On ordering a 2016 Chevrolet Volt
The new body design of the 2016 Chevy Volt has had mixed reviews with some people claiming on social media that they’ll get a 2015 before they’re gone because they don’t like the new body style. Others, especially those that have seen the new Volt in person seem to like the design very much. And so the debate begins.
Here’s what’s known about configuring the new Volt:
There are two trim levels, the LT and the higher-end “LTZ” (also known as “Premier”). There is a definite demarcation between trim levels, with the entry-level LT missing out on some very nice features.
The LT has cloth seats by default, but may be upgraded to leather seats. Cloth seats are not available on LTZ. Some of the leather colors are restricted to one trim level or the other, and not available on both, including the striking “Jet Black/Brandy" leather, reserved for the LTZ.
Heated seats have always been an option on Chevy Volts. Now, they are optional for the LT trim level and standard equipment on LTZ. In previous models outside, heated adjustable mirrors were standard. Now they’re standard on LTZ, but part of the same option bundle as the heated seats, the “Comfort Package” on the LT. Also standard on the LTZ and part of the LT’s Comfort Package is something Volt Owners have clamored for: a heated steering wheel. Volt owners, in colder climes, trying to maximize electric range, are known to avoid running the space heater, relying on the seats heaters for comfort. This is much more efficient, electrically speaking. The addition of a heated steering wheel, for those owners in particular, will be very well received.
Paint colors are the same for both trim levels but they’ve changed somewhat. Still available are Silver Ice Metallic, Iridescent Pearl Tricoat and Summit White. 2015’s Crystal Red Tintcoat has been replaced by Siren Red Tintcoat. Black has been replaced by Mosaic Black Metallic. Ashen Gray Metallic has been replaced by Heather Grey Metallic. A rose by any other name. Gone from the lineup are Silver Topaz Metallic and Brownstone Metallic. The bright metallic blue of the earliest model year Volts has made a return, even brighter than before, as Kinetic Blue Metallic.
Two bundles of extra safety features are optionally available, but are exclusive to the LTZ. They are the “Driver Confidence Package” (Side Blind Zone Alert *new*, Lane Change Alert and Rear Cross-traffic Alert *new*) and the aptly named “Driver Confidence 2 Package” (Forward Collision Alert, Lane Keep Assist *new*, Front Automatic Braking *new*, Following Distance Indicator *new* and Intellibeam Headlamps *new* (previously available on the Volt cousin, the Cadillac ELR).
Both trim levels feature a rear vision camera and a much dreaded “low speed noisemaker” for pedestrians who rely on sound cues to alert them to oncoming vehicles. This feature has been dreaded by EV owners everywhere, as one of the advantages to electric driving is the silence of the drive system.
On the infotainment front, Bose Premium Speakers (8 speakers, including a sub-woofer) and Navigation are standard on the LTZ but optional on the LT.
Some dealers have started taking 2016 Volt orders, but GM is not yet accepting those orders. Yes, there are Volt fans who are doing the virtual equivalent of waiting overnight outside the Apple Store, waiting for the new i-thingy. Ordering now, gets them a place in line. One Inventory Manager at a dealership said that having real orders in the pipe is possibly advantageous, when it comes to getting order allocations from General Motors.
Buzz Smith blogs about Electric Vehices at Buzzsmith.us