Sunday, December 17, 2017

The Neutral Blog & Car Reviews

A collection of stories, reviews and rants

Holden Volt - First Impressions - Page 2

The digital dash is configurable and allows control of the digital gauges, it not only shows the Volts speed and the efficiency gauge, but it also shows range and charge status for electric mode. You can pull up trip odometers, oil life, tyre pressures, forward collision alert settings and navigation directions on this digital dash or driver display has Holden calls it.

The console screen is the interface into everything else including energy information, satellite navigation, radio, dvd, air conditioning, phone and car settings. The console has a massive array of buttons that just look like printed text on the high gloss white paneling. 

Too many buttons in my opinion, at first it’s over whelming but after some time you learn whats where and it becomes somewhat acceptable.

volt02My first drive of the Volt delivered a few surprises. The electric motors deliver incredible torque allowing you to accelerate, not only from a standing start but also while at speed. I’ve been caught out a few times, it doesn't take much to go from 100 to higher speeds quickly.

The trade off of course is the harder you push the go fast pedal the faster you deplete the batteries. This is where the efficiency gauge comes in handy. Its a simple idea, a ball that rises the harder you accelerate and spins green when you are driving efficiently. It also drops when you brake. It’s a fun game to drive while trying to keep the efficiency gauge green. The Volt can do up to 80km on a full charge before the 1.4ltr petrol engine kicks in to generate electricity to keep charge in the battery. This is what makes the Volt unique. 

It is not a hybrid where and electric and petrol engine share a drive train, nor is it a pure electric car. The Volt always drives on the electric motor and the petrol engine helps make the Volt a long range electric vehicle. I guess in practice it works like a diesel electric train. 

volt09The one thing that does take a little getting used to is driving when the petrol engine kicks in. This may be another odd observation but let me explain. The petrol engine runs to generate charge so it doesn't change its revs under acceleration and braking as you would expect.

The engine can sit at a constant rpm from 100kph to a complete stop. This plays tricks on your brain. It can sound like you are riding a clutch while still revving the engine and braking at the same time. You just have to remember the petrol engine isn't connected to the wheels.

My first impressions of the Volt are positive, it drives well, it is comfortable and has all the entertainment and safety features you would expect from a modern car.

Stay tuned for the next Volt update.

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