2016 Chevrolet Volt Review

Discussion in 'In the News' started by xcel, Dec 20, 2015.

  1. alster

    alster Well-Known Member

    Thanks Wayne. Looking forward to seeing how she does just on gas. EPA is 42 mpg highway.
     
    xcel likes this.
  2. blownb310

    blownb310 Well-Known Member

    Hi Wayne,

    Great 111 mile run! What was your average speed during the test please?
     
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  3. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    2016 Chevrolet Volt Premiere trim Calibration Drive redo...

    With no charge, maybe we can get this one right this time around. ;)

    Wayne

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  4. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Blownb310:

    About 15 around town with all the car and pedestrian traffic and lights, 50 on the Interstate and 20 in the less traveled city streets with stop signs and a few lights. Last 15 miles after nightfall, about 15 mph on empty city streets once traffic died away. Overall about 20 mph I would guess?

    Wayne
     
  5. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

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    Hi All:

    The 2016 Chevrolet Volt Premiere trim in Charge Sustaining Mode (only) performed rather lackluster vs competitors HEVs and PHEVs this evening.

    The odometer offset continues unabated with 100.2 mes indicated over 101.2 miles actual.

    Stll filling now for the actual mpg vs indicated at 57.1.

    Wayne
     
  6. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    The actual was a little better than the indicated but not capable of the 42 mpg rated Prius v or any of the 2.5L, 1.8L or 1.5L Toyota/Lexus Hybrids. It fell far short of the 42 mpg rated 16 Sonata Hybrids capability too?

    Final displays were 100.2 miles indicated at 57.1 mpg.

    101.2 miles actually traveled per Garmin on just 1.691 gallons - and I rocked the car under EV hard twice with tens of top offs in-between too - for a 59.8 mpgUS actual result.

    Unusual to see such a large positive offset. I ran the pack down almost to engine start when I initially filled. I ran it down to the same guesstimated SOC - no indication under charge sustaining mode whatsoever - for the second fill too.

    In any case 59.8 is noteworthy but nobody will be setting any Guinness World records in this one. Charge Sustaining I am speaking of.

    Which means I am putting my hopes in the upcoming 48/45 mpgUS rated 2016/2017 Malibu Hybrid.

    A few conclusions. GM allows this engine to run at to high an RPM when force charging the pack after a few blocks of stop and crawl EV. It may be in its highest partial load efficiency but running at 2,100 to 2,300 RPM just like the previous Gen does not make for a good overall efficient solution.

    No iFCDs absolutely suck as does no SoC indication. Even the 10-bars under Charge Depletion mode are to granular to use for much other than the 53 Mile rated fuel tank.

    We really need this most basic information because the alphanumeric kw output adds little feedback to really push this little beauty.

    An honest to goodness instantaneous bar graph with kW/mi or mi/kW during charge depletion, mi/gal or l/100 km during charge sustaining mode, and a SoC bar graph is a must have.

    In addition, to force a glide at highway speeds, it seemed that I had to let off and grab a ton of regen from 55 all the way down to 40 before the ICE would drop out. We need it to drop out with a reasonable SoC when we demand it, not a pre-programmed algorithm. It is not nearly smart enough...

    Wayne

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  7. alster

    alster Well-Known Member

    Wayne, thanks again for your review. Looks like you can still expect at 55-60 mph at least 45 mpg when the Volts running on gas. Overall what do you think
    of the 2016 compared to the 2011 Volt you test drove 5 years ago or so..
     
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  8. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Alster:

    I was very excited to drive the 2011 and it had all the strengths of a BEV, a heck of a good one at that, but the Hybrid functionality, NVH, and ergonomics were severely lacking. The 2016 not only looks nicer - very sports car like, they improved upon the all-electric portion of the drivetrain obviously and improved the NVH issues. To a point.

    On the hybrid front, it is more efficient than the 2011s 37 combined rating. But so is everyone else. IIRC, the 2011 pulled 55 mpg on my charge sustaining mode test drive whereas this one pulled just under 60. Almost a match for the 5 mpg increase of the 2016's 42 combined rating per the EPA. The good thing is if you live in an area where electricity prices are below $0.15/kWh, the Volt is going to save you money. If you you qualify for every nickle of that $7,500 tax credit and have some state incentives thrown in for good measure.

    In a state like Illinois for example, the $7,500 Tax Credit, the $4,000 State Incentive and the $3k on the hood of the 16s brings the base 2016 Volt down to an almost to good to be true $18,700 + Tax (on the full $33,200 USD) + Title and License. That is a screaming bargain for all of this technology!

    The hybrid functionality still needs work but is better. As described above, I was flying blind for most of my drive since there are no instantaneous'. Most driving on the plug will not need those as the 53 mile rated range appears it will easily reach out to 70+ miles at 55 mph.

    NVH is still there but is muted somewhat. Especially when cruising down the Intestate long after any EV and mountain mode like short pack fill. Anytime that engine kicks in after a mile or so of EV or glide mode, there is a rush of power heading back to the pack and that 1.5L engine is working very abnormally to what most are used to.

    In a nutshell, this is now a full blown electric car. Almost as much range as the iMIEV BEV in fact and if that mode suits your daily needs, you qualify for every last dollar of incentive, your rates are low and you do not have children over 8 years of age, it will suit your needs.

    If however your electricity rates are high - > $0.15/kWh, you have small children with either car seats or that are growing quickly, or you have an extremely long commute, it may not be best. The 2016 Volt is still a 90 cu. ft. of passenger volume B-segment car. Think the size of a Yaris plus a few more inches of shoulder and hip room minus an inch or two of leg room and you get the picture. Then I would look elsewhere.

    I will try and complete the steady states tonight but I have to turn it in the morning after an 80 mile drive so we shall see.

    Wish I had another few days to come up with some electrical efficiency at various speeds to but I will try and provide some more insights on that tomorrow.

    IHTHs?

    Wayne
     
    BillLin likes this.
  9. all_about_the_glide

    all_about_the_glide Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the detailed review...I'm waiting for delivery of a new Bumblebee HV battery for my Civic, so my interest is only hypothetical as I type this...in most ways this or a smillarly specd PHEV is a perfect vehical for me. The just big enough battery (30 to 100 mile range, weather dependant) would cover most of my driving with the gas burner kicking in the two to three times per month I visit customers spread around the state of Minnesota.
     
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  10. alster

    alster Well-Known Member

    Thanks Wayne, are electric rates delivered with all cost here in Seaside Oregon is .117 / KWH so its quite economical to operate our 2014 Volt.
     
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  11. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Alster:

    You are indeed blessed. :)

    Wayne
     
  12. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    It is almost 02:00 am after wasting $50 to take the family to go see Star Wars. Live and learn with that.

    Now time to knock out the steady states with the 2016 Chevrolet Volt. Just not entirely sure about that large offset from the calibration drive as the SoC cannot be deduced from any display in the car once Charge Sustaining mode has been reached.

    I left that station with 0.7 miles before engine startup on the way out and it allowed 1.0 miles of EV mode after the calibrated fill so you would think it is in close but I have my suspicions.

    Steady states without a SoC variable is also a guesstimate so I may be blindly smoothing data once complete.

    Temps from 41 to 45 degrees F - a little cold for sure, and winds of ~ 5 mph from the east on my N/S runs are negligible.

    Not a lot of optimism given the mediocre charge Sustaining mode results so far but who knows...

    Wayne

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  13. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    As suspected and even with the large positive offset, the Volt is under performing in charge sustaining mode on its gas engine with just a 64 mph highway crossover.

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    With these results - no SoC to match and the large positive offset, the 2016 Volt should have been EPA highway rated most along the lines of 40 mpg, not 42. In charge sustaining mode, it is simply to hard to maintain the same efficiency as most hybrid vehicles we have tested in the past. Every PHEV is a great BEV depending on its traction battery capacity. Not all PHEVs are great HEVs however. The Volt falls into that category.

    Wayne
     
  14. RichXKU

    RichXKU Well-Known Member

    Agree, that is kind of disappointing. Usually the EPA highway number crosses at 70ish.
     
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  15. alster

    alster Well-Known Member

    Thanks Wayne. I thought at 50 mph it would be over 50 mpg at least.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2015
    xcel likes this.
  16. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    This is about the same result as my 2008 Civic , which was rated at 36 MPG highway.
     
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  17. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Alster:

    You are welcome.

    Edwin, unfortunately in CS mode, the 2016 Chevrolet Volt is about a match for your 08 Civic out on the highway...

    A friend of mine that works for CBS News in the Northeast posted this on FB as he really liked the 2016 Volt during his recent drive of one. Here is that conversation.

    George:
    Here was my reply:
    Wayne
     
  18. Airbalancer

    Airbalancer Well-Known Member

    I do not think you can compare the Volt to the the Prius
    They are two different tools
    We live in a small town were most places are within 5 km (3 miles) , which makes the electric perfect, but to visit other family members , it can be 45 min , 1-1/2 hour , 4 hour or 17 hour drive which would suck with a electric car, ( yes, we would do the 17 hour(1000 mile ) drive without stoping for the night )
    The Volt would give us the best of both , in one car
    The wife driving the Prius around town can be over 5 l/100km , on the highway she is usually over 4
     
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  19. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    2017 Chevrolet Volt Earns a Ward’s Autos 10 Best Engines Award

    Hi All:

    The 2017 Chevrolet Volt just earned a 2017 Wards 10 Best Engines Award. This marks the second consecutive year that the Volt has won the award and the third time overall.

    WardsAuto 2017 10-Best Engines

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    Starting at $33,220, the 2nd Gen Volt incorporates a two motor drive unit with 294 lb-ft of torque, a 18.4kWh Li-Ion battery and an efficient 1.5L range extender. Together, they provide an EPA-estimated 106 MPGe, 53 miles of EV range, and 420 miles of total driving range. Since the first-generation Volt came to market, owners have driven about 1.5 billion miles in EV mode, saving about 58 million gallons of gas. Data shows drivers use all-electric power more than 80 percent of the time.

    In addition to the award-winning propulsion system, the 2017 Volt offers new, unique, built-in Teen Driver Technology that encourages safe driving habits and lets parents know how their teenager drove the vehicle. Full-speed Adaptive Cruise Control and Forward Automatic Braking safety features are also available.

    The WardsAuto 10-Best Engines Class of 2017 in alphabetical order:

    3.0L Turbocharged DOHC I-6 (BMW M240i)
    1.5L DOHC 4-cyl./Dual Motor EREV (Chevrolet Volt)
    3.6L DOHC V-6/Dual Motor PHEV (Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid)
    2.3L Turbocharged DOHC 4-cyl. (Ford Focus RS)
    2.0L DOHC 4-cyl./Dual Motor HEV (Honda Accord Hybrid)
    1.4L Turbocharged DOHC 4-cyl. (Hyundai Elantra Eco)
    3.0L Turbocharged DOHC V-6 (Infiniti Q50)
    2.5L Turbocharged DOHC 4-cyl. (Mazda CX-9)
    2.0L Turbocharged DOHC 4-cyl. (Mercedes-Benz C300)
    2.0L Turbo/Supercharged DOHC 4-cyl. (Volvo V60 Polestar)

    Wayne
     
    BillLin likes this.
  20. kbergene

    kbergene Active Member

    Wayne, just a bit of curiosity as I look through the WardsAuto 10 Best 2017 list ... which would you vote for: a) from that list and b) unconstrained?

    Also I would welcome others' views, as there are a number of really smart, knowledgeable people on this board.
     
    BillLin likes this.

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