Chevrolet Volt

#8 in Compact Cars Overall Score: 8.5 / 10
2017 Chevrolet Volt View More Photos »
U.S. News Best Price Program
Don't overpay. Use the U.S. News Best Price Program to find the best local prices on the Volt.
$33,220 - $37,570

2017 Chevrolet Volt Overview

The 2017 Chevrolet Volt ranks 8 out of 24 Compact Cars.

The 2017 Chevrolet Volt charges into the second year of its generation with spry road manners that challenge the norm of the humdrum plug-in hybrid. It's not just about fun, as the Volt also touts impeccable safety scores. However, its rear seats are a bit cramped, and the Volt has a lower reliability rating and higher price than most of its rivals.

SEATING


5

MPG


N/A

  CITY


N/A

  HWY

DRIVETRAIN


FWD

HP


149
See full 2017 Chevrolet Volt specs ยป

Pros & Cons

  • Lively acceleration
  • Fun to drive
  • Excellent safety scores
  • Cramped rear seats
  • Lower reliability rating than rivals
  • Pricier than some rivals

Notable for 2017

  • New driver assistance features available

Chevrolet Volt Rankings and Research

The 2017 Chevrolet Volt ranking is based on its score within the Compact Cars category. Currently the Chevrolet Volt has a score of 8.5 out of 10 which is based on our evaluation of 22 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.

Scorecard

Overall: 8.5
Critics' Rating: 9.1
Performance: 8.4
Interior: 8.0
Safety: 10.0
Reliability: 2_5

Rankings

2017 Chevrolet Volt Pictures

2017 Chevrolet Volt Review

By Blair Travers August 4, 2017

The 2017 Chevrolet Volt charges into the second year of its generation with spry road manners that challenge the norm of the humdrum plug-in hybrid. It's not just about fun, as the Volt also touts impeccable safety scores. However, its rear seats are a bit cramped, and the Volt has a lower reliability rating and higher price than most of its rivals.

Is the Chevrolet Volt a Good Car?

If you want to go all-electric Monday through Friday on your commute to and from work, but you still want to keep some gas in the tank for weekend getaways, the Volt makes a fine choice for most shoppers. Compared to other plug-in hybrids, like the Toyota Prius Prime, the Volt feels surprisingly sporty. Also, it outshines the rest in terms of safety scores. However, its cramped rear seats don't feel as roomy as those in classmates, like the all-electric Chevy Bolt. What's more, the Volt has a lower reliability rating than most of its rivals.

Should I Buy the Chevrolet Volt?

A major problem for the Volt is its hefty cost. Couple that with its lackluster reliability rating, and the potential costs seem to add up quickly. You'll get better fuel economy and more standard tech and safety features with the Toyota Prius Prime, at a starting price that is about $6,100 less than the Volt's. The Chevy Bolt, although more expensive than the Volt, represents a leap forward in the all-electric world thanks to its 238-mile range between recharging. All things considered, the Volt makes a fine choice, but it is certainly not the only car worth considering.

Compare the Volt, Prius Prime, and Bolt »

We Did the Research for You: 22 Pieces of Data Analyzed

To give you the most complete information on the Chevrolet Volt, we've pored over 22 pieces of data, including reliability ratings, crash test scores, and fuel economy estimates. We've also examined the opinions of credible automotive journalists to arrive at a consensus. All the information you need is right here, so you don't have to scour the internet and wear yourself out before you even get to the dealership.

Fresh off the heels of a redesign for the 2016 model year, the Volt sees only a few changes to standard and available features for 2017. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2016 and 2017 model years. Newly standard is the Teen Driver management system. Also, full-speed adaptive cruise control and forward automatic emergency braking are now available with the Premier trim.

Why You Can Trust Us

Whether you need help picking out a vehicle, vacation spot, hospital, or college, we put all the information you need right at your fingertips to help you make the best decision. U.S. News & World Report has been in business for 84 years, and we’ve been ranking cars and trucks for nearly a decade. We don't take expensive gifts or fancy trips in exchange for a good review. Also, third-party handling of our site's advertising means we don't have a dog in the fight. We're simply committed to providing you with the best possible buying advice.

How Much Does the Chevrolet Volt Cost?

The 2017 Chevy Volt starts at $33,220, which is $3,400 less than the starting price of the all-electric Chevy Bolt. If that's still too much, the Toyota Prius Prime has a much lower starting price of $27,100, making it one of the lowest-priced plug-in hybrids on the market.

The Volt's LT (base) trim comes with plenty of tech goodies, including Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a Pandora streaming app, two USB ports, satellite radio, and Bluetooth. All of this is seen and heard through a six-speaker audio system and an 8-inch touch screen.

If you'd rather have a more loaded Volt, consider the Premier trim ($37,570). It adds a wireless device charger, an eight-speaker Bose audio system, automatic parking assist, leather upholstery, heated front and rear seats, a heated steering wheel, heated sideview mirrors, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

When fully loaded with options, the Volt Premier tops out at $38,560, which is about $2,000 more than the base price of the Bolt.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Chevrolet dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Chevrolet deals page.

Chevrolet Volt Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Chevrolet Volt or Toyota Prius Prime?

Unless having five seats or a long electric range are your top concerns, the Toyota Prius Prime is a better buy. For one, it has one of the lowest starting prices in the class, at $27,100. To save you more money, it returns a higher mpg-e rating (133) and also achieves 54 mpg (combined city/highway) with the gas engine running. One of the few misses of the Prime's plug-in prowess is its measly 25-mile range, compared to the Volt's 53. Another is that the Prius Prime only offers four seats, though the Volt's fifth seat is only suitable for occasional use (it requires that the occupant straddle the center console, which extends to the rear cushion). If you'll be carting around rear-seat passengers often, you should probably consider a midsize car rather than a compact car. Also, if you're more of a spirited driver, go for the Volt. The Prime is composed through turns, but you won't want to push its limits.

The Prius Prime has an exceptional list of standard features; many of which are only available in the Volt's top-of-the-line Premier trim. These include navigation, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, high-beam assist, and forward collision alert. The Prius Prime's optional add-ons are appealing as well, including a dazzling 11.6-inch touch screen, though this could be distracting for some. An available head-up display takes the tech up another notch, letting you see your speed right on the windshield.

For more plug-in hybrids, take a look at our coverage of the best plug-in hybrids.

Which Is Better: Chevrolet Volt or Chevrolet Bolt?

For some, the Chevy Bolt represents a more environmentally friendly car and a way to say goodbye to the gas station. For others, it can be intimidating because electric-only vehicles confine you to a set range. When the batteries deplete, you'll need to charge them up again. There is no gas engine, like in the Volt. For that reason, the Volt is a more practical option for those who take road trips of more than a couple hundred miles. Unlike Tesla, Chevrolet does not have a far-reaching charging station network. You may find some public charging stations, but they are not widespread. There are a few smartphone apps that will help you find a charging station and even plot your routes accordingly. Electric range in the Bolt is 238 miles, which is higher than the Volt's 53-mile range. However, the Volt allows for more flexibility when you're not in range of public charging stations.

Both Chevy models offer punchy around-town acceleration and sufficient passing power on the highway. Handling and ride quality are likewise better than most hybrid and electric cars. In terms of safety, the Volt offers advanced safety features that the Bolt doesn't: adaptive cruise control and automatic parking assist. Interior quality is about the same in both cars, but the Volt's cabin design is less drab than what you'll find in the Bolt. If you plan on having passengers in the back seats often, you'll find the Bolt has more room. The Bolt also has the larger cargo hold, offering 16.9 cubic feet, more than the Volt's 10.6.

All told, the Bolt's higher cost and range limitations make it a less practical choice for many, but if it suits your lifestyle, there are few electric vehicles on the market that top the Bolt. Also, its predicted reliability is considerably better than the Volt's. Want to see more electric vehicles? Check out the 13 best all-electric cars.

Compare the Volt, Prius Prime, and Bolt »

Volt Interior

How Many People Does the Volt Seat?

Like the Chevrolet Bolt, the 2017 Volt seats five on standard cloth upholstery. Upgrades include leather upholstery, heated front and rear seats, a heated steering wheel, heated sideview mirrors, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. Conspicuously absent are power-adjustable seats. For a car of this price, it's very odd that it's not available in even the fully loaded Volt. In the Toyota Prius Prime, an eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat is an option.

Front seats are spacious, but driver visibility is lacking, as both the front and back roof pillars are rather thick. By comparison, the Prius Prime and Chevy Bolt offer better visibility all-around.

The Volt's rear seats are cramped, and anyone sitting in the middle seat must straddle the center console, which extends from the front all the way to the rear-seat cushion. If you need better rear-seat room, the Bolt makes a better alternative.

Volt and Car Seats

There is a complete set of anchors on the outboard rear seats, but you can install a child seat in the middle by using the middle tether anchor and borrowing a lower anchor from either side.

Installing car seats in the Volt can be awkward. Lower anchors fall deep in the seats, and you'll have to really work to get both anchors attached. You might also confuse the tethers for other parts of the seat.

Volt Interior Quality

You'll find plenty of hard plastic throughout the Volt's cabin. However, the Volt's interior design is attractive. The Volt's gauges are easy to read, and controls are straightforward, including the standard 8-inch touch screen. The Volt also now employs physical buttons that are no longer touch sensitive.

Volt Cargo Space

You'll have more cargo space in the Volt than you will in most plug-in hybrids, but that's not saying much. There's 10.6 cubic feet of cargo space in the Volt, but you get more with the Chevy Bolt (16.9) and almost double the Volt's space in the Prius Prime (19.8). In a pinch, you can fold down the Volt's 60/40 split-folding rear seats to fit long objects. However, with all seats in use, you shouldn't have a problem with two large suitcases and a couple carry-on bags. Because the Volt is a hatchback, loading and unloading is easy.

Volt Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

You'll get the usual assortment of standard features with the Volt plus a few you don't commonly see included. The Volt comes with satellite radio, Bluetooth, two USB ports, a six-speaker audio system, an 8-inch touch screen, a rearview camera, automatic climate control, remote start, and a proximity key. It's also nice to see Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a built-in Pandora streaming app, so users can integrate apps they're already familiar with.

For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto? Then, see the Best Cars With Apple CarPlay and Best Cars With Android Auto.

Two great tech features that come standard in the Volt are a built-in Wi-Fi hot spot and the Chevy Remote Link app, which turns your smartphone into a key fob, allowing you to lock, unlock, and remotely start the Volt. Also, a wireless device charger gets rid of all those pesky charging cables by allowing you to simply place your compatible phone on a charging platform. Available tech features include an eight-speaker Bose audio system, navigation, and automatic parking assist.

However, the Toyota Prius Prime gives you more for less. With a starting price that is $6,120 less than the Volt, you get all these extra features standard: navigation, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, high-beam assist, and forward collision alert.

Read more about interior »

Volt Performance

Volt Motors and Engine: It Takes Two to Tango

The Volt's powertrain consists of a pair of electric motors, a lithium-ion battery, and a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine. Together, they produce 149 horsepower, which is enough to give the Volt fairly good pep.

The Chevrolet Bolt will also surprise you with its spunky all-electric engine, with superb low-end torque that really gets it up and moving around town. By contrast, the Toyota Prius Prime is lacking in the fun department. While the Volt is nearly silent most of the time, you'll hear its four-cylinder engine purr when it's running. Otherwise, sounds from outside the cabin are minimal.

Volt Driving Range, Charging, and Gas Mileage: Good, but Not the Best

Driving on all-electric power, the Volt can make it about 53 miles before the gas engine kicks in. The Toyota Prius Prime can only make it 25 miles, but the Chevy Bolt can go much farther with its 238-mile range. While not as high as the Prius Prime's 133 mpg-e or the Bolt's 119 mpg-e ratings, the Volt returns 106 mpg-e, which is still very good for a plug-in hybrid. Again, the Prius Prime wins out with 54 mpg combined.

Volt Ride and Handling: Shockingly Balanced

The Volt is quite fun to drive for a plug-in hybrid. Its handling is composed around turns, even with its low-rolling resistance tires. The ride, while not too soft, absorbs bumps in the road well enough to not feel harsh. The Bolt is also surprisingly agile, but the Prius Prime is not to be called exciting.

Volt Regenerative Braking: Smooth Transition of Power

Like all plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles, the Volt uses regenerative brakes. This system uses the electric motors to slow the car down and uses that energy to recharge the battery pack, before transitioning to traditional friction brakes to bring the car to a stop. In the Volt, this transition is quite smooth, which can't be said of all hybrid and electric vehicles. However, the Bolt and Prius Prime are two more examples of vehicles with regenerative brakes that work unobtrusively.

As the driver, you'll also have the ability to increase the regenerative braking input from the electric motors. In some instances, this allows you to drive in stop-and-go traffic without ever touching the brake pedal, as merely lifting your foot off the accelerator slows the car significantly.

Read more about performance »

Volt Reliability

Is the Chevrolet Volt Reliable?

The 2017 Chevy Volt's predicted reliability rating is 2.5 out of a possible five, according to J.D. Power and Associates. This is a below-average rating. For better peace of mind, the Chevy Bolt earns a score of 3.5, which is more in line with the class average. The Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is a plug-in hybrid (which also comes in a plug-in variant) that earns a terrific score of four out of five.

Chevrolet Volt Warranty

The 2017 Chevrolet Volt has a three-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty. It also comes with a five-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty and an eight-year/100,000-mile warranty for the battery pack.

Read more about reliability »

Volt Safety

Volt Crash Test Results

The Volt earns the highest possible crash test scores across the board from both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The only other hybrid that touts the same score is the Kia Optima Hybrid.

Volt Safety Features

Standard safety features include a rearview camera and the Teen Driver management system, which provides parents with a report card of their teen's driving habits. You can also set volume and speed limitations on the car with this system. Like all Chevrolets, OnStar emergency notification services also come standard.

Unlike the Volt, the Prius Prime comes with a remarkable list of standard safety features. Every Prius Prime comes with Toyota Safety Sense, which includes forward collision alert with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, lane departure alert, lane keep assist, and high-beam assist.

Although the Volt's base trim doesn't offer much in the way of advanced safety features, the Premier trim has a few available by way of package add-ons. These include blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, rear cross traffic alert, forward collision warning, and automatic low-speed emergency braking. Lane keep assist is also available, which steers you back into your lane, should you drift over the line. A following distance indicator ensures you know when you're too close to the car in front of you. If you have adaptive cruise control set, the Volt will apply the brakes to prevent a rear-end collision if necessary. One more feature available in the Premier trim is high-beam assist. With it, you don't have to remember to switch to low beams when a car approaches in front of you.

Read more about safety »

Which Chevrolet Volt Model Is Right for Me?

The Chevy Volt comes in only two trims, the LT ($33,220) and Premier ($37,570). For the best value, we recommend the LT trim. It comes with many of the tech features that shoppers want, plus uncommon goodies like a Wi-Fi hot spot, an app that allows key fob controls on your smartphone, and the Teen Driver management system. If you yearn for some of the features available in the Premier trim, consider adding on various packages available to the LT, like heated leather front seats, or treat your ears to the upgraded Bose system.

You should only consider the Premier trim if you can't live without the safety features only available in that trim, like blind spot monitoring, forward collision warning, and lane keep assist. Otherwise, you're really only missing out on heated rear seats and a wireless device charger, since you can use the standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to integrate navigation from your smartphone.

Chevrolet Volt LT

Starting at $33,220, the Volt LT comes with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a Pandora streaming app, two USB ports, satellite radio, Bluetooth, a six-speaker audio system, an 8-inch touch screen, a built-in Wi-Fi hot spot, the Remote Link app, a rearview camera, automatic climate control, a push-button ignition, remote start, a proximity key, and the Teen Driver management system.

The Comfort package ($460) makes the front seats, steering wheel, and sideview mirrors heated. With this package, you can also spend $900 extra to get leather upholstery. Also, an eight-speaker Bose audio system can be yours for $560.

Chevrolet Volt Premier

The Volt Premier starts at $37,570. Building on the base LT, it adds a wireless device charger, an eight-speaker Bose audio system, navigation, automatic parking assist, leather upholstery, heated front and rear seats, a heated steering wheel, heated sideview mirrors, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

For $495, you can add blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, and rear cross traffic alert. If you get that, you can spend another $495 to get forward collision warning, automatic low-speed emergency braking, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control with a following distance indicator, and high-beam assist.

Who Makes the Chevrolet Volt?

The Chevrolet division of General Motors makes the Volt, which is manufactured at the Detroit/Hamtramck assembly plant in Michigan. Although American factory workers put together the Volt, only half of its parts come from the United States or Canada.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Chevy dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Chevrolet deals page.

See 2017 Chevrolet Volt specs and trims »

The Final Call

If you're adding plug-in hybrids to your list of cars to test-drive, the 2017 Chevy Volt should be on that list. It represents a clear break from the humdrum personality of many of its competitors. That's because it is fun to drive and has great acceleration for a plug-in hybrid. Top-notch safety scores are another reason the Volt is worthy of consideration.

However, before signing on the dotted line, there are few drawbacks to keep in mind. If you plan on using the back seats often, you'll want to see if the Chevrolet Bolt, the Volt's all-electric sibling, is a better fit. If you're planning on buying the Volt, dependability should be a top concern. The Volt's predicted reliability scores are below classmates like the Bolt.

For many, it's all about the price. Arguably the Volt's biggest drawback is its hefty $33,220 price tag, which is not as appealing as the Toyota Prius Prime's $27,100 starting price. The Prius Prime also comes with loads of standard features, including navigation and an abundance of advanced safety features. The Prius Prime also returns better fuel economy, though it has a shorter range.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "Compared with the first-generation car, the new Volt has more style and substance, more interior room and better efficiency. For 2017, Chevrolet even adds the latest in driver-assist and safety features, making the Volt a cutting-edge hybrid worthy of consideration. Oh, sure, the Volt is still pricey for what you get, but federal and local tax incentives -- combined with constant special offers from Chevrolet -- ensure its pricing remains fairly reasonable. If you're looking to go green, the latest Volt is a great way to do it." -- Autotrader
  • "About the only downside to the 2017 Volt is the rear seat, which may have three seatbelts, but is still too tight for extended road trips." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The new Volt is a gargantuan leap forward. Not only is it more capable, efficient, refined, versatile, and user-friendly than the original -- it's also cheaper." -- Automobile Magazine (2016)
ADVERTISEMENT – CONTINUE READING BELOW

Research Prices: 2017 Chevrolet Volt

Over 75,000 car shoppers have purchased a car through the U.S. News Best Price Program. Our pricing beats the national average 86% of the time with shoppers receiving average savings of $3,279 off MSRP across vehicles. See what others paid for the Chevrolet Volt and get upfront pricing to make sure you don't overpay. Learn More »

$33,220 - $37,570
Find the best local price: submit