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If you are looking to invest in a plug-in hybrid vehicle, you have probably already heard some rave reviews of the Chevy Volt from previous model years. The new 2019 Chevrolet Volt is just as mind-blowing as its predecessors, if not more so, making this one of the top contenders in its segment. Unfortunately, with a history of underselling, Chevy is taking the ax to the Volt line-up in March of 2019. This makes now the perfect time to buy a 2019 Chevy Volt.
With the ability to run on pure electricity for 53 miles or 420 miles with a fully-charged battery and loaded tank of gas, the Volt sets the bar high for hybrid technology. Now that the Volt has an even faster charging time, this plug-in hybrid is all the more attractive to buyers.
Since there are only two trim levels available (the LT and the Premier), your decision of which one to buy should be fairly clear. Both are fairly well equipped, but the Premier does have quite a few things that the LT does not. However, it is important to bear in mind that almost everything that comes as part of an optional package or as a stand-alone on the LT is included on the Premier. Therefore, if you already plan on getting a lot of extra features, you might want to pay attention to the list of standard features included on the Premier trim.
To get a better idea of what you are investing in, let us break down both trim levels and compare their features and specs. By the end of this review, you should feel more confident in your decision on which 2019 Chevrolet Volt trim level you want to buy. And don't forget, this vehicle does qualify for a federal tax credit if you apply within the given time frame!
Compare the 2019 Chevrolet Volt LT vs Premier - What is the difference?
So, what exactly separates the base LT trim from the 2019 Chevy Volt's line-topping Premier trim level? The answer is: Quite a bit. But, before we get into the differences, there are some crucial similarities that need to be noted. First and foremost, there is the standard electric drive unit, which offers up 149 hp and 294 lb-ft of torque. The range extender engine is a 1.5-L Variable Valve Timing (VVT) Direct Injection (DI) DOHC 4-cylinder that runs on regular unleaded gasoline. Once the battery is fully depleted, the Volt will switch over to the gasoline-powered engine for its energy source.
Both the LT and Premier come with a 120-v portable charge cord that plugs the Volt into a three-prong wall outlet. This cord has both 8- and 12-amp options for charging available and can be stored inside of a side panel in the cargo area. An 18.4 kWh lithium ion battery also accompanies both trim levels.
There is a 7.2 kW on-board charging module that comes standard on the Premier. It is available only as an optional add-on on the LT, which has a standard 3.6 kW module. This charging module, along with the 240-v 32-amp charging unit, is able to bring the battery recharging time down to just 2.25 hours. This breaks down to about 22 miles of range for each hour that the battery needs to be charged. Of course, if you go with the standard 120-v cord, it can take 13 hours or more to fully recharge the battery, and you only get up to 4 miles of range for each hour that the Volt has to be charged. Clearly, upgrading to the 240-v unit is the way to go here.
Other standard mechanical features that come on both the LT and Premier include 12-v battery rundown protection, electric power steering, an electric parking brake, a front-wheel drive drivetrain, and a StabiliTrak electronic stability control system with built-in traction control. Also, there is a Regen on Demand steering wheel paddle that boosts regenerative braking while in Low or Drive modes by sending more energy to the battery.
In addition to all of that, the Premier trim has forward automatic braking available, while the LT does not. This feature detects potential frontal collisions and applies the brakes if the driver does not. It gets swapped in for the standard low speed forward automatic braking feature.
As far as the two trim levels' exteriors go, there are some minor differences to note. The LT's 17-inch wheels are made from painted aluminum while the Premier gets Ultra-Bright machine-painted aluminum wheels with painted pockets. Both trims get the option of having gloss-black wheels instead. The outer mirrors are body-colored and, on the Premier trim, are heated. In fact, everything that comes in the Comfort Package (which is optional on the LT) is standard on the Premier. This means that you get heating for the driver and front passenger seats, a heated leather-wrapped steering wheel, and leather-wrapped shift knob in addition to those heated mirrors. LED headlamps, daytime running lamps, and taillamps all come standard on both trims.
Want to spruce up the LT with some packages If you so choose, you can equip this trim with the LT Driver Confidence Package. This package consists of rear cross-traffic alert, parking assist for the rear, and lane change alert with a blind-spot monitoring. There is also the Power Convenience Package, which gives the vehicle leather upholstery, the leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, 6-way power adjustment to the driver seat, and heating to the front sides and outside mirrors.
Both the LT and Premier trim are pretty well-stocked with convenient interior features as well. Each of these trim levels comes standard with 4G LTE WiFi hot spot capabilities, an 8-inch HD touchscreen display, an auxiliary input jack, a cargo cover, Chevrolet Connected Access capabilities, the Chevrolet Infotainment 3 Plus system, cruise control, a drive mode selector, and an HD rear-view camera. Keyless entry and start also come standard, as does ambient LED lighting throughout the cabin. These features make it easier for you to get in and go.
The LT and Premier additionally come with a standard programmable vehicle charging feature. This allows you to set up how you want to charge your vehicle. You can delay charging during optimal utility rates or to the time of day. Of course, you can also choose to let it start charging immediately upon plugging it in. It is all about whatever works best for you.
There are some differences to the interior of the two trim levels too, and they cannot be ignored. First off, the LT does not come with automatic parking assist while this helpful feature comes standard on the Premier. It makes perpendicular and parallel parking exponentially easier and is great to have if you live or work in a place where you have to park this way.
Second, the entertainment capabilities are better on the Premier. The 6-speaker sound system gets upgraded to an 8-speaker Bose set-up on the Premier. It comes with a subwoofer, and the sound is even clearer than what you get on the LT. You can also choose to equip the Infotainment 3 Plus with built-in navigation if you do not wish to rely on your smartphone app for directions.
On the Premier trim, you can select the optional Driver Confidence II Package to get even more helpful driver aid features. This grants you forward collision alert, an indicator that tells you following distance between vehicles, automatic high-beam headlamps, and lane keep assist with a lane departure warning. Considering that there are already a ton of helpful safety features (like the pedestrian safety signal) that come standard, equipping this package can give you an even greater peace of mind while driving.
Other features that you can get on the Premier but not the LT include an optional wireless device charger, a chic jet-black and porcelain blue color combination for the leather upholstery, an automatically dimming rear-view mirror, heated rear outboard seats, and illuminated vanity mirrors on the sun visors.
There is a cool Blackout Package available on both trim levels. If you choose to equip this package, your Chevy Volt will come with the gloss-black 17-inch wheels, a sport pedal kit, and black bow-tie emblems for the front and rear of the vehicle. It is not exactly a 'must-have' package, but it is admittedly pretty neat to look at. It definitely makes the Volt stand out despite it being clad in black.
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Which One Should You Choose?
Since the starting MSRP has roughly a $4,000 price difference, selecting the right trim level for you should be based on what you know you can afford. Get this vehicle in the right frame of time, and the federal tax credit will shave several thousand dollars off of the total cost. Doing so makes upgrading to the Premier highly justifiable.
In fact, the Premier is really the trim level to buy. Sure, the LT is well-equipped for a base trim, and they are both powered by the same hybrid powertrain. But the Premier is worth its price due to all of the additional standard features it equips over the LT.
Still, with an electric range of 53 miles, either trim level is a smart purchase. Just be sure to get yours before they are phased out by Chevy.