Should you’re scratching your head whereas taking a look at footage of the 2019 Chevrolet Volt pondering, man, that appears an terrible lot like final 12 months’s automotive, you are not going loopy. Whereas some mid-cycle refreshes are largely restricted to design tweaks, Chevy’s 2019 mannequin 12 months replace as a substitute focuses on making the Volt an excellent higher plug-in hybrid.

Beneath the pores and skin

A lot as I might have appreciated to see a couple of visible adjustments, actually, a design replace wasn’t important. The Volt definitely is not off-putting, with its Cruze-like entrance finish and silver grille inserts giving it sort of a Transformers vibe.

Packed inside the physique is a carryover powertrain, comprised of a 1.5-liter I4 fuel engine, 18.Four-kilowatt-hour battery pack and electrical motor, for a mixed output of 149 horsepower and 294 pound-feet of torque. The EPA says the 2019 Volt has an all-electric driving vary of 53 miles, which bests different PHEVs just like the Hyundai Ioniq (29 miles), Kia Niro (26 miles) and Toyota Prius Prime (25 miles). Issue within the fuel engine and the Chevy’s driving vary grows to 420 miles.

A brand new 7.2-kW charger is among the many extra substantial 2019 mannequin 12 months adjustments, out there as a $750 possibility on the bottom Volt LT mannequin and normal on my Premier trim tester. It drops 240-volt charging occasions from Four.5 hours to 2.three. These planning on powering up on a regular family wall outlet nonetheless should strap in for a 13-hour wait.

For metropolis commuting, the 53 miles of electrical vary appears very a lot in attain. The brake regen elements replenish the battery alongside the best way, inflicting electrical vary to drop slowly. Much more power recuperation is feasible utilizing the on-demand regen steering wheel paddle, although it intervenes sharply sufficient to make passengers’ heads bob ahead when activated. Pedaling round in Regular mode affords a lovely mixture of gallop off the road and thrust to whip previous slower site visitors, whereas not decimating battery cost.

What’s going to make electrons disappear at an alarming fee? Sport mode, with its extra hyperactive acceleration. Fortunately, a Maintain mode can be utilized to keep up the battery cost on longer stretches of freeway cruising, for instance, letting the range-extender fuel engine do the heavy lifting, saving electrical energy on your stop-and-go stuff.

A 53-mile electrical driving vary is spectacular, nevertheless it rapidly disappears on the expressway.

Nate Reed/Roadshow

Not-so-dynamic dealing with

The Volt’s full of life powertrain is matched with a smooth and largely snug chassis. Trip high quality on smoother roads is superb, making for a nice and quiet round-trip from Detroit to Columbus, Ohio. The suspension simply takes the sting off of impacts from occasional bumps. Nevertheless, unhealthy pavement with consecutive potholes and poorly packed patches trigger the again finish to skip round, revealing the shortcomings of the torsion beam rear suspension.

Tipping the scales at three,543 kilos, the Volt isn’t any light-weight and is way from a corner-carving fiend. There’s some dive underneath braking, lean by corners, obscure and evenly weighted steering and low-rolling-resistance 215/50R17 Michelin Vitality Saver A/S tires. The Volt is a superbly succesful each day commuter for rounding common turns and cloverleaf interchanges usually, however pushing the envelope could have the entrance tires washing out earlier than lengthy.

Cabin makeover

Heading inside, the most important information is the up to date tech within the middle stack with Chevy’s Infotainment three system housed in an Eight-inch touchscreen. Graphics are crisp with intuitive menus and snappy response occasions. On my Premier tester, navigation is normal, as is an eight-speaker Bose audio system, Wi-Fi hotspot and each Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The cabin format is unchanged, however middle stack tech is up to date with the most recent Chevy lnfotainment three system.

Chevrolet

The Premier’s wi-fi cost pad can also be relocated from underneath the armrest to a extra handy location on the base of the middle stack. Different cost factors embrace two USB ports and a 12-volt outlet up entrance, whereas backseat passengers have a 12-volt outlet between the seats.

On the protection entrance, the backup digicam is now a higher-definition unit and a brand new pedestrian alert system with exterior audio system emitting a refined tone at low speeds are normal. Ahead collision warning with low-speed computerized emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warning with lane-keep help and rear cross-traffic alert can be found as choices.

The remainder of the Volt’s cabin is unchanged, with a relaxed seating place, satisfactory room up entrance and first rate legroom in again, although rear headroom leaves quite a bit to be desired. Within the very again there is a 10.6 cubic toes trunk that can deal with weekly grocery journeys, however folding down the rear seats enabled me to cram 4 packs of Owens Corning R-13 insulation into the hatchback.

Folding the Volt’s rear seats down will allow you to carry numerous fiberglass insulation.

Nate Reed/Roadshow

How I would spec it

I at all times like attempting to avoid wasting a couple of dollars when constructing my splendid automobiles. Within the Volt’s case, its $34,395 base worth, together with $875 for vacation spot, climbed slightly too excessive with choices. After including the 7.2-kilowatt onboard charging system and heated seats and steering wheel to deal with Midwest winters, the value financial savings over the $38,995 Premier model that will get these objects normal is not drastic. The Bose sound system and wi-fi cost pad additionally included on the Premier are good bonuses.

The one possibility I am going to add is the $990 Driver Confidence II Bundle largely for blind-spot monitoring and rear cross site visitors alert. That brings my Volt Premier’s price ticket to $39,985, which barely undercuts the $40,830 tester pictured right here.

Stepping as much as the Premier trim stage is price it for the quicker charger and creature consolation options.

Nate Reed/Roadshow

The plug-in hybrid champ

With its 2019 updates that convey quicker cost occasions and stronger infotainment tech, it is much more troublesome to miss the Volt with regards to plug-in hybrids. Mix that with its 53 miles of electrical driving vary that bests all of its opponents, and you’ve got a really interesting electrified automotive.

Downsides? The Volt is a bit boring to take a look at and has the next beginning pricing than the $26Okay Ioniq Plug-in Hybrid, $29Okay Niro Plug-in Hybrid and $28Okay Prius Prime. However these two shortcomings could also be price it to some who like the concept of realistically making few and much between fuel station visits with out ever struggling the vary nervousness that comes with a full-fledge EV.

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