Aw, so cute. When I saw her for the first time she was just five miles old. My wife and I immediately bonded with her. Liked her lines. And her soothing feminine Viridian Joule light greenish color.
Here she is after we brought her home yesterday from Salem's Capitol Chevrolet dealership.
All on electric power, mostly on the freeway. We then drove into town that evening for a dance lesson and practice. Voltie shifted to gasoline power only for the last mile. Battery range was almost exactly as expected, about 35 miles.
We ordered the Volt, so had to wait several months to get it. There weren't any already built cars available with the options we wanted -- including the Viridian Joule exterior and dark console interior.
Both were good choices. The semi-standard white console looks horrible, in our utterly subjective opinion.
To get black, we had to order leather seats and other "premium trim" goodies. The total price for the car was pretty high, but we're leasing it on a three-year 1%, 10,000 miles a year deal. That made the Volt seem a lot more affordable, especially since the price included a healthy GM rebate and the effect of GM taking the $7,500 electric car federal tax credit.
I'll have more to say about the Volt after we've driven it for longer than one day. So far, my wife and I are impressed. The main problem I'm having is getting used to looking at the Chevy emblem. I haven't owned an American car for over 35 years, and never thought I would again.
This photo belies that inaccurate assumption.
Rear visibility is my only serious gripe. Changing lanes requires quite a bit more caution than was the case in our previous electric car, a Nissan Leaf, which felt a lot more airy. The Volt is much more sporty, though. The Volt's seats also are vastly more comfortable and supportive than the Leaf's.
And likely we'll be able to get around town most days solely on electric power, as we were able to do with the Leaf. Yet with the comfort of knowing that over 300 miles of gasoline powered range are available.
Plus, I got an absolutely free bag of corn nuts out of the deal, thanks to Kelly Stewart -- who is Capitol's Toyota sales manager, yet agreed to work with us on buying the Volt since we'd bought two Prius's and a Highlander Hybrid from him previously.
Kelly is a carsalesperson delight.
Personable, straightforward, honest, reliable, lighthearted. That's how I got the corn nuts: via our mutual sense of humor. A few weeks ago I emailed Kelly, asking him if he knew the status of our Volt order. Last we knew it was sitting on a train in Ohio.
I am checking at which way station it is currently resting… Should be here in less than a week if I were guessing. I will give you an update as soon as I get a call back from GM satellite tracking…
That stimulated a great idea. I immediately replied with:
Thanks. Appreciate your checking the Volt's progress by satellite. Alternatively, here's an idea: pack up a small sleeping bag, water, and lots of bags of corn nuts. Get one of your employees to drive you out to Wyoming, or wherever, and find the train our Volt is on. Sneak onto the rail car.
Then send us Twitter updates every half hour, complete with a photo of the countryside and GPS coordinates. If you do that, I'll nominate you for the June Chevy Customer Service of the Month Award (leaving aside the minor detail that you work at a Toyota dealership).
Think about it. You'll get out of the office, and we'll be assured of knowing where the Volt is at every moment. (You can sleep in the 29 minutes between Twitter updates.)
Sadly, Kelly didn't do as I asked.
He did, however, hand me a bag of corn nuts as soon as we met him at the Capitol Chevrolet dealership. Nice gesture, though I would have preferred if he'd ridden along on the train with our car, sending us Twitter updates.
Anyway, we like the Volt, so all is forgiven. Well, except for the fact that my wife and I now already are both addicted to Corn Nuts, a snack we hadn't eaten for many years.
I assume Capitol Chevrolet will be paying for our treatment in a Corn Nut 12-step program.
(Thumbs up also to equally personable Allan Hadley, Capitol Chevrolet/Subaru Fleet Manager, who worked with Kelly and us on finalizing the sale yesterday. My wife and I appreciate car salespersons who act like normal human beings, and treat customers the same way -- as contrasted with the traditional sales games played by car dealership employees. After all, a high quality product should almost sell itself; just look at how Apple is doing.)
Congratulations on your new Volt! We've had ours for over two months, 1900 miles, and so far only filled up once for $23 on April 11 after a 220 mile road trip.
We agree with the visibility issue. The side and front pillars are wide and the rear window is narrow and split. We do have the backup camera and parking assist, but lane changes are cautionary. We also have a Mini as a second "gas guzzling" car. We're averaging around 180 mpg with Volt versus 30 mpg with the Cooper S.
Nearly everyday we find something new that we like about the Volt. Yesterday my wife commented on how great the stereo sounds (even better than the one she liked in the Lexus we traded in - We also did not think we'd be buying an American made car - Our last USA made car was the GM EV1). Today she commented on how well the AC works on the HOT summer Phoenix afternoons.
Keep up posted on your continued thoughts about the Volt. We are having no second thoughts! It's the most amazing car we've owned and for us and our commutes is saving us money each month after trading in an SUV that averaged 13 mpg.
. . . Jack in AZ
Posted by: Jack | June 10, 2012 at 06:39 PM
Jack, our families share an excellent taste in cars. We also own a Mini Cooper S, along with a Highlander Hybrid SUV for longer trips when we need to bring a lot of stuff, plus our two dogs.
I really like the Mini, which I drive the most. The Volt primarily will driven by my wife, so I won't have to deal with the poor rear visibility as much as she will.
Have you looked into any aftermarket rear vision/blind spot aids, like an extra mirror thingie? Don't know much about them, but I've seen them attached to the side mirrors of other cars, so they must be of some benefit.
Posted by: Blogger Brian | June 10, 2012 at 07:38 PM
You like Corn Nuts? They're fried, overly salty and so dry its like chewing gravel;then once you swallow your mouth and throat gets coated with the residue requiring a large gulp of beverage to wash it down-stick to Popcorn!
Posted by: Joe Woods | June 12, 2012 at 07:51 AM