2017 Chevrolet Volt Expert Review

Editor's Overview

The 2nd-generation Chevrolet Volt improved on the original with better fuel economy, better battery-only range, surprisingly good driving dynamics, and wrapped it all in styling that we would go so far as to call “sexy.” This year, Chevrolet rounds out a few key features, making the 2017 Chevrolet Volt that much more desirable.

You'll Like The 2017 Chevrolet Volt If...

Chevy’s 2017 Volt appeals to two kinds of people. First, there are those looking for green street cred, but who also don't want to be scrambling for an outlet on a weekend road trip. Then there are those who simply want an affordable, good-looking, nice-driving, exceptionally fuel-efficient car.

You May Not Like The 2017 Chevrolet Volt If...

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.

What's New

All-new last year, the 2017 Chevrolet Volt adds a few key features. Full-speed adaptive cruise control is now available on Premier models. Additionally, Teen Driver is now part of the MyLink system. Then there's the limited-availability Citron Green paint.

Interior Features

Chevrolet wisely ditched the too-high-tech capacitive buttons and Star Trek-inspired shiny white plastic for a more conventional interior. It was a smart move, and one that works beautifully, with a sensible layout that includes a great new touch-screen infotainment display. A multi-info display between the main gauges lets you use buttons on the steering wheel to monitor speed, battery use and myriad other functions. Front-seat room is fine, but the rear seat is still on the tight side for taller passengers, while the new fifth seating position is for short trips only.

Exterior Features

Apparently, someone in Chevy design decided it would be a good idea for their flagship EV to NOT look dopey. Good call, we say, as the 2017 Volt is maybe the first alternative-fuel vehicle that people will buy simply because they fell in love with its appearance. While it retains the same general design theme -- 5-door hatchback; metallic grille inserts; the lightning bolt through the "V" in Volt on the badge -- its execution is spot-on. The proportions look excellent, the wide stance and narrow grille and headlights give it a distinctly sporty appearance.

Driving Impressions

The 2nd-generation Chevy Volt is better the moment you pull away from a stop. It's quicker, thanks to the new engine and electric motor, but the steering and suspension blend to make the Volt genuinely fun to drive on a curving road. Bend it into a curve, and its flat stance and firm suspension combine with accurate steering to make it...fun. Yes, a fun EV. Even the brakes are satisfying, thanks in part to the lack of weirdness between mechanical and regenerative braking. The Volt takes advantage of regenerative braking with a paddle on the steering wheel that activates Regen On Demand. Hold it, and the electric motor's regenerative braking is enhanced, slowing the car dramatically while helping to extend the battery's life. Once you get the hang of it -- and it doesn't take long -- you'll find you hardly ever even need to use the actual brake pedal.

Pricing Notes

The base 2017 Chevrolet Volt LT has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) just over the $34,000 mark, including the $875 destination charge. Note, that's before deducting $7,500 in federal tax credits, not to mention any state or local credits. The 2017 Volt Premier adds leather seats and more, bumping the price to about $38,500. As for competition, other plug-in hybrids like the Ford C-Max Energi aren't much less expensive, but offer significantly less range. Some pure EVs like the Nissan Leaf are also less expensive, but don't have the ability to go much past 80 miles without needing a full recharge. Historically, electric vehicles don't do well when it comes to resale value, and the Volt splits the difference between the Ford C-Max Energi and Toyota Prius Plug-In. Be sure to check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area paid for their new Volt.

Notable Equipment

The base-model 2017 Chevrolet Volt LT comes very nicely equipped from the get-go. There's push-button start and remote start along with keyless entry, automatic climate control, and 4G LTE OnStar with a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot. That 8-inch touch-screen infotainment system is standard, as is Apple CarPlay. There's a rearview camera, plus cruise control and a tilt-and-telescope steering wheel with multiple controls for the various audio and infotainment systems. Standard safety equipment counts multiple airbags, including a knee airbag to prevent sliding under the steering wheel in a collision.

Notable Options

Leather seats and a Bose audio system are both optional in the Volt LT, meaning if you want those features you don't have to make the stretch to the more expensive Volt Premier model. If you do, though, not only are those features included, but you also can order Chevrolet's Driver Confidence Package, which includes lane-keeping assist, low-speed automatic braking, and lets you order adaptive cruise control. The Premier is the only model that offers navigation as well, at a surprisingly affordable $495.

Favorite Features

53-MILE RANGE
It's not unusual for electric vehicles to fall short of their claimed battery-only range. But the Volt's 53 miles is real-world proven. We managed to get 50 miles of EV range while cooking it on a famously twisty road north of San Francisco, just shy of its claimed range.

APPLE CARPLAY
Apple CarPlay brings the cleverly intuitive interface you love on your iPhone directly to the dash of your car. Just plug in your phone tap the CarPlay icon on the screen, and you have access to Siri, texts, maps, iTunes music and more. As those apps improve, so does CarPlay.

Under the Hood

There's only one drivetrain for the 2017 Chevrolet Volt, consisting of two parts. There's the range-extending 4-cylinder gasoline engine, which displaces 1.5 liters and puts out 101 horsepower. But it's a generator, there to supply electricity to the electric motor when the 18.4-kWh battery runs out of juice after about 50 miles. Actual motivation for the Volt is thanks to a pair of electric motors with an output of 149 horsepower. A 50-mile range may not sound like much, but Chevrolet notes that about 90 percent of car trips fall within that range, plus the Volt can go up to 420 miles before refueling with regular unleaded. A full recharge takes about 4.5 hours on a 240-volt charger or roughly 13 hours on a standard 120-volt plug.

Dual-electric motor /generator
18.4-kWh lithium-ion battery pack
1.5-liter inline-4 (drives generator only)
111 kW/149 horsepower
294 lb-ft of torque
EPA projected full-charge range: 53 miles (all-electric), 420 miles (combined)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 106 MPGe (all-electric, mpg equivalent), 43 city/42 highway mpg (on gasoline engine/generator)

Editors' Notes

For 2017 Chevrolet’s Volt improves upon the 1st-generation car in a number of ways. It has better all-electric range, with 53 miles on battery power easily attainable. It can go a total of 420 miles thanks to a more fuel-efficient engine. But beyond efficiency, it's just a better car, period. It's fun to drive, with a nicely sorted suspension, good steering and decent power from its unique drivetrain. The interior is both more conventional and more high-tech than before, thanks to the use of real buttons combined with features like Apple CarPlay. It can even seat five people, at least for short drives, and it looks great. The price is also spot-on with the Toyota Prius, after you deduct for federal and state EV credits.

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Owner Reviews

4.65

43 Reviews

65% 35% 3 star 0% 2 star 0% 1 star 0%

Owner reviews are verified by our team and cannot be altered or removed.

My Chevy volt: small but mighty.

Performance: this is a low-drama car. Since the car is hybrid, I can go a really long period of time before I need to get gas, if I have charged up the battery. Mileage: 57 miles on battery + 335 miles on gasoline. Features: get the seat warmers. . . ! Challenges: my car is almost 2 years old. I really have no big complaints but I have noticed a few small things. As a hybrid car, there are times when I'll get error messages that make no sense (or I cannot find the answers in the manual). I have had good relationships with the local dealer and just take it in. Most of what I need is still under warranty. Example: lately, when I depress the brake pedal and press the "on" button, the car will lock-up for about 10 seconds before it will actually allow me to put it into reverse. Just started happening and does not happen every day. If you are a tall person, you may want to look at a different car. However, I have a colleague who is 6'2 and loves his volt. Wish it had proper trunk space. I guess you would call my car a "hatchback". If I could change that design, I absolutely would.

- J M

Love My Volt but Wheel Rims are a Problem

I have a iridescent white 2017 Volt that I just love!❤️Everything about the car is great and I especially like the smoothness,power and economy of electricity! I ordered it from the factory and had the light ash/dark ash interior in leather put in and the Bose sound system. In summer the range is 105 km on a warm day and winter about 70 km. My only complaint with the car is the wheel rims! They stick out about a 1/4 from the low rolling resistance tires and come in contact with a curb so easily when you are parking! You are not even aware that you are scraping the rim until it is done! I have just finished having one wheel repaired by having it machined, buffed, and repainted and now I see that there is another area that that has been damaged again! Grrrrr! think that Chevrolet should have designed the wheel so that the rim is not sticking out so far! Other than that, it is a beautiful car and I would never go back to a totally gasoline vehicle.

- Dorothy

Volt: amazing money saver!

Problems: getting the software update for android as is defaulted for apple. I drive about 40+ miles daily and as long as you charge your car daily you never have to worry about paying for gas. Recently discovered the "l" mode (low gear) which passively breaks your car when releasing the gas pedal. This is great as it passively charges your battery and do not have to use your break half of the time!

- Cody B