Yesterday we reported on the 2011 Ford Explorer, which was revealed to be a 21st century minimized version of its predecessors’ former glory. Today, Chevrolet announced pricing for the new hybrid Chevy Volt, coming in at a whopping $41,000 before any tax credits, rebates, or other gimmicks. The car goes for sale as a pre-order item today, with delivery to take place some time in the Fall. Meanwhile, the Nissan Leaf, the Volt’s nearest competition at this point, is priced at $32,780 before any credits or gimmicks. Dollar-for-dollar, the Leaf seems to appeal more to me as a family man, right off the bat. Both cars should be eligible for a $7,500 tax credit from Uncle Sam, so that has to be figured into the deal. Both vehicles will be available for lease, with $2,000-$2,500 down and $350 per month – or thereabouts.
So how does the performance of these two vehicles compare? The Volt is being promoted with a capability of going 40 miles on the battery charge before the gasoline “booster” engine kicks in to extend the vehicle’s range by 300 miles. The Leaf, on the other hand, boasts a whopping 100 miles on a fully charged battery, but (and this is a big caveat) it has no gasoline engine to extend its range.
In my opinion, the best option at this point would be to lease, if you are looking at one of these new ultra-green vehicles. Primarily, which one you decide to go with should probably be decided by the length of your daily commute, all other factors being equal. Both cars are featuring an eight year, 100,000 mile warranty on the battery. President Obama is scheduled to test drive a Volt next week in Michigan, which will highlight the importance he has placed on new battery technology.