In today’s eco-friendly atmosphere, the 2017 Chevrolet Volt Premier is one of the few EVs that just about anyone can afford. These EV-primary cars can get you to where you want to go on mostly electric power, but (unlike other EVs) offers a gas-powered generator to help you continue on your journey.
On the outside, the stylish front end features two metallic, solid grille pieces with the Chevrolet bowtie standing out among the other grilles in parking lots – none looked quite like the Volt’s front end. And I liked that; not everyone is looking for the guppy-mouthed front end that has become common in car designs. Instead, the Chevrolet Volt uses unique designs to one-up the competition.
Eyes follow body lines past the 17-inch split 5-spoke wheels to a futuristic rear end with an easy-access hatchback trunk large enough for a small horse. The 2017 Volt Premier’s charging cord is also stored in the spacious rear hatch.
Open the door and slide into the comfort of front bucket seats, heated seats for front and rear passengers, and a heated leather-wrapped steering wheel. The seats may be manually adjustable, however, it saves in EV energy drain (so there can be things such as front and rear heated seats…). Those in the rear seats of the 2017 Chevrolet Volt Premier will have ample room for three full-sized adults to not feel claustrophobic (and those aforementioned heated seats for two of three rear-seat occupants).
Front seat occupants have access to a generous 8-inch touchscreen with plenty of infotainment options, including access Sirius XM, high-definition AM and FM Radio (where available), Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and other in-car applications.
Never lose cell phone charge in the 2017 Chevrolet Volt by utilizing the wireless charging platform for compatible devices, or one of two USB ports for those without wireless charging. Our test Volt Premier also came with an 8-speaker Bose premium audio system and 4G LTE internet which connects easily to many devices.
One nifty feature for families with driving-age teens is the new Teen Driver system to encourage safe driving habits in young drivers. Parents can customize driver alerts for their teen and set a maximum speed limiter for the Volt. The radio is connected to the system by limiting the volume level of music during the drive.
The system also has Report Cards for parents to check on their child’s driving session and details maximum speeds, over-speed warnings, collision alerts, and other important information.
Even adults can benefit from using the smart safety technology. One aspect we found particularly useful and interesting was the distance calculator in the Chevrolet Volt. It notified us that we were 1.4-seconds behind the car in front of us, rather than the 2 seconds we had thought, allowing us to keep safe following distances.
The test 2017 Chevrolet Volt Premier had the optional Driver Confidence Packages, both offered for $495 (each). The first of which offered side blind zone and lane change alerts, along with rear cross traffic detection. The Driver Confidence 2 Package includes lane keep assist, forward collision alerts and forward automatic braking at low speeds, and intelligent headlight high-beams.
Of course, one buys a Chevrolet Volt mostly for its eco-friendly hybrid drive system.
The 2017 Chevrolet Volt is an electric vehicle with a gas generator range extender (re: engine). The 18.4-kWh lithium ion battery pack powers two Voltec electric drive motors for 53 EV-only miles. The redesigned motors provide 12-percent better efficiency and is lighter in weight than the previous model.
While driving around, the Chevrolet Volt can recharge itself either by Regen on Demand, Chevrolet’s paddle-based energy regeneration system on the back of the steering wheel, or by the system automatically switching over to the 1.5L gas-powered range extender with an efficient 42 mpg estimate from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
This means that while you can accomplish around 53 miles of pure EV motoring, you’ll also have an additional 420 miles of extended range ensuring “Range Anxiety” is nowhere to be seen. Full EPA estimates are 106 mph-equivalent for EV mode, and 42 mpg city, 42 mpg highway, and 42 combined for the gas extender.
While in Sport mode, we didn’t quite achieve that mpg rating but we did chirp some tires, so the trade-off was positive.
The one and only complaint about the 2017 Chevrolet Volt is the location of the EV charging port, but it’s also easily overcome by the end-user. Chevrolet placed the charging access port on the front corner panel forward of the driver’s door and, sometimes, it’s difficult to park in such a fashion where a public fast charger’s short cord will reach the Volt’s port.
One solution to this issue is to find the local EV fast charge locations with longer cords prior to, or shortly after, purchasing your EV. One can also charge the Volt at home overnight via the charging cord or an upgrade the home with a purpose-built EV charger for quicker fill-ups. So, while that’s the one true complaint, there are plenty of ways to get around the issue and we wouldn’t let something so trivial come between us and a good vehicle.
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Overall, the $37,570 2017 Chevrolet Volt ($39, 930 as driven) is a stylish, comfortable, and eco-friendly commuting solution in which we’d be more than happy to spend hours behind the wheel. We enjoyed not having the limited range of most EVs while also enjoying the technology Chevrolet has packed into the 2017 Volt.
Head over to www.chevrolet.com/volt for more information or call your local Chevrolet retailer for a test drive today!
Note: Photos courtesy of Chevrolet.