Hold on. I have to plug in my car.

by Jenn on July 28, 2012

I want a new car.

I recently found out that my car needs a significant amount of work. Considering I’ve had it for almost 10 years, and driven it across the country twice, I suppose the news shouldn’t have been surprising. But despite age, normal wear-and-tear, and a couple unfortunate run-ins with an ex, my car has been pretty low-maintenance.

But it’s because of its age that I’m not sure the amount of work required is actually worth the money. I’ve been quoted anywhere between $2,500 and $2,900 for repairs, and I’m pretty sure that’s about $1,000 more than what the car is actually worth. Logically I know it’s time to get rid of it, but 10 years makes it hard to part with anything.

And then Chevy (and Klout) gave me a 2012 Volt for the weekend and I was like, Neon who?

Admittedly, I would have fallen in love with anything that was new, but I was pretty skeptical about electric cars, so the Volt had to win me over.

I’ve seen the commercials, so I know that the Volt runs on electricity and gas. I couldn’t wait to run down the battery (which lasts you 40 miles on a full charge) to see how it switched over. Chevy boasts a seamless transition and dag-nabbit they’re right. If you weren’t watching the meters in front of you, you wouldn’t even notice. Well, until you start idling that is.

When you’re running on electricity the ride is incredibly smooth. There were many times when I wasn’t sure if the car was running or not. Although it’s still barely noticeable, there is a soft hum to the engine once the gas kicks in. Accelerating after stopping is easy as well; the Volt doesn’t have that kick forward as you increase speed.

Oh, and did I mention that you start the car by pressing a power button? A power button! Keys? Who needs keys?! Not Chevy! I was freaked out by the keyless entry though. The door handles have a little button that unlocks the door, even after you’ve locked it. After digging through the owner’s manual I learned that this is only possible if the key ring (I forgot the fancy name they had for it) was within three feet of the car. Phew!

The inside was ridiculous. It has eco-friendly climate controls, a navigation system that didn’t make me want to pull out my hair, and a deceptively spacious back seat and “trunk.” It’d be perfect for a quick IKEA run, a cross-country road trip, or driving your grandparents to the doctor. (Guess which one I did!)

Getting back in my Neon after driving the Volt for three days was super hard. I considered running away with it, but just as I was discussing my plans, Chevy called telling me when they’d be picking it up — it’s like they heard me!

However, as much as it pains me to say this, the Chevy Volt is not the right car for me. At least not right now. While there are plenty of charging stations around Chicago (and more sure to pop up), it’s more convenient to do so from the privacy of your garage or driveway as it can take up to eight hours to get a full charge. This poses a challenge for apartment dwellers, like myself, who depend on street parking.

For those of you waiting to get your Volt from Klout, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. And if you’re in the market for a new car, especially a hybrid, I definitely recommend getting behind the wheel of a Volt.

4 comments
BrandyChenoweth
BrandyChenoweth

So weird!  I definitely would be nervous about the charging situation.  What about your electric bill?!

nicopolitan
nicopolitan

[De-lurk!] The Volt is one of those vehicles under serious consideration for me, too. Now, if only we were the kind of people who made money...  Maybe it's one of those cars we'll start to get once people like you and me become homeowners.

jennifer beese
jennifer beese moderator

 @BrandyChenoweth There will be a noticeable difference in your bill. However, I'm unsure if that difference will still fall below the amount of money you spend on gas. More research is required, but definitely a cool car to keep on your radar :)

jennifer beese
jennifer beese moderator

 @nicopolitan I can definitely see this car in my future. I'm interested to see how future models evolve. As for a Nico-mobile? I can totally see you in this car! Also, welcome back to the blogaroo :)

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