2011 Chevrolet Volt: First Impressions
April 07, 2011
Last night was the first time I took our long-term Volt home. The day before, I took our Leaf. That makes two days in a row that I didn't use any gasoline, and I'm showing no signs of withdrawal. So far, I'm enjoying both cars equally, so here's my take on the Volt.
The Volt feels solid on the road. It doesn't feel flimsy or like an appliance, and that's reassuring. I'm sure the cabin would've been incredibly quiet had I not been rockin' out (I can't seem to stop listening to Adele's latest album). I think that if I were in the market for an environmentally friendly car, this would be my choice.
On the downside, I found the glossy center stack too shiny and the controls poorly labeled. I like the way it looks, but during daylight hours, the lack of contrast between the type and background make the controls difficult to operate. I recently drove the new Ford Explorer with all of the MyTouch controls, and that seemed to be easier to read and use. The Explorer had a matte-black rubberized panel with legible and bright type.
Despite what Mr. Pearley Huffman thinks, I don't think the Volt is deserving of the "ugly car" label. Among cars in general, I don't find it offensive in any way. Among electric/hybrids like the Prius, Insight and Leaf, I actually think it's the best looking of the bunch.
Yup, I'm a believer. Are you?
Mark Takahashi, Associate Editor