Go
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
Share this page
Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?

2012 Chevrolet Volt Review

By

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)



Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?

2012 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."

1 person out of 1 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 8 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

Share this page
Advertisement
Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?


Advertisement