Thanks to the generosity of the folks at GM, we're getting a week long test drive with a 2012 Chevy Volt. We've had it for two hours. As of this very moment every member of the family is having a little love affair with the car. Here are some of my first impressions of the car (which I've now driven all of 11 miles around town).
It was delivered to me with 11 miles left on the battery and a full tank of gas. The car does not appear to get 50 miles out of a full battery charge - that's definitely optimistic. The car just started running on the gas engine (GM calls is a gas generator) and got a total of 35.9 miles. How do I know this? The awesome onboard computer tells me EVERYTHING. Including giving me put-ups for driving the most efficiently. Two qualifiers for the 35.9 miles on the charge: it was driven to me from Long Beach on the freeway. I did not drive my 11 remaining miles in the most efficient manner.
The start-up and shut-down sounds are super cool. In fact, the whole experience of driving the car feels space age. For a gadget geek like myself it's a bit of a dream come true.
The onboard computer...it tells me EVERYTHING. It might even be watching me now.
My kids (9 year olds) love the bucket seats in the back. I am curious how practical they will be by the end of the week.
My kids said of the onboard computer's touchscreen, "Wow! It's like an ipad!"
The drive is fantastic. It handles like a little sportscar. Good turning radius. And the electric engine seems to have more pep than the Prius C Hybrid I test drove and about as much pep as my other car, a Kia Optima.
I'm charging the car now at an outlet I discovered in the parking garage. It is ridiculously cool that I can plug it in to any outlet.
Lastly, it has excellent trunk space. You can fit three 9 year olds (sitting) or two laying down in the back of the Volt.