2012 Chevrolet Volt new car reviews

Is the Chevy Volt the future?

Better than: Toyota Prius
But not as good as: Ford Mustang Boss 302
GRM Bang For The Buck Index: 66.35

The Chevrolet Volt has been controversial, to say the least. However, the facts are appealing to the average commuter: charge it up at home or work, drive up to 35 miles, then plug it back in. If you need to drive further, it has a gasoline generator built in to recharge the battery as you drive.

Our test car was the quietest thing we'd ever driven or ridden in, even when compared to a bicycle. Plus, it came with a nifty power cord. A few days after it moved on to another journalist, though, something weird happened. J.G. Pasterjak, our art director, showed up to work in a Volt.

This car had actually motivated one of us to go out and buy one from a dealer. That must mean it's either really good, or there was bacon hidden somewhere only J.G. knew about.

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Other staff views

Alan Cesar
Alan Cesar

This car isn't fast, but it feels that way because of how it delivers its torque: instantly. The car rides well and is even a bit fun to chuck around. The gas engine does thrum a bit when it comes on, but the neat thing is that if you forget to charge it, the engine only comes on periodically. You'll still start off in EV mode, and the engine comes on briefly every few minutes to recharge the batteries.

Really, this is an appealing car in a lot of ways. I can understand what compelled JG to go out and lease one. Make all the arguments you will about return on investment relative to fuel costs; they're irrelevant. The fact stands that this car is on the bleeding edge of drivetrain technology. That simply doesn't come cheap, and it has the added benefit of sending a highly visible environmentalist message. Hate on it if you must, but please, don't call it "the Obama car."

Joe Gearin
Joe Gearin

First off, I hate computers. I prefer vinyl to mp3s, books to a kindle, and I like fresh air more than surfing the interwebs. Funny thing is, I really like the Volt.

Due to the government's "green" discount on the Volt-- and GM accepting bail out money, this car rouses very strong feelings in a lot of folks. The problem is, the "haters" focus on the politics instead of the car. As a car, the Volt is really kind of neat.

Sure it is $10K overpriced, but if you can get past the whole "making sense" part of the equation, the Volt is a fascinating piece of engineering. This machine is on the absolute cutting edge of modern automotive design but what makes it special is that it is the first of it's kind to actually drive like a real car.

It isn't slow, is extremely quiet, and offers a good ride with a nice interior. The displays on the dash are easy to use, and entertaining--- in a geeky hypermiling kind of way. The Volt even handles well when thrown into a corner. Oh yeah, and you can drive for miles without using any gas!

As has been said before, a Bugatti Veyron is not a Model T Ford. As the first modern-- truly useable electric powered car, the Volt is kind of a big deal. This technology will only improve and become less expensive over time. This bodes well for the future, as the Volt already goes about it's business in a thoroughly pleasing way.

Can the Volt turn a troglodyte into a techie? Probably not, but it is a step in the right direction.

J.G. Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak
Production/Art Director

I liked it so much, I bought the company! Seriously, like it or not, this is the future. Well, maybe not THE future, but it's certainly A future, and one we need to begin to explore. Is the Volt for everyone? No it isn't. In the same way that a pickup truck or a Miata isn't for everyone. But if you happen to live within the sweet spot for what it does best (which something like 80% of all commuters do), it does its job astoundingly well. If you hate the Volt, fine. But please hate it for logical reasons and not for something that you think it does or doesn't do

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