Now have over 2,000 miles on my 2017 LT Volt in just about 6 weeks and averaging 61 miles per charge, best so far 78 (!!!). This during the summertime in CA, running the AC. Does best in town, setting the cruise at 65 will drain the battery quicker. Solid, fun car to drive with great throttle response, quiet, comfortable and the only gas I've burned has been on a 4 hr drive to Tahoe. In fact it's been nearly 500 miles since I used a drop of gas. My solar panels produce power during the peak hours and I get credited 34 cents/kilowatt, then charge at night for 14 cents/kilowatt. I like driving for free.
My wife's 2008 Prius was getting rather old, so we went shopping in late 2015 for all kinds of cars. We wanted something that was environmentally friendly, and reasonably priced (for a hybrid or electric). My wife drives about 2 times a week over 100 miles a day, so that ruled out a pure electric vehicle due to the lack of range. I saw the new Prius at the Detroit auto show, and was put off by the weird spacey design. From expert reviews, it seemed that Toyota was aiming more for high MPG numbers than striking a balance between performance, handling and comfort.
I was intrigued by the upcoming Chevy Malibu Hybrid. The non-hybrid version that came out recently got very good reviews in the automotive press. After seeing them at the Chevy dealer, my wife thought it was a little too big for her. The kids are grown and out of the house, and the back seat would be empty 95% of the time, so the Volt is fine for us.
I read many of the glowing technical editor reviews of the 2016 Chevrolet Volt. Even magazines like Car and Driver who seem to only lust after exotic performance cars seemed to really like the new Volt. The more I read, the more we wanted to test drive one. Then we realized that only certain states were going to get the limited 2016 Volt deliveries. Living in Delaware, our state was not on the list, so we waited some more for the 2017's which were going to be produced starting in Feb 2016 for all 50 states. While waiting, I also did a little more research on the $7500 Federal Credit, but I also found that there was a (very) limited $2200 rebate offered from Delaware for certain qualified electric vehicles (it's almost gone, so hurry!). Delaware also offers up to a $500 rebate for the car "charger" or EVSE in the electric lingo. So the almost $10K in help from Federal and state made the final cost to us VERY reasonable. (Price shown below is full cost without help)
So when the first batch of Volts hit Delaware, we test drove one. We were hooked. We've had it for about 3 weeks, and we are extremely happy and delighted with the car.
For most trips around town, we use 100% electric. There is very good power at city speeds due to the torque of the 2 electric motors. We live in a college town with hundreds of zombie kids staring at cell phones while crossing the street. I was concerned that one would blindly walk into us while we were in silent electric mode, but GM installed a "white noise" speaker that makes some fake mechanical robot noise below 25mph, that hopefully lets pedestrians (and my cats) know we are in gear.
We did take a long trip to DC, with about 3 hours of driving on the engine. The engine starts unobtrusively, and is not very loud. I can feel slight vibration that lets me know it's on, but I was looking for it. Most people probably wouldn't know when it switches over to the engine. We now have 1100 miles on the car, with some long trips (engine on), and we are averaging overall now about 90 mpg combined. Of course, running with the engine on all the time (you can force it on to hold battery charge or to get quick cabin heat), it's not as efficient as a Prius, as we've seen about 43 mpg from the engine only. But the combined of about 90 mpg without worrying about range is awesome.
Driving dynamics are much better than our old Prius. The car feels and sounds very solid. It handles rough pavement without much noise, and with good control. With all the battery and engine weight, it's not a light car, but it never feels heavy. The electric steering is very good with nice feel. When braking slightly, the motors act as generators feeding juice back to the battery, and if you press harder, the friction brakes come on. It feels a little non-linear, but it?s fine.
The 110V charger (EVSE) that the car comes with is very slow to charge as it defaults to a safer 8 amp charge so as to not cause electric problems in your house that may have poor wiring. This takes forever to charge (~19 hours for full charge?) You can set the 110V EVSE to supply 12 amps but you have to keep re-setting it in the car's dash screen which is very annoying, and it's still very slow to charge. (~13 hours for full charge?). So with the $500 credit Delaware offers, I bought a Clipper Creek 24 Amp "Level 2" or 240V EVSE, with a dryer plug on the end. I had a 240V line run to the garage with the added benefit of being able to run my 240V welder from the dryer plug when not charging the car by simply unplugging the EVSE. Anyway, all that was definitely worth it. The Volt now charges within 4.5 hours max from empty.
Buy it. The car is highly recommended.
UPDATE SEPT 2016.
We've had the car for 8 months now. We love it even more than before. No mechanical issues with the car, and it still drives great and quiet. Our combined MPG is over 105 mpg now as most of our trips are pure electric. We noticed that when it's warm outside, the range is more like 55 miles before the engine starts.
I did a lot of research and test driving before I picked the Volt. I wanted to spend the least amount of money I could on commuting everyday but do not want to sacrifice the refinement, comfort, utility and fun of a new sporty sedan. This car fit the bill almost perfectly for me. First the money: The price of the car comes out to about the same as a Prius when you factor in all the incentives (dealer and government). In my opinion after driving them both I would pay $5000 more than for a Prius still feel I got a good value. If you usually would go under 100 miles or so between charges your energy costs are going to be lower than any other hybrid currently in the market with the Volt. Since my total commute between charges is about 50 miles I only use electricity, the cheapest energy available to me. In my area the power company also gave me a check for $300 (free commuting for a year!) and a lower power rate overnight when charging my Volt. Refinement and Comfort: The Volt does better in this area than the compact/sub compact hybrids like the Prius and C-Max Hybrids (that to me are just a chore to drive), but not quite as good as the larger Fusion and Sonata Hybrids. Ultimately this will depend on taste and what you expect from your car but for me I have been use to bigger luxury type cars for a while so this was important to me. The smooth quiet commute, technology and integration with my Android Phone (it has it for Apple as well) sold me. Utility: Paying only for cheaper electricity for my commute is great, knowing I could still go unlimited miles or over big hills with no hassle when needed is even better. This is what turned me off to a electricity only (EV) car. Also being big enough to fit all of my family (4) easily was also important to me, even though I would use this car almost exclusively for daily commutes and short trips around town. Finally the Fun: I think this is what put me over the edge with this car, it is actually fun to drive. Quick, smooth acceleration and reasonable grip (probably due to batteries creating a low center of gravity). All in all, it is my ultimate commuter car.
Pro's Value is outstanding so far. It drives and feels like a luxury sedan. It is more fun to drive than my Audi. Electric torque is exhilarating... It's not a Tesla but one third the price. I personally like the new body styling.
Cons: Visability is not great making the driver packages I and II both a must.
Also, most dealerships don't seem to know much about the car. Mine was left in "transport mode" WHICH SHUTS OFF HALF OF ALL THE ELECTRONICS. The internet helped to rectify this
Update: November 17, 2016
I have now had the car for five months and love it more every day. I'm getting between 55 and 58 miles on electric charge and unlike pure electric vehicles, this car travels easily long distances when the gasoline engine starts. I'm really at a loss to explain why they're not more of them on the road
My second Volt. 2013 was very good and I averaged 94 mpg but the 2017 is superior in every way. Drives like a bmw 5 series. Styling exterior and interior is greatly improved. After 1 week on electric I'm showing 61 miles w
charge. Drove 600 miles first day and averaged 46 mpg driving on reg gas. Dash and controls are intuitive and easy to use. Interior fit and finish is very good. Leather seats excellent. Could not find one in stock in Dallas.