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.
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