After 94 days of waiting, I finally got my hands on my 2016 Chevrolet Volt. Delivery was painless and everything is running as expected thus far. Electric range suffers in cold weather conditions and I already had to see how much of a toll -25 C takes. But let’s wind it back a bit and take a look at the timeline leading up to the delivery date.
- Monday, Nov 9, 2015 – Ordered
- Friday, Nov 20, 2015 – No Target Production Week.
- Thursday, Nov 26, 2015 – No Target Production Week
- Thursday, Dec 3, 2015 – Tentative Build Week of Jan 18, 2016
- Wednesday, Dec 16, 2015 – Tentative Build Week of Jan 18, 2016
- Wednesday, Jan 6, 2016 – Tentative Build Week of Jan 18, 2016
- Tuesday, Jan 19, 2016 – Tentative Build Week of Jan 18, 2016
- Tuesday, Jan 26, 2016 – Vehicle built but not released to carrier. Still in Michigan.
- Tuesday, Feb 2, 2016 – Will arrive in Montreal yard in 2 days. The vehicle has to go quality control before shipped to the dealership.
- Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016 – Volt delivered.
Only 1 and 2 involved my local dealership; the other status updates were acquired by me. I got my order code from my salesman and used Chevy.ca’s live chat to check in their systems. Surprisingly, there were no delays and everything went according to my internal estimations. I would have gotten it sooner if the Christmas holidays didn’t shutdown the manufacturing plant. I was impressed that the car was built and delivered within a couple of weeks.
Registering for On Star was a simple process but it’s clearly a move to have someone try to sell their expensive coverage and data packages. I was given a 3 month 3GB data trial and I don’t intend to renew it despite the fact that I don’t have a sizeable data plan on my smartphone.
I was also given a 3 year trial of their Guidance package. There are a lot of niceties on the package but the two features that I can see myself missing when the trial ends are the diagnostic and Remote Link capabilities, Being able to remotely start my car on my iPhone could be very useful during the colder winter months and those diagnostic reports could be very useful.
Handling The Cold
The Volt handled the -25 C weather admirably. I lost approximately 10 KM in range but it was still more than enough to not have to rely on the internal combustion engine (ICE) during my errands. The engine ran due to to temperature (ERDTT) after every cold start but not for long. Once I finally found the setting to differ the ERDTT from 2 C to -10 C and disable the “Engine Assist Heat Plugged In”, I should hear the ICE unless it’s really cold or I run out of battery.
The added benefit of disabling “Engine Assist Heat Plugged In” is the ability to remote start the car without having to open the garage door.
The Little Engine
When the 1.5 L ICE decides to kick it into high gear, the Volt sounds like a scooter and creates a tiny bit of noticeable vibration and noise in the cabin. It’s tolerable but, at the same time, it’s enough to deter me to drive inefficient.
A Big Gadget
There’s a lot to tweak and tinker with in the Volt — I still haven’t given the parking assist a genuine try. I’ve tried it once but I failed in spectacular fashion. (I tried to use parallel park when I wanted perpendicular park). Playing with the Volt is like playing with a new gadget but the key difference is that I have to sit in the garage to tinker and that’s not undesirable in this cold weather.
I haven’t tried Apple’s Car Play yet because I don’t have a spare Lightning cable. I haven’t tried Sirius XM radio yet because I know it’s only a trial and I have no idea what’s an entertaining channel. I did play with the Navigation option and I’m impressed with it coming from someone who used a Garmin for years. It reminds me of Google Maps and Apple Maps a bit.
While it was easy to stay efficient in Normal mode, shifting the car into Sport gave a noticeable improvement in throttle and braking response. It wasn’t an earth shattering difference but I can see myself using it when I know I’m not travelling very far.
So Far So Good
There’s a lot more to try and explore with my Volt and I doubt that’s something I can claim if I had purchased a Camry Hybrid or any other regular gasoline car. I don’t seek out complexity but I enjoy depth. It’s very easy to just treat it like a normal car but at the same time, it’s very easy to get into the nitty gritty.
Started playing Helldivers with my brother. It’s fun so far but I can see why it didn’t exactly garner the highest reviews. I don’t want to make any bold claims yet because it’s still early but I hope they mix it up a bit.
I like Far Cry 4. I recognize that the formula is extremely similar to the Ubisoft’s other open world titles but there’s something about it that works.