Chevy Volt gets an upgrade – Philly.com

2016 Chevrolet Volt Premier Hatchback: Plug in and go.

The 2016 Chevrolet Volt was improved to make it run longer between plug-ins and fill-ups.
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Price: $40,225 as tested. ($37,5twenty for the base model. Choices were limited to two versions of the Driver Self-confidence Package and the MyLink radio, each $495.)

Marketer’s pitch: “The electric auto redefined.”

Conventional wisdom: Gas is cheap; delivering spine the Hummer!

Reality: Worth driving, even as gas prices are (only slightly) on the rise.

What’s new: The second-generation Volt, brand-new for this model year, gets a brand-new look that makes it look a little a lot more earthbound compared to its predecessor. Underneath, it features a pair of electric motors driving the wheels coupled along with an EcoTec 1.5-liter gasoline-powered range extender.

Increased battery capacity additionally adds to the range, taking the electric-only range as higher as 53 miles and total range to 4twenty miles, according to Chevrolet.

Up to speed: Contrary to conventional wisdom, the Volt is no laggard in obtaining on highways. Of course, drivers pay for any type of speed-racer moves in low range, however the electricity is surely there once you demand it.

On the road: The Volt’s road manners seemed most adore a Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla. The steering is very vague at reduced speeds, and obtaining the steering wheel to maintain from flopping about was my initial significant challenge.

But I adjusted rapidly and soon found the little auto straightforward to live with. Maneuvering is straightforward at reduced speeds, and country roads are not precisely fun, however they’re not as well dreary, either. No one will certainly mistake this for a Miata.

Sturgis Youngster 3.0 found the Volt to be a smooth ride – no shifting at every one of – however I found the motor functioning from sync along with the drive wheels to be a little disconcerting. And I noticed a distinct ebb and flow of electricity on the highways, a lot more noticeable for some demand at night.

Recapturing the energy: The Volt now features a special button to harness much more of the electricity from applying the brakes in to the electricity supply. I watched the gauge closely and truly couldn’t tell for sure that it was adding to my reserve a lot more compared to merely routine braking.

It’s additionally rather hard to modulate and needs a lot more believed compared to the standard driver may care to put in to driving nowadays.

Driver’s Seat: Here again I was most reminded of the Honda Civic. The Volt sits reduced to the ground, in almost a racing position. Thankfully, the Volt offered none of the spinal troubles most Civics have actually presented me.

The Volt seat is comfortable enough, however it’s a little on the squishy side. Lacking seat coolers, it can easily grab a little humid spine there in a hurry.

The windshield slopes drastically, so a lot so that a BMW 3 Collection I tested afterward felt adore an air-cooled Volkswagen Beetle.

The gauge is electronic, however the Volt doesn’t feel adore a spaceship. Power-degree readouts surround the digital speedometer.

Friends and stuff: Rear-seat accommodations prove challenging for full-size individuals. Sturgis Youngster 3.0’s 6-foot-tall substantial various other found his head clear up versus the ceiling, despite the fact that he noted the seat spine encourages good position along with its vertical stance.

A center-seating placement won’t provide generous space – it appears created for auto seats – however the previous generation didn’t provide that placement at all, a grave oversight.

Cubbies in the front mean plenty of spots for phones and whatnot.

Cargo room is a pitfall – the battery compartment shrinks hatchback volume to only 10.6 cubic feet along with the rear seat up. Compare this along with almost 16 cubic feet in an Accord trunk.

Play some tunes: The optional MyLink stereo system featured an attractive touchscreen interface worthy of a lot more expensive cars, plus dial for volume and buttons for station changing.

The sound quality rates concerning an A-: not the full range one hopes for, however still rather good.

Keeping warm or cool: The Volt HVAC features a “Max” button. In various other cars “Max” means “Maximum”; in the Volt it means “Not merely the Blower.” I don’t adore to drive along with a coat on, so I found I had to maintain the heat set a lot greater compared to in various other vehicles.

Fuel economy: I wasn’t able to grab the Volt fully charged between trips on my 110-volt garage wall outlet, however I still averaged 60 mpg in my usual array of commuting on highways, country roads, and suburban thoroughfares. (A 220-volt charger outlet would certainly rate finish charge times from concerning 13 hours to concerning 4.5 hours.) And now the Volt can easily run on routine fuel, not premium as in previous model years.

Where it’s built: Hamtramck, Mich.

How it’s built:

Consumer Reports predicts the Volt will certainly offer standard reliability, after giving good reliability due to the fact that 2013.

In the end: The redesigned Volt is surely a step in the right direction for General Motors, and a worthy choice even for supercommuters adore myself.

ssturgis@phillynews.com 215-854-2558

Published: Might 1, 2016 — 3:01 AM EDTThe Philadelphia Inquirer

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