Driving a bland second-gen Chevy Volt, cramped Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe

The International Motor Press Association's annual cruise-and-schmooze shatters the silence of Bear Mountain State Park with performance cars such as this 485-horsepower Dodge Challenger with a Hemi V-8 engine and Shaker Hood.


By VICTOR E. SASSON
EDITOR

The first-generation Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid bombed, selling only 100,000 units in five model years.

On Thursday, I drove a second-generation Volt with a longer electric range than the original, and thought this is the car to buy while you're saving up for the ultimate EV, Tesla's Model S, or the upcoming Model 3.

A Volt and a 2016 Toyota Prius were the only green cars available at the Spring Break event at Bear Mountain State Park in Harriman, N.Y.

Writers, publicists and other members of the International Motor Press Association got to drive about 70 new models over the winding roads of the park under the watchful eyes of police, who have been known to issue $450 speeding tickets. 

One of the most disappointing cars I drove was a Mercedes-Benz AMG C-Class Coupe that was too small to accommodate four adults comfortably.

I thought this flashy but cramped car -- with an MSRP of around $58,000 -- would be faster, having been souped up by the German automaker's in-house speed shop, AMG.

But when I hit the gas pedal, not much happened.

One car I didn't get to drive is the 50th anniversary edition of the Ford Shelby Hertz GT350 "rent a racer."

But a friend who rode shotgun with another writer said the highly modified V-8 powered Mustang was the most impressive of the day.


This breathtaking view includes the Hudson River in the distance.

The 2017 Chevrolet Volt is quiet and bland.

Mazda's new Miata sports a grille with a shit-eating grin -- just like the one on the driver's face after he throws the sports car around on the park's winding two-lane roads.

The loud snap, crackle and pop of the dual exhausts on Jaguar's F-Type certainly entertain the driver, above and below, but probably annoy the hell out of bicyclists and other park users.


As someone who has owned four Toyota Priuses and now owns a Tesla Model S, I loved the opportunity to drive the new generation of the world's best-selling gas-electric hybrid. The 2016 Prius seems peppier and handles beautifully on two-lane roads. The interior was free of the squeaks and rattles that developed in our 2010 Prius.

The center console's wireless charging pad for cellphones is a terrific feature.

For decades, Toyotas have been known for easy to see and use controls -- a marked contrast to the notoriously unfriendly interiors of more expensive models from Mercedes, BMW and other manufacturers.

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.