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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.

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
9.1
Out of 10

Based on 218 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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