It's because the hatch doesn't 'pop' up like a trunk does. Far too heavy. As you need a hand there anyway to lift it up, makes sense to have the release button there as well. Now, if it had power lift....Kidding aside, my 1995 Buick Regal has a yellow button inside the glove box to open the latch from inside. So my older GM vehicle has one better than a new Volt!
No interior button, but it looks like it would be trivial to add one. Appears to be a simple BCM input that's switched to ground.
BCM connector X6 pin 15: yellow w/ light-blue stripe.
Well, I don't think that they truly "cheaped out". The brand new price back then was most certainly paying for a technology that was just in its developing stage.Nope on my '12. And it's not like the tech wasn't around way back then, lol. Not a big deal, just makes me shake a head a bit on the little things they cheaped out on.