REUTERS - General Motors Co’s Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid car topped Consumer Reports’ annual owner-satisfaction survey for the second straight year.
Ninety-two percent of Volt owners surveyed by the influential consumer magazine said they would definitely buy the Volt again, earning the electric car the top ranking. Last year, 93 percent of respondents said they would buy the car again.
“The Volt’s two-year reign at the top of our satisfaction survey points to the continuing trend of owners’ enthusiasm for cars that are fuel-efficient, especially as we see more and more hybrid and electric models hitting the market,” Consumer Reports’ auto editor, Rik Paul, said in a statement.
The Volt, introduced in late 2010, has struggled with early soft sales, criticism from opponents of federal green-car tax credits, and a 2011 government probe of Volt battery fires that found no major problems.
Nevertheless, the Volt, which sells for just under $40,000 before a $7,500 federal tax credit, has a devoted following among those who brag about avoiding gas stations. The car can travel about 40 miles on an electric charge before the gasoline-powered engine kicks in for additional driving range.
In addition to the Volt, other fuel-efficient models that scored well in the Consumer Reports survey included the Toyota Camry Hybrid, Prius and Prius C, and the Nissan Leaf all-electric car.
On the other end of the spectrum, the redesigned Nissan Versa small car had the lowest score, with fewer than half of its owners saying they would definitely buy it again. Other low scorers included the V6-engine versions of GM’s Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks, and the Nissan Armada, Suzuki SX4 and Mitsubishi Outlander SUVs.
Consumer Reports said its survey received responses from owners of almost 350,000 vehicles spanning the 2010-2013 model years.
Reporting By Ben Klayman in Detroit; editing by John Wallace