The Chevrolet Volt: Electric without the anxiety.
If I sat on the marketing team for the Volt, that’s a slogan I might throw out there for consideration. While it’s possible to drive the Volt for months on end on electric power only, thus never needing to stop at a gas station, the car provides the option of driving from Boston to Seattle if the owner so chooses. That’s because the Volt’s genius powertrain allows for all-electric trips of roughly 40 miles or can use its small gas engine to extend range all the way to… well… Seattle.
While the car costs way too much (in my humble opinion), has suffered from a terrible marketing campaign and has been at the center of a heated political debate, owners seem to love the experience of the Volt and would buy one all over again. Which is more than Nissan can claim about its fuel-efficient Versa.
According to Consumer Reports, 92 percent of current Volt owners would make the same decision again, while just 49 percent of Versa owners would buy their car again. Nissan did fare better with its all-electric Leaf, scoring 82 percent of hypothetical repeat buyers.
Not surprisingly, owners of luxury cars (Lexus and Audi) were much more satisfied than owners of economy cars (Mitsubishi and Suzuki), while owners of GM V6 pickups wish they’d upgraded to the V8. I give that part of the study a big fat “Duh!”
What’s interesting is that despite the controversy behind the Volt, people love living with it every day. If the car cost $25,000 instead of $40,000, I have no doubt it would revolutionize the auto business as GM originally hoped. Instead, the car holds a very small niche market consisting of well-off, but very satisfied, early adopters of electric vehicle technology.
What car do you own, and would you buy it again?