Five First Impressions: 2016 Chevrolet Volt

This is a big year for electrified vehicles, with the 2016 Chevrolet Volt‘s arrival, the 2016 Toyota Prius we’ve just driven and gas being less than $2 per gallon in most parts of the U.S.

I’m driving a Chevrolet Volt this week in the great state of California, where a gallon of fuel is still firmly over the $2 mark. But the last Volt has been warmly embraced by the Golden State drivers who want to remove themselves from the gas pump as much as possible.

The challenge of the new Volt is that it needs to be more like a car and less like a science experiment – something the Prius has been successful with for the last decade or so.

While I find out whether the 2016 Volt works in everyday situations, here are five takeaways from my first drive with it:

1- It’s most definitely a compact car
While the Volt still generally resembles an older Prius, it cuts a shorter and lower stance up close. But it’s also reflected in the interior, where the adults up front will be comfortable, but those in the back less so. Again, the 2016 Prius will be the much better UberX if faced with the choice one night.


2- The technology appears to be figured out
Things are much improved up front from the previous Volt. Aside from gauges that are intimidating at first, the controls fall readily to hand. Apple CarPlay is a nice touch, too, although it – like the setup in many other cars – cancels out the outside temperature gauge as far as I can tell.

3- It’s quick. Like, surprisingly quick
The Volt has a lot of torque and at this point I’m very happy this loaded Premier model is equipped with traffic sign recognition.

4- It doesn’t scrape on every driveway like the old one
But if you’re not a fan of that noise as you approach dips and speed bumps a little too hot, maybe the Volt isn’t the car for you. My neighbors now take pleasure seeing how slowly I can creep out of my driveway.


5- There’s always another EV in the public charging station

style=”font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px;”>Jul 8, 2015 at 12:49pm PDT

A win with an EV is showing up to the public charging station where there’s one spot left next to the BMW i3 and the Fiat 500e and the Smart Electric Drive and, of course, the inevitable Tesla Model S. EV popularity here has created much more demand for charging in parking garages and other places. Therefore, my routes now revolve around where I can plug the car in.

Yes, the Volt has a way to get around range anxiety, in the form of a 1.5-liter four. But the whole point of it is to drive around on electricity, so planning where to charge is key. The next few days will be a test of California’s public charging infrastructure, too.

Now that those thoughts have been established, what else would you like to know about the new Volt? Sound off in the comments below and look for a full review in the near future.

Photos: Zac Estrada/Carscoops

Photos

New Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Reportedly Coming Later This Year

The upcoming Ram 1500 EcoDiesel should have a 3.0-liter V6 that produces 260 hp and 442 lb-ft of torque.

Mercedes SUV Boss On Producing The Maybach Ultimate Luxury Concept: “Why Not?”

The Ultimate Luxury Concept won’t hit assembly in the near future, but in the long run, who knows?.

Behold The Glory Of A Corvette Disguised As A Cadillac Disguised As Multiple Chevrolets

The Russian nesting doll of vehicle has a Buy It Now price of $139,995.

Texas Police Troll Bad Parking Job With A Lesson In Staying Between The Lines

The Southlake Police Department suggested a driver practice staying in the lines while coloring, because they can’t do it while parking.

Smart’s Future In America To Be Decided By This Summer

Smart’s future has been secured thanks to a joint venture with Geely, but it will be forced to pull out of the US?.

SVE Builds A Modern, Canyon-Based GMC Syclone With 455 HP

The new Syclone is built by Speciality Vehicle Engineering and costs $39,995 on top of the donor car.

Jeep JT Scrambler Is Fully Functional, Brings Retro Style To Gladiator

The JT Scrambler Concept is based on the Gladiator Rubicon, to which it adds a number of Mopar parts.

2020 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Looks Right At Home At The Green Hell

The second-gen Cayman GT4 will feature a 911 GT3-sourced naturally aspirated flat-six.

This BMW E61 5-Series Touring Has A V8 And A Six-Speed Manual

The N62 V8 of this BMW 5-Series Touring can be fettled to over 520 hp.

Hellcat-Powered Mazda MX-5 Miata Is A Tale Of Torque And Haze

Behold, the 707 hp 6.2-liter supercharged V8-powered MX-5 Miata tire devourer.