The Grapes of Wrath - 2011 Chevrolet Volt Long-Term Road Test

2011 Chevrolet Volt Long Term Road Test

2011 Chevrolet Volt: The Grapes of Wrath

March 08, 2011

Volt Grapes.jpg The 2011 Chevrolet Volt has this gap between the seats because of the layout of its battery. I actually like it for a couple of reasons. Looking through that gap helps with rearward visibility. And the separation between the seats reminds me of my old 1992 Honda Prelude, which had a storage area that ran down the center of the two seats. But I found out this weekend that this gap could be dangerous in the event of a hard stop.

I was driving back from the grocery store when a car in the opposite direction decided to make a left-hand turn a short distance ahead of me. I had a green light and the right of way, but the man wasn't paying attention and cut me off. I slammed on the brakes, which worked really well, avoided a collision and was able to stop a few feet short of him.

When I arrived at home, I opened up the cargo area and saw that all my grocery bags were smashed up against the seatbacks and a pack of grapes (shown above) was in the back seat. During my hard stop the grapes somehow jumped out of the bag, threaded the gap between the seats and ended up in the back seat.

I pondered what would have happened if someone had been sitting in the backseat. Would they have been hit by flying grapes? What if the flying object had been something heavier? My advice to Volt owners is this: Buy the cargo net! According to the Chevrolet Web site, it is a $45 dollar option, but a small price to pay to keep your cargo from taking flight.

Chevy also sells a cargo organizer for $99, which according to the site "provides a storage compartment between the rear passenger seats, while closing the gap between the rear seats and the cargo area." I wasn't able to find a photo of this of the cargo net.

My apologies for this recreated photo, but I was a bit freaked out that I almost crashed the Volt. Taking a photo then was the last thing on my mind.

Ron Montoya, Consumer Advice Associate @ 2,993 miles.

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