My first thought was to just lease a 2014 Volt. But Bob is turning in his ActiveE and we test drove an i3 to see how that might fit. Our feeling was that maybe we could do with just one car now and spend a bit more to go for a nicer one. The i3 is certainly nice, but I think we've pretty cleanly ruled it out.
We also considered a Cadillac ELR. Very nice, and also very expensive... a $650/mo lease is available and it certainly is an attractive option. But, I'm not convinced.
Then the SparkEV lease deal came to our attention and at $199/mo it seems like we could have it as a second car and still be money ahead. So back to a Volt.
But now, buy or lease? I can lease for around $290/mo or buy for around $470/mo. The lease is nice but since I drive so little, I am back to where I am now with a ton of miles I'm paying for and handing back unused at the end of the lease. I really don't like that. On the other hand, buying costs more per month but is still less than my current lease and we get to keep those unused miles. We'll have the car longer and won't get to upgrade to the latest and most awesome technology in three years, but in four we could start to think about trading or converting it to second car status.
So here's current thinking... subject to change every five minutes...
Buy the 2014 Volt.
- Ashen Grey Metallic Exterior - not premium but still smokey and mysterious.
- Jet Black seats/Dark accents, Leather-appointed seat trim - you can't beat black leather
- 17" 5-spoke polished aluminum wheels $595 list - Gotta have chrome.
- Premium Trim Package $1,395 list - gets the leather, Bose and heated seats
- Enhanced Safety Package 1 $575 list - rear park assist and camera
- Enhanced Safety Package 2 $595 list - front park assist and lane departure
- Low Emissions Package (enhanced AT-PZEV) - for carpool lane access
- Chevrolet® MyLink®1 radio with navigation $895 list - gotta have nav!
- Premium Bose® Energy Efficient Series sound system $495 list
- Heated driver and front passenger seats
- Indoor/outdoor vehicle cover (Dealer-installed) $355 list - I vowed I would get a car cover with my next car, as I wash the car and it sits. By the time I drive it my one or two times a week, it's got major dust and bird poo.
All that makes it retail at $39,900 and that's about $6k less than my current Volt. It includes some new features my current Volt didn't have available in 2011. Monthly payment will be about the same as my current lease so almost no change and I get a newer model with added features.
I'll be able to file for up to $10K in tax savings, which I have enough tax liability to claim.
Then, lease the SparkEV as a second car for Bob, which is about $350 less per month than he's been paying for his ActiveE. In 3 years when the lease is up, we can either drop it and go to one car then, or have the options to buy it, or lease or buy whatever the hot ticket is at the time.