Comparing the Toyota Prius vs Chevy Volt, which of the two should I purchase?

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Answered by: Napoleon, An Expert in the Choose the Right Car Category
Competition is stiff among eco-friendly plug-in vehicles. Top among the coveted contenders are both the Toyota Prius and the Chevy Volt. Here's a point by point comparison of the Toyota Prius vs Chevy Volt to help you choose the best green vehicle for your family.

Price



In October 2014, Toyota announced a new and highly competitive price for their 2014 Prius Plug-in Hybrid. These cars will feature an enticing $2,010 price reduction over the 2013 model, putting them at $29,990 before destination. If you're after the Prius Plug-In Hybrid Advanced, you'll save $4,620 over 2013 models with a price tag of $34,905 before destination. If you're not interested in the plug-in, the 2014 Prius Five is priced at $30,005.



To keep up with the competition, General Motors lowered the price of the Chevy Volt as well. The 2014 Volt starts at a price $5,000 lower than the 2013 model. At $34,995 this puts the Volt in close competition with the Advanced Prius model. If you're considering the standard version, the Prius is the clear winner here.

Appearance

As the Toyota Prius vs Chevy Volt discussion heats up, we would like to consider the appearance of each. The distinct lines of the Prius are iconic for eco-friendly drivers. The core hybrid has sold more than 1.5 million vehicles since 2000.

The Volt's design lacks the nostalgia of the Prius and instead focuses on efficiency. Features like the low roof reduce aerodynamic drag. Though the four-door hatchback exterior isn't particularly noteworthy, the interior offers a futuristic look with displays both in the center and behind the steering wheel.

Operation

The Prius Plug-In features a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine with an electric motor. This is a full hybrid so it can operate on battery alone, gas alone, or a combination of both. This battery charges fully in only three hours on a 120-volt outlet. It will charge in half the time on a 240-volt outlet. After the battery power is exhausted, this vehicle switches to standard operation, which is the same energy-efficient function that standard Prius models use all the time.

The Chevy Volt features a 16-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack. At 110 volts, the car will charge in eight or nine hours. A 240-volt charging station will charge the vehicle in half the time. After the battery gets depleted, the Volt switches to a 1.4-liter four-cylinder gas engine. This generates enough electricity to power the car for another 250 miles.

Gas Mileage

The electric range of the Prius Plug-In is about 10 to 15 miles. Once the electric power is used up, this car gets 50 mpg combined. The standard 2014 Prius model offers the same impressive efficiency of 51 MPG city/48 MPG highway.

Fully charged, the Volt runs for about 35 miles on battery power. The gas engine adds another 250 miles to this. In hybrid operation, the Volt averages 35 mpg. Users who drive the average 30-40 miles a day may never need to use gasoline for this car, provided that they charge it nightly. The unique construction of an electric vehicle like this means that your driving habits have a very big impact on just how efficient and affordable operation really is.

Safety Features

The Prius is packed with safety features including dual front impact, dual front side impact, knee, and overhead airbags. The Prius Plug-In Advanced model includes a pre-collision warning system.

The 2014 Chevy Volt features several standard safety features including front-seat side-impact, front knee, and full-length side curtain airbags.

New Features

The 2014 Prius Plug-In Hybrid has several new features that the Prius Three model didn't offer. Cozy up with heated cloth front seats or cool down with air conditioning you can activate remotely. Ten-spoke alloy wheels provide a sleek appearance.

For 2014, the Chevy Volt has added two new paint colors and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. Otherwise, this vehicle is identical to previous models.

Though both the Prius and the Volt offer eco-friendly operation, there are distinct differences that set the two apart. For more efficient electric operation, the Volt has a better capacity. However, the Prius offers the standard quality operation and high MPG that users have come to know and expect from this pioneer in the green vehicle industry.

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