Design and Engineering

Design and Engineering

Good The truly electrifying Holden Volt hit Australian shores in November 2012. The Volts design is geared towards aerodynamic styling to help deliver the best economic performance.

The front diffuser and extended rear spoiler create an extremely low drag coefficient of 0.28, this basically means the Volt can move more freely through the air at higher speeds; Pretty cool huh?

The alloy front grille really gives the front of the Volt some bling while the menacing front headlights feature a unique styling line. The bonnet is made from aluminium to help save weight and has an aerodynamic dam that allows for better airflow.

From the rear, the Volt features a squared off design that is matched to a futuristic rear tail light cluster.
Not so good Design wise we've got a little soft spot for the Volt, we like the pimped out front grille and squared off rear design. But, the design might not appeal to the likes of everyone.
Interior and Styling

Interior and Styling

Good Holden has taken a big risk with the Volts interior design and it kind of works. The centre stack features touch sensitive controls that allow occupants to change climate setting, access phone, sound levels and Satellite Navigation.

The touch sensitive centre stack also houses a 7-inch LCD colour touch screen that allows occupants to see real-time information on energy use and power flow.

The Volt also features voice recognition that allows voice control on certain Bluetooth radio, audio system and navigation functions, including selecting radio stations, audio tracks, navigation settings and preset destinations.

Holden has made a bold statement with the Volts flowing interior lines that sweep from the door panels all the way up and into the dash. And, while most of the interior is black, large dabs of glossy white plastic highlight the centre dash, gear shifter and door trims.
Not so good We like the overall design of the cabin with its futuristic lines, but, the bold contrast between glossy white and muted blacks don’t seem to gel that well. But that’s just our opinion.
Performance

Performance

Good The Volt is powered by an electric propulsion system; consisting of a 16.5-kWh lithium-ion battery pack and electric drive unit that is capable of achieving a range of up to 87 kilometres on pure electric depending on driving conditions. The battery pack is good for around 111kW and 370Nm of torque.

There is also a 1.4-litre petrol-powered generator that recharges the battery pack, giving the Volt a total range of around 600 kilometres depending on driving conditions.

Drivers can choose from three different driving modes – normal, sport and hold.

Normal mode allows you to drive around unassisted with just the battery pack, when the battery pack runs flat the petrol-powered generator kicks in to keep you going until you reach a destination that you can suitably recharge.

Hold mode forces the Volt to use the petrol generator to charge the battery while driving.

And probably the most fun of the modes, Sport mode heightens response and acceleration times.

The Volt has plenty of torque that is available at pretty much any speed. You could be cruising along at 60km/h, plant your right foot and the Volt instantly kicks you back into your seat, it’s that much fun.
Not so good Although the Volt takes off like a bat out of hell performance starts to curve off sharply, with the official 0-100km/h time coming in at 9.0 seconds. The fully regenerative braking system feels a little course while pulling to a halt.
Ride and Handling

Ride and Handling

Good The Volt has a smooth and comfortable ride that is most definitely geared towards the comfort end of the spectrum. However, the Volt does remain low and flat when thrown through some corners, but the 1700kgs odd of mass does give a little body roll. But, the Volt is more at home just cruising around in utter silence.
Not so good Because of the low nature of the Volt and the even lower front lip spoiler, the Volt scraps over pretty much anything, speed humps, pot holes, supermarket driveways, you name it. However, Holden reassures that the spoiler is made of soft materials that flex and that it’s designed to improve overall aerodynamics.
Buying and Owning

Buying and Owning

Good Holden offer capped price servicing on Volt’s first four standard scheduled log book services for the first three years or 60,000km, whichever comes first, and an eight year / 160,000 kilometre transferrable warranty that covers the battery and Voltec components. Plus a three year/ 100,000 kilometre warranty on the vehicle.

So this should give you some peace of mind when thinking of purchasing an EV. The battery pack / petrol generator rids any concern of ‘range anxiety’; it’s pretty sweet as a town car or the short commute to and from work.
Not so good The asking price might be a little bit of a stretch for most buyers, considering the price point puts the Volt into European premium car territory.