2019 Chevrolet Bolt vs. 2019 Toyota Prius

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Bolt are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The Prius doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Bolt Premier has a standard Surround Vision to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Prius only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

Both the Bolt and the Prius have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

The Bolt’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Prius’ (6 vs. 5 years).

There are over 2 times as many Chevrolet dealers as there are Toyota dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Bolt’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Bolt third among small cars in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The Prius isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are better in initial quality than Toyota vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 14 more problems per 100 vehicles, Toyota is ranked 17th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are more reliable than Toyota vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in reliability, above the industry average. With 3 more problems per 100 vehicles, Toyota is ranked 8th.

Engine

The Bolt’s standard electric motor produces 79 more horsepower (200 vs. 121) than the Prius’ 1.8 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid.

As tested in Car and Driver the Chevrolet Bolt is faster than the Toyota Prius:

 

Bolt

Prius

Zero to 30 MPH

2.7 sec

3.4 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6.5 sec

10.5 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

10.5 sec

18.3 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.6 sec

10.9 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

2.5 sec

5.1 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

3.5 sec

7.6 sec

Quarter Mile

15 sec

17.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

93 MPH

79 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Bolt gets better fuel mileage than the Prius FWD (128 city/110 hwy MPGe vs. 54 city/50 hwy). The Bolt gets better fuel mileage than the Prius Eco (128 city/110 hwy MPGe vs. 58 city/53 hwy).

The Bolt’s maximum EPA estimated driving range is 238 miles on a full charge. The Prius can only travel about 1 mile before it has to start its internal combustion engine.

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Chevrolet Bolt higher (10 out of 10) than the Toyota Prius (7). This means the Bolt produces up to 11.8 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Prius every 15,000 miles.

The EPA certifies the Chevrolet Bolt as a “Zero Emissions Vehicle” (ZEV). The Toyota Prius is only certified to “Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle” (PZEV) standards.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Bolt’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Prius:

 

Bolt

Prius

Front Rotors

10.9 inches

10 inches

Rear Rotors

10.4 inches

10.2 inches

The Bolt stops shorter than the Prius:

 

Bolt

Prius

 

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

145 feet

149 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Bolt has larger tires than the Prius (215/50R17 vs. 195/65R15).

The Bolt’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Prius’ standard 65 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Bolt has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 15-inch wheels are standard on the Prius.

The Bolt has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Prius doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Having a flat tire is dangerous, inconvenient and expensive. The self-sealing tires standard on the Bolt can automatically seal most punctures up to 3/16 of an inch, effectively preventing most flat tires. The Prius doesn’t offer self-sealing tires.

Suspension and Handling

The Bolt’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (56.3% to 43.7%) than the Prius’ (61.2% to 38.8%). This gives the Bolt more stable handling and braking.

The Bolt Premier handles at .80 G’s, while the Prius pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis

The Bolt is 1 foot, 4 inches shorter than the Prius, making the Bolt easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The Bolt has .3 inches more front headroom, .5 inches more rear headroom and 3.1 inches more rear legroom than the Prius.

Ergonomics

The Bolt has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Prius doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The power windows standard on both the Bolt and the Prius have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Bolt is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Prius prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Bolt has a standard rear wiper. The Prius L Eco doesn’t offer a rear wiper.

Consumer Reports rated the Bolt’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the Prius’ headlights, which were rated “Good.”

The Bolt has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The Prius has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the XLE/Limited.

Both the Bolt and the Prius offer available heated front seats. The Bolt Premier also has standard heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Prius.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Bolt is less expensive to operate than the Prius because typical repairs cost much less on the Bolt than the Prius, including $26 less for front struts and $240 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

Both are recommended, but Consumer Reports® chose the Chevrolet Bolt as its “Top Pick,” the highest scoring vehicle in its category, based on reliability, safety and performance.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Bolt first among small cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Prius isn’t in the top three in its category.

The Bolt was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” in 2017. The Prius has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

The Bolt was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2017. The Prius has never been an “All Star.”

A group of representative automotive journalists from North America selected the Bolt as the 2017 North American Car of the Year. The Prius has never been chosen.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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