2016 Chevrolet Volt: Quiet When You Need It
by Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor on August 16, 2016
Our long-term 2016 Chevrolet Volt was slow-roasting in the L.A. sun for a few hours. When I opened the door, I could feel the heat pouring from the interior. Not surprisingly, when I started it up, the automatic climate control went into full-power mode to try to cool things down.
With the fans on full blast, there was a rush of white noise throughout the cabin. Then I saw a little notification on the main touchscreen that told me one of my colleagues had sent me a text message. As soon as I switched to the Apple CarPlay messaging screen, the fan speed plummeted to a much lower setting. That allowed me to hear the voice prompts more easily, and I assume it helped the voice recognition system hear me better, too.
Once I was out of the messaging screen, the climate control went back to full strength until the target temperature was reached.
I haven't experienced this feature before in any other vehicle, though I suspect the Volt isn't the first to employ it. In any case, it's a nice example of thoughtful design that gives the driver one less thing to think about.
Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor @ 11,683 miles