Imagine the following scenario: you and your partner are rapidly approaching retirement, looking to downsize your car, and trying to plan for your financial future.
You’re ready to buy a new car, but you want something that’s relatively green and cheap to run.
Could the 2013 Chevrolet Volt offer you everything you need in a retirement car?
Many retirees find they only make regular short trips in an average day, with the occasional longer road trip a few times a year.
Thanks to its on-board 16.5 kilowatt-hour battery pack, the Volt can travel an EPA-approved 38 miles per charge without using any gasoline, meaning daily trips out and about town can be made without worrying about gas prices.
For longer trips across state, the range-extending gasoline engine can provide enough range to get you between cities without worrying about recharging.
Better still, because it comes with a 110-volt Level 1 charging station as standard, you won’t have to shell out for an expensive, 240-volt, Level 2 charging station to be installed in your home unless you really want one. It’s worth noting however, that charging at 110-volts takes a lot longer than it does at 240-volts.
Refined, comfortable interior
While the 2013 Chevrolet Volt is no luxury car, its interior is comfortable enough on long trips to keep most passengers happy.
Adjustable, heated front seats also help provide instant heat on cold days, whilst a pre-heating setting allows you to program the car to heat or cool itself up before you get in.
Cabin noise is also kept to a minimum, with transition between electric and gasoline power sources smooth and made without fuss.
When it comes to load space, the Volt’s load bay floor, while easy to reach, only provides 10.6 cubic feet of space.
However, the rear seats fold down to give a more useful, flat load bay area of 18 cubic feet.
Because your kids have grown up, left home and have cars of their own, you won’t need a minivan or SUV any more.
And while it’s always nice to have the extra room an SUV offers, you’ll find yourself paying extra for the privilege in gas-bills.
While the Chevrolet Volt is classed as a compact car, its two front and two rear individual seats ensure there’s more than enough room for all but the tallest of drivers and passengers, while adequate lumbar support makes driving it long-distance a pleasure.
2012 Chevrolet Volt
2012 Chevrolet Volt
Even if you’re retired, it doesn’t mean you don’t like the thrill of accelerating fast.
Although the Volt’s 1.4-liter engine isn’t exactly what you’d call exciting, its 111 kilowatt motor provides more than enough torque to let you out-run all but the sportiest of cars at the stop light.
And because it’s got a continuously-variable transmission, there are no unpleasant automatic gear-shifts to worry about either.
While the Chevrolet Volt does provide comfortable, efficient motoring for those retirees who want to travel beyond the range of an all-electric car, it isn’t the easiest of cars to get in and out of if you have restricted mobility.
Then there’s cost.
Starting at $39,145 before state and federal tax incentives, it also isn’t exactly cheap to buy.
If you’re downsizing from a two-car household to a one-car household however, you may be able to offset some of that high cost with a double trade-in.
Add in the $7,500 federal tax credit and any local incentives however, and you could find that $39,145 drops significantly.
Is it for you?
As always, we recommend you take a test drive before making any purchase decision, but with one of the highest levels of satisfaction of any car on the market today, the Chevrolet Volt could give you many happy years of retirement motoring.
Do you have alternative suggestions? Do you disagree?
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