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2011 Chevrolet Volt - New Car Video Review

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June 2011 author photo

Autotrader


Kimbette Fenol: GM's long-awaited entry to the electric vehicle marketplace is finally here. And it takes green engineering to a whole new level. Hi, I'm Kimbette Fenol.

Vanessa Leigh: And I'm Vanessa Leigh. And you're watching AutoTrader's New Car Review for the 2011 Chevrolet Volt. From the outside, the Volt looks like nothing more than a sporty compact sedan. In fact, it actually looks a lot like the Chevy Cruze.

Kimbette: But under the hood it's something completely new.

Vanessa: That's right, and it's very exciting. The Volt uses a 1.4-liter, 74-horsepower gasoline engine to back up its 149-horsepower lithium-ion battery-powered electric motor. Now when the battery runs down, after about 40 miles, the gasoline engine kicks in and provides electricity to the electric motor, which drives the wheels.

Kimbette: And that's different than hybrids like the Toyota Prius and the Honda Civic Hybrid, which combine the power from the gasoline engine and electric motor to directly drive the wheels.

Vanessa: And the total range for what GM calls the extended-range electric car is 350 miles with the backup generator.

Kimbette: What's also great is that you can recharge the Volt overnight in your garage from a standard 120-volt outlet, or in about four hours with an optional 240-volt system.

Vanessa: And there are recharging stations at shopping centers and train depots, and there's a lot more to come as electric cars gain popularity.

Kimbette: Inside, the Volt is very, very nice. Upscale instruments and controls, comfortable seats, plush upholstery and two-color LCD display screens. Plus, check out the center console. It's very sleek-looking with touch-sensitive buttons.

Vanessa: And there's plenty of room for four in here. But like most compact cars, the rear seat of the Volt is a little bit tight for taller adults.

Kimbette: The Volt truly is all electric. And like electric cars, the Volt has lots of punch off the line and actually feels quite powerful. The handling is mildly sporty, but the weight of the batteries can be felt during hard cornering.

Vanessa: And even on the highway, the Volt's cabin remains quiet. The loudest sounds you're gonna hear are the other traffic and the hum of the tires.

Kimbette: Drive the Volt about 40 miles, the distance for an average commute, and you're using only about eight kilowatts of electricity and it costs around 80 cents.

Vanessa: That same distance in the gasoline-powered Cruze uses a gallon of gasoline, and it's going to cost you over three bucks.

Kimbette: So, even though you may save money on fuel, the price tag is another matter. The Volt is pricey for a small car. About $41,000, before options. Even with the $7,500 tax incentive, that's still a lot to pay to protect the environment.

Vanessa: Well, for me, it's worth it. And some people may prefer to do a 36-month lease, at $350 a month, when you put $2,500 down.

Kimbette: Either way, the electric future is here, and we like it. I'm Kimbette Fenol.

Vanessa: And I'm Vanessa Leigh. Thanks for watching this New Car Review of the 2011 Chevrolet Volt, right here on AutoTrader-The Ultimate Automotive Marketplace.

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Used 2011 Chevrolet Volt Premium
Used 2011 Chevrolet Volt
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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2011 Chevrolet Volt - New Car Video Review - Autotrader