2019 Chevrolet Volt vs. 2019 Tesla Model S

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

To help make backing safer, the Volt’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Model S doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

The Volt has standard OnStar®, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions, remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Model S doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Volt and the Model S have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, 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 front and rear parking sensors.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Good” to “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Volt the rating of “Top Pick” for 2018, a rating granted to only 100 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Model S has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

The Volt’s corrosion warranty is 2 years and 50,000 miles longer than the Model S’ (6/100,000 vs. 4/50,000).

Chevrolet pays for the first scheduled maintenance on the Volt. Chevrolet will pay for the first oil change, lubrication and any other required maintenance during the first 12 months. Tesla doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Model S.

There are over 47 times as many Chevrolet dealers as there are Tesla dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Volt’s warranty.

Reliability

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Chevrolet vehicles are more reliable than Tesla vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Chevrolet 4 places higher in reliability than Tesla.

Fuel Economy and Range

The Volt’s maximum EPA estimated driving range on a full tank of fuel and a full charge is 435.7 miles, after which it can be refueled at any gas station in minutes. The Model S’ range is only 259 to 335 miles, after which the minimum recharge time is 30 minutes for only a 54% charge at a specially configured quick charge station not available in most areas. A full recharge at a conventional charging station can take up to 82 hours and 53 minutes.

Brakes and Stopping

In an emergency stopping situation, many drivers don’t press the brakes with enough force to stop the vehicle in the shortest distance. The Volt has a standard Intelligent Brake Assist to detect emergency braking situations (by how hard and how quickly the brake pedal is pressed) and then automatically apply maximum braking immediately in order to help prevent a collision. The Model S doesn’t offer a brake assist feature.

The Volt stops much shorter than the Model S:

 

Volt

Model S

 

60 to 0 MPH

114 feet

124 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

The Volt 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 Model S doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

For better maneuverability, the Volt’s turning circle is .6 feet tighter than the Model S’ (36.4 feet vs. 37 feet).

Chassis

The Chevrolet Volt may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 1250 to 1400 pounds less than the Tesla Model S.

The Volt is 1 foot, 3.6 inches shorter than the Model S, making the Volt easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The Volt is 6.1 inches narrower than the Model S, making the Volt easier to handle and maneuver in traffic.

Servicing Ease

A maintenance reminder system is standard on the Volt to save the owner time and money by calculating maintenance intervals for oil changes based on actual driving conditions. This takes the guesswork out of keeping your vehicle in top condition and helps it last longer. Tesla doesn’t offer a maintenance reminder on the Model S.

Ergonomics

On a hot day the Volt’s driver can lower all the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Model S can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Volt’s standard side window demisters help clear frost or condensation from the side windows in the winter. The Model S doesn’t even offer side window demisters, so the driver may have to wipe the windows from the outside to gain side vision.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Volt has standard extendable sun visors. The Model S doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Volt is less expensive to operate than the Model S because typical repairs cost much less on the Volt than the Model S, including $590 less for a water pump, $14 less for front brake pads, $151 less for front struts and $415 less for a power steering pump.

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

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