Does the world’s ideal hybrid wear a Chevy badge? It does now.
- $40,825 (as tested, including destination fee)
- Dual-motor electric powertrain, 184-kWh lithium-ion battery pack; 1.5-L 4-cylinder
- 149-hp; 273 lb.-ft.
The 2016 Chevrolet Volt is so good, it makes me worried.
That probably sounds truly pessimistic or, if you prefer a word along with fewer syllables, it could come off as plain old dumb. Well, considering my usual optimistic state of mind, enable me to explain what’s vexing me concerning this fuel-sipping, five-door front-wheel-drive hatchback.
My apprehension is as a result of the truth that General Motors has actually a bad habit of getting points rather right, merely in time to stop everything. From the mid-engine Fiero to the electric-powered EV1, GM has actually made a number of cars that deserved a much better fate, however were initially (and fatally) stung by mechanical issues, slow sales, or a mixture of the two.
Lighter, much better packaged, and more economical; Chevy has actually left no stone unturned once it came to boosting the 2016 Volt hybrid.
In the case of the Fiero, early models had a nasty habit of attempting to self-immolate once the car’s 4-cylinder engine broke a connecting rod. along with the EV1, the market just wasn’t all set for such an extroverted electric automobile – especially once laws were tweaked to make EV1 production unnecessary to meet emission requirements.
Where does that leave the Volt? spine once it arrived in late-2010, points looked nice and rosy, that is until crash examinations led to a collection of bizarre and hard-to-trace engine fires. In crash examinations conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Volt battery packs mysteriously caught fire days, sometimes even weeks after crash examinations were conducted.
Mechanical modifications – though not a formal recall – helped to strengthen the structure surrounding the battery pack, to advice minimize the possibility of fire complying with a severe crash.
The front of the 2016 Chevy Volt is dominated by metallic-looking grilles and a pair of slim headlights.
Early sales of the Volt didn’t exactly set off any fireworks at GM headquarters, either. The automotive media (yes, that would certainly be us) didn’t advice matters, by producing a faux rivalry between the Volt and the similarly eco-themed Nissan Leaf EV. Volt sales would certainly eventually peak about 23,000 units in 2013, prior to tapering off last year to concerning 15,000 units.
That’s still not bad, considering that cheap gas doesn’t exactly advice once you’re attempting to sell a automobile created about the dual ethos of zero emission driving and frugal gas mileage. Will certainly the all-Brand-new Volt discover a better audience, even as a gallon of gasoline progressively treads downward?
It only takes a few minutes behind the wheel to feel exactly how much sharper the Volt is to drive.
It absolutely should, and here’s why.
In almost every single method that matters, the 2016 Chevy Volt is a drastically much better automobile compared to the one it replaces. It feels livelier to drive, it offers a lot more electric-only driving range and drinks much less fuel, it additionally seats a lot more individuals and the dashboard has actually been totally revamped, making it infinitely less complicated to use.
Chevy estimates the 2016 Volt calls for 8.4 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph.
If GM was a stubborn puppy, this would certainly be the point in the tale where little Fido finally masters his wee-wee pad and stops chewing on chair legs. This is good GM…good, good GM! (Cue head pats and a scratch behind the ear.)
What is there not to like? The previous Volt certainly stood out more, the chunkier lines of the initial model made it a lot more instantly recognizable. In comparison, the Brand-new Volt looks a lot Love the latest Chevy Cruze – or even the Brand-new Honda Civic, for that matter.
The fee of my test car, an almost fully-loaded example in upscale Premier trim, crept north of $40,000. Federal tax credits advice claw off $7,500, and that’s prior to you take in to consideration your cost savings from sailing past most gas stations. Still, this Chevy isn’t cheap. Check out what’s going on beneath the skin of this hybrid, and you’ll know why.
A 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine acts primarily as an onboard generator, feeding power and charge to the dual-motor electric propulsion system, which includes a lighter and a lot more compact lithium-ion battery group mounted in a T-shape along the central spine of the car.
The 2016 Volt is available in two trim levels: LT and upscale Premier.
From the initial moment you drive it, the 2016 Volt feels lighter and livelier. I type of miss out on the beefier very first feel of the first-gen Volt, though there’s no denying the Brand-new model is a much better drive in all conditions. Operating in electric mode, the ’16 Volt additionally feels downright punchy – thanks to the gobs of low-end torque that EVs are so good at delivering. Chevy says EV range now stands at 53 miles, after which the 1.5-liter gas-fed engine jumps in, to offer additional power (and a total driving range pegged at 420 miles).
That makes the Volt a excellent automobile for anyone in a single automobile household. Much as we appreciate electric vehicles, their limited range still relegates several of them to ‘second automobile status.’ Sure, a Tesla has actually concerning 300 miles of range. It additionally costs a lot more compared to $100-grand.
The 1.5-liter gasoline-fed 4-cylinder serves primarily as a generator for the front-wheel-drive Volt’s electric motor.
Hey, at least there is in-automobile W-Fi, courtesy of a 4G LTE network that turns the Volt in to a rolling hotspot.
The cabin of the 2016 Chevy Volt is dramatically different – and simpler to use – compared to the interior of the previous model.
There is additionally a ton of standard and available safety equipment. Not only does the ’16 model double as an inflatable raft, thanks to a total of 10 airbags, there is additionally a standard reverse camera, along along with choices such as a forward collision warning system along with emergency braking, lane departure warning, rear cross traffic alert, and more.
And yes, there are still enjoyable techie highlights in the Brand-new cabin, such as futuristic gauges monitoring charge and power flow, not to mention the slick blue-topped shift knob for the direct drive transmission.
When plugged in to a 240-volt outlet, the 2016 Volt calls for 4.5 hours to recharge.
That 53 miles EV range is no joke, either. I had no trouble rolling about (silently) and maintaining gobs of EV charge throughout city driving. On the highway, electric range faded away at a faster rate, though the back-up gasoline engine means you never have actually the “range anxiety” that comes along with normal EVs.
To fully recharge, be all set to budget concerning 4-5 hours at a 240-volt charging station. Double that time, a lot more or less, at a standard 120-volt outlet. That’s still not too shabby, especially if you can easily charge your Volt overnight, or while you’re at work. And, at long last, the Volt proves exactly how regenerative braking units don’t should result in a brake pedal that feels Love it would certainly prefer to be anywhere, except in your car. Gone is the dead and wooden feeling you discover in so several various other regen braking systems.
A button on the steering wheel even allows you to turn off the Volt’s Regen-On-Requirement system, for those minutes once you merely wish to zero in on performance, not range or economy.
The ideal portion is that the Volt lets you do all of the above, a refreshing break from the ‘all or nothing’ approach that several green-themed cars force upon you. The electric driving range alone rivals the total range offered by a few of today’s EVs. Meanwhile, the fee and functionality of the Volt make a compelling case for stopping the SUV and crossover mania in its tracks, prior to it wreaks havoc across the entire automotive world. Cars can easily be fun, even once they don’t have actually a gazillion horsepower.
Chevrolet got it very, very right along with the 2016 Volt. Now, all the brand calls for is for individuals to finally sit up and take notice. Perhaps then I can easily finally stop worrying concerning this rather worthy Chevy hybrid? Then again, there is constantly the upcoming Bolt EV…