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Federal Tax Credit Up To $7,500!

The 2011 Chevrolet Volt electric car qualifies for a federal tax credit of up to $7,500, effectively reducing the net base price from $41,000 to $33,500. Some states offer additional purchase incentives that can be combined with the federal credit. Other electric vehicle-related perks that vary by city or state include single-occupant access to carpool lanes, free metered parking and significantly reduced vehicle registration fees. Home charging stations, which cut charging times in half compared to standard wall outlets, are also eligible for attractive incentives. You can find more incentive information at fueleconomy.gov and pluginamerica.com.

2011 Chevrolet Volt

Overview
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2011 Chevrolet Volt Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 6.6

With its unique Voltec propulsion system that combines a powerful electric motor and an internal-combustion engine/generator, the 2011 Chevrolet Volt establishes a new class of high-efficiency/low-emission production car that overcomes the single most critical real-world shortcoming of pure electric models: Range anxiety. This stylish four-door compact hatch can travel an average of 35 miles on pure electric power from a Lithium-ion battery pack before its gasoline-fueled "range extender" transparently kicks in to directly generate electric power for another 344 miles. Loaded with technology and creature comforts, Chevy is betting the Volt will outpoint its eco-oriented challengers in the Great Green Derby – especially the equally new Nissan LEAF EV and the reigning conventional hybrid champ, the Toyota Prius.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you are intrigued by the idea of an electric car but feel like their limited mileage range won't fit your needs, the extended-range 2011 Chevy Volt is a perfect compromise between the EV you want and the gasoline-powered vehicle that more practically fits into your daily routine.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Even sweetened with potential federal and state tax advantages, the 2011 Chevy Volt remains a relatively pricey pick and enjoying the full benefits of its green potential will require recharging it regularly. For some, alternatives like the Nissan LEAF EV, Toyota Prius Hybrid, Volkswagen Golf TDI or even a Honda Fit may make more bottom-line sense.

What's Significant About This Car?

Beyond eliminating the dreaded range anxiety limitation that impacts all pure electric vehicles, the Volt's "Voltec" propulsion system will serve as the basis for a number of other General Motors extended-range vehicle offerings in the coming years.

Driving the Volt

Driving Impressions Built on a bespoke version of GM's global small car architecture that also underpins the Chevy Cruze, the Volt offers a decidedly conventional basic driving experience overlaid with a few...

unique Voltec-specific wrinkles. The biggest difference can be felt in the immediate torque provided by its electric motor as well as the complete (or relative) absence of engine noise in its well-isolated passenger compartment. The Volt's well-tuned suspension is ably complemented by quick and decently-weighted energy-saving electric power steering while super-efficient regenerative circuitry on its four-wheel disc brakes is noticeable but far from intrusive. Transitioning from pure-electric to range-extended mode is virtually transparent save for a faint engine sound accompanied by a dash icon that changes from a battery to a fuel pump. Although the EPA estimates that you'll see about 35 miles of electric range, how you drive, interior climate settings and road conditions do make a difference. In fact, trying to keep the car in EV mode is part of the fun of driving the Volt - almost like trying to top your best score at Pac-Man.

Delayed Start and Departure Time Mode
Using information supplied by your local electricity provider, the Volt can be programmed to commence recharging its battery pack when rates are at their lowest to help save money. Tell it when you plan to leave in the morning or evening, and it will automatically schedule the charging process to ensure that the battery is full in time for your commute.

Volt Smartphone App
Have a smartphone? By utilizing the OnStar MyLink app, you can check your Volt's battery level, tire pressure, available electric range, lock/unlock the doors and even start the A/C system so the interior is at a comfortable level when you're ready to leave. You can even control the Volt's charging rate from your phone and get a text or an e-mail when the battery is topped off.

2011 Chevrolet Volt Details
2011 Chevrolet Volt photo Interior

The interior of the 2011 Chevy Volt echoes the car's futuristic vibe. The center stack is covered in touch-sensitive controls for the audio and climate control systems instead of buttons and knobs. In place of gauges, two seven-inch LCD screens - one mounted in the gauge cluster and another in the center of the dash – display vehicle speed, battery state of charge, electric range, fuel level and driving efficiency. Black cloth seats and white interior accents come standard, but leather seats are available with green, black or light gold-colored accents. The 5.5-foot, 435-pound, T-shaped battery that's nestled underneath the center of the vehicle makes having a bench seat in the back row impossible, but the end result is two buckets that are quite comfortable - once you get situated in them. Thanks to the aerodynamic sloping roofline, rear seat ingress and egress are not exactly the Volt's strongest points.

Exterior
2011 Chevrolet Volt photo

To optimize its total operating efficiency, the Volt's exterior design team spared no effort in creating a shape that could slice through the air with the greatest of ease. Every element, from its rounded front fascia, closed-off grille and aggressively raked windshield to the crisp trailing edges on its rear fenders and a functional hatch spoiler were meticulously matched to yield the most aerodynamic production that GM has ever created. To wring the most extra miles-per-gallon out of the vehicle's design, the Volt rolls on 17-inch Goodyear Fuel Max low-rolling resistance lightweight wheels, which weigh 17.8 pounds each.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

In base form, the 2011 Chevrolet Volt comes with a more comprehensive feature set than any other Chevy currently on the market. It's also the recipient of all of Chevy's latest and greatest technology and features, including touch-sensitive climate, audio and drive controls, an energy-saving Bose sound system (it's 40 percent lighter and uses 50 percent less energy than a conventional sound system) and an eight-year 100,000-mile warranty on its battery pack and associated electrics. You'll also get standard navigation, a 60 MB hard drive with 30 MB of space for music, five years of OnStar and USB connectivity.

Optional Equipment

It's hard to call an options list a list when there are only two on offer: a Premium Trim Package and Rear Camera and Park Assist Package. The Premium Trim Package adds heated front seats, leather seating surfaces and a leather-wrapped steering wheel, while the Rear Camera and Park Assist Package includes - as you'd expect - a rear-view camera and front/rear parking sensors. If you're going to spring for any options on the Volt, we'd recommend the park assist package; the Volt's low-slung and very easily scraped front air dam makes parking sensors particularly helpful when you're not quite sure where the curb starts. Finally, bling fans can choose to have their Volt's aluminum wheels done in a bright-polished rather than the standard satin finish.

Under the Hood

The 2011 Chevrolet Volt's propulsion system consists of an electric drive unit that makes 149 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque, a 16kWh liquid-cooled Lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery pack and a 1.4-liter/84-horsepower in-line four internal-combustion "range-extender." The latter takes over when battery charge decreases to a certain level – normally after 25-50 miles of driving – and generates on-the-fly electricity for another 344 miles. Replenishing the battery pack takes 10-12 hours using a standard 110V outlet or three-four on a 240V dedicated unit. The Volt has three operating modes. "Normal" is the most efficient, "Sport" provides more direct accelerator response and "Mountain," which requires 10-15 minutes of advance engagement but optimizes the battery to cope with increased energy demands caused by extended steep grades. The Volt has earned a 93 MPGe (miles-per-gallon equivalent) combined city/highway EPA rating in pure EV mode and returns 37 mpg when the range-extender kicks in.

AC synchronous electric motor/generator
16kWh lithium-ion battery pack
1.4-liter in-line four
111kW/149-horsepower @ 4800 rpm
273 lb.-ft. of torque @ 0-4800 rpm
Projected per-charge range: 35 miles (all-electric), 344 miles (gasoline range-extender only)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 93 MPGe (when in all-electric mode, miles per gallon equivalent), 37 MPG (when the range-extender motor/generator is running)

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2011 Chevrolet Volt Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.0
Out of 10

Based on 159 Ratings for the 2011 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.7/10
    Quality
    9.2/10
  • Reliability
    9.1/10
    Performance
    9.1/10
  • Comfort
    8.9/10
    Styling
    9.0/10

First Chevy I've owned in 30 years

By on Thursday, August 21, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Smooth and Quiet. I love avoid the gas station"

Cons: "No back seat, need to improve generator efficiency"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Pros: This car is an amazing breakthrough in technology. Electric drive cars have a much smoother and quieter acceleration that gasoline cars. It is really a pleasure to drive this car. My average MPG has been over 100 with about 2/3rd of the time on the battery and 1/3rd of the time on the generator. Electric cars are the future. They are cleaner, better for the environment, less costly to run, and better for our economy because electric power is domestically produced. Cons: They need a hard cover for the trunk area and it would be better if the card didn't have a big divider between the two back seats. Also more leg and headroom in the back would be better. Power adjustable seats in the front would be better. Whenever you have a large electric motor there is some EMF created. I measured it and it is not too bad but GM should take care to shield the cabin more. Long term EMF exposure is somewhat of a concern for me. GM should also consider using a skate board chassis that they pioneered and that Tesla uses. Not that it matters much for overall efficiency since people tend to use the battery about 2/3rd of the time and the generator about 1/3rd of the time but if GM increase the efficiency statistics when the car is running on the generator this would help with marketing. They need to hit the critical 50 MPG mark. Finally, GM might consider going to the EPA with their statistics and asking them to allow the true OVERALL gasoline mileage statics on the vehicle instead of the MPG for just the gasoline generator. The vehicle probably average over 70 MPG. This is what GM should be advertising and the EPA should allow this. The government wants more of these vehicles sold and the higher mileage statistics would help appeal to the customer. Otherwise the consumer gets 38MPG stuck in their head."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Fantastic driving experience

By on Wednesday, August 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 22,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fuel efficient, fun to drive, best styling"

Cons: "4 seats, poor promotion"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I like my 2013 Volt so much I bought a second one. The Volt is all around a great car. Average gas mileage has been about 150 MPG when factoring both gas and electric usage. Went on a couple of long trips just on gas and got around 38 MPG. But it is best around town and short trips where we use almost exclusively electric. When going for test drives at different dealerships, no one had a Volt with a charge. They obviously do not know how to promote this car or realize what they have."

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Sporty, lots of torque and fun fun fun to drive.

By on Saturday, August 09, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 39,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Only get 7 gallons of gas about every 6 weeks."

Cons: "Only four seats"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I'm averaging 123 miles per gallon after 39,000 miles. Had to rent a gas car on vacation in another city, wow, what a reality check, gas cars are doomed. Once you get used to the smooth effortless power of electric you'll never want a gas car again."

4 people out of 7 found this review helpful

A glimpse into the future

By on Saturday, August 09, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Economy, Reliability and Driving experience"

Cons: "Sales persons not knowledgeable about the Volt"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"We have had our 2014 Volt for close to 6 months now. 93% of our driving has been pure EV, with the gasoline range extender only having been used infrequently on days we drive over 50 miles. Our average fuel economy to date works out to 416 MPG if you factor in the gasoline it has used. More importantly, with an EV - we monitor Kwh used per 100 miles, and to date we average 28 KwH/100 miles. We drive about 1000 miles/ month with the Volt, and average commute to/from work is around 30 miles round trip. The Volt has been 100% reliable. It has not been back to the dealer, had any service or problems since we own it. It hasn't made any trips to the gas station yet either! We find the car is very comfortable up front. I am 6' plus and over 300# and find the driving position very good. The back seats are tight, but even a big guy like me has squeezed in there for short 30 minute trips and been fine. The back seat is just fine for kids or smaller adults. Storage with the hatch back is great. This is our second car. We have a big chevy Tahoe for long family trips when we travel with kids and the dogs. The Volt is not made for this. However, for the average commuter driving to work daily or running errands around town - the Volt is simply brilliant. We have a grid tied solar PV array on our roof, and knowing I can charge the battery with surplus electrical power I generate puts a huge smile on my face. The car has very good acceleration, thanks to all that torque from the electric motor. Handling is solid and sure footed. Being such a heavy car it does very well in rain and slushy roads. The brakes are outstanding and I love the fact that you can select how much regenerative force they provide. Overall we are extremely satisfied with the Volt. A car like this needs to fit your lifestyle to be fully appreciated. Sure they are not inexpensive, but then purchasing any vehicle is never about making a sound financial choice....it is a convenience and an emotional purchase. For us, with a small family and lots of pets, the Volt makes a perfect second car since we already have a large family hauler in the fleet. Conclusion....we love our Volt...and can't wait to see what the new 2016's will bring."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Glides through traffic like "Liquid Lightning"

By on Sunday, August 03, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 14,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great savings on gas. Super smooth, fast, fun!"

Cons: "Hands-free Siri wasn't yet available on the 2012."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

A fun vanity plate for your EV is always a plus!

"Super fast, fun ride. Great economy. I work only 12 miles from home, so I rarely run on gasoline, but it's great peace of mind to know my car will effortlessly shift to gasoline should I run out of juice on my battery. I've owned my 2012 since April 2012, and so far (August 2014) I've only put in 34 gallons of gasoline. It's costing me between 30 and 50 cents a day to recharge the batteries. I have a 220V Blink unit in my garage and it typically charges in 2 to 4 hours. I purchased the 5-year extended Warranty. I love the premium package with the seat heaters, 3 years of OnStar and roadside assistance. Actually love EVERYTHING about my 2012."

5 people out of 8 found this review helpful

A fun vanity plate for your EV is always a plus!

I want this car!!!!!

By on Wednesday, July 30, 2014

I want this car

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great looking, comfortable, reliable, good on gas."

Cons: "Only holds 4 people."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I love this car. Someone in my family owns this and I would love to get one too. They love it especially with the gas prices that we have now.... Love it and it is very comfortable car."

2 people out of 5 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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