In Detail: 2011 Chevrolet Volt

TRANSLOGIC 51 has Bradley sitting in a familiar spot, behind the wheel of a Chevrolet Volt. Now that the Volt is a real car you can actually buy, here are a few details you may have missed. First, the Volt is offered in just one trim level, but, unlike a typical entry-level vehicle, the Volt actually comes nicely equipped. Since the Volt's asking price is about $40,000, GM's done quite a bit to give the car a premium feel versus its less expensive EV rival, the Nissan Leaf.

If you've watched TRANSLOGIC 51, you know that the Volt comes standard with OnStar (which, unfortunately, led us to an incompatible charging station). Still, OnStar is a critical element of the Volt's robust in-car tech. Five years of OnStar service, including automatic crash response, stolen vehicle assistance and connected navigation are all included.

Also, when Bradley checks the Volt's charge level and cabin temperature, he's using the OnStar Mylink mobile app, which is also standard on the Volt; however, the owner must have a compatible smartphone to use the feature.

Convenience features like one-touch power windows, keyless entry, heated and power operated outside mirrors with integrated turn signals, seven speaker Bose surround sound with aux input and iPod specific connection via USB, cruise control, climate control plus a tilt and telescoping steering wheel with integrated audio controls are also included in the Volt's price. The Volt really only has two options, a leather trim package and a parking assist system with a rear camera.

In our week with the Chevy Volt we used very little gas. It turns out many Volt owners are having the same experience. According to Chevrolet, in March 2011, Volt owners averaged 1,000 miles between gasoline fill ups. Of course, they're recharging the car's batteries much more frequently – this supports what Chevy has maintained all along, that the Volt is first an electric car and a hybrid second.

When it comes to interior space, the Volt is simply adequate. We were able to pick up a small BBQ grille and enough groceries for a weekend cookout, but at 10.6 cubic feet, it's got much less storage space than a Toyota Prius. Plus, the Volt can only seat 4.

Most importantly, our real world test shows that the Volt adapts to you, rather than you having to adapt to it. Say you don't have time to stop and charge up or have a hard time finding the right kind of charging station (as we did). Thankfully, a gasoline engine kicks in and extends the vehicle's range to more than 300 miles using a combination of gas and electricity. While the Chevy Volt certainly isn't perfect, it does seem to do exactly what Chevrolet say it will – operate as an electric car most of the time, using very little gasoline on a day to day basis.

Click the image below to watch TRANSLOGIC 51: Chevy Volt Real World Test:

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