2012 Chevrolet Volt Review
Test drivers agree that the 2012 Chevrolet Volt is one of the best hybrid cars on the market, thanks to its impressive fuel economy.
The 2012 Chevrolet Volt is a reviewer favorite among hybrid cars. Since the Volt has a gas engine that kicks in after the battery dies, they like that there’s no range anxiety that accompanies all-electric cars. Although the Volt is mostly categorized as a hybrid car, some people, including Chevrolet, title it an extended-range electric vehicle. The electric motors, which power the Chevy Volt for an EPA-estimated 35 miles, provide lots of power, and reviewers like that they are smooth and quiet. The gas engine is also well-liked by auto reviewers.
Automotive journalists also like that the 2012 Chevrolet Volt is easy and affordable to charge and has a high-quality, modern interior. Its sporty handling also makes it fun to drive. The Volt isn’t without its faults though. It’s expensive compared with other hybrid cars and even most upscale midsize cars. It also has a small trunk, confusing interior tech and only seats four people.
Overall, test drivers say if you’re shopping for an electric or hybrid car, the 2012 Chevrolet Volt is a great choice because its high-tech powertrain helps make the car very fuel-efficient. Reviewers note that all this plug-in hybrid technology comes with a high price tag though.
Other Cars to Consider
As you cross-shop fuel-efficient cars, add the Toyota Prius Plug-in to your list. The Prius Plug-in is a new Prius model, and like the Volt, owners can recharge its battery at home. The Prius Plug-in gets better fuel economy in gas/hybrid mode, but the Volt operates more efficiently on electric power alone. The Volt also has a longer electric-only range of 35 miles, which is more than twice as far as the Prius Plug-in’s 15-mile range. The Prius Plug-in can be recharged in about three hours using a standard 120-volt outlet, which is much faster than the Volt’s 10-to-12-hour charging time using a standard outlet.
The Nissan Leaf is another car to consider if you’re shopping for a pure electric vehicle. However, the Leaf’s range is limited to 100 miles. Once the battery dies, there’s no back-up gas engine to keep the car going. This makes the Leaf ideal for drivers looking for a car for shorter commutes. Unlike the Volt, the Leaf can’t handle longer road trips though.
Details: Chevrolet Volt
The 2012 Chevrolet Volt is available in one trim level with the option of a couple upgrade packages. For 2012, Chevrolet made the formerly standard navigation and Bose audio system optional, which lowers the base price slightly. Most everything else is unchanged for 2012. See the full list of 2012 Chevrolet Volt specs.
- "Overall, we think the 2012 Chevrolet Volt represents an agreeable middle ground between a pure electric vehicle (which is usually limited to about 75 miles before needing a time-consuming recharge) and a standard hybrid (which doesn't offer the all-electric range and speed of the Volt)." -- Edmunds
- "Volt is a technological wonder that combines the ability to drive on electric power only, while its gas engine relieves the ‘range anxiety’ often associated with pure-electric cars. Besides that, it's dynamically capable, comfortable for four adults, and includes loads of high-tech convenience features, including pre-heating and cooling of the interior." -- Consumer Guide
- "It's fun to drive, practical, good-looking and in a league of its own technically." -- Detroit Free Press
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