Plug-in hybrids have been in the market for quite a while already and is now becoming a steady segment in the market; the 2016 Chevrolet Volt Plug-in Hybrid (first released in 2011) is now on its second generation and it has become a better car overall. New for 2016 is a better engine, a better drive, and longer EV range plus the design cues got an overhaul both inside and out.
The 2016 Chevrolet Volt Plug-in Hybrid is Lighter, Has More Power, and Better Range
The 2016 Chevrolet Volt Plug-in Hybrid got a visual overhaul ditching the geeky styling of the previous Volt, the 2016 Volt has a more contemporary design. The dimensions are a few inches bigger than the original to offer better ride quality and a few more inches of precious legroom to the passengers. The silhouette will remind you of the Prius’ fastback design but the Volt has distinct styling cues of its own. Under the hood sits an all new engine which is a 1.5-liter Atkinson Cycle 4 cylinder aluminum block engine along with a large electric motor directly connected to the crank. The hybrid power plant is connected to the front wheels via a CVT transmission to another set of two smaller motors on a transaxle to add extra grunt when needed.
For 2016, gone is the interior that looked like a soon-to-be-outdated gadget as Chevy went with a more conventional interior design. Instead of the touch sensitive buttons on the center console, Chevy went with the classic physical button layout for better ergonomics. Rear passenger space is decent for two passengers with an awkward ducking entry due to the low roof but once seated the legroom is decent. The middle rear passenger however has to straddle the center tunnel for legroom as it creates quite a bulge on the floor.
Driving the 2016 Volt Plug-in Hybrid delivers accurate steering and the new hybrid engine delivers more grunt resulting in a more engaging drive than the previous. Ride quality is average, and the cabin is quiet even in petrol mode as the engine is tuned to be high torque at low revs for maximum efficiency.
Considered as one of the top Hybrids on the market, the 2016 Volt is better than the competition by offering a better drive and longer range. The fastback design not only looks good but offers practicality of a rear hatch for larger storage capacity. Rear legroom, on the other hand, for the middle passenger is quite a compromise in exchange for a lighter but larger battery pack under the floorboard.
With stiff competition in the plug-in hybrid segment, the 2016 Chevrolet Volt Plug-in Hybrid is a leap forward from the previous generation Volt allowing it to be one of the top plug-in hybrids at the time of writing.