Nov 30

Volt again tops Consumer Reports owner satisfaction survey

 

This year’s Consumer Reports annual auto survey asked several hundred thousand of its newer car owning readers the following question:

“Considering all factors – price, reliability, comfort, enjoyment, etc., – would you get this car if you had it to do all over again?”

Responses from owners of 350,000 vehicles spanning the 2010-2013 model years answered “definitely yes” for the Chevy Volt – for the second year straight this was than for owners of 240 other models.
 


 

Sliced another way, 92 percent of survey respondents answered in the affirmative, down from 93 percent last year, but otherwise considered further vindication for GM’s E-REV just the same.

Noteworthy also is the Volt again beat a previous favorite, the Porsche 911, which otherwise did score well along with the Dodge Challenger V8 and Ford Mustang.

Historically, hybrids, sports cars and convertibles have done the best in this survey conducted by Consumer Reports National Research Center.

According to a statement by Rik Paul, Consumer Reports’ auto editor, the Volt’s second straight year “points to the continuing trend of owners’ enthusiasm for cars that are fuel-efficient cars, especially as we see more and more hybrid and electric models hitting the market.”

Of interest to GM-Volt readers is you and your ilk have been noticed by other mainstream chroniclers of all things automotive.
 


The Volt running on electrons with Limerick nuclear power plant off in the background.
 

“The Volt has developed a cultish following,” wrote Automotive News. “Hundreds of online forums have popped up with posts from Volt owners boasting of traveling thousands of miles between fill ups or squeezing out more than 40 miles on one electric charge.”

Is GM-Volt a “cult” or do you just know a good thing when you see it?

However you answer, you can be sure your views are turning out to be more accurate than those who Automotive News also observed might have liked to see this gas-station-resistant car killed in the cradle.

The Consumer Reports acknowledgement, it said, is “also affirmation for GM executives who’ve battled bad press from early soft sales, scathing criticism from opponents of green-car subsidies, and a late 2011 federal safety probe into battery fires that turned up no significant risks.”
 


 

Last month the Volt also set a third month-over-month sales record. It was 2,961 units, and this is not an amazing number by automotive standards, but given the aforementioned flak the Volt has had to overcome, and how few sales it saw in previous months, it is measurable progress.

Speaking of which, November is nearly over, and in early December we’ll get to see whether the sales numbers also speak highly yet again of the Volt.

With competitors coming along, what do you think? Will the Volt top the electric car charts again?

This entry was posted on Friday, November 30th, 2012 at 5:55 am and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 35


  1. 1
    Nelson

    +22

     

    Nelson
     Says

     

    Nov 30th, 2012 (6:16 am)

    I think with all the news about new plug-ins on the market and to be released some people are taking a wait and see approach to car buying. Then there are those who will go and buy a Volt because it has 2 years of proven reliability and customer satisfaction under its belt.
    November sales numbers will be interesting.

    NPNS!
    Volt#671


  2. 2
    Jean-Charles Jacquemin

    +22

     

    Jean-Charles Jacquemin
     Says

     

    Nov 30th, 2012 (7:51 am)

    My Ampera is absolutely fantastic with more than 10,000 miles now, I fitted it with winter tyres this week. no problem at all since I got it. CR voters are right.

    JC NPNS

    Ampera 14636


  3. 3
    MrEnergyCzar

    +12

     

    MrEnergyCzar
     Says

     

    Nov 30th, 2012 (7:57 am)

    Still the plug-in king in terms of electric range!!! More plug-in’s coming from most everyone. Thanks Jeff.

    MrEnergyCzar


  4. 4
    JamesMcQuaid

    +14

     

    JamesMcQuaid
     Says

     

    Nov 30th, 2012 (7:57 am)

    “With competitors coming along, what do you think? Will the Volt top the electric car charts again?”
    The Volt will continue to top the customer satisfaction ratings. As buyers take delivery of the Cadillac ELR and the Tesla S, the Volt will see some competition for the top spot.

    General Motors is now going all the way with vehicle electrification across the spectrum: from e-Assist (Buick) to BEV (Chevrolet Spark EV) to plug-in hybrid (Chevrolet Cruze PHEV) to plug-in EREV (Chevrolet Volt and Cadillac ELR).


  5. 5
    Loboc

    +22

     

    Loboc
     Says

     

    Nov 30th, 2012 (8:17 am)

    Dealers seem to be doing better acknowledging that there are Volt customers out here. I received good response to inquiries and zero attempts to sell me something else.

    As dealers ‘get it’ more Volts will be sold.

    There is a Volt in my near future!


  6. 6
    kdawg

    +13

     

    kdawg
     Says

     

    Nov 30th, 2012 (9:07 am)

    To me, the only way a competitor is going to surpass the Volt is if they beat them at their own game.

    These would be some Volt-killer ideas for a competitor

    * Increase AER to 35~60 miles
    * Decrease Price
    * Decrease charge time (6.6kW charger)
    * Add a 5th seat
    * Faster 0-60
    * Price at $29,999 after rebate

    However, GM is already working on all of the above. So by the time a competitor comes out with this, GM will have already raised the bar.


  7. 7
    joe

    +16

     

    joe
     Says

     

    Nov 30th, 2012 (9:09 am)

    What Consumer Reports really said is that Volt owners “love their Volts”. CR can not find itself saying ” the Volt is the Best car in it’s class”. They are a very pro foreign car magazine and have a flawed method in reporting.


  8. 8
    kdawg

    +4

     

    kdawg
     Says

     

    Nov 30th, 2012 (9:16 am)

    kdawg:
    * Decrease Price
    * Price at $29,999 after rebate

    LOL, had price twice. Must have been on my mind. The Ford C-Max Energit (IMO Volt’s closest competitor) has a price of $29,999 after the rebate. However, Tesla is raising their prices. It will be interesting to see where the ELR is priced at next year.


  9. 9
    JDan

    +5

     

    JDan
     Says

     

    Nov 30th, 2012 (9:17 am)

    Jeff Cobb (from article):
    “Is GM-Volt a “cult” or do you just know a good thing when you see it?”

    Well I guess I submitted my opinion yesterday :)
    http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?19027-January-Consumer-Reports-Magazine&p=218153#post218153 (post 17 and 20)

    Me thinks it is very possible we may pass the 3000 mark in November. But with the elections and Thanksgiving it’s hard to say.


  10. 10
    Loboc

    +9

     

    Loboc
     Says

     

    Nov 30th, 2012 (9:48 am)

    If Volt is a cult car, it’s a pretty diverse group to be called a ‘cult’. We have everything from car guys to engineers to greenies involved. The full spectrum of political leaning is also represented.

    Doesn’t add up to a cult in my thinking.


  11. 11
    kdawg

    +1

     

    kdawg
     Says

     

    Nov 30th, 2012 (9:58 am)

    Electric Tom posted this picture in the forums.

    CRreport.jpg


  12. 12
    Tall Pete

    +4

     

    Tall Pete
     Says

     

    Nov 30th, 2012 (10:03 am)

    Loboc: Doesn’t add up to a cult in my thinking.

    I might not be a cult, but we are all worshipping the same god – oups, company – for having had the guts to come out with a novel idea of an affordable electric car with extended range. It might not be for the masses yet but we pray it will soon be.

    Each day, we celebrate a news item related to the son of our company.

    It might not be a cult but we need our daily fix of Volt news, believing that we need to do something to transform the automotive world for the better.

    Say amen.

    - Amen.


  13. 13
    Tall Pete

    +3

     

    Tall Pete
     Says

     

    Nov 30th, 2012 (10:12 am)

    kdawg:
    These would be some Volt-killer ideas for a competitor
    * Increase AER to 35~60 miles
    * Decrease Price
    * Decrease charge time (6.6kW charger)
    * Add a 5th seat
    * Faster 0-60
    * Price at $29,999 after rebate

    Your list is too long.

    1) Decrease price at 30K after rebate and / or offer low financing on longer terms (6, 7 or 8 years)
    2) Add a 5th seat
    3) Have a bigger model (SUV or the like) available especially for the US market

    Not an issue :

    a) AER : 40 miles is a great compromise
    b) 0-60 time is more than adequate
    c) Charge time is not much of an issue if you have an onboard generator and already have an extended range.

    Would be nice to have

    i) Better adapted technology for the generator (Atkinson cycle, clean diesel or the like) to get better mpg on long trips


  14. 14
    JDan

    +1

     

    JDan
     Says

     

    Nov 30th, 2012 (10:55 am)

    Tall Pete:
    “Better adapted technology for the generator (Atkinson cycle, clean diesel or the like) to get better mpg on long trips”

    A coworker pointed out that it would be nice to use the garbage in landfills (like “Back to the Future”?) instead of gasoline. I noted that the design of the Volt technology lends itself to replacing the ICE with another type of power plant, perhaps a fuel cell? This is great technology that has a bright future. It’s only the beginning, so hang on for a great ride! WooHoo…


  15. 15
    ziv

    +2

     

    ziv
     Says

     

    Nov 30th, 2012 (11:03 am)

    Kdawg, you just nailed my wish list, except for the fact that I am good with just 4 seats if the rear seats have 3″ more leg room, even 2″ more would be nice. AER going from EPA rated 38 miles to 45 or so, net price below $30k for a base Volt, faster 0-60, improved CS mpg (say around 45 mpg, at least, 50 combined would be what dreams are made of) and faster charging for the odd lunch time top off… That would be outstanding!
    I would still end up leasing it, but if the MSRP comes down, my monthly payment will probably be lower too.
    Over time I would like to see a Voltec MPV5 and a Volt SS, as well as having the Volt 2.0 built with the battery pack under the cabin instead of intruding into it, but that is a couple years down the road. Just seeing the ELR get built will be a great day.

    kdawg:
    To me, the only way a competitor is going to surpass the Volt is if they beat them at their own game.

    These would be some Volt-killer ideas for a competitor

    * Increase AER to 35~60 miles
    * Decrease Price
    * Decrease charge time (6.6kW charger)
    * Add a 5th seat
    * Faster 0-60
    * Price at $29,999 after rebate

    However, GM is already working on all of the above.So by the time a competitor comes out with this, GM will have already raised the bar.


  16. 16
    BLIND GUY

    +14

     

    BLIND GUY
     Says

     

    Nov 30th, 2012 (11:21 am)

    We had 3 different hybrids before we bought our Volt. I didn’t want another electric assisted gas car. I wanted an electric car that uses an electric motor as its primary drive force with an AER of around 40 miles. Too me, it makes more sense to buy the most AER that you can reasonably afford. Why not get more battery capacity, since most people can get the difference back in tax credits. We use 2 seats about 97% of the time and I would rather have more AER than a tiny fifth seat JMO. I think if GM will come out with a MPV or CUV with 40 miles AER and put the batteries under the floor with an affordable base model with options available; that would be the tipping point for a lot of people to go electric.


  17. 17
    Steverino

    +14

     

    Steverino
     Says

     

    Nov 30th, 2012 (12:06 pm)

    The electrification of cars will continue and grow. Like the Star Trek Borg, all cars will be assimilated. Resistance is futile. Whether it is battery assist, BEV, or EREV, the car world is changing.


  18. 18
    kdawg

    +2

     

    kdawg
     Says

     

    Nov 30th, 2012 (12:09 pm)

    OT: Just started a Forum thread on this.

    The Chevy Volt DC (driver challenge) ap is available for download now.

    Hope this link works

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.gm.VoltDC&feature=search_result

    Track, maximize and compare your Chevy Volt’s efficiency using the VoltDC app.
    The Chevrolet Volt Driver Challenge (DC) app, connected to OnStar, lets you track, maximize and compare your Volt’s efficiency.
    Keep an eye on your vehicle’s stats while setting goals to boost over-all efficiency for your driving style. As you reach new milestones, you’ll earn badges that you can share on Facebook and Twitter. It’s all part of a community of Chevy Volt owners engaged in friendly competition.

    VoltDCApp.jpg


  19. 19
    ronr64

    +2

     

    ronr64
     Says

     

    Nov 30th, 2012 (12:20 pm)

    I dont want to rain on this parade… Actually the rain clouds I see are still a ways off so parade is a go! lol What I am getting at is I would expect these positive consumer numbers to come down over time. Reason being that those of us who are buyers now for the most part are pretty dang educated on the Volt and its advantages and disadvantages. As the car, scratch that, as the buyers become more and more mainstream you will have more who had uneducated and unrealistic expectations not being met.

    For instance I had a friend of mine who was completely unimpressed with the Volt and how far it would go on a charge. “40 miles?! Thats it”, he asked. “Thats less than an hour!” He then explained to me that at his work they have electric forklifts that run all day… I explained the energy used is a square of speed, if I drove only 10 mph I would drive for 6 or more hours, etc. but to no avail. To him the fact that you plug it in all night and it will then go less then an hour is terrible. If he had bought a Volt he would not have given it high marks at all to say the least!

    Not to mention the not trivial fact that when you make a controversial decision – and buying a Volt currently is controversial – human nature is to defend that decision. Again as the car becomes more mainstream and the controversy goes away there will no longer be that subliminal urge to defend your purchase. Not saying that if the car was terrible that we would suck it up and still claim how great it is but we are in varying degrees prone to ignoring small annoyances and flaws both out of genuine admiration for the car and defense of our buying decision.

    Now that winter is somewhat here in Minnesota one might wrongfully conclude the Volts short comings on battery range etc are really becoming apparent. We used to get regularly 44- 46 miles out of a charge and now we only get about 34 and sometimes much worse. So why is this not a short coming? Because we have an engine! What it really does is high light why in a place like Minnesota pure electric is just not ready yet.


  20. 20
    Jim Mbongo

    +3

     

    Jim Mbongo
     Says

     

    Nov 30th, 2012 (12:38 pm)

    The good thing about the Volt/Ampera is that Volt/Ampera owners every day contradict all together the naysayers and incompetent auto journalists – CarandDriver, Green Car Reports, Inside evs, Inside Line Edmunds, Leftlanenews – whose main goal is to portrait the Volt as a failure.


  21. 21
    James

    +9

     

    James
     Says

     

    Nov 30th, 2012 (12:50 pm)

    ronr64,

    While I completely agree with you re: Pure Electric is not ready for mainstream yet, I have to say
    I wouldn’t follow you on future Volt customer satisfaction as it draws in more buyers who are
    less initiated.

    I’m certain no car can stay on top always, but Volt owners will continue to love their Volts like
    crazy because the user experience is just so good. At first, with Volt you are amazed at it’s
    quietness and attributes – but in time, just like anything else, one begins to take them for granted. Thing is, most Volt owners are not one car families – they also drive that “other” car in the garage, and thus, the comparisons are always before us.

    Volt owners are bound to be enthusiastic about their user experience because seriously, nothing out
    there does what their car does – not even a Tesla Model S ( Even though I’m a huge fan of Elon Musk, the Roadster and the S ). One side of the brain says: “I paid more than the average car to
    drive 30-50 miles all electric”, and the other side of the brain says, “that guy over there can’t drive whenever/wherever he wishes AND drive 30-50 miles electric!”… You can’t really put a price on that.
    — Another way of putting it is – It’s a gift that keeps on giving.

    Negative folks like your unimpressed friend won’t kill the Volt. So many Prius drivers are buying Volts because they understand what they don’t have with their Prius that they could have with Volt. More folks enjoy switching over to an American product that is top quality and works! Volt is gaining
    momentum despite the pundits, and will succeed if our economy will support growth and people
    can afford them. Hopefully, improvements in battery efficiency, competition and a greater choice of models for all needs and budgets will keep this positive passion for Volt strong for the foreseeable future!

    RECHARGE! ,

    James


  22. 22
    Kent

    +3

     

    Kent
     Says

     

    Nov 30th, 2012 (12:55 pm)

    ronr64,

    Find smarter friends….


  23. 23
    James

    +3

     

    James
     Says

     

    Nov 30th, 2012 (1:04 pm)

    I think all of us here will agree the first gen Volt is much better, and an all-out smash hit compared to
    Toyota’s first swing at Hybrid Synergy Drive. Remember the first Prius was a tiny odd-looking penalty
    box nearly nobody paid attention to.

    The pressure on GM is to stretch out Voltec into cars people will buy, like a truck, SUV or CUV. For sure there absolutely needs to be some modification of the T-shaped pack to fit 5 passengers.

    I’m sure Jeff will be jumping on a story I read yesterday where Voltec gen 2 designers started to tease the direction they’re going for next gen Volt. Basically, they said they admired the aggressive look of the Ampera vs. Volt’s more contemporary look, so don’t be surprised if Gen 2 Volt is “more aggressive” – WHATEVER THAT MEANS?! – But they referenced Ed Welburn, and said he wouldn’t allow them to
    get “too wild” with it — and that worries some, as we remember Ed Welburn was responsible for
    the Pontiac Aztek!!!

    I think the current Volt’s design is very sporty, and I’m not fond of the Ampera’s big butt end with
    verticle reflectors and it’s melting eyeliner eyes ( headlight treatment ). I was thinking they’d go with
    Chevy’s new “face”, and give us a filled-in Impala-esque grille, which isn’t so bad since the Impala
    to my eyes is quite fetching ( at least from the front ). Lots is balancing on Gen 2 Volt. I hope it has a more efficient range extender and seats 5 without cutting corners for price and/or reducing EV range. As we’ve said here many times – a 25-30 mile “budget” Volt without the bells and whistles to sell along with the regularly equipped 50-60 mile Volt would be an excellent direction.

    RECHARGE! ,

    James


  24. 24
    ronr64

     

    ronr64
     Says

     

    Nov 30th, 2012 (1:19 pm)

    James,

    Perhaps I wasnt clear James. I expect the numbers to stay high but just dont expect the numbers to stay that high. Numbers in the 90′s are really, really high and IMO are unsustainable. I will be more than happy to be wrong!


  25. 25
    DonC

    +1

     

    DonC
     Says

     

    Nov 30th, 2012 (1:46 pm)

    Loboc: There is a Volt in my near future!

    Wow, that’s exciting! I think you (and your wife) will really like it.

    ronr64: I expect the numbers to stay high but just dont expect the numbers to stay that high.

    Yeah, this always happens. As the universe gets larger the numbers tend more towards the mean. You see that in reviews at Amazon. Lots of products start off with five stars from under ten users. As you get more users the probability of having ones that aren’t so keen on the product go up considerably.


  26. 26
    Chops

    +1

     

    Chops
     Says

     

    Nov 30th, 2012 (2:37 pm)

    Love the French Creek and Chester County, Pennsylvania photos….


  27. 27
    Noel Park

    +2

     

    Noel Park
     Says

     

    Nov 30th, 2012 (3:02 pm)

    JamesMcQuaid: plug-in hybrid (Chevrolet Cruze PHEV)

    #4

    I hadn’t heard about that one. Excellent news if true. A straight up Prius fighter would be a really smart move IMHO. +1


  28. 28
    Noel Park

    +1

     

    Noel Park
     Says

     

    Nov 30th, 2012 (3:10 pm)

    Wasn’t CR pretty critical of the Volt at the beginning? “It’s a long worm that has no turning”, LOL.

    Go Volt!


  29. 29
    Raymondjram

    +2

     

    Raymondjram
     Says

     

    Nov 30th, 2012 (6:24 pm)

    Some “off topic” articles about the Chevy Spark EV at the Los Angeles Auto Show:

    http://www.digitaltrends.com/photogalleries/hands-on-inside-chevys-spunky-spark-ev/

    “Chevy hasn’t released range figures for the Spark EV yet, but the LCD screen behind the wheel gave up an interesting clue when I opened the door. It indicated that the battery was fully charged, and hinted at a total driving range of 74 miles.”
    http://img.digitaltrends.com/image/chevrolet-spark-ev-charge-display-600×415

    74 miles on a single charge! That is excellent news if GM will confirm it!

    http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2012-11-29/news/35435083_1_demand-for-electric-cars-chevrolet-volt-electric-motor

    The Spark grille makes it look like a true “kid brother” of the Volt.

    Raymond


  30. 30
    George S. Bower

    +3

     

    George S. Bower
     Says

     

    Nov 30th, 2012 (7:42 pm)

    I just got back from an overnight at Mary Colter’s “La Posada” Hotel in Winslow ,AZ.

    Since this was a Grand train station designed in 1930′s and now restored of course it is about Trains.

    So I was reminded that GM has been into electric for a long time.

    These trains are GM EMD trains (Elecrto Motor Division) they are clasics in body style.

    They are pure series machines.

    EMD.jpg

    So now you understand why GM is at the forfront of the latest and greatest Volt technology!!!


  31. 31
    George S. Bower

    +2

     

    George S. Bower
     Says

     

    Nov 30th, 2012 (7:48 pm)

    Loboc:

    There is a Volt in my near future!

    Go Loboc!


  32. 32
    Dave K.

    +2

     

    Dave K.
     Says

     

    Nov 30th, 2012 (8:44 pm)

    There continues to be a great deal of public misunderstanding regarding the Volt and EV in general. This week my wife talked with a friend and the topic of Volt came up. Her friend said her sister is very interested in buying. But concerned over the 2 year battery life! I asked my wife to relay that battery life is projected to perform 100% for 8 years. And continue on at 80% for 2 or more years thereafter.

    Three months ago I stated that my workplace had an email survey on plug-in parking. Since then a Tesla owner has arranged to aquire FREE chargers through a city EV program. And I have personality met with a Board Member of our organization. Haven’t received a yes or a no yet. But, we are much closer to enabling free EV parking at our workplace. Please bring this up with your employers. It cost the same to run a kitchen refrigerator. And will unlikely be used at fulltime capacity.


  33. 33
    Roy_H

    +1

     

    Roy_H
     Says

     

    Dec 1st, 2012 (7:05 am)

    Jim Mbongo:
    The good thing about the Volt/Ampera is that Volt/Ampera owners every day contradict all together the naysayers and incompetent auto journalists – CarandDriver, Green Car Reports, Inside evs, Inside Line Edmunds, Leftlanenews – whose main goal is to portrait the Volt as a failure.

    GreenCarReports and InsideEVs are definitely pro EV and pro Volt. CarAndDriver although mostly focused on standard ICEs has been favorable to the Volt. Haven’t read the others.


  34. 34
    Ziv

    +2

     

    Ziv
     Says

     

    Dec 1st, 2012 (7:25 am)

    Very interesting, Raymond! And since the predictive software estimates range by using previous driving style that could mean that the Spark real world AER could be high 70′s (EPA) or low 80′s since everyone who gets to ‘test’ a car tends to thrash it by accelerating hard and braking too hard for the regenerative braking to work optimally. If the Spark is high 70′s that will be a feather in GM’s cap. Low 80′s would be huge.

    Raymondjram:
    Some “off topic” articles about the Chevy Spark EV at the Los Angeles Auto Show:

    http://www.digitaltrends.com/photogalleries/hands-on-inside-chevys-spunky-spark-ev/

    “Chevy hasn’t released range figures for the Spark EV yet, but the LCD screen behind the wheel gave up an interesting clue when I opened the door. It indicated that the battery was fully charged, and hinted at a total driving range of 74 miles.”
    http://img.digitaltrends.com/image/chevrolet-spark-ev-charge-display-600×415

    74 miles on a single charge! That is excellent news if GM will confirm it!

    http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2012-11-29/news/35435083_1_demand-for-electric-cars-chevrolet-volt-electric-motor

    The Spark grille makes it look like a true “kid brother” of the Volt.

    Raymond


  35. 35
    joe

     

    joe
     Says

     

    Dec 2nd, 2012 (1:27 pm)

    kdawg:
    Electric Tom posted this picture in the forums.

    I’m surprised that the Matrix is on the list. I owned one years ago and it was one of the worst junk I’ve ever own. Hard starting, rough idle, noisy in the cabin, bad brakes, bad wheel bearings, lousy horn, lousy ride, and gas mileage.