Advertisement

Why ads?
Popular at KBB.com
  • 10 Best Hybrid Cars Under $30,000
  • The 40 MPG Cars of 2014
  • 10 Best Sedans Under $25,000
  • Class of 2015: New Vehicles Ready to Roll
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.


2013 Best
Resale Value
Award Winner
Learn more

2013 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?

2013 Chevrolet Volt Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 6.5

The 2013 Chevrolet Volt electric plug-in hybrid represents a unique twist on the hybrid-car theme. Unlike the Toyota Prius Hybrid, which uses its gasoline engine to power the car and the electric drive as a supplement, the Volt runs purely on electric current. Once its battery pack is depleted (after 25 to 50 miles), the Volt's gasoline engine kicks on to run a generator, powering the electric motors and helping recharge the batteries. This extends the Volt's range an additional 300 miles or more. With its cool and elegant styling, and even more cool and elegant interior, the 2013 Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid not only makes a statement about your environmental consciousness, it also says something about your good taste and appreciation for 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 2013 Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid electric sedan is the answer: It carries a charging station around with it, in the form of its 1.4-liter gasoline engine.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Buying a 2013 Chevy Volt is an expensive proposition, even with the federal and state tax breaks. If you just want long range, good fuel economy and low emissions, a VW Golf TDI or Toyota Prius is cheaper.

What's New for 2013

The 2013 Chevrolet Volt gets a new Hold mode in its drive selection to conserve battery charge, and a new no-cost-option low-emissions package qualifies the Volt for single-occupancy HOV lanes in California and New York. New features include lane-departure and collision-warning systems, and GPS-enabled navigation.

Driving the Volt

Driving Impressions The 2013 Chevy Volt's electric motor delivers a big dose of torque right from the get-go, letting the car sprint away quickly from a standing start. The absence of engine...

noise is a bit disconcerting at first, and when it does kick in, the way the engine's revs don't track road speed can seem odd, but you'll soon get used to the quirks. We can't call the Volt's driving dynamics "spirited," but the Cruz-based platform works well. The electric power steering is quite well-weighted and responsive, though the regenerative braking feels a bit unnatural through the pedal. This year, the EPA raised its estimate of the Volt's electric-only range from 35 to 38 miles, but obviously, actual range varies hugely depending on circumstances. The new Hold mode is useful, for example, when driving on a freeway heading into the city, where you'll want the full electric charge available.

DELAYED START AND DEPARTURE TIME MODE
Using information supplied by your local electricity provider, you can program the Volt to start recharging its battery pack when rates are at their lowest. And if you tell it when you plan to leave in the morning, the car will automatically schedule the charging process to ensure it's ready.

VOLT SMARTPHONE APP
The OnStar MyLink app lets you check your Volt's battery level, tire pressure, available electric range, lock/unlock the doors and start the A/C system to pre-cool the interior, all from your smartphone. You can control charging rate and get a text or e-mail alert when the battery is "full."

2013 Chevrolet Volt Details
2013 Chevrolet Volt photo Interior

Taking a page from the Apple computer school of design, the 2013 Chevy Volt'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 in the center stack displaying the electric motor/battery operation as well as the available navigation screen. The cool-looking touch-sensitive buttons are a little tricky to identify and operate. The rear seat takes only two occupants and their head- and legroom are snug.

Exterior
2013 Chevrolet Volt photo

With the goal of total operating efficiency, the Chevrolet Volt's design team crafted a body shape that could cheat the wind while delighting the eyes. Up front are a rounded nose, closed grille opening and steeply raked windshield. Sharp edges along the Volt's rear fenders help slice through the wind, as does the functional rear hatch spoiler. This is one of the most aerodynamic cars in GM's long and storied history. Even the Volt's wheels and tires are designed for maximum efficiency; the ultra-lightweight wheels (17.8 pounds) mount Goodyear Fuel Max low-rolling-resistance tires.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The base 2013 Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid comes with a more comprehensive feature set than just about any other Chevy 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 and eight airbags. You also get USB connectivity and five years of OnStar.

Optional Equipment

For 2013, most Chevy Volt options are grouped into a few packages, including Comfort (heated front seats and leather-wrapped steering wheel), Premium Trim (adds leather seat trim and a rear center armrest), and two Enhanced Safety packages, one including rear park assist and rearview camera and the other adding front park assist and the new lane-departure and collision-warning systems. Stand-alone options 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.

Under the Hood

The 2013 Chevrolet Volt's propulsion system consists of an electric drive unit that makes 149 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque, a 16kWh lithium-ion battery pack and a 1.4-liter/84-horsepower 4-cylinder "range-extender." That engine takes over when battery charge is depleted – normally after 25-50 miles of driving – and generates on-the-fly electricity for another 300-340 miles. Recharging takes 10-16 hours using a standard 110V outlet or about four hours on a 240V dedicated unit. The Volt has four operating modes. Normal is the most efficient, Sport provides more direct accelerator response, Mountain helps the battery cope with extended steep grades and Hold runs only on the gas engine/generator, conserving battery charge for when it may be wanted (in town, for instance).

AC synchronous electric motor/generator
16kWh lithium-ion battery pack
1.4-liter inline-4 (drives generator only)
111kW/149 horsepower @ 4,800 rpm
273 lb-ft of torque @ 0-4,800 rpm
EPA projected full-charge range: 38 miles (all-electric), 344 miles (gasoline range-extender only)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 93 MPGe (all-electric, mpg equivalent), 37 mpg (on gasoline engine/generator)

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?

2013 Chevrolet Volt Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.0
Out of 10

Based on 180 Ratings for the 2011 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.7/10
    Quality
    9.2/10
  • Reliability
    9.1/10
    Performance
    9.2/10
  • Comfort
    8.9/10
    Styling
    9.0/10

Great Car for the right people

By on Monday, May 18, 2015

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
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Almost never have to stop for gas"

Cons: "Sits too low to the ground."

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

"This is not a car for everyone but I have nothing but good things to say about this car. The charging system is great, no problems at all. When the temp is in the 70's and 80's I can get 44 to 49 miles to a charge. I almost never have to stop at a gas station."

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

under rated

By on Tuesday, May 05, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 33,000

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: "fun to drive, amazing MPG, sporty looking, quiet"

Cons: "not LED everywhere, but that's fixable and cheap"

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

"I have no idea why more people aren't talking about this car. It's amazing. I get a lot of looks and questions when people see me in it. The power is surprisingly peppy in sport mode, enough to keep me satisfied. I've owned a corvette and a Nissan 300zx, and while the volt doesn't have as much horse power, the low end torque is pretty dang fun. I've never been as satisfied with a purchase as I am with my volt! My only complaint is that I want the extra features and battery life of the 2013 and newer year, but that's my fault for not buying newer."

7 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Exceptional economy and versatility

By on Monday, April 27, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 37,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "quick, sporty versatile, comfortable"

Cons: "lack of power seats. No spare tire"

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

"I bought this vehicle new. It has the premium package. Aside from the phenomenal mileage the car is great fun to drive. There have been absolutely no issues involving the propulsion system. GM nailed it! The only problems have involved a radio and power steering rack which had to be replaced and which is apparently part of a larger GM service bulletin I have two complaints. No power seats and no spare tire. A spare might seem unnecessary, however for those of us living in very sparsely inhabited states it can be very problematic. Already I have had a flat which the can of goo did not seal. Although the car was expensive it is worth your attention compared to what you get for the money. Now many cars of this vintage are coming off lease and should represent excellent used car value. The battery pack is covered with a ten year warranty and should not be considered a potential problem."

5 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Best car ever

By on Sunday, April 26, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 26,904

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

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

"At 70 I have owned many cars, Volt is the future of driving, well made fun to drive a real game changer..Turning in my 2012 for a 2015..love it."

4 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Surprisingly quick and rarely needs gas

By on Wednesday, April 22, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,800

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: "Fun to drive, looks great, and rarely uses gas"

Cons: "Rear seat legroom very tight"

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

Get the polished wheels!

"This car is everything I hoped it would be. My driving pattern is mostly short hops with a trip to downtown now and then. I've only spent $33 on gas (two fillups) in four months, and I still have half of that in the gas tank. Not only is it efficient, it's actually fun to drive and very high-tech inside. A great-looking car that drives well and rarely needs gas. It's a winner, especially with the $10K worth of incentives. Bottom line price was about $23K for a car that sticker priced at almost $39K - unbelievable. Don't be scared off by the low resale value; the incentives make it a very good deal."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Get the polished wheels!

Best car that I have ever owned.

By on Monday, April 06, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,000

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
9/10

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

"Drives like a dream, perfect reliability, electric for most trips, great gas mileage when off electric, looks great and is well made."

4 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Share this page

Advertisement

Why ads?
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?