|2012 Chevrolet Volt|
|Written by James Lewis, Publisher|
|Thursday, 01 March 2012 10:23|
The Volt was introduced in 2011 to a lot of fanfare and I must admit when I took my first test drive I was not impressed. The Volt was full of touch controls that seemed totally confusing, also there was not a lot of performance or luxury making me wonder, where is the beef. However, for 2012 I have had an opportunity to spend time in a number of hybrid vehicles, some plug-in hybrids like the Volt and I now have a new found respect for the Volt and what it brings to the automotive table.
First and foremost the Volt saves on gasoline. The Volt claims 94 miles-per-gallon when driven in electric mode and 37 miles-per-gallon when driven on gas only. Plus almost all functions performed by buttons and switches on other vehicles are touch sensitive on the Volt and are easy to use once you become familiar with this change. Also, the Volt listed for over $40,000 when it was introduced but now lists for about $800 less for 2012. This is probably due to the navigation system and Bose audio system that was standard in 2011 are options for 2012. Replacing these now optional features is the standard keyless ignition and entry and the MyLink Bluetooth phone and streaming audio system. There is, however, a $7,500 federal tax credit that helps drop the bottom line to somewhere between $30 and $35 thousand dollars.
Something that I didn’t notice at first was the Volt’s styling. The Volt looks more sleek and much more sporting than I first remembered.
When you combine the look of the Volt with the comfortable seats, modern technology features and an approximately 300 mile fuel range that costs less than $30 to refuel, even at today’s prices, I think the Volt is one outstanding vehicle. There have been a number of plug in hybrids brought to market in the past year, but none combine low fuel consumption and non hybrid driving feel like the Volt.
Standard features on the base Volt include 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, heated mirrors, keyless ignition/entry, remote ignition, automatic climate control, cruise control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, six-way manual front seats, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, cloth upholstery, Bluetooth, OnStar (with turn-by-turn navigation), MyLink (includes Bluetooth streaming audio, voice control for phone and audio functions and enhanced smartphone integration) and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, auxiliary audio jack, iPod/USB interface and a touchscreen.
The Premium Trim package adds leather upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and heated front seats. The Rear Camera and Park Assist package adds a rearview camera and front and rear parking sensors. Other options include a navigation system (with voice controls, real-time traffic, DVD player and 30GB of digital music storage) and a Bose audio speaker upgrade.
The base price on my 2012 Volt with the Premium Trim package was $39,145 (without the tax credit). Options included Audio system with navigation and a 30GB hard drive storage ($1,995). Premium Trim Package with perforated leather appointed seating, heated front driver and passenger seat, leather wrap steering wheel ($1,395). White diamond tricot paint ($995). Rear camera & park assist with Ultrasonic park assist, Rear vision camera system ($695). Polished aluminum wheels ($595). Bose Premium speaker system ($495). Plus destination charges of $850 bring the as tested price of my 2012 Volt tester to $46,165.