2016 Chevrolet Volt: Simple Controls on a Complicated Car
by Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor on June 3, 2016
Our 2016 Chevrolet Volt is a technological wonder that rivals any car in the world when it comes to the complexity of its drivetrain. That's why I find its climate control setup so satisfying. It keeps things simple in spite of the car's other high-tech systems.
This might seem like an odd thing to call out. Things like climate control systems should be usable at a glance regardless of the car. Yet all too often carmakers decide to include the climate controls with all the rest of a car's new technology. The result is usually a dashboard full of buttons or a clunky touchscreen that makes setting the temperature and fan speed far more complicated than it needs to be.
Here, the designers made it easy. Big knobs for the temperature and fan controls and easily readable buttons for everything else. They even managed to squeeze the seat heater buttons in there without overcrowding things. Most of the time I just leave it on "auto" so all I need to do is adjust the temperature. It does a good job of maintaining the set temperature without constantly adjusting the fan speed, something that not every automatic setup does well.
Along with the seats I noted earlier, this simple system makes this Volt an extremely comfortable commuter car.
Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor @ 10,093 miles