2018 Chevrolet Volt

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MSRP: $33,220 - 37,570

2018 Chevrolet Volt Review

The 2018 Chevrolet Volt is a plug-in hybrid that has great fuel economy, excellent crash test scores, and lots of features. However, many class rivals have more refined interiors, higher reliability scores, and/or more seating space.




Critics' Rating: 9.1
Performance: 8.3
Interior: 8.0
Safety: 10.0
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Pros & Cons

  • Great fuel economy
  • Smooth regenerative brakes
  • Quick acceleration
  • Lots of user-friendly tech features
  • Cramped rear seat
  • Some low-rent cabin materials
  • High starting price
  • Below average predicted reliability rating

Is the Chevrolet Volt a Good Car?

Yes, the Chevy Volt is a good car. It's very fuel-efficient and more fun to drive than most hybrids, thanks to its brisk acceleration and poised handling. The Volt also boasts a long list of standard and available features, including lots of driver assistance technology. However, while competitors feature plenty of soft-touch surfaces in their cabins, the Volt feels a little low-rent. This Chevy has more trunk space than many hybrids, but that's not saying a lot. It still has less cargo room than the average compact car and a relatively cramped rear seat. Lastly, the Volt isn’t expected to be as reliable as the bulk of its contenders.

Should I Buy the Chevrolet Volt?

If you're primarily shopping for a hybrid car, the Chevy Volt is a good choice. Still, considering its high base price, you'd be smart to shop around for a more economical option.

The Toyota Prius Prime costs several thousand dollars less, gets better overall fuel economy, and has more features than the Volt. It also earns a much higher predicted reliability score (4.5 for the Toyota versus 2.5 for the Chevy). The all-electric Chevrolet Bolt has a larger cargo hold and an adult-friendly back seat, but it's a bit more expensive than the Volt.

Compare the Volt, Prius Prime, and Bolt »

Should I Buy a New or Used Chevrolet Volt?

For 2018, Chevy made it easier to get driver assistance features in the Volt. Available in the base model, a new-for-2018 package adds rear parking sensors, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning, and blind spot monitoring. You could still get these features in Volt models prior to 2018, so if you’re open to driving a used car and looking to save some money, consider shopping for a used model. The Volt's current generation started with the 2016 model year, and changes for 2017 include the addition of the Teen Driver as standard equipment. Also, adaptive cruise control and full-speed automatic emergency braking became optional.

To research the other used models in this generation, check out our reviews of the 2016 and 2017 Chevy Volt. If you decide an older model is right for you, check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts on used vehicles.

Compare the 2016, 2017, and 2018 Chevrolet Volt »
We Did the Research for You: 24 Reviews Analyzed

For our 2018 Chevrolet Volt review, we researched dozens of professional evaluations, along with safety scores, reliability data, and fuel economy estimates, to help you make the best buying decision possible. This 2018 Chevrolet Volt review incorporates applicable research for all model years in this generation, which spans the 2016 through 2018 model years.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our team has more than a combined 75 years of experience in the automotive industry. To maintain objectivity, we don't accept incentives or expensive gifts from car companies, and an outside team handles the ads on our site.

How Much Does the Chevrolet Volt Cost?

The base Chevy Volt LT has a starting price of $33,220, which is one of the highest starting prices in the class. Hybrids typically cost several thousand dollars more than nonhybrid cars, and there are often tax incentives for buying a hybrid, but none of that changes the fact that many compact cars have starting prices at least $10,000 lower than the Volt. And if you step up to the Volt Premier, you’re looking at a starting price north of $37,000.

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?

The Toyota Prius Prime starts at about $6,000 less than the Volt. In terms of efficiency, each car has its advantages. The Prius Prime returns a higher mpg-e rating overall and gets better mileage with its gas engine. However, the Volt can go more than twice as far as the Prius Prime on battery-only power (about 53 miles). If you're more of a spirited driver, the Volt is the better option.

A clear advantage for the Toyota is its lengthy list of standard features, such as navigation, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, high-beam assist, and forward collision alert. Many of these are only available in the Chevy’s top trim level. You can also get cool futuristic features in the Prius Prime, such as an 11.6-inch touch screen and head-up display. Choosing between these two hybrids depends on your personal preferences, but the Prius Prime is probably a better buy for most people – especially given its lower price and higher predicted reliability rating.

Which Is Better: Chevrolet Volt or Chevrolet Bolt?

The Chevrolet Bolt is an electric-only car that has by far the longest range of any EV that isn’t a Tesla. It can go up to 238 miles on a single charge, which is nearly five times the Volt’s electric range. However, the Volt's additional gas engine makes it a more practical option for those who take long drives of more than a couple hundred miles. If you can charge the Bolt every day, it's a good buy, just be aware that you may have a hard time finding a charging station on extended road trips.

These two alternative-fuel Chevys are comparable in terms of ride and handling, but the Volt offers more advanced safety features than the Bolt, such as adaptive cruise control and automatic parking assist. Both of these cars have lots of hard plastic surfaces and aren’t particularly impressive in terms of interior quality or design. That's especially disappointing considering that the electric-only Bolt is even more expensive than the Volt. You'll get more rear passenger and cargo space in the Bolt, so you may find it more practical. The question of which is better comes down to whether you can handle the limitations of an all-electric car with a higher price tag.

Compare the Volt, Prius Prime, and Bolt »

Volt Interior

How Many People Does the Volt Seat?

The Volt has five seats but really only seats four people because the rear middle seat is basically useless. The rear outboard seats are cramped, but adults can tolerate them provided the drive isn’t too long. The front seats have enough space, but driver visibility is limited because of the thick roof pillars.

Volt and Car Seats

The Volt has two full sets of LATCH car-seat connectors. The tether anchors are hard to identify, and the lower anchors are set deep in the seat and require a lot of force to attach straps.

Volt Interior Quality

The Volt’s interior features lots of hard plastics, making it less upscale than rival interiors. However, the design is modern and attractive, and the cabin is quiet, particularly when the car is running on electric power.

Volt Cargo Space

The Volt has a decent amount of cargo space for a hybrid compact car – 10.6 cubic feet. That’s enough room for more than half a dozen shopping bags or carry-on-sized items, but it’s not enough space for an entire family’s vacation luggage.

Volt Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Standard features in the Volt include Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, two USB ports, satellite radio, Bluetooth, a six-speaker audio system, a Wi-Fi hot spot, and the MyLink infotainment system with an 8-inch touch screen. Available features include a wireless device charger, an eight-speaker Bose audio system, and navigation.

The MyLink infotainment system's touch screen responds quickly to inputs, and its menus are easy to navigate. The Volt also comes standard with the latest smartphone connectivity features for Apple and Android devices.

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.

Read more about interior »

Volt Performance

Volt Engine: Surprisingly Quick

The Volt features a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor that combine to produce 149 horsepower. It’s quick off the line and has ample power for daily driving. It can run for about 53 miles on electric power alone; after that, the gas engine kicks in. Regenerative brakes work to recharge the battery.

Volt Gas Mileage: Naturally, It’s Great

The Volt is fuel-efficient even by plug-in hybrid standards. It gets an EPA-rated 106 mpg-e under electric power and 42 mpg combined under gasoline power. Like almost all hybrids, the Volt will save you a bundle in fuel costs.

To learn more, check out Decoding Mpg-e.

Volt Ride and Handling: Smooth and Steady

The Chevy Volt rides well over smooth roads, but it transmits bumps into the cabin when things get rough. It handles better than many hybrids, but it's not an athletic car. The regenerative brakes are less obtrusive than in other hybrids.

Read more about performance »

Volt Reliability

Is the Chevrolet Volt Reliable?

The 2018 Volt has a 2.5 out of five predicted reliability rating from J.D. Power. Many cars in the class have better predicted reliability ratings.

Chevrolet Volt Warranty

Chevrolet backs the Volt with a three-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. The warranty on hybrid components, including the battery, is for eight years or 100,000 miles. These are typical warranty terms for the class, including the hybrid components.

Read more about reliability »

Volt Safety

Volt Crash Test Results

The 2018 Chevrolet Volt has a terrific safety rating. It earned a perfect five-star overall rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, receiving five stars in all NHTSA crash tests. The Volt also aced all five individual tests at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, and it was named a 2018 IIHS Top Safety Pick.

Volt Safety Features

The Volt comes standard with a rearview camera and Teen Driver, which lets you set speed and volume limits for the car when others are driving it. Available active safety features include automatic parking assist, rear parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, rear cross traffic alert, forward collision warning, forward automatic braking, lane keep assist, and adaptive cruise control with a following distance indicator.

Read more about safety »

Which Chevrolet Volt Model Is Right for Me?

There are only two Volt trims: LT and Premier. The Premier trim is available with many more driver assistance features, and it’s the only trim that offers navigation. However, if you can live without those things, the LT trim can save you several thousand dollars, and it’s available with plenty of tech features of its own.

Chevrolet Volt LT

The Volt LT (the base trim) has a starting price of $33,220. Besides the standard features, there are several available features and option packages. The Comfort package ($460) adds heated front seats and a heated steering wheel. The LT Driver Confidence package ($790) adds rear parking sensors, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning, and blind spot monitoring. You can also add an eight-speaker Bose audio system for $560.

Chevrolet Volt Premier

The Volt Premier has a starting price of $37,570. In addition to the LT’s standard features, the Premier comes with an eight-speaker Bose audio system, leather upholstery, heated front seats, and automatic parking assist. The Driver Confidence package ($495) adds lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert. The Driver Confidence II package ($495) adds lane keep assist, a following distance indicator, and forward collision alert. You can also add the upgraded MyLink infotainment system with navigation for $495.

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.

See 2018 Chevrolet Volt specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2018 Chevrolet Volt is a compact plug-in hybrid that delivers a good amount of technology and an enjoyable driving experience in a safe, practical package. It’s not perfect (it costs more than nonhybrid rivals do, and it has a below-average predicted reliability rating), but there are many reasons to buy this car.

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

  • "The 2018 Chevrolet Volt achieves a number of milestones without the usual hyperbole that sometimes accompanies manufacturer claims. Its all-electric range of 53 miles is real and more than doubles that of the Toyota Prius Prime. The Volt's sleek styling shuns the radical appearance of electrics like the Nissan LEAF, and its ride and handling are on par with non-hybrid cars like the Chevy Cruze. Inside, the Volt delights with a contemporary interior filled with high-tech features such as Apple CarPlay, yet Chevy has learned the intrinsic value of using traditional knobs and buttons over touch and swipe controls." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "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 (2017)
  • "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)
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