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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.
Favorite Features

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
8.9
Out of 10

Based on 139 Ratings for the 2011 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.7/10
    Quality
    9.1/10
  • Reliability
    9.1/10
    Performance
    9.1/10
  • Comfort
    8.8/10
    Styling
    8.9/10

Speed, comfort and extreme savings.

By on Tuesday, April 15, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,000

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: "Please read the full review."

Cons: "none."

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

"I used to have a Dodge Stratus. 13 gal tank. For the last 16 months I have owned a 2013 Volt. 9 gal tank. I drive 63 miles to work (one way) every day. I was filling the Stratus up twice a week. At an average of $3.52 per gallon x 13 gal tank = $45.72. 16 months = 140 fills of the 13 gal tank. $45.72 x 140 = $6400.80 // I fill the 9 gallon tank of the Volt on average every 11 days. At 16 months this comes to 45 fills. At an average of $3.52 per gallon x 9 gal tank = $31.65. $31.65 x 45 = $1424.25 // Total savings in gas = $4976.55 // With the Stratus I would require a $55 oil change every month. $55 x 16 = $880. For the Volt I needed one $55 oil change. Total savings in oil changes = $825. Total overall savings in gas and oil = $5801.55. My average increase in electric has been $30 per month. $30 x 16 = $480. Subtract that and the final savings and I said SAVINGS of having this amazing vehicle has been $5321.55. Those are my numbers. Beyond that, I am at 40,000 miles at 16 months of owning and am at an average of 97 mpg. Only thing else I can add is that this is no golf cart. This vehicle has some serious take off and passing speed. I have some stiff in-laws so I have been meticulous on the stats. Been the best car I have ever owned."

MUCH BETTER THAN I EXPECTED !!!!!!

By on Wednesday, April 02, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,323

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "FUN TO WATCH THE SAVINGS ROLL UP !!!!"

Cons: "PRICE, BUT I DID GET $7500. FED. AND $3000. STATE"

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

"I SAW ONE REVIEW THAT RATED THE VOLT POOR BECAUSE IT COST MORE TO CHARGE ON 220/240 THAN THE COST OF GAS IS ALL WRONG!!! I KEEP GOOD TRACK OF THE COST! MY VOLT IS CHARGED ON 110 VOLT THAT COST MORE THAN 240 WOULD!! ON A FULL CHARGE OF A LITTLE OVER 10 KW. @ MY ELECTRIC CO. CHARGE OF 8.5 CENTS PER KW = LESS THAN $1. AT NATIONAL AVERAGE OF 12 TO 13 CENTS WOULD ONLY BE A$ $1.20 T0 $1.30 . IF YOU DRAIN IT TOTAL, IT WOULD BE APROX. 15 KW AND A COST $1.27 AT MY 8.5 CENT RATE. I GET 41 TO 44 MILES PER CHARGE WHEN NOT USING HEAT, FAN OR AIR. I HAVE GONE 55 MILES ON A SINGLE CHARGE. I USE LOW GEAR [NOT REALY A GEAR] TO GET THESE MILES. THE PERSON WHO LEFT THE BAD REVIEW CAN'T GET A GAL.GAS FOR THE ABOVE PRICES AND THEN GO 40 MILES!!!"

5 people out of 6 found this review helpful

It's fun to drive & I feel good about driving it!

By on Tuesday, April 01, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,000

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: "Fun to drive and eco-friendly too"

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

"I have driven the car for 2.5 years and I love it as much today as the day we bought it. I drive mostly in EV mode, though I'm glad to have the 40mpg backup when I go past the range. I have not had any service on the car, except for an inspection and oil change. From the backup camera to the brakes, every system has worked flawlessly. This car is a pleasure and a blessing to drive."

No V8 comes close to the quiet smooth power.

By on Tuesday, March 11, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,000

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: "Performance of the electric drive is superior."

Cons: "Not wanting to dive my other ICE cars."

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

"I charge my Volt on a standard 120v charger which is standard equipment that comes with the car. There is not need for a 240v charger. The first full year I went to a gas station one time to get 9 gallons of gas for the generator which only runs when I need it. My commute is 10.5miles of hard city stop and go driving up and down the hills of western PA. last year 8300 miles cost me less than $275.. I'm very happy with that. I was back to the dealer one time to have the tires rotated. No oil changes and only one trip to the gas station. Less than $275 for total maintenance gas and electricity. I have a wattmeter on the charger that tells me how much it costs to charge the car. I agree with 128,000 SAE automotive engineers from around the world who voted the CHEVY VOLT as the BEST ENGINEERED CAR ON THE ROAD TODAY."

6 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Great design, no flaws, low for winter driving

By on Friday, February 28, 2014

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

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Impressive engineering & creature comforts"

Cons: "Access & egress somewhat difficult for older folks"

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

"Very impressive engineering. Very comfortable with only two things missing: grab bar over the front passenger seat & quite low for access & egress. My wife has osteoarthritis & this makes it difficult for her to get in & out. The car handles very well in icy conditions & no problems in snow-packed roads. Still averaging over 60 mpg even though the gas engine runs frequently when the temps are colder than 32°. Back seat is a little short on leg room."

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Use very little gas

By on Saturday, February 22, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,450

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Great gas mileage uses mostly electric"

Cons: "Cramped interior, no air AC vents for rear seats."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"Love the ride. Handles wonderfully. The major drawback that I see is that the headroom is lacking especially entering and exiting the car. I wish it had a little bit more interior room and I would also like to see it seat five people. No airconditioning vents in the rear which is a major drawback on a hot summers day. I use very little gas driving locally. I do love the hold feature which allows me to drive across alligator Alley to Naples on gas and then go back to electric. Despite having no lumbar feature or power seats most people can get pretty comfortable in this car. Would also like to see it have a little bit larger gas tank so if I decided to take a vacation out of the state I wouldn't have to fill up so many times. I'm leasing this car and my lease is up in September 2015 so I can't wait to see with the new Volt looks like, if it's a bigger version I will definitely lease or buy another one."

3 people out of 3 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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