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So I was just about to pull the trigger and buy a new 2017 Volt and heard Consumer Reports had just recently updated their top 10 recommended cars and dropped the 2017 Volt from their list because of reliability issues. I even joined their website to read the details and it's frustratingly vague and doesn't make sense! They list the 2016 Volt's reliability as "Poor", yet all the reliability categories are "good" or better and most are "Very Good" or "Excellent". So how do they come to an overall "Poor" reliability rating? And they have no data for the 2017, yet they predict it to be at it's lowest possible rating of "Much Worse Than Average". I've sent them an email asking about this. What are they observing to rate it so low?
I'm reading mostly positive feedback about this car and was pretty hot on buying one, but this has stopped me in my tracks. So I thought I'd ask you guys if you heard anything, or know what their reasoning is behind this very bad predictive rating.

THANKS!
 

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A lot of people, including "The Car Pro" radio show consider the CU reliability ratings to be highly unscientific -anecdotal- and worthless. He says "If CU gives a car a poor rating, I would not hesitate to go right out and buy one".
My '16 has been, after one software update, flawless. What a great car!!
 

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What you want to look at is vetted Owner Satisfaction. This is how actual buyers of the Volt feel about their cars. CR does not vet their sources (anybody can rate a car they have never driven) yet CR still rates the Volt's owner satisfaction to be excellent.

Reviewers who do vet their sources all get very high marks on the Volt.

Sadly, there are trolls on the internet. We saw a classic cases on Edmunds? Kellys? where a guy trashed the Volt because he had to replace the traction battery which was $26,000 to replace, or crap like that. Obviously they guy didn't know anything about EV's, much less the Volt.

Consumer Reports will include troll data in their surveys. Some reviewers only accept data from DMV rolls.

EDIT - Note, that I have one of the first 2016 Volts, and one of the most recent 2017s. Both have been literally flawless. Fit, finish, function, nothing was discrepant on the cars so far.
 

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How could they have complete data to base any judgments and report on 2017 Volt's that still have over half a year of production. Any data must be related to first year 2016"s. My 2017 has been flawless and of course I haven't been contacted by CR? I did get and respond to JD Powers survey.
 

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CR polls only their members, not the general public. Since their members have grown up with CR telling them that asian vehicles were superior, the vote that way today. CR spoon feeds their members so that they vote the CR way.
 

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I stopped trusting consumer reports 3 decades ago as with cars they are very warped towards Japanese vehicles, and the only two appliances I purchased using their recommendation both broke one month after the warranty expired. Most of their ratings are to get the most number of features for the buck, not necessarily the best quality for your dollar. Everything else that I've purchased since not using their recommendation, but buying on gut feel that I'm paying a little more for something that isn't junk has lasted far beyond the warranty.

I'm sorry you wasted your money on the subscription, maybe you can get a pro-rated portion back.
 

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CR polls only their members, not the general public. Since their members have grown up with CR telling them that asian vehicles were superior, the vote that way today. CR spoon feeds their members so that they vote the CR way.
Really? Kind of sad how I got painted with that broad stroke into the prejudice corner of the world. I have found CR to call it like they see it.
 

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Really? Kind of sad how I got painted with that broad stroke into the prejudice corner of the world. I have found CR to call it like they see it.
Well, then is a Tesla Model S a good car or bad car?

Consumer Reports has said it's so good, they need a new way to evaluate car quality.
Consumer Reposts said it's so bad, you should not own one.
Consumer Reposts said it's something OK to buy.

Consumer Reports says that the key feature of the New Prius are it's excellent handling and very pretty dash lights.

The key feature of the new Bolt is that it does not look like a Tesla Model S. No range test, acceleration test, cornering test, braking, etc. The DO say it handles better than a Nissan Leaf. But everything does. Sort of non-statement.

I blame the schools. Apparently Critical Thinking was dropped from the general requirement for a degree.
 

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It's because of the number of categories with problems, even though no single category is below average. Also the 2016 Volt had a number of powertrain-related problems and those are weighted more heavily.

If you join TrueDelta.com you can see a members-only confidential preview that includes data for the 2016 and 2017 Volt. CR and TrueDelta don't always agree.
 

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My friend commented on this very point this morning. His wife drives a Prius and I keep telling them about how great the Volt is, and they really need to drive a 2017. He really likes the styling, compared to Gen 1. His wife has had some bad experiences with American cars though and appears to be a Toyota lifer. I think her next car will be a Prius Prime (which isn't a terrible thing since I've been trying to convince them to get a plugin). The Prius gets the highest marks with CR.
 

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LOL ROFLMAO.

all the poor butt hurt replies. Consumer Reports doesn't suffer troll reviews or such, they compile issues as reported from both their readers and government recall notices. that being said people having issues are more vocal than those who don't but to dismiss CU because it upsets you is just immature. they didn't earn industry respect from bending to political correctness or not upsetting brand fans
 

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LOL ROFLMAO.

all the poor butt hurt replies. Consumer Reports doesn't suffer troll reviews or such, they compile issues as reported from both their readers and government recall notices. that being said people having issues are more vocal than those who don't but to dismiss CU because it upsets you is just immature. they didn't earn industry respect from bending to political correctness or not upsetting brand fans
Why the "Too Good To Be Rated" and "Sucks Out Loud From A Distance" on the EXACT same car?

Why is Styling an serious flaw on a Bolt, but never was on a Prius?
 

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The things I appreciate most about CR are their reliability ratings and their safety and performance testing. Their subjective styling evaluations are no more meaningful than anyone else's.

There were quite a few powertrain problems reported here which would have been reflected in CR's survey. Hopefully those have now been corrected and reliability ratings will improve next year.

CR has the most data out of anyone, however TrueDelta is superior in some ways. CR only does their auto reliability survey once per year, in April, and it only reflects data up to that time. TrueDelta has published two updates since then: One as of the end of June and one as of the end of September.

If you're making a major purchase decision, it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with all available information.

I wouldn't hesitate to buy a 2017 Volt based on the reliability data so far.
 

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Consumer Reports had just recently updated their top 10 recommended cars and dropped the 2017 Volt from their list because of reliability issues. I even joined their website to read the details and it's frustratingly vague and doesn't make sense! They list the 2016 Volt's reliability as "Poor", yet all the reliability categories are "good" or better and most are "Very Good" or "Excellent". So how do they come to an overall "Poor" reliability rating?
It's confusing presentation based on the difficulty of ascertaining specific problem areas because of overall high levels of reliability in cars -- they can see significantly more problems in 2016 Volts than in other 2016 cars, but because they survey so many specific issues (engine, brakes, etc.), it's harder to tell what specific areas are causing the problems. See this post of mine in another thread for a lengthier explanation.

timoshev said:
A lot of people, including "The Car Pro" radio show consider the CU reliability ratings to be highly unscientific -anecdotal- and worthless.
I know little about that show or the people who run it. I do know, however, that I have a PhD in cognitive psychology, so I understand survey research pretty well. To be sure, I've never conducted such research myself, but I know more about it than most auto engineers. My own view of CR's research is that it is of higher quality than any other auto reliability research, with the possible exception of the JD Power surveys -- and those are much less detailed and are not as accessible to the general public. Calling the CR reliability research "anecdotal" brings to mind a quote from The Princess Bride: "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." The CR research is not anecdotal.

Qinsp said:
What you want to look at is vetted Owner Satisfaction. This is how actual buyers of the Volt feel about their cars. CR does not vet their sources (anybody can rate a car they have never driven) yet CR still rates the Volt's owner satisfaction to be excellent.
In theory, anybody could rate any car in CR's research. In practice, it's doubtful that people would do so. Why take the time to complete a survey on a car you've never owned? It would be a waste of time. I suppose that, in theory, Manufacturer A might try to sabotage Manufacturer B by doing this, but CR is on the lookout for such things, and my understanding is that they've never encountered evidence of such shenanigans.

CR includes both reliability and owner satisfaction in its survey. Both are valid and valuable measures, and as you point out, the 2016 Volt does poorly for reliability but does well for owner satisfaction. This may be because new cars are so reliable that, even at poor reliability, a small enough number of Volt owners have problems that it doesn't drag down satisfaction; or it could be that Volt owners like their cars enough to not be bothered by having to take them in to the dealer for repairs.

This brings up my own issue: People tend to pay more attention to CR's reliability ratings than they deserve, simply because cars are so reliable these days. Even the worst of the worst (like Rams and Fiats in the latest CR surveys) tend to be pretty reliable, especially when new. We aren't living in the 1980s, when an unreliable car might be in the shop once a month. To be sure, I'm not saying that reliability is unimportant; but it's just one factor in deciding what car to buy. Most of us here bought Volts despite obvious problems, like an uncomfortable (or non-existent!) middle-rear seating position. The Volt's advantages outweigh these disadvantages. The CR results indicate another disadvantage -- and perhaps an unexpected and disappointing one, since the previous generation earned an average reliability rating in CR's surveys. This is not to say that the Volt is junk, though; it's just another issue to factor in when making a purchase decision.

Qinsp said:
Consumer Reports will include troll data in their surveys.
I have no reason to believe that this is a problem. We aren't talking about a Web site comment area; we're talking about a survey of CR subscribers. If you have evidence that it's a problem, please present it. Otherwise, you're making a baseless accusation.

Qinsp said:
Note, that I have one of the first 2016 Volts, and one of the most recent 2017s. Both have been literally flawless. Fit, finish, function, nothing was discrepant on the cars so far.
This is an example of an anecdotal, which is useless. Another is my own '17 Volt, which had to go back to the dealer -- twice! -- because of a defective USB port. You can see how the disparity between the two anecdotes makes it harder to make a judgment. The point of survey research is to get enough data to begin to see patterns. If owners of Volts report X problems per 100 cars, whereas owners of Prii report X/2 problems per 100 cars, then you're looking at something real. Picking one or two owners' experiences from either data set is uninformative.

BAZINGA said:
How could they have complete data to base any judgments and report on 2017 Volt's that still have over half a year of production. Any data must be related to first year 2016"s.
Yes, the 2016 model year is the latest one in the results that CR recently released. The 2017s are, in theory, mechanically nearly identical to the 2016s, and so should be similar to the 2016s in most ways, including overall model reliability. Of course, since the 2016s are redesigned, they may have suffered from model year start-up problems that may be ironed out for the 2017s. That's true of any new 2016 model (like the Prius). CR points this out, of course, and leaves it to their readers to make their own decisions based on the available data.

USe-car said:
CR polls only their members, not the general public. Since their members have grown up with CR telling them that asian vehicles were superior, the vote that way today. CR spoon feeds their members so that they vote the CR way.
This is nonsense. Buick is the #3 most reliable car brand in this year's survey. Audi and BMW also both make the top 10. Subaru has slipped to #11, and there are other Asian brands below that. Furthermore, your explanation would require that owners of Asian cars selectively forget (or fail to report) problems they've had, and/or owners of cars made elsewhere develop (or make up) false memories of problems that never existed. That's quite a stretch, and you have no evidence of such a thing happening.

Qinsp said:
Well, then is a Tesla Model S a good car or bad car?

Consumer Reports has said it's so good, they need a new way to evaluate car quality.
Consumer Reposts said it's so bad, you should not own one.
Consumer Reposts said it's something OK to buy.
I addressed this misunderstanding of CR's coverage of the Tesla Model S in my reply in this thread.[/quote] In brief, you're conflating CR's road-test score (based on their hands-on evaluation) and their reliability data (which is survey research), with an added dollop of the fact that the reliability data for the Tesla has been hovering around a hard cutoff point CR imposes to award a model their "Recommended" stamp; the Tesla fell below that cutoff point for one year, but was above it before and after that year.

Qinsp said:
"Key feature?" Nonsense. They commented on these issues, but I defy you to provide a quote that makes either the Prius's handling and dash lights or the Bolt's appearance the "key" feature of these cars, in CR's view. In their Bolt video, the comments about its styling were clearly intended as a lighthearted joke.

Furthermore, CR has yet to do a full test of the Bolt -- that will have to wait until they can actually buy one and run it through their full tests, which take months to complete. CR has released a brief video with their first impressions of a Chevy-provided press car, but that is not their full and official review of the car. They wait to do the sort of detailed tests you're demanding until they buy a sample of their own and have the time to run it through those tests. Unlike most auto reviews, CR does not rely on press cars for their full and detailed ratings. Give it a few months, and these details will appear on CR's Web site.
 

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LOL ROFLMAO.

... and government recall notices. t...
I hope they at least glance at the NHTSA stuff before use. One has a totally incorrect VIN from some other brand of automobile, one says the power sunroof doesn't work, one says the rear seat DVD system doesn't work, several says XM only shows sample stations (it's an optional subscription), "transmission adaptive learn" issue - no transmission adaptive learn, problems with TPMS and aftermarket wheels (true for all cars), etc, etc. Lots of "complaints" that cannot apply to the car, but NO RECALLS. NO INVESTIGATIONS.

The NHTSA doesn't vet their complaints, and I image CR doesn't doesn't vet the NHTSA stuff.

It is interesting they noticed no discrepancies when testing themselves.

EDIT: DOH!! Didn't read enough of the them. How about dealing the H2/CNG Volt? It's covered! Gaseous Fuel Volts?
 

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My biggest beef with CR is that they don't make there testing methodology public. So we don't know exactly how they come up with their recommendations and have no idea on the margin for error.

I really like TrueDelta. Because they make all the details available including sample size which will give you an idea of the margin of error.

That being said GM makes many cars on the same vehicle architectures across many brands utilising many of the same parts. I find it funny that some surveys like CR will place a much higher rating on one vehicle under one brand and then a much lower rating on another vehicle that is manufactured on the same assembly line and is 90% identical.

Also while the 2016 and 2017's are likely 99.99% the same many of the initial teething issues with the 2016's were software related and the CR system doesn't seem to be able to account for that.

My 2017 Volt is now 7 months old with nearly ~9000 miles on it and it has been flawless.
 

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...

"Key feature?" Nonsense. They commented on these issues, but I defy you to provide a quote that makes either the Prius's handling and dash lights or the Bolt's appearance the "key" feature of these cars, in CR's view. In their Bolt video, the comments about its styling were clearly intended as a lighthearted joke....
Historically, CR is not known to have a humor gland. If you drive too many econoboxes, it wears out pretty fast.

The New Prius DOES handle better than old Prius and Leaf. But giving it good marks is quite the stretch. Toyota still cannot figure out how to attach wheels to a car and control them with an interior hoop. But that has never been their selling point.

It is truly bizarre how the did not notice the Bolt accelerates like cars in it's price range. The New Prius does not, but nothing is said.

This however is nothing new. Nor is it likely to ever go away. Cars are simply opinion pieces for them, they are not experienced at testing cars, but they are experienced at giving opinions on what they personally like.
 

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Remember the hatchet job they did on the Suzuki Samurai. they said it would roll over at low speeds. No other tester was able to recreate their findings.
 

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9 months into owning my 2016. Have not had a single operational problem. Fit of everything has been perfect. I adjusted the hatch closure because I was having to frequently re-close. That took 2 minutes. I have had no need to visit the dealer so far. It is exceeding my expectations.

Pull the trigger, make your purchase.
 

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Most cars are not flawless yet the Volt does seem to have some common issues...Chuggle, infotainment bugs, misfiring ICE, leaking oil pan, UBS ports and the dreaded "shift to park" which in many cases happens while driving...If the misaligned battery terminals are a factor in the Volts dying on the road, they should do a recall as it would appear these issues are causing very expensive repairs...
 
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