• Dec 1, 2011
"Considering all factors (price, reliability, comfort, enjoyment, etc.), would you get this car if you had it to do all over again?"

Perhaps no other question could produce a result as indicative of overall vehicle satisfaction, and so it's no surprise that's the query Consumer Reports poses to its subscribers every year, and for 2011, the Chevrolet Volt scored highest of all with 93 percent of respondents indicating they definitely would buy GM's plug-in hatchback again.

It's not all lollipops and rainbows with the Volt these days, though, as Consumer Reports points out in the press release pasted after the break. For one thing, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration had not yet opened its investigation into the Volt and other plug-in cars for spontaneous combustion after an accident. Plus, owners of the Volt had only been in possession of the keys to their PHEVs for a few months when the survey was sent out.

Second and third place went to the V8-powered Dodge Challenger and Porsche 911, respectively, each with a rating of 91 percent. Somewhat paradoxically, CR says its readers tend to give higher scores both to cars with fuel-saving powertrain technology and those with high-powered engines, which helps explain the top three finishers.

Audi, Chevrolet, and Ford each had four models earning scores of 80 percent or higher. A total of 27 vehicles scored in that 80th-percentile group. Cars receiving the lowest scores were the Chevrolet Aveo (37 percent), all-wheel-drive Toyota Matrix (43 percent), and Chevrolet Colorado pickup truck (47 percent). Read more in the press release after the break.
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CONSUMER REPORTS OWNER SATISFACTION SURVEY: CHEVROLET VOLT EDGES OUT SPORTS CARS FOR TOP SPOT

Volt narrowly edged out Dodge Challenger & Porsche 911


YONKERS, NY-The Chevrolet Volt, a plug-in hybrid that has an advanced but unproven powertrain, and carries a $40,000 sticker price, is now the top-scoring model in Consumer Reports' latest annual owner-satisfaction survey.

Ninety-three percent of respondents who own the Volt said they would definitely buy it again, making it the highest-rated car in the nationally representative survey. The Volt narrowly edged out the V8-powered Dodge Challenger and the Porsche 911, each with owner-satisfaction scores of 91 percent.

Though the Volt's high score reflects the excitement surrounding GM's new electric/gasoline drivetrain, it comes with a caveat. The model had been in showrooms for only a few months when Consumer Reports' survey was conducted, and it remains to be seen if the score will hold up as the car rolls out to a wider audience and owners spend more time with their vehicles. Still, early adopters of a new technology tend to be among the most enthusiastic buyers.

Consumer Reports' car owner satisfaction survey was conducted prior to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announcement that it would conduct a safety investigation into plug-in hybrid sedans following an incident with a Chevrolet Volt catching fire after being crash tested.

"These models reflect a larger trend we've seen in recent years: Sporty cars and fuel efficient cars with alternative drivetrains tend to generate more enthusiasm and loyalty than most other types of vehicles," said Rik Paul, Consumer Reports automotive editor.

For each of the 27 models that got Consumer Reports top owner satisfaction rating-at least 80 percent of respondents said they'd definitely buy the car again-12 were sporty cars or convertibles and nine were hybrids or diesels.

Brand nationality doesn't seem to be a factor among the top-rated models. The 27 models with the highest rating include 10 American, 10 European, and seven Asian models. Audi, Chevrolet, and Ford were tied with four models each on the top list.

Consumer Reports owner-satisfaction survey, which drew responses from more than 314,000 subscribers on 2009 through 2012 model year vehicles, is based on the results from Consumer Reports Annual Auto Survey, conducted by the Consumer Reports National Research Center.

Scores are based on the percentage of respondents who answered "definitely yes" to 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?"

Other fuel-efficient models that earned Consumer Reports top ratings include a number of hybrids, such as the Ford Fusion Hybrid, Lincoln MKZ Hybrid, Lexus CT 200h and RX 450h, and Toyota Prius, as well as diesel versions of the BMW X5 and Volkswagen Golf and Jetta Sportwagen.

Sporty models that did well include the supercharged Audi S4, Audi A5 and S5, Chevrolet Camaro and Corvette, Ford Mustang GT, Mazda MX-5 Miata, and Mini Cooper Convertible.

The appeal of power also extends into mainstream models, as owners of turbocharged versions are often more satisfied than owners of conventional versions of the same car. Although the Ford Flex and Hyundai Sonata, for example, are generally well liked, only their turbocharged versions earned Consumer Reports' top owner satisfaction scores.

Small cars, lower-priced small and midsized SUVs, minivans, and compact pickup trucks tended to score much lower as a group.

This year, only three models received Consumer Reports lowest rating, which means that fewer than half of the respondents said they would definitely buy the car again. They are the Chevrolet Aveo (37 ), and Chevrolet Colorado pickup (47 %).

Full Consumer Reports' owner satisfaction survey findings are available online at www.ConsumerReports.org now. Findings will also be in the January issue of Consumer Reports magazine, which goes on sale December 6.

Consumer Reports is the world's largest independent product-testing organization. Using its more than 50 labs, auto test center, and survey research center, the nonprofit rates thousands of products and services annually. Founded in 1936, Consumer Reports has over 8 million subscribers to its magazine, website and other publications. Its advocacy division, Consumers Union, works for health reform, food and product safety, financial reform, and other consumer issues in Washington, D.C., the states, and in the marketplace.


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  • 144 Comments
      msrygwel
      • 3 Years Ago
      Nice to see!
        • 3 Years Ago
        @msrygwel
        [blocked]
      Courtney Alleyne
      • 3 Years Ago
      THIS is great to read about American manufacturers for a change especially chrysler/dodge.
      mort229
      • 3 Years Ago
      The Chevy Volt owners should love it because $7500 of our tax money is helping them to be able to afford this car...........
      tp101056
      • 3 Years Ago
      I have owned my 2012 Volt for six weeks now. I am loving it. I have over 3000 miles on it and have only used 25.6 gallons of gas. This car is smooth, quite and quick. I think it is the best car I have ever owned. In addition, I don't have to give my money to the Arabs now.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @tp101056
        [blocked]
      mkhgmh
      • 3 Years Ago
      Biggest bunch of BS I ever read. The car is a 35 mile per charge useless piece of crap
        KK
        • 3 Years Ago
        @mkhgmh
        You forgot to include overpriced.
      Michael
      • 3 Years Ago
      Thats because the Volt comes with more smugness than a new sercedes S class but a a much smaller price tag and substituting class for apparent environmental friendliness.
      Javanese
      • 3 Years Ago
      Unfortunately TWENTY THOUSAND people still thinks the Leaf is a better buy.
        DrEvil
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Javanese
        The LEAF is cheaper, therefore more affordable, therefore more attainable. It also has more limitations.
          Ziv
          • 3 Years Ago
          @DrEvil
          It ain't much cheaper anymore, they increased the price to over $36k. And the sales of the Leaf are cratering, down from 1700+ to 672 last month.
        Allen
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Javanese
        I wonder what part of the union-hating south you're from (?) I don't care WHERE the cars are assembled, SOME money goes to the Japs!
      reattadudes
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm about as far from a potential hybrid owner as possible, yet isn't it ironic that actual OWNERS (you know, the folks making the payments) of the Volt love their cars? if you were to read the sophomoric comments here in Autoblog we see every time we see a Volt story (could we each get a nickel for every time they called the Volt "vaporware"?), you'd think this was the worst car ever conceived. perhaps those 7th grade posters were never happy with the look of the Volt they sketched with drag slicks and traction bars while in detention. the Prius sketches looked SOOO much better. being an adult, I'd rather know what the actual owners of the Volt think of it, not the opinion of a pimple-faced teenager working at the Barn 'o Burgers, making six bucks an hour.
        stclair5211
        • 3 Years Ago
        @reattadudes
        Wow fancy comment. How many Obama stickers do you have on your prius? Be honest. And stay out of the left lane doing 55. It's so annoying.
        aatbloke1967
        • 3 Years Ago
        @reattadudes
        "being an adult, I'd rather know what the actual owners of the Volt think of it, not the opinion of a pimple-faced teenager working at the Barn 'o Burgers, making six bucks an hour." My teenage years are long behind me, but I'd hedge bets from reading the mindset of your posts that if the Volt wore a Toyota badge, it really would be the worst car ever conceived.
      mikeybyte1
      • 3 Years Ago
      I don't get all of the comments that focus on return on investment. People keep complaining that the Volt isn't worth the money. That there are smarter buys. You can make the same argument about so many vehicles. In fact, every NEW vehicle could be considered a waste of money since you could buy something a year older and save based on depreciation. Or simply shut down BMW and Mercedes because there is no reason to spend THAT much money on a vehicle when an entry level Toyota Corolla will get you from point A to B just fine. People buy cars for different reasons. I am pretty sure that everyone buying a Volt has done the math and knows their purchase is not meant to save money. If all they wanted was to save money at the pump, then they will buy a Cruze or a Civic. People buying Volts are doing so either a) to be on the cutting edge of powertrain technology, or b) want to go green. Or both. Or something else. So please drop the "you will never get your money back" argument because that's not the point of the vehicle.
      Thunder938
      • 3 Years Ago
      I like the Volt, for a coal burner..RRR..but, at 43 grand PLUS charger PLUS dealer mark up the car could cost over 50?? For a kinda cool Colbalt...I would be the right guy for that car too, I live about 5 miles for work. But the cost ot just way to high
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Thunder938
        [blocked]
        otiswild
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Thunder938
        Coal power is cheap, abundant, and AMERICAN power. I don't buy into the whole global warminating thing (I see it as a statist power play, cuz if they really believed it they'd actually make sacrifices themselves instead of flying around all over and having 10ksqft houses) but if I can kick even a mote of sand in the eye to some despotic camelf--ker or prevent a single oil-war-related injury by burning coal, then coal I shall burn, and happily too. Speaking of which, that coal power costs me currently about 3.2 cents per mile. How much is gas in your Arab-sucker?
      bman78
      • 3 Years Ago
      I have only sold 2 volts so far and many people who have came into the the dealership thinking about a volt left with a Cruze. The fact is the Volt is a great car and is very fun to drive. It is overpriced but all new technology is overpriced when it first comes out. remember when we all had penny cell phones and the this weird phone with no buttons comes out for 600 dollars plus a contract! I remember thinking smart phones where a waste of money and now they are main stream. This study proves that if you do your research and get the right car for your needs you will be happy with it. Many people are willing to pay a premium to be an early adapter for new technology.
        mikeybyte1
        • 3 Years Ago
        @bman78
        I sat in a Volt at the local auto show last month, and I was actually very impressed with the build quality, including the materials inside. I kept hearing how cheap it was. Yes, the interior is not worthy of a $40k car. But it's also not the $20k interior I was expecting to find. It was a pleasant surprise.
          otiswild
          • 3 Years Ago
          @mikeybyte1
          ? It has heated leather seats, nav, automatic climate control, etc.. It's missing power seats and a heated wheel, but that's about it. Not bad for a $34k* vehicle. * after rebate, of course.
      MAX
      • 3 Years Ago
      Congratulations to Chevy, Dodge and the UAW. Those Matrixs sure are ugly, maybe people get embarrassed to be seen in them.
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