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2012 Chevrolet Volt Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2012 Chevrolet Volt was new.


Interior: 7.4

Car reviewers are impressed with the stylish, high-quality cabin in the 2012 Chevrolet Volt. However, there are a few things they dislike, including the Volt’s small trunk, four-person seating and confusing, distracting center stack controls.

  • "The cabin is simply the best Chevy interior available. The two-tone dash clearly marks the traditional dual cockpit design that moves from the dash through the doors in a nearly seamless look. This helps the cabin feel even bigger. The grains and materials are all top notch throughout." -- The Detroit News
  • "Overall interior quality is high, though, with materials that seem to be the best yet from recently improved Chevrolet." -- Edmunds
  • "Well, arranging four people around that big T-shaped battery pack makes the rear seats tight, but sub-6-footers fit fine, and the hatch makes the most of the 10.6-cubic-foot cargo bay. A mom, dad, and two kids could easily take a weeklong trip to Grandma’s, no matter how far away she lives." -- Motor Trend


The 2012 Chevrolet Volt only seats four people because its battery pack is T-shaped and takes up the rear middle seat’s space, which is a negative if you frequently have more than two passengers in the back. The automotive press agrees that overall seating space is somewhat cramped, especially for taller adults in the back seat.

  • "Rear seating consists of two bucket seats divided by a useful center console, so only four people fit in a Volt. Legroom and toe space are okay for adults unless the seats in front are far back and far down, in which case the rear seat is inhospitable to humans. Headroom is sufficient for adults up to about 5'11. Egress is slightly restricted by a smallish door opening." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The optional heated leather seats are a must order - though interestingly, they are not electric powered. The leather just looks and feels nicer than cloth seats. While there are only two seats in the second row (instead of the bench seat) because of the battery package, I prefer this approach. Most compacts technically can sit five people, but rarely five adults." -- The Detroit News
  • "Space and comfort are a little disappointing. There is no power driver seat option, which limits adjustability and seems like an oversight in a car that costs $40,000. In back, there are just two seats in order to make room for the battery pack, and they lack both headroom and legroom; adults will likely feel cramped." -- Edmunds
  • "Its compact dimensions might be a turn-off for many, however. Passenger space is tight all around; two large adults are capacity for the front seat row, while the dual rear bucket seats (necessitated by the T-shaped battery) are a tight squeeze for the pleasantly plump crowd." -- Left Lane News

Interior Features

The 2012 Chevrolet Volt has interior technology that matches its high-tech powertrain. The Volt’s gauge cluster is a 7-inch screen, which shows the driver data for the car’s speed, fuel economy, battery consumption and more. The center stack of this upscale midsize car has a touch screen for audio, navigation and climate controls, as well as touch-sensitive buttons instead of knobs. Bluetooth, satellite radio and auxiliary input jacks are standard in the 2012 Volt.

Most test drivers find the Volt’s high-tech controls confusing and difficult to use. One reviewer says there is so much data being displayed while driving that it can be distracting. On the other hand, one test driver likes the Volt’s futuristic center stack and says its clean design is one of Chevrolet’s best yet.

  • "The 2012 Chevrolet Volt's distinctive center stack appears to have been modeled after various personal electronic devices with touch-sensitive buttons. It's a fitting theme for the car, but we've found the collection of small and similar-looking buttons makes actual operation a bit finicky." -- Edmunds
  • "A plethora of energy-consumption data is available in any number of configurations--almost to the point of distraction. Audio and climate controls are mounted high within easy reach, their ‘buttons’ being touch-sensitive points on a flat plastic panel. The buttons are not logically grouped, forcing eyes off the road for longer than we'd like. … Programming the many different drive functions and navigation commands takes some study." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The white center stack in my test vehicle added a clean and Apple-esque feel to the interior and the buttonless center stack, which uses touch sensitive spots, are easy to use and add to the clean feel. This is the most thoughtful design and best executed interior Chevy has ever created." -- The Detroit News


The 2012 Chevy Volt’s cargo space is small compared with those of other upscale midsize cars and hybrids. At only 10.6 cubic feet, the Volt has less than half as much space as the Toyota Prius, which has 21.6 cubic feet of room. Reviewers like the Volt’s hatchback design because it makes loading stuff easier, but most are disappointed with the limited cargo space.

  • "The trunk is fairly narrow in back, but it's deep and large enough to be useful. Rear seat backs fold almost flat to increase cargo space." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The Volt's hatchback design is convenient for loading cargo, but the swooping rear roof line and battery pack location limit maximum luggage capacity to just 10.6 cubic feet with the backseats up. The rear seats fold down to expand cargo capacity, but overall practicality is below that of a Prius." -- Edmunds
  • "The cargo space measures 10.6 cubic feet -- quite small for a hatchback." -- Cars.com
  • "Like the Toyota Prius, the Volt features a liftback design that reveals a fairly shallow and narrow trunk." -- Left Lane News

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