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Hi all,

I had one one holy crap moments on the way home from work today. Some idiot pulling out of Walmart in a minivan just darted right in front of me. Idiot. They panicked and nearly came to a complete stop right in front of me. Dumb ass move number two... Then decided to speed on ahead. Unbelievable. It's one of moments when you just react. No thinking time.

I was really pleased with the Volt's low center of gravity, and handling. Oh yea, the brakes work well too. I hit the brakes hard enough to make them squeal from a split second. I don't think the entire incident lasted more than 2 seconds of real time. It's happened to all of us. Just happened to be my first time with this car.

So, my love affair with my Volt grows a little more. 850 miles on 2 gallons of gas to boot. :)

Dan
 

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Luckily for us, the brakes and the stability control on the Volt are the result of Chevrolet's extensive experience with the Corvettes in racing, and it shows.
 

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GM has the best brakes on all its vehicles since GM was the first manufacturer to offer antilocking brake system (ABS) on ALL of its vehicles. The Europeans had it first but used a complex and expensive hydraulic system. Give thanks to the mechanical and electrical engineers that developed a simpler system using electronic sensors and motors, which cost less to install and reacts faster, and has saved countless lives.

The modern GM vehicle monitors the sensors as soon as the system has power, and works with the StabiliTrack system. My Equinox had two speeed sensors fail under warranty in 2010, and it was a supplier problem, since the day I picked up my Equinox a 2009 Pontiac Torrent was coming in for the same problem. The system has not failed since the replacements (at no cost).
 

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Apparently speed sensors do fail. I had one go out on my right front wheel of my 07 F150 Supercrew. Not under warranty. Cost almost $400 to replace it, and labor was a tiny fraction of that since it isn't a complicated job on that vehicle.
 

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Luckily for us, the brakes and the stability control on the Volt are the result of Chevrolet's extensive experience with the Corvettes in racing, and it shows.
That's why I own BOTH.
 

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I hate the brakes on my Volt but it does handle well to the point that I've ripped around corners faster that sports cars. Brakes do NOT give me that progressive confidence that I prefer. They work fine 98% of the time and I'm used to them but sometimes the just do not react quickly - that half a milli-second of initial bite that matters - where any other car I've had would, even the 2006 Kia Spectra sitting in the garage. Something to be said for normal brakes. I hope the new Volt has ironed out the rare but still important "breaking confidence killers" that every Volt I've driven has. I've been "bracing for impact" a few times with my Volt where I would have had no concern in other vehicles. And it wasn't that the Volt didn't stop quickly - it did - but it just doesn't have that confidence-building initial bite in an emergency situation. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't... it's not predictable and common like a standard breaking system - at least for me. And don't say "don't drive too close, then" because, if you've driven in Atlanta, that doesn't matter.
 

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I hate the brakes on my Volt but it does handle well to the point that I've ripped around corners faster that sports cars. Brakes do NOT give me that progressive confidence that I prefer. They work fine 98% of the time and I'm used to them but sometimes the just do not react quickly - that half a milli-second of initial bite that matters - where any other car I've had would, even the 2006 Kia Spectra sitting in the garage. Something to be said for normal brakes. I hope the new Volt has ironed out the rare but still important "breaking confidence killers" that every Volt I've driven has. I've been "bracing for impact" a few times with my Volt where I would have had no concern in other vehicles. And it wasn't that the Volt didn't stop quickly - it did - but it just doesn't have that confidence-building initial bite in an emergency situation. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't... it's not predictable and common like a standard breaking system - at least for me. And don't say "don't drive too close, then" because, if you've driven in Atlanta, that doesn't matter.
I am a bit confused with some of the comments. Here is stated "it's not predictable and common like a standard breaking system". In another post "GM has the best brakes on all its vehicles." So what does this all mean? How does the Volt brakes differ from a standard braking system?
 

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Having test driven many different types of EVs, I find the Volts brakes to be very good at blending regen and friction brakes. The only gotcha moment is when you go over a rough patch on the road and regen is suddenly disabled, giving you the impression that the Volt is suddenly speeding up though the brakes are pressed.
 

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I do like the handling on the Volt as well. It closely resembles the handling on a BMW 3 series I used to have.

The tires? A different story..... I have pushed the Volt around a few corners when the tires were not willing. I'm not sure how much range it will cost me, but I am considering getting better tires when my current set wears out..
 

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Luckily for us, the brakes and the stability control on the Volt are the result of Chevrolet's extensive experience with the Corvettes in racing, and it shows.
I took a hard corner side by side with a Corvette recently. While the Volt's handling allowed it to make the corner, the tires made an embarrassing squeal, causing the Corvette driver to do a double-take to see who was squealing their tires next to him. Needless to say the Corvette tires didn't make any noise... :)
 

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I'm pretty sure the Volt's stability control system saved my bacon once on the New Jersey Turnpike when I made a sort of <ahem> aggressive maneuver to go around a slower car while going about 70MPH in a pretty heavy rain. I felt the car squirm and realized what I did could have started a very unwelcome rotation in low-traction conditions, but thankfully the car just wiggled and then went where I pointed it without any dramatic countersteering required. I was too busy focusing on the situation to see if any lights flashed on the IP, but my guess is the system was working and quite well. IMO, GM has a history of sweating the details on these systems and gets them right, not only in function but in subjective operation.
 

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GM has the best brakes on all its vehicles since GM was the first manufacturer to offer antilocking brake system (ABS) on ALL of its vehicles. The Europeans had it first but used a complex and expensive hydraulic system.
err.... GM doesn't make its own brakes, so it would be irrelevant what its background in ABS is as to whether this TRW system is good or otherwise. Volt uses a TRW system.

I am not sure how to substantiate the claim that GM was the first to have ABS on ALL of its cars. As for systems being 'hydraulic' and thus complex, all ABS systems are 'hydraulic'.

Anyhow, apart from the dubious factual considerations, I agree that my Amperas brakes are special. I guess there may be something that has that pre-decision kind of thing where it applies the brakes harder if it thinks it's needed. A few weeks ago I pulled into the slower lane of 3 when the motorway slowed suddenly and pressed a bit harder than expected to slow for the truck ahead, but it didn't simply slow per my press, it did some extra braking for me (not necessary, but I hadn't anticipate it would) and I have rarely felt a car's brakes bite that hard.
 

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If you need to stop and slam it quickly without hesitation, you will practically go through the windshield.
If you hesitate and start braking normally it will be much slower to react as it is attempting regen+brake blend.

Try it yourself on an empty patch of road with no one else around.
 

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I have owned 2 BMW 3 series cars and my Volt handles nothing like them. I actually hate the whole front wheel drive handling the Volt has. I love the car, but handling is not a high score on these cars if you have driven lots of cars. The ride quality is very good for a car of this size but a canyon carver it is far from...
 
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