The 2017 Chevrolet Volt offers unique plug-in hybrid functionality in a sleek, high-tech package. We like how it can go more than 50 miles on all-electric power before switching to gas. If you want real EV functionality without the usual range-based limitations, it's a home run.
This year marks the second year of production for the redesigned Volt, but last year's model was available only on a limited basis. As such, many shoppers may not be aware of the changes that the second-generation Volt incorporates. There's a new body structure, for one thing, along with more conventional styling inside and out that departs from the old Volt's concept-car vibe. Under the surface, a revised plug-in hybrid powertrain delivers a remarkable boost in all-electric range (the original Volt could only go about 38 miles). Moreover, the 2017 Volt's quieter 1.5-liter gasoline engine/generator no longer requires premium fuel, and it achieves an EPA rating of 42 mpg combined once the battery pack is depleted.
Fundamentally, though, the new Volt's appeal remains the same. Most plug-in hybrids offer roughly 10 to 20 miles of electric range, but this Chevrolet has enough battery power to keep you away from the gas station for weeks at a time, if not months. On the other hand, there's none of the range anxiety that plagues purely electric cars because the gasoline engine is always ready to kick in and propel you more than 400 miles between fill-ups. During the week, you can commute in your Volt and never use a drop of gas. And should a weekend getaway come up, you can simply rely on hybrid gas-electric power, with no need to stop and find a charging station.
trim levels & features
The 2017 Volt is a five-seat, plug-in hybrid hatchback sedan offered in LT and Premier trims. Both come with a plug-in hybrid system consisting of twin electric motors (149 total horsepower), a 1.5-liter gasoline engine/generator and a 18.4-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. You need to plug it in to recharge fully, but the battery pack can also be partially recharged on the go from the gas engine/generator and regenerative braking. The LT comes reasonably well equipped, while the Premier is more upscale and provides access to more optional advanced driver safety aids.
Standard feature highlights for the Volt LT include 17-inch wheels, LED headlights (low-beam) and taillights, keyless entry and ignition, remote start, 60/40-split folding rear seatbacks, automatic climate control and a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel. Notable technology features for the Volt are a reconfigurable driver information and gauge cluster display screen, Bluetooth, OnStar (with 4G LTE and Wi-Fi connectivity), an 8-inch central touchscreen with Chevrolet's MyLink interface, Apple CarPlay smartphone integration for iPhone users and a six-speaker sound system with satellite radio.
Optional for the LT is a Comfort package that includes heated mirrors, heated front seats and a heated steering wheel. Leather upholstery can be ordered with the LT Comfort package as well. An eight-speaker Bose audio system is available as a stand-alone option.
Move up to the 2017 Volt Premier and you get all of the above as standard, plus different 17-inch wheels, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, heated rear outboard seats, a wireless charging pad for cellphones and other equipment, a navigation system and an automated parking system (parallel and perpendicular).
The Driver Confidence package available for the Premier trim includes blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warning and rear cross-traffic alert. The Driver Confidence 2 package (requires basic Driver Confidence package) adds forward collision warning with automatic low-speed emergency braking, lane departure intervention and adaptive headlights. If you get the Driver Confidence 2 package, you can also spring for adaptive cruise control, which is bundled with an upgraded automatic emergency braking system.
noise & vibration
ease of use
getting in/getting out
child safety seat accomodation
audio & navigation
edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.