2019 Chevrolet Volt vs. 2019 Toyota Prius

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the Volt 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, front and rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Chevrolet Volt is safer than the Toyota Prius:

 

Volt

Prius

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

 

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

17.2%

30%

Neck Stress

153 lbs.

344 lbs.

Neck Compression

20 lbs.

42 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

77/182 lbs.

290/353 lbs.

 

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

27.4%

53%

Neck Compression

28 lbs.

46 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Chevrolet Volt is safer than the Toyota Prius:

 

Volt

Prius

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

165

182

Chest Movement

.9 inches

1 inches

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

58 G’s

73 G’s

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

2 Stars

Max Damage Depth

10 inches

12 inches

HIC

156

288

Spine Acceleration

36 G’s

48 G’s

Hip Force

484 lbs.

1213 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty

The Volt’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 Volt’s warranty.

Reliability

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 Volt’s standard 1.5 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid produces 28 more horsepower (149 vs. 121) and 188 lbs.-ft. more torque (294 vs. 106) than the Prius’ 1.8 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid.

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

 

Volt

Prius

Zero to 30 MPH

2.2 sec

3.4 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

7.4 sec

10.5 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

22.5 sec

31.4 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

7.4 sec

10.9 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

3.1 sec

5.1 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

4.3 sec

7.6 sec

Quarter Mile

15.8 sec

17.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

88 MPH

79 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Volt running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the Prius FWD (113 city/99 hwy MPGe vs. 58 city/53 hwy).

The Volt’s maximum driving range in pure electric mode is 53 miles, 53 times as far as the Prius’ 1-mile range.

Brakes and Stopping

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

 

Volt

Prius

Front Rotors

11 inches

10 inches

The Volt stops shorter than the Prius:

 

Volt

Prius

 

60 to 0 MPH

114 feet

118 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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

The Volt’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 Volt has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 15-inch wheels are standard on the Prius.

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 Prius doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Volt is .8 inches wider in the front and 1.6 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Prius.

The Volt’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (58.5% to 41.5%) than the Prius’ (61.2% to 38.8%). This gives the Volt more stable handling and braking.

The Volt Premier handles at .86 G’s, while the Prius L Eco pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Volt Premier executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2 seconds quicker than the Prius L Eco (26.9 seconds @ .63 average G’s vs. 28.9 seconds @ .55 average G’s).

Chassis

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Volt Premier is quieter than the Prius:

 

Volt

Prius

Full-Throttle

66 dB

75 dB

70 MPH Cruising

67 dB

72 dB

Passenger Space

The Volt has .3 inches more front hip room, 1.5 inches more front shoulder room, 1.3 inches more rear legroom and .2 inches more rear shoulder room than the Prius.

Ergonomics

The Volt 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 Volt and the Prius have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Volt 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.

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

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The Volt’s headlights were rated “Good” to “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the Prius’ headlights are rated “Acceptable.”

The Volt 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 Volt and the Prius offer available heated front seats. The Volt 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 Volt is less expensive to operate than the Prius because typical repairs cost much less on the Volt than the Prius, including $509 less for fuel injection, $27 less for a fuel pump, $1 less for front struts, $313 less for a timing belt/chain and $256 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

Motor Trend performed a comparison test in its April 2016 issue and the Chevrolet Volt Premier won out over the Toyota Prius XLE.

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

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