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Finally have a new car...but not a Solterra.

1505 Views 9 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  drmizamy
Just wanted to say thank you and best wishes to all of you as delivery dates arrive.

We started this Journey in February with the idea of purchasing an average-spec car an attractive price, built by a solid duo of brands. 10 months later and we have had enough. No one thing did it at first, but the lack of tax credit, less than expected real-world range, slow DC charging and delivery being constantly pushed back (including again this week) all added up. We've kept our last several cars for over 10 years each, so the decision to settle on the Solterra was very stressful. The Honda Civic this is replacing is 11 years old with ~217k miles on it (bought new).

The final straw was two weeks ago when we were given an updated delivery date of 12/20. Things got real and among many other positive discussions, we talked about what some solo trips she did in the past few months would look like in the Solterra. Each in the 3-5 hours away range. My wife found what ABRP would suggest very stressful. Too many charge stops for too long. Taking 30-minute detours because of the charging network locations were not on the primary route. Trips to the mountains were a not even possible without extended level 2 charging (expecting this to improve). I knew instantly we were done with the Solterra. It was either a move to a Tesla Y, VW ID.4 or buy a used gas car for a few years (I will not do a hybrid or other popular EVs for irrelevant reasons).

So we decided to test drive the VW and Tesla. The Tesla was originally far too expensive compared to the Solterra, but with with Solterra losing the $7500 tax credit and the Tesla gaining it in 2023, that creates a $15k swing and worth a look. It was nice, but still overpriced ($10k over Solterra, $13k over ID.4) for what it is if you do not care about self driving and performance. Also looked at the VW ID.4 which is very comparable to the Solterra with more range and significantly better charging, but less ground clearance and dreadful haptic buttons. The problem was the wait was 10+ months and a non-starter given our Civic was dying.

Serendipity intervened and the local VW dealer had the exact spec ID.4 that we would have ordered in transit and unclaimed. Test drive went well and we put it a deposit on it. Four days later we have a new ID.4 @ MSRP (5.15% interest) sitting in our driveway. So we have an actual car and ended up saving $4k after tax credit compared to the Solterra. The VW is not a perfect car. Cold winter road trips (say less than 20*F) will probably still be done in our F150 due to loss of range and slow cold charging, plus lack of confidence in the charging networks. Hopefully the latter improves for all of us over the next several years.

I think in the end the lack of a larger battery pack was the core fatal flaw. The ID.4 has 77kWh usable vs 64kWh in the Solterra. That 20% more directly impacts both range and charging speed. Larger packs charge faster. If the Solterra had a larger battery option we would have ordered that on day zero and perhaps mitigated all of this.

I'll call the dealer Monday and cancel the Solterra reservation. Good luck to all of you still waiting. This forum was very helpful staying up to date on things and understanding the Solterra -- I feel I know very little about the ID.4 in comparison.
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Congrats Loki and fully understand. I had the same tough choice a few weeks ago from the BZ4x side and did almost exactly what you did (minus looking at a Tesla). When I saw newly built BZ units (built in November) showing up on dealer sites while my former BZ allocation was ( and still is) in port waiting on new wheels, that was the last straw. Bought a fresh unclaimed ID.4 Pro S AWD and have been really happy so far and tax credit was a huge perk! Here’s hoping you and everyone here get a reliable car that makes you very happy! Merry Christmas!!
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Thanks. The worst part of all this is I picked it up on lunch break today, drove it to my neighbors to hide it from my wife. She is expecting it in a couple weeks, so I decided to have it magically appear in the garage Christmas morning. I didn't get her anything else, so going from zero to hero. Hopefully.

All I want to do is get in and play with our new toy!
That’s a truly magical gift and presentation! Merry Christmas!!!
My wife would kill me if I gave her a new car for Christmas! Or birthday, or any other gift-giving opportunity.
I’m with you. Maybe Loki’s wife is too as he’s not updated this thread since before Christmas lol!
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Haha...I'm still alive. We do not do gifts on Christmas, Valentines day, etc, so it was more just to for the fun of an early surprise. No idea how the dealer would have it as arriving on Jan 12th, but then it showed up three days later on the 12/22. Better than the other way around though.

Things went south Saturday night. I went next door to grab it from the neighbors and the 12v battery was down to 7 volts. Door locks did not work. Eventually got in and the hood open, but had to remove the battery, bring it into the basement to warm up and charge. Then back next door to install, and drive it into the garage and plug in. Took me 3 hours and was in the single digit temps (F) the whole time. It's been fine ever since, but throwing alerts -- dealer appointment in a few days. I believe it was not "programed" right, but may be a bad battery. We did not get unseasonable temps here in upstate NY (never below zero F).

For anyone receiving a Solterra made in ~June, but held in port, I'd suggest making sure the 12v battery is fully charged before venturing far.
Damn man. It does worry me with the number of 12v battery issues I’ve read about on the ID.4. Seems like car companies are struggling with traditional items (wheels, 12v batteries, etc.) as much as they are with new tech.
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