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Old 02-10-2014, 07:02 PM
TorqueNews TorqueNews is offline
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Default VOLT: The Best EV in America Keeps Getting Better

Patrick Rall from TorqueNews shares this Review of the 2013 Chevy Volt, calling it the best Electric Car in America. Here is why.

Originally reprinted from TorqueNews.

The 2013 Chevrolet Volt hasn’t received any huge changes since being introduced a couple years ago but the few subtle changes made for the 2013 model year only serve to make the best affordable electric vehicle sold in the US even better.

If you were to look at a collection of 2012 and 2013 Chevrolet Volts all painted black, there is a very good chance that you couldn’t pick out one model year from the other. The only changes for 2013 are the removal of the black roof and rear hatch trim in place of body colored panels (which is why you wouldn’t notice the difference with a bunch of black Volts) along with a new drive mode that caters to those Volt drivers who spend lots of time on the highway.

The subject for this review was a 2013 Chevrolet Volt in Silver Topaz Metallic with the Pebble Beige interior which carries a base MSRP of $39,145. My test car also featured the Premium trim package that adds leather heated seats, a leather wrapped steering wheel and the removable rear armrest for $1,395, enhanced safety package 1 which adds an auto dimming rear view mirror, rear park assist and a rear view camera for $575, the enhanced safety package #2 that adds front park assist, forward collision alert and lane departure for $595, the Chevrolet MyLink radio with navigation for $895, polished aluminum wheels for $595 and the Bose sound system for $495. The final price of my Volt test car was $44,545 with the $850 destination fee and while that is a hefty chunk of money, buyers are subject to the $7,500 tax credit along with local tax credits that can chop another $2,500 off of the price in certain areas. Also, the 2014 Volt has an MSRP starting $5,000 less so this exact car for the 2014 model year would come in under $40k.

The Exterior
One of the best aspects of the 2013 Chevrolet Volt isnt that it is an EV – it is that it doesn’t look like an EV. So many EVs and hybrid models on the market today have exterior designs that very obviously put aerodynamics first and aesthetics last. I mean, let’s be honest – the Nissan Leaf is ugly and when people look at it, they wrinkle up their noses and say “is that one of those electric Nissans?” On the other hand, the Chevy Volt has a smooth, fashionable exterior design that could just as easy work on a non-EV or non-hybrid model. While the overall exterior design is clearly unique, with a highish back end and a super slippery greenhouse, GM has done a great job of designing an aerodynamic sedan that doesn’t emphasize the fact that this is an alternative power vehicle.
Across the front end, the 2013 Chevy Volt has the same pretty face that was introduced a couple years ago. This includes a super sharp looking silver grille filler area flanked by high tech looking projection headlights mounted at an angle that presents a very sporty, aggressive look. Needless to say, “sporty” and “aggressive” aren’t adjectives used to describe many super efficient models on today’s market. Accentuating that sporty theme is contrasting black cladding that runs across the base of the front end and continues down the sides and around the back end.

The Volt has a somewhat high hood line that meets the ultra slippery windshield before heading up over the long, gently sloping roofline and down the nearly non-existent trunk area created by the large rear hatch – which also has a slightly high sitting posture to improve aerodynamics. New for 2013, the roof of the Volt is finished in the same color as the rest of the body rather than black but as someone who has grown to like the contrasting black roof, I didn’t find the newly painted roof to be that big of a deal. At the same time, I’ve heard people complain about the black roof so this change for 2013 surely pleased some prospective buyers.
Out back, another new feature for the 2013 Volt is the body colored hatch “face” where the Chevy bowtie and Volt logo are located. Like the roof, this panel was black on previous model year Volts regardless of the exterior color chosen and having this portion by body colored gives the back end of the 2013 Volt a little cleaner look. A low profile spoiler mounted at the base of the hatch just above the angular, high tech headlights really complete the sporty look of the Volt while secretly bolstering the aerodynamics of this electric Chevy.

I love the looks of the 2013 Chevy Volt and I regard this car as being the best looking EV on sale around the US with a design that maintains some sporty character and great aerodynamics without looking like an egg cut in half. The Volt could have just as easily been a traditionally powered vehicle and it would have been just as poplar…if not more so with the lower price that would come with a vehicle lacking the high tech electric drivetrain.

The Interior
One area where I can see some consumers not loving the 2013 Chevrolet Volt is in the seating configuration. The Volt features a console that runs from the dash all of the way back to the cargo area under the rear hatch. Because of that, the Volt has an interior layout that is known in the sports car world as a “2+2” design with two seats up front and two seats in the back. Unlike many cars of this size that use a one piece bench seat in the back with two normal outboard positions and one miserably small center seat (that no average sized person can fit into comfortably), the Volt uses that generally unloved center seating area for a handy rear console with cup holders, an arm rest with a hidden storage compartment and a power source. This would be a disadvantage for a family of two adults and three kids but for my family of two adults and one kid – this design is fantastic. My kid has a place to stash video game accessories on a long car ride, some place to put a drink and even a place to charge his 3DS or cell phone during the drive. So some, losing the middle seat would be a hassle but for my purposes, this is a great many and a much better use of that space. More importantly, the Volt offers plenty of leg, hip, shoulder, elbow and head room for both front and rear riders. There is also a gigantic cargo area under the rear hatch that can be accessed from the rear seats while moving which is another great feature for a family using this car for a long driving trip. You can also fold down the rear seats and remove the rear center console storage box to create a cargo area as big as some sport utility vehicles.
Continue reading about the Drive experience and some final words at the original source. I couldn't share the entire story here because it is nearly 18,000 characters and the forum only accepts 12,000 characters.
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Old 04-13-2014, 09:55 PM
jljeeper jljeeper is offline
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You left out the best changes for 2013. A larger battery kWh, More EV range, Hold Mode which is a GREAT addition, Added dash gauges, Proximity Key, The list goes on.
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Last edited by jljeeper; 04-14-2014 at 07:42 AM.
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