Tuesday, October 30, 2012

2013 Chevy Volt Review

I love my new Chevy Volt!

How much? Well, not quite enough to be bothered to take a sexy photo of it outside, but still a lot.

No hitting the garage wall for this Volt!
Her name is Stealth.

It was almost Zazzles, because she's so zazzy, but Sexy Nerd didn't get the reference.

When you get into the driver's seat, the Volt plays a tune and welcoming graphic to greet you.

Preparing for lift off...

2013 Chevy Volt Pros and Cons

  • I've driven over 500 miles and have used 2 gallons of gas. TWO!
  • It recharges as I drive, resulting in an average electric range of about 50 miles before changing over to gas.
  • When the Volt does make the switch to gasoline, it's completely seamless. You can't tell at all.
  • There are 4 different driving settings to choose from.
  • I can command the car to do cool things with the voice recognition feature, like tune to a specific radio station, find a song by title, or call my husband. I've spent the last 10 years driving a base model Oldsmobile Alero, so these were all new to me.
  • Sport Mode. It's slightly less efficient, but oh so fun! Who wants to drag race my Volt?
  • Recharging couldn't be simpler. The included charger plugs into our garage wall (no rewiring or anything like that needed).
  • The 2013 Volt includes 3 years of OnStar at no additional charge.
  • The touch screen includes an option to display your photos. The Volt can also look up movie times and give you the weather forecast with fancy graphics.
  • I was able to put all of my MP3s onto a 64GB thumb drive. Plugged into the Volt, I now have my entire music collection available without ever having to change a CD.
  • The price! Everyone online complains that the Chevy Volt is too expensive, but when you sit down and do the math, it really doesn't cost much more than a similarly equipped Toyota Prius. We'll be getting an extra $8500 back with our tax return ($7500 federal incentive and an additional $1000 from New Mexico), plus Chevy took off $2000 and the dealer dropped another $1000 and threw in free window tinting. We also received 0% interest for 5 years with no down payment. What's not to love?
  • The Chevy Volt is a perfect car for road trips. When you run out of electric charge, you still get 40mpg.
  • The pearl accents on the console and inside the doors remind me of a giant iPod. Very sleek!
  • There are lots of thoughtful little touches, like a handle for pulling the trunk closed, a little rectangular compartment in the center console for things like gift cards and ID, illuminated mirrors, a "gentle" horn option for people who are walking in front of you but don't know to move because the Volt is super-silent, and an umbrella/flashlight holder inside each front door.
  • It's not a Prius. Although I like them, everyone drives a Prius. I was hoping for something a bit more unique for my new car.
  • You can't lock your keys in the car. Thank goodness! There is no key to stick into the ignition, just a Start button, so it's easy to throw your Volt remote into the cup holder when you get in and accidentally leave it there when you get out.
  • When our new house is built, the car will be extra "green" because it will be charged with solar power.
  • MyVolt.com allows you to check on your car from online. You can see the charging status and, if you've been having any problems, you can even run diagnostics.
  • Free parking! This may not apply to everyone, but in downtown Albuquerque, there are free chargers for electric vehicles that include free parking while you're plugged in. I'm told the same is true for Santa Fe.
  • The base model includes all the bells and whistles: power everything, touch screen, XM radio, tire pressure sensor, steering wheel controls, Bluetooth, etc.
  • People are put off by the price. I think GM would have had more success selling the Volt under the Cadillac name. 
Okay, I do have more cons, but they're really just for my own personal preference. The Volt looks a lot like the Cruze, Malibu, and Impala. I'd prefer my new car to look more unique. The antenna looks cheap. In my Alero, the antenna was built into the back window (though, I wonder if this might not have been a practical option for the Volt because of interference from all the electrical doodads).

I wish I'd gotten the Volt in silver instead of gray. The color looks nice now, especially with the tinted windows, but I'm worried that it will show dirt and scratches more than the lighter color. Also, I've been kicking myself for not upgrading to heated leather seats and Bose speakers. Sexy Nerd and the salesman told me that I would regret getting leather seats in New Mexico because they would get too hot. Nonsense!

I'm prone to buyer's remorse with every purchase though. How badly? I'm still miffed about a squash I was overcharged for at the farmer's market last month (they owe me 15 cents!) Other than a few "would've, should've, could've" thoughts about my Volt, it's a great car!
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