If you are shopping for a green car in 2016, we believe that the best available deal on the market is going to be the Chevrolet Volt. We will talk about some of the runner-ups later in this article. But first, the redesigned next-generation Volt is an automotive force with which the rest of the industry must reckon. It combines excellent engineering, impressive handling, outstanding green credentials all at a sub-$30,000 price.
And this isn’t only our opinion. Reviews of the 2016 Volt have been off-the-charts. Green Car Reports says it is 2016’s best buy. So does Motor Trend which calls it “a whole new deal, as revolutionary as anything out there.” Autoweek said it’s more fun to drive than any of the Prius models and is more stylish. HybridCars declared that “Chevrolet’s powertrain makes it hands-down the most effective gas-saving hybrid on average-length daily trips in the world. ” Even uber-critical Consumer Reports noted: “2016 Chevrolet Volt may not appear as radical as its predecessor, but with increased electric driving range, more conventional controls, and vastly improved refinement and livability, we embrace the changes wholeheartedly.” In fact, Volt was #2 (just behind Tesla) for Consumer Reports’ Customer Satisfaction Annual Auto Survey. And, most recently, the New York Daily News announced that the Volt topped the Tesla, Prius and BMW as “best green car” of 2016. OK, it is the New York Daily News, so perhaps this award is faint praise. Still, there’s something here that warrants your attention.
They all cite its 50-mile+ battery range, its quiet, comfortable, peppy, and smooth ride, improved intuitive controls. Green Car Reports chortled: “If we had a place to plug it in, in fact, we’d seriously consider the 2016 Chevrolet Volt as our only car to use. It’s really that good.”
But what has us singing its praises even louder than all of the other green cars is that its price is remarkably reasonable, especially in light of the federal and state tax credits/incentives that drop the price of the Volt by up to $10,000. To be able to buy a great car that knocks the socks off of the auto reviewers at a sub-$30,000 price is a serious accomplishment. If you are considering a car in 2016, you’ve got to test drive this one.
Two other cars also are worth your review, although both are closer to $40,000, out-the-door. In fall 2016, Hyundai plans to release its Ioniq, , the subcompact hatchback that its Korean maker intends to offer in both hybrid and battery-electric versions. It is expected to compete head-to-head with the Volt and Prius. Talking about the Prius, Toyota was updated its hybrid workhorse for 2016. Now in its fourth generation, the Prius has gotten a significant makeover that has made it fun to drive while still getting 50+ miles per gallon. It may not be as exciting or cutting edge as the 2016 Volt, but it’s no slouch — especially in the “interior room” department.
Back to Green Car Reports, as it compared the 2016 Prius and Volt. Their conclusion: “The Prius is a safe choice for today; the Volt points the way toward tomorrow. It’s your choice.” We agree. But with the federal tax credit still available for the Volt (it may end in 2017), it offers almost everything that Prius can do but at a lower price.