Chevrolet Volt Takes Top Spot in Consumer Reports’ 2011 Owner Satisfaction Survey

By Jacob Brown | December 01, 2011
Owners of the Chevrolet Volt have latched on to their cars and helped push the innovative plug-in hybrid to the top of Consumer Reports’ Owner Satisfaction Survey. The annual survey takes owners of cars made in the last four model years—in this case 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012—and asks them one simple question: “Considering all factors (price, reliability, comfort, enjoyment, etc.), would you get this car if you had it to do all over again?” A resounding 93 percent of Volt owners said “definitely yes,” the highest answer they could give. Rounding out the top three were the V-8-powered Dodge Challenger and Porsche 911, each with 91-percent approval ratings. The Volt’s recognition comes at a precarious time for the high-tech new car, as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is probing the plug-in for potential fire hazards. Three weeks after the government agency ran the 2012 Chevrolet Volt through crash testing, a destroyed car caught fire. It set off an investigation as to whether the mix of Chevrolet’s large lithium-ion battery pack and gas tank created a lethal combination. No fires have been reported in accidents on the road at this time.
Consumer Reports is quick to note that the Volt’s top honors “come with a caveat.” Survey-takers were still in limited areas, as the Volt had not yet rolled out nationwide at the time of the poll. The publication also says “early adopters of a new technology tend to be among the most enthusiastic buyers.” If it’s any indication, however, General Motors has extended an offer to worried Volt owners to be able to borrow another GM vehicle of their choice until the matter with the NHTSA is resolved. So far, few of the more than 5000 Volt drivers have accepted the proposal. Following the Volt, Challenger, and 911, 24 other vehicles made the list, each receiving an average “definitely yes” score of 80 percent or better. They included 10 domestic, 10 European, and seven Asian vehicles in all. Of the other models to make the list, highlights include eight fuel-miser models—the Ford Fusion Hybrid, Lincoln MKZ Hybrid, Lexus CT 200h, Lexus RX 400h, Toyota Prius, BMW X5 diesel, and Volkswagen Golf and Jetta Sportwagen TDI models. Another eight were sporty models: the Audi A4, A5, and S5; Chevrolet Camaro and Corvette; Ford Mustang GT; Mazda Miata; and Mini Cooper convertible. While those models took top honors from the more than 314,000 respondents who took part in the survey, no list would be complete without its bottom-feeders. The survey recognized the recently (thankfully) demised Chevrolet Aveo as the least-liked car of any looked at with 37 percent approval, followed by the all-wheel-drive Toyota Matrix (43 percent), and soon-to-be-replaced Chevrolet Colorado compact pickup (47 percent). Source: Consumer Reports