The Volt is technically a hybrid, but unlike other hybrids, it can run for about 40 miles on an all-electric, rechargeable motor. But unlike, say, the Nissan Leaf, it also has a gasoline engine. It's being touted as a transition vehicle that can be practical for the commuter without being crippling for longer trips. The cost of the car is expected to be $33,500 after a federal tax credit (about $8,000 more than the Nissan Leaf). Check out this GM test drive for an example of it in action:
Now, here's what the critics who drove the car and others are saying:
MSNBC: I barely noticed when the Chevy Volt stopped acting like an all-electric car. And that's exactly what General Motors is going for. ... When we stopped to fill the Volt's 9-gallon gas tank in Tacoma, the tripmeter read 45.3 miles, with about a third of a gallon of gas expended. If you don't count the cost of the electricity, our fuel efficiency is 128.1 miles per gallon. If you do count the electric cost, I figure we still did the equivalent of 80 mpg or so.
USA Today: The Volt is up to the job. It's fun to drive, practical, good looking and in a league of its own technically. The sleek compact accelerates briskly. Its handling is responsive and sporty. The interior provides plenty of space and comfort for four adults.
Motor Trend: Hang onto that T-Bird just in case, but the Volt shows a lot of promise. ... The Volt is no sports car, but it blows Toyota's plug-in Prius away (9.8 seconds to 60 mph), and runs neck and neck with a 2.4-liter Malibu in acceleration and handling tests.
The Boston Herald: The biggest surprise may be how well the Volt handles -- it is, after all, quite heavy for a small car, since it carries all the bits and pieces of both an electric and a gasoline-powered vehicle. But the T-shaped battery pack is placed very low in the chassis, and the lower the extra weight is, the better. Only on a fast, tight turn -- such as a cloverleaf on an interstate -- do you really feel that extra weight. That battery pack, incidentally, comes with an 8-year, 100,000-mile warranty.
Autoblog: GM has now confirmed, late in the game, that the Volt can, in some situations, use the ICE to power the wheels. ... This is exactly the opposite of what GM has been saying for years -- most recently in June, when GM spokesman Rob Peterson told AutoblogGreen that there was no mechanism in the Volt to drive the wheels even if the engineers wanted to.
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