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2012 Chevrolet Volt

$8,012 — $15,496 USED
Hatchback
4 Seats
94 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
Compare 1 trims

Overview

Is this the car for you?

The Good

  • Ride quality
  • Quiet cabin
  • $7,500 federal tax credit
  • Charges on 110 or 220 volts
  • Remote monitoring with smartphone
  • Lowers petroleum use, carbon released

The Bad

  • Limited cargo space
  • Requires premium gas
  • Rear window wiper needed
  • Range varies with temperature, terrain
  • Look, feel of touch-sensitive center control panel
2012 Chevrolet Volt exterior side view

What to Know

about the 2012 Chevrolet Volt
  • 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

Our Take

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

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 day...
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

What drivers are saying

4.8
94 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(4.7)
Performance
(4.6)
Interior Design
(4.5)
Comfort
(4.7)
Reliability
(4.8)
Value For The Money
(4.5)

Read reviews that mention:

(5.0)

Very enjoyable and economical

by RomsocRWC on August 24, 2018

The car performs well and is a joy to drive. However, there are several blind spots in the front and rear that the driver needs to be aware of. Read full review

(5.0)

Still running GREAT after all these years!

by Steve Jankowski from Decatur,Illinois on August 10, 2018

Still gets great battery life. Over 63,000 miles I've had very little maintenance issues. Mostly sensors and a clip in the transmission. GM covered both well out of what I had assumed was the warranty ... Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2012 Chevrolet Volt currently has 2 recalls


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

Based on 2012 Chevrolet Volt Base

IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal, or poor.

Head Restraints and Seats

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

Moderate overlap front

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

Other

Roof Strength
good

Side

Driver Head Protection
good
Driver Head and Neck
good
Driver Pelvis/Leg
good
Driver Torso
acceptable
Overall Side
good
Rear Passenger Head Protection
good
Rear Passenger Head and Neck
good
Rear Passenger Pelvis/Leg
good
Rear Passenger Torso
good
Structure/safety cage
good
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers.

Warranty

New car and certified pre-owned programs by Chevrolet

New Car Program Benefits

  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    36 months / 36,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    60 months / 100,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    60 months / 100,000 miles

Certified Pre-Owned Program Benefits

  • Maximum Age/Mileage

    5 model years or newer/up to 75,000 miles

  • Basic Warranty Terms

    12 months/12,000 miles bumper-to-bumper original warranty, then may continue to 6 years/100,000 miles limited (depending on variables)

  • Powertrain

    6 years/100,000 miles

  • Dealer Certification Required

    172-point inspection

  • Roadside Assistance

    Yes

  • View All CPO Program Details

Latest 2012 Volt Stories

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Volt received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

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.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

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.

What is included in 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).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

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.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker