Reviews 2017 Chevrolet Volt Premier vs. 2017 Toyota Prius Prime Advanced

00:51  17 january  2017
00:51  17 january  2017 Source:   caranddriver.com

2017 Chevrolet Tahoe 4WD

  2017 Chevrolet Tahoe 4WD Chevy's traditional SUV still finds customers.While the Tahoe is based on the Chevrolet Silverado’s body-on-frame design, this SUV benefits from a smoother riding five-link, coil-spring rear suspension in place of the pickup’s leaf springs. The Tahoe also shares that truck’s 5.3-liter V-8 and six-speed automatic transmission. This aluminum small-block is equipped with direct fuel injection, variable valve timing, and cylinder deactivation for improved fuel economy; here, it makes 355 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque. That’s the only available powertrain, but it can be configured with rear- or four-wheel drive.

From the February 2017 issue

2017 Toyota Prius Three Touring

  2017 Toyota Prius Three Touring When three really is two.

Electric vehicles are maturing through their adolescence, and just like in middle school, some members of the class are developing faster. Tesla and Chevrolet now have electric cars that will travel more than 200 miles per charge, but the vast majority of battery-powered cars are still limited to a 60-to-90-mile range. In the next decade, the electric car promises to blossom into something that doesn’t require sacrifices in practicality or price when compared with a gas-fueled car, but until the EV’s pimples clear up, we have plug-in hybrids.

With both a battery and a gas tank, plug-in hybrids strive to be everything to everyone, especially buyers who drive too much to deal with range limitations or who don’t want to spend much time plugged into a charger. The battery pack provides some electric-only operation while the gas tank and engine keep things moving when the ­battery is tapped. Chevrolet’s first Volt could travel 38 miles on its battery; after that, the engine would kick on to drive the car. Toyota, the leader in hybrid sales, also sold a plug-in version of its ubiquitous Prius; it featured a lithium-ion battery pack and could travel 11 miles on electric-only power before burning any gas.

2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 First Test: Brute Squad Goals

  2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 First Test: Brute Squad Goals Raising Hell, Killing Tires, and Feeling the HeatSuch is the extreme nature of the latest, probably greatest, and without question most powerful Camaro the Bow Tie brand has ever sold to the public. Unlike the obvious competition (Chevy's looking at you, Hellcat), the ZL1 isn't simply extreme for extreme's sake. The Camaro team gave the sixth-generation Camaro all flavors of performance enhancers for a reason. Three of them, actually: Camaro boss Al Oppenheiser wanted the ZL1 to be the best ponycar on the drag strip, on a canyon road, and on the racetrack.

Chevy’s and Toyota’s plug-ins are now entering their second generation, and both offer greater electric-only range and improved performance. Chevrolet's Volt now has a larger, 18.4-kWh battery that weighs 21 pounds less than its predecessor’s, uses fewer cells, and delivers more than 40 miles of EV range. Inside the transaxle are two motor/generators. While the combined gas and electric power output is unchanged from the previous Volt, GM’s redesign of the motors and the gearbox increases efficiency and helps the new car shed 100 pounds.

2017 Chevrolet Volt Premier and 2017 Toyota Prius Prime Advanced© Car and Driver 2017 Chevrolet Volt Premier and 2017 Toyota Prius Prime Advanced

When the battery reaches a predetermined low state in the Volt, the new ­aluminum-block 1.5-liter four with 101 horsepower starts up. This naturally aspirated engine runs in the Atkinson cycle for efficiency’s sake and is lighter than the iron-block 1.4-liter it replaces. Even when the Volt switches to hybrid mode, the battery isn’t completely depleted. By leaving some electricity in reserve, the electric motors can add to the four-cylinder’s 101 horses to ensure that the Volt maintains the same 149 horsepower no matter the mode.

2017 Chevrolet Cruze

  2017 Chevrolet Cruze Making the case that character isn't everything.What’s New: The big news for 2017 is the addition of a hatchback to the Cruze lineup. Although mostly mechanically identical to the Cruze sedan, the hatch offers significantly more practicality with its 23-cubic-foot cargo area, which opens to a full 47 cubes with the rear seats folded. Otherwise, 2017 sees only minor tweaks, including some new colors and a second USB charging port for rear-seat passengers in LT and Premier trims.

Toyota’s second-gen plug-in Prius (rechristened the Prius Prime) follows the Volt’s tack. Toyota doubled the battery capacity to 8.8 kWh, which more than doubles the range to 25 miles. The lithium-ion battery pack lives under the cargo area and powers the two electric motor/generators inside the trans­axle, which can combine for 68 kW of output, or 91 horsepower. That’s a far more useful number than the old Prius Plug-In’s 51-hp electric-only effort.

When the juice stops flowing in the Prius Prime, a 1.8-liter Atkinson-cycle four with 95 horsepower makes its entrance. As in the Chevy, Toyota leaves some battery capacity in reserve to allow the electric motors to contribute to acceleration and support the gasoline engine. Unlike the Volt, though, the Prius Prime makes more power in hybrid mode than in EV mode, or 121 combined horsepower.

Although these plug-in hybrids are conceptually similar, the cars wrapped around the technology are vastly different. To help us dissect these differences and to see whose plug-in works better, we drove them together in stop-and-go Los Angeles traffic, on freeway slogs, and even into the canyons bordering the city. One emerged as a clear winner, both as something we’d like to drive and as an EV stopgap.

First Look: 2018 Toyota Camry

  First Look: 2018 Toyota Camry Toyota’s eighth-generation Camry has been touted as having aggressive character lines and a low center of gravity. It’s wider, rides lower, and has crazy looking boomerang-like rear lights. The bestselling sedan by Toyota finally pulled into the spotlight at the 2017 Detroit auto show. For 2018, the redesigned Camry is available in four variants: LE, XLE, SE, and XSE. It is offered with a choice of a 2.5-liter four-cylinder, a 3.5-liter V-6 engine, or a hybrid version with a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). Old school gas versions get an all-new 8-speed automatic transmission and platform to boot.

2017 Chevrolet Volt Premier© Car and Driver 2017 Chevrolet Volt Premier

Let’s get something out of the way right up front: The Prius Prime is unattractive. How something so graceless, gawky, and odd emerged from a company as conservative as Toyota is shocking. Its design is so off-putting, it’s almost an anti-car statement. Designers often draw inspiration from ordinary objects, or from architecture, nature, and so on. In Blue Magnetism paint—a metallic teal—the thing appears to have been inspired by a disfigured puffer fish, a turquoise ring you’d find in a New Mexico gas station, and a 1958 Edsel. Perhaps that’s why the wind refuses to touch it. How else can you explain the Prius Prime’s excellent 0.25 drag coefficient?

At least when you’re in it, you can’t see it. Hit the starter button, and the 11.6-inch center screen that looks like a smaller version of what’s in a Tesla Model S lights up and shows a Prius driving around a sphere while speakers plunk a few welcoming piano notes, a tune that contributor John Pearley Huffman described as “Liberace-esque.” Move the now-familiar Prius joystick into D and the Prius, with a full charge and in EV mode, pulls away with just enough poke to keep up with traffic.

2017 Toyota Prius Prime Advanced© Car and Driver 2017 Toyota Prius Prime Advanced

Still not convinced? Take a long look at the Prius and the Volt. While the Volt might look a bit generic and too much like a Hyundai Elantra, at least it doesn’t look like a protest against taste. Inside, the Volt is similarly conventional. We’d call it ­Malibu-plus for the way it mimics the approachability of a ­family sedan’s interior. Gone is the first gen’s capacitive touch switchgear; instead, you get real buttons. An eight-inch touchscreen is a familiar sight in GM cars and trucks, and it works well. Overly firm seats didn’t impress, however, and although the rear seat theoretically can hold three, there’s not much leg- or headroom back there. A small door opening makes getting in and out of the back seat difficult, too. For Uber duty, the Prius has the Volt licked.

Everywhere else, the Volt is the clear ­winner. It doesn’t require any sacrifices in driving pleasure or performance in the name of economy. Its styling doesn’t make an anti-car ­statement, and it certainly doesn’t have a large back seat, but it’s a more mature plug-in hybrid and a more satisfying car. The Volt quali­fies for a federal tax credit that’s $3000 more than the Prius Prime’s ($7500 compared with $4502). That narrows but doesn’t close the Toyota’s price lead. We’d be happy to pay the extra money for the Volt. It’s worth it.

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First Drive: 2018 Chevrolet Equinox .
Bowtie's compact crossover gets in shapeThe styling of the new Equinox is not as sharp as that of the new Mazda CX-5 or as funky as the Honda CR-V's, but it's pleasant in a neutral way, yanking stylistic cues from the Cruze and Malibu. It's smaller than the outgoing crossover, its wheelbase shrinking by a not-insignificant 5.2 inches and overall length dropping by 4.7 inches. Height drops down by 0.9 inch, lending a more slippery aerodynamic profile. Thanks to the daintier proportions and the new D2XX platform, which is shared with the Buick Envision and 2018 GMC Terrain, among others, Chevy was also able to slice off around 400 pounds of weight.

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