2017 Chevrolet Volt LT Electric with 1.5L Generator from North America


Amazing car and a great first EV


The car would not start and stated "StabiliTrac Failure". When checked there were a numerous codes and I was afraid the car had suffered a catastrophic failure. Turned out the 12V battery had run low which makes the computers go crazy. Charging the battery resolved all issues.

I had a problem with my charger. I took it to the closest dealer and it came back working but nobody could tell me what the issue was. The tech told me I needed to check my home wiring to make sure it was putting out at least 12V, which does not even make sense. I got the impression they did not want to mess with EVs if they could help it. I noticed only one Bolt for sale on the lot as I left. I looked online and found a dealer with at least ten Bolts and a few Volts for sale a little bit farther away and have been going to them ever since. I have heard this is a pretty common problem for not just Chevy but other companies that sell both gas and electric vehicles. Many dealers are not interested in trying to support both types of vehicles. Before buying my Volt I contacted the local non-dealer shop I get most of my work done at and confirmed they would not only work on the Volt, but had EV certified techs on staff that could do it properly.

There is a known issue with the cruise control failing to engage. There is a brake sensor that acts up so the car thinks you are pressing the brake. If you take it to the shop they can't find any codes because the car thinks it is working as intended. I have had this happen a few times, but not often enough to do anything about it.

General Comments:

I was not looking for an electric vehicle, I just needed a small to mid-sized hatchback to drive for work. I wanted something a little fun to drive, but wanted good gas mileage. The Volt was a win in every category; it is cheaper to drive and performs better than anything else I considered.

I was interested in EVs but was nervous about buying something so different than I was used to. Most EVs in my budget had a pretty short range, would that work for me? The Volt can run on gas if needed so range is not an issue. I got the CarMax warranty because I did could not identify most of the parts under the hood and had no idea what it cost to fix any of it. The Volt has been referred to as a "gateway EV", because like many Volt owners after owning it I would have no hesitation in buying a full EV.

The tires it comes with were designed for maximum efficiency, but handled poorly and as they wore down they got very loud. I opted for better handling all weather tires and did not worry about the economy. I am even more impressed with the car now, it handles great and while not Mercedes level quiet, for a compact Chevy hatchback the noise level is impressively low. If the tires hurt the economy it was not enough for me to notice.

I normally put gas in the Volt about once every three months. That has resulted in an interesting side effect, when I drive my wife's SUV she has to remind me to get gas, I forget to pay attention to the fuel gauge. The tank only holds 8 gallons so I have never spent over $20 filling the tank.

While my wife thinks the Volt is too small, she likes how quiet, smooth and surprisingly powerful it is. Her biggest complaint is that it sits too low which makes it hard for her to get out of. She has her eye on the Cadillac Lyriq, their up-coming electric SUV.

There is a great community around the Volt. Check out the Facebook groups or online forums.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th May, 2021

6th Jun 2021, 02:52

Well written review - thanks :)

2011 Chevrolet Volt from North America


A great everyday commuter's dream


The rear hatch shocks were weak and replaced in a recall.

A small coolant valve between the battery coolant and engine coolant systems failed and was replaced.

General Comments:

First... before I continue... I wanted to write this review for those who might either own or want to buy a Chevy Volt. I had previously written a review and it was over-run with comments not related to the Volt. Please refrain from doing that.

Here has been my honest assessment of this car, a 2011 Chevy Volt.

We bought this car when it was 2 years old. These for whatever reason they lose value like crazy. So... we got what had been a $40,000 car for $17k.

Prior to the years leading up to COVID I had a HORRIBLE commute. These cars qualified for the carpool lane, which cut down on commuting time. That and at work they had lots of free chargers. My commute was exactly 37-38 miles each way. This is the first gen Volt which came with a 34 mile range. If I was gentle I could get to and from work with maybe a mile to spare on the battery. On warm days I could actually get it up to 42 miles.

The cost to run these is unbelievably cheap. Because the engine doesn't run as much oil changes are only every 2 years, and besides coolant and transmission lubricant everything else lasts as long as the car. At home it's about 90 cents to fully charge. As mentioned, work was free. So I was spending under $5 to run the car per week in battery power.

The engine is probably the worst thing about it. Once the battery drains you're left with an anemic, low displacement 4 banger that then is used as a big generator to run juice through the battery and into the motors. It takes getting used to. It doesn't really rev; it whines. And when the battery runs out you get the sense of how heavy the car is. When it's on battery it's FAST and the torque from leaving stop lights is insane. Putting it into "Sports mode" makes it feel like a rocket. But that uses more juice faster. If you're on the freeway or someplace relatively flat it's fine. Even on hills it's OK. But we found out the hard way that if going up long, massive hills it will go into limp mode as the engine desperately tries to both charge the battery and move the car. There is a mode called "Mountain mode" that you have to press before you get to the hills. That in turn directs more of the engine to the transmission.

The range has degraded somewhat. When new I could on occasion go 40 miles. Now it's more like 34-35.

The interior fit and finish is pretty good. IMHO, better than the Prius we had before it. Everything feels solid. The seats are very comfortable. Everything on it, some 150,000 miles later works well.

The head light lenses are now starting to fog. We live in a very sunny part of the country. I will buff them out every 6 months. The paint on the roof is starting to show oxidation. Makes sense: It's black and dark colors around here suffer from the UV.

We are probably going to replace this with a Rav4 plugin hybrid. GM stopped making the Volt some years ago.

In summary? These cars do what they were designed to do and ours has been pretty reliable. It's a shame they did not sell as well as I would have imagined. On the used market you can pick up one for cheap. They make excellent, no-nonsense commuter cars.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th March, 2021

4th Apr 2021, 12:23

Thank you for offering this excellent review of the Chevy Volt. I appreciate the fact that you are someone who experienced it for nearly a decade.

Hope you guys continue to enjoy it, and someday enjoy that Toyota RAV4 as well. All the best!

30th May 2021, 18:34

These car had problems some of which were severe including main battery electronic board internal corrosion, a big job. Search Youtube "chevrolet volt repair".

Also search the forums for problems:

1st gen https://www.gm-volt.com/forums/problems-driver-warnings-or-dtcs-chevy-volt.27/

2nd gen https://www.gm-volt.com/forums/problems-driver-warnings-or-dtcs-gen2-volt.545/