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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.

2015 Chevrolet Volt

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2015 Chevrolet Volt Expert Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 7.3

Neither a conventional Prius-like hybrid, nor a pure electric like the Nissan Leaf, the 2015 Chevrolet Volt tries to be a bit of both. For about 30-40 miles, the Volt will run in a pure-electric mode, even at freeway speeds. That's not a huge range, but Chevrolet insists it's within the average daily driving distance for 80 percent of drivers. Should your battery be depleted, no worries, as there's a gasoline engine under the hood that acts as a generator to keep you going for another 340 miles or so with an EPA-estimated mileage of about 40 mpg. The best news is that, unlike competitors such as the BMW i3, the Chevy Volt isn't awkward or ungainly. In fact, inside and out, it's pretty cool.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you relish the idea of driving an electric car, but fear the idea of being stranded with a dead battery, the Chevy Volt might just be the ideal solution. It even qualifies for high-occupancy vehicle access with a single driver, a big deal for those living in congested areas.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The Chevy Volt isn't exactly cheap, even after factoring in tax incentives. If you regularly drive more than 40 miles each day, you'll frequently wind up using gasoline in your supposed EV. But the biggest drawback may be that the Volt can seat only four people, limiting its usefulness.

KBB Expert Ratings

  • 7.3
  • 6.7
  • 6.3
  • 6.3
  • 7.7
  • 7.6
How It Ranks

#2

out of 53

Fuel Economy

#54

out of 54

Horsepower
View all rankings

Consumer Rating

9.1 out of 10
View all
consumer ratings
2015 Chevrolet Volt Low/wide front photo What's New for 2015

The 2015 Chevy Volt sees a few minor changes before an all-new model debuts for the 2016 model year. The battery capacity increases slightly – although the official range remains unchanged – and OnStar gains 4G LTE, allowing the Volt to be a Wi-Fi hot spot with a subscription.

Driving the Volt
2015 Chevrolet Volt Front angle view photo
Driving Impressions

Avoiding gas stations is great, but we still think one of the best things about EVs like the Chevrolet Volt is low-end torque you get from a...

... dead stop. The Chevy Volt offers enough thrust to push you into your seat as it silently whisks to 50 mph. In EV mode there's no engine noise, and that takes a bit of getting used to. When it's running, the range-extending engine's revs don't rise and fall relative to the car's speed. That aside, the Volt is otherwise unremarkable behind the wheel. It offers a comfortable ride, and it corners better than you'd think. The electric power steering feels responsive and properly weighted, without being vague on the highway or too heavy in a parking lot. Note that the Volt's claimed 38-mile EV range depends on how lead-footed you are on the gas pedal. Uh, rheostat. You know what we mean.

DELAYED START AND DEPARTURE TIME MODE
The Chevy Volt tries to make its charging fit your schedule and budget. You can program the Volt to start recharging its battery pack when rates are at their lowest, and you can also program a departure time, and the Volt ensures it's fully charged by the time you leave.

VOLT SMARTPHONE APP
The OnStar MyLink offers myriad remote controls for your Chevy Volt. You can 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 while it's still plugged in. It'll even email you when it's fully charged.

2015 Chevrolet Volt Details
2015 Chevrolet Volt Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view photo Interior

The 2015 Chevy Volt's interior offers up futuristic-looking controls, arranged conventionally. The bright white or dark-accented plastics boast touch-sensitive controls for the audio and climate-control functions. Two 7-inch LCD screens convey information, with one replacing the instrument cluster (speedometer, fuel and range gauges), and one atop the dash, used for monitoring the electric motor and battery, and the available navigation screen. While the cool-looking touch-sensitive buttons are a little tricky to identify and operate, the layout is conventional, and it's easy to find the various controls. There's good cargo space behind the snug 2-passenger rear seat.

Exterior
2015 Chevrolet Volt photo

Chevrolet's design team had to create a shape that was at least as aerodynamically efficient as the Toyota Prius – all in the name of better fuel economy – but without aping it outright, as Honda did with the Insight. We'd say, mission accomplished. You'd never mistake a Volt for a Prius, thanks to its Chevy-signature grille design, creased fenders and wide stance. The Volt's sharp-edged rear fenders help it slice through the wind, as does the functional rear hatch spoiler, all of it making the Volt one of the most aerodynamic cars in GM's long and storied history.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The options list for the 2015 Chevrolet Volt isn't particularly long, but that's because so much comes standard. There are the touch-sensitive controls inside for climate, audio and driving, plus an 8-year/100,000-mile warranty on the battery pack and associated electrics. It also comes with automatic climate control, cruise control, keyless access, power mirror/locks/windows, 110-volt charge cord, a touch-screen audio system with USB and Bluetooth inputs, and 17-inch wheels. Standard safety features include electronic traction and stability control, anti-lock brakes and eight airbags. You also get five years of basic 4G LTE OnStar service.

Optional Equipment

There are four main option packages for the 2015 Chevy Volt. A Premium Trim package adds heated leather seats and a rear center armrest, while two safety packages add rear-parking assist and a rearview camera, and front-parking assist and collision-warning systems, respectively. A navigation system adds touch-screen navigation, obviously. You can also have a 240-volt charging system added to the cost of the Volt, making quick recharges easier, plus there's a lightweight energy-saving Bose audio system available.

Under the Hood
2015 Chevrolet Volt Engine photo

The primary motivator for the 2015 Chevy Volt is an electric motor making 149 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque, supplied by a 17.1 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. When the battery's depleted, a 1.4-liter, 84-horsepower 4-cylinder gasoline engine kicks in, acting as a "range-extender." It will continue generating electricity until the tank runs dry, around 300-380 miles, depending on how lead-footed you may be. To recharge the battery takes between 10-16 hours on standard 110V house current, or about four hours on a 240V dedicated unit. You can select among four operating modes: Normal for efficiency, Sport for better acceleration, Mountain to help preserve the battery on steep grades, and Hold for when you want to use the gas engine exclusively.

AC synchronous electric motor/generator
17.1 kWh 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)

There's only one 2015 Chevy Volt model to choose from, and its Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starts around $35,000. With leather, navigation, Bose audio and the rearview camera and park-assist package, it climbs to about $40,000. That's pricey, even when you factor in the potential $7,500 federal tax credit and other state and local credits. Of course, the potential savings in fuel could significantly offset that price. Another thing to think about is that, if you fully recharge the Volt each day, it'll cost only about $1.50 per day, helping to offset the $490-plus-installation cost of a dedicated 240V home charger. Be sure to check KBB's Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for their 2015 Volt, and note that resale will probably be around the same as a Nissan Leaf, but below established players like the Toyota Prius and VW Golf TDI.

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2015 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."

4 people out of 8 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."

5 people out of 12 found this review helpful

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