I Drove the Chevy Volt and It Was Pretty Great
So, if any of our readers notice my name at the bottom of this article (hi, mom!), then odds are that I would be recognized for the amount that I like to write about electric vehicles. However, I have been plagued by one big problem: I had never actually been able to get behind the wheel of one.
However, as of this Christmas, that problem is gone, because I got to drive a 2017 Chevrolet Volt.
Unfortunately, the owner didn’t want to let me keep it, but based on the short drive I was able to take it on, I want to give you a short review of what it was like.
To put it shortly, I thought it was pretty great. To begin with, I was struck by just how quiet it was in the cabin. When the engine started, there was a small noise, but that was all it there was. Some people have described hearing a sort of space-ship-like whine, but even when planting my foot to the floor, I never really noticed it. What I was able to notice was how easy it was to talk to the other people in the car.
Speaking of when I gave the car the beans, I was very impressed with the instant torque. It was almost video-game-like in its immediacy, as when I stepped on the gas pedal the car just leaped forward. It made for a very fun drive.
One thing, though: it was very difficult for me to gauge how fast I was driving. Having driven ICE cars my whole life, the electric-car smoothness and quiet ride didn’t really give me much warning until I was buzzing down the highway at 20 over.
As far as seating went, the car was comfortable to sit in both front and rear—this particular model had leather seats—with the rear seats in particular gently cupping my buns as the car went forward.
The infamous fifth rear center seat was not really one that I would want to sit in, but was there if you happen to have children with you. At no point did I feel like there wasn’t enough headroom (I’m just under 6 feet tall).
The visibility out the back wasn’t great, especially for someone like me who isn’t used to using backup cameras.
One last point: the regenerative braking paddle was stronger than what I thought it would be—in the time I was driving, I didn’t really get comfortable using it, turning my regenerative braking moments into a series of sudden slowdowns.
Overall, though, the Volt was a fantastic drive, and as I got out and handed back the key fob, I felt something that I hadn’t really felt with the cars I had owned until now: disappointed to give back the keys.