I am by no means a car reviewer. Or a person of any authority to review a car. I happily drive a 2008 Honda Civic that my parents so graciously gave to me, and my car before that was a Ford Taurus that felt like it was going to implode every time I pumped the brakes.
Electric cars make total sense. So when I was approached by the folks at GM to test drive the Michigan-made 2014 Chevy Volt for the weekend – it was a no-brainer.
Here I give you the good, the bad and the awesome. And don’t worry, I won’t even attempt to explain to you what a “Voltec propulsion system” or “torque” (huh?) means.
It’s quiet. It’s so quiet that is has a pedestrian alert horn, which – for the record – is much gentler than the actual horn. Especially in all-electric mode, the ride is seriously discreet and smooth.
It won’t die on you. The Volt also has an engine. You can drive around 38 miles on the battery without charging it before it kicks in. So no, it won’t die on you in the middle of the highway.
The rearview mirror is slightly obstructed. I’m not sure if this is a design flaw or what, but it definitely took some adjusting to.
It’s tough if you rely on street parking. Having a spot in a parking garage on Capitol Hill is like striking gold. They are few and far between, and even if you do find one, they aren’t cheap. The Volt has to be charged overnight. It would be nearly impossible as a city driver to solely rely on the charging stations scattered throughout the city. While they aren’t inconvenient to find, a garage/accessible household outlet is a necessity.
It has a rearview camera. I’ll be the first to admit that I did not know how to parallel park before I moved to Seattle/Capitol Hill. So yeah, I learned reaaal quick. Not always gracefully, but hey.
There was a teeny tiny parking spot wedged in-between two cars that I normally would have bypassed, but I confidently went for it in the Volt. #success
…Mine had SiriusXM. It sounds frivolous at first, but it’s absolutely worth it. I mean, there’s an entire channel dedicated to Frank Sinatra and Bruce Springsteen. Sold.
It’s safe. Sure, there are a lot of fancy features like the eight standard air bags, forward collision warning and lane departure warning, etc… But the ultimate question is, in a small car, do I feel safe? The answer here is quite simply, yes.
The Volt I drove will cost you $39,545.00. Granted mine had all the fancy fixin’s, just think about all the cash you’ll save from avoiding the pump. The future really is here.