Chevrolet Volt

The Chevy Volt is what GM calls a "extended-range electric" vehicle. It carries a bank of lithium-ion batteries underneath as its primary fuel source. The batteries can be charged by plugging them in overnight, and can power the vehicle to a range of around 38 miles. Should the driver require a longer range, an on-board 1.4L 4-cylinder gasoline-powered engine automatically starts up to generate additional energy. A regenerative braking system provides additional charging whenever the vehicle slows. Overall, the Volt's miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe) is estimated at 98.

The Volt also features an "EV Hold Mode." The system allows the driver to control when the electric motor is active. In doing so, the driver is able to utilize battery power when it is most effective, while driving in the city, for example.

The Volt is capable of a top speed of 100 mph, making it suitable for highway driving. Like other electric cars, the Volt has lots of torque right from the get-go, making for quick starts and fun driving. However, steep hills, driving at faster speeds and flooring it at every red light will all reduce that 38-mile electric-only range.

Chevrolet understands that an electric car will only be successful if drivers and passengers don't feel compromised by the experience. Safety features include eight air bags, which includes a knee bag for the driver as well as side curtains for all passengers. Standard equipment features navigation, satellite radio, Bluetooth and remote keyless entry are all standard equipment. A standard cargo cover keeps the contents of the 10.6-cubic-foot trunk hidden.

GM's OnStar system is included for five years. A standard Bose sound system features a 30GB hard drive and USB port. This system uses less energy than other stereos, allowing more power to be utilized at the wheels. Leather seats are even available for a little touch of luxury. A rear camera and park-assist system are also available, as are heated front seats.

Editors' Review

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If you're scratching your head while looking at pictures of the 2019 Chevrolet Volt thinking, man, that looks an awful lot like last year's car, you aren't going crazy. While some mid-cycle refreshes are mostly limited to design tweaks, Chevy's 2019 model year update instead focuses on making the Volt an even better plug-in hybrid.

Beneath the skin

Much as I would have liked to see a few visual changes, really, a design update wasn't essential. The Volt certainly isn't off-putting, with its Cruze-like front end and silver grille inserts giving it kind of a Transformers vibe.

Packed within the body is a carryover powertrain, comprised of a 1.5-liter I4 gas engine, 18.4-kilowatt-hour battery pack and electric motor, for a combined output of 149 horsepower and 294 pound-feet of torque. The EPA says the 2019 Volt has an all-electric driving range of 53 miles, which bests other PHEVs like the Hyundai Ioniq (29 miles), Kia Niro (26 miles) and Toyota Prius Prime (25 miles). Factor in the gas engine and the Chevy's driving range grows to 420 miles.

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The Good Updates for 2019 give the Volt even faster 240-volt charging times. Electric driving range dwarfs its plug-in hybrid competitors. New high-definition backup camera finally lets you clearly see what's behind you.

The Bad Styling is on the boring side. The torsion beam rear suspension has difficulty dealing with bumpy roads.

The Bottom Line The plug-in hybrid champ gets even better for 2019.

Editors' Rating
  • Performance 8
  • Features 8
  • Design 7
  • Media 9

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