"More electric-only range, faster acceleration, better fuel economy, and easier controls: they're all part of the Volt's redesign, shown at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show."
That's how Consumer Reports summarizes the changes made to the 2016 Chevrolet Volt.
The world's leading consumer magazine basically says that the next-generation Volt is evolutionary, not revolutionary:
"Electric-car aficionados have been eagerly awaiting big breakthroughs in the second-generation Chevrolet Volt, and they won’t be disappointed. But the advances may not be the ones fuel-economy enthusiasts were looking for."
"Sure, the 2016 Volt has a little more range than the outgoing model—GM claims a 20-percent bump, from 40 miles to 50 miles.".
"It also gets more energy-generation power, with the engine output climbing from 84 hp to 101 hp. Displacement also grew incrementally, from 1.4 to 1.5 liters. The electric drive remains at 149 hp. Shaving about 250 lbs. off the curb weight should help both performance and efficiency. Plus, the gas engine no longer requires premium fuel."
"But none of those are the biggest breakthroughs."
So, what are the biggest breakthroughs then for the 2016 Volt, according to Consumer Reports?
"In our own testing, the Volt mostly performed impressively, with silent, smooth electric power and acceleration better than a Toyota Prius. Where it fell down was in the everyday details that made it hard to live with: the jumble of indecipherable and unresponsive capacitive touch buttons, the rear seat cramped into near uselessness, and the total lack of a center rear seat where you could install a child seat."
"Those are the things this Volt has fixed: The 2016 Volt has dedicated hard buttons and knobs for climate controls. The battery still sits under the center of the second row and robs any semblance of place to put a passenger’s legs there. But at least it has a thin cushion and a center belt where you can install a child seat. And yes, you can use the middle LATCH anchors for the outboard seats to cinch down a child seat more easily."
Improved all around. Not radically, but enough to make the next-gen Volt better in almost every aspect compared to today's Volt. That's evolution and Consumer Reports thinks it'll be enough to convince more consumers to go electric by buying the 2016 Volt.
Source: Consumer Reports