Inside the 2016 Chevrolet Volt (26 Photos)

2016 Chevy Volt

The differences between the original Chevrolet Volt concept car from 2007 and the eventual production version in 2011 left many people who were excited for GM's first mass-market electric vehicle rather cold. What started out as a hot-looking, angular and futuristic design had morphed into a somewhat messy, odd-looking mishmash of styles influenced by the demands of aerodynamic efficiency.

Related: More 2015 Detroit Auto Show Coverage

The subsequent Cadillac ELR coupe proved that GM EVs could indeed be sexy. With the 2016 Chevrolet Volt, GM has had plenty of time to work with designers and aerodynamic specialists to craft something genuinely attractive, and it has succeeded in doing so.

By Aaron Bragman | January 12, 2015 | Comments (9)

Chevrolet Bolt EV Concept: First Look

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Looks like: Chevy Spark EV meets Nissan Leaf

Defining characteristics: Compact all-electric car with a range of 200 miles and a price around $30,000

Ridiculous features: The automatic park-and-retrieval system; the driver can exit the vehicle and tell the Bolt to park itself, and when needed, the concept can be summoned to return to the owner's location.

Chance of being mass-produced: It's likely GM will offer a compact all-electric production car in the near future. "The Bolt EV concept demonstrates General Motors' commitment to electrification and the capabilities of our advanced EV technology," the automaker said in a statement.

The new Volt isn't the only electric news coming off the Chevrolet stage at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this year; GM also unveiled a new concept that looks like it's aimed straight at the Nissan Leaf. Chevrolet says the Bolt EV concept embodies the brand's vision for an affordable, long-range electric vehicle; it's designed to go more than 200 miles on a charge and starts around $30,000.

More 2015 Detroit Auto Show Coverage

The tall hatchback's styling screams electric car with its aerodynamic-optimized wedge shape and vented rear fenders; it also uses materials like aluminum, magnesium, carbon fiber and woven mesh to reduce weight and maximize range. Other exterior highlights include a full-length frosted glass roof, wraparound rear window and jewel-like high-intensity LED head- and taillights.

By Jennifer Geiger | January 12, 2015 | Comments (1)

2016 Chevrolet Volt: First Look

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Competes with: Toyota Prius Plug-In, Nissan Leaf, Audi A3 e-tron, Ford C-Max Energi

Looks like: A little last-gen Volt, a little current-gen Honda Civic

Drivetrain: Two-motor electric-drive unit; 101-hp, 1.5-liter gasoline range extender; 18.4-kwh lithium-ion battery pack; front-wheel drive

Hits dealerships: Late 2015

The second generation of GM's most advanced vehicle has been revealed, and while it looks considerably more mainstream than the outgoing model, the 2016 Chevrolet Volt is still a remarkable and unique vehicle that has been refined with significant input from previous Volt owners.

More 2015 Detroit Auto Show Coverage

The first Volt was created in something of a customer vacuum — GM really didn't know who would buy it, how they would exactly use it, or if people would be satisfied with the range-extended electric vehicle's abilities. Now after 73,000 have been sold, GM quizzed owners on what to improve and used that feedback to create the 2016 model. The resulting car is designed to bring Volt customers back to the showroom once their leases are up while broadening the car's appeal to a more mainstream crowd.

By Aaron Bragman | January 12, 2015 | Comments (7)

2016 Buick Cascada: First Look

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Competes with: Volkswagen Eos, Volkswagen Beetle, Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro

Looks like: The spiritual successor to the old Chrysler 200 convertible

Drivetrain: 200-hp, turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder; six-speed automatic transmission; front-wheel drive

Hits dealerships: Early 2016

Convertibles in the U.S. seem to come in only two flavors these days: muscle cars or expensive luxury models. The days of inexpensive convertibles for the common buyer are gone with the demise of the Chrysler 200 (nee Sebring) and Toyota Solara. If you want a four-seat convertible, you can have a rear-wheel-drive Chevrolet Camaro or Ford Mustang, or an expensive German, British or Italian luxury car. But now there's a new arrival from Europe that may give shoppers a stylish option.

More 2015 Detroit Auto Show News

Based on the Opel of the same name, the new 2016 Buick Cascada is set to arrive in about a year, providing a unique offering in showrooms that really has no direct competition in the U.S. Under the skin, the Cascada is essentially a Buick Verano turbo with two fewer doors and a folding roof, while its bodywork looks like the latest Opel Astra. It's a product of GM's new global initiative with Buick in which a number of U.S.-market vehicles are sourced from Europe's Opel division with a little rebadging and slightly different sheet metal.

By Aaron Bragman | January 11, 2015 | Comments (4)

2015 Chevrolet Trax Review

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"With its 2015 Trax, Chevrolet has offered up a tiny SUV with exceptional visibility, good interior room and a surprisingly large cargo area, but pokey acceleration — especially with optional all-wheel drive," says Cars.com reviewer Bill Jackson.

2015 Chevrolet Trax Expert Review

Cars.com photo by Bill Jackson

By Jennifer Geiger | January 9, 2015 | Comments (2)

Santa Tracker: OnStar Keeps Tabs on the Big Guy

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He's sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when your awake, but the spying can go both ways. For the sixth year in a row, OnStar will again be able to help customers keep tabs on Santa this Christmas.

Related: How to Transport Your Christmas Tree

OnStar is teaming up with North American Aerospace Defense Command's (NORAD) Tracks Santa program; U.S., Canada and Mexico subscribers can follow the big guy's whereabouts across the globe Christmas Eve with a press of the blue OnStar button. Customers can request a "Santa Update" between 7 a.m. Dec. 24 until 5 a.m. EST Dec. 25 and get Santa's location based on NORAD's official Santa Tracker Map.

Motorists with more pressing OnStar needs shouldn't be affected by the added Santa-tracking requests; OnStar says it's adding additional staff to accommodate the higher volume of calls. OnStar can't however, help you get a line on that sold out Elsa doll you've been searching for.

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By Jennifer Geiger | December 18, 2014 | Comments (0)

GM Issues Fix for New Key Issue in Cars Under Ignition Recall

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GM is sending letters to the owners of some 2.2 million 2000s-era small cars involved in the automaker's ignition-cylinder recall for an unrelated problem: Put the car in Park and the key may not come out when you turn it off. Although it applies to the same group of vehicles subject to one of the automaker's most serious recalls this year, GM spokesman Alan Adler insists it's unrelated.

Related: GM: 58 Percent of U.S. Cars in Ignition Recall Are Fixed

You can still get a stuck key out of many cars by pressing a plunger under the steering column. But it’s an inconvenient procedure, as depicted above in the owner's manual for a 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt. GM's fix? Replace the console-mounted automatic transmission shifter, which can fail to send an electrical signal to the ignition when the car is put in Park. That signal allows you to rotate the key from the Run position into the Lock position and remove it, the automaker said in an emailed statement.

The problem only occurs in "3 to 4 percent of the vehicles," Adler said, but GM is sending letters to owners of all 2.2 million cars in the original recall. That figure comes from 2.59 million cars worldwide — the vast majority in the U.S. and Canada — under the ignition-switch recall, minus cars with manual transmissions, which don't have the problem, and cars that have been scrapped. If owners experience the sticking key, they can bring their vehicles into any GM dealer (Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet or GMC) and get the transmission shifter replaced for free.

By Kelsey Mays | December 12, 2014 | Comments (1)

2015 Chevrolet Trax: First Drive

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By William Jackson

Buying a small car used to mean buying a hatchback or sedan, but now carmakers are rolling out SUVs to fill up that end of the market. Subcompact SUVs like the Nissan Juke and Kia Soul have been around for a while, but Chevrolet, Honda and Mazda are entering the fray with the Trax, HR-V and CX-3, respectively.

Related: Research the 2015 Chevrolet Trax

With its 2015 Trax, Chevrolet offers a small SUV with exceptional visibility, good interior room, a surprisingly large cargo area, but pokey acceleration — especially with the optional all-wheel drive.

By David Thomas | December 5, 2014 | Comments (8)

GM to Replace Ignition Keys on Certain New SUVs, Pickup Trucks

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GM will replace the ignition keys in its redesigned full-size SUVs and pickup trucks with a smaller key. The company issued a safety bulletin on Nov. 6 because the automatic transmission's column shifter can inadvertently move the key out of the "run" position if it bumps into it during shifting. Affected models include the 2014 and 2015 Chevrolet Silverado pickups, the related 2015 Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe SUVs, the 2014 and 2015 GMC Sierra pickups, and the related 2015 GMC Yukon and Yukon XL SUVs.

Related: GM: 58 Percent of U.S. Cars in Ignition Recall Are Fixed

It sounds like another ignition-related problem for an automaker that's seen more than half of the 26.8 million cars recalled in the U.S. during 2014 stem from such issues, but this is much less serious. For starters, it's not a recall. The condition occurs only if you adjust the steering column to its highest point, apply the brakes and move the column shifter between gears — presumably while the car is stopped — so GM maintains it isn't a safety problem. For any owners who experience the issue, dealers will replace the key with a smaller design that doesn't bump the shifter.

By Kelsey Mays | December 4, 2014 | Comments (3)

Recall Alert: 273,000 2006-2009 GM Sedans, SUVs

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Vehicles Affected: More than 273,000 GM vehicles, including model-year 2006-09 Buick LaCrosse sedans, and SUVs including 2006-07 Chevrolet TrailBlazers, 2006 TrailBlazer EXTs, 2006-07 GMC Envoys, 2006 Envoy XLs, 2006-07 Buick Rainiers, 2006-08 Saab 9-7Xes and 2006-08 Isuzu Ascenders

The Problem: If the headlamp driver module is not operating correctly, the low-beam headlamps and daytime running lamps could intermittently or permanently fail to illuminate, increasing the risk of a crash. GM says it has not been able to confirm whether the problem has resulted in any accidents. The condition does not affect the high-beam headlamps, marker lamps, turn signals or fog lamps, the automaker said.

The Fix: GM will notify owners, and dealers will make the necessary repairs for free. The automaker has not yet announced a notification schedule.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call GM at 800-458-8006 for more info.

Need to Find a Dealer for Service? Go to Cars.com Service & Repair to find your local dealer.

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By Matt Schmitz | December 1, 2014 | Comments (0)

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