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."
Bias from the oil boogieman... er, companies? Really? Couldn't possibly be that the general public just thinks they suck, and would rather have a real car that can actually haul 4 normal adults at greater than the speed limit?
Point 1: I'm not boycotting the Volt. Just saying that the corporatism that goes into gov't having the taxPayers foot the bill on some items and not others is a bad thing.
Point 2: Boycotting food would be difficult (although doing it for a short stint probably would not hurt me). I am against subsidizing farmers, and regulating them (ie: tobacco allotments). I really am a free-market guy. I can provide mucho evidence of abuse of the corporate entitlements ... but that is off topic. I'm glad Volt owners are happy with their Volts ... I just think it's wrong that I had to pay for 70% of the vehicle.
OK, one good example, at Camp LeJeune ... they had a huge media parade about putting solar panels in on all the barracks. Sounded great. I was one of the few who looked at the numbers for the article. If the panels last 75 years with no operating costs, they will pay themselves off. Problem is, they only last 25 years and they do have operating costs. So it is once again the gov't throwing away tax payer $s. Technology will get there. The technology of yester-year did not get here based on gov't subsidies. Technology is a good thing in and of itself ... let it earn its way ... and let's avoid resource mis-allocation because of political whim (note, I'm not picking a political side, I'm not calling anyone an xxx-tard ... I'm just saying stop forcing tax payers to fund political expediency).
Counting all vehicles sold since 1999 at over 193 million and about 1.2 % of this number is hybrids and all electrics do not even make into a rounding error. I guess you may have a point about my skeptism. As far as complication, I drive a 1968 Pontiac! Think about the ease I have in repairs (if needed). Changing oil is not a warranty issue.
I will give you this, Toyota has a good record. but the bulk of sales are with the last 5 to 7 years. Again, at these low volumes, they should be making good cars!
Not sure how this justifies having the taxPayers fund 70% of the cost. Maybe the technology is the best. If so, it should win out in the market. As it is, when a huge extra-market force manipulates, resource allocation is completely skewed. Ask the Volt owners how many would buy their new Volt if they had to pay for it all themselves (ie: $100K instead of $30K). That technology might be a harder sell. I'm not against the Volt, just against paying for lots of Volts that I don't own ... and not allowing competing technology the same advantages.
I would add "cost to manufacture" to your thoughts. The Volt is currently sold at a loss, and I suspect volume will only get them part of the way there. Personal guess is that the 40k price is GM's estimate of the profitable retail at high volume. It is a slow seller (esp. to public) in the low 30k range.
At this point the public acceptance, or lack there of, of the Volt at it's fictional price tells us very little about the commercial viability. This is one of the problems with govt subsidies (in anything), they block the manufacturer from getting vital information from the market that will help them make a good decision on the product.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.