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Review: 2011 Chevy Volt

The problem, however, was that the Chevrolet is selling every Volt it builds and there is not much motivation for the company to provide those cars to the press around the nation. A couple weeks ago, the Volt finally arrived in my drive way and, after one week and about 200 miles, I can say that GM is lucky that I gave it back.

There are few cars in GM's history that have defined the company as much as the Volt and there are few GM cars that have stirred emotions in a similar way as the Volt. It doesn't take much to figure out that the Volt is not an enthusiast's car in a traditional sense. It's not the car you chase around corners. However, it is a geek's dream. It's different than anything else I have driven so far and arguably one of the best compact sedans on the road today (if we forget the price tag for a moment.)

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The Volt's design may look a bit anonymous at first sight, but GM did actually a good job fine-tuning the shape to compensate for the massive 3800 pound curb weight. The coefficient of drag is 0.28 and it is obviously a shape that slips through the wind. The car sits extremely low in the front - just 3 3/4 inches above the ground. I noticed that the design of the car attracts attention immediately when you park. there is a sense of a space ship appearance from virtually every angle.

That impression continues in the inside. All Volts feature two 7-inch LCDs. There is a touch screen in the center console that houses all entertainment controls including the navigation system, entertainment features and climate controls. The 7-inch screen in front of the driver uses an animated driver information system that is a bit confusing at first, but easy to navigate when you get used to it. The display can be configured via a Config button to the left of the steering wheel.

The Volt is started via a push on the Power button, which launches the car with a, well, space ship-like sound. Once activated, the Volt sits quietly and you have to lift your foot from the break pedal to set the car silently in motion. If you have never driven an electric car before Accelerate the Volt and you will notice a hint of a turbine-like whine of the 149 hp electric drive unit that smoothly accelerates the car.

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