Chevy Volt ranks first in car satisfaction survey

John Egan

Pull over, V8-powered Dodge Challenger. Move aside, Porsche 911. There's a new car on the block when it comes to customer satisfaction among American drivers.

The Chevrolet Volt, a plug-in hybrid with a $40,000 sticker price, is the top-scoring model in Consumer Reports' latest annual survey of satisfaction among car owners. Ninety-three percent of those surveyed who own a Volt indicated they'd definitely buy one again. The V8-powered Dodge Challenger and the Porsche 911 were close behind at 91 percent apiece.

Volt: Too early to really tell?

Consumer Reports' car satisfaction survey was taken before a federal agency launched an investigation into the Chevrolet Volt's lithium-ion battery.

Consumer Reports noted the Volt had been for sale only a few months when the 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."

Also, the survey was done before the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration launched an investigation into the Volt's lithium-ion battery after a Volt caught fire following a crash test.

Volt is GM's 'pride and joy'

Mark Reuss, president of General Motors Corp.'s North America operations, said Nov. 28: “The Volt is a five-star safety car. Even though no customer has experienced in the real world what was identified in this latest testing of post-crash situations, we're taking critical steps to ensure customer satisfaction and safety."

Neither the federal government nor GM has recalled any Volts.

Any Volt owner concerned about the vehicle's safety can contact a GM dealership to arrange for a free loaner car until the issue is resolved. GM introduced the Volt in 2010.

"The Volt is our pride and joy," Reuss said, "and we will do all we can to make Volt owners just as proud and happy with it as we are. This car is the future, and the future is just beginning."

Audi, Chevy, Ford perform well

Among the 27 models that earned Consumer Reports' top rating from car owners — at least 80 percent of drivers said they’d definitely buy the car again — 12 were sporty cars or convertibles and nine were hybrids or diesels.

The 27 models with the highest ratings included 10 American, 10 European and seven Asian models. Audi, Chevrolet and Ford tied with four models atop the Consumer Reports list.

This year, only three models received Consumer Reports lowest rating, meaning that fewer than half of the drivers said they definitely would buy the car again. They are the Chevrolet Aveo (37 percent), all-wheel-drive Toyota Matrix (43 percent) and Chevrolet Colorado pickup (47 percent).

Consumer Reports' owner satisfaction survey drew responses from more than 314,000 subscribers who drive vehicles from the 2009 through 2012 model years.

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