Just weeks ago, two journalists had the first opportunities to drive the Chevy Volt in the highly discussed charge sustaining mode. Though their overall reviews of the vehicle were of high praise, both commented that the vehicle needed additional work transitioning from electric drive to battery boost. As the vehicle transitioned, the reviewers noted a racing engine sound that was a bit disruptive.John O'Dell of Edmunds.com had his chance to take the Chevy Volt for a brief test drive and he too has experience this transition, but his comments are not as negative as previous reviewers and he notes that the engine racing is a rare occurrence.
O'Dell's overall view of the vehicle is summed up as, "It is a competitive EV when driving in all-electric mode - as quiet and smooth as any we've driven - and it seems a competent vehicle when the engine-generator kicks in."
As O'Dell noted, throughout the course of his brief test drive, the Volt changed over from battery charge to generator power on several occasions. Most of the time, this transition was as he says, "Seamless and the noise levels when the engine came on were quite acceptable."
On a few occasions during his drive, O'Dell notes that he too experienced the racing engine sound. O'Dell states that the sound is, "About the same as putting a conventional car into neutral and then racing the motor just a bit, the engine RPM exceeding the power needed to do what you're doing at that moment."
As more reviews come in, it's apparent that the racing engine sound is not an attribute that reviewers find to be appropriate for this vehicle. GM promises that additional work will go into the transition from battery to generator and that all of the kinks will be worked out prior to its release.
One thing is certain after reading countless reviews of the Chevy Volt. The vehicle offers an integrated package that is well liked by most reviewers. It offers strong performance, sound handling, quality materials, agility and appeal. Finalizing the small details will take time, but perfecting the details will make the Volt a no compromise vehicle.