Chevy Volt Earns 'Recommended' Rating From Consumer Reports


Photo: Michael Graham Richard
But Not All is Rosy...
The Chevrolet Volt has received what is probably the second most valuable award in the automotive world, Consumer Reports' "Recommended" rating (the first is Consumer Reports' "Top Pick" rating). So many people base their buying decisions on CR that it would be pretty bad for an electric car - of which people are already a bit suspicious because it's a new technology - to fail to pass that test. Good thing for the Volt, then, but not all is perfect in the best of all worlds; CR found many things that could be improved with the plug-in hybrid and the overall score they gave it isn't all that impressive. Check out the video review below.Here's what a vehicle needs to earn Consumer Reports "recommended": "To earn our recommendation, vehicles must have performed well in CR's tests, have average or better reliability, and, if crash-tested, provide good overall crash protection based on our composite of insurance-industry and government crash tests. Vehicles also must not have tipped up in the government rollover test or, if not tested, must have available electronic stability control."

While the Volt got the highest marks for fuel economy, safety and predicted reliability, overall is received 67, which is a bit above mediocre, but well below the top ranked vehicles. The question is: Did the volt lose points for things that matter to you, or for things that you don't care too much about?

To drill down into the details, you'll have to be a CR subscriber and check out the Volt page or buy the print version of CR's guide. But the video above should give you a good summary of what they liked and disliked about the Volt.


Photo: Michael Graham Richard

With new technology like this, I think it's always important to not only look at what is, but at what will be. Cell phones and computers weren't much when they were first introduced, but after a few generations of incremental improvements, they are now cheap and work well. The same thing should happen with electric vehicles over time, so the flaws of the Volt should be polished away, while the price should drop and performance should increase.

With that said, the first generation Volt is a good start. It's certainly better for the environment than the gasoline cars that are on the road now (it'll burn thousands fewer gallons of non-renewable fossil fuels over its lifetime, and the big battery pack can be recycled).


Photo: Michael Graham Richard

Via Consumer Reports
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Tags: Electric Cars | Hybrid Cars | Transportation