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Toyota Prius Prime vs Chevy Volt: Here is the verdict

Chevy Volt owners compare their Volts with Toyota Prius Prime and share their experiences with both cars explaining why they prefer the one from the other.


"Does anyone have thoughts on the Gen 2 Chevy Volt vs Toyota Prius Prime? Who has driven the Prime and can provide thoughts on comparing it to the Gen 2 Volt. My drive was 94 miles one way 95% interstate at 70-75 mph. I charged level 2 at home and work. I am thinking and planing for my next vehicle purchase. And I do not have enough for a Tesla. I want to keep my next purchase around $17-25k," wrote one user, named Nathan at the GM Electric Vehicle Owners group on Facebook.

Here are few interesting and valuable answers from current Chevy Volt owners comparing the Volt with Toyota's Prius Prime.

Pat Bahn
I have test driven the Prius Prime. It's a little underpowered and the integration is rough. I would suggest you look at a used 2016 Volt, or maybe a used BMW i3.

Ivan Jue
I tried the Prime and tried to “like” it, but I couldn’t. It reminded me too much of the Gen 1 Volt. The Prius Prime has four seats, shorter EV range, and steering isn’t very responsive. The biggest issue for me is the air-cooled batteries. Other PHEVs/EVs with passive or air-cooled batteries haven’t fared well for capacity loss or battery degradation (LEAF, Fusion Energi in hot climates, etc). I choose the 2016 Chevy Volt and have no regrets.

Randy Sullivan Seck
Well, I looked at both a fully loaded Volt and a Prius for the 2018 model year. I had a 2013 Volt so I had already come to the same conclusion previously. Both times the Volts were better buying experiences. No one at Toyota dealerships would approach me. I looked at the cars and was given the cold shoulder as the only person on then lot... The Volts were more attractive and more affordable than equivalent Prius. They both had bigger batteries and massive electric ranges over the Prius. The dealerships approached me, backed off when I asked, and finalized everything when I was ready. Living with both Volts has been great. They are powerful, reliable, get good mpg, and aren't politicized.

Charging at home and at work to full: a Volt would use 2.14 gallons of gas per commute day. A Prius Prime would use 2.68 gallons of gas per day.

Comparing them over your commute and charging I come up with the Volt saving you 337.5 dollars per year based on gas of 2.50 and driving your commute 5 days a week 50 weeks per year. You’ll also get 2 5,000 mile oil changes saved with the Prius per year. 5 saved with the Volt. An oil change runs about 70 dollars at a dealership. The Volt saves another 210 dollars per year. The Volt over the Prime saves you 547.5 per year.

Jerry Stout
I think the cost savings is small either way, Drive both of them select the options yow really want and choose the one that fits best. I have a 2011 Volt and love the handling and higher performance when compared to Prius. In the past I usually owned T-birds, Town Cars and Continentals and really find the Volt to be a better driving experience both in the city and on long trips.

Editor's Note: In April of 2017 the Prius Prime chocked the EV sales passing the Volt and Tesla becoming the top selling EV of the month. The Toyota Prius Prime also became the top selling affordable EV of 2018 after 3 months in the year. But this is a good news, because GM's Mary Barra promised more EVs after Toyota's Prius Prime and Tesla's Model 3 passed Chevy Bolt EV in sales.

I also recommend you reading Buzz Smith's article, titled Why Does Anyone Buy a Toyota Prius Prime? Disclaimer: Smith is one of GM's EV salesmen specializing only selling electric cars.

What's your verdict: Toyota Prius Prime or Chevy Volt? Let us know, please, in the comments section below. I, myself am a 2012 Toyota Prius owner (not a Prime) and am very happy with my hybrid drive.


Karl (not verified)    April 17, 2018 - 6:32PM

I'm on my second Volt (2012 & 2018). The Prius just doesn't do it for me. I briefly thought about a Clarity but came to my senses and got the Volt. The first one was so awesome I just couldn't take a chance on anything else.

Tom (not verified)    April 17, 2018 - 9:18PM

I have both a Volt and a Prius. I may be interested in trading the Prius for a Prius Prime. Both cars are better than the other in certain categories. The Prius has more room, better gas mileage than the hybrid mode of the Volt. The Volt is quieter, drives much better in snow and ice, and gas much better acceleration. My Prius has a sun roof and solar panels to run ventilation in a hot parking lot, both not available on a Volt. I average 40 miles of electric driving before switching to hybrid mode on the Volt. I love both cars, which is why I have one of each.

Dean (not verified)    April 17, 2018 - 9:19PM

I know of a guy that had a Prius Prime, but it got totaled. Now he has a Honda Clarity and loves the extra room, seats 5, longer electric range but hates the headlights. Says he won't go back

Dan (not verified)    April 17, 2018 - 11:15PM

As a proud owner of 2017 Prius Prime, I still have my 2010 Prius III (with added leather) and owned a 2007 Prius III... I have increased my mph from 14 (Nissan Xterra), to 40's, then 50, and now 100mpg in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. I have also had the misfortune to have owned one GM car in my life, I am also a follower of Consumer Reports... quality is what quality is.... I would never buy anything made by GM... Call me tainted or not impartial.... I am okay with that. I love my Prius Prime (Advance model).

VFanRJ (not verified)    April 17, 2018 - 11:37PM

If you enjoy driving cars, you should seriously look at the Volt. It's a driver's car with much more torque and amazing handling.

PoliticalD (not verified)    April 18, 2018 - 9:16AM

We use Prii at work: They are slow, noisy, the steering has the feedback of a Wii with dead batteries, and it handles like a fat drunk wearing roller skates on an ice rink. Also, it's ugly. I have not driven a Volt, but both neighbors launch from stop signs like a bullet, and they both claim it handles great. A 3rd person keeps posting pics of his amazing fuel economy.

Mitch (not verified)    April 18, 2018 - 8:08PM

Many comments, I have had 3 Prius's, the first was an 05 I traded for the 07 Prius TE w/Smart Key & other options that the 05 didn't have! also, I was nervous about the hybrid batteries! Now 11 years later the hybrid batteries are saying goodbye! Anyway, I haven't owned a Volt, I have test drove, rented and have friends w/Volts! The Power of a Volt to 2013 Prius IV is better! Seems to be a heavier car so I assume the Volt maybe better in snow, slush conditions! **But... now lets take a look at actual gas mileage! I have never ever never ever never seen a Volt get over 43 real miles per gallon! I have seen 37 to 43 MPG by the cars own calculator and my own to double check! *** Now lets take a look at Maintenance and Recalls PRIUS WINS AGAIN, Now lets take a look at overall Reliability & Economy PRIUS WINS HANDS DOWN! If I want to be hassled w/repairs and Recalls I'll buy a Chevy maybe built in Canada/Mexico! This Posting is only comparing that of a Regular Prius, not the Prius Prime! I'm sure the PRIME would smoke the opposition if the Regular Prius Hybrid Surpassed 9 of the 10 aforementioned tests for the last 13 years! Three Million (3,000,000+) Plus Prius Owners can't be wrong! Prius is a WIN WIN WIN all the way around! The Volt is only American in Name, stick with Toyota for Higher Resale, Higher Value, Prius Are Far Superior Dependability and Longevity = Superior Vehicles Economically, there is no debating that!

Mitch (not verified)    April 20, 2018 - 12:51PM

In reply to by Howard (not verified)

Everyone of my Prius's have have been assembled in America, that being said even if they were made in Japan, a person can not refute the Quality Control of Japanese Vehicles over Chevrolet! The speculation of others thinking I'm not into Power are assuming wrong! I used to restore 60-70's American Muscle Cars and was a die hard Chevy product guy before the Jimmy Carter era! I owned 1st & 2nd Generation Small & Big Block Camaro's and Chevelles, built to boogie! Believe me I am excited to see Chevrolet trying to get back in the game of quality! Ford stepped up a decade ago, hopefully Chevy can build quality vehicles & parts on American soil! I don't have the time to research where the Volt is built but I'm sure it depends on the year to where it is made like the response to where I said Prius was made! Perhaps The Prime is made in Japan I don't know or have the time to research it right now, but surely will later! Like I said, it is good to support our Allies in making Jobs as well, or soon they too may not be our allies!
as always May God Continue To Bless America! Amen

VFanRJ (not verified)    April 28, 2018 - 10:34AM

In reply to by Mitch (not verified)

Since the Volt's battery covers most people's daily needs, mpg is irrelevant except on getaway trips. I'm currently averaging close to 300 mpg, something the Prime could never do.

Jaime (not verified)    April 19, 2018 - 9:12AM

I have a Gen1 Volt and my sister recently bought a Prime, so I have had the chance to drive both. I'll leave styling aside as that a personal personal preference....

EV range and performance are easily the Volts strengths. Many Prime purchasers are coming from a standard Prius so performance isn't a motivator for them - you don't miss what you've never had!. The Prime has much better ICE mpg and somewhat of a price advantage (if you get a great deal on a Volt the diff isn't much though - Primes aren't being discounted much I'm told). Prime has a bit more interior space FWIW. Higher mileage drivers and those with a less than 20 mile RT commute will find the Prime more economical, while most everyone else will benefit from the Volt.

Reliability may or may not lean towards the Prime, but the perception of reliability is definitely in the Prime's favor, and many Toyota owner's will never buy a GM product... period. May not be fair or accurate, but it's a given. From my perspective, I'm just happy to see such a large pool of owners being drawn into the EV world. Once they experience the possibilities, they will not go back.

So, while to ME the Volt is the obvious choice, I also totally get why the Prime is doing so well and I'm actually happy about it. I suspect most Prime owners weren't cross shopping the Volt anyway - they just happened to buy the latest Prius and will soon get the EV bug :)

Mitch (not verified)    April 20, 2018 - 1:05PM

What people forget to take into consideration regarding the EV World, it may be fine for you 20 mile commute, but golly the long weekend you decide to take a real trip you are either hopping in the 12-18 mpg SUV or renting! Once again, PRIUS WINS, it produces it's on electricity, no plugging in and worrying where & when you can juice it up or be stuck in a Hotel somewhere while its charging! ** Remember the cost of Electricity isn't free either and cost is set to soar as w/oil products! ((then there is the worry of the new steal the Charger while its plugged in scam, YIKES))

I commuted 68 miles each way for work over 9 years in Montana, Started out w/ AWD Honda CR-V, wonderful sure footed little rig for those icy conditions, but 19-22mpg sucked and then Honda Dealership pulled a nasty on me, so we traded it for the 05 Prius! The Traction Control was weird on the snow, we added studded snow tires and were good to go over 95% of the time! Extreme Blizzards and Whiteouts I needed something w/more clearance, at the time I had a 14 mpg Bronco that did the trick as my shifts varied anytime of day or night & Holidays/Weekends so the snowplows were not always out and the one thing The Prius or Volt can do at this time is plow through those big Snow Drifts!

God Bless America