Too heavy, but good to drive. "For all the greenery, it's still got an internal combustion engine in it. And it should be forty grand," Chris Riley said at the COTY judging.
The Volt is beautifully quiet, rolls confidently without feeling like a golf cart and just feels like a really quiet car.
There are four modes for the drivetrain but the normal mode is perfect for suburban and city driving while the high-speed, or sport, mode will make you the king of traffic-light acceleration. It is surprisingly quick and the lack of noise - it's more a hushed whoosh like starting an electric fan - masks how fast the car is going. It's fodder for speeding tickets.
Ride comfort is good, though there is some low-speed jiggling caused by the suspension coping with a hefty 1720kg dry weight and irregular road surfaces. Steering is better than some electric systems though it can't hide the car's weight and its tendency to understeer into corners. No biggie - this isn't a sports car.
I had to overlook most of the instrument features because it was distractive to the art of driving. When the engine finally turns on, there is a muted rumble, but no more than a conventional car.
Price: from $59,990
Engine: electric motor, 16.5kWh lithium ion battery, 1.4-litre petrol four-cylinder generator
Transmission: CVT, front wheel drive
Fuel use/emissions: 8.5 l/100km, tank 35 litres 95RON PULP; 201g/km
Brakes/safety systems: Driver and front passenger airbags, front seat side/thorax, curtain airbags, front knee airbags, stability control (Emergency Brake Assist (EBA), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), Traction Control), rear parking sensors, Forward collision alert and lane departure warning
Dimensions: Length 4498mm, width 1788mm, height 1439mm, wheelbase 2685mm, cargo volume 300 litres, weight 1721kg
Wheels/tyres: 17in alloy wheels