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2013 Chevrolet Volt Overview

Justin Cupler
Automotive Editor - January 21, 2013

The Chevy Volt made its auto-show debut in 2007 as an ultra-modern concept that promised lower emissions and less gasoline usage. When the Volt finally became a production model in 2010, it was toned way down and still used gasoline as a source of energy, though in a limited fashion.

The 2013 model year brings a small number of changes to the volt, including three more miles of all-electric range, a “Hold” drive mode for extra battery range, a body-colored roof and hatch, new Pebble Beige seating color, an upgraded optional audio system, and three new optional packages. This model comes standard with a 149-horsepower electric drive unit and a 16 kWh lithium-ion battery that allows the vehicle to run up to 38 miles on a single charge. A 84-horsepower, 1.4-liter engine kicks on when the battery is depleted to act as a generator for the electric drive unit, which allows for an extra 344 miles of range on a tank of fuel.

With only one trim level available, Chevy offers up four optional packages to help add some extra class to the Volt. First up is the Premium Trim Package, which adds in leather seating, heated front seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel and a rear-seat armrest with storage. Next up is the Comfort Package, which adds in heated front seats and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. Enhanced Safety Package 1 adds in an auto-dimming rearview mirror, Rear Park Assist, an a rearview camera. Enhanced Safety Package 2 includes Front Park Assist, Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning.

In terms of competition, the extended-range electric vehicle is still in its infant phase, so it is rather limited. First up is the Toyota Prius Plug-In, which includes a 134-horsepower hybrid system, a 95 MPGe rating, and 11 miles of electric-only driving. Next is the 2013 Ford C-Max Energi, which includes a 141-horsepower hybrid driveline, a 100 MPGe EPA rating, and 21 miles of electric-only driving. Finally, you have the Nissan Leaf, which relies on an 80 kW electric drivetrain with 107 horsepower, 73 miles of estimated driving range and a 106 MPGe rating in the city.

As you can see, since extended-range EV cars are still a rarity, you need to also consider hybrid and all-electric vehicles when shopping for your next car. In that instance, the Volt is at both an advantage and a disadvantage, as it pretty much falls right in the middle of the pack.

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