Fuel economy, quiet, instant acceleration in electric mode, crash-test results, reliability.
Visibility, controls, seats only four, brake modulation, narrow driving position, cold weather effects on battery range.
The Volt electric car has a backup engine to extend its typical 35-mile electric range. It is quick, quiet, and responsive, with a taut ride. Once the lithium-ion battery is depleted, the 1.4-liter engine acts as a generator to extend the range by 315 miles. Recharging take 4 hours using a 240-volt supply and 10 hours with 120 volts. We averaged the equivalent of 99 mpg in electric mode and 32 mpg when it switched over to gasoline. The four-seat capacity limits practicality, the rear seat is cramped, and visibility is impeded by the thick roof pillars and the horizontally-split rear window. Reliability has remained above average.