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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