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I have been Volt-less for almost a week now and dang it, I miss that car!!! They assured me at Dondelingers they could get my tear-stains out of the leather seats.
I haven’t checked to see if that is true 😉
I want to share my awesome experience with everyone from both a mom’s perspective, and from a green initiative one as well. The Volt has some kick-butt features, and stuff I didn’t care for. I will get into those details later.
First, the back story. I case you didn’t see the first post of this fun project, here’s the speed readers version. (for the full story go HERE). Dondelinger’s Chevrolet of Brainerd/Baxter offered me a chance to drive this rockin car FREE for a week. My task was to drive it, experience it, and report back on it to them and my readers.
Am I freakin LUCKY or what? 😉
I have to admit, I was nervous. This is one premo car and I immediately made a No French Fries In The Volt rule with my rugrats. Freddy the Leaky Cocker Spaniel was banned from the Volt as well. I should have taken the opportunity to have my current Rolling Dumpster (my Rav 4) cleaned and “de-french fried”..but I was so excited, I just plan forgot.
Day One: Hubby and I voyaged over to Dondelingers to get The Volt. Salesman Dan Deshane is the resident guru on The Volt which is a good thing, the inside of the Volt is like a COCKPIT. Dan is one smart dude, and has extensive knowledge on this car and it’s features. Intimidating at first, but mind-blowingly cool. We learned the basics, and were on our way.
I could say we were “handed the keys”…but there aren’t any! The Volt is a hybrid and it mostly runs on electric. To start it, you just push a button. No key-in-the-ignition.
GM calls The Volt an “extended range electric vehicle” and has a dual source of power. It has electricity battery packs, and a gas engine that can step up when the Volt’s electric power has been depleted.
Car and Driver Magazine had a great review of what the inside of the Volt is like. Here’s an excerpt:
Behind the wheel, however, it all operates seamlessly. Hit the glowing blue start button, and the seven-inch LCD-screen instrument panel, like the one used for the standard navigation, comes to life. It presents an estimated electric-only range, a gas range, and a total of the two. To the right is a graphic that provides driving feedback; the Volt is operating most efficiently when the spinning, green ball of leaves stays in the middle. Hit the gas too hard, and the ball elevates, shrinks, and turns yellow. Go for too much brake, and the ball does the opposite, slinging downward because energy that could have otherwise been recaptured regeneratively is being wasted. It’s a very straightforward and easy-to-follow setup. The center screen above the array of touch-sensitive controls on the dash keeps track of electrically and gas-driven miles separately, displays fuel economy (more on that later), and rates the efficiency of your driving.
Did I mention this car makes like, no noise. Seriously. Purrs like a kitten. GM has even installed a crazy “alert horn” to warn bike riders and pedestrian that you are coming. It’s that quiet.
My husband wanted to know if it was “a dog.” (Of course I didn’t let him drive it. Duh!). To answer that question, NO. This car has balls and I didn’t feel it was doggy or heavy, ever. Actually, it was the opposite. I felt like I was in a race car a good chunk of the time. To borrow a comment from Julie Roberts from Pretty Woman; “this thing corners like it’s on rails.” It DID glide along. It was a great feeling and a superb drive.
Next Sunday I am going to get into the cost of driving this car. I am not sure what effect The Volt had on my electric bill or what it’s premium gas costs. I should know more by next week. I also want to get into the topic of the whole reason the Volt and hybrids like it was created:to get as close to zero emissions as possible. Amongst other things.
If you want more info on this car, pop over to Dondelingers for more details, and while you’re at it, check out the cute slideshow created by Amy Bogart of Studio North Photography.