2016 Chevrolet Volt: Three Ways to Brake
by James Riswick, New & Used Car Editor on December 23, 2015
"That's one way to brake! Two ways to brake! That's, three! Three ways to brake, mwah hah hah hah!"
The first would be the old-fashioned way: push down on the big fat middle pedal.
The second would be the heavy regenerative braking (still not as wonderfully heavy as the i3's) engaged when you put the Volt's shifter into L. Lift off the gas and the car starts to slow down like you're driving a Disney Autopia/Tomorrowland Raceway car.
And the third is new to the Volt and borrowed from the Cadillac ELR. That big steering wheel paddle, only on the left side, engages even heavier regenerative braking when pulled.
I've found myself using all three at any given time, usually in the order of 2-3-1, with the old-fashioned one only used as a last resort when a complete stop or heavy braking is needed. It's honestly a bit of a juggle, but it's also rather involving, curiously enjoyable and nice in traffic since it cuts down on the need to constantly pivot my foot back and forth. Plus, it's not like you have to use anything beyond No. 1.
Not to put any crazy ideas into the head of our Director of Vehicle Testing Dan Edmunds, but I'd also be interested to test if one of these braking means (or a combination of them) is more efficient than another at maintaining/recharging the battery. My money's on the combo.
Oh! I just thought of a fourth! The electronic parking brake!
"That's four, four ways to brake! Mwah hah hah hah!"
James Riswick, New & Used Car Editor