After holding off for a month, the latest issue of Consumer Reports (which continues denigrating our iMiEV) spurred me to bite the bullet and spend a few bucks in order to satisfy my curiosity about what I thought were the technical details of their iMiEV testing. Specifically, if I wanted to obtain what they called the Full Track Report I would have to pay extra to join something to get it ... so I did.
Now, a Full Track Report I expected to be loaded with technical data specific to their performance testing of the iMiEV. Things like test conditions, number of runs for each test and recorded times and speeds, the different drivers participating, and details of how they conducted their mileage and charging tests ... that sort of thing. I wanted to know mundane things like exactly what tire pressures they were running, what load weights were being carried, whether ASC was disabled for their emergency maneuvers (I would hope they would run tests with and without ASC), and I wanted to know how many different drivers did the tests and what was the performance of each driver. I was also looking for quantitative data such as what were the measured heeling angles and lateral accelerations as they performed various maneuvers, not to mention simple measured noise levels to corroborate what they said. I also wanted to know EV-related things like exactly what the SOC of the battery pack was and which drive mode were they using for each test.
What a joke! This shows how naive I am. Their (expletive deleted) Full Track Report is nothing more than simply more of the same type of subjective nonsense that they already published, slightly expanded to telling us that the headliner "is like fuzz-sprayed cardboard" and the climate control knobs "feel like toys" and "there is a tall and tippy sensation in corners and the car requires a lot of steering input to round corners". No data. What utterly-shallow subjective tripe, totally unworthy of a "testing" organization!
What especially grates me is phrases such "tall and tippy sensation" - this is not a test "report". If nothing else, they should perform a measurable static stability test or at least calculate its SSF (Static Stability Factor) - I bet our little iMiEV outperforms many if not most of the cars out there, and especially SUVs! - for those who don't know, the iMiEV's battery pack is underneath the seats and contributes to a very low center of gravity for the vehicle.
To top it off, I had naively assumed that they fully charged the battery pack before each test run, but now I'm not sure -- if I wanted to make the iMiEV look bad in terms of acceleration or even an obstacle course speed test I'd deplete the battery first. This isn't mentioned anywhere.
Do NOT bother signing up for this Full Track Report - it adds no value in terms of telling us what their actual testing procedures were nor provides us with any data that wasn't already available.
EVs: 2 Wht/Blu SE Prem., '13 Tesla MS85, 3 156v CorbinSparrows (2 Li-ion), 24v EcoScoot(LiFePO4)
EV Conv: 156v '86 Ram PU, 144v '65 Saab 96
Hybrids: 48v1kW bike
ICE: '88 Isuzu Trooper. Mothballed: '67 Saab (orig.owner), '76 MBZ L206D RHD RV