Wednesday, February 1, 2012

First Drive: Chevrolet Volt

I first saw the Chevrolet Volt at the 2010 Houston Auto Show. At the 2011 Houston Auto Show, I test drove a Chevrolet Volt. In order to drive either a Volt or Chevrolet Camaro, you had to drive a Buick (I drove 3), another Chevorlet, or a GMC vehicle. There was a line to test drive the Camaro, but there was no line for the Volt. I drove the Volt.

The first thing I notice were the brakes. I am not familiar with regenerative brakes. Also the battery was not charged. I was driving on gasoline the entire time. I was not braking enough to charge the battery. The ride itself is average. It is not rough, but it was not smooth either.

The interior was average. The screen that shows how the Volt is being powered is informative, but it can be distracting. The center console is nothing special. There is room in the back for adults. You won't be cramped in the back seats, but it is also not roomy.

When I push the accelerator, it moved slowly. I am used to driving a 268 hp V6 SUV. The Volt is powered by a 16 kW*h battery and a 1.4L I4 engine. The total output is 149 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. It goes from 0 to 60 mph in 9.0 seconds and reaches a top speed on 100 mph. I did not have enough room to max out the Volt. I was driving around a small circuit around Reliant Park and the surrounding neighborhood. But when I had a straight line and hit the gas, it accelerated slowly. It is too slow for my taste.

The Chevrolet Volt was not fun to drive. I like cars that are comfortable to drive, roomy, have some pop, and are just fun to drive. The Volt had an average drive, had average space, and was just slow. The Volt won many awards, including Motor Trend's 2011 Car of the Year and Motorweek's 2011 Car of the Year awards. After I drove the Volt, I asked myself, "How much did General Motors pay these automotive publications in order for them to name the Volt their car of the year?" I drive around 80 miles everyday, most of which is highway driving. The Volt is a city car, a car for those who drive 20 miles a day. The Volt is overrated and is just a boring car.

Photo taken from a camera phone.
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