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2012 Chevrolet Volt Pros and Cons at TrueDelta: The Volt is a great all-around vehicle! by BDubya

BDubya

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Introduction

Ignore any political leanings and drive a Volt for a few days. I dare say you won't find a better all-around vehicle when you consider comfort, quiet, luxury, performance and economy. It's not for everyone but if you average less than 40 miles a day it's should be a contender for your purchase.

Reviewed: 2012 Chevrolet Volt

4dr Hatch 149-horsepower Electric + Gas CVT FWD

Why the 2012 Chevrolet Volt?

Powertrain performance

I'm considering the "Powertrain performance" categoray as an overall statement about the car and driving it regularly: Of the 100+ cars I've owned over the past 35 years, there are none which are this smooth, quiet and perform as consistently as the Volt. I drive this as a normal car, and as such it is a superb vehicle. Others I own fill certain niches, but as an all-around car the Volt is outstanding. It's better for short and mid-length trips than it is for long distance, and the price is still too high for the average buyer. But I've never heard of a dissatisfied buyer & I proudly count myself as an early adopter of tomorrow's motoring experience.

Fuel economy

I've had the Volt for 9 months and 13,000 miles. I drive it exactly like I would any of my other cars. It putts around town on errands, it goes hundreds of miles for various trips and everything in-between. Life-to-date gas mileage is 75.3--higher than I expected.

Exterior styling

From the front this is still a refresshing and cool looking car. Side and back views aren't as cool, but it's still unique, and in a positive sort of way.

Ride smoothness

I'd put this car up against anything in the world. Electric power simply rocks, and in a head-to-head comparison with my $80,000+ Audi A8 the Volt wins every time. Smoothness is not one of my purchase criteria, but what a great "bonus feature"!

Quietness

Up to 50mph this is the quietest car I've ever owned, driven or ridden in. Period. Above 50, tire noise starts to creep in & by 60-65 it's similar to other cars. But in and around town where you don't drive fast? The winner.

Why Not the 2012 Chevrolet Volt?

Front seat support & comfort

No power seat in a $46k car?? Get real, Chevy. Once you get used to them, though, both front and rear seats are comfortable for up to an hour or so. Longer than that and I need different lower back support that it doesn't have. But they are heated which is nice and it's comfortable leather. A few tweaks and/or an optional chair & this would be a non-issue.

Interior styling

Like others have said, the center stack looks and acts like a cellphone (and not in a good way). There are many controls that have been changed solely for changes sake without regard for the function and familiarity that perfectly good existing designs provided. (Compass and thermometer are two good examples). This car would be two notches better if they just had avoided all the goofy Star Wars switches and light show.

Cargo capacity

Although perfectly fine for 4 people, 4 people's stuff is probably going to be left behind. For just the two of us it works perfectly well. With the back seats folded down there is a lot of room. But if you need to carry 3-4 passengers and make trips to the mall or vacations, I think you'll find things pretty cozy pretty quickly & I'd consider a different car than this.

Price or payments

I'm an early adopter of the technology and I realized the additional cost of that role when I bought the car. But it's still an expensive ride & many can't/won't pay this price.

Discounts & incentives

None of the carmakers nor banks have learned a thing from their near-death experiences of the late 90's. Huge discounts are still rampant, and lenders seem all too willing to dive off the cliff all over again. Get real, folks! Price your products competitively and appropriately and quit trying to make the public believe that $30,000 minus a $12,000 rebate isn't just plain stupid!!!

Conclusion

Not for big families, not for large hauling jobs, make sure you fit the seats. Shop around for a good deal because prices vary a lot from dealer to dealer.

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