The fine folks at Chevy brought over a new Volt last week for me to test drive. Admittedly, I was curious about how it would perform. The Volt is an electric/gas hybrid that runs primarily on a battery charge until that runs out, then it switches over to gas, and the transition is seamless.
I was really excited to try it out. Clearly, I am not the only curious one. As I was leaving Panera Bread, a guy came running out after me asking about the car, as he is thinking of buying one. He asked if it was a comfortable car. “See for yourself. Have a seat,” I invited. “Oh no, I can’t sit in your car,” he says. I let him know that it is, in fact, Chevy’s car, and he jumped right in to see how it felt.
The car is quite comfortable. It has seating for four, with a console between the two backseats that can house our beverages as well as your charging cell phone. (Yes, there is an outlet in the backseat, too!) The seats are cloth, which I love. Florida is not the place for leather seats, in my opinion. Too hot.
The center console is sleek and reminds me of a really big iPod. The controls are touch activated and the monitor is touch screen, as well, making it very easy to change radio stations, air settings and more. The driver’s side screen shows speed, average gas mileage and the battery level.
So, how does it perform in reality? Well, as with anything, there are pros and cons. First, the good news:
- The ride is smooth and comfortable. It is a pleasure to drive.
- The features and finishes all feel high end. FKGuy says it “feels like a luxury car.”
- Plugging a car in to charge is just fun. It is, apparently, easy being green.
- Love the touch screen satellite radio. Plus, the integrated GPS tells you when there is traffic, while you are driving, so you can alter your route. (Sadly, there is no route altering during rush hour.) I have no idea if this is an add-on or standard, but either way it is great.
- The trunk area holds a surprising amount of stuff. Plus, it has a handy cover so you don’t have to leave your laptop exposed.
- The gas-only gas range averages about 36 MPG in my combination of city and highway driving. Combination of gas and electric makes it much higher.
Now, the (few) cons:
- The range when running on electric only is 35 miles. That needs improvement.
- The visibility out the back window takes some getting used to. Of course, after a few days, I was used to it.
- The super cool car comes with a hefty price tag, around $40,000.
Overall, it is a great car. It would be perfect for someone who commutes about twenty miles each way. Alternatively, it would be great for someone with a longer commute who can plug in during the day. The Chevy Volt would certainly ease the pain of traffic and gas prices. FKGuy and I give the Volt two thumbs up.