Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Chevrolet Volt Test Drive

 I did test drive the Volt last year. But I was really interested to get one again for a week.
See what had changed. Mostly the "hold" feature and a couple of miles added to the electric range.

The first thing I noticed was that I didn't like the interior as much as the first time.
Maybe because of the all grey interior instead of the tan/black combo I had last year.
The console design especially felt a bit old to me. Already...
 The automatic shifter looked a bit cheap. And felt very clunky and hard to use.

On such a modern car, there is no need for this anymore. This is one model where a push button set up would really work. And look much more modern.


 The model I had last year had a leather interior option. Which meant, "leather" seats. But for this year, the $1395 Premium trim package only include partial leather. Which is used mostly on the sides of the seat.
The rest is covered in some fuzzy material that might not be what people expect when they pay $1395 extra.
 Same goes for the door panels. Which are fine for the base car. But not for a premium package...
The rear armrest is also part of the Premium Trim package. But it does look like the afterthought that it is. 
It looks and feels more like something you'd get at PepBoys, than a factory option.

 All these are small details really.
But they are annoying since I would expect the car to improve with the new year. All these small changes they did to the interior make it worse than last year.

The one big improvement is the new "hold" mode. Which allows you to keep the electric charge for whenever you really want to use it.
Which is actually a great improvement. You can now use it in the city only if you want. Where the gas generator usually gets worse mileage.
It is a great new feature.

Otherwise, the Volt is still a great driving car. It handles very well, feels very solid and has a very nice steering feel. And can be really fast.

My mileage, without using any of the electric charge, was 32 City and 40HWY. I even saw a high of 47 on the HWY for one of my trips.
It still runs on electric until about 25/30MPH in the city. Which helps the gas mileage quite a bit.

So I still recommend the Volt. (especially as a lease).
For those who don't expect a real leather interior that is... And who don't want a sunroof. (THAT would have been a welcome improvement...)
I feel the need to post this picture. Showing that even in the green world of electric cars, an asshole is still an asshole. (Even if they write the word "sorry" 3 times.)

I had plugged the car at the Malibu library, for free. Returned a couple of hours later to see that my Volt had been disconnected. (Now another Volt was connected) And this was on my windshield...

So it looks like now, we will have to deal with that kind of crap more and more as electric cars become more popular.

The future looks bright...

10 comments:

Tard said...

Don't get me wrong, Vince, but I am loving that you got that note. I mentioned to an environut at work that people will rip off the plugs from vehicles that are charging and plug it into their own leaving people stranded, and she called me a cynic and said words to the effect of "we environmentally conscious people are like you greedy enemies of the environment."

Carl said...

Ha, that note is funny, heres to the future, flower power?!

Greenevans said...

I cannot believe this from Californians!I'm French and leave in Paris and I would have bet this could have happened here!
By the way, how can people be completely out of power with a Volt? No more gas neither?

Anonymous said...

I guess stealing isn't really stealing as long as your a left-winger who says "love" and "sorry" a lot. Such is the hypocracy of environmentalism. And class warfare.

Anonymous said...

WTF? I could understand a LITTLE bit more if it were a Leaf, but it was another VOLT? Last time I checked they still took gas. Btw, forcing you to use more gas so that they can save gas IS an absolute asshole thing to do! From an environmentally conscious perspective, they aren't saving the Earth with this even exchange. From an asshole perspective it IS stealing. First come first serve...not "lets punch this person in the wallet."

I knew this was going to happen eventually. I just didn't think I'd hear about it so soon!

They need to come up with a way to lock these into place, similar to a locking gas cap, with the exception of the lock mechanism being attached to the car instead.

-FusioptimaSX

Anonymous said...

I would have unplugged their car on purpose, or cut their cord if I was having a bad day.

That's bullshit.

How did they know that you weren't completely out of charge and you had just plugged in two minutes ago?

Anonymous said...

Just a point. That fuzzy material is supposed to be suede. So not exactly a cheap material.

Anonymous said...

The shifter is big and clunky, but I understand why it's that way. The car needs to have enough conventional appeal to people who don't want to "learn" how to operate a different kind of car. That big ole prindle can't get any more familiar looking. Unlike that flimsy joysticky thing in a Prius, anyone can get in a Volt and know immediately how to make it go.

Anonymous said...

They would know if his charge was full if the green light on the dashboard was flashing - if he was still charging, it would be solid green. If it is off or yellow then he's not charging.

It's OK with me for someone to take the cord out of my car if I'm not charging AND I'm not paying for it to be connected. It is completely, 100% NOT OK EVER to take it out if I'm actually charging OR I'm paying for it.

Anonymous said...

For what it's worth, the black leather interior (without the suede inserts) is an available option, either in all black or with white trim.