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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.


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2012 Chevrolet Volt

Overview
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2012 Chevrolet Volt Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 6.6

Drawing its name from the unique Voltec propulsion system that combines an electric motor with a gasoline engine/generator, the 2012 Chevrolet Volt electric plug-in hybrid represents a new twist on the hybrid-car theme. Unlike the Toyota Prius hybrid, which uses its gasoline engine to power the car, the Volt runs purely on electric current. Once its battery has depleted (after about 35 to 40 miles), the 2012 Chevrolet Volt's gasoline engine is then used to recharge the batteries and run the generator, extending the Volt's range an additional 344 miles. This system also has its advantages over the all-electric Nissan LEAF, which once it runs out of juice, basically is dead in the water. With its cool and elegant styling, and even more cool and elegant interior, the 2012 Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid not only makes a statement about your environmental consciousness, it also says something about your good taste and strong sense of style.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're worried a pure electric car won't be able to satisfy your distance requirements before needing to be recharged, the 2012 Chevrolet Volt hybrid electric sedan will put your worries to rest. Its 35-mile electric range should be all you need to get back and forth to work, and anything beyond the Volt's battery range is handled by the gasoline engine/generator.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Buying a 2012 Chevy Volt is an expensive proposition, even with the federal and state tax breaks. And, due to a limited-production run of 45,000 vehicles, finding a Volt may prove elusive. If you just want long range, good fuel economy and low emissions, a VW Golf TDI or Toyota Prius is cheaper and more readily available.

What's New for 2012

The 2012 Chevrolet Volt hybrid electric car receives a few new features this year, including GM's MyLink that allows Bluetooth streaming for music, as well as voice activation for certain smart phones. Also new is a passive-entry system for all four doors and liftgate, color-keyed wheel accents for the new 17-inch wheels, and Turn-by-Turn navigation through the OnStar telematics system.

Driving the Volt

Driving Impressions To ensure the 2012 Chevrolet Volt electric hybrid retained the traditional fun-to-drive Chevy DNA, engineers used the same platform that serves the compact Chevy Cruze. While we wouldn't call the...

Volt's driving dynamics spirited, its conventional ride and handling don't offer up any surprises. The Volt's electric motor delivers a big dose of torque right from the get-go, giving the 2012 Chevy Volt the ability to sprint quickly from a standing stop. The absence of engine noise is a bit disconcerting at first, but you'll soon grow used to the deafening silence. The Volt's capable suspension is tuned for a smooth, soft ride and its energy-saving electric power steering is decently weighted for good feedback and response. The brake pedal feels a bit odd when first applying it, a feeling attributed to the super-efficient regenerative circuitry on its 4-wheel disc brakes. Except for the slight engine sound and lighted dash icon that changes from battery to fuel pump, the transition from pure electric to range-extending gasoline mode is almost transparent. 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 smart phone? 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.

2012 Chevrolet Volt Details
Interior

Taking a page from the Apple computer school of design, the 2012 Chevy Volt hybrid electric's interior is covered in bright white and dark accented plastics and touch-sensitive controls for the audio and climate-control functions. Two 7-inch LCD screens replace the traditional analog gauges, with one serving as the instrument cluster (speedometer, fuel, and range gauges) and the other mounted atop the center stack displaying the electric motor/battery operation as well as the available navigation screen. Black cloth seats and white interior accents come standard, but leather seats are available with white, red, green, black or light gold-colored accents. The rear seats are a 2-person setup, with bucket-style seating divided by a center console housing the 5.5-foot, 435-pound lithium-ion battery. Rear-seat passengers have a fairly comfortable perch, although the Volt's sloping roofline requires a reminder to duck your head low before attempting to enter or exit the car.

Exterior

With the goal of total operating efficiency in mind, the 2012 Chevrolet Volt electric hybrid sedan's design team burned the midnight oil to create a shape that could cheat the wind while delighting the eyes. Up front, the Volt is fitted with a rounded nose, closed grille opening and steeply raked windshield. Sharp edges along the Volt's rear fenders also help slice through the wind, as does the functional rear hatch spoiler. When totaled together, the 2012 Chevy Volt hybrid electric car's parts form one of the most aerodynamic cars in GM's long and storied history. Even the Volt's wheel/tire combo is designed for maximum efficiency, rolling on Goodyear Fuel Max low-rolling-resistance tires and ultra-lightweight wheels, each weighing a mere 17.8 pounds.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

In base form, the 2012 Chevrolet Volt plug-in electric hybrid comes with a more comprehensive feature set than just about 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, and an 8-year/100,000-mile warranty on its battery pack and associated electrics. Other standard features include air conditioning, keyless access, power mirror/locks/windows, 110-volt charge cord, color-touch AM/FM/CD radio and 17-inch wheels. Standard safety features include electronic traction and stability control, anti-lock brakes (ABS) and eight airbags. You'll also get standard five years of OnStar and USB connectivity.

Optional Equipment

It's hard to call an options list a list when there are only two packages 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 rearview camera and front/rear parking sensors. Stand-alone features include an energy-saving Bose sound system (it's 40-percent lighter and uses 50-percent less energy than a conventional sound system), MyLink, and a navigation system with 30 GB hard-drive music storage and Sirius NavTraffic. 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, color fans can choose to have their Volt's black wheel inserts replaced with color-keyed inserts.

Under the Hood

The 2012 Chevrolet Volt electric's propulsion system consists of an electric drive unit that makes 149 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque, a 16kWh liquid-cooled lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery pack and a 1.4-liter/84-horsepower in-line 4-cylinder 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 to four hours 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.

1.4-liter in-line 4 with AC synchronous electric motor/generator and 16kWh lithium-ion battery pack
111kW/149 horsepower @ 4,800 rpm
273 lb-ft of torque @ 0-4,800 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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2012 Chevrolet Volt Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.0
Out of 10

Based on 161 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

One of the very best vehicles I have ever owned

By on Tuesday, September 02, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,000

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: "great mileage,fit and finish, handling, fun to dri"

Cons: "No power drivers seat."

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

"I originally bought a 2013 Volt, and my wife hated the black, so after 20,000 miles in 10 months, I decided to get her favorite color, white. We never had the '13 back to the dealer, except for an oil change, minor maint. great car no problems at all. scale of 1-10, i give it a 10.No one would ever believe the trade I got for it. With all rebates, credits, EPA rebate, suppliers discount, GM rebate,I could not keep a car with 20,000 miles on it, so i traded. Cost was about $150.00 total for a new car with no miles on it. '14 Volt is in the same category, no problems at all, great car. My wife drives it most of the time, and always has the air on high, or heater on high, and doesn't know how to be economical, but we still average over 149 MPG. We have used 67 gal of gas for 10,000 miles. Our gas purchases went from $350-$400 a month to around $100. Pays for itself in gas savings. I highly recommend this car to anyone that likes to thumb their nose at the gas refineries."

7 people out of 10 found this review helpful

My favorit car

By on Thursday, August 28, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 9,500

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
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "fun to drive and one time tax credit"

Cons: "no spare tire small air comprssor to fix flat"

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

"I love this car! 68 mpg lifetime. 142 mpg on this last tank of gas. My electric bill did not go through the roof. It costs about $1 a charge. Most of my driving can be done in electric but when I run out of electric car goes seamlessly into gas mode. On a trip last summer when I could not charge I still got 40mpg driving at highway speeds of 75mph using the AC. When lease is up I will be leasing another."

5 people out of 6 found this review helpful

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."

6 people out of 7 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."

8 people out of 8 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."

8 people out of 11 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."

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

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