Today I began my test drives. As you saw on my previous post, I have been looking at the following:
2014 Chevy Volt (quoted)
2014 Ford Fusion Titanium
2013 Infiniti G37 Journey Sedan (quoted)
2014 VW Passat TDI
2014 Honda Accord EXL V6
2014 Volvo S60 T5 Premium
2013 Lexus CT200h (quoted)
2013 VW GTI Wolfsburg
2014 VW Golf TDI
UPDATE: Shooting for the Volt. My first American car. Second one I’ve driven since my sister got a Pontiac Grand Prix back in 1992.
After driving the CT200h, I have decided to drop it off my list along with the GTI and the Golf. They are a tad too snug, making it tough to love. It’s not a bad car and it gets great gas mileage, but I am simply not convinced it’s worth $35k.
I will start out with my impression on the G37 and Q50 (yes, I check it out too). The G37 just felt natural to me. I felt so comfortable in it. Love the exhaust note, fit and finish. the console display does look a bit more “aged”, but to be honest, not a bit deal. Love the “rawness” of the G37. It really a well balanced sports sedan. Inventories seem to be VERY high in some dealerships so may not be tough to get what you want. I feel confident that I can get a Journey for about 1st month + $350s with tax for 36-mo/12k per year. The Q50 is great, it’s a more refined and roomier G. Quieter, so the “rawness and power” feel isn’t as noticeable. Still a very nice car, but I feel the infotainment console is a bit sluggish. Kind of like how MyTouch was when it was first introduced. In contrast, the Volt’s console is a bit simpler and responsive (more on that later). Overall, the G37 is my “nostagic” choice that could potentially be a keeper in the long run. I’m keeping this car as my “safe choice”.
Now, let’s talk about the Volt, shall we? There’s been a lot of confusing information floating around. I’m not saying it’s wrong. But I think that there are just a lot of assumptions being thrown around and it’s really rough to get a “skinny” on how things are truly done.
First off, the Volt’s numbers for Dec 2013 are: residual value 39% for 36mo/15k per year and MF .00057 via US Bank. Don’t bother with Ally. US Bank rates are better.
Second, $7500 federal credit is applied to boost the residual value, making your lease more affordable. Whatever that 39% is, boost the residual dollars by $7500 and that’s the new residual value for the lease. I have been quoted 0.00091 as the MF. However, a friend of mine decided to pull the trigger on a Volt today and he got quoted .00057 thru US Bank. I’m thinking his is the base rate and mine is the “padded” one.
Third, state rebates. In the state of California, we get a $1500 rebate on the Volt. This is given via a check, which arrives about 6-8 weeks after you lease the vehicle. As of today, there is about $27 million dollars left in the program or about 48% of the entire pot.
Fourth, Costco Rebate. $500 Costco Cash after you lease a GM vehicle between now and Jan 2nd 2014. You need to have a “code” which you get via the Costco Auto program website. This is only for participating dealers. Check with Costco before you get the car from whichever dealer you are working with. Get the car, do a questionnaire and a rebate will be mailed to you afterwards.
Last, my target goal. I’m looking at a $37k MSRP model, 1st payment due. Approx $340-$350 a month with tax. 36mo/12k a year. Then I would get the $500 from Costco and $1500 state rebate, or an additional $55 per month in savings, making my effective cost around $285-$295 per month after all is said and done. Is this possible? I don’t see why not, my friend’s offer is $1550 at signing, $323 a month for a 36mo/15k lease.
As far as the car itself. I think it’s acceptable. It’s got plenty of torque. It’s smooth and being able to run 40 miles with out gas is great. In terms of interior quality and design, I think that it’s a bit “all over the place”. It’s not very cohesive and the infotainment system is kind of “all over the place” as well. There is such thing as too many options. I am computer guy and I use an Android phone. With that said, I found the Chevy’s computer system a bit too “feature rich”. The good news is that it wasn’t as sluggish as the MyTouch or the Q50s.
Overall, the Volt is really a tough deal to pass up due to the sheer amount of rebates available. It’s tough for me to give up $2000 on the table just like that, so unless something unexpected happens, you all should see some Volt pics on the Wall by month end.