Former Prius Owners Turning To Chevy Volt


The Chevy Volt doesn’t get a lot of love from the right-wing, and Monday’s biased Reuters article claiming each Volt costs GM up to $49,000 certainly doesn’t help. But there is one group of car owners who are turning to the Volt in high numbers, and it is just the customer GM is hoping to attract.

I’m talking about owners of the Toyota Prius, which is the #1 traded-in vehicle for Volt customers.

Yup, it turns out the stereotype is true; Prius owners are probably the same people who are ready to pop an artery over today’s new iPhone unveiling. While no specific numbers are mentioned, it is an important metric. It took Toyota many years to recoup its investment in the Prius, and they are only now getting around to releasing a plug-in version of the Prius.

Yet Prius owners are still turning to the Volt. Part of the reason could be that the Prius Plug-in is still only available in select markets. It could be that the Volt has had a lot more press, negative and positive, than the Prius Plug-in. It could be that Prius owners simply need to have the latest and greatest thing.

Whatever the reason, I am sure there are a few current and former GM execs (cough cough Bob Lutz cough) smirking over the conquest numbers. Any current Prius owners want to chime in?

Source: The Truth About Cars

About the Author

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he’s running, because he’s one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.

  • Marc P.

    I’m not exactly a Prius owner… but kinda… 2007 Toyota Highlander Hybrid, let’s call it a really really BIG Prius !

    Give me an SUV with about the same dimensions and towing capacity as my Highlander, but with an all electric range of at least 20 km (40 km would be ideal) all in a PHEV package and I’m in !

    • Marc, a C-Max Energi would come pretty close. Just 3 or 4 months from production if memory serves.

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  • Arthur buonamia

    I own a Prius plugin,Nissan leaf and reg Prius , I did check the volt but found the quality not quite there. Dash buttons were uneven, the j1772 plug was geared to accept 440 dc but no infrastructure or adapter to use existing dc chargers was available, the feeling of being in a tank because of diminished view access was prevalent, otherwise it might have worked for me. Ooh the price, too high and they gimmick the federal rebate rather than apply it more honestly.

  • I have a Leaf and a Prius. My guess is that you only need 2 Prius trade ins to make this story true, but statistically meaningless. All of these cars have their engineering tradeoffs. We took our Prius on a 300 mile road trip and got just under 50 mpg. The Volt would have gotten about 34 mpg, if we could have gotten five people into a four-person car.

    • Arthur buonamia

      I’m waiting for the new leaf 2013

    • Kevin Sullivan

      Nice guess dude, but only that, a guess. Have you ever driven a Volt? I thought not. I own one, and on an LA-San Francisco drive, after driving the first 48 miles gas-free, I averaged 45.5 MPG using the gas generator on the remainder of the trip. I don’t doubt your MPG experience with your own Prius, but don’t speculate what us Volt drivers get when you have no clue.

      • Arthur buonamia

        I’m still not impressed with the quality of the gm volt friend, when I asked salesman why dash buttons were not flush he said don’t worry as the spring wears it will look better. Anyway, the Toyota rav4ev looks good, wish they would have given Prius plugin a solid 20 mile range on electric. But the volt,
        Naw, just ain’t there, sorry.

        • Kevin Sullivan

          Fair enough, to each his own. In the past 20 years I’ve driven Mercedes Benz, BMW, Infiniti and a Ford Mustang convertible thrown in for kicks. My Volt is the best, most technologically advanced car I’ve ever had, and I like it just fine. It’s also one of the most awarded cars in history. But subjective likes and dislikes are different for everyone, and I respect other people’s choices. I have no respect for the constant politically motivated media hit-pieces on the Volt however.

          • Arthur buonamia

            Well same here, actually for fun I like driving my red cinquecento Fiat pop
            5 speed. Gets me 44 .2 mpg., for my Seattle drives the Nissan leaf. The Prius plugin I drove to my home in cape coral florida where the folks there saw it As something from another dimension. I wanted to trade the Prius in for the volt for that trip but didn’t like the cross country mileage or the inability to charge on a chademo plug. Now both homes are net zero solar powered. I can charge my electrics or run the ac in Florida to 69 degrees
            And still turn the meter backwards. So I’m for going green as much as possible.

          • BC

            Kevin Sullivan – I totally agree with you – I am a new Volt owner and am amazed at how well the car drives. The media bashing is relentless. If more people would just drive it, momentum would shift in a positive direction.

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  • This just in —
    Former Prius car owners who had recently jumped ship to become Chevy Volt owners are NOW jumping ship to owning bamboo and paper bicycles.

    When asked about why making yet another irrational lifestyle choice, the group answered: “I got a tweet about it.”

  • Another blog post with GM presser attached about Volt buyers trading in a Prius to get the Volt in the link below. I think that it is an obvious trend, but finding out that more than 2/3 of the Volt buyers are coming from a brand other than GM shows why this car is a great move for GM, especially considering the very high JD Power Customer Satisfaction numbers.

    Having driven both a 2010 Prius and ridden in several more, there is simply no comparison in my eyes of the Volt to the Prius. The Volt is a much more luxurious car and it is an order of magnitude more fun to drive. The Prius is like driving your couch around town, while the Volt is responsive, albeit not truly sporty, but simply a fun car to drive. I am not up to speed on where all the Volt’s controls are, though. It should be more ergonomically designed with a more user friendly layout of the console/dash.
    But, if I had a couple kids or was using my car to haul anything much more bulky than groceries, I might like the size of the Prius more than I do now. I simply don’t need the extra space but there are people that will like the spaciousness of the Prius over the Volt. But even there, the Prius now has the C-Max Hybrid and Energi, (soon) to compete with.
    I love the fact that there is so much more competition in this group of market niches now.

  • Tom

    I own a 2008 prius and have seriously been looking at the volt. I love the prius but hate the uncomfortable seats especially on a trip. I rented a corolla when I was in another city and i swear it had much more comfortable seats than my prius. I will take a test drive soon. If i dont loke the volt i may keep the prius another year.