2016 Chevrolet Volt: For Better or Worse, It Blends Right In
by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on April 28, 2016
I've been driving our long-term 2016 Chevrolet Volt for more than a week straight now. One of the interesting aspects to me has been how easily the Volt blends in with everything else on the road. Styling the second-generation Volt to look more "normal" was clearly a priority for Chevrolet, and it seems to have worked.
Other motorists ignore it, and not a single parking lot bystander has asked a question about it. It's pretty easy to imagine other people dismissing it as some sort of Chevy Cruze hatchback, or a Honda or Kia.
With the caveat that my experience is just a small sample, I pose the following question: Would you want to buy a Volt because of this, or would you want something that stands out more?
To add to my point, it's not just all about the exterior styling, either. The uninitiated might not even notice anything if he or she is sitting inside the Volt. Example: My mom has been visiting me from out of town. I picked her up at the airport in our Volt, threw her luggage in the hatchback cargo area, and brought her home (all under electric power). I purposely didn't say anything about the car to see if she noticed anything. Nope. She was oblivious.
Personally, I'm fine with being low key. I don't need to be the equivalent to a rolling neon sign blinking "I'm saving the planet!" Plus, this more humble persona also fits the way the Volt drives. From the way it accelerates, brakes and goes around turns, it's a lot like driving a regular car.
But I could also envision a potential owner wanting a bit more status from his or her new plug-in hybrid. A certain appeal to the Tesla Model S and X is the "cool" factor. If your neighbor sees your Volt and just thinks you bought the new Civic hatchback, where's the fun?
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 7,403 miles