Showing posts with label volt. Show all posts
Showing posts with label volt. Show all posts

Monday, May 02, 2016

2017 BMW i3


It pretty much looks the same.
Except maybe, the dark wood finish inside, which I haven't seen before?

And, finally, the large sunroof will be available in the US. (It was only available last year as part of some limited edition series)

The big news is the new battery.
It now gets a 115 miles range.
Much better than the 81 miles from the current version.
But really, still behind the best. In just a few months, the cheaper Chevrolet Bolt will be available with a range of over 200 miles.
It is also a "short while roomy" hatchback.

I really like the i3 though. It drives great, and the new range is a bonus. Plus the range extender is still available which adds about 95 miles using gas.
And the availability of that giant sunroof makes it more attractive. (Neither the Volt of the Bolt offer a sunroof option. )

Currently, the i3 is quite expensive. As it starts at $42 400 before  incentives.

BUT... They do offer a really good deal on the lease, which starts at $319 a month.
And $349 for the one with the range extender.

While the Volt is almost $10 000 less. The official lease offer right now is $299 a month.
So only $50 less than an i3 with range extender.

Sure, much longer range etc... But basically a BMW for only $50 a month more than a Chevy.

What do you think?



Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Chevrolet Volt test drive. Part Three


 Here are a few more observations about the new Volt, after driving it for a full week.

I do like the design a lot. Even though I do understand people who miss the more original 1st generation.
It is a little bit blender, but still very modern.
More so than most other compacts out there. And, it is still a hatchback. But looking more like a 4 door coupe now.
it is really slick looking. And has a more upscale feel and look to it.

 Inside, the first thing you notice is the new screen.
The first thing I wanted to do with it is angle it more toward me. But it's not adjustable.
(So don't ever try that. I'm begging you!)

So it lays a bit flatter than it should. But it's actually fine, and not much of a problem to get used to.
Plus, it is quite large and very sharp. And perfectly positioned above everything else on the dash.

The shiny bits have more of a satin finish now. Which is much nicer, and again, more upscale.
The plastics are hard, but everything does look and feel very solid.
(Except the super cheap feeling and sounding turn signal stalk)

The doors still have that heavy feel to them, which I like.

 There is enough room for 4 adults. As you can see. There is a seatbelt for a 3rd human in the back seat, but I cannot imagine how legs would even fit.


 The one thing still missing, is a sunroof. Or some kind of glass panel. At least as an option.
As the roof is pretty low.
GM still gives the "weigh excuse". Which I don't buy. (The new Hyundai ionia will offer a sunroof)

The Bose stereo sounded very good. Although, like most Bose car systems lately, it wasn't very loud.

Overall, I loved my week with the new Volt.
It feels as solid and sporty as the old one.
But it is much quieter when the all new gas engine comes on.
And when it does, power seems to be almost the same as in the EV mode.
The ride is very comfortable, and the car feels super solid over any surface.
The steering is really nice, a little bit on the heavy side, which is a welcome change from most other cars.

As I mentioned before, I got 56 miles out of a full charge (it is rated at 53)
And my gas mileage when the battery was empty was 46 on the freeway and 42 in the city.
Which is, again, better than the official numbers.

I think the Volt is the best way to get into an EV right now.
As a range of almost 60 miles of pure EV is plenty for most people.
Plus, once it's empty, you end up with a very comfortable, quick car that gets great mileage anyway.
It is truly the best of both worlds.
Until we can charge a 300 miles battery everywhere in 15 minutes, the Volt is the best option.
(The Model S is still a rich guy's toy)






BUT....
There is one thing that drove me crazy, most of the time.
As you can see, the stereo system had a lot of trouble recognizing songs from my phone.
As most playlists showed "empty".

When switching to Apple CarPlay, things were different.
But NOT better. As  playlists after the letter "B" were non existent.
Using a different phone, different cables, restarting the phone never fixed the problem.
It would work one time, and nothing a few minutes later, etc..

I checked various forums online, and it looks like quite a few people have that problem.

A few of the solutions included upgrading to the latest version of iOS.
( I did have iOS 9 already)
And, weirdly enough, getting rid of the Pandora app.
I did all these, but it was too late to really check it.
It was working the last evening I had the car.

After mentioning this to GM, they decided to send me another Volt for a few days in a couple of weeks.
Which is really nice.

So I will check this again.
I hate to be picky, but the car is , in general,  my favorite place to listen to music. And I do want to make sure this isn't a general issue with this otherwise great car.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Chevrolet Volt test drive. Part one.

 I got the Volt yesterday. For a week.
It had an EV range of 45 miles when delivered to me. (Not the full 53 I was hoping for...)

Still, plenty for a few day-drives.
I was curious about the gas mileage when the car is not in EV mode.
So I used the "hold" mode, which saves "the juice" for later. A very cool feature.

 As you can see. For these few miles, MPG was very impressive.
But I also noticed that it did use some of that juice. By the end of the day, in the "hold" mode, my total EV range was only about 39 miles...
(The picture above was taken today, after charging)



At the end of the day, I plugged it in. At a regular 120 outlet. So technically, it should take about 13 hrs to get a full charge.
Which I didn't need since it still said "39".

But, about 13hrs later, I was still at "just"  49 miles. Not the 53 miles advertised for the full charge.
Maybe that plug at the lot where I parked the car was defective? Or something else...
Who knows.

 
 The rear hatch is really big. And quite heavy.
But the inside cover is just a rather flimsy cloth sheet. Unlike the solid stuff found in most other hatchbacks. Maybe to save weight?
 Someone was asking me about rear legroom. so here it is.
I am 5'11" and drive pretty far from the steering wheel, and that's what's left behind me.
Which isn't bad. Technically, the new Volt has a bit more rear legroom.

And here is what it looks like whith an actual super good looking human.

Someone was also asking about visibility. 
And I was mentioning the rather high position of the rear window.
So this is what it looks like when you turn around. 

Not that you really need to, since it comes with a back up camera.

So far there is plenty of power all the time. If you drive in a relaxed manner, the engine almost never comes on during normal city driving.
And when it does, it is much quieter than before. It just seems to be far away...

Next, I will try to compare MPG when the battery is completely empty.
And, of course, check the actual range of the full EV mode.


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Hyundai Ioniq


More teasers of Hyundai's all new model.

Looking really nice. And not weird at all. I really think it will steal sales from the new weirdo Prius. (As it should)

On top of that, they will offer 3 models. A "regular" hybrid. A plug-in. And a full electric EV version.
So basically, with just one car, they are going after the Prius, The Volt and the Leaf!

I really can't wait to see more of this.


Thursday, May 07, 2015

2016 Chevrolet Cruze


 There is, finally, an all new Cruze coming.
And it does look quite nice. At least from these pictures.
It does fit nicely next to the new Malibu and Impala. Which now gives Chevrolet 3 nice looking sedans.
engines will probably be smaller Turbos. Competing with the new Civic which is getting a new 1.5 Liter Turbo for the next year.

Here is another picture of the 2016 Volt. Based on the same platform. You can see the similarities. More than ever, the Volt now looks like a hatchback, slightly more modern version of the Cruze.

And here is the Chinese version of the new Cruze. Unveiled last year.
Just like GM said, the US car is not the same. Which is great news.
As this Chinese model looks much cheaper. And quite convoluted next to the US version.