A parade of electrified vehicles, including the Chevy Volt, dominated a new Consumer Reports survey asking car owners if they would buy their cars again.
The Volt finished first in the category of small cars, followed by the Toyota Prius C and Nissan Leaf. Three hybrids -- the Toyota Camry Hybrid, Toyota Prius, and Toyota Prius Plug-In -- topped the family cars category, while the Toyota Prius V beat all competitors among wagons and minivans.
Consumer Reports said the results will help bring hybrids even further into the automotive mainstream. "Some people are still suspicious of hybrids," Eric Evarts, senior associate autos editor for Consumer Reports, told us. "But as they hear -- mainly through word of mouth -- that others are happy with them, it starts to break down barriers."
The Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid got the highest score in Consumer Reports' owner satisfaction survey. (Source: General Motors)
The annual Consumer Reports owner satisfaction survey asks car owners a single question: Considering all factors (price, performance, reliability, comfort, enjoyment, etc.), would you get the same vehicle if you had to do it all over again? The organization received about 350,000 responses on more than 240 models, spanning the model years from 2010 to 2013.
The Chevy Volt had the highest score of any vehicle; 92 percent of owners said they would definitely buy it again. Other high-scoring vehicles included the Porsche 911 (91 percent), Chevrolet Corvette (91 percent), Audi A7 (90 percent), and Dodge Challenger (90 percent).
Consumer Reports editors said they were not surprised by the good performance of hybrids, especially the Volt. "You've got relatively few people who buy them, but they are finding out that the technology works," Evarts said. "It can eventually cut them off from having to buy gasoline without placing any restrictions on their lives."
Not all hybrids did well in the survey. Evarts said the Toyota Highlander Hybrid and Lexus RX 450h didn't perform as well as the Volt or Priuses. "For someone who buys a luxury sedan or an SUV, a hybrid doesn't offer them much. It gives a couple miles per gallon, and miles per gallon probably isn't even on their radar."
The survey contrasts sharply with an R.L. Polk & Co. study that found roughly two-thirds of hybrid owners who returned to the market in 2011 did not opt for another hybrid. Polk economists said the study revealed that consumers who buy hybrids to be eco-friendly generally stick with them, but those trying to save money may opt for more fuel-efficient gasoline-burning vehicles the second time around. The Polk study also tracked new car buyers, whereas the Consumer Reports survey looked at owner satisfaction.
Evarts said the high scores for vehicles such as the Volt and Leaf may also reflect the number of early adopters who are responding to the Consumer Reports survey. Because early adopters are enthusiasts by nature, they are expected to be satisfied with their vehicles. "There are still relatively few buyers of these vehicles, especially the Nissan Leaf," he said. "But we expect the satisfaction numbers to start falling off as they become more mainstream. Eventually, these cars won't just be purchased by enthusiastic early adopters."
I have limited experience witha Chevy Volt. My stepson leased one because he felt ownership would be financially risky. While it rides and sounds like a conventional car, I found one glaring fault. Being a senior citizen, I found it difficult to enter and leave teh back seat, especially with winter coats on. The Volt has to be smallish to get good fuel economy but I think it is too small. My Malibu is about the right size for me.
Only 2% behind the Volt, were owners of Dodge Challengers. Now, I admit that the Challenger is not even in the same market as the Volt, but I would buy mine again. It is a fun car to drive. I am enthusiastically a (though not counted) member of the 90% group.
To answer to initial question, I live in South Florida; Miami/Ft. Lauderdale/West Palm Beach corridor, a.k.a. "Florida Gold Coast". One possibility is the culture here is very transient, and Caribbean / European in nature. Not a lot of Fords and Chevys, but more Mercedes, BMWs and even Bentleys and Rolls-Royces than you can count. That is likely a contributing factor to Chevy dealers' apathy to the Volt Market. Personally, I'd love to drive one, but I've never even seen one on the road!
That's great... You're making the point I've made many times on this forum (and elsewhere); that the Volt is way over-priced. It is a sub-$30k auto...
This is the first time I've heard that the cost to manufacture was $25k... Mostly the Volt's proponents like to push the idea that Lexus and BMW owners should be flocking to the Volt because they are alike in luxury/quality, but that the Volt is a more awesome ride and has the ability to run at zero MPG...
Nice trick for GM to build a car that has all positives and no negatives (that's a battery pun btw). All the other luxury car companies must be run by morons I guess... it's amazing they're still in business and not just collecting government checks instead.
Your accounting doesn't include the $14,000,000,000 that the tax payers will never get back from GM out of the bailout does it? If we gave every company billions and let them evaporate it away, most if not all of them could fund R&D the cost of which they could avoid passing along to the final customer... and they'd all receive highly positive reviews on their products. Gee, everything would be a bargan @75% off doing it that way.
The truth is that by throwing that much money in the hole there is no telling what happens to it. Of course accountants can make it look like the losses occurred in some other budgetary area... like disappointing government owned stock values for instance.
GM sealed their fate with many and the fact is that selling the Volt at a loss, no doubt to a higher than normal number of the choir is bound to boost the talk of buying another.
But keep telling people that the car is only worth $25k and that will change too I think.
Those are amazing stats for someone who calls himself a "Volt slacker," Dr_Innovation. Even though you do consider yourself a slacker, using 27.7 gallons of gas to go 11,097 miles is amazing. It's a great example of the advantages that a plug-in hybrid can deliver.
Dennis, like in US, oil excavations are happening almost all corners in globe, especially with Asian and Arab countries. But one day, that treasure can also empty. More over environmental pollutions are more with petrol/diesel vehicles. That’s the reason most of the automobile manufacturers are turned to ET & Hybrid vehicles.
Actually, I'm in Minnesota, not California. I just checked the inventory of the four dealers closest to me on line. The dealer I used shows 11 (and it's a different variety than when I was shopping a few months ago), another shows 5, another shows 2 (one is a 2012), the last one doesn't list the Volt as a model to pick to show inventory. What a wide variety in such a small sample. My guess is it reflects the dealers' view of the car. If they believe in the car and get behind it, they can sell them.
Dave, In California, I'm sure it's not hard finding a Volt on the lot, but that's not the case with the rest of the country. When I leased mine, they happened to have 2 on the lot at the dealer. I've been checking all of the dealers around out of curiousity, and none of them have had a Volt on the lot in at least 2 months.
Tesla Motors plans to roll out a “compelling, affordable electric car” that will sell for about half the price of its high-profile Model S by the end of 2016, company chairman Elon Musk said last week.
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