Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Neutral Blog & Car Reviews

A collection of stories, reviews and rants

Holden Volt - First Impressions

volt01I was on location recently filming a story for Neutral and someone noticed I’d rocked up in a Holden Volt. They remarked that I must be way down on Holden’s list of priorities because they'd given me a Volt. The truth is I requested long term access to the car and for good reason.

I watched a documentary a few years ago called who killed the electric car and was intrigued by the EV1.

So when Holden introduced the Volt here in Australia I wanted to get my hands on one to experience an electric car for myself. 

Over the next few weeks I’ll write about my experiences with the Volt, I’ll share my thoughts on the car, its technology and how it stacks up on both short and long trips. But for now I wanted to share my first impressions.

The first thing I noticed is that the Volt looks like a car, so much so that in the first week of driving it I didn’t notice any other drivers checking it out as they drove past. That may sound like a strange observation but I believe it to be an important one. Just because a car is electric doesn't mean it should look, drive or perform any different from petrol cars we use today.

volt04So the outside looks relatively normal but it’s the interior that gives you the feel that this car is different. The first thing I noticed is the full glass dash, there are no instruments. The dash has a screen where the standard speedo and other gauges would be. The centre console also has a large screen. 

The interior looks like Apple had a hand in the design. There are high gloss white panels in the doors and the dash is dominated by this same high gloss white trim. The leather seats have a matching white insert that carries the white through the cabin. Oh and by the way there are only four seats in the Volt. The two rear seats are bucket seats with a centre arm rest. 

It feels like driving an iPad. When you put your foot on the brake and press the start button the car comes to life. The screens light up and you are greeted with silence. There is no engine noise, place the car in drive release the electric brake and you silently drive off.

It reminds me of K.I.T. from Knight Rider and its silent mode. Apart from the lack of noise the car drives like any other automatic. The steering wheel and indicator stalks are just like those in my Cruze. For all intensive purposes this is just another car with an electric drivetrain instead of a petrol engine.



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