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.
By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 6.4
Chevrolet's Volt for 2014 is more than a hybrid and more than a pure electric. Actually, it's a bit of both. Unlike most hybrids, the Volt can run at freeway speeds on pure electric, but only for limited range of about 30-40 miles. When the battery pack is depleted, a small gasoline engine kicks on to run a generator that powers the electric motor while simultaneously recharging the battery pack. With the gasoline engine running, the Volt's estimated range is increased to 380 miles and its fuel economy estimated around 40 mpg. Unlike many electric and hybrid offerings the Volt's styling isn't awkward or geeky, and its interior is one of the coolest we've seen in or out of a hybrid.
The 2014 Chevy Volt delivers on its promise to be green by providing a pure electric mode up to nearly 40 miles. Unlike electric cars, the Volt won't leave you stranded once the battery runs down, so long as there is fuel in the tank.
Even with a price reduction and tax credits, the 2014 Volt doesn't come cheap. The Volt's back seat is small, and only holds two people, limiting its usefulness to many urban buyers.
The Chevrolet Volt sees no major changes for 2014.
Driving Impressions As an electric, the 2014 Chevy Volt's motor offers up a big serving of torque right out of the gate. From a stop, our Volt sprinted to life with enough...... thrust to push us into our seats as it silently reached 50 mph. The absence of engine noise and gearshifts does take some getting used to. Even when the gasoline engine kicks on, it doesn't rev relative to road speed. As for the Volt's driving characteristics, we'd hesitate to call them sporty, but the Cruz-based platform does provide decent handling and a rather smooth ride. The Volt's electric power steering is responsive and direct, nicely weighted without being too vague at highway speeds or too heavy when parallel parking. Although GM claims the Volt's electric range at 38 miles, the actual range will vary hugely depending on circumstances.
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."
Taking a page from the Apple computer school of design, the 2014 Chevy Volt's interior can be 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
With the goal of total operating efficiency, the 2014 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.
The base 2014 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.
For 2014, most Chevy Volt options are grouped into a few packages, including the Premium Trim (adds leather seating trim, heated front seats and a rear center armrest), and two Enhanced Safety packages, one including rear park assist and a rearview camera and the other adding front park assist and the 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, a 240-volt charging station and a navigation system with 30GB hard-drive music storage and Sirius NavTraffic.
The 2014 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 25-40 miles of driving – and generates on-the-fly electricity for another 300-380 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), 380 miles (gasoline range-extender only)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 93 MPGe (all-electric, mpg equivalent), 35 city/40 highway mpg (on gasoline engine/generator)
The 2014 Chevrolet Volt's Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starts right around $35,000 and loading one with leather, navigation, Bose audio, and the rearview camera and park-assist package will bump that figure to $40,000. Even when you factor in the potential $7,500 federal tax credit, that pricing limits the Volt's appeal. Leasing may be one way to make the payments manageable. Although Chevrolet projects a full recharge will run only about $1.50 per day, the cost of a dedicated 240V home charger to replace the standard 110V cable will run $490 plus installation. As with the Nissan Leaf EV, it's difficult to assess how well the Volt will retain its value over time, although we expect the 2014 Chevrolet Volt to remain on par with the Leaf, but far below the values for the Toyota Prius and VW Golf TDI.
By iceandsnow on Saturday, December 20, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,600overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "fun to drive, comfortable, versatile, economical"
Cons: "rear seat room, poor marketing of product"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I've been driving for several decades and I suffer from Goldilocks syndrome, finding a vehicle I look forward to driving daily. I like the ability to solar charge my car at home while none of the range anxiety the pure electrics produce. It is a pleasure to drive, has the perfect blend of form and function. I haven't owned a GM vehicle in nearly 35 years, this brought me back. Amazing car, hope they make an CUV or SUV soon."
9 people out of 14 found this review helpful
By nutsforcars on Monday, December 01, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,500overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "mileage, technology that works, unique."
Cons: ""A" pillars are a bit wide."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I had no intention of buying this car till I drove one. I had seen a few of them but they never really appealed to me so didn't consider them to be "my" type of car, and I've had a lot of new cars. Why Chevy doesn't promote this car more is a mystery to me. I can honestly say after 6 months and 2,500 I am more impressed with it each time I get in and out it. Have Nav with backup camera, Bose, rear park sensors, leather, heated seats and chrome wheels and more. This car has rock solid build quality, good driving/ riding qualities, and is really a technological marvel. I lucked out and bought at a time when they offered no interest for 72 mos. and with the federal and stated tax credits, well that was "icing on the cake". Love the smart phone app which allows status notifications of charging,tire pressures miles driven and other things. Standard remote start is great in the cold weather. I think the people at Chevy thought of just about everything to make this an outstanding vehicle. Still waiting to give the car a test in the fairly heavy snow but talk on the forums is positive."
14 people out of 19 found this review helpful
By telveer on Monday, November 17, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,500overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "extended range. smooth electric propulsion. remote"
Cons: "lack of 5th seat"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"When I replaced by 15 year old commuter car with the Chevy Volt, cost saving was not a factor at all. I purchased the Chevy Volt because it was a technology marvel and perfectly suites my requirements. Now, more than a year later, I could not be happier with my purchase. There is absolutely no buyers remorse. How could you - when the car went 13500 miles on just 12.5 gallons of gasoline and about $400 in electricity? And maintenance? I rotated the tires at 7500 miles (free by dealer). I still have 35% oil life remaining. And as per the manual, I don't have to do any other maintenance (except tire rotations) for the next 30,000 or so miles! The car is fun to drive. Its not a sports car (0 to 60 in 8 seconds) but in local traffic, I can be far ahead of other cards because of the silent 150hp + 280 lb-ft instant electric torque. Many people think the battery is expensive and needs to be replaced every 3 years but the car comes with 8 year/a 100K mile traction battery warranty. In fact, all the electric drive components carry the same warranty! And battery technology 8 years (should the need to replace arise - its not like the battery will just die after 8 years!) will be much better to what it is today. And batteries will also be a lot cheaper 8 years from now. The only limitation I see in the volt is the lack of a 5th seat. Otherwise, this is the best electric/hybrid you can get."
16 people out of 27 found this review helpful