Poll: Toyota Prius Prime or Chevrolet Volt?

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Poll: Toyota Prius Prime or Chevrolet Volt?

Hybrids and electric vehicles are the future of motoring, even if they’re not necessarily ready for primetime. Two of the best mass-market, earth-friendly offerings available today are the new Toyota Prius Prime and Chevrolet’s Volt.

Which of these amped-up autos do YOU prefer? Well, here’s some information on each one.

The Prius in this comparison is a plug-in model that offers an electric-only driving range of 25 miles. Running solely on electrons, it tops out at an impressive 84 miles an hour. The battery pack that enables all this eco-friendly running measures a hefty 8.8-kWh and is of the lithium-ion variety.

When that battery is depleted an economical 1.8-liter gasoline engine kicks in, helping provide an EPA-estimated maximum driving range of 640 miles. Total system output in the Prius Prime is pegged at 121 horsepower.

Focusing on the bow-tie offering in this head-to-head, the Volt also features a lithium-ion battery but its pack clocks in at 18.4 kWh, more than twice as large as the Prime’s. Not surprisingly, it offers about twice the electric-only range, which is rated at 53 miles.

A twin-motor drive unit turns stored energy into forward movement; when the battery is depleted a 1.5-liter gasoline engine comes online so you can keep on truckin’, or at least driving. The Volt’s total system output measures a claimed 149 horsepower along with 294 lb-ft of torque.

As for efficiency, the Prime is estimated at 133 MPGe when operating solely on electricity. Start burning dinosaur juice and that figure drops to about 54 miles per gallon. In comparison, the Chevy is rated at 106 MPGe and just 42 miles per gallon combined when internal combustion is providing propulsion.

When it comes to pricing, the cheapest version of the Chevy Volt can be had for less than $35,000, including delivery fees. In comparison, the Prius Prime is a few grand cheaper. You can pick one of at your local Toyota dealer for less than $28,000.

For more information on these rival electrified cars please compare them here and don’t forget to vote in our poll!

  • smartacus

    i’ll punt and say KIA Niro

  • ViperMav

    The pricing is misleading, since the Volt is eligible for $7500 federal tax credit and possible state incentives depending on your location. Also, the performance and driving characteristics are not compared – in both areas, several publications have the Volt winning hands-down. The Prius Prime is around 10s 0-60, whereas the Volt does 0-60 in 7.5s and has much stronger mid-range power for highway passing etc.. If you are considering either vehicle, do yourself a favor and drive both before deciding. A large percentage of Volt buyers are former Prius owners – just ask any one of them for a real-world comparison of value, performance and reliability.

  • hplan

    The other thing not mentioned is that with the Volt’s greater electric-only driving range, owners will likely spend much more time in electric-only mode than Prius Prime owners. So considering both gas and electricity, the Volt may be more efficient (and less expensive) per mile.

  • ChiP

    80% of commute is less than 25 miles. Volt’s less efficiency due to extra battery we ight it has to carry around and Volt electric mileage is less than Prius 110 compare to 133

  • Andrew Bell

    Why is the Prime’s 84 MPH on electrons “impressive”? The Volt will do its top speed of 98 on pure electric, but this isn’t mentioned.

  • Joel Spurlock

    One must at least drive both in order to accurately vote.

  • SomeHumanBeing

    Well, I sure hope Toyota paid Mr. Cole well. If you’ve got any doubts, do “Pepsi” challenge, once your behind the wheel, the choice is pretty self evident. The Volt drives like a high-end car, like a BMW or a Lexus, and the Prius Prime, drives like well, a Prius. It’s slow, sloppy and feels cheap, it has terrible visibility, and frankly, the new Prius has the worst styling since the Pontiac Aztec!

  • Ash45

    I used to drive a 2014 Prius, and now drive a 2014 Volt.

    TLDR (too long, didn’t read) version: The Volt will save you much, much more on gas if your drive is 50 miles or less.

    The Volt is much more fun to drive by far. It’s faster, which is great for merging on the freeway safely, it’s much quieter than the Prius, and handles bumps much better than the Prius due to its heavier weight and better suspension system.

    Best of all, it saves me much, much more on gas than the Prius on my daily work commute of 38 miles. I don’t even use gas during spring through fall, and in winter I have to burn maybe a quarter of a gallon, which means the Volt’s 9 gallon tank lasts me roughly a month. I can attempt to start the Prius in EV mode when it’s warmer outside, but the moment I go over 10 mph, it disables it and immediately fires up the gas engine.

    The transition from electric to gas is also fairly seamless, and unless I’m actively looking at the dash, I don’t even notice when it switches.

    The Prius also doesn’t like to speed. Sure, it’ll give me some power if I press on the gas, but the engine “whines” about it, and it “punishes” me by giving me a much lower mpg score. Meanwhile on the Volt, when I step on the gas, it’s like “You want power? Here you go!”, even when the battery is depleted.

    Sure, the Volt seems “scarier” to drive at first since most people aren’t familiar with electric vehicles. But give it a test drive, and you might be surprised. I know I was when I first test drove one. Had I of done my research a little more, I would’ve bought the Volt instead of the Prius first.

  • Colin Sevier

    I was anti GM for 13 years. I’ve even owned a brand new Toyota Land Cruiser.. top of the line., for Toyota. yes, it was nice.. but I had more issues with that car. things falling off, etc.
    I know own a 2017 Volt Premier with ACC.. It has way more tech in it., drives better, handles better, get’s better EV mileage, has 5 passenger (sort of), it’s just a better car. The Volts are extremely reliable too. It not your normal GM car.

  • danwat1234

    2016 Prius has a better suspension system than any Volt; independant rear suspension. But I do like all electric drive.

  • danwat1234

    What about the Mini Countryman plugin hybrid coming out ? Faster than either the Volt or 2nd gen Prius and about 20ish miles EV range.. but needs the engine to reach the full acceleration like the Prius. Volt is all electric drive except in certain situations when in charge sustain mode.

  • rand49er

    You’ve been brainwashed by the anti-domestic car media and liberals in general.

  • rand49er

    Prius is cheaply built. Sure, pick out one single narrowly defined component or feature and compare. That’s a trick right from the Toyota playbook. You need to drive them both.

  • rand49er

    Cherry picked data, typical of Toyota lover/anti-domestic people. It’s like seeing the temperature rising between 10 o’clock and 11 o’clock and extrapolating to the whole day and beyond. Stupid.

  • rand49er

    I’ve driven both. The Volt is better, no question.

  • Eric

    I own one of each. The Volt is my go-to vehicle. Not even close.

  • Prashanta Dhakal

    No you don’t. Not a single Prime has reached a customer yet.

  • eyerhyme

    Hey rand49er… have you driven a VOLT? No? Because if you did your research, you’d realize why the VOLT has over 94% satisfaction rating. I got a VOLT about a year ago and it is by far THE best car I’ve ever driven! Over that year, I did 20,000 Miles with about $280 in gas. So… am I a Brainwashed “liberal” (you don’t even know what that means)? Nice to see that the Prius is finally doing a plugin version but it still doesn’t compare to the sporty styling of the VOLT. Open your mind, go to a dealer, talk to the many many happy users, and stop the “political” mouth spewing.

  • eyerhyme

    ChiP… less efficient? It’s all relative! Having extra battery means more miles! And you misconstrued the numbers… the Volt gets way more electric miles then a Prius. Nice to see that Toyota finally got wise and built a plugin but I’ll take my Volt over it any day. Much sportier, more EV range, and proven tech.

  • Mike907826

    eyerhyme, rand49er was actually agreeing with your statement about the Volt being a good car. He said “Anti-Domestic” car media, meaning they are biased against GM and other domestic brands.

  • Mike907826

    Also, I believe the Prius is built in Japan so buying one means you’re sending another $30K overseas that will never come back to our economy.

  • steveinglendale

    Still, appears to be a dolt to me.

  • hp79

    But MINI has too many quirkiness. I don’t think they will vastly improve in quality. You know, all those rattles and small stuff. I do love driving my MINI F56.

  • Denny Hunthausen

    I’m a 2010 Prius owner and currently in the market for a 2017 plug in hybrid. I’ve driven both within the past week. There’s no doubt the Volt drives better, has some better technology, has superior EV range and is sportier overall and it seems well built enough. The Prius prime is a definite improvement from the previous generation in terms of handling and overall driving experience. We also know of it’s solid reliability – my 2010’s been extraordinary. What is a deal breaker for me with the Volt is it’s very poor rear seating for adults. At 5’11” I can’t sit comfortably upright in the back and there’s no legroom. Very different experience int he Prius – even the previous generation is a reasonably comfortable ride in the rear seats. Likewise, the Prime is somewhat better designed for hauling things. I have been amazed how handy my Prius has been over the years and, while the prime takes up some of that with it’s extra battery, the opening and overall storage area design are better than the Volt. I’m looking for more than a two-seat sports car and that’s what the Volt is base on my review. I have a 12 mile RT commute so the Prime can be all EV for me most of the time.