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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 New for 2011

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 219 Ratings for the 2011 - 2015 models.

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

A fantastic vehicle; only uses gasoline when driv

By on Sunday, July 17, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 36,000

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

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

"Fantastic vehicle; very environmentally friendly. Engineering excellent for an electric vehicle; in cold weather gas engine starts for only couple minutes to warm batteries, which gets around the inherent limitation of cold weather on all electric vehicles. Heated seats great for winter time comfort without using as much battery power. Would recommend it to everyone."

Great car, great ride, and a great classic design

By on Monday, June 20, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 16,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "A great car that still turns heads."

Cons: "Terrible re-sale value thanks to GM pricing policy"

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

"The fit and finish of the Volt was closer to a high-end European sedan than a Japanese economy car. The handling and performance was impressive, and the speedy, quite ride was like nothing like I have ever experienced. Three years Volt ownership has produced a lifetime mileage average 454 MPG and only four visits to a gas station, with nearly maintenance-free driving. My next car will be the Tesla model 3. In the meantime, there a many good driving miles left in my Volt."

5 people out of 9 found this review helpful

first electric car

By on Sunday, May 22, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "AWESOME DRIVERS CAR QUICK AND HANDLES BEAUTIFULLY"

Cons: "TERRIBLE CONSOLE CONTROLS FOR RADIO, HTG/COOLING"

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

"took ownership in Oct 2015. Is an absolutely awesome car. Driving dynamics are awesome - handles beautifully-absolutely quiet as well. Typically leave it plugged in all the time and usually use the 12 amp rate not the 8amp. Have not had a need to install a higher voltage charger. Manual indicates that the car should be left plugged in as much as possible as it maintains correct battery temp. (here in phoenix, Az. our garage temps can hit 115 in the summer.) Side benefit is our utility offers a 6 cent/KW rate from 11:00pm to 5 am and 71/2 cent/kw rate from 5am to 1pm AWESOME - I am told THe car can be programmed to charge at specific times but have not set that up yet. Specifics. 1.It is ideal for us as our daily trips do not typically deplete the battery. We typically average 45 to 47 miles per charge due to a.suburban driving 40-50mph and b.use low setting (this just allows for much greater charge rate when you let up on the gas, also reduces brake wear-has no impact on gearing) OVer the first 6500 miles we have used just over 25 gallons of gas and are averaging just over 250 miles per gallon. Yahoo 2.Interior cramped. We knew this up front of course 3.Visibility could be better. Again we knew this up front 4.Touch controls on center console are terrible. No tactile feel. You must lake your eyes off the road to find the right spot to touch. That being said there are two great flip switches on the steering wheel one for cruise and one for cd player. Our solution is to have the passenger make those adjustments 5. Great feature is the pre-heat/pre-cool features for the car. The car is heated/cooled while plugged in so no hit to battery. 6.there is an economy setting for cooling which helps battery range and seat warmers that are great in cool weather."

6 people out of 13 found this review helpful

Wow-An American car that run and preforms beyond

By on Sunday, May 1, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,850

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
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Save gas , reliable , and low cost operations ,"

Cons: "Make it in to a SUV"

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

"A quality built car ,smooth ,quiet, no problems and I average 144 miles to the gallon of gas , what else could you ask, ( except a power front seat,"

10 people out of 25 found this review helpful

Great car if you buy it used

By on Sunday, February 28, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 19,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "great fuel economy"

Cons: "some design flaws"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6

"I bought my 2012 chevy volt in 2014 with 2600 miles on it for half the sticker price 20000. I have over all been very pleased with this car. I use no gas in the summer and about 16 gallons a month in the winter. I now have over 19000 miles on it and never have had one problem. I don't believe this car is worth 40000 but is absolutely worth 20000. If Chevy could figure out how to maintain the mileage in the winter I would definitely buy another one. I do like many things about this car but it definitely has issues. The first and main concern is the winter mileage. The second is the way the car charges the aux battery located in the rear. If you leave the car on ( which is very easy to do because it makes no sound in electric mode) the aux batter will run out. The large battery will not recharge the small battery unless the electronics in the car are on which is powered by the aux battery. So, you have to connect the car to another battery or car to power on the electronics so that the car will start and charge the smaller battery. I think it would be reasonable to engineer the car so that when the aux battery is drained the car will shut down until you try to start it again and it will resume normal function charging the aux battery."

12 people out of 18 found this review helpful

Best Car ever. Solid, Fast, Quiet. Reliable.

By on Saturday, February 13, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fast, no worry about where to plug it in"

Cons: "Heating system is iffy, cold & AIR cond goes on"

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

"This is the best kept secret. For some reason, Chevy doesn't try to sell them and the dealers don't either. This car is quiet, Very Fast, smooth and no worry about IF or When I have to plug it in. Has an engine that with the 10 gallon tanks takes you anywhere any other car can go. With engine running I still get between 30-40 miles per gallon! WOW. My work is 10 miles from my home. so I go months without putting any gas in. When its a half tank I "fill it up" for $10. Drives and feels just like a regular car. You can't feel any transition from electric (ie. regenerative braking --puts energy back into battery when you brake to mechanical braking, final stopping, or when engine kicks in. Chevy did a lot of work to make this thing feel and drive like a regular car. LOVE, the acceleration off the line. I always leave everyone in the dust but QUIET! WOW LOVE THIS CAR"

19 people out of 23 found this review helpful

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