2011 Chevrolet Volt

Matt Tierney

When I hopped into the Volt for my 22-mile commute home, it had only ten miles of indicated range remaining. Thanks to the range-extender engine, though, I wasn't stranded, and I used, according to the trip computer, 0.43 gallons during my time with the car, which also reported an awesome average of 112 miles per gallon of gasoline. I did experience a bit of unexpected range anxiety, however, when the instrument panel flashed the warning "engine unavailable" just after the battery power became depleted. Fortunately, that foreboding message disappeared after I pulled over and restarted the car. (The check-engine light did say on, though.)

This Volt looks good in red (as opposed to the silver that seems to be on every other Volt), and the black center stack looks a lot better than the white that Chevy also offers. The car drives well -- not great -- but is fun to hustle through corners. Throttle response is peppy, too. There's not a lot of room in the back seats, but I do like the way that area smoothly flows into the cargo area.

Driving a Volt is like driving a conventional car because, unlike in a full electric car, you don't have to worry about getting stranded; you can fire up the accessories and HVAC as you want. This is definitely the right electric car for most Americans.

Rusty Blackwell, Copy Editor

The technology isn't the problem, it's the ugly exterior design, product availability & that price.
In talking with folks about this car, the most common concerns I have heard have been about the high initial cost and the need to eventually replace the batteries. None of the write-ups in this article mention those concerns.For myself, I still can't believe how badly the stylists dropped the ball on this one. The basic shape is interesting and eye-catching, but the detailing is flat awful. The fake grille on the front is pathetic. The huge cheesy black trim under the side windows ensures that while all the discomforts of a very high beltline are firmly in place, none of the coolness is happening. The rear end is excitingly wide, flat and tall, but the detailing makes it look cheap and unfinished. Where are the people that did the Malibu, Camaro, and Corvette? What happened?
A cargo cover comes standard with all Volts. It is located underneath the floor in the trunk next to the charge cord and tire inflater.
Re: Mr. Tierny:There is a cargo area cover (canopy like) stored under the cargo floor that is standard on all Volts. Please see the link: http://youtu.be/BzLexrbKXNk

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