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2016 Chevrolet Volt Overview

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2016 Chevrolet Volt Reveal

Photo: © General Motors

In the land of plug-in hybrids, the Chevy Volt is king, combining a 53-mile electric range, 420-mile total range, and a price tag of $26,495 after the federal tax credit (that’s an MSRP of $33,170 without it). The 2016 Volt, although limited in market release and model year duration, is one of the best plug-in hybrids on the market.

The 2016 Chevrolet Volt comes in two trim levels: LT and Premier. For the LT, Chevy offers a Comfort package that adds heated mirrors, front seats, and steering wheel, and can also optionally add leather upholstery. In addition, for the LT Chevy offers an optional eight-speaker Bose sound system. For the Premier trim, Chevrolet offers two Driver Confidence packages to add a number of active safety features like blind spot monitoring, automatic braking, and adaptive headlights. On top of those, for the Premier trim Chevy also offers a navigation system.


Oh, and It Is Green Car of the Year: Check out what the LA Auto Show had to say about the Volt



2016 Chevrolet Volt Outdoor

Photo: © General Motors

What’s new for the 2016 Chevrolet Volt?

For 2016, the Chevrolet Volt underwent a serious redesign, changing most things from the first generation. In the new car’s drivetrain, Chevy added a more efficient gasoline engine (that can actually run on unleaded rather than premium) and improved the battery technology, allowing increased energy storage capacity. On top of that, the 2016 Volt now features room for a fifth passenger, updated exterior styling, and improved driver infotainment controls.

Unfortunately, what is also new is a short lifespan—the 2016 Volt is only being released in a few limited markets for a shortened model year in anticipation of an improved 2017 model being released in spring 2016.

2016 Chevrolet Volt Photos:

New for 2016 | Exterior | Performance | Efficiency | Interior | Safety

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2016 Chevrolet Volt headlights

2016 Chevrolet Volt Exterior

The outside of the Volt has been reshaped, and now is styled more similarly to the rest of the Chevy lineup. To begin, the front fascia has been changed, making the grille much more prominent. On top, the hood and roof feature strongly sculpted lines to improve aerodynamics, as do the sides, which also incorporate slight divots to create a more dynamic look. The rear is reminiscent of the first generation, although featuring more curves and fewer flat sci-fi lines.

2016 Chevrolet Volt Exterior Photos:

Exterior available on the 2016 Chevrolet Volt LT

  • LED low-beam headlamps, Halogen reflector high-beam headlamps, Automatic exterior lamp control, LED taillamps, LED center high-mounted stop/brake lamp, LED Daytime running lamps, Outside power-adjustable body-color manual-folding mirrors, 17-inch 5-spoke painted aluminum wheels

Exterior available on the 2016 Chevrolet Volt Premier

  • LED low-beam headlamps, Halogen reflector high-beam headlamps, Automatic exterior lamp control, LED taillamps, LED center high-mounted stop/brake lamp, LED Daytime running lamps, Outside heated power-adjustable body-color manual-folding mirrors, 17-inch Split 5-spoke aluminum wheels with an ultra-bright machined finish with painted pockets

New for 2016 | Exterior | Performance | Efficiency | Interior | Safety

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2016 Chevrolet Volt engine

Photo: © General Motors

2016 Chevrolet Volt Performance

The 2016 Chevy Volt is powered by a rechargeable 18.4 kWh lithium-ion battery pack connected to two electric motors (producing 149 horsepower and 294 lb-ft of torque) and supplemented by a 1.5-liter gasoline motor. The gasoline motor primarily works to charge the battery and provide electricity to the electric motors, but occasionally will supplement the electric motors’ power with its own in (101 horsepower) situations such as accelerating with a depleted battery, passing, and climbing steep hills.

New for 2016 | Exterior | Performance | Efficiency | Interior | Safety

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2016 Chevrolet Volt charging

Photo: © General Motors

2016 Chevrolet Volt Efficiency

Efficiency is the name of the game for hybrids. The 2016 Volt has a combined total range of 420 miles on a full charge and full tank of gas, with an EPA-estimated 53 of those miles being travelled on electricity only (although in initial road testing, Edmunds reached over 60 miles). The gasoline motor makes 43 mpg in the city and 42 on the highway. Combined, the gas motor and the electric motor create the equivalent of 102 mpg.

To charge, you can plug in to a standard 120-volt outlet (which will fill the battery from empty to full in about 13 hours) or to a dedicated 240-volt station (which cuts that time to 4.5 hours). These charges are supplemented by energy from the gas engine and the Volt’s Regenerative braking system, which can be adjusted to provide more or less deceleration (and thus energy) using the “Regen on Demand” paddle mounted on the steering wheel.

All in all, due to the standout range of the battery and the efficient engine, Chevrolet estimates that the average 2016 Volt driver would go about 1,000 miles between gas station trips.

New for 2016 | Exterior | Performance | Efficiency | Interior | Safety

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2016 Chevrolet Volt Interior

2016 Chevrolet Volt Interior

Chevy gave the interior of the Volt a major redesign. It now features a more dynamic dashboard, with sweeping lines and chrome accents where there used to be flat spaces and two-tone color schemes. The center stack has changed significantly from the last generation’s smooth sci-fi-esque console to a more organic design, ditching the last generation’s much-maligned interface for a more intuitive and user-friendly system. In the rear, there is now a third seat (before, that space had been taken up by the battery pack), although the battery still takes up room under the seats.

In addition to these changes, the 2016 Volt’s interior keeps features like remote start, 4G WiFi connectivity (with subscription), Chevy’s MyLink interface, and Apple CarPlay.

2016 Chevrolet Volt Interior Photos:

Interior available on the 2016 Chevrolet Volt LT

  • Rear-window electric defogger, Automatic climate control with air conditioning, Inside rearview manual day/night mirror, Front bucket seats, Rear 60/40 split-folding seat, Carpeted front and rear floor mats, Leather-wrapped steering wheel, Front center console with covered storage bin, Driver and front passenger map pocket seatbacks, Cargo cover, Dedicated covered storage for portable vehicle charge cord, Power windows with express down/all and express up/driver with anti-pinch, Power programmable door locks, Power outlets
  • Dual USB port, Auxiliary input jack, SiriusXM® Satellite Radio, 6-speaker audio system, OnStar® Guidance Plan (3 years), OnStar® with 4G LTE and built-in Wi-Fi® hotspot, 8-inch color digital reconfigurable LCD screen, Keyless ignition with electronic push button start, Drive mode control switch, Center 8-inch diagonal color touch-screen, Steering wheel-mounted controls for audio and cruise control, Tilt and telescopic steering column, Electronic cruise control, Remote Keyless Entry, Keyless access, Remote vehicle starter system, Off-board connectivity via internet, OnStar RemoteLink app

Interior available on the 2016 Chevrolet Volt Premier

  • Rear-window electric defogger, Automatic climate control with air conditioning, Inside rearview auto-dimming mirror, Leather-appointed seats, Front bucket seats, Rear 60/40 split-folding seat, Heated driver and front passenger seat, Carpeted front and rear floor mats, Leather-wrapped steering wheel, Front center console with covered storage bin, Driver and front passenger map pocket seatbacks, Cargo cover, Dedicated covered storage for portable vehicle charge cord, Power windows with express down/all and express up/driver with anti-pinch, Power programmable door locks, Power outlets
  • Dual USB port, Auxiliary input jack, SiriusXM® Satellite Radio, Bose® Premium Audio System, OnStar® Guidance Plan (3 years), OnStar® with 4G LTE and built-in Wi-Fi® hotspot, 8-inch color digital reconfigurable LCD screen, Keyless ignition with electronic push button start, Drive mode control switch, Center 8-inch diagonal color touch-screen, Steering wheel-mounted controls for audio and cruise control, Tilt and telescopic steering column, Electronic cruise control, Remote Keyless Entry, Keyless access, Remote vehicle starter system, Off-board connectivity via internet, OnStar RemoteLink app, Automatic Park Assist

New for 2016 | Exterior | Performance | Efficiency | Interior | Safety

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2016 Chevrolet Volt Safety

Photo: © General Motors

2016 Chevrolet Volt Safety

The 2016 Volt comes with the normal suite of safety features, including antilock brakes, traction and stability control, and a solid brace of airbags on all sides (including front and rear side curtain airbags). On top of those, the Volt comes standard with an OnStar emergency communications system, which provides a large number of services like automatic crash notification (which calls OnStar if the airbags deploy to check that you are all right), an emergency assistance button, theft assistance, remote door locking, and, interestingly, a pedestrian safety signal, which lets unwary pedestrians know when the car is coming in silent all-electric mode.

In the Premier trim, the 2016 Volt also gets a number of optional active safety features such as lane keep assist, rear cross traffic alert, forward collision alert, and automatic front braking.

Standard Safety Features

  • OnStar® Guidance Plan (3 years)
  • Passenger sensing air bag system
  • Dual-stage frontal, driver, and right-front passenger air bags
  • Head curtain side-impact, front, and rear outboard air bags
  • Driver and front passenger knee air bags
  • Thorax side-impact seat-mounted, side-front outboard air bags
  • Thorax side-impact seat-mounted, side-rear outboard air bags
  • LATCH system
  • LED Daytime running lamps
  • OnStar Basic plan (5 years)
  • Rear Vision Camera
  • 3-point safety belts
  • Tire Pressure Monitor System
  • Tire inflator kit
  • OnStar Automatic Crash Response
  • OnStar Crisis Assist
  • OnStar Emergency Services
  • OnStar Hands Free Calling
  • OnStar Low Mileage Discount
  • OnStar Remote Door Unlock
  • OnStar Remote Horn and Lights
  • OnStar Remote Ignition Blog
  • OnStar Roadside Assistance
  • OnStar Stolen Vehicle Assistance
  • OnStar Turn-by-Turn Navigation
  • OnStar Vehicle Diagnostics

New for 2016 | Exterior | Performance | Efficiency | Interior | Safety

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  • Daniel SuscoEditor

    Daniel Susco is a native of the Dayton-Cincinnati area, and has written on a multitude of subjects. He can discuss Shakespeare, expound on Classical Mythology, and even make witty jokes about Pliny the Elder (More like “Pliny the Rounder,” right?). In his free time, Daniel enjoys reading, cooking, woodworking, and long walks on the beach (just kidding – sunburn is no joke). See more articles by Daniel.