The 2011 Chevy POS

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Consumer Reports: GM’s Volt ‘doesn’t really make a lot of sense’

David Shepardson / Detroit News Washington Bureau

Washington — Consumer Reports offered a harsh initial review of the Chevrolet Volt, questioning whether General Motors Co.’s flagship vehicle makes economic “sense.”The extended-range plug-in electric vehicle is on the cover of the April issue — the influential magazine’s annual survey of vehicles — but the GM vehicle comes in for criticism.
“When you are looking at purely dollars and cents, it doesn’t really make a lot of sense. The Volt isn’t particularly efficient as an electric vehicle and it’s not particularly good as a gas vehicle either in terms of fuel economy,” said David Champion, the senior director of Consumer Reports auto testing center at a meeting with reporters here. “This is going to be a tough sell to the average consumer.”

Chevrolet Volt photographed at the 2009 Washin...

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The magazine said in its testing in Connecticut during a harsh winter, its Volt is getting 25 to 27 miles on electric power alone.
GM spokesman Greg Martin noted that it’s been an extremely harsh winter — and as a Volt driver he said he’s getting 29-33 miles on electric range. But he noted that in more moderate recent weather, the range jumped to 40 miles on electric range or higher.
Champion believes a hybrid, such as the Toyota Prius, may make more sense for some trips.
“If you drive about 70 miles, a Prius will actually get you more miles per gallon than the Volt does,” Champion said.
But GM has noted that most Americans can avoid using gasoline for most regular commuting with the Volt, while its gasoline engine can allow the freedom to travel farther, if needed.
The magazine has put about 2,500 miles on its Volt. It paid $48,700, including a $5,000 markup by a Chevy dealer.
Champion noted the Volt is about twice as expensive as a Prius.
He was said the five hour time to recharge the Volt was “annoying” and was also critical of the power of the Volt heating system.
“You have seat heaters, which keep your body warm, but your feet get cold and your hands get cold,” Champion said.
Consumer Reports will release a full road test of the Volt later this year and will update it.
Champion praised the heater on the all-electric Nissan Leaf – which Consumer Reports borrowed from the Japanese automaker — but said it also got very short ranges in very cold weather.
On one commute, his range in a Leaf was at 43 miles when he turned onto an eight-mile stretch of highway, but it fell from 43 to 16 miles after eight miles at 70 mph.
“If it keeps on going down at this rate, will I get to work,” Champion said.
Champion said in an interview he thinks the Volt “will sell the quantity that they want to sell to the people that really want it.”
Despite his criticism of the Volt, Champion praised its acceleration and acknowledged that under certain driving cycles, consumers could mostly avoid using gasoline. The magazine noted the Volt is nicely equipped and has a “taut yet supple ride.”
But he said there are a lot of trade-offs.
“They are going to live with the compromises the vehicle delivers,” Champion said. “When you look at it from a purely logical point of view, it doesn’t make an awful lot of sense.”
Before Consumer Reports decides whether to recommend the Volt, it needs data from at least 100 subscribers who own one, and a year of reliability data.
From The Detroit News:–GM’s-Volt-‘doesn’t-really-make-a-lot-of-sense’#ixzz1FJYOpZ4f
Just another Obama/Government Motors boondoggle.
Tom in NC

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0 responses to “The 2011 Chevy POS

  1. Tom,
    Maybe if Guvmint Motors called The Volt the name you give it, POS, it’ll sell better! At a minimum, it’d win the Truth in Advertising Award. LOL

    • Hhmmm… When I was a kid the POS in GM was for Positraction, but now it looks to be just as Jeff Goldblum noted above: a stinking pile of dinosaur crapola!
      I got rid of my 1998 GMC Diesel 2500 last year, which I bought as a new-looking one owner “jewel” two years before. In spite of low mileage [ever notice there’s no word for km distance? Kilometrage?] one system after another continued to fail on it. When the fuel pressure pump began to fail intermittently, that was the last straw that broke my financial back.
      After going from mechanic to mechanic to poorhouse, I finally learned that GM’s supplier of that part was a Detroit firm notorious for poor quality control. Unbeknownst to me, GM had been replacing the part [a $3000 job at retail!] until the year before I bought the cursed vehicle. GM then switched to buying the same part but from a JAPANESE maker, as it was far more reliable. Enuf said!!

  2. $48,700 for a car? You’ve got to be kidding me. Wouldn’t waste my money on any GM car.

  3. I rode about 65 miles -one way- to work today, from my home in north-central Maryland to Arlington, Virginia. For better than half of the ride -all the way down 270, on the outer loop of the DC beltway, and 66 inbound to Arlington- we averaged about 15 mph. The trip took about 140 minutes. Due to traffic.
    I wonder how the Volt performs under those conditions? It’s not like your vehicle isn’t churning out electric power while sitting in traffic. Radio, heat or air, lights, etc. all use electrical power.
    And what happened to the 400 miles or better that GM claimed initially for the Volt?
    Lots of people work within a 20-25 mile range but it would seem to me that unless your work parking lot has a generator, you’re not getting home in that thing unless it’s on gasoline. So if you spend half of your time driving on gas, how worthwhile is the electric aspect? Probably not $48 grand worthwhile…
    And I’m a Chevy guy.

    • Whenever you coast or break the volt recharges the onboard battery so the range is significantly extended in traffic situations. The range of a volt with a full battery and a full tank of gas is probably want GM meant by a range of 400 miles. Half time on electricity will still produce an impressive overall miles per gallon and my average miles per charge is 40-50 miles with conservative use of acceleration and breaking.

  4. From Volt Owner: I have over 12,000 miles on my Volt and over its lifetime I’ve achieved 80+ miles per gallon. With a 240Volt Charger I can completely charge my volt from a depleated battery in less than 4 hours. With conservative use of breaking and accelerating I can get 40-50 miles to a single charge. I live in Southern CA so perhaps my exceptional experience may have something to do with the warmer climate and associated battery range. I have no regrets about my purchase and really enjoy the Volt. Happy to see this level of innovation from GM and I can’t really understand why those who are misinformed, or have some political agenda, seek to criticize what I view as much needed and appreciated American ingenuity!

    • Yes, an electric car does better in a warm climate, especially in the ‘winter’ season, which is mostly rain. I’m not sure about ramping the voltage to 240 on a recharge; it may raise internal temps and other strangeness. I’ll ask Kevin Bell, my electrical genius about this and get back to ya!


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