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Consumer Reports, long my gold standard when purchasing a new automobile, dropped the ball this time: the 2017 Bolt received scant press in the CR annual Auto Issue that just went out. Admittedly I'm biased here, but I think the Bolt is the car of the year. CR failed to include crash or performance data (test data "NA") and also left it off the list of cars to watch in the future. ****, it's not in the future, it's here now! Couldn't they have tested one by now? I was under time constraints and couldn't wait for the issue to come out before getting my Bolt. I'm glad I didn't, because CR had little to say.

I'll be looking for a detailed review in upcoming issues.
 

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I think Consumer Reports testing facilities are in New York. Bolts aren't available there yet. For their tests, they purchase vehicles from local dealers. The dealers don't even know that the cars are being purchased for testing.

Ed
 

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I think Consumer Reports testing facilities are in New York. Bolts aren't available there yet. For their tests, they purchase vehicles from local dealers. The dealers don't even know that the cars are being purchased for testing.

Ed
+1 for that.......most of the US isn't "Bolt aware". I, too, was disappointed not to see our girl in the latest issue but that's on GM. Yes, they got CotY but sinc ethy're rolling it our piecemeal, it's not going to have a huge splash nationwide.

Dayle
 

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My aunt was on the Consumer Report board of directors for a long time many years ago. I still view it as a very reliable source of consumer info and a great voice for consumer advocacy.

However, CR definitely has an East Coast bias being located in Mount Vernon, NY just north of NYC. This became very apparent to me when I moved to the midwest for college and to the west coast to live. They tend to miss or downplay coverage of regional products and services out of the northeast corridor.

And they have never been known for their timeliness in terms of having the latest products in their publications which has been a sore point for me when I search for good evaluations of products. I now supplement CR with consumersearch.com which does meta-reviews of consumer products, alas not cars.
 

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Consumer Reports, long my gold standard when purchasing a new automobile, dropped the ball this time: the 2017 Bolt received scant press in the CR annual Auto Issue that just went out.
Specialed is right - CR can't test a car that it can't buy yet, and their policy is to report the results of their own testing, not parrot what other people say. Give it time, they'll publish once they've tested one.

Of course for one of the most important pieces of information, the reliability survey, we'll have to wait a couple of years to start getting an idea of how it stacks up compared to other cars.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Good points, all. There is no bigger advocate for Consumer Reports than I, hence my disappointment that they were behind the curve. Let's look forward to their first review.
 

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Consumer Reports, long my gold standard when purchasing a new automobile, dropped the ball this time: the 2017 Bolt received scant press in the CR annual Auto Issue that just went out. Admittedly I'm biased here, but I think the Bolt is the car of the year. CR failed to include crash or performance data (test data "NA") and also left it off the list of cars to watch in the future. ****, it's not in the future, it's here now! Couldn't they have tested one by now? I was under time constraints and couldn't wait for the issue to come out before getting my Bolt. I'm glad I didn't, because CR had little to say.

I'll be looking for a detailed review in upcoming issues.
The Bolt is not a Toyota and it's not a Honda. It will not be recommended. They did not report crash data because there isn't any yet. Pretend you read the CR review and then buy a Prius Prime. They will catch up and validate your decision eventually. ;)
 

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Don't know how much is joking, and how much isn't, but (for me) the Prime just doesn't have enough pure-electric range. *For me*, 30 miles (when new) is a minimum. I'm going to be looking at the Ionic plug-in when it is finally avail, as a replacement for my 'ICE' vehicle (basically when it needs >$1000 repair). It looks like a Volt, Ioniq, or REx i3 will be the only 3 choices for me in 2017 (and 2018, I think). The Optima and Sonata *just* miss in terms of electric range. (I really, really want a car that I will drive electric 99% of the time, and 33 miles is perfect to fit my usage - the Optima and Sonata at 27 & 29 *could* be possibles, but I'd go past the electric limit a couple of times a week, most likely).

It's a shame that the majority of PHEVs just don't go over 30 miles on electric. I'd consider the Ford C-MAX Energi or Fusion PHEVs, or the Prime (or the Optima or Sonata) if they had just a little more electric range.
 

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I buy the latest CR issue whe it has articles that I need or find interesting. I read that their long term reviews are from CR subscribers, and that skews the annual reviews to the brand that the subscribers buy, not the true values in the market. If no subscriber has bought a Bolt EV, then it will not even be in the review. And if only one subscriber with a Bolt EV has a problem, even if the GM dealer solves it, the subscriber will give negative reviews.

The only way that the Bolt EV will get top reviews is for all Bolt owners to subscribe to CR and respond to the reviews positively. That is proof that CR reviews are from "paid" owners! No one who isn't a CR subscriber can get a questionnaire and give a review.
 

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Don't know how much is joking, and how much isn't, but (for me) the Prime just doesn't have enough pure-electric range. *For me*, 30 miles (when new) is a minimum. I'm going to be looking at the Ionic plug-in when it is finally avail, as a replacement for my 'ICE' vehicle (basically when it needs >$1000 repair). It looks like a Volt, Ioniq, or REx i3 will be the only 3 choices for me in 2017 (and 2018, I think). The Optima and Sonata *just* miss in terms of electric range. (I really, really want a car that I will drive electric 99% of the time, and 33 miles is perfect to fit my usage - the Optima and Sonata at 27 & 29 *could* be possibles, but I'd go past the electric limit a couple of times a week, most likely).

It's a shame that the majority of PHEVs just don't go over 30 miles on electric. I'd consider the Ford C-MAX Energi or Fusion PHEVs, or the Prime (or the Optima or Sonata) if they had just a little more electric range.
Don't buy any Korean hybrid, even the plug-ins! :eek:They use only one electric motor in their system, so they are "electric-assist", not a true EV! There is a video on YouTube showing an incident where a magazine reporter and his crew were testuing a Korean hybrid in a parking building. The car was on electric power but it needed more to climb the ramp, so the electric motor released the transmission (uses a clutch) and went to start the gas engine. At that moment, the car had no power and began moving backwards!! The driver had to stomp on the brakes because it would had backed into a wall.:(

The Toyota and Ford systems have two motors each so the main traction motor never loses power while the second motor starts the engine. I strongly recommend getting the Fusion because:
1. It is the best plug-in hybrid after the Chevy Volt and it can run up to 85 MPH on electric power only.
2. It is a medum size five-seat sedan. The Volt and the Toyotas are compacts. Compare interior specs!
3. Ford sold more Fusion Hybrids and Energis in January 2017 than Prius, the first time Toyota lost its sale lead.
4. The Fusion is made in Mexico but that is still "North America" so it is "American".
And 5. I have a 2014 Fusion Hybrid, and I get over 50 MPG driving it mostly on local roads. I can certify its quality over ANY import.0:)
 

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The only way that the Bolt EV will get top reviews is for all Bolt owners to subscribe to CR and respond to the reviews positively.
CR's subscriber base is large enough that most cars are adequately covered. It's certainly more objective and comprehensive comparative data than is available from any other source.
 

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CR doesn't rely on it's readers for long term reviews of cars. They rely on their readers to report on long term reliability of their cars. There's a big difference there. They send out an annual survey to subscribers asking for responses on key areas of a car and whether there have been problems, the severity of the problems, and how easily/quickly it was repaired and whether it was fixed to their satisfication. From this statitistical data CR is able to produce their reliability charts and have a decent chance at correctly predicting the reliability of future vehicles from a manufacturer.
 

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So that's where their reliability ratings comes from. I've always wondered about that. By the time CR gets a Bolt EV for long term testing, I feel like the forum members would have posted up plenty of long term ownership reviews with real world driving data.
 

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By the time CR gets a Bolt EV for long term testing, I feel like the forum members would have posted up plenty of long term ownership reviews with real world driving data.
Yes, those of us who frequent the forums get a much better idea of the kinds of problems that owners are experiencing. I remember all the problems reported about the Gen2 Volt, and then a lot of people were aghast when CR reported it had a poor reliability rating. Didn't surprise me a bit. It will be interesting to see if the rating improves now that the initial bugs have presumably been worked out.

The one thing that the Bolt's CR rating will clarify is whether any problems reported in the forums are widespread enough to downrate the car compared to other cars. It's often hard to tell how common issues are through anecdotal stories on sites like this.
 

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So that's where their reliability ratings comes from. I've always wondered about that. By the time CR gets a Bolt EV for long term testing, I feel like the forum members would have posted up plenty of long term ownership reviews with real world driving data.
Personally I place far more priority in what owners here report back than just one source with one Bolt EV.
It always helps to work with a sample size and that's what we're able to do here. 10 people having the same problem means far more than one source reporting on it.
 

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Personally I place far more priority in what owners here report back than just one source with one Bolt EV. .. It always helps to work with a sample size and that's what we're able to do here. 10 people having the same problem means far more than one source reporting on it.
You apparently missed reading about how reliability reports come from CRs subscriber base - they're not based on the one car that CR buys to test.

I agree that sample size is important, and that's why CRs reliability reports, sourced from 10s of thousands of their subscribers, are so credible.

The advantage of this forum is that we hear in detail what kinds of issues come up as well as what the dealership does to fix them and how long it takes. The disadvantage is that if three people report the same problem we have no idea if that's three out of all, say 5000 Bolts or if there are another 200 people out there with the same problem that don't frequent these forums. In other words, we have only a very poor idea of how widespread any problems are.
 

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You apparently missed reading about how reliability reports come from CRs subscriber base - they're not based on the one car that CR buys to test.

I agree that sample size is important, and that's why CRs reliability reports, sourced from 10s of thousands of their subscribers, are so credible.

The advantage of this forum is that we hear in detail what kinds of issues come up as well as what the dealership does to fix them and how long it takes. The disadvantage is that if three people report the same problem we have no idea if that's three out of all, say 5000 Bolts or if there are another 200 people out there with the same problem that don't frequent these forums. In other words, we have only a very poor idea of how widespread any problems are.
And CR suffers the same thing. CR members become dependent on CR's reports and so just buy whatever they say. Now that may be a good thing, but the more "in bread" the members get, the less diversity in actually owned products members have.

All I know is, the last three new cars I have bought have all been on CR's crap list with lots of black balls and in ten years of ownership of each, they were no where near as bad as they said they were. No regrets on any of them. One from Dodge, one from Ford and one from Pontiac. All of them not recommended. The Pontiac I still have and I have not plans to sell now 11 years on even with the Bolt coming.
 
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