Los Angeles is a city obsessed with cars. I, on the other hand, could care less. All I ask is that the car I drive is safe for my kids, comfortable, and gets good gas mileage. Few cars can meet that test and be interesting too.
Last week I test drove the Chevy Volt and I have to say it meets my criteria and for the first time in a while, I’m excited about a car. It’s cute, it drives well, and it’s electric.
I was able to test drive it with blogger friends Sara Auerswald and Jessica Gottlieb at GM’s Main Street in Motion event at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia. GM set up a track to test out the car. The Volt was fast, took turns well, and I felt safe in it.
The inside of the car was comfortable, both in the front and back seats and the gauges were easy to read. The trunk was a good size, seemingly large enough to handle most of the stuff I carry around day to day.
I like the idea of plugging in my car overnight and coming out in the morning and getting in and going. I have a hybrid now and don’t need to fill up much. I don’t think to put in gas until the gas light turns on, but with the Volt I wouldn’t need to fill up unless we are going on a road trip. The Volt can go 35 to 50 miles on an electric charge* and then a gas generator kicks in to fuel the car.
The only thing that would stop me from buying this car is the price. It starts at $40,280. Even with the $7,500 tax credit it starts to cross over from my practical car threshold and become an expensive car. But I’m sure the price will come down as time goes on, and certainly by the time they release the next version (or when more cars like it comes on the market). The Nissan Leaf is 100 percent electric and starts at $33,720 before the rebate. The Leaf was released today with delivery scheduled to a driver in the San Francisco Bay Area.
On NPR today, GM CEO Dan Akerson said he thinks the Volt will be the iconic car of this generation. We’ll see.
*Ackerman said on NPR that it goes 50, but Green Car Journal says 35.