Consumer Reports Says Chevy Volt Is GM's Most Reliable Vehicle
Consumer Reports magazine is widely considered the bible of popular ratings on vehicle reliability. That's why it's disappointing to see how poorly Chevrolet ranked among all automakers in the Consumer Reports 2011 new vehicle reliability survey. It placed 17 out of 28 automakers. On the flip side, though, the plug-in Chevrolet Volt was General Motors' highest ranked vehicle in the category of overall reliability.
GM executives have repeatedly positioned the Chevy Volt as the poster child of the company's high-tech innovative products. Company executives also see it as a way to sell other Chevy cars, after luring new customers into Chevy dealerships to check out the Volt. Earlier this month, Mark Reuss, president of GM North America, told PluginCars.com that the Volt helps the brand, but that he isn't sure how much real demand there is for the Volt.
Consumer Reports is quick to point out that its reliability data on the Volt is limited to responses from approximately 100 owners of Chevy's plug-in four-door and notes that most survey respondents have only owned their Volts for a few months. Yet, the Volt's road test score of 67 points out of 100 was beat by the pure electric Nissan LEAF, which earned 78 points from Consumer Reports.
The Chevy Volt is a plug-in hybrid—managing use of an electric motor and a gas engine—and thus requires much greater technical complexity than a pure electric car. The high reliability ranking for the Volt could disarm critics who say that the Volt is unnecessarily complex. Despite the fact that the Volt ranks as Chevy's most reliable vehicle, does the Volt's added complexity cost it some road test points?
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