I’m not a car connoisseur. In fact, for years, I drove a car referred to as a “tin can on wheels” and was perfectly content. I mean, all I expect of a vehicle is to consistently transport my passengers and me from place to place. So when asked to review the Chevrolet Volt, I was a little worried about whether or not I was qualified to judge. But then, with all the awards the vehicle has received, (Motor Trend Car of the Year 2011 and Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Award to name a few) I wondered if any of the judges had based their ratings on driving the car on I-270 in the middle of rush hour traffic with sugar-crazy kids in tow.
And that’s where I decided I came in.
Once the car arrived, I found two volunteers willing to test the drive. After a debate on where to go, neighbor girl Natalie and my son Seth decided we should drive to Fritz’s Frozen Custard.
The duo quickly noticed the noise the vehicle makes as it starts. We all agreed, it kind of sounds as if you’re powering up your very own UFO. Natalie described the leather seats as “comfortable” in the back. Seth rode shotgun so he could master the sound system. He figured it out within a few minutes. I’ve been driving the Volt for almost a week and I still can’t. (But to be fair, he’s a ‘tween boy. I am not.)
On the second day, Seth and I decided to picnic at Castlewood State Park.
The road to get to Castlewood is narrow as there are steep drops on each side and no guardrails. Throw in some hills and twists and you’ve got a nerve-wracking experience if you’re driving a larger vehicle. I felt perfectly comfortable driving the hatchback. I was impressed by the Volt’s energy in climbing the hills and hugging the turns. I wouldn’t have expected a car that can run on electric to have that kind of pep. It was during this trip, Seth decided, “I like the radio but the backseats get really hot. But, it looks pretty cool on the outside. “
As a last-minute idea, we invited Seth’s BFF Josh and good buddy Piper to hang with us at the Magic House.
Key to STL #3 – The Magic House is a fun place to keep your ‘Lou-Hooligans active and engaged.
It wasn’t until this trip that I paid attention to the back seat. Word to you muthas — the backseat isn’t a bench-like seat but two bucket seats. You can’t exactly fit a third kid back there. But, the seats are very comfortable. This would be a great car for someone without kids or to use as a secondary family car.
What was the verdict?
“I think it’s great because it runs on electric and it saves us gas so we don’t have to spend so much in gas,” said Piper. “It’s got a smooth ride. I love the trunk because it’s wide open. You can put more stuff in the trunk, bigger stuff.”
Josh noted, “I think it’s great. I like that it’s electric but still a full size car.
We ended that hot, dusty day at the Kirkwood Farmers’ Market. Snow cones were calling our names.
If you’re interested in the Chevy Volt but want to hear more from the people who’ve already bought one, there’s a Facebook page for Chevy Volt owners.
Stay tuned for Part 2 when we talk to the grown-ups.
Disclaimer: As a thank-you, Chevy provided me with a gift card to help pay for some of the trip-related expenses. This did not influence my review.