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VEHICLE REVIEW 2016 Chevy Volt: Nice ... if there's a garage to charge
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times by Sam Gomez, GayWheels

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Anyone who has ever tried to eat healthily has experienced sticker shock. Healthy foods, unless you know how to shop and how to cook well, are expensive compared to the quick and easy junk food that ultimately satisfies hunger, too. In the long run, healthy is better, even if the entry fee is a bit steep.

The same thing could be said about electric cars. Who, other than big oil, doesn't like the idea of having a car that doesn't pollute ( more or less )? Yet, it will cost you at least $32,000 to get into the Chevy Volt ( the Nissan Leaf is a bit cheaper ) and, for a small sedan in the United States, there are cheaper alternatives. It makes you wonder, then, who buys an electric car.

It turns out many people who buy an electric car do so because in many states, you can drive a single-passenger electric car in the HOV lane without consequence. These buyers also have a high consciousness about the environment, something nicely complemented with a large solid yearly income. These buyers also have garages, so know this: street parking won't cut it, and unless you work at a place where there is a charging station that you can use while you toil, read no further. ( Well, honestly, keep reading for the brilliance that espouses. )

The Chevy Volt is all-new for 2016. Whereas in the past, the Volt looked like an electric car fresh from the laboratory with simple designs from the clip art available in the shop room, now it looks like a sexy, sporty car—something that on the surface does not "look" like an electric car. The dashboard really is luxurious, accented with stuff that looks like leather and polished chrome that it jumps at you with a wink and a purr. From the outside, the 2016 Volt also says, "Hey, stud—hop in and see for yourself," and with limited color options that include heather grey and siren red, the car works well for your millennial urban life or baby-boomer life in a tower.

Just to clarify, the Volt does not run on electricity alone. There is gas in the car, and that allows you to drive past the average 53 miles per charge you get once you've let it charge all day or all night. The gasoline kicks in once the charge has been drained, thus you are never completely stranded.

I like the 2016 Chevy Volt—the best Volt to date, IMHO. But make no mistake, the car is tight inside. I'm not the most petite cupcake on the planet, so I expected some snugness. My knees didn't bang around but sliding in and out of the Volt was more of an orchestrated Tai Chi move for me. Combine that with the fact that the backseats were even tighter and there is an argument for getting your body mass index checked before you buy. Don't get me wrong: The interior looks great—but like those great-looking pants that allow for no unsightly rolls of humanity, the interior is precise when it comes to who can get in and get out with ease. Kale ranch salads for everyone for two months and you should be fine.

One asset I really enjoyed on the Volt is its acceleration. Electric cars from President Obama's first term where economical and Earth-friendly, which meant that pep was only to be found in the driver's drink and not under the hood. With the 2016 Volt, pulling a fast one on the road was a truly pleasant experience, one that made you forget that this is an electric car.

If being a good environmental steward is important to you, also take a look at the Chevy Spark, their other electric car. You can get into it for under $20,000 but your only option is to get it as a two-door hatchback. Still, the exterior colors ( i.e. salsa, lime ) are more pastel but more vibrant and more gay. Also, parking is much easier, given that you and a friend and your sheepdog may be all that can fit in it for a crosstown trek to a Bernie Sanders fundraiser. Again, make sure you have a place to park it and charge it—which kinda defeats the point of having a low-cost electric car if you have to find affordable housing for it as well as your body ass-ettes.

Someday soon, the electric car will be the norm and flying cars will also be a reality. Well, maybe driverless cars will come to life first. Yes, soon it will no longer take a village of fossil fuels to get you from Point Gay to tea dance…..

…but it may take a garage where you can leave your car overnight so it can charge completely.

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