- Incredibly practical
- Excellent power delivery
- Great standard features
The plug-in hybrid is a hot topic at the moment. Not only is there the Holden Volt sedan, but there’s BMW’s i3 and i8 plus Mitsubishi’s Outlander PHEV that is also making waves.
Despite the enthusiasm for plug-in hybrids, the Holden Volt hasn’t sold in record numbers and there’s still concerns over whether or not they are actually practical. So let’s get on with this 2014 Holden Volt review to find out!
The Holden Volt was launched in Australia in late 2012 and brought some unexpected innovations from their parent company, General Motors.
With a range of 50km on pure electric charge and an extended range of 600km thanks to the four cylinder engine, there’s plenty of confidence under the bonnet to get you to your destination when on a weekend away.
There’s also a Bose audio system, four bucket style leather seats, two digital screens for infotainment and speedo/dash info, GPS navigation as well as a surprising amount of boot space.
As the price of the Holden Volt has dropped since launch, you can now find a demo/new car for under $60,000 drive away. However, is this still too much? Let’s find out.
When we were handed the keys of the Volt, we were extremely excited to be finally getting behind the wheel of a car that has received so much attention (for good and some not so good reasons). Straight up, you can’t tell that the Volt is different to your usual road car. This meaning…it doesn’t stick out like a Prius does.
It actually looks pretty good on the outside, this is in thanks to it’s sportier than normal look on the front and futuristic rear design. The alloy wheel design also assists in making this car look much better than it could have.
Whilst economically designed wheels are nice, let’s face it, they don’t really look that great.
Stepping into the car, you notice that the design is a combination of completely new and familiar pieces. Does it work? Well to begin with, we didn’t like the big white plastic centre console/infotainment system. Over the course of the week which we had the car, it’s practicality and how it integrated design-wise into the interior style, grew on us.
Unfortunately though it seems that some small details have been overlooked with trim pieces not really lining up properly.
There aren’t three seats across the back simply due to the battery taking up that space, but the bucket seat design is comfortable though a little tight for anyone over 6 feet. All of our passengers however enjoyed the ride in the back.
The empty cavity that enables access to the boot was also welcomed and added to the sense of space that was there.
One thing that proper electric or plug-in hybrid cars do really well is their handling, road noise and of course fuel economy.
Performance wise, with the batteries fully charged we wanted to find out how long the charge would last on a spirited drive. The result was much further than we thought. Whilst the computer estimated that we would see just over 60km from a full charge, we managed to get 50km out of the batteries on a hard mountain drive.
When we say hard, we mean hard too. The big misconception about a car like this is its speed, acceleration and cornering ability. Contrary to belief, the acceleration alone is enough to thrust you into the back of your seat to 100km/h in complete silence. It’s freaky, yet really REALLY awesome.
Thanks to the huge amount of torque that’s available from the electric motors, powering out of corners or even over taking on the highway is purely effortless. Even if you’ve run out of battery charge and are using the four cylinder engine, you’ll still get the boost from the electric motor because it is being charged by the engine.
We drove over 1000km in the Volt and had to only fill up once after a long road-trip over the weekend. During the week we simply plugged it in to the wall, scheduled the car to charge during off-peak times and it was ready to go in the morning.
Whilst we didn’t achieve the 1.2 litres per 100km fuel economy which Holden says it can achieve, we did just use 2.1 litres for the entire review period.
Initially we turned down the car to drive it from Brisbane to Bathurst for the Bathurst 12 hour and we regret doing so now. It was THAT good to drive.
As we mentioned, one of the big questions is the ability to live with a car like this. Is it too inconvenient to live with day to day? Is it really a hassle to be needing to plug-in your car overnight like your phone? Well, this is what we found out.
I used the car as a daily drive. I took it to work, went out with friends, took my grandparents to the shipping terminal for their holiday and also went on a big long drive on the weekend. If you’re looking for a car transportation service such as this car transport Florida company, call 800-600-3750 for a quote.
Did I at any point find myself stranded, frustrated or annoyed? No way. I even was able to fit all of my grandparent’s suitcases, backpacks and cameras in the Volt.
Sure, I did need to plan where I was going or how far I was driving if I wanted to get the most out of the battery, but I knew that no matter what I also had an extremely fuel efficient ‘normal’ hybrid car if I didn’t have enough to drive on electricity alone.
For me, the car was also a great talking point when picking people up or when parking in public spaces. Firstly, because it’s so quiet and also because they have no idea what it is.
If I could go back to the Volt, and spend more time with it. I certainly would.
For Holden this has been one of the toughest selling points for the Volt. The price tag. Initially the asking price was $59,990 and that put a lot of people off. However, I think it is a matter of perception and who you talk to.
When picking up the car, the dealership who looks after the press fleet had a staff member mention that ‘if only the price was better, we’d sell more’, as we took the keys. We wondered if that’s what they are telling us as a member of the press, what they tell potential customers?
On the flip side, when my grandparents asked how much the car was their response was: “that’s not too bad for a car like this”. They’d only been in the car for 20minutes, experienced the car and learnt some little tricks and felt that the asking price wasn’t unreasonable.
What about me? The Holden Volt is actually a really good package, it has lane departure warnings, collision repair services omaha ne systems, awesome information screens, a clever looking design and a Bose audio system that I could really listen to some music through.
Plus, if I was dedicated enough I wouldn’t ever have to use petrol again if I didn’t want to. The only problem is, you would have to want a car like this to purchase one. That’s its problem. If it were a little bit more expensive than the Cruze or Malibu, then you might be able to convert buyers to the Volt.
The Holden Volt, whilst has its challenges and new competition in the plug-in hybrid world, it is a car that unfortunately doesn’t get enough praise or purchases for what it is. Holden and General Motors could have put out a useless electric car like what Mitsubishi did with the i-Miev but they didn’t.
It’s a car that’s useable, practical and a car that can be enjoyed in so many ways with tremendous performance and fuel saving benefits.
All Holden Volt certified dealerships are required to have a demonstrator Volt, so we urge you to take one for a test drive if you haven’t already. You won’t be disappointed.