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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 190 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

I have gone through 3 chargers, they keep burning

By on Wednesday, September 02, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 70,300

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
4/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
4/10

Pros: "It's good for around town and in stoped traffic."

Cons: "Uncomfortable, low electric miles and bad chargers"

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

"Chevrolet told me it's my outlet at home and not the chargers! Chevrolet refuses to give me a new charger even though it's under warranty!!"

Depreciate faster than a speeding bullet

By on Thursday, August 06, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 17,000

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
4/10
Quality
2/10
Performance
4/10
Styling
2/10
Comfort
2/10

Pros: "No pros"

Cons: "Cons are the government pushing it."

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

"Wow Was i shocked to see how little this car is worth after only two years.I should have purchased the Honda, payed for the gas, and i would still be ahead 12540.00. Dont get sucked into the electric vortex as i was. Unless of course you have money to burn.Do the math including gas over 4 years, gas comes up on top even after 6."

2 people out of 8 found this review helpful

ONE OF THE BEST CARS I'VE EVER OWNED

By on Monday, July 20, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 23,000

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: "MILEAGE, ACCELERATION, HANDLING"

Cons: "ONLY FOUR SEATS"

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

"I GET UP TO TWO MONTHS ON A TANK OF GAS, 100 TO 200 MPG, THEN WHEN I FILL IT UP IT'S 8 PLUS GALLONS. THE CAR IS NIMBLE, HAS GOOD ACCELERATION AND HANDLES GREAT. I LOVE IT. ALSO IT IS HANDS DOWN A BETTER LOOKING CAR THAN THE PRIUS I OWNED PREVIOUSLY. ONLY DISLIKE IS IT ONLY SEAT FOUR. I'M LOOKING FOR A 2016 SINCE THEY WILL SEAT FIVE."

14 people out of 18 found this review helpful

On my 2nd Volt

By on Saturday, July 18, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 56,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Unlimited range, comfortable and fun daily driver"

Cons: "smallish cabin and back seat legroom is limited"

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

"I just traded in a 2012 Volt for a heavily discounted 2015 model. The 2012 had 56,000 worry free 91mpg average miles on it and was a great car. The new Volt with discounts saved me $100/month and is my preferred color "Iridescent White Tricoat" as I live in a warm climate. My wife and I share this car a a commuter vehicle and the HOV stickers are the reason we bought the first Volt. The car is reasonably comfortable (I'm 6'5" with long legs) and driving performance and handling are much better than the other option (Plugin Prius). I also like buying American and like rewarding GM for a nice turnaround with my business (I also own a Ford Explorer with the super-charged 4 cylinder 28mpg). The 2016 seems like it is a nice evolutionary step for the model but the discounts on the 2015 were too good to pass up."

6 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Best Electric Car Around

By on Sunday, June 28, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 198

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, quality, savings."

Cons: "None"

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

"This car is amazing. Averaging 60mpg with normal driving, I cant imagine a more efficient car that can be driven without compromise. It is very sporty with its 273ft/lb of torque and handles very well. The quality is spot on, everything is very tight and resembles a luxury car. The speakers, infotainment, and gauge cluster are awesome. The car is whisper quite even with the engine on making it seem like a Cadillac. The car also has plenty of storage and cargo room. I find the leg room to be plenty also. If you're looking for a volt definitely get it!"

10 people out of 17 found this review helpful

Fun to drive - great mileage

By on Friday, June 12, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 27,851

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
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Fun to drive - great mileage"

Cons: "Small back seat"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"A blast to drive. Even once the electric range is done, it gets good MPG (got right at 40 MPG on a 300 mile trip last week). Only drawback is the small back seat space. I'm over 6 foot tall, so the seat behind me is not usable when I drive since seat driver seat is all the way back. My wife and daughter are fine on the passenger side on trips, but a fourth would not work."

8 people out of 14 found this review helpful

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