2016 Chevrolet Volt – Interior Design With Critical Seating For 5

JAN 12 2015 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 69

2016 Chevrolet Volt Interior

2016 Chevrolet Volt Interior

2016 Chevrolet Volt Interior Option 2

2016 Chevrolet Volt Interior Option 2

Now that we’ve seen the 2016 Chevrolet Volt in all of its external design glory and have revealed the plug-in electric car’s specifications in full, we feel it’s time to take a look inside.

First, let’s start with the most important feature of the 2016 Volt’s interior:

“Seating and trim”

“A new bench seat design in the rear provides seating for up to three passengers. When the middle seat is not in use, the outboard rear-seat passengers can fold down an armrest.”

That’s seating for 5!  The one change we insisted (and confirmed 2 months ago) General Motors had to include in the 2016 Volt.  Gone is the seating-for-four restriction.  Hooray!

Live From The NAIAS - What Everyone Wants To See - The Rear Seating! Image Credit: Tom Moloughney

Live From The NAIAS – What Everyone Wants To See – The Rear Seating! Image Credit: Tom Moloughney

2016 Chevrolet Back Seat Cutaway

2016 Chevrolet Back Seat Cutaway

It’s within where General Motors made significant changes to the Volt:

“The all-new 2016 Chevrolet Volt’s contemporary passenger environment is designed to be fresh and inviting, with intuitive technology interfaces and attention to detail conveying an upscale ambience.”

2016 Chevrolet Volt Instrument Cluster

2016 Chevrolet Volt Instrument Cluster

This upscale ambience is a departure from the current Volt, which is often described as far less luxurious than competing vehicles.

Crystal Windham, Chevrolet Interior Design director, states:

“The 2016 Volt maintains the high-tech interior design aesthetic of the first-generation Volt, but has more user-friendly elements creating an inviting balance between ambiance and functionality.  The new interior will appeal to existing owners, but also to those who will be new to the Volt family because of its integrated, yet familiar technology.”

General Motors mentions “visual jewelry” when describing the interior of the 2016 Volt.  Visual jewelry?  Umm…okay?

The biggest change we see is how the interior appears more well incorporated.  General Motors describes this as follows:

“The instrument panel, for example, flows into the door panels, while the center portion of the instrument panel flows almost seamlessly into a more ergonomic center console.”

2016 Chevrolet Volt Interior

2016 Chevrolet Volt Interior

Additional changes include:

New colors, blue ambient lighting and softer materials surround occupants and enhanced acoustic performance provides a quieter and refined environment.

Additional customer comfort and convenience features include:
• Standard rear-vision camera
• Enhanced charge status indicators – including a light on top of the instrument panel that can be viewed at a glance from outside the vehicle
• Center armrest that is longer and higher than the current model
• New storage bin in the front console
• Available heated rear seats
• Available heated steering wheel
• Available wireless smartphone charging

Information screens get bigger too:

“The Volt retains its signature dual digital color displays, with larger, eight-inch-diagonal screens – one in front of the driver for the instrument cluster and driver information center, and the other in the center of the instrument panel…”

2016 Chevrolet Volt Interior At NAIAS -  Image Credit: Tom Moloughney

2016 Chevrolet Volt Interior At NAIAS – Image Credit: Tom Moloughney

Three interior color choices will be available:

“…jet black, light and dark ash gray and jet black and brandy.”

That brandy color is one of the leather options:

“…available leather-appointed seating features a Volt-exclusive, warm brandy color with jet black accents.

Full press release on 2016 Chevrolet interior posted below:

2016 Chevrolet Volt Interior Makes EV Driving Personal
Intuitive technology adds to a fresh and inviting cabin

DETROIT –The all-new 2016 Chevrolet Volt’s contemporary passenger environment is designed to be fresh and inviting, with intuitive technology interfaces and attention to detail conveying an upscale ambience.

“The 2016 Volt maintains the high-tech interior design aesthetic of the first-generation Volt, but has more user-friendly elements creating an inviting balance between ambiance and functionality,” said Crystal Windham, Chevrolet Interior Design director. “The new interior will appeal to existing owners, but also to those who will be new to the Volt family because of its integrated, yet familiar technology.”

Like the exterior, the Volt’s cabin flows with sculpted cues, visual jewelry and a greater emphasis on form. The instrument panel, for example, flows into the door panels, while the center portion of the instrument panel flows almost seamlessly into a more ergonomic center console.

2016 Chevrolet Volt Console Cluster From NAIAS -  Image Credit: Tom Moloughney

2016 Chevrolet Volt Console Cluster From NAIAS – Image Credit: Tom Moloughney

New colors, blue ambient lighting and softer materials surround occupants and enhanced acoustic performance provides a quieter and refined environment.

Additional customer comfort and convenience features include:
• Standard rear-vision camera
• Enhanced charge status indicators – including a light on top of the instrument panel that can be viewed at a glance from outside the vehicle
• Center armrest that is longer and higher than the current model
• New storage bin in the front console
• Available heated rear seats
• Available heated steering wheel
• Available wireless smartphone charging

The Volt retains its signature dual digital color displays, with larger, eight-inch-diagonal screens – one in front of the driver for the instrument cluster and driver information center, and the other in the center of the instrument panel that controls the Chevrolet MyLink system and other apps.

The center stack is simple and intuitive, projecting approximately one-third fewer icons, and offering separate climate control knobs. Buttons below the center display offer a clear and convenient operation. Most of the features can be controlled with a single rotary knob and four buttons.

Returning technologies and new amenities include:
• OnStar 4G LTE with three years of service and standard built-in Wi-Fi hotspot (with a three-month/three gigabyte data trial)
• Siri Eyes Free and text message alerts (requires compatible iPhone)
• Bluetooth phone connectivity
• Automatic climate control

2016 Chevrolet Volt "Shifter" -  Image Credit: Tom Moloughney

2016 Chevrolet Volt “Shifter” – Image Credit: Tom Moloughney

• Keyless access and ignition
• Auxiliary 12-volt power outlets and dual USB ports
• Remote start
• Leather-wrapped steering wheel
• Premium cloth seats and available leather-appointed seating
• Available Navigation and Bose® premium audio
• Heated driver and front passenger cloth seats
• Available safety awareness includes front and rear park assist, forward collision alert and lane-departure warning

Seating and trim
A new bench seat design in the rear provides seating for up to three passengers. When the middle seat is not in use, the outboard rear-seat passengers can fold down an armrest.

The standard cloth seats feature a distinctive hexagonal pattern that blends a high-tech appearance with natural biometrics, similar to the pattern at the center of a sunflower. Lighter, natural color tones complement the seats and reinforce the cabin’s warmth.

The available leather-appointed seating features a Volt-exclusive, warm brandy color with jet black accents.

The upscale look and feel of the Volt is reinforced with three interior color choices: jet black, light and dark ash gray and jet black and brandy.

Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world’s largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4.8 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature engaging performance, design that makes the heart beat, passive & active safety features and easy-to-use technology, all at a value. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.

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69 Comments on "2016 Chevrolet Volt – Interior Design With Critical Seating For 5"

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IDK
Guest
IDK

I like the new interior design, but that 5th seat…really? GM should have spent more time redesigning their battery placement.

David Murray
Guest
David Murray

Yeah. I kept looking at that going “That’s a fifth seat?” I wouldn’t want to sit there. Maybe you could put a child-seat there, I suppose.

Josh
Guest

Rear facing car seat was my sticking point, so it is perfect for me.

In the current Volt, the rear facing car seat forces the front seats to move forward too much. The middle placement is safer and allows the seat to poke in between the front seats.

Mint
Guest
Mint

Great point.

kdawg
Guest

I believe that was the goal; a child-seat spot. Or if you are really in a pinch, you could put a butt there. It’s not mean to haul your family of 5 with 3 teenagers everyday.

The bench seating may make it easier to toss larger items into the back as well, w/out worry of hitting that center console.

Stephen
Guest
Stephen

I doubt the gap between the front seats is big enough for a rear facing car seat to sit between.

Josh
Guest

The whole seat doesn’t have to fit through, just the rounded portion above the baby’s head buys and extra three inches of front leg room.

John Hansen
Guest
John Hansen

I’m very happy with the fifth seat. As many have pointed out, not many adults sit in the middle seat of any compact car for long distances. It’s for short trips or short people, so the design works.

And seriously, do you think that adding a seat pad on top of the battery to make it into a seat takes anywhere near the engineering resources as redesigning the entire battery? Seriously?

They made the right move.

Bro1999
Guest
Bro1999

Just a guess, but GM might have original planned Volt 2.0 with 4 seats, but tacked on the 5th due to customer demand (like on GM-Volt.com).

ClarksonCote
Guest

Is that cup holder removable at all?

bro1999
Guest
bro1999

Looks like it can be inserted into the rear console, creating a little more room for the poor soul that has to sit there. Good for families with kids, though.

Lustuccc
Guest
Lustuccc

Looks like four seats and a half to me. GM will get sued for coccyx fractures lol!

Speculawyer
Guest
Speculawyer

Meh. I’m fine with the 5th seat. It is rarely needed and that will suffice for those rare occasions.

I just wish they had lengthened the car to provide more legroom in the back. The fact that they displayed it without the front passenger seat indicates fail.

Ash09
Guest
Ash09

Well, they have a 5th seat, though I certainly wouldn’t want an adult to sit in it due to having to straddle that battery.

SIvad
Guest
SIvad

Please don’t put me in the middle with 2 cups of hot coffee in those cup holders near my crotch.

I will be getting the new Volt but that seat is a weak gesture at solving the problem of 5 seats.

Priusmaniac
Guest
Priusmaniac

They should have switched the battery between the Volt 2 and the Bolt, it would have made a greater Volt 2, with more ev range and more leg room in the center backseat place.

doudis2
Guest
doudis2

So to all those that clamored for a 5th seat, are you happy? Too small? IT IS A COMPACT CAR..PERIOD…get over it!

Personally I think the interior is AWESOME!

John Hansen
Guest
John Hansen

Yes, I’m very happy to have the fifth seat. Thank you. 🙂

Josh
Guest

Like I mentioned above, that 5th seat (as small as it is) is enough to turn a “no” from my wife to an “ok, you can buy it”.

Speculawyer
Guest
Speculawyer

I’m fine with the 5th seat. I just wish the back had more legroom.

Lou Grinzo
Guest
Lou Grinzo

I suspect that the behind-the-scenes discussions went something like this:

“We HAVE TO have a 5th seat. People are screaming for it!”

“OK, we can do it, but it will suck because of the battery.”

“What will it cost in time and money to redesign the battery?”

“[really big numbers]”

“Yikes! OK, we go with the crappy 5th seat but we push even harder to improve the sheetmetal and the dash and hope people don’t notice the barely usable additional seat.”

IDK
Guest
IDK

+1

iwatson
Guest
iwatson

All these comments about the rear seat being a weak attempt. The new seat is perfect for a child seat for an infant or a forward facing booster seat for an older child. It appears that the cup holders slide forward nesting in the center console which would give an older child in a booster seat a flat spot to rest their feet on top of the battery tunnel.

As I think of how this could be of benefit to my family (there a 4 of us, No small children) if we were all going somewhere and needed to include my mother, then one adult could straddle the pack for the outing (wouldn’t want to go across country that way!) but certainly we could avoid having to take two cars for a trip to the mall or out for lunch!

Stuart22
Guest
Stuart22

Let’s face it – fifth passengers get the least respect in most less-than-full-size cars. Except when straddled by a couple of nubile babes….)-

James
Guest
James
Thank you Tom for catching the back seat! Seriously thankful from Volt Geeks like me. I’ve surfed and surfed this AM and found nothing to satisfy that “mysterious” darned seat. The new “4 Door Coupe” roofline isn’t only chic, but it improves aerodynamics. Love the venturi cut into the roof but looks like “NO SUNROOF OPTION FOR YOU!”…No biggie, IMHO. But….but….oh boy, they had a lower roofline as a result and that nagging need shouted from the mountaintops for a 5th seating position. LOOK at how deep your butt is going to sit into those side seating positions! And – the steep angle. This is how they locate your hips lower, your thighs higher and get clearance for our eggheads. I surely do not want to sit back there, and I won’t. We too haul my mom around regularly and it’s then we used to take our Prius, which has a pathetic center seating position too. When our kids were smaller and in child seats, my wife seriously got squeezed back in “the middle”! On Volt2, it looks even a tad bleaker ( I won’t point out the back seat to my wife before signing the deal… ), poor, poor… Read more »
James
Guest
James
While GM interior designers are definitely upping their game – again, good job you guys! I will make one observation that I concur with from message boards around the world-wide-blab: That is – we don’t like the Malibu-Impala-Cruze aqua blue lighting! Some carmakers give you a switchable lighting color choice for offset lights and dash lighting. Everyone is different, and sure, aqua is a cross between blue and green, and yet it looks light-blue ’60s-’70s-car feel to me. Remember those dash lights of your Mom’s Nova/Impala/Chevelle? Sure you do, old-timers! Red usually means, “sport”, and for some, like me – kind of pulls anger emotions out – or aggressiveness. Blue – nice royal blue is the dash light color of my choice, or even a green green, not a combo of both. Anyway, I’ve heard others make the same comments about current Chevrolet dash lighting on newer models so I know it’s not just me. The light blue/aqua looks cheap. Kudos on the accent lighting strip – dash/doors( royal blue )!- totally modern feel if you ask me. I actually added some hidden LEDs of that color in my car, and some custom-fit in the front cupholders as they had… Read more »
James
Guest
James

* That kind of offset LED lighting, say in the footwells from under dash – or inside the console for visability, or in cupholders is one of those “fine touch” elements that sells cars.

QCO
Guest
QCO

The earlier announcement suggested the 3 person rear seating might be optional, which would mean the 2 seat buckets are standard. Not clear yet.

Also the 3 seat bench doesn’t look like it will fold down well because of the console. The buckets might result in a flatter load floor.

BTW, note the liberal use of the word “available” in this announcement. That means there will be a large range between the base stripper and the loaded model, which might be back up to $40k with all the goodies. We haven’t seen the stripper interior yet….

Josh
Guest

Why wouldn’t the rear seat fold down 60/40 like every other car with a dropdown console?

Stuart22
Guest
Stuart22

Nissan has done well in using stripped down, base model LEAF pricing to draw in customers. Smart move if Chevy does it too.

leafer
Guest
leafer

take a look , that cupholder slides forward into the center console
its out right now for use

ClarksonCote
Guest

I don’t think it does. The lines don’t match up to do what you’re suggesting.

Erik
Guest
Erik

Any chance Chevy is letting people in this car? I’d love to see a 6′ tall person set the drivers seat and then (without moving the seat) sit in the rear seat. when I did that in a 2012 volt I had to physically wedge my calves in.

pjwood
Guest
pjwood

+1 I never got the 5th seat myopia, when legroom was the concern. The car needed several inches more length, which was my reason #1 not to own two Volts. Having my butt so low to the ground (which Bolt, like i3/B-Class won’t) is what’s nice about Volt, but the price is tall/6′ types sliding that seat too far back.

Does this car have power seats? Can any show-goer verify?

Victor
Guest
Victor

That bench seat in the back will work perfect for me and my family. I have 5 year old twin boys. Occasionally one of the twins will have to straddle the hump when one of my older boys rides with my wife, twins and I. I straddle the hump when I was a kid. There’s a rise in the center of the back bench so I may not even have to use a booster seat in the center. It would be nice if that cup holder is removable.

David
Guest
David

5th seat????? Honestly? LOL
Just take a pillow with you and apparently the Volt has always had a 5th seat.

James
Guest
James

Now that you’ve added the cutaway, brighter back seat photo…Um…does that cupholder slide forward or….not? It kind of looks like that is access to the battery-main-cutoff switch. Probably does NOT slide forward! Wow! Now that would be a major crotch buster for anyone that is not a little people – back there!

James
Guest
James

I agree there is a lot of ambiguity regarding price and options. Remember, from the start in forums people have asked for more of a simple Volt – a “stripper”, if you will.

It does look like there is a lot of room to hike up the price with goodies. I for one, am into goodies, so look out > My wallet! Just rest assured you can splurge on the lighted plug bay and heated steering wheel and still not be close to i3 starter prices.

pjwood
Guest
pjwood

I don’t see price going up for drivetrain. They made some very shrewd choices. 1.5 liter normally aspirated engine, not too many more kwh, safely upping DOD from 65%, to 75%. The “goodies” seem inexpensive, very useful, tech features. No?

I’m still impressed it is headed to getting 43-45 hwy mpg, on regular unleaded. A highway number like that would be the same $$ as getting 51mpg with premium octane.

Stephen
Guest
Stephen

I think the point was not whether it had a comfortable 5th seat, but whether it appeared to have a 5th seat at all. People who regularly need to carry 5 will most likely pass on the Volt because the back row is cramped. However, I expect there are many who will never carry 5, but will still take one look at a 4-seat car and immediately dismiss it.

pjwood
Guest
pjwood

IEV: “This upscale ambience is a departure from the current Volt, which is often described as far less luxurious than competing vehicles.”

At least 2013 Volt has ambient (blue’ish) dome lighting. Ironically, the Tesla has no ambient light from the dome (roof center/front). Tesla lowered the Kelvin (OK, white’ness) of its overhead cabin lights for the P85D, but that’s it for this luxurious competing vehicle. Maybe they feel the light, that comes right at you from the 17″ screen, was the way to roll?

Tim F.
Guest
Tim F.

Brandy is not the only leather color. All three colors listed are available in leather. Cloth is available in gray and black only.

Chris
Guest
Chris

Any shots of the hatch open? I haven’t seen those anywhere yet.

Jay Cole
Admin

Tada!

Special Bonus: check out the guy sitting in middle seat…probably not a good place to put 3 people even though there is that many seatbelts, (=

kdawg
Guest

OK, now open up the EVSE storage area and take a pic of the one. 🙂

kdawg
Guest

^new one

Stephen
Guest
Stephen

Still the same crappy cargo cover system

Stan
Guest
Stan

60/40 folding rear seats. Nice.

QCO
Guest
QCO

Great to see the 40% part of the folding rear seat is on the driver’s side. That’s rare. I prefer it this way so you can have a small storage space accessible to the driver’s side whilst minimizing the impact to the single rear passenger on the other side.

For the first time ever someone at GM thought that through.

Nix
Guest
Nix

Hey, that’s an adult sitting in the center seat…. (just thought I’d be the master of the obvious)

Priusmaniac
Guest
Priusmaniac

No it is an amputee.

Claude
Guest
Claude

Have you noticed that the inside shots of the rear seat are taken with the hatch open… Since the head room is more than half an inch less than the 2012-2015, I suspect that the gap must be very small over there!

NZDavid
Guest
NZDavid

Claude

The head room is .2 of an inch smaller, and the leg room is .6 of an inch bigger. Really not much difference really.

It is a compact after all.

Stephen
Guest
Stephen

Child restraint latching point shown in that last photo

Ryan
Guest
Ryan

Nice improvements considering it is not a complete redesign from the ground up… this seats 5 way better than 2+2 sportscar seats 4!

Nix
Guest
Nix

The 4+1 seating seems nice to me (4 adults + 1 kid who’s feet won’t even get anywhere near those cup holders anyways…) Sort of like Tesla’s 5+2 seating in the Model S. There is nothing wrong with making a family car that works for families with a small kid.

Stan
Guest
Stan

4+1? Seats 4 adults? The rear seating space is pitiful. It is extremely limited even for a compact. A Corvette offers similar rear seating comfort (only slight hyperbole). It was a 2+2. Now it is a 2+3.

Nix
Guest
Nix

I withhold full judgement until I see it in person, but the photos remind me of upscale Japanese/Pacific Rim interiors (Lexus, Infinity, Hyundai Genesis, etc).

Very nice.

ld
Guest
ld

The only benefit of the “5th” seat is that it closes off the gap between the two outer seats and will make the car quieter.

eddie
Guest
eddie

I really like the dashboard redesign! I did not like the icky iPod white in the model I test drove years ago.

Anon
Guest
Anon

Yeah, those sucked. Felt cheap and looked derivative.

I’m diggin’ the two toned black and beige interior. Very nice.

Why the small touchscreen? It’s soooo tiny. 🙁

Get Real
Guest
Get Real

Opportunity missed to implement the skateboard platform that GM INVENTED!

Priusmaniac
Guest
Priusmaniac

+1
They should have moved that part of the battery near the engine and certainly not add coffee holders near there. What a strange idea, especially considering the flat Bolt battery.

Victor
Guest
Victor

The hump in the back is not a problem. I straddled the hump when I was a kid and my kids can straddle the hump. The cup holder now, you have a point.

Victor
Guest
Victor

Most people who don’t have small kids probably wouldn’t understand how important it is to have an accessible bench seat in the back. I even read where someone said,” why not just put a pillow over the cup holder”? The back seat arrangement between this volt and the previous model is like night and day. The previous model didn’t allow enough room between the front seat and the back seat for a child to slip between there ( while an adult is sitting in the front seat). Then there was this split (gap) in the back that a child could fall between. When a child enters the backseat of a car, they don’t just jump on the seat. They enter the car, then facinig the back seat, they climb onto the seat. That extra 6 inches of clearance between the front seat and back seat in the second generation Volt will make it much easier to get in and out of the car. There is a bench seat with a seat belt now. Even if you only have one kid, your kid will have friends, and you can not put them in the front seat.

Stan
Guest
Stan

If it is 6 inches, then that is excellent news and a major improvement. However, I think you are mistaken and it is only half an inch more space (.6 inches). Thus, still just jump seats.

Victor
Guest
Victor

Stan, you are right. I misread that. Only .6 inches. That is not much. However, it is not a deal breaker. Can that cup holder be removed or replaced with something a little more crutch friendly?

Victor
Guest
Victor

I meant to say “crotch”. It really would be nice if that cup holder could be replaced with something more low cut or taken out completely. I can imagine someone sitting in the middle and the guy next to him please a hot cup of coffee in that cup holder. Engineers in White coats just don’t see things the way ordinary people do.

Santa
Guest
Santa

When I get my new 2016 Chevy Volt, the first thing I will do is get rid of that cup holder on the hump in the back. Second; Give the car a full charge and go for a ride that is 50+ miles.