2016 Chevrolet Volt: Monthly Update for January
by Dan Frio, Automotive Editor
Where Did We Drive It?
January was a quiet month for our 2016 Chevrolet Volt. After December's road-trip adventures we mostly stayed in town this month, yet we still added about 1,500 miles to the odometer. Notably, we passed the 20,000-mile mark, although a bit behind schedule. The Volt will leave the fleet soon, probably with about 22,000 miles.
What Kind of Fuel Economy Did It Get?
As always, tracking fuel economy on a plug-in hybrid such as the Volt is not straightforward. We do our best to separate miles driven solely via battery power versus those motivated by gasoline. It's not a perfect system since it means diligently (and accurately) recording the battery-gasoline switchover point when applicable, plus other factors. Here's what we've observed so far:
Average lifetime mpg: 37.2 mpg
Best fill mpg: 45.1 mpg
EPA combined mpg rating: 42 miles
Average electric range: 52.8 miles
Best electric range: 75 miles
EPA electric range rating: 53 miles
Best range between gasoline fills (electric fills + gasoline): 681 miles
Current odometer: 20,447 miles
Maintenance and Upkeep
"I continue to give the Volt a chance. And I continue to be disappointed by its lack of long-distance driver seat comfort. We aren't a good fit for each other." — Mike Schmidt, Senior Manager, Vehicle Testing
"I like that the Volt's T-shaped battery pack is the EV Age's equivalent of the muscle car's driveshaft tunnel. There's a symmetry there. Still, in comparison, the Volt's pack consumes as much, if not more, of the rear floorboard, nearly rising up to seat level. It's also topped by a portion of the center console with cupholders and seat heat controls, making it impossible to lay any kind of long objects on the floor. At least the hatch is large." — Dan Frio, Automotive Editor
"It seems as though audio functions are inconsistent between the steering wheel controls and the on-screen 'skip' buttons. Listening to music on my iPhone, plugged into the USB port, I hit the skip button on the steering wheel. Nothing happened. I hit skip again. Nothing again. Then a few seconds later the music skipped ahead two songs. I hit it once more and timed the response: 40 seconds! Then I hit the skip button on the Apple CarPlay screen and the response was immediate. I tested both methods several times and was met with the same result. It's a weird little glitch." — Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor
"I live pretty far from the office, so my M.O. when driving the Volt home is to milk the charge as far as I can, then run it off the engine until the next time I can get it back to the Edmunds garage charger. But that kind of driving isn't really in the spirit of the thing, so I took it to a charge spot at the mall and let it juice up while I took a coffee break. After an hour and 17 minutes, the Volt had ingested only enough for 13 miles of EV range. It seemed disappointing, but a reminder of how to reframe expectations in the electric car era." — Dan Frio