2018 Chevrolet Volt Hatchback Review

The 2018 Chevrolet Volt functions like an EV but without all the range anxiety.
4 star edmunds overall rating
by Travis Langness
Edmunds Editor
The 2018 Chevrolet Volt is a plug-in hybrid, which means you can drive using pure electric power until the Volt's battery is depleted. After that, it switches to a combination of gas and electricity. That in itself is unremarkable. What truly makes the Volt special is its EPA-rated electric range of 53 miles, a number that far exceeds class standards. For a lot of drivers, that's enough to never need to use gasoline.While all dedicated electric vehicles can go farther than that, the beauty of the Volt is that once you run out of juice it switches over to its normal gasoline-electric hybrid operation. Whether it's short-distance commuting or going cross country, the Volt has you covered. On top of that, the Volt boasts plenty of standard equipment and an easy-to-drive nature. Although you might prefer the traditional look and spaciousness provided by a plug-in midsize sedan (such as the Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid), the pure electric range of these vehicles is considerably less than the Volt's. As such, we definitely recommend checking out Chevy's smartly designed plug-in hybrid hatchback.

what's new

For 2018, the optional Driver Confidence package (blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, rear parking sensors) is now available on both the base LT and top-level Premier trims.

we recommend

Picking a Volt won't be a laborious decision since there are only two trim levels to choose from. We'd likely go with the Premier. That decision is largely based on the small differences in options availability since the two trim levels have identical powertrains. The LT is well-equipped and even gets some additional access to optional safety equipment for 2018, but the Premier has access to options such as adaptive cruise control, forward collision mitigation and lane departure intervention.

trim levels & features

The 2018 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, a 1.5-liter gasoline engine/generator and a 18.4-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Total system output is 149 horsepower. 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 and Android auto connectivity, 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 leather-wrapped and 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 Volt Premier and you get the LT's equipment, the contents of the Comfort package, the Bose audio system, plus different 17-inch wheels, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, heated rear outboard seats, a wireless charging pad for cellphones and other equipment, and an automated parking system (parallel and perpendicular).

A Driver Confidence package is available for the LT and Premier trims and it includes blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and rear parking sensors. The Driver Confidence 2 package for the Premier trim (requires the Driver Confidence package) adds forward collision warning with automatic low-speed emergency braking, lane departure warning and intervention, and adaptive headlights. If you get the Driver Confidence 2 package, you can also spring for adaptive cruise control and an upgraded automatic emergency braking system. A navigation system is optional for the Premier.

trim tested

The ratings in this review are based on our full test of a 2016 Chevrolet Volt Premier (1.5L inline-4 plug-in hybrid | CVT automatic | FWD). Since this test was conducted, the current Chevrolet Volt has received only minor revisions. Our findings remain broadly applicable to this year's Volt.

Edmunds Scorecard

Overall4.0 / 5.0


4.5 / 5.0

Acceleration4.5 / 5.0
Braking4.0 / 5.0
Steering4.0 / 5.0
Handling3.5 / 5.0
Drivability5.0 / 5.0


3.5 / 5.0

Seat comfort3.5 / 5.0
Ride comfort3.0 / 5.0
Noise & vibration4.5 / 5.0
Climate control3.5 / 5.0


3.0 / 5.0

Ease of use4.0 / 5.0
Getting in/getting out3.5 / 5.0
Driving position3.0 / 5.0
Roominess3.5 / 5.0
Visibility2.5 / 5.0
Quality3.0 / 5.0


3.0 / 5.0

Small-item storage3.0 / 5.0
Cargo space3.0 / 5.0


4.5 / 5.0

Audio & navigation4.0 / 5.0
Smartphone integration5.0 / 5.0
Driver aids4.0 / 5.0
Voice control4.0 / 5.0


edmunds rating
Considering the Volt's eco-friendly mission and its thriftiness on fuel, it performs admirably. The Volt feels willing and able in just about every situation, and it's one of the smoothest-driving plug-in hybrid vehicles out there.


edmunds rating
The Volt's powertrain delivers smooth and seamless acceleration whether in electric or gasoline mode. Our sprint to 60 mph took just 7.8 seconds on electricity or 7.5 seconds on gasoline, an enthusiastic performance for a green car.


edmunds rating
The brake pedal is a bit unresponsive initially, but otherwise the Volt's braking is pleasingly smooth and linear. The blending of regenerative and regular friction braking is nearly imperceptible, too. In our 60 mph-to-zero panic-stop test, the Volt posted a respectable 119-foot distance.


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It steers with a confidence and directness that makes it easy for the driver to guide the car around turns and through corners. Effort is generally good, but it can feel a bit "thick" and indistinct around center when cruising straight.


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The Volt exhibits good coordination and even a bit of playfulness on winding roads. Don't push it too hard, though, because the suspension and economy-minded tires aren't optimized for that sort of thing.


edmunds rating
Electric drive is very smooth in the Volt. In gasoline mode, the engine and the CVT work well together, too. It's an easy car to drive. The Volt has a L mode and a steering-wheel-mounted paddle for more brake regeneration; some drivers might find the paddle's abrupt engagement off-putting, though.


edmunds rating
The Volt is certainly quiet, and the ride is smooth most of the time. The suspension doesn't always maintain its composure on the worst roads, though. The seats are generally well-shaped for most, but they have a few limitations that prevent them from being universally loved.

seat comfort

edmunds rating
The seats generally receive high marks for comfort and support, but the bottom cushion could be longer to help with thigh support. The rear outboard seats, thanks to the seat contouring and armrest padding, are comfortable for adults.

ride comfort

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The Volt is generally smooth and buttoned-down over typical sorts of worn or uneven road surfaces. But driving over potholes results in sharp impacts in the cabin. The Volt can seem overly soft and out of sorts when you encounter midcorner bumps, too.

noise & vibration

edmunds rating
Electric mode is exceedingly silent, of course, but this second-generation Volt is now tame when running on gasoline, too. Engine noise is no longer the sore point it was before. Detectable but not excessive levels of wind and road noise.

climate control

edmunds rating
Automatic climate control is standard. It's single-zone only, however. Cabin heating works well and warms up quickly. The Premier's heated seats (front and rear) and the heated steering wheel also work well.


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The Volt's interior is far more useful than before. It's a lot like a regular car interior, and you can seat up to five now (in theory). But some rival plug-in hybrids are roomier and have better visibility.

ease of use

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This Volt differs from the original in its more logically arrayed buttons and knobs. But because of some of the advanced tech, this isn't a simple car that you can immediately hop in and drive. Setting the climate control manually can be a little confusing.

getting in/getting out

edmunds rating
Access to the front is easy thanks to wide-opening doors and an agreeable roofline. Backseat access is trickier because of the lower roofline and smaller door opening. Taller folks will have to duck a little.

driving position

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There's enough adjustability for most drivers, but the driver seat's height adjuster could stand to have more range. Also, you can't get a power driver seat in a Volt; Chevy uses manual adjustments, presumably to save weight.


edmunds rating
Plenty of room up front for adults of all sizes. The backseat is a little tighter, but it's still roomy for two adults of average height. In theory, you can fit three back there, but the space taken up by the wide battery pack underneath means the center spot is for kids or car seats only.


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Good view out the front, but the nose drops away out of sight, making parking trickier. The reasonably sized rear door glass helps minimize over-the-shoulder blind spots. Rear visibility is hampered by the small rear window, but the rearview camera is excellent. A rear window wiper isn't available.


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Though the styling of the cabin is much improved, the authenticity of the plastic and the overused plastic-chrome trim could stand more refinement. Acceptable but not outstanding. Exterior assembly and paint quality are about average.


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The Volt's luggage area doesn't hold a whole lot, but the hatchback design makes the most of it. For everyday driving, the Volt should work out fine. But some rival plug-in vehicles are a bit more utilitarian.

small-item storage

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The open storage space ahead of the gear shifter is useful for holding your phone or other small items. There's also a small slot next to the shifter and a decent-size center console bin. The cupholders will hold most drink sizes. In back, the Volt has two cupholders but no other storage options.

cargo space

edmunds rating
The trunk, at 10.6 cubic feet, is modestly sized; fitting golf bags is problematic. The provided security cover is chintzy, too. Still, the hatchback design gives you a bigger portal to load luggage compared to the typical small sedan, and the 60/40-split seatback folds down.

child safety seat accomodation

edmunds rating
Chevy provides the Volt with a typical arrangement of LATCH anchors. Accessing the lower anchors is OK, but the thick seat cushion contouring can hamper fitting of safety seats. Installation of a rear-facing safety seat might require sliding the front seats up a bit.


edmunds rating
You would expect that a car as advanced as the Volt would have the latest suite of in-car tech, and Chevy delivers. The touchscreen interface is easy to use, and most driver safety aids are either standard or optional.

audio & navigation

edmunds rating
Every Volt comes with an 8-inch touchscreen with the MyLink interface. The graphics are sharp, and the menus are easy to understand. Factory navigation comes standard on the Premier. You also get the upgraded Bose audio system; sound quality is better and more enjoyable than with most base systems.

smartphone integration

edmunds rating
The two main smartphone app integration systems out right now, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, come standard on the Volt. Bluetooth pairing is simple.

driver aids

edmunds rating
Most of the latest driver safety aids, such as blind-spot monitoring, forward collision warning and lane departure intervention, are available. But you can only get them on the top-level Premier trim. An automated parking system is also optional.

voice control

edmunds rating
In our testing, MyLink's voice recognition system works reasonably well and gives sufficient prompts if you don't know which commands are available. Also, Siri and Google Voice on your paired smartphone can be called up by pressing and holding the voice button longer.

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.