2012 Chevrolet Volt 4dr Hatchback (gas/electric hybrid DD)
This car is fantastic! -- It's as roomy as an entry level Mercedes Benz, zips around city streets like a sports car, handles like a BMW and is quieter than a Rolls Royce. When I first saw a Volt in person, I found it much larger than I thought. Don't let certain pundits fool you. In truth, the Chevy Volt is roughly the same size as a 2012 Mercedes-Benz C250 Luxury Sedan, both inside and out (compare specs). The Volt only seats 4, but in my case that's fine. The interior is sleek and comfortable, the exterior far nicer looking than other plug-ins in the same price range, and the 17" aluminum rims look great. According to my odometer, so far I've driven 1325 miles on 0.2 gallons of gas.
This one's easy: An impressive 273 ft.lbs of glorious torque. That's up there with many sports cars (e.g. Camaro LS). The Volt's comparatively modest 149 horsepower (hp) aint too bad. With the modest hp you won't be winning 1/4 mi races against other $40k, 2012 cars (although many other cars, yes), but it does its job. So what does 273 ft.lbs of electric torque get you? It gets you this: powerful, punchy, exhilarating acceleration when you need it most -- the moment you press down on the pedal -- particularly at surface street speeds, easily making the Volt one of the most agile cars on the city road. It's a blast to drive when Drive Mode is set to 'SPORT'. And all done with whisper stealth.
What's not to like? Ok, really though, the rest is just me being nitpicky. The car has a lot of customizable features, personalization, and programmability. This is done through the center console. And there's enough things to select and/or configure that center console has a bit of a learning curve associated with it. I suppose one can get used to it with time. The rear visibility is a little lacking. The optional Rear Camera and Park Assist package makes up for it though. (And btw, I can't complain about my electric bill. It's actually lower than I thought it was going to be.)
A rear windshield wiper might have been nice.
† Edmunds.com received the highest numerical score in the proprietary J.D. Power 2014 Third-Party Automotive Website Evaluation Study℠. Results based on responses from 3,381 responses, measuring 14 companies and measures third-party automotive website usefulness among new and used vehicle shoppers. Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of owners surveyed from January 2014. Your experiences may vary. Visit jdpower.com.