If you’ve been driving the same car for a while, maybe it’s time to try something new.
I’d bet that most people own a similar type of vehicle their whole lives. Truck people stick with trucks. Sedan drivers buy another sedan. Sports car lovers never give up their sports cars – until forced to get a minivan – but they never stop loving their sports cars.
Often, your car fits your lifestyle and day to day needs. But sometimes, you just get into a rut because that’s what you’ve always driven. I’ve always been an SUV girl. But Chevrolet opened my mind.
I attended Chevy’s Find New Roads Experience this week and had the opportunity to drive and ride in several of their latest vehicles, including the Corvette – my first time driving a real sports car. From the environmentally sound Bolt EV to the powerful Silverado to the classic Corvette, Chevy showed me there’s a little bit of every type of car in every type of person.
The Chevy Colorado and Silverado: Trucks that can handle anything.
We’ve all seen those commercials featuring a big pick-up truck flying over boulders and through streams. And while that’s an exciting picture, the truth is that lots of people have a need for a truck that can take a beating. Even if they don’t have to cross a raging river on the way to work.
I drove the Colorado through an obstacle course that simulated boulders and abrupt hills. The truck easily handled the obstacles, and the superior suspension made me feel like I was barely moving. I couldn’t believe how stable I felt inside after watching others drive over the obstacles and seeing the truck bouncing around violently!
Towing is not as intimidating as it seems.
Next I drove the Silverado 2500HD. The full-size truck was towing a car on a trailer, which I am told is about twice as heavy as the average boat. With a professional driver in the passenger seat, I drove the Silverado around a closed course with cone obstacles and small hills.
As I drove, I was amazed that I didn’t once feel like I was towing anything. In fact, I barely looked behind me and actually forgot the trailer and car were attached to the truck. I’d always wondered if it would be difficult to tow a boat, and now I know that it’s no problem – at least for the Silverado. Handling the massive truck and trailer felt as easy as driving my SUV. And the exhaust braking is an excellent feature that allows the engine to slow the truck down instead of over-using your brakes when going down hills.
While towing with the Silverado, the driving pro was impressed with the way I was able to look far ahead to the next turn instead of looking directly in front of me (a skill I learned at Chevy’s winter driving event!). “You’ll do great out there (on the track),” he said, giving me just the boost of confidence I needed to get behind the wheel of the Chevy Corvette and take her for a spin!
I finally understand why people love sports cars!
I’ve never really been interested in sports cars. Give me an SUV or a powerful truck any day. I want a car that makes me feel bigger (and safer!) than everyone else on the road. And I never really understood the appeal of paying all that money for a tiny car that can’t even accommodate four people or your groceries!
But now I get it.
I was suited up in a helmet and HANS (head and neck support) device to drive the 2017 Corvette Grand Sport. Chevy wasn’t messing around here – we were about to get some real experience with speed. In fact, they made it very clear that if you wanted to drive 50-60 mph, you had no business being on the track. Some of our group opted out and chose to ride with a professional driver. I was nervous, but I really wanted to see what all the fuss was about.
Yes, I do have the need for speed!
The professional driver was in a car in front of me and I could hear him talking to me through my helmet. That was comforting. All I had to do was listen, follow, and drive.
We did three laps around the course. For the first lap, I was getting used to the Corvette. I noticed how low I was sitting in the car and how well the seat hugged me. I felt like I was in this luxurious cocoon.
We sped up on the second lap and I let out a “woo hoo” when I hit 100 mph! By the third lap, I was pushing myself to keep speed on the curves. And while I felt a moment of panic, it was quickly replaced with adrenaline as the term “hugging the curves” became crystal clear in my mind. If you’ve ever driven a sports car around a curve at 60 mph, you know how amazing it is to feel the car doing exactly what you want it to do. And that’s why people love sports cars.
Also? My next career might be in car racing.
Green cars sport the coolest technology!
Newsflash: You don’t have to be a hipster to drive an electric vehicle. The 2017 Chevy Bolt EV is an all-electric car with an estimated 238 miles of range on one charge. For someone with an average commute, this range is more than adequate for getting to work and running errands. And never having to buy gas? That’s a pretty awesome perk.
I tested two of the tech features that help the Bolt hang on to its charge longer.
Regen on Demand helps convert energy into more electricity, and then transfer it back to the battery. Braking curtails energy and also drains the battery. Instead of braking, simply pull the paddle on the Bolt’s steering wheel and the car slows down. This saves energy, which is passed back to the battery for regeneration.
Similarly, the One Pedal Driving feature also helps you transfer energy to the battery. It works like this: When driving in Low mode at any speed, you can slow down – or even come to a complete stop – by simply lifting your foot off the accelerator. This means you may use your brakes less and help increase your range. Obviously, you should always use your brake pedal if you need to stop quickly.
These new technologies are not only efficient, but they introduce a new element into driving that is really pretty fun! Chevy continues to lead the way in finding new options to make electric vehicles more and more viable for the masses.
So now that I’ve had all this experience trying out different vehicles, do I still want to stick with my SUV? Well, don’t tell my husband, but there’s a little red Corvette I’ve got my eye on…
Disclosure: I was Chevy’s guest at the Find New Roads Experience. All opinions are my own.