Reviews

2016 Chevrolet Volt Walk Around


The 2016 Chevy Volt doesn’t display hybrid/electric-car weirdness like the Toyota Prius and Nissan Leaf do, or more notably like the old Volt.

Instead, it’s sleek, angular and aggressive, lower and tauter than before, with a wedge nose with lights that sweep toward the steep windshield. The backlight is steep, and the high rear deck is not flat and plain. There’s a sharp character line on the side that obliterates the old Volt’s slab side.

We see hints of Honda Civic in the profile and pillars, echoes of Acura in the pointed nose, and sounds of Subaru in the curve of the taillamps. But a textured silver blanking plate replacing the grille, as well as a black Volt spear on the front fender, connect the car to its purpose.

Interior

We like the new Volt’s twin-cockpit design, in black and with silver accents. Available two-tone interiors adds a bit of elegance. There are still some over-styling flourishes, but nothing like the old car’s gimmicky controls, chaotic display, and glossy plastic console.

The controls, switches, and instruments are legible and easy to grasp and use. Knobs for audio and climate replace the maddening capacitive touch buttons. The central display screen is crisp.

The rear seats are low, with the window seats in the form of buckets. The center seat is basically just a cushion over the battery pack, while the battery tunnel spreads that unlucky fifth passenger’s feet.

Rearward visibility is improved but still not great. Good riddance to that extra glass panel in the hatchback. The old Volt’s blind spot at the base of the windshield pillars has been downsized but remains. Apparently, the steep windshield requires a large pillar to make the top crush-resistant.

Over-the-shoulder visibility is dismal, but at least the rearview camera is high quality, with the best resolution on the 8-inch center display screen than we’ve ever seen in a compact car.

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