Chevrolet Volt tops Consumer Reports owner-satisfaction survey again

Article by Christian A., on November 30, 2012

For the second consecutive year, Consumer Reports put the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid at the top of its annual owner-satisfaction list. The magazine said that 92% of the Volt owner respondents from a poll of its subscribers said that they would definitely purchase a Volt again. The Volt took the most number of votes from among 240 models.

Other models that scored high were Nissan's Leaf electric car and Toyota's Camry Hybrid, Prius, and Prius C. In a statement, Rik Paul, Consumer Reports' auto editor, said that the two-year win of the Volt is proof of the persistent trend of the enthusiasm toward fuel-efficient cars, particularly since more hybrid and electric models are arriving at the market.

It also affirms how well the GM executives have performed amid the bad press from early soft sales, criticism from those who opposed green-car subsidies, and a federal safety probe in late 2011 into battery fires that concluded that there were no major risks. The top sports cars in Consumer Reports’ rankings included the Chevy Corvette, Porsche 911, the V8 Dodge Challenger and the Ford Mustang.

The poll showed that the most satisfied luxury vehicle owners were those who drove the Audi A7 and A6 and the Lexus GS. The magazine's owner-satisfaction study used to be dominated by sports cars, hybrids and convertibles.

The lowest rating went to the Nissan Versa sedan. Trailing it were the V-6 versions of the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups, and the Nissan Armada, Suzuki SX4 and Mitsubishi Outlander SUVs. Consumer Reports surveyed owners of 350,000 vehicles with the model years 2010-2013. The magazine conducts this auto survey annually.

At the core of the Chevrolet Volt is the Voltec propulsion system, which perfectly combines an efficient and range-extending engine with pure electric drive, giving the car a range of up to 350 miles.

The Volt boasts a long-life battery consisting of a 5.5-ft., T-shaped, 435-lb., 16-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. It delivers energy to an advanced 149-hp electric drive unit so as to propel the vehicle. And with only the battery’s stored energy, the car delivers 25 to 50 miles of tailpipe emissions- and fuel-free electric driving, depending on the driving techniques, the terrain, and the temperature.

Moreover, the Volt’s battery is designed to provide safety, value, performance, quality, reliability, and durability. This battery is covered by an 8-year/100,000-mile warranty. GM engineers have, since 2007, completed over a million miles’ and 4 million hours’ worth of validation testing for the battery packs, as well as 288 prismatic cells and nine modules for each pack. The carmaker’s development, test, and validation teams have met numerous specifications as well as validated each of the battery's 161 components, of which 95% has been designed and engineered by GM.

Micky Bly, General Motors executive director for global electrical systems, said that customers are committing to technology that reduces dependence on petroleum. GM, in turn, commits to deliver the highest standards for value, safety, performance, reliability, and quality to customers.

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