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I got to do a ride and drive with the Volt this week here in Houston. Here are my thoughts.

This car is pretty amazing. We had a course set up and got to drive the Volt and then a Prius for comparison. There really wasn't one. Compared to Volt, the Prius was sluggish and the handling paled in comparison. The Volt has 273 ft/lbs of torque. That is better than alot of V6s. The Toyota's only advantage was the back seat. Volt only seats 2 in the back and the Prius does have more leg room back there. Volt's back seat was ok(I'm 6'1" and sat back there fine).

The car is amazingly connected. You can check everything about the vehicle from your Android, Iphone, or laptop. You can also program the cars charge time. You can set it up to charge during off peak hours to save on electricity or to start charging the second you plug it in.

If I could afford it(which at $40k is questionable), I could conceivably go months without spending a thing on gas. If you go a whole year on the same tank of gas, it makes you use it up and put new gas in. Most will also want to install the 240 Volt charging station at their home. You could just use the 120V that comes with the car, but the charge times are long. Try 10-12 hrs vs 4-5 hrs. Estimated total cost of installing the cheapest 240V station was around $1500.

Here is a crazy thing to be aware of. The lithium ion battery runs right down the middle of the car. It is liquid cooled... This was a great engineering solution. There are many advantages over the air cooled solution Nissan Leaf went with. One caveat... condensation. Here in humid Houston, if you charge your Volt in the garage, you will leave a puddle every morning when you go to work.

The $7,500 tax credit is nice, but you have to wait until next year to get it. However, if you do the lease plan through US Bank, the $7,500 is applied to the deal immediately and US Bank claims the tax credit.

My opinion is that the car is a winner in a world where price doesn't matter. If Volts were the same price as the Prius, Toyota might as well stop making them. However, a lease will be the only way to go right now for most people who aren't early adopters with a hole burning in their overflowing checking accounts.
 
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