Hatchback: 2014 Chevrolet Volt

Plug-in hybrid capable of running on gas or electric power; lower price-point for 2014 makes it even more competitive

Out there on the frontier of transportation, EV proponents are still fighting against the one Achilles’ heel of the electric car: Limited-range driving. With the Volt, you get to have your cake and eat it too, with an entirely usable amount of electric-only driving range, and an efficient four-cylinder conventional gasoline engine when the electrons run out. The new lower price point places the Chevy outside of niche competition, and into the cross-hairs of those cross-shopping against more conventional machinery. It’s not just the fuel that you’ll be saving – plugging into the wall in B.C. means using clean hydroelectric power instead of emissions-producing internal combustion engine.

The Specs

Type Four-door hatchback
Layout Gas-electric hybrid, front-wheel-drive
Base engine (hp) 1.4L four-cylinder (84 hp), 111kW electric-drive (149 hp)
Transmission(s) Single gear direct-drive
Fuel economy (L/100km, city/highway) 6.7/5.9 (gas-only); 20.5/22.4 kWh/100kms (electric)
Basic warranty 36 months/60,000 km

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