Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Chevrolet Volt Green Car of the Year with a quick drive



Chevy's Volt that debuted at the Detroit Auto Show last January added an award to his impressive tech.  Green Car of the Year was awarded to the Volt at this years Los Angeles Auto Show...barely 11 months after its reveal.

Its quite the car, nearly 50 miles EV range if you don't try to be Speed Racer, more fuel efficient 1.5l gasser to assist when battery alone isn't enough.

The biggest changes are all visual and touch.  Gone are the sharp angles replaced with curvaceous curve and chrome on the new Volt.  Inside is a real delight.  Gone are the hard edges and plastics replaced with decidedly soft touch vinyls and leather.

Starting at 33,170 the car is priced right, add in the 7.5K Federal tax credit and CA's 1.5K makes this an extremely affordable car with an after credit effective base price of 24,170.  More about pricing and building your own at Chevy Volt Web Site.

My drive was limited due to heightened security concerns at the Los Angeles Auto Show this year.  I was the 3rd driver on a short loop around the convention center.  Just getting into the car you know this is different, really different than the last generation.  The door handle feels more solid and form fitting on your hand, you're greeted with soft touch plastic and vinyl through out.  There's even Android carplay available (as well as Apple) which was an interesting and simple to use interface compared to the old MyLink system the car was equipped with.

Driving it was apparent that it was peppier than the outgoing model, seemed lighter on its feet than simply shedding 200 lbs should do to a car.  Keeping it in EV mode the entire time was pretty easy though I did romp it once to move into traffic and was pleased at how refined the engine start and assist was to the old model.  When the gasser wasn't needed it wasn't even noticed that it shut down, not a wimper or thud like the outgoing model did.  I liked it.

Rear seat is still cramped for 2 only.  The hatch is bigger yielding a more usable storage place for road trips which I see as a real possibility with this version of the Volt.  Its much quieter and more fun to drive than what one normally expects from a hybrid.

Easy to see why it was chosen as Green Car of the Year.

Pics from the Los Angeles Auto Show in a flickr album.