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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

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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
9.1
Out of 10

Based on 187 Ratings for the 2011 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.8/10
    Quality
    9.2/10
  • Reliability
    9.2/10
    Performance
    9.2/10
  • Comfort
    8.9/10
    Styling
    9.0/10

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."

1 person out of 1 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."

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!"

7 people out of 12 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."

7 people out of 13 found this review helpful

First Chevy after many years of Toyota.. Pleasantl

By on Thursday, June 11, 2015

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
9/10

Pros: "Incredible fuel efficiency, Super Quit, Solid feel"

Cons: "higher than expected depreciation, ex. that to chg"

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

"Pleasantly surprised... please excuse the grammar, as I just only have a moment to write this. at the quality of workmanship, quality of materials used, advanced design of the hybrid drive train. + I have over 10500 miles on only 47 gallons of gas used. +Super quiet +In Electric 'Sport mode' drives very similar to 3 series BMW. Lots of fun. +Interior Quality comparable to Lexus... This is an incredible value for the money. After getting a bad rap in the begining, I believe this will be a major hit. and price will eventualy go back up subsantialy for how truly advanced its design and quality are..."

5 people out of 10 found this review helpful

This car does extremely well on all counts.

By on Monday, June 08, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 23,500

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: "Uses almost no gasoline. Pleasure to drive."

Cons: "Back seat is designed for 2 passengers."

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

"Pleasure to drive. Handles well. Is comfortable and all systems work as designed. Overall this car has achieved 201 miles per gallon since it was new, per the computer memory. Just plugged it in and it indicates that it will go 46 miles on this charge. I seldom buy gasoline!! The engine only starts when the battery runs out of juice or an occasional maintenance cycle to keep the engine ready to go. The computer and the information system is a marvel!"

6 people out of 11 found this review helpful

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