The almost EV
We Like: Its battery-only range and paddle braking.
We Don’t Like: The cramped accommodations and weak styling.
If it weren’t for the Chevrolet Bolt, we would have paid more attention to the Volt. But when we couldn’t give the redesigned Toyota Prius more attention for its vaunted gains in mpg, packaging, and handling prowess, we couldn’t really laud the evolutionary advances to the Volt, either.
“The Volt’s problem is that the Bolt essentially makes it obsolete in terms of being an efficient commuter or city car,” Angus MacKenzie noted. That said, most people commute less than 50 miles a day, and if a Volt owner has a home recharger, the updated Volt’s battery range makes gasoline refills a rarity. Frank Markus called this “a pretty decent value proposition.”
We found the new paddle braking to be a cool feature. Rather than use the traditional friction brakes with your foot, your left hand can pull back on a steering wheel–mounted paddle (similar to a paddle shifter) to simultaneously slow the car and recharge the battery pack.
The Volt’s interior packaging took some dings. The back seat is tight for two people because of the battery pack’s encroachment. “Headroom is also quite compromised if you are tall,” Ed Loh said. “The top of your head nearly meets the glass, and the side of your head is pretty close to the side of the headliner.”
Chevrolet’s styling also became an issue to Chris Theodore, who saw the Volt nearly indistinguishable from the routine Cruze sedan.
|2017 Chevrolet Volt (Premier)|
|PRICE AS TESTED||$39,950|
|VEHICLE LAYOUT||Front-engine, FWD, 5-pass, 4-door hatchback|
|ENGINE||149-hp/398-lb-ft electric motor plus 1.5L/101-hp/103-lb-ft DOHC 16-valve I-4|
|TRANSMISSION||Cont. variable auto|
|CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST)||3,531 lb (60/40%)|
|LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT||180.4 x 71.2 x 56.4 in|
|0-60 MPH||7.5 sec|
|QUARTER MILE||15.9 sec @ 83.9 mph|
|BRAKING, 60-0 MPH||114 ft|
|LATERAL ACCELERATION||0.83 g (avg)|
|MT FIGURE EIGHT||27.4 sec @ 0.63 g (avg)|
|REAL MPG, CITY/HWY/COMB||37.5/42.4/39.6 mpg|
|EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON||43/42/42 mpg*|
|ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY||78/80 kW-hrs/100 miles*|
|CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB||0.46 lb/mile*|
|EPA EV RANGE||53 miles|
|*Charge sustaining (106 mpg-e combined, charge depleting)|