2017 Chevy Volt Review

The 2017 Chevy Volt is an amazing car that delivers 53 miles of electric range and then allows you to keep going with a gas powered “generator” that powers the front wheels and charges the battery.

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The 2017 Chevy Volt punches above its weight class delivering an all around impressive vehicle that just so happens to be electric.

With no range anxiety and enough distance for three-quarters of the U.S. population to commute to work and home on all-electric power the Chevy Volt frees you from a weekly visit to the gas pump without adding stress to longer trips.

This is the Chevy Volt. It's Electric, but it comes with a gas backup.

This is the Chevy Volt. It’s Electric, but it comes with a gas backup.

Once you pair the freedom this combo brings with a sleek, curve filled exterior and an upscale interior you are left with the 2017 Chevy Volt. The new Volt adds so much to your daily drive without the drawbacks you might expect.

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Many people still think the Chevy Volt is an all-electric car with a limited range, but that’s not the case. When you leave home the Volt is on electric power whispering its way out your drive. On longer trips when electric runs out it’s nearly impossible to tell that the car switched over to gas power. The Chevy Bolt is all electric, with a much longer 238 mile range.

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While excited for the electric vehicle future, this extended range electric vehicle or hybrid plug-in style is especially tempting in northwest Ohio where public charging is not to the same scale as it is in larger cities.

2017 Chevy Volt Review Summary

After a major refresh in 2016 Chevy keeps the same overall style but adds a 20% larger battery, new premium features and driver convenience options that are worth the price.

What We Love

  • Sharp, clean exterior and upscale interior
  • 53 miles of electric range every day
  • No range anxiety due to gas engine
  • Smooth refined driving experience
  • Fun EV Acceleration in Sport mode
  • Easy to see as our daily driver

What Needs Work

  • Fifth seat is basically unusable
  • Headroom is tight in rear seat

The 2017 Chevy Volt starts at $33,220 for the Volt LT and $37,570 for the Volt Premier that ads leather seats, heated front and rear seats, a heated wheel, automatic park assist, wireless charging, front and rear park assist and Bose premium sound.

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Buyers should definitely add the Driver Confidence package that adds side blind zone monitors with lane change alerts and a rear cross traffic alert for $495. We also enjoy features found in the Driver Confidence II package that includes a forward collision alert, lane keep assist, low speed front automatic breaking, following distance indicator and IntelliBeam headlights.

Keep in mind that there are tax incentives including a $7,500 federal tax credit and some local and state tax credits.

2017 Chevy Volt Driving & Performance

The Chevy Volt is fun to drive with quick electric vehicle acceleration and a smooth ride.

The Chevy Volt is fun to drive with quick electric vehicle acceleration and a smooth ride.

The Chevy Volt is fun to drive thanks to the electric vehicle torque that delivers power as soon as you press on the pedal. In Sport mode the Volt pushes you back in your seat with fast 0-30 takeoffs and you can even squeal the tires if you want.

Getting up to speed with the Volt in the Normal driving mode is not a problem, and there is power left when you need it to pass a car or complete a merge onto the highway.

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While traveling at 75 miles per hour on the interstate the Volt never felt underpowered and road noise was minimal. Driving at higher speeds will impact your range.

The Chevy Volt is fun to drive with quick electric vehicle acceleration and a smooth ride.

The 2017 Chevy Volt is ready to go places.

Steering is smooth and relaxed, with very little feedback. For many drivers this is perfect, but it would be nice to feel the steering a little more in Sport mode. You will feel lane departure assist steer you back into your lane if you get too close to the line on the highway.

There are four driving modes available. The car starts in Normal every time. Push a button to go to Sport, which increases the throttle response for speedier takeoffs. Mountain keeps the battery charged to assist with steep climbs. The Hold option saves your battery power and uses gas. This can be used to save battery power for areas where it is preferred or to save it to show a friend.

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From a full charge you can expect 53 miles of range in Normal mode. When that runs out a 101 horsepower motor kicks in to deliver 400 miles of highway driving on a tank.

Charge up to get 53 miles of electric range.

Charge up to get 53 miles of electric range.

Charging the 2017 Chevy Volt with a 110 volt source from zero to full takes about 13 hours. If you use a 240 volt source you can cut this to a more reasonable 4.5 to 5 hours. You can choose to have a 240 volt charger installed at your home, and there may be some tax credits or power company incentives to install a faster charger like this.

With the OnStar RemoteLink app you can control when charging starts and even set daily departure times to make sure you are charged up before you leave. You can remote start the car while connected to power to leave home with a full battery.

On the left side of the wheel is a regen paddle that lets you put energy back into the battery when you need to slow down.

Chevy uses coolant to keep the battery at optimal temps for the best electric range.

Chevy uses coolant to keep the battery at optimal temps for the best electric range.

During our week driving the 2017 Chevy Volt Premier around Ohio we charged at home and left with a nearly full battery most days. We used about half a tank of gas on longer trips and averaged 88.8 miles per gallon. We only tapped into gas when heading out-of-town.

The Chevy Volt offers all the advantages of an electric car without the need to plan routes around the availability of chargers. This is especially useful in Northwest Ohio where many chargers in smaller cities are at dealerships and not in city centers.

You can use apps to find chargers, or simply press the OnStar button and ask the helpful representative where the closest charger is. The rep can even send directions right to your car’s navigation system.

2017 Chevy Volt Design & Interior

The 2017 Chevy Volt doesn't try hard to look like a special electric car, it's simply a good looking car that includes electric and gas power.

The 2017 Chevy Volt doesn’t try hard to look like a special electric car, it’s simply a good looking car that includes electric and gas power.

The 2017 Chevy Volt is a hatchback, but it looks more like a mid-size sedan. We love that it doesn’t go out-of-the-way to look like first generation electric cars, but passengers in the rear seat would love a traditional hatchback that offers more headroom.

Buyers may need to adjust to the flashy chrome grill, but it’s not too flashy. The vehicle looks like a normal car, with styling cues from other chevy vehicles.  It is not a hyper-futuristic looking electric vehicle that draws attention to itself for attention sake.

We love the tow-ton interior option on the 2017 Chevy Volt Premier.

We love the tow-ton interior option on the 2017 Chevy Volt Premier.

The interior looks and feels very nice and we quickly fell in love with the two-tone design on our review model. You can go with a more subdued single color option as well. While it looks and feels upscale in many areas there are still some places where, despite the look, Chevy uses a plastic instead of softer leather.

In the backseat legroom is fine for passengers, but taller riders will bump their head thanks to the slope of the hatch that gives the Volt a more sedan-like exterior appearance.

Front and rear seats are heated, and this is more than just a nice upscale feature. By using heated seats and leaving the overall car temperature lower owners get more range from the Volt in colder weather.

The hatchback lets you haul a decent amount in a small package, but headroom is an issue in the back seat.

The hatchback lets you haul a decent amount in a small package, but headroom is an issue in the back seat.

The hatch opens to offer a decent amount of storage, and the seats fold down to allow you to haul longer items. While taking a day trip with my dad we filled up the back and folded down one seat to accommodate longer items. There is a dedicated storage spot in the left corner to hold the standard charger securely and a subwoofer on the right side.

2017 Chevy Volt Technology & Safety

The Chevy Volt has all the technology you want, and some you didn't even know existed like a hotspot and remote start from your phone.

The Chevy Volt has all the technology you want, and some you didn’t even know existed like a hotspot and remote start from your phone.

The 2017 Chevy Volt includes all the technology you need to stay connected and stay safe on the road. You can choose how much of the built-in technology you use, so if you don’t want to bother with apps and hotspots you can simply drive and explore them later if you choose.

With OnStar RemoteLink you can check your Volt’s electric range, charging status, overall range and other useful data. You can also manage the built-in 4G LTE hotspot and send directions to your car. The app includes all keyfob functions including remote start, lock and unlock and sounding the horns.

On the built-in display you can use Chevy MyLink to control your car, music and navigation or you can plug-in your iPhone or Android phone to use Apple CarPlay or Android Auto with access to more apps and a familiar voice control system.

Chevy packs the Volt with safety features including a lane keeping system that will steer you back into your lane and a collision alert system that is literally a life saver. If you are approaching another vehicle too fast the Volt will sound an alarm and flash a red light on the windshield so you know to stop.

Our 2017 Chevy Volt included parking assist, which can help you easily parallel park using sensors so that you know if you can fit in the space and automatically steering you to the perfect fit. The car will steer and provide acceleration, but you are in charge of stopping the car.