My time with the Volt, plenty of pictures.

  1. Welcome to GM Inside News Forum – General discussion forum for GM

    Welcome to GM Inside News Forum - a website dedicated to all things GM.

    You are currently viewing our forum as a guest, which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our community, at no cost, you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is free, fast and simple, Join GM Inside News Forum today!
     
Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: My time with the Volt, plenty of pictures.

  1. #1
    1.4 Liter Turbocharged ECOTEC antimathman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Wroclaw, Poland
    Posts
    89
    Thanks
    5
    Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts

    Thumbs up My time with the Volt, plenty of pictures.

    I was reading the newspaper on Saturday morning, truly a rare occurrence, when I happened upon an article stating that there was a test drive session from 10am-2pm. Needless to say, I quickly hopped in the car and headed over to the Best Buy parking lot where the event was taking place. After exiting the freeway onto the access road I exclaimed to my girlfriend "Look! There's one right there!"



    Since we were riding to the event in an SUV with a 4.6 liter V8, the irony of the comparison was quite funny. There were actually two Volts in the three cars ahead of us in our lane, and we followed them both into the parking lot as they finished their test drive circuit.



    We signed our names on two brief release forms and I got a wristband which identified me as a driver, then we walked over to get in line. There were a couple of Chevy engineers chatting with the people waiting and answering technical and development questions that people happened to have. I asked about a solar panel for the roof of the vehicle and he mentioned that they actually installed a rather large array on a building up in Detroit and were contemplating equipping dealerships with them in order to power their Volts. The line wasn't too long, and it was only about 15 minutes before we we invited to the White one!



    There were 4 Volts in total, a black one and a white one and two gunmetal gray ones. Personally the look of the black one really caught my attention, but the white one looked great as well. The specs on the cars varied as well; Black with black leather (with yellow-green leather seat inserts) Gray with black/gray cloth interior, Gray with white leather interior and finally White with black leather interior. I really liked the white leather choice:



    Additionally the center consoles came in two color choices:





    Our white car was a little more upscale with the leather and it had some sort of luxury package with a rear-view parking camera. As I got in I wanted to plug the key fob into some hole in the dash, but the ride-along guy said to let it sit in the cavity beneath the "shifter." I depressed the brake and pushed the little blue start button...



    And seemingly nothing happened! The start up is extremely quiet and there is very little feedback to indicate that the car is even on! The "gauges" screen changed its display and the "console" screen illuminated and there was a little pulsing on the brake pedal (Scott, the ride-along engineer said that was from a vacuum system on the brakes) but there was no audible noise from the motor whatsoever.



    After performing test drive duties for about 3 hours without charging, the batteries were understandably depleted so the car was operating under extended range mode. The dashboard screen provides all the information you could want, and then a little more. There was a small icon with two people seated next to each other which was red at first, then half red and half green... it turns green when each backseat passenger has their belt on; I know it's just a little thing, but those always seem to go over well.

    The drive itself was remarkable in how unremarkable it all was! The car ran very smoothly, no doubt helped by the ~450 lbs of batteries on board and had no trouble dealing with the weekend traffic or the weekend drivers. The circuit was pretty brief, a couple of surface streets and then the aforementioned interstate access road. I got a chance to chat with Scott about the controversy over the combustion engine powering the wheels at times and not the electric motors and he made a good point; the fewer times you convert one form of energy to another (e.g. chemical to mechanical, as opposed to chemical to electrical to mechanical) the system is inherently more efficient.

    On the test drive as a whole the Volt seemed to be on all fronts a very well put together typical car. Had I not known that it was a unique automobile, I could never have picked it out of traffic for being different; and perhaps that's my biggest take-away from the day. It drove like any other ICE car I've driven, but in the back of my mind I always knew it was a little bit more.



    There aren't any pictures from the drive itself, though this is certainly not for lack of ride comfort! I was intensely focused on not crashing the car, so I sadly did not have a chance to fiddle with many of the auxiliary features on this trial run. I did make note of the split rear glass, as a friend of mine whose family had an Aztek back in the day bemoaned the fact that the horizontal bar would easily block out police cruiser roof lights. Not only was the horizontal bar very low in the rear view, GM has designed the mirror with a trapezoidal shape to the bottom instead of just being simple and flat. It allows you to use the full height of the rear glass to see through, and is perfectly shaped to not waste any mirror space showing you the back seat rests. It may be a small touch, but it showed me that the car itself was very well thought out.

    After the drive we had some complementary tacos for lunch, provided to us from Chevrolet! We looked at Halloween costumes, then were walking back to the car when I wanted to check out the Volts one more time. They were parked and had the doors open for inspection, so I hopped in the back seat of one of them:



    Not the best fit! It should be noted that I am about 6'2" tall, and there was a very large (round) man in front with the driver's seat ALLLLL the way back, but it is definitely a reminder that this is a smaller car so legroom and headroom can be at a premium. The information cards that were passed out listed the trunk space as 10.6 cubic feet, which seemed a little small to me, but the proof is in the pudding. While it's certainly no Town Car in volume, there is a lot of usable space back here:



    I know that GM has been working hard on this vehicle for a while now, and it really shows. The event itself was painless and doubly rewarding (time with the Volt and a free lunch!) which spoke well of GM and their hopes for marketing the Volt. I would guess that the group out there with us was like-minded and likely similarly informed about the car, but I think that more events such as this one would be a real help in getting people into the Volt once the initial "excitement buyers" are gone.

    The way that this car has turned out is really fantastic. I think that when people start seeing them in the real world and understand the significance of this new car they're going to be really excited. I'm hoping that GM has a big hit on their hands here, and from the time I spent with the Volt I would say that they definitely should.

  2. Remove Advertisements
    GM Inside News
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    GMI Staff Member FenwickHockey65's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    20,827
    Thanks
    388
    Thanked 3,756 Times in 1,406 Posts
    My Ride
    '03 Envoy/'20 Colorado

    Re: My time with the Volt, plenty of pictures.

    Great review! Glad you liked it!
    Hidden Content
    2003 GMC Envoy SLE
    2014 Dodge Charger Pursuit (State-issued)
    2020 Chevrolet Colorado W/T Extended Cab (State-issued)

  4. #3
    6.2 Liter LS9 Supercharged V8 calgaryhhr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Calgary
    Posts
    6,218
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 246 Times in 152 Posts
    My Ride
    06 Chevy HHR 09 Ford Flex Ltd

    Re: My time with the Volt, plenty of pictures.

    Cool story and good write up and pictures.

    Are you originally from Wroclaw? A large part of my family is from the Wroclaw area and my grandparents live about 40 km outside of the city.

    Looks a little tight in the back seat. Did you find it akward getting in and out of the back seat? Looks like the low door opening makes for a tight squeeze.
    Research is what I am doing when I don't know what I am doing.

  5. Remove Advertisements
    GM Inside News
    Advertisements
     

  6. #4
    6.2 Liter LS9 Supercharged V8 Premium Member ne_one's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    St. Catharines, Ontario
    Posts
    9,586
    Thanks
    257
    Thanked 96 Times in 51 Posts

    Re: My time with the Volt, plenty of pictures.

    Excellent piece - thanks for sharing!

    Based on the iconography, I'm guessing you're not in Poland at the moment?

    And one critical piece of input that you neglected to mention: what did your girlfriend think of the Volt?

  7. #5
    7.0 Liter LS7 V8 eurohazard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Travis AFB, CA
    Posts
    4,660
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    My Ride
    2004 Suburban 1500 4x4

    Re: My time with the Volt, plenty of pictures.

    I like hearing about the rear view, and the mirror shape....that is the kind of **** that GM has been missing. And it's exactly that sort of thing that irks me to no end. Visibility is safety.
    Hidden Content
    Hidden Content Originally Posted by ledfoot73 Hidden Content
    It's simple, Toyota should recall all of the suspected vehicles and install 4 point safety harnesses, Roll cages, and maybe Hans devices.
    ^ Great quote! Hidden Content

  8. #6
    4.6 Liter Northstar V8
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    1,787
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: My time with the Volt, plenty of pictures.

    Gee I guess I should look in my local paper for Volt test drives, I just wanna feel what its like to be driving a electric car.
    2008 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD - too many miles - July 2008-
    2006 Chevrolet Impala SS 177,000 miles August 2011-
    1959 Chevrolet Impala Convertible 23,000 miles February 2004-
    -

  9. #7
    R2-D2 Astromech Droid Premium Member paul8488's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Shanghai, China
    Posts
    23,621
    Thanks
    4,145
    Thanked 4,186 Times in 2,403 Posts
    My Ride
    1983 Opel Corsa TR coupe

    Re: My time with the Volt, plenty of pictures.

    Love the 4 bucket seats... I know that in the back it's out of necessity, but I quite like that configuration. Reminds me of the Buick Regal GS coupe from the late 90's! Thanks for sharing your experience, I'm liking the Volt more and more!
    Automotive stories and pictures for the rest of us:

    Hidden Content

  10. #8
    2.4 Liter SIDI ECOTEC carart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    SE Lower MI
    Posts
    339
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    My Ride
    2012 Honda Civic EX auto

    Re: My time with the Volt, plenty of pictures.

    After seeing the photo of the cargo area with the rear seats upright, I am wondering about the opening between the seats and how practical that is. It looks really cool but I can see any loose objects being launched through it under hard braking. Another question I have is whether there is any type of cargo cover provisioned for the car and if so that opening between the seats would still have items in the cargo hold somewhat visible. It's just a pet peeve I have about items being visible in the vehicle, as in "Please steal me!"

  11. #9
    2.4 Liter SIDI ECOTEC walkerna's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Delaware
    Posts
    382
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Re: My time with the Volt, plenty of pictures.

    Quote Originally Posted by antimathman View Post
    Quite possibly my favorite feature of the Volt. Technologically it's brilliant, but I love that they've maximized the amount of space you can use by making it a hatch! Hopefully GM will allow it's cousin, the Cruze Hatch to come over as well.
    Current Ride:
    2009 Pontiac G8 GT

    Previous Rides:
    2006 Pontiac G6 GTP (Coupe)
    1992 GMC Conversion Van

  12. #10
    6.2 Liter LS9 Supercharged V8 calgaryhhr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Calgary
    Posts
    6,218
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 246 Times in 152 Posts
    My Ride
    06 Chevy HHR 09 Ford Flex Ltd

    Re: My time with the Volt, plenty of pictures.

    Quote Originally Posted by carart View Post
    After seeing the photo of the cargo area with the rear seats upright, I am wondering about the opening between the seats and how practical that is. It looks really cool but I can see any loose objects being launched through it under hard braking. Another question I have is whether there is any type of cargo cover provisioned for the car and if so that opening between the seats would still have items in the cargo hold somewhat visible. It's just a pet peeve I have about items being visible in the vehicle, as in "Please steal me!"
    I've been asking that for quite some time. I've been told (and it looks like) there is a cargo barrier that can be purchased which seperates the cargo area from the rear seat area. I've yet to see an image of what this thing looks like or how it fits. I'll try to find the link where I saw it as an accessory that will be available (it was in some sort of orderbook on some GM website.)

    I'm not sure about the privacy cover. There appears to be an attachment point behind the seats and another "hole" near the hatch opening. That may be for a roll away privacy cover accessory item???
    Last edited by calgaryhhr; 10-26-2010 at 06:12 PM.
    Research is what I am doing when I don't know what I am doing.

  13. #11
    GMI Staff Member FenwickHockey65's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    20,827
    Thanks
    388
    Thanked 3,756 Times in 1,406 Posts
    My Ride
    '03 Envoy/'20 Colorado

    Re: My time with the Volt, plenty of pictures.

    Quote Originally Posted by calgaryhhr View Post
    I've been asking that for quite some time. I've been told (and it looks like) there is a cargo barrier that can be purchased which seperates the cargo area from the rear seat area. I've yet to see an image of what this thing looks like or how it fits. I'll try to find the link where I saw it as an accessory that will be available (it was in some sort of orderbook on some GM website.)

    I'm not sure about the privacy cover. There appears to be an attachment point behind the seats and another "hole" near the hatch opening. That may be for a roll away privacy cover accessory item???
    I've seen a photo of it. What it basically acts as is a rear center armrest. It sits between the seats and prevents cargo from sliding between the space between the seats and also has storage capability inside it.
    Hidden Content
    2003 GMC Envoy SLE
    2014 Dodge Charger Pursuit (State-issued)
    2020 Chevrolet Colorado W/T Extended Cab (State-issued)

  14. #12
    4.6 Liter Northstar V8 SeetheUSA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Port St. Lucie, FL
    Posts
    1,660
    Thanks
    95
    Thanked 134 Times in 90 Posts
    My Ride
    2014 Dodge Durango

    Re: My time with the Volt, plenty of pictures.

    Quote Originally Posted by FenwickHockey65 View Post
    I've seen a photo of it. What it basically acts as is a rear center armrest. It sits between the seats and prevents cargo from sliding between the space between the seats and also has storage capability inside it.
    That should be standard IMO. First thing I noticed was the lack of armrests for passengers in the rear! Oh well. Great review- can't wait to see some on the roads around here!!
    Get used to more.

  15. #13
    Chevrolet VOLT
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Dandenong (Melbourne) Australia
    Posts
    10,380
    Thanks
    1,146
    Thanked 857 Times in 615 Posts
    My Ride
    1999 Ford Fairmont Wagon

    Re: My time with the Volt, plenty of pictures.

    I like the look of it but one thing looks incongruous to me. On the white car the sills are a grey colour but the effect where they go up the front and rear guard doesn't "flow".
    Nice write up though -it covers areas that others don't mention.

  16. #14
    1.4 Liter Turbocharged ECOTEC antimathman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Wroclaw, Poland
    Posts
    89
    Thanks
    5
    Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts

    Re: My time with the Volt, plenty of pictures.

    Quote Originally Posted by calgaryhhr View Post
    Cool story and good write up and pictures.

    Are you originally from Wroclaw? A large part of my family is from the Wroclaw area and my grandparents live about 40 km outside of the city.

    Looks a little tight in the back seat. Did you find it akward getting in and out of the back seat? Looks like the low door opening makes for a tight squeeze.
    Thanks for the kind words, CalgaryHHR.

    I'm not from Wroclaw actually, I was just lucky enough to live and work there for about 3 years. Came back to the States a little while back, I suppose I should update my "location" field!

    It wasn't really difficult getting through the door opening, neither in nor out of the car actually. The hardest part was the lack of leg room when the seat was so far back. I had a hard time determining if I would have been comfortable sitting completely upright or not, the way I had to sit pushed me higher up on the backrest than normal; as it was my head pressed into the space where the hatch glass would go when it's secured. I suspect us taller consumers will need to slouch at least slightly in order to sit safely in the back seats.


    Quote Originally Posted by ne_one View Post
    Excellent piece - thanks for sharing!

    Based on the iconography, I'm guessing you're not in Poland at the moment?

    And one critical piece of input that you neglected to mention: what did your girlfriend think of the Volt?
    Bingo, ne-one! No longer in Poland, as I mentioned just above. This all took place here in San Antonio, the paper said that the Volts were supposed to head over to Houston for some test drives on Sunday and Monday. I don't know if there is any website with all the dates or locations, and a quick google search has produced no useful results.

    As for what the girl thinks? Here's some thoughts "It's a perfect car for women, it's smaller so it'll be easier to find parking spaces in a big city. I like the shape of the car, it looks pretty sporty but it's also mixed with a normal sedan's design. The ride is really quiet and the seats are quite comfortable. The center console it very clear to read and easy to understand, and I like the way that they blended the colors on the interior."

    Keep in mind that this is coming from a girl that would prefer to be driving a Mercedes GL, but she seemed to take to the Volt pretty quickly.


    Quote Originally Posted by chinamonty View Post
    I like the look of it but one thing looks incongruous to me. On the white car the sills are a grey colour but the effect where they go up the front and rear guard doesn't "flow".
    Nice write up though -it covers areas that others don't mention.
    Thanks for the read Chinamonty. Do you mean the treatment on the front doors near the door pulls? I noticed that it had a few versions itself, in our white car it was sort of a silver series of some-cornered geometric shapes, in the black car the green trim matched the V-shaped inserts in the seats and it had similar looking details (but I didn't get any decent shots of that interior feature in the black car).



    Another choice was just without any graphic pattern on the panel. You can kind of see it in the following picture, which also illustrates my next point:



    Something I noticed upon reviewing my photos, but something that didn't immediately strike me at the event was the design of the interior panels on the rear doors. It is pretty simplistic and almost borders on being too plain in my opinion. I wish they had mimicked the style that resides on the front doors, I think it's much more appealing to look at and is more visually engaging. I wonder if they plan to improve it on a MCE or something? I just really hope that it's not something that they've forgotten about, because so many other details came through so well.



    Besides the shape of the rear-view mirror that I mentioned before, there were lots of other nice little things around the cabin. There is a little cubby on the top center of the dash with a lid... Seems like a normal GM thing until you lift up the lid and, lo and behold! There's a 12 Volt outlet in there! (No pun intended) Seems like an ideal place to charge a cell phone, MP3 player or GPS device while keeping it close at hand, yet also out of sight.



    Keep up the attention to detail like this GM! Consumers notice these things, no matter how small they may seem. I knew a woman who, upon receiving a new car, complained that she missed her last one because there was a place where her purse perfectly fit!
    Last edited by antimathman; 10-31-2011 at 02:56 AM. Reason: clarity

  17. Remove Advertisements
    GM Inside News
    Advertisements
     

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v4.1.2