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Chevy Volt gets coveted Consumer Reports recommendation

The Chevrolet Volt has received a recommendation from Consumer Reports magazine adding to the growing list of honors for General Motors' plug-in car, described by the carmaker as a "range-extended electric vehicle."

The Volt has also been named  Motor Trend Car of the Year and North American Car of the Year.

Consumer Reports, highly regarded, anonymously purchases all the cars it tests from dealers rather than using cars provided by manufacturers. The magazine does not accept advertising.

Chevy Volt gets coveted Consumer Reports recommendation 1

The magazine tests cars at its Connecticut track as well as on roads. To be "Recommended" a car must perform well in several tests and must be deemed to have at least average "predicted reliability."

"Predicted reliability" is based on surveys taken by the magazine's 1.3 million magazine and Web site subscribers. So far, surveys have been collected from 116 Volt owners, very few of whom had any problems, the magazine said.

The magazine requires data from at least 100 owners of a given vehicle before it will make a judgment about reliability.

Consumer Reports hailed the Volt for its fuel economy, quietness, "instant acceleration" and excellent crash-test results. But earning a recommendation doesn't mean the Volt is perfect.

The magazine noted poor visibility, tricky braking, narrow driving position and the toll cold weather takes on its electric driving range. Also the Volt seats only four, which is one less than most cars its size.

Consumer Reports test drivers achieved about 35 miles in electric vehicle mode before the car's 1.4-liter gasoline engine began generating electricity on-board. That's the same EV range as the car's official EPA estimates.

General Motors has sold slightly more 4,000 Volts and seeks sales of 10,000 by the end of 2011. The Volt was previously available in only in a few states, but is now available throughout the United States.

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