The Chevy Volt is a enjoyable hybrid that tiptoes into the longer term
I’ve to drive forty miles and the 2016 Chevy Volt says I solely have about 23 miles of cost left within the battery. No biggie: I’ve three quarters of a tank of fuel. I hit the accelerator and the automotive’s two electrical motors push me onto the freeway. Plug-in hybrids just like the Volt are nothing new. However what makes this stand out from different EV/petroleum automobiles is that it does not look totally different from the remainder of the automobiles on the street.
Gallery: 2016 Chevy Volt | sixteen Pictures
The plug-in hybrid Volt (to not be confused with the all electrical Bolt launching later this yr) appears and drives like a typical mid-vary sedan. In truth, if it weren’t for the Volt badge on the again of the automotive, different drivers can be exhausting-pressed to notice that it runs (a minimum of a part of the time) on electrical energy. However as a driver you will know. Particularly once you’re capable of squeeze fifty three miles out of the battery between costs.
That is truly the automotive’s important promoting level: the power to probably commute to and from work with out ever spinning up the fuel-powered generator. And if the spherical journey exceeds fifty three miles, it is no massive deal as a result of petroleum is there to be sure to get house. For power-acutely aware consumers, a plug-in hybrid that kills vary nervousness is sweet sufficient. However the Volt is made for extra than simply the parents joyful who need to squeeze each little bit of power out an battery. It is also enjoyable to drive.
Behind the wheel, the automotive’s zippy acceleration, reasonably tight steering and low-profile give it a barely sporty feeling whereas cruising the freeway. It will not win any drag races, however you additionally will not really feel such as you’re driving a bland field on wheels.
One difficulty I sometimes had was that because of that low, aerodynamic clearance, the automotive is vulnerable to bottoming out whereas exiting parking tons and hitting bumpy curves within the mountains. Although excessive-velocity twisties won’t be a part of your every day routine, you will need to watch out whereas pulling out of the grocery retailer.
Whereas the outside does not look futuristic, per se, the dashboard reminds you that is Chevy’s “tech automotive.” The glowing middle console seems like somebody on the firm watched Tron too many occasions. The dashboard has a round design that highlights stats just like the automotive’s vary over velocity with the battery cost on the left and the fuel tank on the fitting. Nonetheless, that center part can show a plethora of data, together with miles per hour, instructions, power utilization and the present music monitor, amongst different issues.
The dashboard additionally homes the primary infotainment system, which helps Apple’s CarPlay. There you will discover an Power button that provides you a report card on the way you’re driving. Should you’re the kind of one that insists on monitoring and analyzing your whole journey knowledge, you bought it. I am not that individual and whereas I discovered the knowledge compelling, it did little to vary my driving habits. That is OK, although, as a result of even with my lead foot, the battery nonetheless delivered its promised fifty or so miles of vary.
That is the place automobiles just like the Volt are headed. They’re made for 2 kinds of drivers: The info nerds who need to quantify their conduct, and folk who simply need to get monetary savings on fuel and really feel a bit higher concerning the setting.
At a beginning worth of $25,720 (together with a $7,500 tax credit score) it is a couple of thousand greater than a Toyota Camry or Honda Accord. However it’s not up to now out of attain that you need to bust out a spreadsheet to justify its price ticket. The Volt is enjoyable to drive with out being in any respect flashy or ostentatious. It is a common automotive that also manages to provide us a style of the longer term.