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2018 Chevrolet Volt Overview
The second generation Chevy Volt has been available in all 50 states since the beginning of 2016, and its main appeal is that it has all the appeal of a full EV but also has the option of internal combustion power, which solves the problem that puts people off most fully electric cars. The Volt goes into 2018 with few changes, although a few colors have been dropped with three new ones added, plus a light shuffling of available convenience features. Trims include LT and Premier models, and while a loaded Chevrolet Volt can creep past the $40,000 mark, it’s important to remember with cars like this that significant tax credits come with the purchase.
Under the fairly conventional-looking hood of the Volt is a 1.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine that is largely there for the purpose of range. The Volt can do most normal trips on electric power alone, but in order to solve the limited range issue that keeps electric cars from having a wider appeal, the Volt’s gas engine can step in to keep the car going for longer distances without having to stop for a lengthy electric recharge.
The electric powertrain is made up of an 18.4 kWh lithium-ion battery that is located between the front seats and extends to under the rear seat. The electric powertrain makes 149hp and 294 pound-feet of torque, and will aid the gasoline engine in returning 42 mpg. Both electric and gasoline motors drive the front wheels. They can work to drive the Volt in unison, or one can be used to recharge the battery. Out and out performance is not the reason people buy a car like this, but the Volt delivers the instant torque that characterizes an electric vehicle, which is usable in traffic situations. Once the battery is depleted, a 240-volt charging station will get the Volt back to full in about four and a half hours, while a 120-volt outlet will only do the job in about half a day. On electric power alone, the Volt will do 53 miles before running out of juice. That’s enough for most commutes.
The Volt has a fairly conventional interior as far as these types of vehicles go, and the base LT model comes standard with automatic climate control, pushbutton start, and an 8.0-inch dash-mounted infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. The Premier model adds heated leather seats, heated steering wheel, wireless device charging and a Bose stereo. A navigation is optional on both models. One change for 2018 is that the leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob are now urethane as standard, although leather is still available. The Volt is a proper four-door with ample room front and back, although the middle passenger in the rear may find things a bit tight. The Volt has been praised for being remarkably quiet on the road, and not just by virtue of being able to travel on electric power alone. Even the 1.5-liter four is reportedly very quiet.
Standard safety equipment on all 2018 Chevy Volts includes a reversing camera and 10 airbags, while numerous other active safety features are available. A Driver Confidence Package includes rear parking assist, rear cross-traffic alert and side blind zone alert. Adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, lane departure warning and forward collision warning with automatic braking are also available. The NHTSA has given the current Volt five out of five stars in its series of crash tests, while the IIHS has given it the Top Safety Pick+ status, so the Volt seems to be as safe as it is efficient.
Since 2012, Andrew Newton has been writing about cars both old and new. Andrew has been an associate editor at Sport Car Digest as well as a contributor to sites like BoldRide and JamesEdition. He was also the Education Manager at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline, MA before becoming the Auction Editor at Hagerty Classic Car Insurance. He currently splits his time behind the wheel between his NA Miata, 1994 Corvette, and Triumph TR6.
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