Flash Drive: 2013 Chevy Volt

By Bruce Caldwell

Model Tested: 2013 Chevrolet Volt 4dr Sedan
Engine: Electric motor 149-hp, 273-lb/ft plus 1.4-liter 4-cylinder gas engine, 84-hp, 92-lb-ft
Transmission: CVT automatic, Front Wheel Drive
EPA Ratings: 98-mpg electric (38 mile range)/37-mpg gasoline only
Base Price: $39,145
As Tested: $43,375
Performance: Smooth and quiet (almost too quiet in electric mode). Four-hour recharge rate with 240-volt charging station. Non-traditional brake feel. Seamless transition between electric and gas modes
Comfort: Excellent front passenger room
                Great long distance comfort for front passengers
                Very tight rear seat, low ceiling, limited knee room
Utility: Modest cargo capacity
            High lift-over
            Below average size interior storage bins
WOW Factors: Phenomenal fuel economy
                          Very high tech; well executed
                          8-year/100,000 mile battery/Voltec components warrant
Whines: Slow recharging (12-15 hours) on standard household current
               Strictly four-passenger due to huge center tunnel
               Information display borders on overload
               Odd, electronic emergency brake
Bottom Line: The 2013 Chevy Volt is one electric vehicle that makes sense for our expansive country thanks to its gasoline backup engine. Chevrolet calls the Volt an extended range electric vehicle and that’s a perfect description. It provides all the benefits of an electric vehicle without the range anxiety.