Chevrolet Volt 2011 review: kudos, warts, puzzlement

James Raia

As senior editor for High Gear Media, John Voelcker has written what The Weekly Driver believes is the definitive review of the 2011 Chevy Volt. He praises and criticizes it. And he finds the Volt puzzling.

Voelcker, whose work has appeared in many print and online publications, is a commentator on National Public Radio and for other broadcast outlets. He was recently elected to the Board of Directors of the International Motor Press Association.

Voeckler has reviewed about a dozen hybrid vehicles. He recently evaluated the Volt for five days, driving it more than 700 miles.Chevrolet Volt 2011 review: kudos, warts, puzzlement 1

Here’s a capsule of what he liked, disliked and was puzzled by with the 2011 Chevrolet Volt:


1. The lit blue power button.

2. No visible exhaust pipe, hidden gas-door release button.

3. The engine runs smooth and quiet almost all the time.

4. Low center of gravity.

5. The stretchy nylon vanity cover for the load bay.Chevrolet Volt 2011 review: kudos, warts, puzzlement 2


1. Lousy visibility.

2. Premium fuel “recommended.”

3. Dashboard buzz.

4. No proximity locking and unlocking.

5. Flimsy charge-port and gas-filler doors.


1. Why isn’t the charging cord in a spring-loaded self-retracting housing?

2. Why is the electric drive motor shown as a rectangular icon on the Power Flow display?

3. What’s the weird lag in acceleration under high load before the battery kicks in to provide extra oomph?

4. How am I supposed to flash the brights under 30 mph?

5. Are the leaves that tumble across the center display screen on startup a backhanded swipe at Nissan’s battery-electric Leaf?

For anyone considering purchasing a Volt, Voeckler’s assessment is a must read. It’s simultaneously objective, opinionated and authoritative. He examines each of his likes, dislikes and puzzling components of the Volt.

To read the entire article, visit: www.greencarreports.com.

Article Last Updated: March 14, 2011.

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