2018 Chevrolet Volt Expert Review

4.4 Overall Score
Performance 4.5 Comfort 4.3 Styling 4.5 Value 4.3

Editor's Overview

The 2018 Chevrolet Volt achieves a number of milestones without the usual hyperbole that sometimes surrounds lofty manufacturer claims. Its all-electric range of 53 miles is real, more than double that of the Toyota Prius Prime and Ford C-Max Energi. A $7,500 federal tax credit helps ease the Volts $34,000 starting price.

You'll Like The 2018 Chevrolet Volt If...

Chevrolet’s 2018 Volt plug-in hybrid holds strong appeal to those looking for a green ride that satisfies their environmental standards, but also has the ability to travel beyond its electric range without the need for long recharging sessions.

You May Not Like The 2018 Chevrolet Volt If...

The Volt’s rear quarters are a bit cramped, and its price tag before federal credits is rather steep. While the Volt has nearly double the Toyota Prius Prime’s electric-only range, the Prime’s total range exceeds that of the Volt by nearly 220 miles.

What's New

The 2018 Volt LT now offers the Driver Confidence Package that adds side blind-zone alert, rear cross-traffic alert and rear park assist. The LT trim loses its leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, while the Premier trim gains a heated steering wheel that is optional on the LT.

Interior Features

Chevrolet wisely ditched the too-high-tech capacitive buttons and Star Trek-inspired shiny white plastic of the original Volt 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-seat 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 2018 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 original’s 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 giving it a distinctly sporty appearance.

Driving Impressions

Compared to the first generation, the 2018 Chevy Volt is so much better in every way. A revised engine and electric motor setup permits quicker off-the-line starts, as well as better power delivery for passing and merging. Take the Volt up a twisting mountain pass, and it reveals itself to be the car the Prius wishes it could be. The firm suspension and precise steering allow the Volt to round corners with relatively little drama, retaining a flat stance and an attitude best described as fun (yeah, we said it). Unlike so many other regenerative braking systems we’ve tested, the 2018 Volt’s setup works seamlessly with none of the weirdness between mechanical and regenerative interchange. A clever steering-wheel-mounted paddle activates the Regen On Demand feature. Hold the paddle down and the regenerative braking process is enhanced, rapidly slowing the car while simultaneously recharging the Volt’s battery pack.

Pricing Notes

The base 2018 Chevrolet Volt LT has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) just shy of the $34,100 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 2018 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 Prime. 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 2018 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

The LT can be equipped with heated front seats, a heated steering wheel and heated mirrors, as well as leather seats and Bose audio. A Driver’s Confidence Package is available on both trims and adds blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert and rear park assist. The Volt Premier adds a Bose audio system, leather seats and most of the LT’s optional features. Options for the Premier include the Driver Confidence II Package that adds auto high beams, lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control and forward-collision warning. The Premier is the only model that offers navigation, which costs a mere $495.

Favorite Features

53-MILE RANGE
We gave a collective eye-roll when Chevy told us our Volt test car could travel 53 miles solely on electric power. However, we managed to see 50 miles of EV range while pushing our car hard on a twisting mountain road, just three miles short of the estimated range.

APPLE CARPLAY
With Apple CarPlay, your car’s infotainment system can now mirror the best features of your iPhone. Simply connect the phone, hit the CarPlay icon and you’ll gain access to ITunes, Maps, Siri, text message and more.

Under the Hood

There's only one drivetrain for the 2018 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 53 miles. Actual motivation for the Volt is thanks to a pair of electric motors with an output of 149 horsepower. A 50-plus-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

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. And, while it may appear expensive, after taking the $7,500 federal tax credit the Volt’s pricing falls right in line with the Toyota Prius Prime.

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Owner Reviews

4.63

24 Reviews

63% 38% 3 star 0% 2 star 0% 1 star 0%

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

Great power and efficiency with smooth acceleration and a comfortable ride.

The Volt is very responsive and easy to drive. As the car is driven by electric motors all the time - even on gas, you always get smooth, consistent acceleration. When on gas, the engine drives the #2 motor/generator to make electricity to power the #1 motor. Engine on/off transitions are very smooth and only someone who really knows the car or is carefully watching for them will notice. The all electric range depends on your driving style and road conditions but is typically about 54 miles. The 2018 Volt charging rate is slow at 3.8KW on a 240V charger (16A). I typically drive between 800 - 1,000 miles between fill-ups. The gas tank holds 8 gallons. The cabin is well designed and comfortable. There are a few improvements that could be added, some of which are scheduled for the 2019. The car should have power seats at this price point. The car has a collision alert (optional package) that displays red LEDs up on the dash. It would be very easy for GM to add a full HUD with little impact on power use, weight, or cost of construction. The 2018 Volt has wireless charging in the center console for any phone capable of wireless charging. This is a great feature, but an inconvenient location. The 2019 will move this to forward of the gear shift. The adaptive cruise control is amazing - but you must always remember you are in charge of the car. Adaptive cruise is really good, but not perfect. Lane keep assist is a nice feature but I think it should be more aggressive at centering you in the lane. It will "nudge" the wheel back toward the middle of your lane but I feel that it can easily let you leave your lane. I do go back to the fact that you, not the car, are the one driving, this is just a tool to help reduce the chance of an accident. The sound system with Bose speakers is amazing. I have not yet dared to take the volume to 50%. The bass is powerful, the treble is clear, the sounds are full and rich throughout the spectrum. Sound is designed around the driver so balance and fade are not normally as good for the passengers, but you can adjust the system.

- Gunther H

Chevy volt, only an ac seat away from 5 stars.

What I like most about my 2018 Chevy volt is the battery mileage. The car has performed well for me over the past year with zero issues. I wish the volt had more power, at least 100 ev miles, and ac & electric seats. Most days I average about 52-55 ev miles and while that gets me where I need to go, some days it is not enough. Also, while the volt does have enough pick-up-and-go it could use more. The item I am most bummed about it not having is electric and ac seats. I was told it was because “they didn't have room” which as an engineer I knew was a pile of bs, was later proved right by the release of the 2019 volt which has electric seats, but not ac. I might would have upgraded if they had both, it is that big of deal for me. With that said, I still enjoy the car and prefer to drive it over my Ford Fusion and Chevy truck. I believe the color selection I had to choose from was adequate and a good selection. I would have like to seen a sunroof option on the 2018 model as well as a fully decked out model from the dealership. I had to install my own led charge port as it didn't come factory installed. I felt it was necessary to install because the charge port was difficult to locate at night and align all the necessary parts. A stage 2 charger would have also been nice.

- Aaron J

It is a good choice for anyone who has concerns and cares about air pollution.

I just love the car. It handles well, gets very good gas mileage, is a hybrid so that I can charge it with an electric vehicle charger and I wish it were all electric, but being a hybrid vehicle has a tremendous advantage. So essentially, there's very few things I can say that are negative. Electric cars will become much more popular when there is more availability of free public stations near libraries, in shopping malls, near the local grocery market, the theatre, etc.

- Ellen M