2019 Chevy Volt Review: Alex On Autos Video


It’s a final farewell to the world’s most-beloved plug-in hybrid.

This is the final year of production for the Chevy Volt, yet 2019 marks the first time the 2nd-gen Volt PHEV got significant revisions. Does the Volt exit the world on a new high?

The most notable change for 2019 is the higher-powered on-board charger. For 2019, the Volt gets a 7.2-kW on-board charger, up from the old 3.6-kW. That means the car can refill its battery twice as quickly. This, in turn, means more electric miles and less use of gas. Most importantly, Chevy really focused on this more electric equals less gas for the Volt’s final year.

Additionally, for those in colder climates who want to use as little gas as possible, the 2019 Volt has a new trick. The Volt allows owners to deactivate engine-assisted heating until minus 13 degrees F / minus 25 degrees C. This, again means more electric miles and less gas.

Here video reviewer Alex on Autos takes a look at the 2019 Volt PHEV. He bids farewell to the plug-in hybrid that created the long-range segment. In closing, Alex says it’s the only PHEV with a truly split-down-the-middle personality.

Video description:

After we filmed this review, GM killed off its first plug-in hybrid model. After a great deal of debate, we decided to just go ahead and publish this review as a memorial to the only PHEV with a truly split-down-the-middle personality.


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36 Comments on "2019 Chevy Volt Review: Alex On Autos Video"

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One silver lining is that people will no longer confuse the Volt/ Bolt nomenclature
Alternative headlines:
The Volt runs out of Gas.
The Volt gets Short-Circuited.
No Volt for you, or you, or you…
Veni, Vidi, Vitetur.

The fact that people couldn’t grasp the concept / value of the Volt in the first place tells me they will go on being confused no matter what.

There are at least a dozen Volts in my company’s parking lot – and one lonely TM3.

Mine looks very similar. Although we have 3 Model 3’s now, there’s about a dozen Volts and everyone loves them.

I think the most beloved PHEV is the Prius Prime. That’s what the sales numbers show. GM wouldn’t be canceling the Volt if enough people were actually buying them.

The Prime has a built-in, population of previous Prius owners. But we remember decades of GM snark tossed at us (aka. ‘hairy leg’ Bob Lutz.) You don’t make conquest sales by insulting potential customers.

Meanwhile, GM owners wanting an affordable ride had to deal with GM dealer attitudes.

If the dealers had a clue about EVs they would sell more. When I bought my Volt they tried to talk me into several other ICE cars instead. The salesman knew almost nothing about the car, and it wasn’t even charged for the test drive.

The Volt was doomed when GM f*Ed up by making gen 2 Volt.

The real gen 1 owners were asking for faster charging and more interior room, especially in the rear.

At least, Honda was listening.

Exactly, a wagon version, could have fixed the roofline and gotten more headroom, and more sales. Along with a real rear independent suspension.

We’ll have to see what Cadillac designs.
But, the Volt was like the Green Mustang.
It still should be a GM collector item, it is the most innovative vehicle in GM’s lineup, with 100% GM engineering. We need a “car guy” to design EV’s and Volts.

That wagon roofline would also have decreased the AER and the hybrid mileage. Would that be progress? All those folks who spout “All they need to do is put the Voltec system into something like the Chevy Traverse CUV and everyone would buy it!” seem to ignore physics and the huge trade off for doing something like that. Suddenly AER goes to 35 miles and fuel mileage in hybrid mode goes to 35 mpg. While that might be OK for some, most would pretty much see it as a step backwards and a “fail” by GM. Sure, you could stuff more battery in the thing and get more AER, but that would make an already expensive vehicle even more so and likely decrease the hybrid mileage further due additional weight. Without a significant increase in gasoline prices, this vehicle would be a sales dud. GM knows, they tried it already. Remember their hybrid Tahoe/Yukon? The system reportedly worked flawlessly and delivered significant fuel mileage increases, but it came at a steep price and gas was cheap. In addition, the Prius has shaped our expectations, so when someone says “hybrid” and it doesn’t achieve 50mpg, there is big disappointment. Kind of… Read more »

You mean the Buick wagon


What exactly do you think Honda is listening to? Their phev may be lot more spacious but it’s not the ev that the Volt is.

And it’s FUGLY

Sit down, you drive a Bolt.

HAHAHAHA! You finally said something funny. I own the Bolt not the Honda, but I also have to admit the Clarity looks better than the Bolt overall. But I don’t find the looks of either car really that bad.

After all, anything is better than the Pontiac Aztec – the car that I’ve been told (by those who work on a farm) ‘looks like a COW standing up”.

Jy, that was the Volt I was waiting for. A car that could fit 4 adults comfortably and charging at least at 6.6 kW charge rates. The former was the most important item I needed and didn’t get. Rear seat leg room in the Volt is a deal killer for me. I have been regretting the lack of room for over 5 years now.
The latter would make my lunch time charging sessions a lot more productive. 20 additional miles of AER instead of a measly 10 would be very helpful. Not needed, but it would have been nice.
And a bit quicker 0-60 wouldn’t have hurt, either…

The Volt is really only one of two PHEVs that I feel were designed as an EV first and a hybrid second. The BMW i3 being the other one. However, if it can’t be made and sold at a reasonable profit, I guess pure BEV is the way forward. I do at least agree with FFBJ, at least the confusion over the Bolt/Volt name will be solved. That was one of the dumbest things GM ever did.

We brought it up with Pam Fletcher, Kevin Kelly and Pablo Valencia at a meet and greet at the DC Autoshow and they blew us off as if it was completely inconsequential. Then Pablo answered the question about the Volt with info about the Bolt and the reporters were all asking questions that confused the Bolt and Volt capabilities. It was a cluster and Pam and Pablo acted like it was no big deal. Idiots. Or rather, apparatchiks toeing the party line.

If you want to keep working at GM, you don’t dis GM, or admit they made a mistake.

I’d like more details on “the question about the Volt” and Pablo’s answer. Can you share more details? Thanks.

The Volt has a smaller battery, by 75% than the Bolt.
If they’re not making money on the Volt…

Here’s a challenge. Count the number of times the word “efficiency” is used and compare that to the number of times the word “range” is used. Sometimes a review can be skewed simply by the performance criteria the reviewer decides to emphasize.

And the Volt has more Performance than the Prius.
Performance is the opposite of Efficiency.
You can’t have better acceleration than a Prius and better economy. Or, you’d have to dump in more money into engineering and materials.

Always enjoy your reviews Alex but do not agree with your statement about the Prius Prime moving out of electric mode depending on driving style. I have had my Prime for over a year and have not had it slip out of electric mode before unless one turns on defroster mode and not only when that is performed or excede the 84 mile speed in electric mode. I do however live in the midsouth so I can’t comment on extreme cold and the car is stored in a garage. I understand the existing Ioniq has been plagued by this limitation.

Reviewers often don’t notice the difference between “EV Auto” and the pure “EV” only mode. It’s easy to overlook the fact that the first allows the engine to run briefly during times of high defend and the latter to prevents running unless the speed (84 mph) or temperature (14 °F) thresholds are exceeded..

Gave you the only Merit John for explaining the difference with your Prius Prime modes. For constructive information you get 5 demerits by other idiots here.

Keep up the constructive information on your car and you’ll keep getting voted up by me.

Meanwhile the Buick Velite 6 has finally launched in China. It sold 5000 in December. The Chevy Volt is dead! Long live the Chevy Volt!

Well, Volt is the one that truly offers no compromise between EV and gas mode. But that is the problem since it has to compromise interior space.

It also doesn’t compromise performance for efficiency and EV range like other PHEV. But that also compromises the interior space and cost.

At the end of the day, Volt the “dead center” on the chart between efficiency and performance, EV range and gas efficiency, EV operation and gas operation. But that doesn’t work with “general public” since public loves “extremes”. Just like our political situation. The extremists get all the attentions.

What is wrong with the dear woman who runs GM? A Chevy gas powered car is a Ford is a Honda is a Toyota. Only when you produce a car that does something the others do not, can claim you car is something special. The Volt is such a car. The one Chevy product in the fleet that is truly special, she cancels. Nice job! Go back to producing more of what everybody else does. And we will continue ignore your cars and your company.

I have a 2013 Chevy Volt and I get a 50 mile charge. It’s a great car the best I’ve ever driven. The only problem you have is some of the blind spots when driving the 2013. You’re making a big mistake by not continuing this great vehicle. It handles like a sports car.

You are luckier than me. I have a 13 volt. With the decrease in range lately, I am very lucky to get to 40 miles on a charge. Generally I get around 35 driving up to 65 mph. Still love the car though. Also, I honestly do not remember the last time I had to put gas in it.

Finally a 7.2KW onboard charger!? But too little too late!

That is kind of irritating. They had a simple upgrade that would have cost them a couple hundred dollars to implement that would have made a nice option for a substantial part of the Volt buying public. I have an hour to charge over lunch break and the 10 miles of additional AER I can get in my 2013 Volt is frequently not enough to keep the gen set off. I would have paid to charge faster, even though I don’t NEED to charge faster.

Yeah, seeing as the charger is pretty self contained Chevy could have offered 2 or 3 charging options from day one – I remember one engineer claiming the battery system could handle 14 kw rate but it would be left to ‘aftermarket’ people – But then I’ve never seen anyone worry about providing an aftermarket charger for either the gen1 or gen2 products. Initially they only offered that Lear-manufactured coily cord 15 amp wall box (3.6 kw tops) but in the end public charging wallboxes ended up being mainly 30 amperes – too bad Chevy never saw the need to offer it as an option. Chevy USED TO THINK options were great – then at some point they got it in their head they’d only offer a very few ‘option packages’. I can’t believe it would have cost them much to give people a simple choice – especially a drop in change like a charger. They’d need a different charger, (hooked up to the same pair of coolant hoses), a beefier jack on the side of the car, and a beefier 5 wire harness to it. Big Deal. There was room in the engine compartment for a larger box.

The faster charging and power seat are freaking awesome. I only wish they could have come sooner.