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Volt meets real-world tests

CNET Car Tech reviews the 2011 Chevrolet Volt.

Wayne Cunningham Managing Editor / Roadshow
Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET's Roadshow. Prior to the automotive beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine.
Wayne Cunningham
2011 Chevy Volt
Wayne Cunningham/CNET

After years of auto show concepts and parking lot test drives, we finally got a Chevrolet Volt in for a proper review. With no GM minders riding along, we drove the Volt up steep San Francisco hills, along scenic coastal roads, and over miles of freeways at speeds of 65 to 75 mph. In city traffic the Volt contended with stop-and-go traffic and our usual method of jamming the accelerator when the light turns green, getting us to the next red light quickly.

And over all this, the Volt performed more than admirably. When the battery was charged, the car ran happily along, not using a drop of gas. And we felt little difference in engine mode, beyond slightly more noise at low speeds. In efforts to deplete the battery charge, its regenerative braking occasionally confounded us. Beyond the perfectly fine driving performance, the cabin electronics are also excellent, with the added benefit of remote functions through a smartphone app.

Read our review of the Editors' Choice-winning 2011 Chevrolet Volt.