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12/05/2011 12:17 PM     print story email story  

Chevy Volt Buyers Love Their Car News

Although many haven't been sold yet, Chevy Volt buyers are the most-satisfied car owners in the U.S.

That's the result of this year's Consumer Reports survey on peoples' satisfaction with the cars they buy. 93% of Volt owners say they would definitely buy the car again. 

"These models reflect a larger trend we've seen in recent years: Sporty cars and fuel efficient cars with alternative drivetrains tend to generate more enthusiasm and loyalty than most other types of vehicles," says Rik Paul, Consumer Reports automotive editor.

Nine hybrids or diesels earned a resounding "yes" to the question: "Considering all factors (price, reliability, comfort, enjoyment, etc.), would you get this car if you had it to do all over again?"

Highly rated hybrids include the Ford Fusion Hybrid, Lincoln MKZ Hybrid, Lexus CT 200h and RX 450h, and Toyota Prius, as well as diesel versions of the BMW X5 and Volkswagen Golf and Jetta Sportwagen.

Small cars and utility vehicles, minivans and compact pickups tend to score lower. There's no difference on whether the car is made by an American, Asian or European manufacturer.

Which cars came next in buyer satisfaction? The Dodge Challenger and Porsche 911 sports car, which 91% of buyers would buy again.

The survey was conducted before two Volt batteries went on fire after crash tests, however, which is now the subject of a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigation.

GM has offered buy back Chevy Volts from any owners concerned about the car's risk of catching fire, although the company insists they are safe.

Only about 6500 Volts have been sold so far after being available for almost a year. GM expected to sell 10,000 this year, which they now think they'll do by early 2012.

The company says sales have been slow because rather than concentrating the cars in target markets, it spread them thinly across all markets. A majority of people who showed interest in the car, but haven't bought one, say their preferred model wasn't locally available.

GM still needs to work on consumer awareness, they say, as it prepares to build 55,000 Volts for the US market next year.

Volt sales are slightly behind the electric Nissan Leaf, which has sold about 8,700 since it launched about the same time a year ago.

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