since I didn't use but a fraction of a gallon in a year. I made sure to run it almost empty because I didn't want to have to drive in gas mode until the following year at the same time since it keeps a tally of the fuel "age" in the tank. Anyway, I didn't see the need to keep maintaining a gas engine that the car only manditorily uses to maintain itself. Switched to the Bolt and glad I did. It's every bit as fun to drive (more) than the Volt.

Good luck whatever you do. They are both great cars! In your circumstance, if all you are worried about is the Volt breaking down, I'd say there's probably little to worry about there. If you want the Bolt for other reasons (or just plain want it... like I did), get it.

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I traded my 2017 Volt LT for a 2019 Bolt Premier in June. It was time to go all electric...

Mike
Mike:

I like your comments after having switched to a Bolt. My main reason is that I simply WANT an all-electric car. I may take a look at the new Kona, but with with only a few exceptions, the Bold is what I am looking for.
 

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I have a 17 Bolt and 18 Bolt, both bought new so I actually had the Bolt first. The Bolt is my daily driver (commuter) and weekend errand runner. The Volt is my wife’s daily driver (errands, no commute) and our trip taker. I love both cars but, for me at least, the use cases are very different. And, I think I‘m using both pretty well in the best possible way.

One trip in the Bolt and I decided that sort of adventure wasn’t for me. Maybe in a few more years there will be enough public charging available that it will be more practical. But even then the charging rate of the Bolt is going to have you waiting around a bit.

I totally agree on the complexity/simplicity argument. I greatly prefer the simplicity of the Bolt.

I use Apple Carplay so probably wouldn’t use built-in nav if I had it. CP is too seamless.

Disagree about luggage space. The Bolt’s is tall and narrow the Volt is flat and shallow. In terms of behind-the-back seat space, I think the Bolt actually has more, but you have to stack stuff, so it may be less convenient. The Bolt certainly has a lot more passenger space.

To me the Bolt is sort of blah looking, not that different from a Honda Fit or several other subcompacts. I love the looks of my Volt. In black, it‘s a great looking car. Not so wild about it in other colors. On the other hand my Bolt is grey and I think it’s better in bright colors.

Both cars drive well. The Volt seems to handle better but I get frustrated with acceleration. That said, I’m not sure there is that much difference in handling between the two. But the difference in acceleration is very real, and to me really important. One pedal driving in a Volt is a non-entity (doesn’t exist) and is something I find extremely useful in the Bolt. I love the Volt for trips. I average about 50MPG. But, I’m always “relieved” to hop back into the Bolt at the end of a trip.

Your Volt is pretty new. I’d wait another model year or two to see what developers in EV land. I think the single most important upgrade they could make to the Bolt would be charging speed (over range). If you could charge it at 200KW rather than 50KW the Bolt would be a reasonable, if not great trip taker. As it stands now, if I had to get rid of the one of the cars, the Bolt would go even though I prefer it by a lot. But, the Volt has a wider range of uses for a one car family.
 

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Range anxiety is real. I love the Volt, so you have a tough call there. The Bolt was my 3rd choice for EV, and I eventually made the choice based on $ and bought the cheapest because I was technically experimenting with this new direction.
 

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The slow recharge speed would be way more tolerable if there were more chargers. The incomplete infrastructure would be more tolerable if the chargers were on highways like reststops.. and not at box stores and malls and if they were as sure to work as gas pumps.

It's a real shame that Chevy isn't helping with the charging infrastructure. Harley Davidson is selling electric motorcycles.. likely at a fraction of the volume Chevy is selling Bolts and they managed to get chargers at most of their dealerships.

I just read an article that said far less workers will be required to make electric cars. It'd be awesome if both management and the union sought to repurpose these potential lost jobs with
 

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...The Bolt is quick, even at passing speeds...
Yeah, the amount of power you have at highway speeds coupled with the complete lack of engine noise can get you into trouble if you're not careful. I ended up at over 90mph once without even realizing it when I had to floor it to pass on a 2-lane road.
 

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A number of those Harley dealers declined to sell the electric bike when they found out how much it would cost them to install a charger. And yeah, they aren't selling.
 
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