Vital Stats

Engine:
1.4L I4, 111 kW Motor
Power:
149 HP / 368 LB-FT
Transmission:
Single Speed
Drivetrain:
Front-Wheel Drive
Curb Weight:
3781 LBS
Seating:
2+2
Cargo:
10.6 CU-FT
MPG:
62 MPG-E (comb.)
Chevrolet has taken an aggressive tack to move units of its revolutionary Volt, selling a fair number to government agencies, offering really fantastic lease deals and marketing the hell out of the car. After a week of driving (and generally enjoying) the 2013 iteration of the extended-range hatchback, I tend to think that customers should just take advantage of the current confluence of market forces rather than bemoaning the larger state of affairs with General Motors as a whole.

After all, one of the biggest knocks on the Volt has always been that its MSRP is too high, a fact that largely negates the very low running costs once the car is in your garage. Well, a $260/month lease eases that pain a lot (even if that rate is for the 2012 car, and not the 2013 model that I tested). And what you're left with is a very nice-to-drive, forward-looking if fractionally flawed car.

Driving Notes
  • The slightly revised 2013 Volt offers a "Hold" driving mode that allows one to conserve the battery power for optimal efficiency. For those that have long commutes – and might want to let the gasoline-powered generator do its thing on the highway while saving the EV juice for around town – this new software makes a lot of sense. I didn't find much chance to make use of it in my city-centric daily errands.
  • I live in Ann Arbor, Michigan, which is, I will admit, fairly progressive as far as Middle America goes. That said, our city has recently been fitted with a large number of 240-volt stations in parking lots and parking structures. Driving the Volt primarily around town (I live about a mile from the city center) for the week, I was able to keep my charge going using these sometimes-free chargers to great effect. In fact, I got more juice from Republic Parking than I did from my own house. Cheers!
  • When the Volt's batteries were topped-up, I usually saw about 32-miles worth of all-battery driving before the charge neared empty on the car's central display. Over eight days of driving – no single trip was farther than 15 miles, one of the benefits of working from home – I used 0.1 gallons of gas for around 120-miles traveled.
  • So, I'll admit, the usage-case for me is a little bit different than normal. But general observation, logic and some quick statistics hunting tells me that more and more people will work out of home offices as time passes. Long story short: I could almost certainly use a car like the Volt without having to use the gas-powered generator/engine for two-thirds of my driving year. And that's being conservative. Better still, if I'm charger surfing, using public power or parking structure power to fill up, the individual cost to me is reduced even further.
  • The Volt is an exceptional vehicle for music lovers, even without some ultra-high-end 38-speaker English sound system. Why? Number one: The audio system is pretty respectable. Number two: The car is simply so quiet, even at speed, that you have a better soundstage in the Volt than you do in pretty much any other car on the market. You don't truly realize how much even very good audio setups are fighting car-based noise pollution until you jam out in a Volt for the first time.
  • The front lip, completely designed for maximum aero aid, makes the Chevy almost unusable in certain situations. The approach from the street to my driveway is not particularly steep, but it's a sharp enough angle that there is no way to get the car up and down without rubbing the bottom of the lip on the concrete. I know that in my neighborhood – with houses from the 1940s and 1950s – most driveways are more aggressively raked than mine, too. Anyone living in an older part of a town or city may have to consider if they can drive the Volt close enough to their garage or house to charge it without damaging the car each time. Aero be damned, it's silly for the Volt to sit lower than most supercars.
  • A quick followup to the point above: Get used to hand-washing your Volt if you take the plunge. I don't know of any automatic conveyor-type car washes with tire guide rails low enough to accommodate the front lip of this car.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 159 Comments
      Ziv
      • 2 Years Ago
      I have driven 4 demo Volts and loved them, but I haven't been able to get a garage spot with a plug at my condo. Once I get a parking spot with a plug, I am going to lease one of these beauties! Great car, though I think I will get the smaller air dam to allow me to hit speed bumps and driveways a bit more aggressively. I cannot wait to get this car! I am glad that Bush signed the bill that encouraged GM to build this car! It never would have taken off without the credit and within a few years it won't need the credit any more, since the drive-away price is dropping fairly fast.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ziv
        [blocked]
          • 2 Years Ago
          [blocked]
      Jason Krumvieda
      • 2 Years Ago
      Looks like somebody came in here and scrubbed the comments of Sonata Guy.
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Jason Krumvieda
        I don't like censorship, but i'm not going to shed a tear over that!
        Grendal
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Jason Krumvieda
        Sonata Guy was a paid shill.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Grendal
          [blocked]
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Grendal
          [blocked]
        Grendal
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Jason Krumvieda
        If he stuck to just promoting the Korean products then it wouldn't have been so bad. Bashing competitors with no justification deserves ejection.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Jason Krumvieda
        [blocked]
          Hal20xx
          • 2 Years Ago
          I'm with you on Sonataguy, but saying Korean cars are junk is equally as ignorant as the garbage he spewed.
          Jason Krumvieda
          • 2 Years Ago
          I don't think he is paid to bash all other cars. Fact or made up crap that you made up on the spot because it suits you right now isn't good. If I wanted all of the comments on every car to be all nice and pretty that would get boring really quick. Mr. 2 wheeled menace had it half right, Freedom of speech is important to even those that you don't want to hear from.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Jason Krumvieda
        [blocked]
      mikeybyte1
      • 2 Years Ago
      Great article. But Seyth you are the exact target buyer for this vehicle. Don't consider your usage case to be different from the normal. You are who they built the car for. It is no different than other vehicle classes. If you plan to do lots of off-roading and rock climbing, a Jeep Wrangler is purpose built for you. If you regularly tow a trailer you may need a large pick up truck or SUV. The Volt is designed for people who primarily commute under 40 miles a day and want to make a difference in fuel usage. So people that live close to work or work from home and just run errands are the target. I am seriously considering a Volt or a C-Max. Sure, I could spend the same on a used BMW or something. But it's not a money "what can I buy for X dollars" question. I love the technology and the goal of these vehicles - get us off foreign oil. That's what all of these cars, even electrics, mean to me. And to most who buy them. I love Jeep Wranglers. Think they are awesome at what they do. But I have no need for them. I also do not snub or shun people that do. Same with this new breed of extended range electrics, plug ins, and pure electrics. They have a purpose. They have a buyer.
      SolM8GXP
      • 2 Years Ago
      My wife and I decided that we'd try to get that $260/ mo deal. In Chicago, anyway, we had to put down more than $6k AND have the GM Extended Family card to get it. (also of note, the guy at the dealership didn't understand the difference between 110 and 220)
      EZEE
      • 2 Years Ago
      Yay - an ABG article crossed linked to AB. Let the fireworks fly...
        • 2 Years Ago
        @EZEE
        [blocked]
      Devin
      • 2 Years Ago
      Why not just use the automatic touch free car washes at gas stations? They aren't awesome but they typically don't have guide rails either.
        MTN RANGER
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Devin
        I haven't had any problems with soft touch car washes with my Volt.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Devin
        [blocked]
          Hal20xx
          • 2 Years Ago
          I really hope your parents are dead. It would be truly sad to think that they knew what a failure you were.
      johnb
      • 2 Years Ago
      to anyone that's driven one, how does all that torque feel on acceleration? 368ft lbs of torque sounds like fun.
        MTN RANGER
        • 2 Years Ago
        @johnb
        0-30mph is very impressive and feels faster than it actually is due to the instant torque.
        otiswild
        • 2 Years Ago
        @johnb
        That's a pretty significant boost to the 2011's 273 ftlbs.. /jealous
      GreenN_Gold
      • 2 Years Ago
      If I remember correctly, the lower front lip is removable. It might cost you a hair in MPG, but saves you some headache.
      Jonathan Ippolito
      • 2 Years Ago
      I drove a Volt and compared to it's competitors it is a real car and a car that you can use everyday . I hate to say it but yes the Volt has flaws but not many considering it is only in it's first generation . I am excited to see where they go with the Volt when the second generation car arrives in showrooms and I also an eager to see how the new Cadillac ELR that is based on the second generation Volt turns out .
      GJV
      • 2 Years Ago
      I drive a 2012 Volt and love it. My commute is admittedly short - about 15 mile r/t, so I only need to charge at home (good thing- no plug options at work). Having the extended range that gasoline provides is very comforting, even if I try my hardest to never use gas! The car is solidly built, whisper quiet and very comfortable. While it's expensive if you buy, you do get a huge tax credit. I, like many Volt drivers, leased, and pay per month a figure that is right in line with a car that's about $10-$12K cheaper than the Volt's MSRP. I expect that as the technology becomes better developed, prices will come down and range will go up. I can't wait to see where GM goes from here.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        stumpy
        • 2 Years Ago
        more lies. GM has paid back all of its TARP loans WITH INTEREST.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @stumpy
          [blocked]
          wrestleprocbt
          • 2 Years Ago
          @stumpy
          If they paid everything off then why is it always in the news that we will never get our money back because, technically, a huge chunk of that loan was paid back in the form of stock. That was done with the assumption that the stock would reach $58/share and at that price, the gov't (America) would be paid back. However isn't the current price around $28/share and last article I read stated if the gov't dumped the stock now, it would lose in the neighborhood of $25 billion. Maybe your referring to the ads GM had the nerve to run last year claiming it paid the money back early....they didn't elaborate that it was in the form of stock and other money given to it in the form of grants for green energy car research. Was very misleading and they were forced to pull the deceptive ads quickly.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @stumpy
          [blocked]
        • 2 Years Ago
        [blocked]
        • 2 Years Ago
        [blocked]
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        sirvixisvexed
        • 2 Years Ago
        You're an idiot. Too much faux news. Remember when the Volt concept was introduced in 2007 under Bush and got such positive remarks from the public that they decided to produce it? Of course you don't! But your post obviously shows you're not actually dedicated to and care nothing what-so-ever for the actual objective truth.
        Nick Allain
        • 2 Years Ago
        This is an article about it is to live day to day with a volt. Take the politics elsewhere.
        Mr E
        • 2 Years Ago
        this is a great place for everyone's favorite meme... "u mad bro?"
          dan1malk
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Mr E
          Yeah him and that SonataDouche get so upset about GM cars I feel they must be crying in front of their keyboards every time the letters 'G' and 'M' are typed next to each other. The worst thing about Autoblog's commenting system is that there is no way to report these pathetic trolls and get them the hell out of here. Auto enthusiasts they are not.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Mr E
          [blocked]
        • 2 Years Ago
        [blocked]
          MyerShift
          • 2 Years Ago
          I disagree. It's a highly innovative, attractive hybrid that is better than a Prius. New tech is always pricey.
          • 2 Years Ago
          [blocked]
          • 2 Years Ago
          [blocked]
        Jack Holliday
        • 2 Years Ago
        hey Taser you have convinced me....................................that you're a moron LOL
    • Load More Comments