The GM Authority staff all agree that the Volt is one of the best passenger cars available from Chevrolet. So much so that it has become the take-home choice for two of us, ahead of all the other things we could live with. Yet we have concluded that it’s rather annoying that the most efficient way to drive the current-generation Chevrolet Volt – drive mode ‘L’ – is also the most uncomfortable. For those that can’t find themselves to properly modulate the throttle, this driving mode can initiate the phenomenon known as the “Low Mode Head Bob,” especially in stop-go traffic and/or city driving.
Perhaps the best new aspect of the 2019 Chevrolet Volt is that this phenomenon goes away.
Rather than re-skinning the Volt, as Chevrolet has done with its other passenger cars, engineers were instead tasked with improving the already strong driving and ownership characteristics of the PHEV five-door hatchback. This includes the shortening of 240V charging times down to just two hours for a full charge, the engine won’t kick on in cold weather until much lower temperatures — minus 13 degrees F / minus 25 degrees C — which allows for more all-electric operation in cold climates, and no single-digit fuel economy stints. Snow Belt-based Chevy Volt owners know exactly what I’m talking about.
Chevrolet also improved the efficiency tracking (read: gamification) in the 2019 Volt, thanks to the new Energy App integrated into the new Infotainment 3 system. The app now breaks down driving style, route, weather conditions and cabin comfort settings based on mileage, rather than an arbitrary “score” that seemed loosely defined and thinly grounded.
The digital center readout is also refreshed compared to the previous 2017-2018 model year Chevrolet Volt. Another update that all 2019 Chevrolet Volt models receive is an increase in volume of its ambient noise generator intended to alert visually-impaired pedestrians. Our co-drive described it as “a new song from Enya.” Others described it as a UFO landing. We happen to think the white noise from the 2019 Chevrolet Volt would be right at home at the yoga studio.
Otherwise, the range on the 2019 Chevrolet Volt is the same as before – 53 miles of pure EV range, AKA 106 MPGe. And the ride and handling is the same as before, which is to say surprisingly balanced and athletic, but lacks the proper rubber, brakes and suspension to give it true hot-hatch credentials. We will continue to evangelize the need for a performance variant of the Chevrolet Volt, because it has potential for groundbreaking greatness.
For the current Volt driver with an expiring lease, it might be just enough improvement to keep buyers from sampling other makes. For those looking to finally embrace the plug-in life, there’s never been a better time.