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8.3

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.4
Performance: 8.2
Interior: 6.5
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.6
Safety: 9.6
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2013 Chevrolet Volt Review

The 2013 Chevrolet Volt delivers confident acceleration and a longer all-electric driving range than most plug-in hybrids. However, its clunky controls and limited interior space keep this car from earning a top spot in its class.

Pros & Cons

  • Responsive electric drivetrain
  • Agile handling
  • Cramped rear-seat and cargo space
  • Awkward touch-sensitive controls

New for 2013

  • EV range increases to 38 miles (from 35)
  • Forward collision and lane departure warning available

 

2013 Chevrolet Volt Overview

Is the 2013 Chevrolet Volt a Good Used Car?

The 2013 Chevrolet Volt is a good option for shoppers. It provides nearly 40 miles of electric-only driving range, plus the security of a gas engine to act as a generator when the batteries run low. It’s a best-of-both-worlds scenario, and the Volt’s zippy driving dynamics and excellent safety rating make it even sweeter. That said, there are more practical hybrids for hauling passengers and cargo, like the 2013 Toyota Prius Plug-in.

Used 2013 Chevrolet Volt Performance and Interior

The Chevy Volt is an extended-range electric vehicle. It has two electric motors (149 horsepower) and a lithium-ion battery pack, which can power the car for 38 miles using electricity alone. To recharge, simply plug in the Volt. A full charge can take between 10 and 16 hours with a 120-volt outlet, or four hours with a 240-volt outlet.

When the batteries run low, the Volt’s four-cylinder gasoline engine starts up to recharge the battery pack, providing a combined 382 miles of driving range between fill-ups. The Volt achieves an EPA-estimated 37 mpg (combined city/highway) when running in this mode, which is rather low for a hybrid vehicle.

The front-wheel-drive Volt accelerates briskly and feels refined in stop-and-go city driving. Venture onto the highway, and it provides ample muscle for passing slower vehicles. The Volt’s responsive steering and a taut suspension reward the driver with nimble handling. However, the ride is rather firm. The brakes are touchy as well; they bring the car to a stop just fine, but the pedal offers little feedback.

Read more about Volt performance »

The Chevrolet Volt is a four-seat hatchback. The front seats are comfortable and nicely sculpted, and there’s generous head- and legroom. The rear seats are far less roomy, so you’ll want to reserve these for children and younger teens. There are two full sets of LATCH connectors for securing child car seats. The Volt’s slim windows and tall trunk lid severely limit side and rear visibility. Cargo space is poor for a hatchback at just 10.6 cubic feet, though the wide hatch opening allows for easy loading and unloading. Also, the rear seats can fold to fit larger items.

The Volt’s cabin looks particularly upscale, due to its futuristic dashboard design and quality soft-touch materials. The interior remains quiet when driving in pure electric vehicle (EV) mode as well. However, the hum from the gas engine can become irritating when in hybrid mode. The dashboard features a 7-inch MyLink touch screen and an array of touch-sensitive audio and climate controls. The setup looks sleek, but it’s not user friendly. These buttons can be distracting to the driver and have an awkward arrangement. The screen can also be tough to see in direct sunlight.

Read more about Volt interior »

Used 2013 Chevrolet Volt Prices

The average price of a used 2013 Volt is about $11,800. Prices vary depending on the vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

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We Did the Research for You: 47 Reviews Analyzed

We’ve researched 47 Chevrolet Volt reviews, as well as hard data points like reliability scores and cost of ownership estimates, to help you make the best car-buying decision possible.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking cars for a decade, and our team has more than 75 years of automotive industry experienced combined. While we’re passionate about cars, we’re even more committed to giving helpful consumer advice. To ensure our reviews remain impartial, we refuse expensive gifts and trips from car companies, and an outside team handles the advertising on our site.

How Reliable Is the 2013 Chevrolet Volt?

The Volt has an above-average reliability rating of 3.5 out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about reliability »

How Safe Is the Volt?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the Chevy Volt a 2013 Top Safety Pick. It earned the highest score of Good in all four areas tested. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the Volt a perfect five-star rating for overall, side impact, and rollover safety, as well as four stars for front crash safety.

The Volt’s advanced safety features come in two available packages. The Enhanced Safety Package I includes a rearview camera and rear parking sensors. The Enhanced Safety Package II includes front parking sensors, forward collision warning, and lane departure warning.

See Volt safety scores »

Is the 2013 Volt the Best Model Year to Buy?

Chevrolet launched the Volt as an all-new car in 2011 and fully redesigned it for 2016. The 2013 Volt offers key features that weren’t available in its first two model years, including lane departure warning and forward collision warning. There were also no major changes over its next two model years, meaning you can get the same features of a used 2014 or 2015 model at a much lower price.

Compare the 2013, 2014, and 2015 Volt »

Which Used Chevrolet Volt Is Right for Me?

The 2013 Volt has one trim level. Standard features include a 7-inch touch screen, USB and aux inputs, Bluetooth, satellite radio, a CD player, six speakers, automatic climate control, cloth upholstery, proximity keyless entry, remote start, and alloy wheels. Available features include navigation, a rearview camera, heated front seats, leather upholstery, and a suite of active safety features.

For added confidence in your purchase, consider a certified pre-owned vehicle. For all of its CPO vehicles, Chevy extends the original new-car powertrain warranty to six years or 100,000 miles and provides a one-year/12,000-mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty. Chevrolet CPO vehicles must pass a 172-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read Chevy’s warranty page carefully.

Read more about certified pre-owned vehicles »
Read more about the Chevrolet certified pre-owned program »

2013 Chevrolet Volt and Other Cars to Consider

Which Is Better: 2013 Chevy Volt or 2013 Toyota Prius?

The Toyota Prius hybrid can’t match the Volt’s athletic handling or material quality. But there are plenty of reasons why we named the Toyota the 2013 Best Hatchback for Families. The Prius offers superior cargo and seating space, a smoother ride, exceptional reliability, and better fuel economy (48 mpg, combined city/highway). The regular Prius has a price that’s within the same price range as the Volt. The Toyota Prius Plug-in is another variant of the Prius, but compared to the Volt, it has a higher price and a shorter range of 11 miles.

Which Is Better: 2013 Chevy Volt or 2013 Honda Insight?

The Honda Insight hybrid tops the Volt when it comes to cargo space, but the Honda trails the Chevy in most other comparisons. The Insight has a harsh ride, sluggish acceleration, and fewer active safety features than the Volt. The Insight’s fuel economy beats the Volt’s by a couple points. Then again, the Insight can’t drive solely on battery power, let alone for 38 miles like the Volt. Overall, the Chevy is the better pick.

Which Is Better: 2013 Chevy Volt or 2013 Nissan Leaf?

The Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt are both fine options for those looking for an efficient, green car. Go with the Leaf if you don’t often drive long distances. Nissan’s electric car has an EV range of 75 miles – double what the Volt offers. It also has more seating and cargo space. That said, if you’re nervous about running out of power, go with the Volt. Its range-extending gas engine works as a generator to solve that worry.

Compare the Volt, Prius, and Insight »
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