Redesigned 2016 Chevrolet Volt to Debut at 2015 Detroit Auto Show

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Plug-in fans, mark your calendars: The next-generation Chevrolet Volt will debut on Jan. 12 or 13, 2015. Those are the press days of the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, and GM said today it will unveil the 2016 Chevrolet Volt at the show. The automaker calls the 2016 Volt "the next generation" of the car, a term usually reserved for full redesigns and not just refreshes. GM also released a teaser image of the Volt's trunk, which retains the current car's lightning-bolt logo but appears to have an integrated trunk-lid rise that's similar to the Chevrolet Impala sedan.

Related: Cars.com Chevrolet Volt Hits 10,000 Miles: The Good and Bad

Does that mean the Volt will ditch its hatchback for a conventional sedan layout? It's doubtful; the Volt's profile — along with the Toyota Prius, Honda Insight and other jellybean shapes — is what happens when you put aerodynamics first. Still, we'd like to see GM improve visibility and braking on the next Volt. GM says current Volt owners are driving 63 percent of their miles in EV mode, but shoppers will expect improvements in EV range and charging times.

Will GM deliver? We'll have to wait until January to find out.

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By Kelsey Mays | August 7, 2014 | Comments (4)

Not All Small Cars Shine in Latest IIHS Crash Tests

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In its latest round of tests the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that diminutive cars still have issues with its challenging small overlap front crash test. This time out electric cars like the range-extender 2014 Chevrolet Volt and 2014 Nissan Leaf were tested for the first time with mixed results, while the Mini Countryman was the only small car in the group to earn a top grade in the test.

Related: Tougher IIHS Crash Test Could Mean Fewer Top Safety Picks

The Volt popped up on IIHS' scale of poor, marginal, acceptable and good with a score of acceptable, good enough for the Volt to be awarded a 2014 Top Safety Pick+ designation, the institute's highest award. The Leaf didn't fare as well in the 40-mph test designed to simulate a collision with another vehicle or a pole and earned a poor rating. IIHS observed intrusion in the lower and upper compartments indicating likely injuries to the left knee and left lower leg, while a left thigh injury would also be possible. Neither electric car had any issue with the batteries or electrical systems post-crash.

Ten other small cars went through this round of IIHS small overlap crash tests along with the Volt and Leaf, including the Mini Cooper Countryman and the Mazda5, which IIHS says is one of the worst-performing models the institute has evaluated in the small overlap test.

By Joe Bruzek | July 30, 2014 | Comments (5)

Most-Read Car Reviews of the Week

1. 2014 Nissan Rogue
2. 2015 Hyundai Genesis
3. 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe
4. 2014 Mazda3
5. 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid
6. 2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class
7. 2014 Chevrolet Volt
8. 2014 Subaru Forester
9. 2014 Infiniti Q50
10. 2014 Toyota Sienna

By Matt Schmitz | July 13, 2014 | Comments (0)

2014 Chevrolet Volt Review

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"Although the Chevrolet Volt has received a big price cut, it still retains its novel extended-range electric car abilities — as well as its poor visibility, questionable touch-sensitive panels and cramped interior," said Cars.com reviewer Aaron D. Bragman. Check out Bragman's review for more.

2014 Chevrolet Volt Expert Review

Cars.com photo by Aaron D. Bragman

By Matt Schmitz | July 2, 2014 | Comments (0)

Volt Versus All: How Does Chevy's Plug-in Hold Up Against the Plug-In Competition?

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Cars.com owned one of the earliest Chevrolet Volts in the country for more than a year and experienced the highs and lows of ownership. I've had my own Bow-Tie brand plug-in for nearly two years, and I've routinely been one of our editors tapped to test newcomers to the electrified car segment from an electric Fiat to new plug-ins from BMW, Ford and Toyota.

2014 Chevrolet Volt Review

Yet, the Volt remains a lightning rod in many ways ... pun slightly intended. Rumors suggest we're at least six months away from seeing a second-generation Chevrolet Volt and probably at least a year away from driving one. The question then becomes, is the Volt the best plug-in hybrid out there, or is one of the newcomers a better choice?

By Aaron Bragman | July 2, 2014 | Comments (4)

Used Luxury-Car Prices Continue Slide in March

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Models from luxury brands accounted for seven of the top 10 used cars with the biggest price drops in March. That's the same number of luxury brands we saw on the list last month. Overall used-car prices held mostly steady in March, down just $6 to an average of $23,243.

Used Luxury-Car Prices Drop Most in February

Luxury brands had the majority of cars on the list, but the Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric car experienced the biggest price drop. It was down 3.1 percent ($811) to $25,000. This winter has not been kind to used Volt prices, which are down 10.5 percent ($2,922) since Dec. 1, 2013.

By Mike Hanley | March 27, 2014 | Comments (4)

Chevrolet Helps Drivers Pull Fast One With Corvette Data Recorder, 4G Wireless

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Whether your need for speed manifests itself on the track or online, GM is offering two new ways to get a quick fix. This past weekend at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the automaker announced a first-of-its-kind performance data recorder for the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, which allows drivers to record video and audio of their hot laps and then use telemetry technology to analyze and improve their times. Meanwhile, the Stingray and a host of other 2015 Chevrolet models will also be available soon with an accelerated data connection to AT&T's high-speed 4G LTE network.

GM developed the performance data recorder with British motorsports-engineering firm Cosworth, and the system will be available on the 2015 Corvette; pricing will be announced later. The PDR's three major components are a high-definition camera mounted in the windshield header to record the driver’s point of view, a self-contained telemetry recorder that uses a GPS receiver to record performance data and a 32-gigabyte memory-card slot in the glove box for recording and transferring video and vehicle data of up to 13 hours.

By Matt Schmitz | January 6, 2014 | Comments (1)

Report: Plug-in Sales Increased 84% in 2013

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In January 2013, Nissan cut the starting price of its Leaf EV by $6,400. Shoppers responded and Leaf sales more than doubled by year's end. For the segment, 2013 sales for plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles increased 84 percent, according to Ward's Automotive data reported by the Detroit News.

Shoppers bought more than 96,000 plug-in cars in 2013 — 47,600 EVs and nearly 49,000 plug-in hybrids, the Detroit News reports. Meanwhile, traditional non-plug-in hybrid sales increased by 15.3 percent, reaching nearly 490,000 new-car sales in 2013.

Automakers cut prices on "nearly all" plug-in hybrids and EVs to jump-start low demand, the newspaper said. Still, it didn't work for all players. In August, GM slashed $5,000 off the starting price of its Chevrolet Volt, but sales ended the year down 1.6 percent, which iswell below former GM CEO Dan Akerson's 2011 annual production goal of 60,000 Volts.

By Kelsey Mays | January 6, 2014 | Comments (0)

Study: Most Clueless About Electric Vehicle Subsidies

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Similar to the old "if-a-tree-falls-in-the-woods" question, if government incentives to encourage the purchase of plug-in vehicles are offered, but no one knows about them, do they make a difference? A research team at Indiana University conducted a survey that shows not only are consumers unaware of available subsidies, rebates and other benefits — financial and otherwise — to owning a plug-in hybrid or electric vehicle, that disconnect could be keeping sales of the zero-emissions electric vehicles from reaching White House goals.

By Matt Schmitz | November 19, 2013 | Comments (3)

Chevrolet Eyes Summer 2014 for Natural-Gas Impala

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In the ongoing trend toward vehicles that get better mileage on cleaner fuels, GM thinks natural gas is a natural progression. The automaker today announced plans for a bi-fuel-powered car that can run on either gasoline or compressed natural gas. First reported by cnbc.com, GM later released a statement about the plans.

A Chevrolet Impala will house the bi-fuel system but no price was announced. The company says the vehicle is slated to go on sale next summer to both fleet customers and regular consumers. The car has a compressed-natural-gas, or CNG, range of 150 miles and a gasoline range of an additional 350 miles, with the ability to switch between the two while driving, according to cnbc.com.

By Matt Schmitz | October 16, 2013 | Comments (4)

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