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Why Chevy's Volt may remind you of VW's Jetta

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Why Chevy's Volt may remind you of VW's Jetta

Automotive News -- November 1, 2010 - 12:01 am ET

Let's admit it: We all get a kick out of driving new vehicles, especially those with new technology. Don't we?

Last Monday, I finally got behind the wheel of the Chevrolet Volt, just a few weeks after having put some miles on a Nissan Leaf.

This must be the electric-vehicle time of life, since the Leaf and Volt go on sale by year end. (Disclosure: As one of the jurors for the North American Car and Truck of the Year awards, I'm frequently evaluating vehicles -- more so this time of year as the deadline for voting nears.)

Both the Leaf and Volt driving sessions were preceded by briefings that included information about the vehicles, how they'll be distributed, charging options and special features. Briefings like that are standard fare for new vehicles with new technology and can be quite useful.

The Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid, shown, and Nissan Leaf EV: Not a concept, but reality.

But one of the more interesting things I learned about the Volt came up in casual conversation, not at the briefing: When it comes to ride and handling, Chevy engineers benchmarked the Volkswagen Jetta.

That explained a lot.

Throughout the Leaf and Volt briefings, both companies stressed that their cars are practical, reliable, comfortable vehicles -- even if they are from a new generation of cutting-edge green vehicles loaded with technology.

Chevrolet and Nissan will use advertising to countermessage each other about which green technology is better and makes more sense for the average American family.

But after driving the Leaf and then the Volt, it's clear that they are both for real.

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20101101/OEM03/311019955/-1#ixzz14257sJZg

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