2016 Chevrolet Volt Long-Term Road Test - MPG

2016 Chevrolet Volt Long-Term Road Test

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2016 Chevrolet Volt: Monthly Update for August 2017

by Cameron Rogers, Staff Writer

2016 Chevrolet Volt

Where Did We Drive It?
Our 2016 Chevrolet Volt has been in our fleet for what seems like forever (our fuel book indicates that the beginning of "forever" is November 2015), but we still manage to add a respectable number of miles to our elder statesman's odometer each month. As usual, our plug-in hybrid was used primarily for around-town duties, whether it was solo commuting in the carpool lane or, in my case, traveling at normal highway speeds on Interstate 10 through downtown L.A. (traffic is totally clear at 10 p.m.). Without any long-distance trips, the Volt traveled just over 800 miles in August.

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2016 Chevrolet Volt: Monthly Update for June 2017

by Matt Jones, Senior Consumer Advice Editor

2016 Chevrolet Volt

Where Did We Drive It?
Our 2016 Chevrolet Volt didn't see much action in June as we only logged about 700 miles. Those miles came from run-of-the mill around-town driving even though the Volt is certainly capable of longer trips.

Still, our carpool lane-eligible plug-in continues to impress. Even with the modest miles added to the Volt, we were able to form more opinions about the Volt thanks to some all-gas driving and test the A/C system in our hot summertime Southern California weather.

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2016 Chevrolet Volt: Monthly Update for May 2017

by Cameron Rogers, Associate Editor

2016 Chevrolet Volt

Where Did We Drive It?
Compared against its extraordinarily busy April, May was a return to the norm for our 2016 Chevrolet Volt. The Volt spent most of its time in April with our long-distance commuters, but the majority of the miles racked up in May were from editors close to our Santa Monica headquarters. As such, just under 800 miles were added to the Volt's odometer.

The entire month was largely drama-free, except for a flat tire incurred by Senior Writer Carlos Lago. On the bright side, this allowed Carlos to familiarize himself with a Pep Boys lobby for the better part of four hours.

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2016 Chevrolet Volt: Monthly Update for April 2017

by Mike Schmidt, Senior Manager, Vehicle Testing

2016 Chevrolet Volt

Where Did We Drive It?

We drove our 2016 Chevrolet Volt 2,305 miles in April. It was a busy month. The unfortunate result of accumulating so many miles was that almost all of our time was on the freeway. Such freeway-heavy driving was consequently less reflective of the city-dwelling habits of typical Volt owners.

The Chevy remained in the hands of our long-distance commuters all month. It is hard to turn down the lure of HOV-lane stickers when you live over 40 miles, or up to two hours, from the office. So we didn't. And that meant our Volt's eyes rarely looked up from the 405 freeway all month.

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2016 Chevrolet Volt: Monthly Update for March 2017

by Mike Schmidt, Senior Manager, Vehicle Testing

2016 Chevrolet Volt

Where Did We Drive It?
We spent most of March driving our 2016 Chevrolet Volt on gasoline. Yet we still managed to set new lifetime marks in average mpg and average electric range. A routine visit to the dealer led to some surprises, in the form of three recalls and over four hours of our day.

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2016 Chevrolet Volt: Monthly Update for February

by Mike Schmidt, Senior Manager, Vehicle Testing

2016 Chevrolet Volt

Where Did We Drive It?
In the month of February we fed our 2016 Chevrolet Volt a steady diet of commuter miles. It was a lot of heavy lifting for the Volt. But driving wasn't the only work we subjected it to.

Editor Dan Frio and I tag-teamed the entire month with the Chevy. His slog between home and Edmunds HQ is a round trip of 120 miles to my 80. So the majority of the 1,380 miles we drove last month were on the highway, though Dan still made a concerted effort to live the EV life. Additionally, we challenged, and exceeded, the limits of the Volt's cargo hold while running errands locally.

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2016 Chevrolet Volt: EV Life, Part 2

by Dan Frio, Automotive Editor on February 24, 2017

2016 Chevrolet Volt

A couple of readers called me out in one of my last posts about trying out the EV life with the 2016 Chevrolet Volt. They argued that my meager attempt at lunch-break recharging didn't constitute real EV living; to do it right, I'd need to try some overnight home charging. Since I don't have a Level 2 charger at home, I'd be stuck with the trickle-charge economics of a 120-volt outlet.

A Volt-owning friend does this, plugging his car into a 120-volt outlet via extension cord at around 7 p.m. He's got a full charge (about 53 miles) when he leaves for work at 5:30 the next morning.

Now it was my turn.

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2016 Chevrolet Volt: Monthly Update for January

by Dan Frio, Automotive Editor

2016 Chevrolet Volt

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.

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2016 Chevrolet Volt: The Modern Driveshaft Tunnel

by Dan Frio, Vehicle Editor on January 25, 2017

2016 Chevrolet Volt

The 2016 Chevrolet Volt's T-shaped battery pack feels like the EV Age's equivalent of the muscle car's driveshaft tunnel. There's a symmetry to the idea that I like. Still, in comparison, the Volt's pack consumes as much, probably 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 heater controls, making it impossible to lay any kind of long objects on the floor. At least the hatch is large.

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2016 Chevrolet Volt: Trying Out the EV Life

by Dan Frio, Vehicle Editor on January 20, 2017

2016 Chevrolet Volt

I live pretty far from the office, so my M.O. when driving the 2016 Chevrolet Volt 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. Driving the Volt primarily like a hybrid, running solely off the gas engine, isn't really in the spirit of the thing, but I don't have a Level 2 charger at home and I suspect the next-gen Volt would be here by the time I could replenish the battery from the garage outlet.

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2016 Chevrolet Volt: Monthly Update for November 2016

by Cameron Rogers, Associate Editor

2016 Chevrolet Volt

Where Did We Drive It?
Our 2016 Chevrolet Volt started November strong, with most of the drivers only tapping into the gasoline engine for 20 to 30 miles at a time before plugging into a charging station. Michael Massey filled up early in the month for a gas-only average of 40.8 mpg. It stayed around Los Angeles, mostly running on electricity only, until I took it over the Thanksgiving break. Traveling around Orange County for a week made it too difficult to stay hooked up to charging stations, so most of my errands involved running on gas. The Volt closed the month with a 0.2 mpg downtick in overall fuel economy.

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2016 Chevrolet Volt: Monthly Update for October 2016

by Michael Massey, Vehicle Testing Assistant

2016 Chevrolet Volt

Where Did We Drive It?
Our 2016 Chevrolet Volt made the usual rounds this month, mainly ferrying editors to and from our office in Santa Monica on their commutes. We also drove it to Rosamond, California, home of the famous Willow Springs Raceway, for our annual driving school. On the way, the Volt made a cameo appearance at Vasquez Rocks, aka arguably the most exciting sight on the desolate stretch between Santa Clarita and Palmdale.

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2016 Chevrolet Volt: Mostly "One-Pedal" Driving Figured Out. But Is It Worth It?

by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on September 29, 2016

2016 Chevrolet Volt

We've written a few prior updates about the regenerative braking paddle on our 2016 Chevrolet Volt's steering wheel. None of them has been positive. After driving our Volt for about two weeks, though, I've found that using the paddle in conjunction with the "Low" driving mode works pretty well.

But is it worth it?

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2016 Chevrolet Volt: Xbox Mod For the Volt

by Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor on August 12, 2016

2016 Chevrolet Volt

I put in a lot of time on my Xbox, including plenty of driving games. During my most recent stint in our long-term 2016 Chevrolet Volt, I came up with an Xbox-related idea that could improve it.

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2016 Chevrolet Volt: Using a Brand X Level 1 Charge Cord

by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on August 9, 2016

2016 Chevrolet Volt

We recently leased a 2016 Fiat 500e for my daughter. In case they don't sell them where you live, the "e" stands for electric. I'm not a fan of the regular 500's engine and transmission, but that stuff gets magically wiped away when they build a 500e, leaving behind a torquey, cute-as-anything pocket rocket with an ultra-low center of gravity.

But I digress. We're supposed to be talking about the 2016 Chevrolet Volt long-term test car I drove home a couple nights ago. The connection, literally, comes in the form of the Fiat's 120-volt Level 1 power cord.

I'm lazy, you see. Why unwind the Volt's Level 1 cord when my daughter's Fiat cord is already plugged in and ready to go?

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2016 Chevrolet Volt: More Range Than You Might Expect

by Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor on July 29, 2016

2016 Chevrolet Volt

It's easy to forget that our 2016 Chevrolet Volt is a hybrid. After all, with anywhere from 50 to 70 miles of electric range, you can drive for an entire day on electricity without even thinking about it.

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2016 Chevrolet Volt: Well-Suited for Longer Road Trips

by Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor on May 13, 2015

2016 Chevrolet Volt

Rather than take a flight up to California's wine country for a work trip, I opted to drive the 425 or so miles each way. So the call went out to our in-house wranglers to see which of our long-termers needed some miles. Since our 2016 Chevrolet Volt has been used primarily as a commuter with a charge station on at least one end of the route, it was lacking in the long-distance part of its life.

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2016 Chevrolet Volt: Charge Time Surprise and the Importance of Power

by Cameron Rogers, Associate Editor on May 11, 2016

 2016 Chevrolet Volt

I arrived at Edmunds HQ at 6:45 on Monday morning. The 2016 Chevrolet Volt was in desperate need of a bath, and our preferred car wash wouldn't open for another couple hours. Perfect, I thought. This would (or should) be enough time to fully recharge the Volt's depleted battery

Based on my experience with our old 2014 BMW i3, I estimated I would make it out of the office with the Volt around 10 a.m.. The i3 had a 22 kilowatt-hour battery and an all-electric range of 72 miles. It took about four hours to fully charge.

Our Volt, meanwhile, has a range of 53 miles from an 18.4 kWh battery. Using the i3 as my mental yardstick, I reasoned that it would take less time for the Volt to charge.

Nope. It took five hours.

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2016 Chevrolet Volt: How Efficient Is It as an EV?

by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on April 26, 2016

2016 Chevrolet Volt

One of the big improvements for the 2016 Chevrolet Volt is greater full-electric driving range. The previous generation Volt had an EPA-estimated range of 38 miles; the new model can go 53 miles typically before switching on its gas engine/generator (and we've already exceeded that easily a few times). The upshot is that we're spending even more of our time driving our Chevy Volt like it was an electric vehicle (EV).

That's pretty neat, but it also made me wonder: When it's just using its electric battery power, how efficient is the Volt compared to other plug-in hybrids or even other EVs? Or, put in the way we would ask a friend about his or her regular new car: what kind of mpg is it getting?

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2016 Chevrolet Volt: Electric Range Games

by Kelly Hellwig, Managing Editor on April 13, 2016

2016 Chevrolet Volt

Some of the guys have been bragging about their range accomplishments in our 2016 Chevrolet Volt test car, so I'm going to add my "win" to the mix.

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2016 Chevrolet Volt: Every Car Should Be Like This

by Josh Sadlier, Senior Editor on March 21, 2016

2016 Chevrolet Volt

Let me start by immediately walking that assertion back. Not every car, of course. The world still needs Mustangs and Corvettes and 911s and things of that nature. Or I do, at least.

But what if every commuter car were like our long-term 2016 Chevrolet Volt? Urban fuel consumption — and thus pollution — would plummet. Gas-price anxiety would stop being a thing, yet there wouldn't be any range anxiety, either. Sure, electrical grids would have more to deal with, but that's not really a problem. And everyone would enjoy instant-on electric propulsion that really thumps in the heavily trafficked zero-to-40-mph range.

These were the thoughts I was having last weekend as I drove our Volt all over Los Angeles and Santa Barbara Counties. TLDR: If everyone had a Volt, I think the world would be a better place.

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2016 Chevrolet Volt: An All-Electric Week in a Plug-in Hybrid

by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on March 8, 2016

2016 Chevrolet Volt

My commute is dreadful. It's 46.6 miles from Santa Ana to Santa Monica, and my route includes some of the worst L.A. freeway miles imaginable. To survive, I time-shift and work an East Coast schedule, setting my alarm at 4:15 am in order to get on the road at 5:00 am (OK, usually 5:15 am), at which point I have a decent chance of getting to work by 6:00 am. My early arrival allows for an early escape that usually gets me out ahead of the worst of the afternoon commuting wave — theoretically, at least.

But a recent week was full of scheduled meetings that would stretch into late afternoon. I would have to work a normal schedule. My solution? Drive our 2016 Chevrolet Volt and take full advantage of its single-occupant HOV lane access stickers.

At first, freeway survival was my sole objective.

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2016 Chevrolet Volt: Range King — For Now

by Mike Magrath, Features Editor on February 22, 2016

2016 Chevrolet Volt

I'm a competitive person no matter the subject. So when we got our new 2016 Chevrolet Volt, I knew I'd be playing the "how far can we (reasonably) go in the real world on a charge?" game and I assumed it would be with Dan Edmunds. Again. (Carlos and I will later play the "How little distance can we reasonably cover in the real world?")

And then Dan got 70 miles and I had to beat it. I just didn't expect it to be so easy.

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2016 Chevrolet Volt: Electric Range That's in the Ballpark

by Dan Frio, Automotive Editor on January 22, 2016

2016 Chevrolet Volt

We're still gathering drive data on our 2016 Chevrolet Volt to compile meaningful numbers on our EV range and gas-engine mpg. But here's another early anecdotal result, taking the car's trip computer at its word. During my first drive with the Volt, I was able to eke out 48.2 EV miles before staying on gasoline for the remainder of the miles.

OK, so that falls short of the Volt's EPA rating of 53 electric miles, and it's well eclipsed by Dan's 70-mile outing and the 62-mile performance we managed in an initial road test. But I was mildly impressed just the same that it came within five miles of the EPA rating given conditions: A short-trip to the on-ramp, followed by open highway miles at open highway speeds.  

Maybe I'm still too entrenched in the mpg mindset where efficiency promises are always viewed with suspicion, and anything in the ballpark is generally deemed acceptable. But where a five-mpg shortfall in gasoline engine efficiency can earn you a class-action lawsuit, electric miles are a whole different voodoo.

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2016 Chevrolet Volt: 70 Miles on a Charge — The Range Wars Begin Again

by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on December 31, 2015

2016 Chevrolet Volt

Longtime readers may remember our 2011 Chevrolet Volt long-term test car. You may also remember that Magrath and I got into a cut-throat maximum range competition. I ended up winning that no-holds-barred geek-off with an all-electric run of 54.6 miles, a figure that exceeded that Volt's 35-mile electric range rating by a full 56 percent.

My commute tends to have the right conditions for prolonged EV range; primarily, slow-and-go freeway traffic that never quite stops, never quite gets going faster than 50 or 55 mph. So I applied all the lessons I learned driving the old Volt and promptly went 70 miles on a full charge in our new 2016 Chevrolet Volt on my first attempt.

Your move, Magrath.

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2016 Chevrolet Volt: Introduction

by Mike Magrath, Features Editor on December 11, 2015

2016 Chevrolet Volt

If you don't think General Motors has cutting-edge technology, you haven't been paying attention.

Though it hasn't had a hybrid with the success of the Prius, or an EV with the range, style and coolness of the Tesla Model S, GM now has the world's best Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV) in the new Chevy Volt.

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Past Long-Term Road Tests