2011 Chevrolet Volt Long Term Road Test

2011 Chevrolet Volt: Halogen vs LED/HID Headlights

March 07, 2011

Volt DRL.jpg I'm not a fan of halogen headlights. They aren’t very bright and they don’t look as good as HID or LED lights. I had driven a few cars with HID and LED lights and I was sold on them immediately. When I bought my car last year, HID lights were a must-have.

Our 2011 Chevrolet Volt has LED daytime running lights. They look great and give a off a nice cool blue light. But when you turn on your low beams, a pair of halogen bulbs comes on instead. This is disappointing because at $44 grand for a fully loaded model, you expect to get some premium features. Cost expectations aside, there are other reasons why the Volt could benefit from LED headlights.

A recent study by Osram Sylvania showed that having LED headlights can potentially extend an electric vehicle's range by up to six miles. I'm pretty sure every Volt owner would love an additional six miles of EV range (and brighter headlights).

You're probably thinking, "LED headlights are more expensive. If the Volt had them, it would cost even more." But for comparison's sake, the base model Nissan Leaf, which starts at $32,780, has LED headlights. Nissan has a partnership with Valeo-Ichikoh to produce a low-cost and energy-efficient headlamp.

General Motors already offers LED headlights in the Cadillac Escalade Platinum. If the tech in those headlights was too big to fit in the Volt, even an HID lighting system would be more energy-efficient than halogen.

What do you think? Should the Volt have LED headlights? What do you prefer on your cars?

-Ron Montoya, Consumer Advice Associate @ 2,982 miles

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Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2011 Chevrolet Volt in VA is:

$100 per month*
* Explanation