Consumer Reports has harsh words for GM's new Volt

The magazine criticizes General Motors' flagship car for its inefficiency, its short range and its 'annoying' charge time.

By Kim Peterson Mar 1, 2011 4:11PM
Chevrolet Volt (© ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)Consumer Reports magazine just dropped a bomb on General Motors' (GM) flagship car.

The Chevrolet Volt, which GM has put its heart and soul into since emerging from bankruptcy, isn't that great of an electric or gas vehicle, said David Champion, senior director of Consumer Reports' auto testing center, according to The Detroit News.

"When you are looking at purely dollars and cents, it doesn't really make a lot of sense," Champion added. "This is going to be a tough sell to the average consumer."

Ouch. And so ends the Volt's honeymoon. The plug-in car had a great coming-out party, winning the coveted "car of the year" award in January at the North American International Auto Show. It was also named car of the year by Motor Trend Magazine.

Post continues after video:
But the magazine that the Volt really needed in its corner -- Consumer Reports -- was not as easily thrilled. In its testing, Consumer Reports said the Volt only made it 25 to 27 miles on electric power alone, the News reports. That testing was done during a harsh winter in Connecticut.

GM says that in better weather, the Volt can get at least 40 miles on electric power. The car has a gasoline engine that can pick up where the electric power fails.

Consumer Reports wasn't done yet. Champion said that a hybrid like the Prius from Toyota (TM) may be more suitable. If you drive 70 miles, he said, the Prius will get you more miles to the gallon than the Volt, the News reports.

And the five-hour recharge time on the Volt was "annoying," he said. He also said the heating system in the car was less than ideal.

"You have seat heaters, which keep your body warm, but your feet get cold and your hands get cold," he said, according to the News.

But Consumer Reports isn't going to make a recommendation on the Volt yet. To do so, it needs data from at least 100 subscribers, and a year of reliability studies, the News reports.

Tags: gm
Mar 1, 2011 5:14PM
THose awards "car of the year" are not "deserved", but simple marketing scam to mislead potential buyers. Consumer Reports is the only valuable source for product reliability, and people should use that as guide...
Mar 2, 2011 8:59AM

Consumer Reports does not rely on advertising income, all those other reviews were for magazines that derive most of their income from automobile industry advertising.


So while Consumer Reports may not have the most scientific sampling paradigm, I trust  them way more than the other magazines, at least they are not in the pay of the people they are reviewing.

Mar 1, 2011 10:12PM

another GM junk pony.   This is why we will wind up kissing 50 billion goodbye, shareholders will kiss 30 billion goodbye and the UAW will tell you why you need them to keep the economy going and another 50 billion please. 

Mar 2, 2011 12:30PM
I remember another brand new Chevy that won MT's prestigious COTY award. The 1980 Citation.  They sure nailed that one.  [/Sarcasm]

Mar 2, 2011 2:06AM
I like Consumer Reports.  They typically know what they are talking about.  I have used their car advice before buying for over 20 years and I have NEVER  been let down.  I didn't need them to tell me the VOLT is a turd.  Anyone with any sense can see that.  For $22k  the Prius gets better mileage for half the price.  Only a fool or maybe a UNION FOOL would buy the Volt.  The only people pushing this car are the ones making it or those who stand to gain from its sales.  Don't be a fool, stay away from it.
Mar 2, 2011 9:35AM

motortrend car of the year

thats a joke right?  theyre car of the year has been for sale for as long as i can emember

Mar 2, 2011 4:26PM
Why would anyone buy a Volt for $42,000 when you could get a Prius for $22,000? Sure, Uncle Sam will provide a credit for &7,000, but that is still about $12,000 more. And the Volt certainly isn't any better.
Mar 1, 2011 9:17PM

The Volt is not a good product for GM  as it cost is very high and the electric range is very short.

GM should have made a smaller car costing much less.  GM don't need another sports car.

They need a consumer car and sell hundreds or thousands of them and make a lot of profit.

GM is not a Custom Shop.

Jan 15, 2013 5:28PM

The car might be ok for some one that drives very little, but for some one that drive constanly, There will be no time to charge the car.

Sorry, But I am not impressed.

plus the 220V, it sounds like that car was designed for Europe and not the US

Mar 5, 2012 6:07PM

I used Consumer Reports when I bought my TV, Blu-ray player, and tires for my truck. Every recommendation was spot on. That is the only unbias reporting service I will read.

The Volt is a POS.

Mar 8, 2011 5:23PM
As for AAA1000, their opinions are not all "wrong". They're all "bought".
Mar 2, 2011 12:44PM

If the Volt was a Toyota consumers reports would have nothing but praise for it left and right. 


Toyota can do nothing wrong and GM can do nothing right to consumers reports.


Thank god most people have seen the light of day when it comes to this sorry excuse for a rating agency and stopped listening to their BS reports.

Mar 1, 2011 6:36PM
I will NEVER use any advice from Consumer Reports, especially when it comes to autos.   They only collect data from subscribers, which is an unscientific method of collecting data.  How come Motor Trend and other knowledgeable sources of car reviews speak so highly of the Volt?  Are they all wrong?
Mar 1, 2011 9:10PM
Consumer Reports like to praise  all the Asian cars while criticising American vehicles!!  They Suck
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