Backseat Driver: 2011 Chevrolet Volt

By John Beltz Snyder

April 28, 2011

Another new style of review we’re rolling out at Winding Road takes the focus off the driver, and gives the megaphone to our passengers. In “Backseat Driver,” we bring another person along for the ride, ask them a few basic questions, and see what kind of quick, real-world impressions we get.

This week, we scooped up our friend Curtis Sullivan and his waggish daughter Kiley for a ride in the Chevrolet Volt. Let’s let them take it from here . . .

Kiley: Oh, it’s the Chevy Volt!

Curtis: Seems pretty roomy in here.

Who are you?

KS: I’m Kiley.

CS: Curtis Sullivan.

What do you drive?

CS: I drive a Toyota Corolla. It’s my second Toyota Corolla.

Why do you drive that?

CS: Combination of monthly payment, and emissions, and fuel efficiency. I had to have all three of those things when I bought my car. That was the combo. I had to hit the right monthly number and I had to get at least 30 miles to the gallon at a bare minimum.

KS: I drive a bike.

CS: I would like to get a car that gets 60 miles to the gallon. That’s my new goal for when we get our next car.

What do you like about this car?

KS: It’s very smooth.

CS: It does seem very smooth. It seems just like a regular car so far. And by that I mean there’s no noticeable electric—you know, what you might think about an electric car, like bad acceleration. It looks pretty cool, too.

KS: Is that a touchscreen?

Is there anything you don’t like about the car?

KS: Not really. It’s nice. It’s comfy.

CS: Yeah, it looks pretty stylish. The info screen and touchscreen controls are really awesome. I guess I was expecting even a little more—longer battery charge, better overall fuel efficiency without the battery. It seems like a fairly good jump, but not quite the super jump that I initially was hoping that it would be.

How’s the back seat?

CS: I like it. I like this [points to center rail dividing rear seats]. And I like trunks like this. I like a hatchback a whole lot.

KS: You could hide a dead body back there.

CS: And it doesn’t look like a hatchback, which is kind of cool.

I’m gonna floor it in Sport mode and see what happens.

CS: It was really silent when you gunned it, there . . . There’s too much plastic in here. I hate plastic doors, I can tell you that much. But all this leather’s really ****ing swanky [Editor's note: "****" is spoken as a pause]. It really looks ****ing awesome, though. It’s a really cool looking car.

[Editor's note: The notation within the above text is included for clarification. This transcription is otherwise unedited from its original published form. Winding Road would like to apologize to the Sullivan family for the lack of clarity, as well as for any negative comments directed toward them. We would also like to remind readers that this article is about a car, and was never intended to be a forum for anonymous, speculative attacks of character, no matter how coincidentally accurate they may be. (Heck, even a broken clock is right twice a day.)]