In addition, I know General Motors overengineered the car and every owner I've spoken with has enjoyed it. I also like the instantaneous torque and the idea of not paying for as much gasoline.
I first went to several used-car purchasing websites and researched cheap lease deals for new vehicles. My goal was to do as much as possible online before visiting a dealership, which turned out much harder than anticipated.
In the end, I spent countless hours researching and 5.5 hours in dealerships, including 2.5 hours for purchasing. I ended up buying a vehicle that was slightly over my initial budget but significantly better equipped than I initially wanted.
I also learned that while online deals and programs appear attractive, most are smoke and mirrors to get you in the door of a dealership.
I have never leased a vehicle, so I thought it might be a good idea to try it, especially with the number of ads about monthly payments for less than $200, if not $100.
The leasing ads, combined with home renovation plans, led me to consider a pickup, where the deals seemed too good to be true. They were.
I quickly learned that these ads are even more misleading than I expected. Most have disclaimers that took longer to read than the ad itself. They typically required thousands of dollars down, applied only if the buyer qualified for employee pricing and included niche incentives that aren't readily available.
For example, Ram, on its website, advertised an employee promotion for a 4x2 Ram 1500 Express crew cab for $189 per month for 24 months with $1,148 due at signing. I searched for the exact vehicle within 100 miles of my home, and there was only one.
One salesman told me that getting a lease on that pickup for around that price or even $250 was "impossible" even with a family discount. A salesman at another store told me that in six years of selling cars and trucks, he may have sold one 4x2 because they never stock them.
So, I shifted to the Chevrolet Silverado. The lowest advertised price I had seen was about $100 with $995 down for a 2018 Silverado WT double cab. Again, I ran into roadblocks. The best deal I could find after several online inquiries and dealership visits was about $300 a month with a less than $1,000 down payment, including one deal for a Silverado custom crew cab that was coming out of the dealership's loaner fleet.
I also looked at swapalease.com but the vehicle prices were more expensive than expected, largely because of transfer fees of hundreds of dollars.
So I decided to buy a used vehicle.
I monitored several websites — mostly Autotrader and Carvana — for used Volts in my price range.