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Hybrid vehicles started hitting the automotive market in the 1990s, and automakers slowly began trickling these models off the production lines. Here we are decades later and there’s a ton to choose from. However, buying a new one could set you back quite a bit, so you might want to browse used cars instead to find one that fits your budget. U.S. News has a list of hybrid vehicles for under $15,000, and the number one rated vehicle sits under $10,000. Which one is it and what’s so great about it besides the price?

What is the best-used hybrid, according to U.S. News?

A silver 2011 Chevrolet Volt, which is one of the best used hybrid car.
2011 Chevrolet Volt | Creative Commons

Out of the 79 hybrids on the list, the one that stood out as the best model to purchase is the 2011 Chevy Volt. According to Edmunds the average cost of a Volt in outstanding condition is just over $10,000 retail. If buying from a private party it can be even less.

The first Prius that appears is the 2010 version, ranked third along with the Mercury Milan. The first Toyota Camry to hit the list is sixth scoring 9 out of 10 points. This isn’t the only time the Chevy Volt appears on the best hybrid list. In twenty-sixth we see the 2012 Volt with a score of 8.4, according to U.S. News

This model is priced at $9,750. The 2013 version is in the fortieth slot with a score of 8.1 and a price of $9,750. The last Volt appearing with the other hybrids is the 2014 model, with a score of 7.7 and a price tag of $12,086. So, all four of these versions slide in under the $15,000 price tag. 

What did U.S. News like about the 2011 Chevy Volt?

What’s so impressive about the 2011 Chevy Volt? Well, quite a bit actually. The first feature that makes the Volt stand out among its competitors is its fuel economy. For driving on city roads, you can expect to get at least 35 mpg, and traveling on the highway can get you around 40 mpg. 

When you add the electric motor into the mix, the vehicle gets 95 MPGe in the city and 95 MPGe on the highway. You can get 25 to 50 miles of range on a single charge on electric power by itself. Charging up the electric part of the powertrain will only take approximately four hours when using a 240-volt charger. For your typical household outlet, it can take up to 12 hours. 

It also has an impressive interior with a futuristic feel to it and considered high-tech for its time. For standard features, the Volt came with automatic climate control, cloth seats, Bose stereo, touchscreen with navigation, and Bluetooth capability. To add options to the Volt, you can choose the Premium package, which offers parking sensors, leather seating, and a backup camera. 

Did the Volt hybrid have any drawbacks?

As with any vehicle, the 2011 Chevy Volt had some good and bad points. The drawbacks weren’t that many but could still be a deal breaker in some circumstances. The main problem critics had with the hybrid was that it was only designed for four people. Cars like this usually could seat five people, but with the Volt, you got four bucket seats instead of having one bench in the back. 

With its hatchback design, cargo space was pretty limited. You could only get 10.6 cu-ft of space behind the rear seats, which really detracts from the vehicle since its rivals have better, like the Toyota Prius, with the same kind of hatchback-like design, which offers 15.7 cu-ft of storage. 

The Volt also doesn’t have a compelling engine setup, but it has enough to get around and pass other vehicles with. If you want something with a lot of get-up-and-go, the Volt may not be your best choice. 

Regarding affordable hybrids, the Chevrolet Volt has precisely what you need, and you can get an older hybrid model for under $15,000. You will have to settle for the less-than-powerful engine and the four-seat setup, but for some drivers, the Volt will please. 


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