Volt: Unique plug-in hybrid functionality in a sleek, high-tech car

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Chevrolet Volt

The hybrid Chevrolet Volt comes with enough battery power for keeping you away from the gas stations for weeks at a time. During the week, you can commute in your Volt without using a drop of gas. Should you opt for a weekend getaway, you can rely on hybrid gas-electric power without having to stop and find a charging station.

The 2017 Chevrolet Volt's Optional Extras

The 2017 hybrid Chevrolet Volt comes as the base LT model or with the choice of the Premier trim. Although the base model is reasonably well-equipped, there are optional extras for it such as leather upholstery, which comes standard on the Premier. The Premier has an available tan and black interior colour scheme to liven it up opposed the all-black standard interior design is rather on the gloomy side.

Four Driving Modes

As well as the default Normal mode of the Chevrolet Volt, there are three other driving modes - Sport. Mountain, and Hold - that are operated by pushing a button on the console. Sport mode sharpens throttle response, but otherwise, there is no difference to using Normal mode. Mountain mode holds the battery charge in reserve for helping the engine when it ascends steep grades, and Hold mode saves whatever battery there is left for later use when you want to use only electric driving.

When the start button is tapped the 101-Horsepower engine fires up to drive the front wheels and recharge the lithium-ion cells of the battery with the help of the motor/generators. This is such a gentle procedure that you can easily miss the shudder of the combustion kicking in.

The Battery and the Ride

Charging the battery with a 240-volt source is a reasonable 4.5 hours. Otherwise, if a 120-volt circuit is used, the battery will take 13 hours to charge. Regardless of the state of charge of the battery, the Chevrolet Volt kicks in electrically after the tap of the start button. The powertrain, on the whole, operates silently, and there is minimal wind noise. The steering is properly weighted and tight on centre. The car gives a satisfying firm ride that is never painful, even on bumpy roads.

The interior

The upper seatbacks are particularly firm, not to everybody's taste and unfortunately, power seats are not available for the Volt. The back seats do not offer a comfortable ride as they are very cramped and the third passenger sits over the battery. However, the rear backrests fold down to double the size of the cargo hold.