By CorvetteGuy

A few questions have been asked about what changes have been made to the Chevrolet VOLT for 2012. The documentation sent to the dealerships has everything spelled out in text, but uses the same photos from the 2011 model.

The first 2012 VOLT arrived at our dealership this past Thursday. My customer had ordered a 2011 VOLT on Feb. 20, and sadly we could not get the additional allocation. Thankfully, he was very patient and we rolled it over to a 2012. We scheduled a delivery time for Friday at 5 pm. Our service department and detailers did not finish the pre-delivery inspection and detailing of the car until 4:30, so I had very little time to go over the car myself to see what has actually changed.

Below are a few photos followed by the "Official List" of changes and the "What's New" pdf that I received.

New passive reflectors this year.

Someone posted the question a few days ago about the tail light having additional white squares on them. This was the first thing I checked out. Using the brakes and the turn signals, I found that these white squares are merely "passive reflectors."

When the turn signals or brakes are used, the red light shines straight through them. But, when the car is parked and just sitting there, they reflect the light better than the old tail light bezels.

Updated door handle.

Next, is the Standard Keyless Access. The surprising part here is that the new push-button appears on all four doors! That I did not expect. The button is chrome, not body-colored, so it is easy to spot. With the key fob in your pocket or purse, when you approach the car, pushing the button once unlocks the driver's door. A second time unlocks the remaining doors and the rear hatch.

New icons.

The Driver Display Screen has a couple of new icons. In the bottom-left under the "Total Range" readout is a green icon of a car and the word "READY."

The documentation sent to us does not explain why this was added, but it was briefly mentioned in a training video that is is there to let you know the car is ready to operate. I do not know if a similar or different-colored icon appears if it were "NOT READY" ...

Also, there is a new icon for "Navigation." Again the documentation does not go into detail about this selection, but it was mentioned in the training video that when the "OnStar Turn-By-Turn-Navigation" is used, selecting this on the driver's display will show the nav system instructions in that small area of the screen.

Yellow back-lit PRNDL display is new this year.

Another welcome improvement is on the center console next to the gear selector. In addition to the PRNDL that is shown in the upper-right of the driver's display, there are backlit PRNDL letters in the center console itself. The letters are back lit in yellow for the chosen gear.

Improved clarity here too.

My favorite improvement is to the clarity and size of the text on the touch-panel center stack. The labels are slightly larger and much crisper than on last year's car. They are very easy to read now and you don't have to squint at them to read them even in bright daylight. I did not have the chance to check them out at night, but I would guess that there is an improvement there also.

Energy in kWh used is shown.

On the centerstack screen for "Energy Info" the display now shows "kWh used" for this charge. I know that many of you have posted that this calculation is far more informative than "Total Miles". It still shows "250+ mpg" on the right, and the Lifetime MPG calculation on the bottom-right.

Eco-minded hooligans take note: Could this be an On/Off capability for traction control?

And finally, on the overhead console there is a new button for "Traction Control On/Off." This may be the most "FUN" addition to the VOLT !!! In the 2011 Owner's Manual, Page 1-23, it states "The Traction Control System limits wheelspin. The system turns on automatically every time the vehicle is on and cannot be turned off."

Get ready fans!!! Now you CAN TURN IT OFF, and smoke your tires with the best of them! I do not have a copy of the 2012 owner's manual yet to fully confirm this, but what other reason would there be to add a button to turn the dang thing off?

Well, that is all I could find in the very short time I had with a 2012 VOLT. In addition to the 11 remaining orders that we have taken so far that need to be filled, we just ordered a Summit White VOLT, with all of the options, to put in our showroom for sale. We hope to have it by Thanksgiving.

Here is the link to the "What's New Guide" that I have posted.


What's New Guide