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The November 2011 edition of Car & Driver magazine (page 76) has a very interesting and informative comparison of these two 2012 GM MPG leaders. Also included is an explanation of MPGe and a surprising analysis of steady-speed MPG.

Regarding the ECO (#1 - 190 points) the editors conclude:
+ Forty-plus MPG with a smidgen of driver engagement.
- Numb steering and brakes kill most of the fun.
= A cost-effective way to save gas.

Re the Volt (#2 - 185 points):
+ The uncontested master of gas- (and anxiety-) free commuting.
- Sacrifices utility to the gods of efficiency.
= An expensive way to avoid the pumps.

Last month I ordered a black/black MT ECO to replace my 2009 Malibu LT2 2.4 liter for my 140 mile round trip commute to Seattle twice a week via I-5. Looks like I will save some gas!
 

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Congrats on the new ECO! It is a good car, not perfect, but overall a good package. And it does get great highway MPG. I bought mine for a similar purpose - a 150 mile interstate highway commute 2 to 3 times a week.

If I had a 20-30 mile commute the Volt is intriguing. I would essentially never need gas.
 

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If I had a 20-30 mile commute the Volt is intriguing. I would essentially never need gas.
My 28 mile commute was a definite for the Volt....until it came out at $40K+. Loving my LTZ tho!
 

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We just got our first Volt and I have been to all of GM's training classes on it. I will say for as advanced as the powertrain is, it's a suprisingly normal car to drive. No weird sounds, poor handling, or special considerations needed, just get in and drive. It actually handles well unlike the Prius which is one of the worst-handling cars I have ever driven. The instant torque from the electric motor is a nice plus and it's decently quick.

On the downside the interior is very button happy on the center stack. Compounding the number of buttons is that they aren't really "buttons" at all, but just touch-sensitive areas on the plastic. No pushing by feel on these. Also, if you get the white plastic center stack the button labels can be almost completely unreadable in direct sunlight. The LCD screens for the instruments and center stack contain a lot of information and can be intimidating at first, though I will say Chevy has done a good job of making them as easy to use as possible. For now anyway most Volt customers are the early-adopters and not afraid of technology so that isn't a huge negative.

When it comes down to dollars and cents (sense) the Volt is hard to justify, especially if your daily commute is longer than the electric range. There are way too many factors in determining the worth of this type of vehicle, and not all of them are economic. Some people will buy them for the technology and some for the purely "green" aspect and that's fine, buying motives are a personal thing. For me though I keep coming back to the fact of how much fuel the $20K-$25K price difference will buy!
 

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The Volt would have been the totally wrong car for me. I drive too much to make use of it. As much as the Volt is cool, it's just not the right car for my driving needs. The Cruze is a much better fit.
 

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If all goes as planned in the next year, I hope to be able to my own comparison. My Wife's 2012 Eco vs a 2013 Volt? It might just be a pipe dream, all I need is the housing market to rebound slightly and my rental property will be sold so a Volt can be purchased.

I do not care about the upfront costs, I would just like to avoid the gas pumps as much as possible.
 

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The price doesn't justify the benefits gained in owning a Volt. Amazing car and introduction of new technology. However when you can spend 1500 bucks and get a car that achieves similar MPG numbers there is no rational explanation for buying a Volt if the sole purpose is fuel economy.


Sent from my Autoguide iPhone app
 

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I would've loved to buy the Volt ... But it was just too expensive.
I couldn't agree more. I would have loved a Volt over my 2011 Cruze Eco. But the cost is just too high to justify. And I hear this a lot from the people I work with who feel the same way - they would love to buy one, but it's just too expensive to justify.

I commend GM for bringing "the car of tomorrow" to market, and hopefully after a few years, the Volt will come down in price enough for it to be justifiable for everyone.

But until then, I'll just enjoy my Cruze Eco.
 

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There is still a $7500. federal tax credit for the Volt and some other all electric cars.
I'd buy one if I won the lottery just to avoid the pumps.
But they keep telling me that I have to buy tickets to win?!
 

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I actually never considered the volt. Too new, too expensive and i drive way more than the battery life. Lovin my eco!!!! - Dan
 
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