Kent Sundling: Mr. Truck 2-25-13
February 25, 2013
GM insisted that Denver journalists try the Volt. I usually only get press vehicles that will tow trailers. Of course I filled the Volt with horse hay (bagged Chaffhaye) and still the car had zip. It did surprise me how quick the acceleration was with several modes to be a sports car or a fuel miser. It looks bigger on the outside than inside, course I'm not one of the little people. Grandkids fit well in the back seat and the hatch back is surprisingly roomy.
Similar size inside to a Volvo SC60 or other European and Japanese cars. The center console too big for big boys, made my legs crowded. The center console control knob, changes channels on the center screen. You can see on screen where the power is coming from, engine or battery. A ball shows up on the screen when you're accelerating to teach you how to drive for the best fuel mileage. Plenty of choices for controlling the car with normal, economy, mountain, power and sport mode.
The 2012 Volt was peppy like a V-6. It was faster off the line than at road speeds doing lane changes. It's very quiet and you don't even know it's running until you look at the gauges.
There are lots of wires under the hood. Running on just battery, the Volt can go 35 miles and on gas it gets over 300 miles. So the Volt isn't just a job commute car, you can take it on the road.
The front fascia almost touches the ground. This would worry me in snow, though I have a friend in Detroit that drives a Volt in the winter and doesn't have a problem in snow.
I loaded 10 (50 pound) bags of Chaffhaye feed in the Volt. I could have put another 10 bags volume wise. But with 500 pounds of feed and me, I was at the 750 pound max payload.
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The back seat is made for little people, but fold down the seats and the hatch back has room to move the kids to college.
It comes with a charging unit to plug into a regular 115 volt house outlet with a special end for the Volt. It also comes with an air compressor to air up the spare.
Kent Sundling (alias "Mr. Truck") spent 20 years wearing out pickup trucks as only a farmer could. With over 1 million miles pulling trailers, Mr. Truck has a unique collection of truck and farm stories that will educate and entertain. Mr.Truck gave up his bib overalls and John Deeres in his quest to save the farm and moved to the big city to sell trucks. After selling trucks for 10 years, this farmer now writes for eight magazines and owns over two dozen Web sites, helping folks find the "Right Truck." If you have a question for Mr. Truck, you may contact him at his Web site, http://www.MrTruck.net. ❖