Wednesday, February 18, 2015

In The Flesh: 2016 Chevrolet Volt

Blue 2016 Chevrolet Volt

By Mercedes Lilienthal

The new 2016 Chevy Volt certainly turned a lot of heads this year at the Portland Auto Show. I mean, this is hybrid and EV-crazed Portland. This 1.5-liter four-cylinder five-seater EV hybrid is now lighter, faster, and goes farther than its predecessor.

2016 Chevrolet Volt Back Seat
The Chevy Volt has a new battery pack with a smaller size and 92 fewer cells than the last generation. They are still lithium ion, but pack a bigger punch with a 19% increase in efficiency. This more diminutive-sized pack still runs along the bottom center of the Volt, but since its size is now smaller, it allows for a fifth passenger seat; something that wasn’t available before and has been a sticking point among some Volt owners and Volt shoppers. Five passengers is great and all, but the center stack that houses the cupholders and rear seat heater controls are placed in the rear cabin’s center compartment, making it virtually impossible for one to actually sit as the fifth element for any length of time. Maybe a child or tiny person could set there. There is a fifth seatbelt now, but is there comfortable room for an actual life-sized person to sit? I say no. I suppose they could in a pinch. You’ll need to flip a coin for the spot.

2016 Chevrolet Volt Engine BayThis Volt now sits lower than the previous model, is 250 pounds lighter in weight, and better MPGe than ever before. The two drive motors work more in tandem now than they did in the previous generation, are about 100 pounds lighter in weight, and create more efficiency. How much better you ask? This Volt now boasts about 50 miles in all-electric battery power. That combined with range extender is about 420 miles. Chevy says the average Volt driver (based on previous gen owner feedback and enhanced new version efficiency), will fill up only once every 1,000 miles. That is pretty sweet, in my opinion. Charge time is still about the same, 13 hours if you plug into a 110 volt outlet, and about 4ؘ–5 hours if you plug into a 220 one. By the way, Chevrolet says the Volt will now make 294 ft/lbs of torque and will do 0-60 in 8.4 seconds. Fuel economy is slated to be 42 MPG (gas only) and 102 eMPG. The new Volt weighs 3,543 lbs.

Production of the 2016 Volt will start in the middle or end of summer. Pricing is not announced yet. Battery warranty is at least 100,000 in most states, and if it follows California Air Resource Board (CARB) standards, it is 10 years/150,000 miles. The price to replace batteries is comparable to what it would be to replace an engine, so keep that in mind if you plan to keep this vivacious Volt for the long haul.

2016 Chevrolet Volt Hatch

2016 Chevrolet Volt Trunk

2016 Chevrolet Volt Back End

2016 Volt Interior

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