May 15, 2016


The 2016 Chevrolet Volt: Meet The New Normal (Liane Yvkoff, 5/15/16, Forbes)

GM gave the 2016 Chevrolet Volt a complete makeover to appeal to a broader audience, starting with a dramatic facelift. As a result, the plug-in hybrid no-longer screams "alternative propulsion vehicle," transforming from its awkward EV stage into a a more mainstream vehicle.  A fastback roof-line, deep angles, and sharp lines in the sheetmetal make the second-generation Volt look more like a sporty compact sedan rather than the hatchback it still is.

In addition to a more sleek exterior, the plug-in hybrid boasts a bit more braun. Its new dual motor powertrain produces an impressive 294-lb. ft. of torque to add a little excitement to the 111-kw output. MotorTrend magazine tested the claim that it reduced the 0-30 mph sprint time by 19%, and clocked the Volt's 0-30 mph sprint at 2.2 seconds. This immediate power on acceleration gives the Volt a bit of an edge during in-town driving, but driving dynamics aren't on par with its whiplash-inducing torque.

With a new 18.4 kWh battery, the Volt increased all-electric driving capacity to 54 miles. That's 16 miles more than the previous model's battery-only capacity, and is enough to cover 80% of all car trips without using a drop of gasoline, according to GM. For the other 20%, there's no need to plot elaborate charging strategies, wait 30 minutes (longer if there's a line) at a fast charging station, or take the other conventional ICE-equipped likely in your garage-its new 1.5-liter "range-extending" engine will propel you the rest of the way, and to the tune of 42 mpg for a total driving distance of 420 miles before you have to plug-in or fill up. [...]

The Volt's electric range is enough that I didn't feel compelled to maximize regenerative braking or hypermile during my week-long test, and yet the gasoline engine never kicked on. Unlike the 2016 Nissan Leaf and 2016 Volvo XC90 T8 Plug In Hybrid, I rarely checked battery levels to determine capacity or range while driving. I had all the benefits of driving an electric vehicle--torque-y acceleration, zero-emissions driving, and primo parking spaces- without many of the drawbacks.

Posted by at May 15, 2016 9:15 AM