Best Bet
  • (4.8) 87 reviews
  • Available Prices: $6,456–$18,728
  • Body Style: Hatchback
  • Combined MPG: 94
  • Engine: 149-hp, (electric)
  • Drivetrain: Front-wheel Drive
  • Transmission: 1-speed automatic
2012 Chevrolet Volt

Our Take on the Latest Model 2012 Chevrolet Volt

What We Don't Like

  • Limited cargo space
  • Requires premium gas
  • Rear window wiper needed
  • Range varies with temperature, terrain
  • Look, feel of touch-sensitive center control panel

Notable Features

  • Now eligible for $1,500 California rebate, single-occupant HOV-lane access
  • Plug-in battery-electric car
  • Gas-powered range-extending generator
  • 35-mile electric range
  • Gas-powered range of 300-plus miles
  • 8-year/100,000-mile battery warranty

2012 Chevrolet Volt Reviews

Vehicle Overview

The Volt is a car Chevrolet hopes will revolutionize transportation. Unlike conventional hybrids, which drive the wheels with electric or gas power, the Volt is a battery-powered electric car that has a gas-powered range-extending generator onboard to keep the car going if the charge runs out. The Volt is essentially a four-door hatchback family car with two rear seats separated by a console that houses part of the car's long, T-shaped battery pack.

New for 2012
For California buyers, Chevrolet has a new low-emissions version of the 2012 Volt that's eligible for a $1,500 state rebate and single-occupant access to the state's high-occupancy vehicle lanes. Newly available features include the Chevrolet MyLink entertainment system, a keyless-entry system and 17-inch aluminum wheels with black accents. Turn-by-Turn Navigation is now included with OnStar.

Exterior
The Volt is unmistakable as a recent Chevy design, and though its profile and rear hatch design suggest it's something different, it's not as conspicuously styled as some efficient cars, including the Nissan Leaf. The shieldlike front grille looks like it allows little cooling air into the engine compartment and it's true, but plenty of air enters through an opening low on the bumper.

As expected, the Volt has two places to "fuel" up: a conventional gas filler door on the right rear fender and a charging port on the driver-side front fender. Exterior features include:

  • LED daytime running lights
  • Power-adjustable heated side mirrors with integrated turn signals
  • Seventeen-inch aluminum wheels
  • Available front and rear parking sensors

Interior
The Volt's cabin seats four and is outfitted with cloth seats; leather is an option. At 10.6 cubic feet, cargo volume is modest for a car of this size, and especially for a hatchback, which typically provides more space than a trunk. For the 2012 model year, the Volt includes three years of full OnStar service standard. Interior features include:

  • Automatic air conditioning
  • Touch-sensitive center controls
  • Cruise control
  • Manually adjustable front seats
  • Folding rear seats
  • CD stereo with 7-inch touch-screen, MP3 jack and USB input
  • Bluetooth cell phone connectivity; Bluetooth streaming audio available (MyLink)
  • Available Pandora and Stitcher compatibility with connected smartphone (MyLink)
  • Available Bose premium speakers
  • Available navigation system

Under the Hood
For electric-only operation, the 350-volt, 16-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack propels the car with 149 horsepower and 273 pounds-feet of torque. When the battery is depleted, a 1.4-liter four-cylinder gas engine kicks in with 84 hp to drive an electric generator. The Volt requires premium gasoline.

Chevrolet estimates a fully depleted Volt battery will recharge in 10 to 12 hours using common 120-volt household power. With 240 volts — which requires a charging station — the time drops to four hours. The charging station is sold separately, with installation extra. The car allows owners to schedule charging times to take advantage of off-peak rates. An application for smartphones gives owners remote control over this feature along with detailed monitoring capability. Mechanical features include:

  • Front-wheel drive
  • Electrically assisted power steering

Safety
Safety features include:

  • Front-row knee airbags
  • Side-impact airbags for the front seats
  • Side curtain airbags
  • Antilock brakes
  • Electronic stability system
  • OnStar, which includes automatic rescue notification in the event of an airbag deployment

Consumer Reviews

(4.8)

Average based on 87 reviews

Write a Review

Volt Charge

by Volt Driver from Owasso, OK on October 4, 2017

I have now owned this vehicle for 3 years. I am averaging 150 mpg. Very smooth ride! This vehicle is great for stop and go driving or just sitting at stop lights. That way you don't burn any fuel.

Read All Consumer Reviews

1 Trim Available

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Wondering which configuration is right for you?
Our 2012 Chevrolet Volt trim comparison will help you decide.
 

Chevrolet Volt Articles

2012 Chevrolet Volt Safety Ratings

Crash-Test Reports

IIHS Ratings

Based on Chevrolet Volt Base

Head Restraints and Seats
G
Moderate overlap front
G
Roof Strength
G
Side
G

IIHS Ratings

Based on Chevrolet Volt Base

G Good
A Acceptable
M Marginal
P Poor

Head Restraints and Seats

Dynamic Rating
G
Overall Rear
G
Seat Head/Restraint Geometry
G

Moderate overlap front

Chest
G
Head/Neck
G
Left Leg/Foot
G
Overall Front
G
Restraints
G
Right Leg/Foot
G
Structure/safety cage
G

Other

Roof Strength
G

Side

Driver Head Protection
G
Driver Head and Neck
G
Driver Pelvis/Leg
G
Driver Torso
A
Overall Side
G
Rear Passenger Head Protection
G
Rear Passenger Head and Neck
G
Rear Passenger Pelvis/Leg
G
Rear Passenger Torso
G
Structure/safety cage
G
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers. IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal or poor based on performance in high-speed front and side crash tests. IIHS also evaluates seat/head restraints for protection against neck injuries in rear impacts.

NHTSA Ratings

Based on Chevrolet Volt Base

Overall
Overall Front
Overall Side
Overall Rollover Rating

NHTSA Ratings

Based on Chevrolet Volt Base

Overall
Overall Front
Overall Side
Overall Rollover Rating
Driver's
Passenger's
Front Seat
Rear Seat
Side Barrier
Side Pole
Side Pole Barrier combined (Front)
Side Pole Barrier combined (Rear)
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation. NHTSA provides vehicle safety information such as front- and side-crash ratings and rollover ratings. Vehicles are rated using a star rating system from 1-5 stars, with 5 being the highest.

Recalls

There are currently 3 recalls for this car.


Safety defects and recalls are relatively common. Stay informed and know what to do ahead of time.

Safety defects and recalls explained

Service & Repair

Estimated Service & Repair cost: $3,000 per year.

Save on maintenance costs and do your own repairs.

Warranty Coverage

Bumper-to-Bumper

36mo/36,000mi

Powertrain

60mo/100,000mi

Roadside Assistance Coverage

60mo/100,000mi

What you should get in your warranty can be confusing. Make sure you are informed.

Learn More About Warranties

Warranties Explained

Bumper-to-Bumper

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

Powertrain

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

Roadside Assistance

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

Free Scheduled Maintenance

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

Other Years