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The Chevrolet Volt in the Snow

The weather wasn't quite so nice for our tests.

Most reviews of the Chevrolet Volt dwell on its powertrain and technology, which is understandable. It’s a ground-breaking car. But, once the novelty of traveling 100 miles and using only 1.1 gallons of gas (like I managed to do in my first weekend with the Volt) wears off, this is a car that you still need to live with on a daily basis.

Living in New Hampshire means living with snow. And luckily for me, we had some while I was testing the Volt last month. Yes, we got snow in April. No, it was not fun. The last storm of the year was small, but I was able to see how the Volt handled the slushy roads in the Dartmouth-Sunapee region of New Hampshire.

Given that the Volt has low-rolling resistance tires, which aren’t known for their grip, I was nervous, especially when I came to the section of my road that’s nothing but S curves. On one side, you have a very steep hill. On the other, you have a battered guardrail, a 20-foot drop and a rushing trout stream filed with boulders. They don’t call it the Granite State for nothing.

I wasn’t pushing it, and the conditions weren’t horrific, but the Volt never lost traction. Its electric range dropped by about five miles compared to the 50-degree day before. Even though it would decrease electric range and fuel economy, based on this test, I think that with a set of snow tires the Volt could make it through some pretty nasty winter weather. 

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