Things I Love About My 2016 Chevy Volt
I bought a Prius the first week they came out and was very happy with it. Then last month I sold it and bought a new Chevy Volt the first week the new improved model came out. I'm in love.
- •50-55 gasoline-free miles of driving.More like 47ish if you're driving 70 on the freeway, but around town there's no problem exceeding 50.
- •Wake up every morning to a full tank (battery). Magic!Not QUITE true. If you don't want to put in an expensive 240V charger ($500-$2000), you charge at 120V. At that voltage, a full charge (18.4kW) takes 13 hours if you remember to set it to 12 amps (19 if you leave it at the default 8 amp setting to which it resets anytime you turn the car on). With the price of gas low, it only makes sense to recharge at "off-peak rates" (11pm-7am weekdays, 7pm-3pm weekends). So on a weekday you can really only recharge 8/13th of the way, or about 31 miles.
- •No "range anxiety"Day-in, day-out I'm driving an electric car. But with a gasoline generator always ready to recharge the battery and giving me another 350 miles of driving, I can jump in the car and drive to LA without stopping. Sorry, Tesla owners, but like Creedence Clearwater, your $100,000 car will be stuck in Lodi if you try that.
- •Mileage on gas is still excellent (43ish).Your final mpg depends entirely on your ratio of long-driving days (>50 miles) to short ones. If you only drive to the supermarket, in principle you could never fill the gas tank and get infinite mpg. Right now, after about a month, I'm at 102. But never has a phrase been more true: your mileage may vary!
- •Other people are helping me pay for it!Specifically, U.S. taxpayers who are kicking in $7500 and California taxpayers who are throwing another $1500 my way. Thanks, guys and gals!
- •Incredibly smooth and fast acceleration.I don't even use its "Sport" mode, and without even "punching it" I can start from a red light and I'll be 50 feet up the road before the car in the next lane has barely left the line. If I need a sudden burst of speed to go from 30 to 40 (or from 60 to 70) to get by someone or avoid a situation, I can do that almost instantaneously AND smoothly. Braking is equally smooth since there's no contact.
- •My first ever red carIt did cost a bit extra (they claim it's because red requires an extra coat, but who knows?), but hey, a bit of a splurge is justified, especially on a car that's already good-looking.
- •Tie-downs in the hatchbackA small thing, but really appreciated — 6 hooks on 3 sides of the hatchback let me use bungee cords to secure things like an emergency gallon of water (for me, not the car) so they don't slide around.
- •All the electronic bells & whistlesBluetooth. WiFi. SiriusXM (only free for 3 months). Large dashboard screen to display/control all these things. Backup camera. Remote access (from an app) to its charging status, tire pressure, and location. Two USB ports in the front, plus a "cigarette-lighter" port, and another "cigarette-lighter" port in the rear (USB might have been more useful, but an adapter is just a couple bucks).
- •Heated steering wheel and seatsThese are optional and I didn't order them but the car came with them and I'm glad it did. Heating uses the battery and costs miles. This kind of selective heating uses less electricity and is often all you need.
- •Steering wheel access to SiriAnswer the phone with a steering wheel button and just talk. Or push the same button and tell Siri to text someone (and then dictate the message) or call someone or whatever. Two levers on the back of the steering wheel let you change sound volume (of everything, including music) without taking your hands off the wheel.
- •Key stays in my pocket at all timesJust walk up to the car and open it.
- •Free miles!Actually better than free. They're called downhills. There's a 5-mile, 2000-foot ascent/descent I drive frequently. Going up, you use more electricity just like you use more gas. But coming down, if you were in a gas car or a hybrid, at best you'll use zero gas. But your tank won't be more full at the bottom! With a Volt, though, it is! All that extra energy you had to use up on the uphill pretty much comes back to you on the downhill! Potential energy, baby!