2018 Chevrolet VoltShould you buy? Well, it depends..
What’s New for 2018?
The 2018 Chevrolet Volt adds a few more standard and optional features to its two trim levels compared to the previous year, but is otherwise functionally unchanged. The Volt saw a big redesign for the 2016 model year, so it still has a relatively new and up-to-date chassis and powertrain.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2018 Chevrolet Volt – The Pros
1. Significant All-Electric Range
The Chevrolet Volt can go for up to 53 miles on battery power alone, without engaging its gasoline engine. For many drivers, that should easily cover the commute to and from work. It is higher than the all-electric range of most other mainstream electric and hybrid vehicles, making it a very appealing choice.
2. Gas-engine Backup
Many of the electric vehicles available right now are either all-electric, which limits their range, or are hybrids that only use the electric motor for highway cruising or providing extra power and a gas mileage boost. The Volt, on the other hand, can be primarily operated as an electric-only vehicle, with the gasoline engine serving as a backup to extend the car’s range for longer trips, or in case of an emergency. That gives it both utility and versatility.
3. Excellent Economy
Whether in full electric or hybrid mode, the Volt is a very efficient car. Its electric mode is rated at 106 miles per gallon equivalents, while the engine-assisted hybrid mode nets it a combined rating of 42 miles per gallon.
4. Fun to Drive
Unlike most hybrid vehicles, the 2018 Chevrolet Volt drives and handles very similarly to a normal car. It does not feel sluggish or unresponsive, and has both lively acceleration and good handling. Moreover, the shifts between the hybrid and all-electric mode are very seamless, so it is easy to forget that it is a hybrid vehicle while driving it.
5. Conventional Styling
Usually, having very conventional styling is a downside for a vehicle, but with the most hybrids embracing unusual styling choices, the Volt is a distinctive outlier. With a body that can easily pass for a normal gas-powered compact car, the Volt is attractive without being a statement piece.
6. Very Quiet
In both of its drive modes, the 2018 Chevrolet Volt is a very quiet vehicle. The electric motor is noiseless, and the gasoline engine is very nicely insulated from the cabin. The wind and road noise is also kept to a minimum, making for a very serene ride even at high speeds.
7. Modern Safety Options
The 2018 Chevrolet Volt offers all of the latest necessities of a modern safety suite. The car comes standard with a rearview camera, and a driver confidence package including rear parking sensors, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning, and a blind spot monitoring system is available on all models as an option. Lane keep assist and a forward collision warning with emergency braking can be added to the Premier model on top of that.
8. Good Crash Test Scores
Between all of the safety technology and a well-designed body and frame, the 2018 Chevrolet Volt earns all of the top safety accolades. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gives it a five-star collision safety score, while the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety puts it up as one of its Top Safety Picks Plus.
9. Standard MyLink Infotainment
The MyLink infotainment system from Chevrolet is among the easiest to use on the market today, and comes with a very generous selection of features. Standard on all Volt models, it includes easy smartphone integration thanks to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as satellite radio, two USB ports and Bluetooth. It is controlled through a crisp and colorful 8-inch touchscreen that responds quickly and precisely to touch commands. Overall, it is both a powerful and convenient system, and is an added bonus to any Volt trim.
10. Hybrid Incentives
As a hybrid vehicle, the Chevrolet Volt benefits from a variety of tax incentives and rebates from both local agencies and the federal government. That serves as a significant effective price reduction for the vehicle, providing an extra financial incentive on top of the excellent fuel economy. In some places, added perks like hybrid-only parking spaces or waived HOV lane restrictions also let owning a Volt make one’s life a little easier.
Reasons Not to Buy a 2018 Chevrolet Volt – The Cons
1. Simple Interior
The 2018 Chevrolet Volt has an interior that is functional, but not particularly well-appointed. There is a lot of hard plastic and few accents or embellishments. Many of the other hybrid or electric alternatives feature much nicer cabins, making this a weak point for the Volt.
2. Limited Seating
On paper, the 2018 Volt seats five, but realistically, its rear seat feels quite cramped with just two adults. Most other compact hybrids have more spacious rear seats and, with a few exceptions, also have five seats available. The small rear seat significantly cuts into the Volt’s utility when transporting passengers, so buyers who often have a full house in their car might give it a pass.
The Volt has a higher price range than most other compact hybrids, and falls in the same price range as larger mid-size and full-size hybrid sedans or wagons. It is nicely equipped and offers a lot of standard features, but value-minded customers may find a similar larger vehicle or a higher trim line of another compact to be a better fit.
How It Stacks up to the Competition
The primary competition for the 2018 Chevrolet Volt is from other compact hybrid or electric sedans and hatchbacks, such as the well-known Toyota Prius or Chevrolet’s own Bolt. The plug-in version of the Prius - the Prius Prime - is similar to the Volt, but it offers better mileage in exchange for a lower electric-only range. It is also cheaper than the Volt, but offers only four seats and has poorer driving dynamics. The Chevrolet Bolt has a more spacious back seat than the Volt, and has a much higher all-electric range. However, it does not have a gasoline engine, which makes it less versatile, and lacks some of the Volt’s high end features as well.
The 2018 Chevrolet Volt offers a great value proposition by combining the best features from electric vehicles, conventional compact cars and hybrids. It can be driven far using only electric power, handles and accelerates well and still makes it possible to fall back on the gas engine when the charge runs out. Buyers who are looking to get the best of all worlds are going to be very pleased by what the Volt offers.
• Why buy a 2017 Chevrolet Volt? w/ pros vs cons