Sometimes, automakers mark the switch between one model year and the next with some pomp and ceremony, especially if the new model year is significantly better than the outgoing one.
Despite the 2013 Chevrolet Volt getting an improved all-electric range, better EPA rating and the addition of a charge sustaining mode, over the 2012 Volt, its arrival at dealerships has gone unnoticed by most.
According to gm-volt.com however, one eagle-eyed Chevrolet Volt customer noticed that his Chevrolet Volt wasn’t a 2012 model, but one of the new 2013 models.
At the moment, General Motors describes availability of the 2013 Volt as ‘spotty’, as production of the 2013 Volts officially started just after the Independence Day holiday.
Rather than risk a drop in sales just before a highly-publicized launch date, GM made the decision to start manufacturing the improved 2013 Volt as soon as it had suppliers lined up, ensuring a constant demand at dealerships.
Interestingly, while GM’s official 2013 Volt production started in early July, GM admits it ‘sprinkled’ a few 2013 Volts into the production line while it was still making the 2012 Volt as early as June, meaning some lucky Volt owners may already be in ownership of a 2013 Volt.
2012 Chevrolet Volt
2012 Chevrolet VoltEnlarge Photo
Over the next few months we’d expect dealers across the U.S. to have a mixture of 2012 and 2013 model cars available.
Your dealer should be able to tell you if the car you’re looking at is a 2012 or 2013 Volt, but if you’re unsure, check the window sticker.
The 2012 Chevrolet Volt has an EPA-approved range of 35 miles per charge, while the 2013 Chevrolet Volt -- with a slightly larger battery pack -- is listed as having a 38-mile range.
There’s also difference in the MPGe ratings too: the older 2012 Volt is rated at 94 MPGe, while the newer model is rated at 98 MPGe.
While the 2013 Volt is slightly more efficient than the outgoing 2012 model, and has the benefits of charge sustain mode, it’s worth remembering that the 2012 Volt is still a very good car.
And one, that we’d like to remind you, that your dealer is more likely to want to offer a discount on than the 2013 model.