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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 212 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

This Car will go Way beyond your expectations

By on Sunday, January 31, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,000

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: "Fun to drive. and simply an amazing car"

Cons: "Not much leg room in the back seats"

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

"The only word that even comes close to describing a Volt is AMAZING. * No transmission to service or breakdown * No exhaust system or muffler * No timing chain or belt to worry about. I have a 2014 Volt with 20,400 miles + 0 to 30 in 3 seconds + It generates its own electricity + I'm averaging 205 Miles per gal. during the 20,000 miles. + I saved over $2,500 in gas my first year. + Only had to have one oil change in two years. + Plug in to save but you never need too if can't. (use gas if you want to or electricity if you want to) It is simply the Best car ever developed take the time to try to understand how it really works, You will be amazed."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

great in town car

By on Saturday, January 16, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,800

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
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "VERY EFFICIENT AND GREAT DRIVING CAR"

Cons: "More room and better visibility would be great"

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

"New owner so keep that in mind. So far love the car. Is a great around town car. I have purchased only 19 gallons in first 3800 miles so am at about 180 miles per gallon. (and the only reason is that we had multiple doctor appointments at the Mayo about 45 miles away. So drive home was on gas.) Features we like are the heated seats, and console between the two back seats. BACK UP CAMERA IS AWESOME This is great for us two. As 99% of our driving is under 40 miles a day so we are on battery virtually 100%. Car is quick and quiet. We average around 43 miles per charge due to favorable battery saving suburban driving (under 50mph). Also being in Phx. we seldom use any heating except for seat heaters. . Our efficiency driving rating is almost always over 95% and is 100% on climate efficiency.(due to minimal heater use) cars works for two - is not a family car. Family would need to have a second vehicle as only seats four. Cabin is small and seems cramped (cozy?). Relatively inexpensive electricity in Phoenix helps. We use 120 volt charging only. Would like the 220 volt but not worth the price for our situation. (Our son who has has a Leaf has the 220volt charger in his garage and is great but do not really need it. THE ONLY CONS I HAVE I KNEW ABOUT JUST BY DRIVING THE CAR. WE ARE WILLING TO SACRIFICE SPACE FOR THE ECONOMY AND DRIVING EXPERIENCE LAST COMMENT AS WE ARE RETIRED WE TYPICALLY LOOK FOR A CAR AROUND $25000 - WE WOULD HAVE NOT PURCHASED THIS CAR WITHOUT THE $7500 FEDERAL TAX CREDIT ONLY BECAUSE IT WAS OUT OF OUR PRICE RANGE BUT OVERALL A GREAT CAR I STRONGLY RECOMMEND IT"

Smooth and Efficient

By on Wednesday, January 13, 2016

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
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "fun to drive!"

Cons: "seats are a little stiff"

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

"It is nice to read on the dashboard "155mpg". It only takes 3.5 hrs for a full 45-50 mile range charge.I spend $22 in gas every month and a half and my electric bill only went up $17/mo. The money I saved in gas, I could have bought 2 volts. When you put the car into "Sport mode" I can take almost any car off the line up to 50 mph...very spunky. It beats any hyrid/electric in looks, performance and efficiency."

Not the worst but still a long way to go

By on Wednesday, January 06, 2016

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

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
4/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Torque, good radio, comfortable seats, quiet"

Cons: "MPG, Resale Value, Quality"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"After owning nearly 26 cars over the past few years, i feel i am a good person to review these cars.. I have owned mine for all of 3 months, and while it is not a terrible car, it's not great either.. The reliability issues are abundant, i have never had a car break so much, and i have owned 26 cars, the reliability is OK but things seem to just break at random.. So far in 3 months, the car has been in the shop for a total of 2 weeks time.. At which i got a nice Malibu to drive around.. Maybe nice isn't the right word for that disaster.. but that's a different review. In 3 months: 1. Inverter shorted out 2. Push button start sensor broke 3. Charging port shorted out Voltec Charging station 4. Steering Column separated at the ball joint. 5. front strut mounts clunking 6. rattles in the door panels 7. fuel release door sticks and at times you can't put gas in the car. 8. Trunk rattle 9. really poor fuel economy on the highway.. 22-30MPG EV/ER The EV range is good, at 38 miles in the summer months, and charging can be done at no more than 48Cents at .06 per KwH. In the winter however due to the battery warmer, it takes close to 3.00 to charge it and you only get about 8miles with the heat on.. which averages out to about 6MPG. Would i buy it again.. If i lived in florida, yes.. but, i don't so, probably would have gotten a corolla.."

6 people out of 9 found this review helpful

I Love It So Far

By on Wednesday, December 30, 2015

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

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
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Economy, ride, acceleration."

Cons: "Can't think of any."

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

"I bought a new 2015 base Volt at the end of the model year. So far, I am totally impressed with how it drives and how economical it is. By using "sport" mode and "low" gear, it feels very peppy. The much-maligned controls are actually quite easy to use."

1 person out of 3 found this review helpful

Best vehicle ever owned. High quality

By on Saturday, December 26, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 28,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Exceptional quality performs as expected"

Cons: "Resale, likely due to unsustailable low gas prices"

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

"Volt has performed better than expected. Average 42 miles electric year round on single charge. Comforatble to drive, handles like a sports car."

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

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