2016 Chevrolet Volt Review

Pros & Cons

  • For a plug-in hybrid, the Volt's all-electric range is formidable
  • fuel costs will be low or nothing at all
  • improved touchscreen interface with expanded functionality.
  • Backseat is tight for adults
  • power front seats are not available
Other years
List Price Range
$12,465 - $17,998

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Want your car to be powered by electricity but with the reassurance of a conventional engine? The 2016 Chevrolet Volt could be up your alley. You'll appreciate its updated exterior styling, plus the changes underneath deliver more power and additional all-electric range. Come take a closer look at this impressive follow-up to the innovative original.

Notably, we picked the 2016 Chevrolet Volt as one of Edmunds' Best Used Cars.

Vehicle overview

Chevrolet developed the first-generation Volt as an alternative to the "pure" electric vehicle. By being able to go about 35 miles on battery power alone and then run on gasoline after that, the Volt gave owners the opportunity to drive around town like an EV without having to worry about running out of electrons. We liked the concept, even with its flaws. But we're even more excited about the fully redesigned 2016 Volt. Here's a case where a big "new and improved!" sticker on the side could be quite justified.

The 2016 Chevrolet Volt's redesign more closely resembles other small sedans and no longer shouts "hybrid."

The Volt gets a new body structure and styling to go along with it. It looks more like a sleek contemporary compact sedan than the previous generation, which featured its hybrid credentials more prominently. Mechanically, the 2016 Volt kicks it into high gear. Its revised plug-in hybrid powertrain offers 53 miles of all-electric range, a 25 percent boost. That's enough to handle the daily commuting needs of most Americans without ever requiring a drop of gasoline. And when gasoline is needed, the 2016 Volt's new, quieter 1.5-liter engine now requires only regular grade gasoline and delivers an EPA-estimated 42 mpg, up 13 percent.

Also on the new-and-improved list this year are a retuned suspension and dashboard controls that do away with the futuristic-looking but hard-to-use touch buttons in favor of real knobs and switches. A bigger 8-inch touchscreen is also new and supports Apple's CarPlay smartphone interface. Farther back, Chevy has added a third seat to the rear seat (admittedly, it's more of a perch than a seat), bringing the Volt's passenger capacity to five people, though overall space is still on the small side.

If you need more room than what the Volt can deliver, there are a few other options worth considering. The 2016 Ford C-Max Energi hatchback and Ford Fusion Energi sedan are solid choices, though they can only go about 20 miles on electric power. Another interesting pick could be the redesigned Prius plug-in; it's expected to get a boost in all-electric mileage, but further information was scarce as of this writing. There's also the smaller BMW i3, which is an EV but can be ordered with a tiny two-cylinder range-extending gas generator. Overall, though, the "new-and-improved!" 2016 Volt shines very brightly among this group.

2016 Chevrolet Volt models

The 2016 Volt is a five-seat, four-door plug-in hybrid hatchback sedan offered in LT and Premier trims.

The Volt LT comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, LED headlamps (low beam) and taillights, keyless ignition and entry, remote start, 60/40-split folding rear seatbacks, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a tilt-and-telescoping steering column and automatic climate control. Technology equipment includes an 8-inch reconfigurable driver information screen, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, OnStar (with 4G WiFi connectivity), an 8-inch touchscreen with Chevrolet's MyLink interface, Apple CarPlay compatibility for iPhone users and a six-speaker sound system with satellite radio, two USB ports and an auxiliary audio jack.

Optional for the LT is a Comfort package that includes heated mirrors, heated front seats and a heated steering wheel. Leather upholstery can be ordered with the LT Comfort package as well. An eight-speaker Bose audio system is available as a stand-alone option.

The 2016 Volt comes in LT and Premier trims; the Premier is pictured here.

Move up to the 2016 Volt Premier and you get all of the above plus an auto-dimming rearview mirror, heated rear outboard seats, a wireless charging pad for cell phones and other equipment, and an automated parking system (parallel and perpendicular).

The Driver Confidence package available for the Premier trim includes blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning and rear cross-traffic alert. The Driver Confidence 2 package (requires basic Driver Confidence package) adds forward collision alert with automatic braking, lane-keeping assist and adaptive headlights. You can also order a navigation system for the Volt Premier.

2016 Highlights

The 2016 Chevrolet Volt has been fully redesigned. Highlights include an improved hybrid drive system, updated styling, new driver information and infotainment controls, and five-passenger capacity.

Performance & mpg

The 2016 Chevrolet Volt has a plug-in hybrid system consisting of twin electric motors (149 horsepower) and a 1.5-liter gasoline engine/generator. The electric motors are powered by a rechargeable 18.4 kWh lithium-ion battery pack that is charged from the grid and can be partially recharged on the go from the gas engine/generator and regenerative braking. The gas engine kicks in when the battery pack's initial charge is depleted, working primarily as a generator to continue providing electricity. In some situations, such as accelerating with a depleted battery, passing and climbing steep hills, the gas engine also assists the electric motors to increase the Volt's performance.

In addition to standard Normal, Sport, Hold and Mountain drive modes, the 2016 Volt has a "Regen on Demand" paddle on the steering wheel. The feature, borrowed from the Cadillac ELR plug-in hybrid, allows the driver to adjust deceleration and the amount of regenerated braking energy that can be sent back to the battery pack.

Recharging the battery pack requires you to plug in to either a standard 120-volt outlet or a dedicated 240-volt charging station. Regenerative braking and excess power from the engine/generator also can help boost the battery charge when the Volt is in motion. It takes about 4.5 hours to recharge a fully depleted battery from a 240-volt power source or 13 hours from a 120-volt source.

We have not yet tested the 2016 Volt for real-world range, fuel economy and charging efficiency and will add that information when we do. In our road test of the 2016 Volt, we achieved 62 miles of all-electric driving on a fairly flat route. The EPA efficiency numbers for the 2016 Volt give it an estimated 53 miles of all-electric range, 42 mpg combined (43 city/42 highway) on gasoline and the equivalent of 102 mpg (MPGe) in combined gas and electric operation in normal driving. Longer trips without periodic battery charging will dramatically reduce MPGe. The 2016 Volt should deliver 420 miles of range on a full battery and a full tank of gas.


Standard safety features on the 2016 Volt include antilock braking, traction and stability control, driver and front passenger knee airbags, front and rear seat side-impact airbags and front and rear side curtain airbags. Also standard is the OnStar emergency communications system, which includes automatic crash notification, an emergency assistance button, remote door unlock and stolen vehicle assistance, and a pedestrian safety signal that alerts pedestrians when the car is approaching in silent all-electric mode or is stopped at a crosswalk.

Available on the Premier trim are lane departure warning, lane departure intervention, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, forward collision warning and forward collision mitigation with automatic braking.


The 2016 Volt's new hybrid powertrain retains all the low-end power of the original and, according to Chevrolet, is almost a half-second quicker to 60 mph from a dead stop. That would put it in the mid-8-second range, which is quite good for a plug-in hybrid. Around town, it feels responsive and quick, and it tackles rough roads with admirable smoothness. It's also quiet. There's still the bliss of all-electric mode, but wind and road noise are less than before, and the gas engine's operation is less obvious. At a moderate pace, it also feels fairly sporty around turns.


In addition to updating the 2016 Volt's exterior design, Chevrolet took care to improve the interior as well. It is more upscale than the previous model's, with two-tone color schemes, easy-to-use audio and climate controls and a pair of 8-inch information screens. On the downside, there is still a fair amount of hard plastic inside, detracting somewhat from the interior's otherwise excellent fit and finish.

The Volt's interior gets a rich new look for 2016, with easier-to use infotainment controls and an 8-inch touchscreen.

Front seat comfort is fine, but the lack of a power-adjustable driver seat and a cramped backseat that lacks both headroom and legroom is a drawback, especially for a car in this price range. The new Volt can claim to seat three people, unlike the previous-generation Volt, which had just two spots. The battery pack still takes up space underneath, though, so it's more of an emergency-use perch than a truly useful seat.

Farther back, the Volt's hatchback design makes for easy loading and unloading. The luggage area has 10.6 cubic feet of space with the rear seats up, more than you'll get in a Ford Fusion Energi but only about half of what hatchback competitors like the Ford C-Max Energi and Toyota Prius plug-in provide.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2016 Chevrolet Volt.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Excellent upgrade to the original
LT 4dr Hatchback (gas/electric hybrid DD)
This is simply an excellent vehicle. For most people it should yield sufficient EV range that they'll never need to use the gas engine; for the remainder the occasional dip into the gas tank will get them wherever they need to go in comfort. For those who own one of the originals, the extra range will help to reduce that odd range anxiety that you get when even though you know you could go anywhere you'd still rather not use gas. And the car is better, I think, in almost every way, than an already impressive forebear. Better visibility, more ergonomic, more powerful. And the "maximum regen" paddle on the back of the steering wheel a useful addition to avoid wondering exactly how hard to brake before engaging the discs. The only area of significant criticism is the iPod integration. For some reason it's proving to be at best erratic. But overall a minor niggle in the enjoyment, and the CarPlay feature is excellent. The only wish is that GM had included a 6.6kW charger, but
4yrs 52K Miles - Great Car
RayR NY,05/13/2016
Premier 4dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid DD)
Updated Review 11-18-19: It's been 4 years now and 52K miles. This is a great car. No problems. Hardly any upkeep expense. Oil changes few and far in between due to the engine hardly running. I filled up February 2019 and November 2019. Very few of my trips require the engine. The cold causes the engine to start. I could change the settings so it won't start until 15 degrees instead of 32, but I feel my comfort is more important. Why GM never advertised this car like Honda advertised its Clarity, is beyond me. I see many Clairties on the road and few Volts. The Volt is now discontinued, but I feel I'm one of the lucky ones to have this car. Big mistake GM. You really dropped the ball. Updated Review: It's been a year and a half now. Almost 18K miles. Still loving my Volt. I just had an issue with the check engine light going on, but it was a short and was repaired. OnStar was helpful. The light went on, I received a text to have my battery serviced within 1 day, so I hit the OnStar button. They read me a code and connected me with my dealer. The dealer told me the code had something to do with the HVAC system and made me an appointment to bring it in. This was all done within 5 minutes. The technology is very advanced, but yet simple. I have had some issues with some rattles in the cabin. I had to take some time and find the areas and put some dampening material in place to end the plastic on plastic rattles. For the price, GM could have put a little more into the build quality of the interior. All has been taken care of and I'm happy. I still highly recommend this car. Updated Review: 2.5yrs 32K miles: Very happy. I very rarely use the gas engine. My round-trip commute allows me to stay in EV mode every day. I have an L2 charging station in my garage which charges to completion in 2.5 hrs when I get home, so if I have somewhere to go I have a full charge or close to it depending on how long I'm home for. It really doesn't matter because I do have the ICE to back me up. I can't say anything enough what a great car this turned out to be. It's comfortable, dependable and drives well. 30,141 EV miles 1,612 ICE miles. Original Post: If your daily commute is less than 50 miles, you won't need gas. 6 months and I still have the same tank that came with the car. Rear seat is tight but good for 2. Ride is smooth with excellent steering feel. It feels like a firm, heavy ride. In cold months with the use of the heater the range takes at hit in the 40s but in the warmer months range could be in the 60s - I'm usually achieving the advertised 53 or higher. Using the heated seats, heated steering wheel and climate control on "economy" helps. Fit and finish of the car is upscale and the technology works great. Side view could be better due to wide A pillars, but the side vehicle alert helps to detect other vehicles. The Bose system is beautiful - a little weak when new, but after a few weeks the sound fills out and it's great. There was an intermittent small rattle when I first got the car, but has since settled. Price is on the high side, but when you weigh the advanced technology, gas savings and an additional $7,500 tax credit - it brings the car into range so it's really not that high. All in all I'm enjoying the car very much. I haven't had any mechanical problems and have found the quality to be high above expectations.
Volt and Solar Panels are a great payback
LT 4dr Hatchback (gas/electric hybrid DD)
Car handles very nice, fun to drive. No complaints. You can read other reviews for the "car" reviews, I am going to talk about the financial aspects. Last year I bought a 24 panel Solar System that cost $19,000, after a Federal Tax Credit, the net cost was $13,300. I made sure I purchased enough panels to cover my household needs and future plans for an electric car. After 1 year, I confirmed I had sized my system correctly. My monthly electric bill went from $200 to zero. Per plan, I had credit from with PG&E's. So I needed a second car for my teenage sons to drive. Alternate choice would be Honda Civic. Cost for new mid-level Civic $22,000 out the door. Long story, short - kids are driving my 3 old year old car, Dad is driving new Volt. I walked out of the Chevy dealer minus $32,300. I did purchase 220v charge cord and had a 220v receptacle installed in the garage - total cost $900. I will get a Federal Tax rebate of $7500, a state rebate of $1500 and because of I live in the San Joachim Valley, the Air Pollution Control District will give me a rebate of $2000. Net cost of car and charger is $22,200 - about the same as a new Civic. My gas bill should drop $175 per month. Total investment: $13,300 (solar panels) + $200 (premium of Volt over Civic) = $13,500. Monthly savings: $200 (household electric) + $175 (auto gas) = $375. Result: my investment will be paid back in 3 years!
Volt vs Tesla is a no brainer
James S,06/27/2016
Premier 4dr Hatchback (gas/electric hybrid DD)
I love the Tesla but the Volt was 1/3 the price and has a backup gas option if you run out of electricity. This is a must when living in a big state like California. Or for me who runs the AC full blast. I've driven the Volt Premier a month a only put in 2 gallons. It's also very quick off the line, especially in Sport mode. Great purchase.

Features & Specs

See all Used 2016 Chevrolet Volt features & specs
More about the 2016 Chevrolet Volt

Used 2016 Chevrolet Volt Overview

The Used 2016 Chevrolet Volt is offered in the following submodels: Volt Hatchback. Available styles include LT 4dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid DD), and Premier 4dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid DD).

What's a good price on a Used 2016 Chevrolet Volt?

Price comparisons for Used 2016 Chevrolet Volt trim styles:

  • The Used 2016 Chevrolet Volt LT is priced between $12,465 and$15,647 with odometer readings between 23324 and65521 miles.
  • The Used 2016 Chevrolet Volt Premier is priced between $17,998 and$17,998 with odometer readings between 34577 and34577 miles.

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Which used 2016 Chevrolet Volts are available in my area?

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Can't find a used 2016 Chevrolet Volts you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Chevrolet Volt for sale - 11 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $15,155.

Find a used Chevrolet for sale - 1 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $20,772.

Find a used certified pre-owned Chevrolet Volt for sale - 3 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $20,254.

Find a used certified pre-owned Chevrolet for sale - 4 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $23,316.

Should I lease or buy a 2016 Chevrolet Volt?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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