Chevy Volt 2012 vs 2017

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I upgraded my 2012 Volt for a 2017 Volt today.    The Volt is the best car I have ever owned and the decision to get a new one was one I went back and forth on.  The 2012 had 80,000 miles and 200 MPG lifetime.  The decision was partly to get a new one before I started needing repairs and also to take advantage of the increased battery range and MPG of the 2017 model year.

Here’s a few of the little differences with red marked for 2017 disappointments and green for improvements [UPDATE blue for updates]:

  • Exterior: I like the 2 tone paint of the 2012.  Subsequent years got rid of that and made changes to the body style.  2017 saw a new body style that I like better than recent years but not as nice as 2012.  [getting used to it more now]
  • Interior:  The 2012 is better.  The fit and feel seems a little cheap in comparison.  The “bowling ball blue” on the shifter is tacky.  They got rid of the dash top glasses compartment that had a 12v power jack for GPS or in my case a camera.
  • Seats:  This one has leather which I didn’t really want but they are nice.  And I have bun warmers now where I didn’t before.    That is a win.  I like both seats for fit and feel.
  • Rear Seats:  The 2017 has a third seat belt.  Not any more room but at least if you have to squish another small person in back it can be legal and safe.  The 60/40 split could be useful I suppose.
  • Rear camera: so far the 2017 wins big.  Better clarity and much better low light sensitivity.  The 2012 was very limited at night.
  • Instruments and Controls:  2012 display was nice, the 2017 is better.  Maybe just newer but there are several options for information density and it is pleasing to look at without being too busy.  Still trying different settings.
  • Battery Range: Is the main reason I bought the new one.  Still too early to tell how much I really get and especially if I can get 50 miles in the winter without plugging in.
  • Charger: I like the electric and remote opening of the 2012 one but it’s a gizmo feature.  The push to open of the 2017 is adequate.  What is a less useful change is the Level 1 charge rate defaults to the lower setting and you have to remember to set it high each time.  Haven’t tried with the 2012 charger to see if it will charge at the higher rate like it does on the 2012 Volt.
  • Infotainment Controls: I never liked the idea of “infotainment” system on the 2012.  There were too many buttons scattered around the display.  The 2017 has separated the AC controls from the entertainment and touch screen and makes more sense.
  • Phone Interface:  The 2012 could make calls with bluetooth and sometimes the phone lists would work.  No bluetooth audio.  The 2017 synced to the phone no problem and worked immediately to make calls and to play podcasts.  Big win here.  Also Android Auto looks like a big win with Google Now and on screen navigation although I am having trouble with the podcasts playing correctly.  I think maybe the app is trying to use both bluetooth and USB and getting confused.  I might use the app only with USB if that’s a setting. [Update 20DEC16 Getting used to it now.  There’s still something weird where the podcast will start playing when I unplug but probably a Dogcatcher issue]
  • Regen Braking:  In the 2012 I like many others got used to downshifting to L to get full regen braking without the brakes.  The older car did a good job hiding the transition between regen and mechanical braking so L was a way to get the most regen.  Someone at Chevy got smart and added a paddle button on the left of the steering wheel that will activate some serious regen braking and also the brake lights I am told.  Big win for 2017.
  • Halt Mode and ERDTT: Yay Halt mode where I have complete control over when the ICE turns on.  Also there’s a setting to change the ERDTT from about 32F to 15F.  Much better control now and can use the Halt Mode manually if I still want a 25F ERDTT.
  • Charging Door: The old Volt has a key fob button and an internal button on the door to open the charge door.  This was cool to show off but the new simple way to just push it open is much easier than remember to open before you get out or fumbling for the key fob.  The downside is the gas tank door button is exactly where the charge door button was on the old car.  So far I have only hit it once by habit.
  • Antenna: I miss the buggy whip and it seems like most every car these days has a shark fin radome.  But it is safer not to break off or get stolen or have to take off in a car wash.


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