2012 Chevrolet Volt
1-10 of 87 reviews
Test drive review

One year, 17,000 mile review

by from Austin, Texas on February 11, 2012

Our Volt, #644, just turned one year old (plus a little bit). It currently has 17,000 miles on it. Twelve thousand six hundred of those miles are total electric. The generator only runs on long trips....
Our Volt, #644, just turned one year old (plus a little bit). It currently has 17,000 miles on it. Twelve thousand six hundred of those miles are total electric. The generator only runs on long trips. Since the Volt is actually a battery electric vehicle that includes an on-board generator to supply electric power to the motor when the battery charge is below a specified level, I would call the Volt a Transition Vehicle. Eventually, charging stations will be as plentiful as gas stations. At that point the generator would not be needed. After following the Volt?s progress since its concept announcement in 2007 and including a prototype test-drive in 2010, we had extremely high expectations; yet, our inflated expectations have all been exceeded. My greatest disappointment is GM?s marketing. Thus far, I have never seen any commercial that truly communicates the Volts strengths that we have experienced within our first year. Most of the published specifications are too conservative. For example, the 0-60 acceleration specification is nine seconds. I have stopwatch tested our Volt at seven seconds (in sport mode). Two tests were conducted in both directions on the same street with the same results. During an ice storm, my wife decided to take the Volt to an empty parking lot and do some spinouts. No matter how hard she tried, she could not make the car lose control ? even on solid ice. While that spoiled her fun, we are impressed that we have never experienced any vehicle with that level of stability. Being a ?gear head? engineering type, I am drawn to the Volts design. I have spent hours under the hood and under the car examining every element of the car, and it is a true engineering marvel. Every instance where I see something that appears to be a design flaw, further investigation reveals an ingenious well thought out purpose. We were a little worried about losing cargo capacity when replacing our Ford Explorer with the Volt. That worry, however has diminished after easily hauling over eight hundred pounds of landscaping rock and stone in the back of our Volt! ? Repeatedly. We get lots of questions about the Volt in shopping center parking lots and sometimes even at traffic lights. Of all the questions asked, the hardest one that leaves us stumped is, ?what are the cons?? Any cons we can think of are all very petty. For example; since I am an engineer type, I would like to see more real-time technical data, such as motor volts, amps, kilowatts, etc. We could not be more proud to be a part of, and the actual owners of one of the world?s greatest inventions. This one is a definite keeper.
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Purchased a new car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

28 out of 28 people found this review helpful. Did you?
Test drive review

Averaging 160+ MPG!

by from Ohio on February 26, 2012

The features we most like about our Volt include the mainstream styling, awesome performance in acceleration and handling, the smooth, quiet ride, and most of all, averaging 160+ miles per gallon and ...
The features we most like about our Volt include the mainstream styling, awesome performance in acceleration and handling, the smooth, quiet ride, and most of all, averaging 160+ miles per gallon and passing gas stations. For typical commutes (averaging less than 40-45 miles), we can virtually never use gas. We have actually achieved as much as 49.4 miles on a single charge (versus the advertised 35 mile range), and with the optional 240V in garage charging station, the Volt fully recharges in 3.5 hours. Other features we appreciate include the 30GB media storage for music, photos and video, the Bose sound system, and heated leather seats. Great cargo area, especially with the rear seatbacks folded down. State of charge, fuel tank level tire pressure, & diagnostics can be accessed from our iPhone. In addition, and possibly most importantly, the Volt eliminates "range anxiety" of an purely electric vehicle, due to the "range extending" capability of the gas powered generator that allows unlimited range on extended trips, while preserving the outstanding fuel economy for everyday commutes. All in all, we absolutely love the 2012 Volt!
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Purchased a new car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

12 out of 12 people found this review helpful. Did you?
Test drive review

Owned 2 months-- have not spent a dime on gas!

by from Miami, FL on April 16, 2012

Love the Chevy Volt! It is a good looking, quiet drive--with a peppy engine (accelerates well when extra speed is needed). It also gives you a guage that shows you when you are driving most economical...
Love the Chevy Volt! It is a good looking, quiet drive--with a peppy engine (accelerates well when extra speed is needed). It also gives you a guage that shows you when you are driving most economically. It is the unknown hero of the gas crisis... if you drive it efficiently-- you can get 45 miles (or more) on a charge. If you are going further than 45 miles... the gasoline engine takes over-- so you never worry about being stranded. Plugs in to a normal grounded household outlet. I am able to take my son to school, go to work, come home (41 miles roundtrip) -- all on electric. Truly have no idea how much gas costs today-- because I don't buy it anymore! Back seat area is not huge-- but comfortable enough for someone 6 ft or shorter. Plus-up options include beautiful leather, Bose speakers, and back-up assist camera. It is a shame-- it is the best kept secret for economical and fun driving. Government also gives tax credits to offset purchase costs. Look into it!
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Purchased a new car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

11 out of 11 people found this review helpful. Did you?
Test drive review

The best car I have owned so far !

by from SanJose, CA on February 10, 2012

I have had the 2012 Volt for 3 month now w/ daily charges in the evening. My Stats (see also details in graph) : Drove 1826 mile, used 4.52 Gal + 565 kWh (Solar Panels!) My 'kWh' use is measured 'at t...
I have had the 2012 Volt for 3 month now w/ daily charges in the evening. My Stats (see also details in graph) : Drove 1826 mile, used 4.52 Gal + 565 kWh (Solar Panels!) My 'kWh' use is measured 'at the wall' (via a separate meter) showing that the L2 charge has 84% efficiency (compared to the Volt display of kWh used). L1 charging is slightly less efficient - 79% (and of course takes longer : L1 charges at a rate of 4 mi/hr = full charge takes ~10 hrs - vs. L2 charges 10 mi/hr = full charge takes ~4 hrs) Observed Electric Range = 39.2 mi (=Avg; Max/Min/StdDev. = 45 / 30 / 3 mi) Charge Sustaining mode uses 35.7 mpg (gas engine ran 14 times in the 3 mo due to extended trips) Overall = 404 mpg (w/o kWh) & 86 mpge (w/ kWh energy) On average I get 3 mi/kWh = 333 Wh / mi (that range is from 2 to 4 mi/kWh and depends on driving style, temperature) The car is a joy to drive: it handles very well & drives super quiet ! It has nice features - all are well integrated in the center console (e.g. display of energy use, navigation, rear camera, audio system - I love the latter w/ SiriusXM !)
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Purchased a new car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

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Test drive review

Hard to explain but worth the money...

by from Baltimore, MD on April 23, 2012

I was driving a 2001 Chevy Suburban (which I loved) and was paying out $330 a month in fuel before I purchased so I was THE ideal candidate for a high MPG vehicle. I had been looking for either a used...
I was driving a 2001 Chevy Suburban (which I loved) and was paying out $330 a month in fuel before I purchased so I was THE ideal candidate for a high MPG vehicle. I had been looking for either a used high MPG vehicle under $10K or a new hybrid and was seriously considering either the Ford Fusion or the Hyundai Sonata Hybrids. The problem is, I like to drill down on the finances to see the realized cost savings and both vehicles were still requiring gas regularly combined with a new vehicle loan payment. The payments combined with the fuel expenditures per month even for a car that got 35 MPG with fuel prices at $4 per gallon only made the used option a cost savings (not included a higher maintenance routine on a used vehicle with 40K miles on it.) I would be saving around $80 to $120 per month...maybe. ($180 car payment +gas) Luck had a drunk driver total my suburban while it was parked and gave me money to put on the car (not much but some). So, I went long for the Volt because the payment was now equal to the car payment and the fuel on the other vehicles. LOVE THE CAR! Currently getting 140 MPG. Averaging 500 miles per week. Blowing away the EPA estimates daily. It takes some getting used to because the car is designed to operate like a normal gas guzzling car but it really is meant to be operated differently...economically. Where I used drive 75 mph, I now drive 60-65 because the motor's sweet spot is below 65. I don't punch the throttle anymore because the car visually let me know how stupid that was on the HUD. All in all the car is SO good at what it does and it fits the two car seats (one in reverse so you know what kind of space hog it is...), the two kid Citi-Select stroller, my wife (and all of her bags, backpacks and gear ;-), and myself comfortably. Since I bought the car, I put 8.7 gals of gas in the car, driven 1500 miles, and on the current tank of gas I have used 1.4 gals of gas to drive 850 miles...and I DON'T hyper-mile when I drive. I just drive. Do that in a Prius. I dare ya. By the way, in Sport mode, I lit the tires up and I stretched her legs once so far doing 102 (governor at 99 so I coasted up to 102) all on electric and barely moved my MPGs for this tank of gas. It is quick, not like you are winding out something that should not wound out but it feels like the engineers detuned it a little bit to save the transmission. Just my guess. Just hope the Cadillac version lets you tap more of the unlimited torque potential of an electric motor cause I am sure I could smoke a Mustang with it! Now my wife wants one.
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Purchased a new car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

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Test drive review

1st American car and It won't be the last

by from Danville, CA on March 28, 2012

I have a 2nd Gen Prius & a Volt (first American car I?ve owned) so I have some basis to compare them. To sum it up: In Calif. the comparably loaded new Prius goes for more than the Volt (thanks to the...
I have a 2nd Gen Prius & a Volt (first American car I?ve owned) so I have some basis to compare them. To sum it up: In Calif. the comparably loaded new Prius goes for more than the Volt (thanks to the Fed and State rebates, and yet the Volt gets singificantly higher MPG. In fact, after several thousand Bay Area commute miles I am getting an average 80 mpg - and it would be higher if I had a electrical outlet to plug into at work (they are putting one in for me). Also, the 3 yr CA HOV Lane access that comes with the Volt is priceless - it saves me 50 min on daily commutes. Regarding the drive characteristics: The best way that I can describe how the Volt drives & handles is that it is solid & competent. The doors close with a solid thud & when underway, the steering is connected to the road & the cabin is extremely quiet. Said differently, the Volt drives like a much larger/more competent `regular? car without engine noise (oh, and the Volt accelerates much faster than the Prius, i.e. much better low-end torque). The 3rd Gen Prius (like the 2nd Gen I own) is bouncy & jittery (especially in any kind of wind or weather), loud, has a numb steering feel & is tinny ? don?t get me wrong, I expect this from a light car that gets extremely high mileage...but compared to the Volt, the Prius is a golf cart. It's no wonder that the Volt has won so many `Car of the Year? awards & Consumer Reports' super high marks.
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Purchased a new car

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Does recommend this car!!

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Test drive review

Awesome car

by from Delaware on March 3, 2012

The Volt is an awesome car. Its looks are eye-catching. Nothing boring about this car, in looks or operation. "Futuristic" is what my family says. And no one will shut you down at a light - unless you...
The Volt is an awesome car. Its looks are eye-catching. Nothing boring about this car, in looks or operation. "Futuristic" is what my family says. And no one will shut you down at a light - unless you let them. Never thought I would own a Chevy, but they beat out the competition in my view. The design is great - so many details are really well thought out. It is amazingly quiet and smooth to drive. I can never go back to a gasoline-only car, with their fumes, noise and vibration. Charging is easy on the 110 outlet in my garage, and I have yet to put gas in the tank for the extended range. Of course, it is reassuring to know that the extended range is there, even though I only needed it once. (In two months and 700 miles, I have used .07 gals of gas.) Chevy has handled the battery safety issue perfectly and I have zero concerns about that. I got a Volt with all the premium features (leather seats, XM radio, etc.), and it has more luxury than my former luxury Japanese car. I think the ONStar is standard and it is reassuring to have. The clincher is that it is basically free to drive - it costs me about $1.00 in electricity to go 35 miles in the city. In my old car, that was two gallons of gas. The only concern is getting used to the front window in terms of visibility. Minor negative is the front plastic piece under the front bumper which is there for aerodynamics but which can drag on the ground if you have a bump, like at the end of your driveway. As someone said, however, you just have to view it as a replaceable part like tires. This probably will get worked out anyway.
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Purchased a new car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

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Test drive review

Exceeded Expectations so much buying a second one

by from WI on September 1, 2012

I was looking for a car to save some gas on my 63 mile round trip commute. Previously was in a cadillac getting 20 MPG. I ran though some numbers and the Volt was on the list of lowest cost of ownersh...
I was looking for a car to save some gas on my 63 mile round trip commute. Previously was in a cadillac getting 20 MPG. I ran though some numbers and the Volt was on the list of lowest cost of ownership and #1 in least amount of out of pocket expense. I test drove it and that was all it took. I am averaging 50 miles on electric daily, and over 38 MPG on the gas. I have done 250 Mile commute one weekend and averaged 44 MPG on the highway with the air on. This car exceeds every expectation. My payment was about the same compared to the Caddy, but my gas expense has been cut by $240 a month. We are now going to buy Volt # 2 as the numbers play out for both of our comutes.
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Purchased a new car

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Does recommend this car!!

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Test drive review

Amazing car that is also the most misunderstood

by from MA on August 26, 2014

I have had my Volt for 2.5 years and 35K miles and I still love it and look forward to reasons to drive it. I will also say it is amazing the number of people that do not know about this car or unders...
I have had my Volt for 2.5 years and 35K miles and I still love it and look forward to reasons to drive it. I will also say it is amazing the number of people that do not know about this car or understand anything about it. Reading about how different the Volt was from anything offered at the time and currently available made is so no other electric was worth considering. We depend on both of our cars to be able to go as far as we need to without playing games and having to plan special routes. The Volt is the car that allows you to drive efficiently with minimal gas use but can get you to wherever you need to go without annoyances. You can read from other reviews here how well the car handles, accelerates, drives and delivers but I wanted to help with the misconceptions you have probably heard. 1)You do not need to buy a 220 charger. It is a nice to have so you can charge quickly but you can work just fine off the GM included 110 charger. 2)This is not a $40K car which I still hear, even back when I got it was not. With most all GM cars you can negotiate, we did, it save thousands. There are federal and state incentives. There are GM rebates. Use them all together and you can save a lot. 3)It is not slow. You are not going to beat a Corvette but you can hold your own against most cars. What is surprisingly great is with a single speed transmission and the instant torque of electric you will have no problems merging in anywhere. 4)Your enemies to range are high speed, heater and hard acceleration. The car has tools in the displays to help you drive efficiently and it can make a big difference on the range. 5)Batteries are going to die and cost you thousands to replace. They have a 100K and 8 year warranties but have not heard of a single Volt needing a battery replacement. There are owners on the forums with over 100K miles and no battery degradation. GM thankfully went the extra step to thermally control the batteries and keep buffers to help the batteries last and the reality is it works. 6)The Volt is an extended range electric. Your gas engine will not kick in no matter what while you still have battery left. When your battery is depleted the onboard generator will get you the range to get you where you are going. It does run on premium fuel but with how little gas you will be using this is a non-issue as far as I am concerned and there are a few engineering reasons why premium made sense. The list can go on but you get the idea, research the misconceptions. Test drive the car and it sells itself. I have found some GM dealers don't give it the attention it deserves so find one that does. Good luck and enjoy.
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Purchased a new car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful. Did you?
Test drive review

Perfection in Paradise

by from Honolulu, HI on March 24, 2012

Island living and the Volt are perfect for each other. My island is only 50 miles across, and Hawaii is making a great effort to provide a welcoming embrace for electric vehicles. Free parking, includ...
Island living and the Volt are perfect for each other. My island is only 50 miles across, and Hawaii is making a great effort to provide a welcoming embrace for electric vehicles. Free parking, including the airport and parking meters, open access to HOV lanes and a concerted effort to install lots of recharging stations. I commute 64 miles round trip everyday and thanks to charging stations everywhere I do it all on electric. I've owned the car for 5 months now, I've put 5500 miles on it. I'm still have the gas the dealer put in when I picked it up. I'm at 750 MPG now, I did play with the gas engine when I first got it or it would have been much higher. I traded in my beautiful C6 Corvette for this car. Corvette owners are some of the pickiest owners around. If the Volt had any defects believe me I would have groused about it plenty, but perfection is hard to beat. The Corvette does what it does extremely well, the Volt does what it does better. Electricity rates and gas prices here are the highest in the nation and the Volt still in the end just makes sense. Complain about bail outs all you want, listen to Fox News pundits if you like, I'm as conservative as they come and I'm here to tell you the car is a wonder. Don't believe me if you want, check out the stats for 600 owners, google voltstats. Onstar downloads mileage data from all the cars 4 times a day, see what we're all seeing for yourself.
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Performance
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Purchased a new car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you?
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