2012 Chevrolet Volt vs. Its Competition

2012 Chevrolet Volt 5dr HB Angular Front Exterior View
John Voelcker John Voelcker Senior Editor

The 2012 Nissan Leaf, also a five-door hatchback, is a pure battery electric car with a range of 80 to 100 miles.

Then it needs to be recharged for several hours.

It's roughly $5,000 less expensive than the Volt, not to mention a five-seat car with more load space.

The Lexus CT 200h is a compact luxury hybrid hatchback, also a compact, that delivers a genuine 40 mpg in mixed use--but doesn't plug in, at all.

If you want another plug-in hatchback with unlimited range, the 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid will go on sale early in 2012--but its electric range is only 9 to 13 miles, after which it turns into a regular Prius hybrid.

Finally, the low-volume and very expensive Fisker Karma is the only other extended-range electric vehicle on the market besides the Volt.

But it's all but $100,000, and it's a sleek, sexy, luxury four-door sport sedan that competes more with BMW and Mercedes-Benz for buyers than the Volt does.

2012 Chevrolet Volt 5dr HB Angular Front Exterior View2012 Chevrolet Volt
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2012 Lexus CT 200h2012 Lexus CT 200h
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2012 Nissan Leaf, Electric Avenue, 2010 Detroit Auto Show2012 Nissan Leaf
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The 2012 Toyota Prius. Image: Toyota2012 Toyota Prius
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2012 Tesla Model S prototype2012 Tesla Model S
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2012 Fisker Karma2012 Fisker Karma
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Quick Specs
The 2012 Chevrolet Volt is the plug-in electric car you drive as far as you want--if you can find one to buy.
The 2012 Lexus CT 200h is a surprisingly stylish, fun, and unexpected car, blending Lexus levels of refinement with superb hybrid gas mileage. It's the sole compact luxury hybrid hatch, but it offers good value and a new way of driving green.
The 2012 Nissan Leaf is, quite simply, the first battery electric vehicle built in volume by any major carmaker; if you can get comfortable with its range of 70 to 100 miles, it's the greenest car you can buy.
The 2012 Toyota Prius remains the highest-mileage car offered in the U.S., and it's a practical and capacious mid-size hatchback with room for five
The 2012 Tesla Model S sedan turns out to be a much better car than most expected; it just might meld sport-sedan driving, interior space, and comfort with zero-emission running in one revolutionary package.
The 2012 Fisker Karma is a curious and unique beast, a stylish, luxurious, and pricey sedan with 32 miles of electric range, low gasoline efficiency, and a tiny interior and trunk
MSRP From     
Gas Mileage     
35 MPG City / 40 MPG Hwy43 MPG City / 40 MPG Hwy51 MPG City / 48 MPG Hwy20 MPG City / 21 MPG Hwy
Electric/Gas I4Gas/Electric I4ElectricGas/Electric I4ElectricGas/Electric I4
EPA Class     
Compact CarsCompactMidsizeMidsize CarsNASubcompact
Style Name     
5-Door HBFWD 4-Door Hybrid4-Door HB SV5-Door HB One (SE)4-Door Sedan4-Door Sedan EcoStandard
Front wheel driveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveRear Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
Passenger Doors     
Body Style     
Hatchback4 Door Hatchback4 Door HatchbackHatchbackSedanSedan
AutomaticContinuously Variable RatioAutomaticContinuously Variable RatioNAAutomatic
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2012 Chevrolet Volt vs. 2012 Lexus CT 200h2012 Chevrolet Volt vs. 2012 Nissan Leaf2012 Chevrolet Volt vs. 2012 Toyota Prius2012 Chevrolet Volt vs. 2012 Tesla Model S2012 Chevrolet Volt vs. 2012 Fisker Karma