Chevy is taking its plug-in hybrid to new heights—and ranges—with the 2016 Volt. Boasting an expansive total range of 430 miles, the Volt leads the way among plug-in electric/gasoline hybrids.

Pricing and Equipment

Starting at $33,000, the entry-level LT comes standard with a generous complement of features and technology. Chevy manages to add just enough bells and whistles, so that you don’t feel like you’re missing out by going with the lower level trim. Standard features on the LT include:

  • Cloth seats
  • Keyless access and ignition
  • OnStar 4G LTE with 3-year Guidance Plan
  • Seventeen-inch painted aluminum wheels
  • A rearview camera

We test-drove the Premier model with leather seats, a high-end Bose sound system and a surprisingly unobtrusive Driver Confidence Package ($990). The package’s Forward Collision Alert, Low-speed Automatic Braking and a Side Blind Zone Alert made itself felt when necessary but wasn’t a distraction.

Performance Pros

Chevrolet Volt

How it works: The Volt uses an 8.4-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack to produce an impressive 53 miles of battery-only driving, almost a third more than last year’s 38 miles. The battery pack is complemented by a lively, range-extending 1.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine rated at 101 horsepower at 5600 rpm. When the battery runs out of charge, the gas engine kicks in and begins turning two motor-generators which then recharge the battery. As for felt performance:

  • The Volt produces 111 kilowatts and 149 horsepower. Combined with a responsive 249 pound-feet of torque, the results were impressive. We really did not feel like we were driving a hybrid.
  • The 8.9-gallon fuel tank and larger battery give the Volt a range of 430 miles. The gas engine comes in at 42 mpg and when running on battery alone, the Volt gets a staggering 106 MPGe!

Performance Cons

  • To us, it still feels a bit heavy for its size.
  • It's not exactly nimble on curvy roads, but better than last year.
  • Braking is a bit jerky at times, and could be smoother

Interior Pros

We found the 2016 Volt interior much improved:

  • Last year's confusing touch controls have been replaced with more intuitive, easy-to-use switches and knobs.
  • The twin-cockpit design is clean yet stylish. Aesthetics matter, and Chevy seems to get that.

Interior Cons

  • Still a touch too many design flourishes for our taste.
  • The rear fifth seating position feels way too small to be considered a true seat.

The Most Pleasant Surprise

We're impressed by the Volt's 106 MPGe and 430-mile range! This combination of efficiency and range puts the Volt clearly in the winner’s column.

The Least Pleasant Surprise

Over-the-shoulder vision is just plain bad. This blind spot is somewhat mitigated, though, by the rearview camera.

The Bottom Line

Chevrolet Volt

The new Volt goes the distance. Its power, handling and improved interior won us over from the start. The most important thing was range -- the Volt proves that you can go green and go far at the same time. Also, go with the Premier if you can. The leather and Bose sound system adds a touch of luxury you’ll really appreciate.