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TEST DRIVE: Inhabitat Drives the 2013 Chevy Volt in Los Angeles
The 2013 Volt now features four drive modes: normal, sport, mountain and hold. The new hold setting forces the Volt to reserve most of its battery power and use the range extender engine to keep it moving. This setting is great for when you’re on the freeway, so that you can save the battery power for zero-emissions driving when you’re traveling at slower speeds in the city. The mountain setting tells the system to conserve part of its battery power, but also increases the amount of regenerative braking. In normal mode the Volt had more than enough power around town and in sport mode it actually felt a bit zippy. The transition from full EV mode to the range-extender engine was so seamless that if it wasn’t for the display change, you probably would never know which mode you’re driving in.
Of course, as with almost every vehicle there were a few things that we didn’t like. For example the navigation system experienced a few delays, its suspension could have been a bit sportier and its brakes could have been a bit stronger, but as a total package the Volt shows that it is possible to create a hybrid that gets great mileage and without compromising on the features we’re used to.
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