Product Reviews

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Ever since it appeared on the electric car scene in 2011, the Chevy Volt brought a measure of practicality and peace of mind with its supplemental gas engine that would kick in to extend the Volt's limited battery-only range. Now, redesigned for 2016, the Volt returns as a more mature and capable car.

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 (sec.) 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
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
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
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

Ever since it appeared on the electric car scene in 2011, the Chevy Volt brought a measure of practicality and peace of mind with its supplemental gas engine that would kick in to extend the Volt's limited battery-only range. Now, redesigned for 2016, the Volt returns as a more mature and capable car. It replaces the original Volt's science experiment ambience with more conventional looks and expanded capability, most notably a commuter-friendly electric range of 50 miles.

Pricing starts at $33,170 for the LT and goes up to $37,520 for the Premier version. That's about a $6,000 price drop compared to the original Volt we tested in 2011. Plus, the Volt still benefits from the $7,500 federal tax incentive available to electric car buyers. That means that the effective purchase price ends up being about $26,500, very close to a Toyota Prius.

Seating
2 front, 3 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
  • 1.5-liter 4 electric (149 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2017 Chevrolet Volt owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Engine Minor

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

What Owners Say

Engine computer

“Updated software to fix rough idle issue, warranty fix, it also temporarily fixed sparadic cruise control not turning on”

Anonymous, WA (2017 Chevrolet Volt LT 1.5-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

“Rough running until reprogrammed. Applied to all gen.2 Volts”

Anonymous, MI (2017 Chevrolet Volt LT 1.5-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

“Total and sudden loss of power at freeway speed. The Chevy engineer in Detroit told me that it could not have been the fuel pump even though the car worked after the field technician replaced the pump. He thought it was a failure of a power bus”

John A., CA (2017 Chevrolet Volt Premier 1.5-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)
Oil leaks

“The engine oil pan leaked when I first got the vehicle (200 miles) and is in the shop now for the same problem”

Douglas B., CA (2017 Chevrolet Volt LT 1.5-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

“At 2,700 miles, engine oil pan started leaking. Instead of a rubber gasket, the oil pan has a bead of sealant. The sealant failed and was replaced under warranty. This repair involved two days of work. The oil leak issue is a common issue reported by other 2016-2017 Volt owners on online forums”

Anonymous, AZ (2017 Chevrolet Volt LT 1.5-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

“Minor oil leak after one month of ownership. Dealership fixed the problem at no cost to me”

Paul M., MI (2017 Chevrolet Volt Premier 1.5-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

“The car shipped with a leaky oil pan. After the third visit to the dealer, they replaced the oil pan and the car has had no problems since”

Christina O., CA (2017 Chevrolet Volt LT 1.5-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

“After 3 months, I noticed some small oil drips on my driveway. The car has a small oil pan that was leaking, but this oil pan is not held together by bolts and a gasket. Instead, the pan is held together by a sealing adhesive, which takes 24 hours to dry properly. This results in what is normally a 30 minute gasket replacement to take over a day and requires the use of a loaner vehicle”

Anonymous, CA (2017 Chevrolet Volt LT 1.5-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

“Minor oil leak corrected under warranted service”

Christopher A., TX (2017 Chevrolet Volt LT 1.5-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

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 went blank, although if you touched the right areas, you could still control it (but you have to go by memory). Took the car in, and they updated some software and that fixed it. I suspect just unplugging the car and plugging it back in would have fixed it, but hopefully the upgrade will make it never happen again”

Trainor S., FL (2017 Chevrolet Volt Premier 1.5-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)
External music device interface (e.g., smart phone, MP3 player)

“USB ports were dead on delivery of brand-new car. This required two visits to the dealer to correct -- once to diagnose the problem and a second visit to fix it, since the dealer lacked the necessary parts”

Anonymous, RI (2017 Chevrolet Volt LT 1.5-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

“Sound goes off and on while listening to audio book on my smart phone. If I turn off Bluetooth and listen via the speaker on my phone, the sound interruptions don't happen”

Henry F., MD (2017 Chevrolet Volt Premier 1.5-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

“Does not always recognize iPod”

Anonymous, NY (2017 Chevrolet Volt LT 1.5-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

“The pairing is inconsistent and is similar to the problem i had on the 2013 volt. The device will consistently try to improve”

Louis D., MI (2017 Chevrolet Volt LT 1.5-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)
Radio

“wouldn't play -- computer issue”

Anonymous, CA (2017 Chevrolet Volt Unsure 1.5-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

“Radio worked inconsistently and had poor reception from start (late Sept). After several months, radio reception turned to nonexistent or inconsistent and poor. Took car in, and they ended up keeping it for almost 2 weeks waiting to get a new radio module. Finally they found out none available. Just last week, after around a month, was informed that module was available and received by dealer”

Anonymous, MA (2017 Chevrolet Volt Premier 1.5-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

Cruise control

“Adaptive cruise control cuts out randomly when driving down the highway. Dashboard alert just says it is "temporarily unavailable". After a while it will work again. On an 8 hour drive it cut out 5 or 6 times”

Donald H., MB (2017 Chevrolet Volt Premier 1.5-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)
Exterior lights (other than headlights)

“Turn signal control stopped working properly within two months of purchase. Replaced under warranty”

Anonymous, CA (2017 Chevrolet Volt Premier 1.5-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)
Tire pressure monitor

“I bought winter tires (on new rims) from Canadian Tire and bought tire pressure monitors for them. When they put the summer tires back on (the deal when I bought the tires was that they would do this free for the life of the tires) the pressure monitor did not work. Canadian Tire tells me that they will charge $50 to reprogram it. They can't tell me if this is something that will need to be done every time I switch tires”

Donald H., MB (2017 Chevrolet Volt Premier 1.5-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)
Warning lights

“As I said, not only the air bag warning went off, but the tire pressure and another engine issue. The dealer said it was some other electric issue. We had to take it in twice after having it less than a month”

Anonymous, CA (2017 Chevrolet Volt LT 1.5-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)
Wiper motor or washer

“Wiper motor failed three months after purchase. Replaced under warranty”

Anonymous, CA (2017 Chevrolet Volt Premier 1.5-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

Body Integrity

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

What Owners Say

Air or water leaks

“Air whistle during windy conditions from the front passenger door frame. This is being troubleshooted”

Anonymous, AZ (2017 Chevrolet Volt LT 1.5-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

“Rear hatch rattles when it's cold outside”

Anonymous, MN (2017 Chevrolet Volt Premier 1.5-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

“Driving over 20 MPH with any window all the way down results in a high amplitude, low frequency oscillation that I fear is strong enough to rupture an eardrum. Rolling the window up 1/2 to 3/4 of the way alleviates the issue, but this is something that should have been taken into account during the design”

Anonymous, CA (2017 Chevrolet Volt LT 1.5-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

Engine Cooling

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

What Owners Say

Antifreeze leaks

“Leak in a coolant hose not found prior to delivery. Needed replacement host to be shipped from factory. Shipped wrong hose the first time. Got it right on second attempt”

Anonymous, AZ (2017 Chevrolet Volt LT 1.5-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)
Overheating

“leak in coolant hose not found before delivery”

Anonymous, AZ (2017 Chevrolet Volt LT 1.5-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

Electrical failure

“12 v battery failed to charge Service heater”

Anonymous, MA (2017 Chevrolet Volt Premier 1.5-L 4 Cyl 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)

“Check engine light came on. Dealer installed software update -- did not fix problem. More diagnosis followed. Dealer ordered solenoid valve part. Took 2 days to install it due to complexity of connections (dealer provided free loaner). Problem has not recurred”

Anonymous, IL (2017 Chevrolet Volt LT 1.5-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

“All exterior door handles have a button which senses key fob in your pocket or purse when you approach the car. When the button is pressed, all the doors unlock conveniently. On one of the back doors, this button was not working. The dealer fixed it promptly”

Jo G., IL (2017 Chevrolet Volt Premier 1.5-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Transmission rebuild or replacement

“After owning the car for 3 months, the transmission died and I had to get a new one. It was under warranty so I didn't have to pay for any of it”

Anonymous, PA (2017 Chevrolet Volt LT 1.5-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

Parking brake

“Car tells me to check the parking brake. There is nothing wrong with it”

Fred C., CA (2017 Chevrolet Volt Premier 1.5-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.

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

Climate System

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

Paint/Trim

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

Exhaust

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

Transmission Minor

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

Engine Major

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

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