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2011 Chevrolet Volt Review

The Chevrolet Volt debuted as one of the most efficient 2011 midsize cars available, with a manageable electric-only range and gasoline engine as backup. However, a limited seating capacity may limit its appeal for some.

Pros & Cons

  • Good handling
  • High-tech, futuristic interior
  • Only seats four
  • Limited cargo space




Critics' Rating: 10.0
Performance: 10.0
Interior: 8.8
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.7
Safety: 9.5
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2011 Chevrolet Volt Overview

When it was new, critics liked the Volt’s extended-range powertrain, which enables it to operate as an electric car for short trips, while the gas engine quells worries about running out of juice. The Volt can only seat up to four, which may be problematic for some families. The 2011 Volt has a great safety score.

The Volt can go 25 to 50 miles on electric power alone. However, its plug-in hybrid powertrain pairs an electric motor with a gasoline engine, which extends its range well beyond the limit of a fully-charged battery. Critics said that, while it is certainly not speedy, the Volt has adequate power and drives much like a conventional car. Running on electricity, the Volt receives an mpg-equivalent rating of 95/90 mpg city/highway. When running on only gasoline, the Volt nets 35/40 mpg city/highway, which is strong for the class. Using a 240-volt charging station, it should take about four hours to fully charge the Volt’s battery, or up to 12 hours using a 120-volt household outlet.

Critics liked the Volt’s futuristic interior, but had mixed opinions about passenger space and comfort. The Volt is a hatchback, and can carry 10.6 cubic feet of cargo behind its rear seats, which is less than the trunk space of many competitors. Standard equipment includes cloth upholstery, automatic climate control, Bluetooth, a Bose stereo and touch-screen navigation. An available premium package adds leather seats, a backup camera and parking sensors. To reduce your total battery charging time, you may want to have a 240-volt charging station installed in your home.

See the full 2011 Chevrolet Volt specs »

Other Cars to Consider

If you’re interested in saving fuel, you may like the 2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid. Critics liked the MKZ Hybrid’s combination of a hybrid powertrain with the practicality and comfort of a regular car. They said it is as luxurious as the regular MKZ, but with the added bonus of getting up to 41/36 mpg city/highway. 

Critics said the 2011 Lexus HS 250h offers greater fuel efficiency than most luxury buyers are used to, and that it has reasonably good handling for a hybrid. Its fuel economy, at 35/34 mpg city/highway, isn’t as good as the Volt’s gas estimates.

Compare the Volt to the MKZ Hybrid and HS 250h »

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