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07-03-2010, 05:45 PM #1
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- Dec 2004
- Arlington, Texas, United States
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Chevy Volt Test Drive in Dallas - Funny!
Chevy Volt Freedom Drive - Austin to New York
July 2010 - 2011 Chevy Volt Test Drive
One of privledges of running a large automotive community on the web is that I get a little bit of access to some cool stuff from time to time. That includes everything from test drives to roundtables with GM executives.
Some things are on a level all themselves - enter Chevy Volt
Then there are things that really move the bar up a notch. I got an email regarding the Chevy Volt earlier in the week with a request to meet up in Dallas. I didn't know much about the event or what the expect. Earlier I was invited to Austin to join other journalists to join in the Chevy Volt kickoff, but I had conflicts so I had to cancel that, so as a backup they let me join in when the Volt came to town.
I've been fascinated with the Volt since I saw it being assembled pre-production last year in Detroit. At that point electric cars were off my radar, but I had a lot of questions. GM wasn't providing much information on fuel range, economy, price (still aren't) or much else as there were so many unanswered questions. Looks like GM has gotten their collective heads together to get this one right, and the enthusiastic response is clear.
What's the Volt like to ride/drive in?
Getting in the Volt is much like getting into any other smaller premium car. It's very comfortable, very stylish, there is plenty of room (even for me). I had plenty of headroom (over 1 inch above my head), legroom was spacious with a nice dead pedal on the left, no problems with shoulder room either for me. A LOT of gadgets on the Volt. As Jeff Bolton said first, it's like an iPod on Wheels, and he's right (and I stole his line). If you geek out on tech gadgets, you're really in for a treat every time you get into the Volt.
Steering is quick and responsive, overall handling is excellent, pickup is what you expect in a gasoline-powered vehicle too. Like the hybrids, there is no engine noise on start up, and very little road noise at low speeds. You do hear a comfortable "whirr" when cruising. Because of the size of the battery, the Volt is only a four seater, that might be a big issue for some families, but it does fit into the Volt's target of the weekly commuter with one and sometimes two passengers.
You can check everything in the Driver Information Center from your speed to your tire pressure, range, economy, oil life, A/B trip meters and more. A second touchscreen LCD console operates like an interface to the system's computer, controling your GPS, radio, HVAC, even showing your energy consumption and regeneration when driving and braking. Very nice software package guys, does it show my iPod playlist too?
GM wouldn't let us drive this Volt on the open roads, so we just did circles in the parking lot. Jeff went first with me riding in the back. Take note of the excitement had when they saw this car, even wanting to trade a BMW for it (who wouldn't?). Sadly, this is a time-sensitive topic and the video of me driving is still being processed (curse you Adobe Premier for crashing and losing my work). Kudos to Jeff for the great conversation during his time to drive.
Volt - Overall Conclusion
I'm a truck/suv guy, people probably get that, but I feel the bite that gasoline takes out of my wallet just like everyone else. I drive a commuter car during the week when it's just me now, and it's overdue to be replaced. I get the arguments for and against this technology and I'm not fighting it.
While not knowing the price, and without putting a pencil to it just yet to calculate the cost of electricity per mile, this vehicle does make a lot of sense and is worth considering for a commuter car with substantial range.
In the end, the Volt is very well put together with excellent fit and finish, wonderful styling and plenty of gadgets to keep you entertained, that much is for sure. Real world tests will help to determine the overall range and practical sense of the Volt, but for now the excitement of something this cool and paradigm changing has made me a believer in Volt.
Jeff Bolton - Radio Host 570 KLIF Dallas, Automotive Writer
Will Handzel - GM Engineer Chevy Volt
Me - Web Marketing Expert, GMTruckClub.com site owner
10 Chevy Traverse LT AWD
02 Chevy Trailblazer LS (110K+ miles - loaded except for 4WD - WRECKED!)
99 Chevy Cavalier LS (105K+ miles - commuter car)
78 Chevy Suburban Silverado (454, 3/4 ton)
62 GMC 3/4 ton Pickup (350 police interceptor)
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By Steve in forum Chevy Volt ForumReplies: 0Last Post: 09-16-2010, 09:00 AM
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