2012 Toyota Prius vs. 2012 Chevrolet Volt: Which One Should I Buy?

While these two vehicles are both certainly cost-effective to drive, they can be difficult to compare due to the Prius’ entry in the mid-size category and the Volt living squarely in the compact car category. Both of these vehicles are meant to be cost-effective commuter or small family cars, and are great for individuals who drive at least an hour a day, as they will keep the commuting cost to a bare minimum.

The Prius continues to be the highest-mileage car offered in the United States today, and it’s an incredibly capacious and practical ride with room for five plus a hatchback. However, the lifeless driving experience is nothing to write home about, and you’ll have trouble with knee room due to the flying-buttress style console. The Volt is a plug-in electric car that may be extremely hard to find, but it does offer the benefit of the ability to drive it as far as you want – so no range anxiety. It also feels like a “normal” car when you’re driving and has a comfortable and stylish interior.

Chevrolet Volt 2012
2012 Chevrolet Volt

Interior Features

The price difference between the two vehicles of around $15,000 can result in some pretty serious sticker shock, but the Volt makes up for it with some nice interior controls as well as a more pleasant cabin overall. The Volt’s interior may be larger than expected, but it also contains a lot of hard plastics and could hardly be considered luxurious.

Passenger Comforts

Some of the other interior differences include rubber floor mats for the Prius versus carpet for the Volt, and the Prius surprisingly has 1-touch windows up and down in both front and rear of the vehicle while the Volt only offers that option for the driver. Both vehicles include cruise control. The Volt stays true to its compact car category and only offers space for 4 passengers with bucket seats all around while the Prius offers seating for 5 passengers and a 60/40 bench in the rear. Premium cloth seats come standard with the Volt.

Fuel Economy

The most exciting feature face-off for these two is the fuel economy. The Prius offers a more-than-acceptable 51 mpg city and 48 mpg highway, but the Volt delivers a whopping 95 mpg city and 93 mpg highway. This incredible delivery is due to the Volt only sipping gas to help recharge the battery.

When you are looking for a commuter vehicle that will get you there in one piece and is relatively comfortable, you can’t go wrong with either vehicle.


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Attila

19 years of experience
906 reviews
Attila
19 years of experience
Cadillac SRX V6-3.6L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Edison, New Jersey
Attila was great! Very knowledgeable and actually detected a fault during a pre-purchase inspection that would have cost me later.
Lexus ES350 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Fords, New Jersey
He is very good—offered all the significant details we needed from the inspection. Helped us figure out what needed to be fixed.

Shawn

12 years of experience
285 reviews
Shawn
12 years of experience
Chevrolet Impala V6-3.6L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Lansdale, Pennsylvania
Shawn was prompt, professional, and delivered the promised service as expected. This was a used vehicle pre-purchase inspection. Shawn also had to drive to multiple locations to perform the inspection, as the address listed that I provided him with was not accurate, but he still made it to the correct location within his time window and completed the inspection.
Toyota Sequoia - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Akron, Pennsylvania
Shawn was very prompt in communicating with me and was good at helping me decide whether to purchase a used car. He help me avoid a car with a repaired rusted frame that could be a danger to my family's safety since we were planning on using the car to tow a travel trailer!

Luis

18 years of experience
320 reviews
Luis
18 years of experience
Honda HR-V L4-1.8L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Warren, New Jersey
Luis was great. He showed up on time, acted professionally, and gave me confidence with a pre-purchase car inspection.
Acura RDX - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - South Hackensack, New Jersey
Luis did a thorough pre-purchase inspection for me, and found several major issues that made me pass on buying the car. Had I purchased the car, I almost certainly would have ended up paying thousands in repairs down the road. Thanks Luis!

Robert

20 years of experience
1089 reviews
Robert
20 years of experience
Hyundai Elantra L4-2.0L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Englewood, Colorado
He did a pre-purchase inspection for me. He was knowledgeable and fast, and knew what he was looking for. I really appreciate all the pictures and documentation he took of the state of the car before purchase. He noted potential issues with the car that I wouldn't have been able to notice. Would recommend.
GMC Savana 1500 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Golden, Colorado
I trust Robert. He gave me a list and we will take care of it the week of June 29. I will know then that my vehicle is ready for the winter and is safe to drive. I look forward to getting things ready for another winter of careful driving.

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