The redesigned Volt is a smart gas-saving car, says IEEE Spectrum, at “one third the price of a Tesla Model S.”
And, it was one of only a few plug-in cars for the publications’ list of 10 top tech cars, another being the Tesla Model X crossover, and another being a future car – the Porche Mission E.
“This second-generation Volt is a green sweetheart to drive, and improved in nearly every way over the original: sleeker, lighter, faster, quieter, and more efficient,” wrote Lawrence Ulrich.
On his test drive north of San Francisco he managed to beat the 53 miles e-range estimated under EPA rules and get exactly 60 miles before the genset kicked on.
And the vehicle, even in a time of $2.00 (more or less) gas is cheap to operate.
“As we crossed the 106-mile mark on this trip, we’d burned exactly one gallon of gasoline—3.8 liters—along with $1.50 worth of wall electricity,” said Ulrich. “In other words, we spent $3.50 to cover 106 miles. Go ahead and try to do that in a Mini Cooper. There’s not a gasoline, diesel, or conventional hybrid on the road that can match that efficiency, which equated to 2.0 L/100 km (120 mpge) over the electric portion and better than 70 mpg overall.”
Also appreciated for the 2016 Volt (now shipping as a 2017 model year) was performance, more than 200-pounds less curb weight, ability to run on regular gas, and more.
“And at $26,495 after a $7,500 federal tax giveaway (er, credit) in the United States, the Volt is a bargain,” wrote Ulrich. “The Chevy is not only two-fifths the cost of a Tesla and one-fifth the cost of a BMW i8, it’s actually less than the $33,500 price of the average new car in America—and $1,200 less than its lower-performing predecessor.”
Of course the Chevy Bolt 200-plus-mile range EV is also on its way which may throw a monkey wrench into things to some degree as will the fact that inexpensive gas is making the fuel savings less of a reason to buy – not that this is the only reason!
Other top cars picked by IEEE Spectrum are all vehicles positioned above the humble Bow Tie brand.
These are the Audi autonomous RS7, Ford GT, Ferrari 488 Spyder, Mercedes-Benz F 015 (technically another plug-in, but not known to be due for production), Hyundai Tucson FCV, BMW 7-Series, and Volvo XC90 (available also as a PHEV).