The reborn Volt dispenses with the outgoing model’s futuristic design in favor of a mainstream contemporary look inside and out. There’s now a bench seat in back, so three-across seating is possible in a pinch. Although it has the appearance of a swoopy sedan, the Volt is actually a hatchback — but the cargo area holds no more than a conventional trunk due to the intrusive lithium-ion battery pack.
The Volt is powered by a pair of electric motors that together produce 149 horsepower. After about 53 miles of driving (up from 38 last year), the gas-powered generator kicks in to keep the motor humming. When the generator is in use, the Volt achieves 42 mpg in combined driving, a gain of 5 mpg. When necessary, the generator will also assist with propulsion, but that’s a relatively rare event. As you might expect, the Volt operates in near silence, even under heavy acceleration.