Today, I was given the opportunity to test drive a 2012 volt for 2 days!!
I live in Arizona, and as I was driving out of the car lot it was 117F. Temperature has cooled a bit and is now 110F in Mesa (in the shade).
By the time I got home, the battery was depleted. This turned out to be a good thing because I wanted to feel the switch over from electric to gas. I felt nothing. Granted, the A/C and fan were full throttle.
The 6 mile ride was fantastic. I switched to Sport mode and I'm telling you this car has guts. Driving in cities in the Phoenix area, you have periodic sets of lights at every half mile. So this was the chance for me (and the volt) to show off. Anyway... back to my topic and questions.
When I got home I plugged into my 110V outlet and started charging. Then I figured I would just sit inside and play with the electronics. I wasn't sure exactly how to get the A/C going without pressing the ON button. I pressed the ON button anyway - ooops I needed to press the break at the same time.
This is odd I thought. Really, if you can remote start the car, then why the need to press the break pedal to start it?
So anyway, I started it - while the charger was still plugged in. I adjusted the A/C and cranked the XM radio.
My personal opinion is that the quality isn't stellar, just OK. Overall, the responsiveness of the controls is acceptable I guess for most people, but clearly too slow for me. Is the 2013 equipped with a faster CPU? There is a nagging latency when you select anything on the console. The refresh rate of the nav system is sub par IMO. But this is subjective and may be OK for most to operate.
This was a hot day in AZ today, and the A/C never managed to get me comfortable. Curiously, I test drove another Volt a few weeks ago, and this one was extremely cold. We even selected ECO and still felt really good... but I don't recall what the outside temperature was that day. Can anyone here on this forum tell us if the A/C is adequate for Arizona?
After 10-15 minutes playing inside I pressed the stop button. Everything went off, except the radio. Opened the door and the radio went off. Then I noticed that the charging had stopped. (green light on the dash board wasn't lit). Strange behavior. Perhaps I pressed a button that cancelled the charging. Then I got scared, and hoped that the gas engine hadn't kicked in while I was inside the car! I immediately opened my garage door. Is the gas engine ever going to come ON if you are plugged in?
Now that the charging had stopped, I pulled the handle and plugged it back in. Oddly, it took a LOT longer - almost a minute to get the green light this time. Long enough that I thought I had broken something, or had the engine ON. I also noticed a fan was still running under the hood. (As I write this, the fan is still going.) Maybe this is to cool the battery because right now it is 118F in my garage.
Anyway this was a long post sorry- a few questions but mostly comments about my (limited) experience with the car. I'll update tomorrow.