2016 Chevrolet Volt Review – Video

DEC 15 2015 BY MARK KANE 75

The 2016 Chevrolet Volt Is Expected To Launch In Early Fall(Photo: InsideEVs/Tom Moloughney @ NYAIS - April 2015)

The 2016 Chevrolet Volt Is Expected To Launch In Early Fall(Photo: InsideEVs/Tom Moloughney @ NYAIS – April 2015)

Motoring TV did a quick presentation and review of the 2016 Chevrolet Volt in Canada.

The concise and concrete video points out the most important features.

“Motoring TV’s Brad Diamond has long maintained that the Chevrolet Volt is the best electric vehicle on the market thanks in large part to its gas-powered range-extender.

After moderate success with the first generation, 2016 sees a new Chevrolet Volt hit the market that offers better looks, range and efficiency.

Dan Ilika was on hand for the Canadian launch to find out if the best EV on the market is even better in its second generation.”

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75 Comments on "2016 Chevrolet Volt Review – Video"

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Forever green

I do agree that the 2016 Chevy Volt is the best electric car on the market. I had a 2012 Nissan Leaf. Two of the happiest moments I had with that car was the day I picked it up at the beginning of my lease and the day I returned it at the end of my lease. I have the 2016 Chevy Volt and I am one happy puppy. Some people who love their battery electric vehicles thinks everyone should have one. The all electric vehicle is not for everyone. Live and let live.

From a mass-market consumer standpoint, I think if everyone knew the Volt had 53 miles of all-electric gas-free range, followed by unlimited range using gas and filling up the gas tank as needed, many more Volts would be sold.

…especially if people understood their own driving patterns better. With a Volt, 90% of America would have gas-free daily driving, while being able to drive as far as they need.

Sure, some people need larger vehicles, but a whole lot more would be sold if GM actually advertised this effectively.

+1. In fact, if more Americans knew about the Volt I…

It remains up to GM leadership to spread the word and educate its own dealerships. The previous management had failed miserably in that. I hope under Barra’s leadership things will be different.

Brian

Yup. If the typical Volt gets 75% of its miles from electricity, then getting 4 Volts on the road is equivalent to getting 3 BEVs on the road (assuming similar number of miles driven per car). So which is easier to sell in 2015 – 4 EREVs, or 3 BEVs? I would argue the former. Now GM needs to up their game and work on actually selling them.

Mike616

The funny thing is Leaf drivers typical drive is less than 40 miles daily, same as the typical volt. So each Volt is 1 for 1 equivalent to an EV in the real world.

Except the Volt is always ready for an emergency situation.

Brian

Yes, but I’m looking past the current 80-mile EVs to the future 200-mile EVs. If supported by the proper infrastructure (big if), those can be a single car for many more people. But my point is that even that cannot replace 75% of the cars on the road whereas a Voltec-like solution can – in theory – replace 100% of the cars.

Bill Howland

I rode in the same model Blue 2016 VOlt for the first time last night.

I asked the driver/owner how he felt about it.

Pluses:

1). Quieter (but not as quiet as my Gen 1 ELR).

2). More power (about on par with the ELR).

3). Nice apple screen with android presently.

4). Somewhat cleaner A-Pillar.

Minuses:

1). Rear seating cramped.

2). Finish here and there is OK, but not quite as good as orig Volt.

3). Floor position of heater doesn’t seem to get as hot.

I had a few questions, but they were too picayune for the driver to know.

I was curious about charging rate, seeing as it maxes out at 3.6 kw now.

The leaf, both 3.6 and 6.6 kw versions, apparently only need 200 volts for the maximum charge rate.

My Gen 1 Volt and ELR need 220 Volts for the full 3.3 kw rate.

I suspect that the new Volt and Bolt will require 240 volts for the full 3.6 , and 7.2 kw rates, respectively. I looked at the charge port, but it seems a bit cheaper than before; there is no writing or certification on it.

kubel

Remove the electric aspects of the car (which we all agree make it awesome), and the Volt is just a Cruze with 4.5 seats, which is a terrible car.

Buyers not passionate about the plug-in aspect (or at the very least, the green aspect) aren’t going to find much value there. PHEVs are a niche market for people willing to sacrifice car for an electric driving experience. We need to remove the sacrificial aspect from PHEVs. That’s what thrust Tesla into mainstream acceptance. It’s a no-sacrifice EV.

If they Voltecized a hot seller like an F-150 or a Forester, I think there’s more opportunity there to hit an audience who might not be willing to sacrifice car for electric drive.

I think you’re very misguided to still be concluding “The Volt is just a Cruze”

The Volt is not just a Cruze with an electric drivetrain. But alas, people fall into these “traps” and let biases get in the way of their thinking.

Rick

That’s an odd argument. That’s like saying if you remove the electric components of the Model S, you have a very expensive driveway sculpture.

ModernMarvelFan

LOL. Great Point!

+100

pjwood1

Right. Capt. O. says, “If your balcony lacks a railing and a floor, it might be a window.”

kubel
You are completely missing my point. The argument was made that if people knew that the car could fit their needs, they would sell a lot more of them to the general public. My point is that the general public isn’t passionate about electric drive like we are. So they don’t get all wet over the fact that the car has a plug, has instant torque, has silent propulsion, etc… They look at the car as any other car, and they aren’t willing to accept the shortcomings like we would. Outside of electric drive (which we are passionate about, but 99% of buyers are not), the general public will get in a Volt, take it for a test drive, and will say, “hey, look at the Cruze over there, it’s cheaper, has more interior space, and performs and handles about the same as a Volt, and higher trims have the same fit and finish as a Volt”. Volt fanboys can do themselves a favor and not read this. Simple fact is, the Volt is nothing special outside of its electric drive. If you dropped a voltec drivetrain into Mazda 3 or a VW Golf or a Ford Focus, you would… Read more »
Bill Howland

Nope.
The Volt is Safer and More Reliable.

A Cruze is unlikely to go even 1/2 of the VOlt’s 300,000 miles without a transmission or engine failure, and the othe cars from what I’ve seen are even less reliable. I repeatedly hear stories of FORD and Mazda engines dying before their time.

You can call it a Cruze if you want. The reliability and safety have Sold me on the Volt. Electric operation (the mainreason I bought on) is just a Plus.

ModernMarvelFan

Having electric makes it a Volt. By taking it away, it is a Cruze.

It is that simple. So, saying that Volt isn’t competitive without it is stupid since Cruze sells pretty good too…

ziv

Kubel, anyone who thinks that two cars must be very similar because they share a platform doesn’t know much about automobiles. The Cruze is not even close to being as fun a car to drive as a Volt. The fact that the Cruze runs on Jihadi Juice and the Volt can run on All American electricity nearly all the time.

kubel
The only thing the Volt has going for it is its electric drive. If they made a trim of the Volt that was gas-only, it would be as disappointing to drive as a Cruze. I would rather buy a Mazda 3 or a Focus if my option from GM was a gas-only-Volt. The only thing that makes the Volt special is its electric drive. That’s my point. GM makes lousy small cars relative to the competition. The same things (outside of drivetrain) that make the Cruze a bad car can be applied to the Volt. But we forgive these things in the Volt (which we will not forgive in the Cruze) because the Volt is electric, and electric drive is more important to us. If you get done test driving a Mazda 3 and then you step foot into a Volt, you will probably be disappointed UNLESS the electric aspects (instant torque, silent propulsion, linear power, no gas, etc) make up for the relatively boring handling, numb steering, cramped interior, etc. Now imagine a Mazda 3 with a Voltec drivetrain. It would totally own the Volt in every way. Why? Because the Volt is nothing special outside of its PHEV… Read more »
ModernMarvelFan

“If you get done test driving a Mazda 3 and then you step foot into a Volt, you will probably be disappointed UNLESS the electric aspects (instant torque, silent propulsion, linear power, no gas, etc) make up for the relatively boring handling, numb steering, cramped interior, etc.”

The arguement basically says that if you take away the best attributes of the car, then it is no longer good? Dr. obvious.

It is like saying if we take away the handling and fun to drive factor from the Mazda, it is just a crappy POS that is noisy, harsh in rides and pretty cheap interior…

Don

the argument that Volt=Cruz without the Voltec engine is a stupid one. If you gut a BMW 3 series, it is also same as a gutted cruz. Nonsense. An voltec engine is a HUGE differenciator!!! Go to an auto show. When sit inside any cars in the same class, they pretty much look ALL THE SAME! Boring as heck!

ModernMarvelFan

“Remove the electric aspects of the car (which we all agree make it awesome), and the Volt is just a Cruze with 4.5 seats, which is a terrible car.”

No, if you remove the electric aspects of the car, then IT IS A CRUZE which is cheaper and sits 5.

That is the entire point of the Volt, to have the electric part.

It is like saying the if we take any valid points out of your comment, then there is nothing left.

kubel
The comment I was responding to was suggesting that average people, if they just understood the technology and the capabilities of the car, would buy the Volt. I’m saying it goes beyond understanding. It goes into what people care about, and what people want out of a car. Average buyers are not passionate about electric drive like we are. They either care much less, or they don’t care at all. Assume electric drive does NOTHING for you. You have a Volt on one side, and a Mazda 3 on the other. Let’s even assume they are priced the same. Most people in that scenario will go for the Mazda 3. It’s better than the Volt in every way EXCEPT drivetrain. What about Ford Focus? Again, better in every way (ok, so Sync sucks balls). The only advantage to the Volt (and it’s a HUGE advantage for us, not so much for normal buyers) is the drivetrain. Normal people (not us) don’t get hard ons for J1772 receptacles on cars. What they want are comfortable seats (something that GM just can’t get right), steering that tells you what the wheels are doing, suspension that isn’t taken from a Cruze- they want… Read more »
ModernMarvelFan

“Assume electric drive does NOTHING for you. You have a Volt on one side, and a Mazda 3 on the other. Let’s even assume they are priced the same. Most people in that scenario will go for the Mazda 3. It’s better than the Volt in every way EXCEPT drivetrain. What about Ford Focus? Again, better in every way (ok, so Sync sucks balls). The only advantage to the Volt (and it’s a HUGE advantage for us, not so much for normal buyers) is the drivetrain.”

But driventrain gives it the best attributes in terms of quiet rides which lacks in that class. It gives it also solid ride due to weight and it gives it one of the best safety and smooth/instant acceleration.

The new Volt also handles pretty good.

ModernMarvelFan

“They either care much less, or they don’t care at all”.

They don’t have to like it because it is electric. They can like it because it is smooth, quiet, rides well and more efficient, also filled with cool technologies.

Speculawyer

GM is going to have a hard time Voltecizing a F-150 or Forester since the F-150 is a Ford and the Forester is a Subaru.

Your comment is weird.

kubel

I’m using them as examples of the type of car to shoot for since they are the best sellers and highest rated in their segment.

Spider-Dan

Remove the supercar performance from the Model S and it’s just a larger, more expensive i3 with worse interior. Any car is easy to dismiss when you remove its distinguishing features.

Furthermore, given that you can buy nearly 3 Volts for the average selling price of a Model S, I’d say there’s a very significant sacrifice involved with that car: money.

Mike616

Show me the part’s list of matching parts.
LOL. Must be door handles… and nothing else.

The Aerodynamic Man-hours alone make the Volt the better buy and a better value.

Mike616

Lesson 1: Sadly, Teach Americans what the “odometer” is, and how to reset it.

Breezy

Most driving is close to home.

SJC

A Volt2 might end with the same electric range as a 5 year old LEAF, with their range fade.

If you decide to keep the Volt until the battery dies (10+years), you may not be so happy to know that replacing large battery still leaves old gas engine in place which may or may not need service. And battery cost will be more than comparable used car.

With BEV, even with high battery cost, one doesn’t have to worry about gas engine. That’s why I gave up on hybrids (Volt is a hybrid) and only going with pure gas or pure BEV.

Tim

I agree completely that the ICE will need to be maintained even after a battery replacement, yet remember the fact that the ICE is used significantly less in the Volt than any other vehicle with and ICE and modern ICEs can expect 200k-300k miles on them before failure. Couple that with a well designed EV system this car should run significantly longer that an ICE car yet not quite as long as BEVs.

As you mentioned battery prices are becoming more competitive meaning by the time the battery dies (10+ years). This promotes replacing at this time to a BEV (longer range, lower price, more options). with the face car owners change cars on average every 6 years. The key importance that this car represents is less gas by driving Electric (A goal most on this site can agree on).

Zim

On the list of things I worry about in my life, the ICE in my car isn’t one of them. Give it a rest.

Breezy

I’m planning to keep my Volt for 10+ years. I’ll be able to report back on my experience in another 7.5 years. Stay tuned.

The reality of the modern ICE is that it’s very reliable. It’s also not used most of the time in the Volt. I have 60,000 km on my car, but only 18,000 km on the engine.

The weakest link in a conventional powertrain is the automatic transmission. The Volt has a simplified transmission compared to a typical 4- or 6-speed automatic. Yes, a one-speed direct-drive gearbox is even simpler (although not necessarily more reliable).

:If you decide to keep the Volt until the battery dies (10+years), you may not be so happy to know that replacing large battery still leaves old gas engine in place which may or may not need service. And battery cost will be more than comparable used car.”

Ummm… In 10 years, the engine will still be like new, it will not be used much since the battery is used more often than not. And the battery is supposed to last for 15-20 years.

I guess my point is that your statements only seem to be opinion at this point, and leading chemists and data would suggest that there’s not a real concern here.

In Central NY, my Volt will be rusted out long before the engine or battery go bad.

Brian

Yeah, most of my cars have met their end thanks to rust. Although in my experience it has been the exhaust system that rusts out. Spending $1k-$2k on a 10-15 year old car just isn’t worth it. Especially when something else will need $1k the next year.

Mike616

Found the insane fool.
The battery isn’t going to die in 10 years.
Battery breakthru’s where they now have a chemical mixture that stops the formation of dendrites. This has been out for at least a year.

Go back to the dumbest guy on radio, Limbass, and continue to fail at basic education.

“Found the insane fool. The battery isn’t going to die in 10 years.”

Apparently, you know more about Volt battery than Chevy engineers. If they knew the battery will last longer, they would’ve warranty as such if only for marketing reasons.

“Go back to the dumbest guy on radio, Limbass, and continue to fail at basic education.”

Apparently, you also know more about me than I do. I guess an insane fool who knows more about Volt than Chevy engineers would have such delusions.

ModernMarvelFan

“If you decide to keep the Volt until the battery dies (10+years), you may not be so happy to know that replacing large battery still leaves old gas engine in place which may or may not need service. And battery cost will be more than comparable used car.”

I think most people would just get a new car by then as they won’t like the safety features, interior or doors/suspensions/windows will start to leak/squeak/stuck…etc

You are correct in that most people who currently own Volt (ie, slightly upper middle class) will ditch the Volt for another car before the battery dies. But I’m talking about people who keep it or buy it used who will run into the battery problem. They are typically poorer, so even more unlikely to fix it.

Meanwhile, median age of cars in US is 11+ years old, something the Volt and most hybrids will not surpass.

Stephen

10+ years old car all face fix or scrap economic decisions. As BEVs have bigger more expensive batteries, wouldn’t they be more likely to be scrapped?

Spider-Dan

That’s a strange argument, given that the primary BEV competition for the Volt (Leaf) already needs battery replacements only a few years in, while there are approximately zero Volts worldwide with battery degradation so far.

There is no reason whatsoever to believe that the Volt will have higher battery replacement/maintenance costs than a BEV, and in fact, there is EVERY reason to believe precisely the opposite: the Volt has arguably the best TMS of any EV, and the Volt has a better (lighter) battery SOC cycle than any BEV.

SJC

Hybrid batteries last a long time. Plug hybrids don’t put the extreme loads on the battery that BEVs do.
The engines in PHEVs are not stressed as much either, they have motor assist. They could last more than 200,000 miles or more.
EVs will have the most expensive replacement costs earlier in the life cycle.

Nix
Actually, a PHEV like the Volt presents the absolute best case scenario for both gas engine and for the battery. 1) The gas engine in the typical Volt will have only around 20-30% the number of miles on the typical gas car after 10 years. Right now, typical gas cars have another 10+ years of life left after 10 years. At that rate, it would be around 80 years before a Volt would have as many miles on it as the typical gas car has in 20 years. 2) The Volt gas engine lives a pampered life. It doesn’t operate in the conditions that do the most damage to gas engines. It doesn’t come on for very short trips, and no stop-and-go revving, and no high RPM operation. It operates at constant rpm generating constant power most of the time — easy duty for an engine. Almost like stationary operation (the easiest operation for an ICE motor). Unless some latent defect is found in the motor, it will more than outlast the rest of the vehicle. 3) The Volt has a gas motor, so the Volt doesn’t have to squeeze every mile possible out of the battery. In fact, it… Read more »
Spider-Dan

Well said.

ModernMarvelFan

+10.

Summed it up well.

If Volt battery last significantly longer, Chevy would’ve put appropriate warranty. When Prius (my old hybrid) first came out, there was all the talk of how battery will last 20+ years due to low cycling and 250K+ miles. Fact is, it died just after warranty was over. I trust GM engineers did their homework in setting appropriate warranty, not believe hype in forums.

Gas engins is used less with Volt. But I’m not talking about gas engine dying, per se, but the WORRY of old engine. Engine also deteriorates just from age. My Prius gas engine ran great, but I didn’t replace the battery, because of the worry. If I have a 10+ year old Volt with bad battery, I’ll have similar worries and just junk it like my Prius rather than fix it.

Volt battery is ~80% that of SparkEV battery. With BEV, there’s no worry of old engine, irrespective of how it was used. With gas engine, well, I think my Prius engine could (COULD!) last 250K miles easily, probably for most other modern gas engine cars, too. But with Volt and all hybrids, you HAVE to worry about the other when one of them need major repairs.

When a reviewer says the best thing about an EV is having an ICE range extender, it says something about his willingness to really understand the technology and give it a fair chance.

Brian

Yeah, reading that statement hurts. The Volt is a great car and a great EV. The gas engine helps make it far more mainstream-able, but it is far from the reason why it is a great EV. Its EV performance speaks for itself.

Yes and no, a Volt travels more electric miles than a Leaf, on average. That says something about the concept of a range-extender. The fact that a smaller battery + range extender can equate to more electric miles than a larger battery alone is telling.

In the future, full BEV’s will be the way to go, but today a PHEV seems to be more palatable to the mass market consumer, and the stats suggest they can provide even more all electric miles.

shane

The volt is an excellent transitional vehicle. It is the only affordable electric car that, today, can easily and be driven on any route cross country. I really wish that people wouldn’t see the need to make the perfect the enemy of the good. Like the Prius before it, these vehicles open doors to mainstream electrification. They help drive down electric component costs and battery costs by building scale. The Idaho National Lab study showed Volt owners drove almost the same number of electric miles as the Leaf (the other mass-market vehicle studied). (it was 11,200 electric miles/yr vs 11,100 electric miles/yr, or something like that – Volt owners also drove some 2500 miles/yr on gas also – but how is that different than occasionally renting a gas car for longer trips?). The Volt is a dramatic step in the right direction – please don’t make it an enemy. (2016 Volt owner)

Larry

+1

Bloggin

For a 53 EV mile plug-in hybrid, the Volt is the BEST!

Confusing the public with the ‘range extender’ concept will only hurt sales, because once that gasoline engine comes on, now it’s burning gas and electricity to move the car…..the opposite of efficiency.

If the Volt was marketed for what it actually is, a 53 EV mile Plug-In Hybrid, which bests every plug-in hybrid out there with EV range….consumers can make an easy comparison with the Volt as the obvious winner….for now.

Now there is enough EV power for daily round trip commute, plug in at night to recharge, and can go over 600 miles in hybrid mode for longer road trips. With Zero range anxiety.

Win Win Win

ItsNotAboutTheMoney

No, it’s not just a PHEV-53.

Above 15*F it can be purely electric, all the way up to its maximum speed, with better pep at the low end having improved 0-60 to 8.9s.

The fact that you get more pure electric driving is an important element of its appeal. They need not just to market the range, but also that it’s a full-performance PHEV

ItsNotAboutTheMoney

Sorry, from 8.9 to 8.4.

Mike616

Yes, the Volt LEADS in hybrid technology.
USA USA USA.

Speculawyer

Indeed. None of the plug-in hybrids or EREVs is as good of a drivetrain as the Voltec drivetrain.

The Volt is better than the Ford Energi stuff (battery too small), Honda Accord PHEV (expensive, short range), Toyota PiP (LOL, RIP), i3 (small, expensive, weak ICE performance), i8 (way too expensive), Mitz Outlander (MIA in USA), etc.

Bloggin

2017 refreshed Fusion, C-Max Energi get new battery packs with greater capacity. Focus Electric got a 35% increase, so expecting about the same for the Energi models. 31 EV miles would be a nice improvement for a refresh.

ModernMarvelFan

“because once that gasoline engine comes on, now it’s burning gas and electricity to move the car…..the opposite of efficiency.”

That is more efficient than getting towed by a diesel truck when the BEVs run out of range.

Brian

Your comment assumes that people aren’t paying attention to their driving, and just keep going until they are dead on the side of the road. This happens, but it is a very small exception. A better comparison would be saying that it’s more efficient (and cost effective!) than renting a Kia every time you go out of town.

ModernMarvelFan

Yes, your example is far better. =)

I was just being extreme to illustrate the point. =)

Koenigsegg

The front grills need to be black

im gonna have the best looking 2nd Gen Volt in about a month or so!

gonna be a looker

Speculawyer

Good idea. You can probably easily do that with a vinyl wrap. I really like the look of the 2016 Volt . . . it looks like a Shark. They just need to make it bigger.

Larry

In my opinion this is the only car I’ve seen that looks better with a front license plate than without!! 😉

Nix

Yes, now that we’re seeing real world videos, it is clear that they designed it with front license plates in mind.

Since the majority of states require a license plate on the front, that is very smart of the designers.

Also, when you see it in the video, you can see that the lower section of chrome by the license plate is in shadow most of the time. So it looks much less shiny than when a flash photo from a camera pointed straight at the front end in a studio.

Between the two, the chrome really looks much more tame than the car show photos on stages flooded with lights made it look.

ModernMarvelFan

I don’t know. I find the rear end more ugly or offensive than the front.

Speculawyer

The Volt is a damn great car.

GM just needs to build it bigger. I’m sorry to say it but we all know how fat and old Americans are becoming. So they need something that is bigger and easier to enter and exit. And it is not like GM doesn’t know this . . . the also make the Suburban, Cadillacs, Buicks, etc.

ModernMarvelFan

Bigger? Agreed, especially CUV/SUV.

Suburban is big. But most Cadillacs and Buicks have been shrinking. The days of Fleetwood or Roadmasters are long gone. Even Park Avenue and XTS are either died or about to get designed with something smaller.

Both ATS/CTS are “cramped” in the back seat and SRX is getting smaller as well. Even the remainging Buicks are getting shorter and smaller.

GM has definitely shrinking in size of its car model sizes, as well as its market share in sales and “operation losses”…

I guess 2 out of 3 aren’t so bad. =)

Nix

Compact cars actually outsell full-size cars like your grandpa drives by about 2:1 in the United States. If you are trying to claim there is no market for cars the size of the Volt, you are badly mistaken and the numbers prove it.

If you are just trying to say that there needs to be more PHEV’s sold in more sizes and shapes, then thank you Captain Obvious……

/sarc

Mike616

We do need a slightly bigger model, and a wagon model.
Say, 3 inches more rear seat leg room.
And no sloping roof, say an inch more rear seat head room, and a wagon version for stuff: Biking and Camping Stuff.

This is a great car for single people and couples, even with small kids.

kubel

I don’t necessarily think the Volt needs to be bigger, but they need to expand electrically dominant drivetrains into larger vehicles, preferably more practical form factors such as SUVs.

Mike616

WAIT. Did he just say he’s 6 foot 3 inches and Fit into the back seat???

SunPoweredLeaf

Everyone has different transportation needs and beliefs. For us, we semi-retired our ICE in favor of a BEV (Leaf) that is charged by our solar PV system. Now 90% of our miles are greener, quicker, quieter and maintenance has been much simpler and cheaper. Our custom plate is “PV 4 EV”… just for fun. Happy Holidays !!

Goodbyegascar

The more I learn about the Chevy Volt, the more I like it.

Phr3d

You’re not alone — I would go so far as to say that this site’s articles and in-depth comments have sold more Gen 1 Volts -by a Factor- than GM’s paltry marketing.
The Gen I Volt is a great secret, hope my daughter can get one before they get their overdue and deserved fame in the general public.
The Gen II is shaping up to sell Gobs.. numbers are fun, 50+ EV miles sounds like so much more than a 33% increase, don’t it?
37 miles
53 miles
marketing geniuses, join in as necessary