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