Toyota Prius Vs. Chevrolet VoltEnlarge Photo
Both cars score high on safety tests. The Prius doesn't has earned four- and five-star results from the federal government, as well as mostly 'good' ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The Volt also earns top scores from both agencies. So far, no Volts have experienced on-road incidents that would bring the safety of the lithium-ion battery pack or any other electrical components into question.
Finally, we come to pricing. The 2014 Chevy Volt starts at $34,995, but it can reach $45,000; though many buyers will be eligible for a $7,500 Federal income-tax credit and various state, regional, local, and corporate incentives, both financial and otherwise. The 2014 Prius Plug-In Hybrid starts at $30,800, but is eligible only for a $2,500 Federal tax credit. And the base model of the 2014 Toyota Prius, known as the Prius Two trim level, starts at $25,060, with a nicely equipped top-of-the-line Prius topping out around $34,000.
In the end, the conventional hybrid Toyota Prius has become a mainstream car choice in its 13 years on the market. Toyota is building on that success in launching the three new Prius models, all of which provide high gas mileage without the complications of plugging in the car. The Prius is the third best-selling car Toyota makes, and the Prius name has come to represent quality, very high fuel efficiency, and a statement that its owner values driving green. Now, with a plug-in option for the greenest of the green Prius owners, Toyota has offered a competitor with a different mix of attributes than the Volt. On the other hand, the Chevrolet Volt is still in its infancy, and while owners love their Volts like no other GM car--it got the company's highest-ever owner approval scores--public debate still rages over whether it will succeed. Those exact same debates swirled around the earliest Prius models, by the way.
If you're looking for the car with the highest fuel economy on the market, and you're not ready to make the leap to a car with a plug, the standard Prius hybrid is clearly your choice.
If you think you would like to drive on grid electricity, but want the security of the Prius's history, reputation, and quality, the Prius Plug-In Hybrid may be your cup of tea.
But if you were the kind of pioneer who bought a Prius back in the early years--2000 through, say, 2004--you may be ready for your next big leap. If you can't afford a Tesla Model S all-electric sedan, and need more flexibility than an all-electric like the Nissan Leaf can provide, the Volt could well be that leap.
|2014 Toyota Prius||2014 Chevrolet Volt|
|The 2014 Toyota Prius remains the iconic, highest-mileage gasoline car on the market; it's a practical and spacious hatchback that can seat five while returning jaw-dropping fuel economy||The 2014 Chevrolet Volt is one of the best plug-in vehicles on the market, and it costs $5,000 less than it did last year.|
|Read moreThe shape of the 2014 Toyota Prius is now iconic, like it or not, but the interior appears harsh and the graphic displays incoherent.||Read moreThe 2014 Chevy Volt is distinctive, but somewhat slab-sided and blocky; its inside is nicer than you'd expect.|
|Read moreThe 2014 Toyota Prius exacts a price for extreme fuel efficiency: the handling is leaden and the engine howls at full power.||Read moreBehind the wheel of a 2014 Chevy Volt, first-timers marvel at its smooth, quiet, electric torque.|
|Read moreThe 2014 Toyota Prius has mid-size space and hatchback versatility, though interior materials are crude.||Read moreThe 2014 Chevy Volt handles well, rides smoothly, and is quiet inside--but it's limited to four occupants.|
|Read moreThe 2014 Toyota Prius earns top safety ratings and offers optional electronic safety features that keep it up to date.||Read moreThe 2014 Chevy Volt scores well on IIHS and NHTSA crash tests, though it now lacks some of the latest electronic safety gadgets.|
|Read moreThe 2014 Toyota Prius is a technology showcase, but it's less advanced now that competitors match many of its features.||Read moreThe $35K price of a 2014 Chevy Volt reflects its range-extended electric powertrain, but options quickly boost the price.|
|Read moreThe 2014 Toyota Prius is the most fuel-efficient gasoline car sold, and now three Prius models are rated at 50 mpg.||Read moreTwo-thirds of all Volt mileage is covered using grid electricity, and its 37 mpg on gasoline is still high.|
|from $24,200||from $34,185|
|from $22,748||from $32,817|
|Fuel Economy - Combined City and Highway|
|EPA MPG Equivalent - Combined|
|Front Leg Room (in)|
|Second Leg Room (in)|
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