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In the age of electric vehicles becoming more commonplace on the road, some companies are developing their fleet faster than others. The likes of Chevrolet and Tesla have become the standard among fully electric vehicles. Most of their fully electric fleet will travel more than 200 miles on a single charge, which is rather impressive. While it is not enough to replace gas cars entirely, companies like Chevrolet and Toyota still produce plug-in hybrids such as the Chevrolet Volt and Toyota Prius Prime to fill the gap.

2017 Toyota Prius Prime vs. 2017 Chevrolet Volt: What are the differences?

2017 Toyota Prius Prime Family
2017 Toyota Prius Prime | Toyota

We evaluate several areas in this 2017 Toyota Prius Prime vs. 2017 Chevrolet Volt comparison. These areas include range, performance, design, interior, driving experience, and price. In addition, while the Chevrolet Volt only has two trim levels, the Toyota Prius Prime has three.

Prius Prime vs. Volt: Range and Performance

2017 Chevrolet Volt front
2017 Chevrolet Volt | Chevrolet

One of the essential parts of any electric vehicle is its range. The concern of making it to the next charging station and being stranded is stressful. Fear not, as the Prius Prime and Volt, while having fully electric modes, still house gas engines to keep you on the road. If you favor fully electric mode, the Volt is the top contender. With an electric range of more than 40 miles, the Volt nearly doubles the Prius Prime’s 25-mile electric range.

The Toyota Prius Prime uses a 95 horsepower 1.8-liter four-cylinder assisted by two motor/generator units (MGUs) that combine to make 121 horsepower total. On the other hand, the Chevrolet Volt utilizes an aluminum-block 1.5-liter four-cylinder that produces 101 horsepower. Also, using two MGUs, the Volt bumps its combined power up to 149 horsepower in total. The Volts charging system maintains this power figure by keeping some electricity in reserve.

Prius Prime vs. Volt: Interior and Design

2017 Toyota Prius Prime Advanced
2017 Toyota Prius Prime Advanced | Toyota

Settling into the interior of the Toyota Prius Prime, you are met with an 11.6-inch infotainment screen that resembles the tablet of a newer Tesla. The more basic vinyl seats feel comfortable, with the back seats giving a spaciousness that is lacking in the Volt. The Volt continues the disappointment, however. The interior trim in the Chevy Volt never feels special or unique from the standard gas cars in Chevrolet’s fleet.

It makes use of standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, much like the Prius. However, aside from heated front and rear seats and a heated steering wheel, the Volt is sparse for optional extras. The design of the Toyota Prius Prime is polarizing, so much so that most outlets either adore or despise it. But this puffy, curvy, bold design makes the Prius Prime feel unique and futuristic. On the other hand, the Volt feels extremely bland in comparison.

Prius Prime vs. Volt: Driving Experience and Price


3 Reasons to Buy a Used 2017 Toyota Prius Prime

Diving into the driving experience of both cars, Car&Driver notes the Prius Prime is substantially worse than the Volt. With small tires, the Toyota Prius Prime lacks road feel and has minivan-like handling. Another significant difference is that the Prius Prime has next to no sound deadening throughout the structure. So not only do you feel every bump, but you hear it rattle throughout the cabin as well. However, the Chevrolet Volt is a different story. Clear feedback from the pedals, steering wheel, and seat will instill confidence when you drive one. In addition, the larger battery pack keeps the center of gravity low, improving grip on the road.

For the 2017 Toyota Prius Prime, there are three trim packages to choose from. The Prime Plus is $27,985, Prime Premium is $29,685, and Prime Advanced is $33,985. Allotted features for the packages make the price tags more reasonable, offering quite the value, all things considered. With the Chevrolet Volt, there are only two trim packages available. Kelley Blue Book puts the 2017 Chevrolet Volt LT at $34,095 and the Volt Premier at $38,445. The Chevy Volt demands a higher price tag, but for a good reason.

2017 Toyota Prius Prime vs. 2017 Chevrolet Volt: Which PHEV is the one to buy?

In this 2017 Toyota Prius Prime vs. 2017 Chevrolet Volt comparison, either plug-in hybrid has its advantages. The Toyota Prius Prime is littered with modern technology for an unrivaled price point. Add in the Toyota brand reliability, and it makes for a great choice when shopping around. However, the Chevrolet Volt is the obvious choice for a few thousand dollars more. Providing a better range, a driving feel, and a classier design makes the Volt a much better value overall.