2011 Chevrolet Volt: Hits and Misses
April 27, 2011
I've put enough miles on the Volt by now to have a solid impression of the car. Here are my top three hits and misses so far.
1) IP design: I haven't played with all the various gadgets buried within the various menus, but they look impressive. The graphics are sharp, the colors are pleasing and it conveys a sense of technology with being overwhelming.
2) Quiet cabin. Hybrids aren't known for their refinement for a reason. Usually because they have rock hard tires and minimal insulation to keep their weight down. The Volt doesn't feel like it has either.
3) Reasonable performance. Doesn't sound like much of a hit, but my expectations were low. I wouldn't take the Volt on a trip that included more than one mountain pass or any twisty roads. That said, around town and on the highway, it plenty fast.
And the misses...
1) Those dreadful center stack buttons. I've already covered them enough here.
2) The transmission lever. For some reason the designers decided to bury it in the center console. Every time I put it in gear it feels awkward. Can't think of a reason for the design choice.
3) The brakes. Still don't like the way they work at slow speeds. The binders on the Leaf work much better.
Ed Hellwig, Editor, Inside Line