How important are initial reviews of a new technology? Let's hope for GM and the Volt not very.
Consumer reports, the patriarch of supposed non influenced reviewing recently came out with their best and worst cars twenty eleven issue. The Volt did not place at the top, like the Corvette Z06. Nor did it place in the bottom, such as the Toyota FJ Cruiser. The Volt however should have done better.
David Champion, director of Consumer Reports auto test center speaking with Reuters had this to say. “It was fun to drive and the ride quality was pretty good. But when you look at the finances, for us it doesn’t make any sense.” “We would have really liked to have loved it.”
Under the coldest temperatures of the winter, Consumer reports made the assessment that the Volt underperformed on it's electric range. The Volt Consumer Reports bought and tested ran for just 26 miles before kicking on the gasoline engine. On top of testing the car in the worst possible conditions for an electric, CR's David Champion acknowledged that the car may, I repeat may, perform better in temperate climates and in more city-like conditions.
"There needs to be a greater sampling of driving conditions that mirror the typical consumer experience," said Greg Martin, a GM spokesman. “The technical reviews have been positive and it was unusual to have a snapshot under the most cold and snowy conditions this winter in the Northeast.”
"Driving an electric car in sub freezing weather with the heat on and calling it an objective review is rediculous," said Scott Robinson, an I.T. specialist and electric car enthusiast. "No one drives an electric car only in the dead of winter. This seriously makes me doubt the intelligence of Consumer Reports."
Greg Martin, in a much more subtle way I feel agrees. “There needs to be a greater sampling of driving conditions that mirror the typical consumer experience.”
Consumer Reports did not test the Nissan Leaf.
Hopefully, GM didn't make a mistake releasing the Volt in the dead of winter. I like to think as they roll out the Volt over the course of the year, reviews during milder weather will help balance out some of the rare early misinformed ones.
Regardless of how one review of a new technology turns out. We here at The Chevy Volt Blog are still convinced the world is changing, and the Volt is leading the way.
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