Monday, January 21, 2013

2013 Chevrolet Volt- Review

It's an electric vehicle (or EV), and here's why: The electric motor drives the wheels which is why they can classify it as an EV, despite the gas tank. This combination of battery and gas make up the Voltec Electric Drive Unit which uses two electric motors, three clutches and a planetary gear set.With a long-life 16 kWh lithium-ion battery, the 2013 Chevrolet Volt can run in pure electric mode for 40-80 km. If and when that charge runs out, the 1.4L ECOTEC gas-powered generator keeps you on the road by backing up the batteries that are powering your wheels -- in essence, acting as an electric power generator.

When lined up against "pure" EVs like the Nissan LEAF and Ford Focus Electric (as we did for our EV Comparison Test), the 2013 Chevrolet Volt clearly offered something different. While the Ford's regenerative braking was choppy and rough, and the LEAF's acceleration so smooth it was like greased butter, the Volt fell somewhere in between.Somehow driving the Volt just feels... different. Acceleration is linear, but stunted, like it's holding itself back. Braking feels soft at first, then stiffens up under harsher use. Again, like it wants to be normal, then remembers it's an EV. When the gas motor turns on, it's not extremely audible, but there is a noticeable vibration in the throttle and the steering wheel.

Speaking of the steering, piloting the 2013 Chevrolet Volt is actually quite enjoyable. Small and compact it's a breeze to park and drive in a crowded downtown core. Be warned: Pedestrians will not hear you coming in full EV mode.Visibility in the 2013 Chevrolet Volt could be good, if it wasn't for the ridiculously small rear window. Thankfully, my tester was kitted out to the nines (which also meant its price brushed the $50k mark) and had a backup camera.

Technology aside, the 2013 Chevrolet Volt is a good looking car. From the outside, it's different enough to grab attention without being so over the top (read: i-MiEV) that people stare. It's sophisticated, in a black tie (or bowtie, as the case may be) kind of way.Besides that, the 2013 Chevrolet Volt's onboard system tracks fuel mileage, battery use, regenerative braking, and countless other things. And all of this can be conveyed to you via an iPhone App called RemoteLink.

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