The Volt is an electric car for drivers who don't want to be limited by battery range. It usually allows you to drive gas-free for 35 miles, however the exact number depends on weather and driving style. In our testing, it ranged from 20 to 50 miles. When the battery is depleted, a backup gasoline engine kicks in to keep the electric motor running. This allows you to keep driving for up to 315 more miles before refueling.
Alerts
There are 2 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit,
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
NA
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
NA
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS and ESC standard. Front side and head protection air bags standard.
Road Test

The Volt is an electric car for drivers who don't want to be limited by battery range. It usually allows you to drive gas-free for 35 miles, however the exact number depends on weather and driving style. In our testing, it ranged from 20 to 50 miles. When the battery is depleted, a backup gasoline engine kicks in to keep the electric motor running. This allows you to keep driving for up to 315 more miles before refueling. If you charge every night and your daily drive fits within the battery's range, you might never need to buy gasoline.

Running on electricity alone, the Volt cost about four cents per mile at national-average electric rates -- much less than required to fuel any gas-powered car. Actual cost will depend on your electric rates, which vary greatly from state to state. Driving on the highway also diminishes the battery's range. We got our longest electric-only drives on rural roads at around 45 mph. The Volt is amazingly inexpensive to run on short trips, but when the gas engine kicks in and trips reach around 70 miles, traditional hybrids catch up. That's partly because the gasoline engine requires premium fuel, which strikes us as out of step with what Volt buyers might expect.

Seating
2 front, 2 rear
Drive Wheels
Front
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
4-door hatchback
Transmissions Available
  • 1-speed Direct
Engines Available
  • 1.4-liter 4 electric (150 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2012 Chevrolet Volt owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

Display screen difficult to see

"Glare occasionally washes out touch screen so it is difficult to use controls"

Anonymous, TX (2012 Chevrolet Volt None Plug-in Hybrid)

"Screen would have th colors blend like a rainbow. Couldn't make out print. Almost like it had been broken. No accidents had occurred. Cleared itself after a few start up reboots"

Anonymous, AZ (2012 Chevrolet Volt Unsure 1.4-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

"Quirky due in periodic inconsistent function and occasional unpredictable response to touch screen commands"

Anonymous, MI (2012 Chevrolet Volt None Plug-in Hybrid)
Display screen goes blank

"Rarely the display will blank-out functions on the screen so that they are not available. An example would be not allowing the comfort setting on the climate control screen. Usually the problem disappears when the auto is restarted"

Anonymous, TX (2012 Chevrolet Volt None Plug-in Hybrid)

"The dash display would go blank (dark) at various times while driving. Shut off and restart fixed the display temporarily. Software upgrade by Chevy fixed it permanently"

Daniel S., CA (2012 Chevrolet Volt None Plug-in Hybrid)
In-dash navigation system (GPS)

"Very out of date maps. Spent $200 on update and my street is still not showing (it was created in 2008). Vendor refused to refund purchase price"

Anonymous, WA (2012 Chevrolet Volt None Plug-in Hybrid)
Phone pairing (e.g., Bluetooth)

"Infotainment not working correctly. Bluetooth, remote onstar, charging scheduling not working"

Anonymous, CA (2012 Chevrolet Volt None Plug-in Hybrid)

"Bluetooth can't recognize each other. Not as automatic"

Anonymous, AZ (2012 Chevrolet Volt Unsure 1.4-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)
Backup or other camera/sensors

"TPMS sensors have been replaced three times. Still frequently see error messages showing to service sensors"

Anonymous, IL (2012 Chevrolet Volt None 1.4-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

"On occasion, after switching from reverse back into drive, the backup sensor claxon continues to chime even though there is nothing in proximity to the sensors. I typically have to stop and power down the vehicle to get it to reset"

Brian M., CA (2012 Chevrolet Volt None 1.4-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Locks and latches

"Power door lock failed on driver front door. Mechanism was replaced"

Brett B., FL (2012 Chevrolet Volt None Plug-in Hybrid)

"The button to unlick the car on the outside driver side door handle stopped working"

Anonymous, ON (2012 Chevrolet Volt None Plug-in Hybrid)

"Latch for back hatchback became loose & would not shut securely. My husband & I located the problem, loose screws, but did not have the right tools to tighten them so took to dealer at the same time as the charger cord & plug"

Terri H., AZ (2012 Chevrolet Volt None 1.4-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

"Factory recall for weak tailgate struts"

Virgil U., NV (2012 Chevrolet Volt None Plug-in Hybrid)

"Had recall ... strut broke, breaking back window"

Michele S., SD (2012 Chevrolet Volt None Plug-in Hybrid)
Seat controls - movement

"Driver's seat frame has collapsed a small bit in the back right corner. I'm a very small, lightweight individual, but the seat frame has been replaced and the issue has come back. It's not a major safety issue, but is moderately annoying. If the vehicle weren't under warranty, this would cost a lot of money to repair"

Anonymous, IL (2012 Chevrolet Volt None 1.4-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Stability control (ESC)

"Yaw sensor failed in the stability control system covered under warranty"

Virgil U., NV (2012 Chevrolet Volt None Plug-in Hybrid)
Electrical failure

"Car completely shut down in trafficwhile on vacation, had to be towed to dealer, took 4 days to find and correct problem"

Anonymous, MI (2012 Chevrolet Volt None Plug-in Hybrid)

"This car had a bad senser on battery water and wouldn't charge. The warranty on electrical was 100000 miles but GM said that was not covered. I had it to a dealership two times and talked to Voltec. They said I had to cover the cost to replace parts. Didn't know how many more problems I would have with warranty. I had to take a big loss on this car money and warranty. Chevy didn't offer me much trade in. I got a ford. Two weeks after I traded in my Volt Chevy called to tell me my parts had come"

James A., PA (2012 Chevrolet Volt None 1.4-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

"Have received a message that the high voltage charging system needed attention. Each time, the dealer applied firmware upgrades designed to fix the problem. The most recent fix appears to have worked. I have not paid for any of this work as the electrical drive system is still under warranty"

Anonymous, KY (2012 Chevrolet Volt None 1.4-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)
Transfer case

"The bearings went out"

Anonymous, WA (2012 Chevrolet Volt None Plug-in Hybrid)
Traction control

"Traction control warning message appeared on dash within minutes of leaving the dealership for another problem (clicking brakes). It appears that a speed sensor was damaged while the technician fixed the original problem"

Ray I., PA (2012 Chevrolet Volt None 1.4-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

"passenger side rear rotor uneven wear"

David C., OH (2012 Chevrolet Volt None 1.4-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)
Regular brake failure

"Brakes failed at low speeds after serious rain storm. Returned to normal within 1 hour. Gam replaced all components"

Harold K., CO (2012 Chevrolet Volt None Plug-in Hybrid)

"caused damage to rotors"

Amy P., KS (2012 Chevrolet Volt None 1.4-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)
Squeaking

"Clicking noise when applying/releasing brake at low speeds. Problem occured first in 2015 ; repeated in 2017. Dealership is vague about cause/remedy"

Ray I., PA (2012 Chevrolet Volt None 1.4-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Steering linkage (includes rack and pinion)

"Bad steering link was replaced under warranty"

Anonymous, PA (2012 Chevrolet Volt None Plug-in Hybrid)

"Steering rack assembly failed and had to be replaced"

Dave S., AZ (2012 Chevrolet Volt None Plug-in Hybrid)
Steering wheel vibration

"The vibration was part of the steering rack assembly failing"

Dave S., AZ (2012 Chevrolet Volt None Plug-in Hybrid)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Emission control devices (includes EGR)

"I over filled the gasoline tank and caused the evap system to cause a code. Chevrolet covered my stupidly under warranty. Never, never overfill the tank"

John G., MO (2012 Chevrolet Volt None Plug-in Hybrid)
Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

"Mass air sensor, cost from Chevrolet 6 $600 found later I could buy and install for under $80. Chevrolet a rip off"

Kenneth W., NC (2012 Chevrolet Volt None 1.4-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

"a lot of issues, engine light kept coming on, dealer said bad gas. not to run on elect to long, took over a year w a lot of undiagnosed problems seems like every month or 2, finally fixed it. for now, been running good for about 8 months now, not sure what they did to fix"

Anonymous, OH (2012 Chevrolet Volt None 1.4-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

12V power plug

"It worked but they felt it had a bit of a connection problem and there was a software glitch fixed with a software update"

Anonymous, CA (2012 Chevrolet Volt None Plug-in Hybrid)

"Battery charger stopped charging consistently at home; after 15-20 minutes of charging time, vehicle would honk & stop charging. When I took it to dealer, they said it had become faulty & gave me a new power plug which is working great"

Terri H., AZ (2012 Chevrolet Volt None 1.4-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)
Tire pressure monitor

"The receiver that receives the signal from the tire sensors and FOB was defective and not receiving the signal all the time"

Anonymous, MN (2012 Chevrolet Volt None Plug-in Hybrid)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Heater system

"Some Volt models have problems with the cabin heat not working, intermittently, when operating in electric mode. This is apparently due to a part that either failed, or a design flaw in the heating system"

Anonymous, MD (2012 Chevrolet Volt None Plug-in Hybrid)

"Twice experienced no heat during morning commute following overnight charge. Heat functioned on return commute"

Anonymous, MI (2012 Chevrolet Volt None Plug-in Hybrid)

"Periodically does not heat. Dealer says the aux water pump is going out"

Lyle M., MN (2012 Chevrolet Volt None 1.4-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

What Owners Say

Cylinder head

"My volt would misfire when it went into gasoline mode. It took several trips to the dealer before the problem was diagnosed. When they decided I needed a new cylinder head, the job was under warranty, but I ran up nearly $500 in repairs before they dealt with the problem. I was using the wrong grade of fuel because the dealer I bought the car from lead me to believe that it was a 2014 Volt which used regular fuel, but the manual for the 2012 Volt says to use 91 octane or higher. This is a mitiga"

Anonymous, NY (2012 Chevrolet Volt None 1.4-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

Other/unsure

"The On Star module went bad and had to be replaced"

Anonymous, IL (2012 Chevrolet Volt None Plug-in Hybrid)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

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