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Discussion Starter #1
So, I'm considering the purchase of a Bolt. This purchase would be strictly for the technology of driving a completely electric vehicle and the benefit of reduce carbon footprint (I am not Mr. Green but then I do like to do what I can). Financially there would be absolutely zero benefit over my existing car, which leads to this question:

Anyone move from a Subaru Outback to a Bolt?

I have a 2005 Outback turbo which is a great car to drive. Still plenty of life left in it. Excellent vehicle for the Colorado winter weather. Given the Bolt is FWD and tends to have less "grippy" tires I am concerned about the drivability in the winter weather. I live in the Denver metro area which generally doesn't see a lot of severe weather which would keep me off the road. Plus I work from home so no need to go out if the weather is bad (plus, I do have a BMW X5 which I could use if push came to shove). One caveat is my family lives in the mountains and everyone has a least one hill on the way to their place which, when snow packed, is difficult climb with RWD / FWD vehicles. My brother has a Prius and when it hints at snow he takes his Jeep to work. While not a huge issue I do visit for the holidays and, from time to time, these roads have been snow packed. Meaning I might not be able to get to their homes.

I used to drive RWD / FWD many years ago before being introduced to the Outback. But the Outback is so practical it's hard to give that up (I may keep it but that would mean three vehicle which I'd prefer to avoid). Given the Bolt is more of a want with absolutely zero financial benefit I'm having a difficult time deciding to move forward with a Bolt. If I were replacing a Honda Accord or some such FWD vehicle I wouldn't be as concerned.

Any thoughts from those who have moved from Subaru to the Bolt would be welcome? Or those who live in snowy areas? Anyone else who wants to offer their thoughts are welcome too!

I ask because I have come across a 2017 LT clearance I am considering so need to decide if I want to move forward at all.
 

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Any car with winter tires will do fine on roads that get plowed.

Based on your description of use, buying a Bolt won't make financial sense or save the environment. Your decision then is if the money you spend on it is worth the enjoyment you will get compared to other purchasing opportunities. Most of the comments on here are very positive. The 2 most often cited criticisms are poor seat comfort and less than luxurious interior. Some also mention their disappointment in no adaptive cruise. A test drive should help you make up your mind.
 

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Since Colorado gets most of its electricity from coal I don't think moving to a Bolt will appreciably reduce your carbon footprint. That goal would be better served by spending the money on a solar install, if your location makes it practical.

I've not had problems with winter driving on the stock tires here in New Hampshire, but then we don't have hills like they do out in your area. I also use my car strictly as a commuter vehicle, which means state highway & interstate driving almost exclusively.

One last thing: you'd lose cargo space going from the Outback to the Bolt.

I'd keep the Subaru and revisit when used Bolts start hitting the market.
 

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Since Colorado gets most of its electricity from coal I don't think moving to a Bolt will appreciably reduce your carbon footprint.
Greenhouse gas emissions from an average EV in Colorado are about the same as a 58 mpg gasser/hybrid if you charge from the grid.

Don't forget that CO has a $5K incentive (for purchases, $2,500 on leases) on top of the $7,500 Federal Tax Credit. Might sweeten the pot a bit.

If you can drive in snow (and it sounds like you can), EV's do well. Winter/snow tires will definitely help as the stock LRR doughnuts on the Bolt are biased completely towards efficiency (at the expense of traction).

Wife's company car when we lived in N Colorado was a RWD Chrysler 300 - got dubbed the "Silver Skate". Was a handful, even in the cold dry snow we often saw. Pretty much had to park it when it was the wet stuff that falls right around freezing temps.
 

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Mountain Pass

Drove my Bolt through a 12 mile 1200 foot ascent mountain pass a month ago. No down shifting going up and no braking going down. My ICE van would down shift and run high RPMs to stay at speed going up and then would go way over the speed limit going down if not down shifting or braking. The Bolt is a dream driving mountain passes.
 

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Similar concern here. My '99 Outback really should have the 120 k miles timing belt/idlers/water pump scheduled maintenance , $1,000. And has a slight smell of burned oil, a sign it will eventually need the mandatory Subaru head gasket job. Two heads so $1,500? On a car with tradein value around $2k.

So the Subaru as the oldest car in the family would be the logical choice to trade in. However - it can tow a trailer (up to a ton GVW) and has a lot more interior cargo space. The space is significant because this Subaru or a Bolt will accumulate most of its miles in the 200 mile round trip between home and ranch. I make that trip nearly weekly due to obligations at both ends.

My present thought is to hold off until the mini-suv variant of the Bolt appears in a couple of years. And drive the Subaru into the ground, just minor routine maintenance. I don't think it is cost effective to recondition an 18 year old car for another 100 k miles even though it still looks like new.

I'm eager to see what GM offers next. If its an EV with full adaptive cruise control I might jump on that even if it lacks cargo space, and keep the Subaru for occasional use where its towing and cargo capacity is needed.
 

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Former Impreza and STi owner here in Colorado Springs. I have also owned a lot of other cars...FWD and RWD. Colorado's weather honestly isn't too much to worry about regardless of what kind of vehicle you have. I have had 2 incidents where I got a car stuck...the first being my 2004 Mustang. My fault on that one because...I never switched to snow tires. Second one was my 2009 Jetta. This one was a freak storm 2 years ago and I would have made it home had it not been for the Jeep Grand Cherokee that got stuck in front of me. I dug them out...went another 300 ft and then had to part the thing because I had no momentum. I walked the 1/4 mile home and it was ok. I mention the other cars because after haven test driven the Bolt on a semi icy day, I felt more planted in the Bolt than I did in the Mustang or Jetta. 2 two Subaru's I had previously (2002 Impreza and 2009 STi) were better in snow. No further discussion. I think some winter tires would go a long way to making you feel safer in the Bolt. I definitely have no issues with the idea of owning one in Colorado.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Thanks for all the replys everyone. A couple of things to note:


  • I am not overly concerned about the snow conditions within the Denver Metro (or Colorado Springs) area. My concern is visiting my family in the mountains. After speaking with my brother about the concern he said it can be a problem but nothing which should prevent me from making this decision.

  • The purchase of this car is completely impractical from a financial and, based on the feedback here, a green perspective. I don't want to sound negative but there is no practical benefit to me by purchasing this car. In fact there are some negatives (i.e. the lack of AWD for one but there are others). It is for this reason why I am having such a difficult time with the decision.
All that said I just put down a $500.00 deposit on a 2017 LT (nicely configured, it's as if it was ordered just for me...lol!) which I'll be going to the dealer tomorrow or Saturday to see it and make the final decision. It's discounted due to it being a 2017 MY and there's a $2,017 discount added on top of that to sweeten the deal. I've already knocked $10K off the price from this Saturday (I started out considering a Premier but think the LT will be just fine).

I'll be holding on to the Subaru for the time being (it's not worth a whole lot so no incentive to get rid of it right now).
 

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Haha I could tell from your first post that you were itching to get one. I was the same way after I first heard about/test drove the Bolt.

It sounds like you're getting one now anyways but I'll still chime in since my other car is a 99 Outback. You will definitely lose a lot of cargo space, winter driving, and likely not as good roof rack/towing capabilities. Because of that, my wife and I already know that we're going to get another Outback when it needs to be replaced - for long distance trips, camping/sleeping in the car, boarding/skiing.

That said, we both love the Bolt. I'd make sure to grab a set of winter tires/studs, though, if you know you're going up snowy mountain passes. The engine braking will help in the snow but the self-seal tires aren't the grippiest even in dry conditions.

The other thing you might want to be aware of is that there's special storage instructions if you don't drive it for an extended time (in the owner's manual). So if you work from home you might fall into that category.



Similar concern here. My '99 Outback really should have the 120 k miles timing belt/idlers/water pump scheduled maintenance , $1,000. And has a slight smell of burned oil, a sign it will eventually need the mandatory Subaru head gasket job. Two heads so $1,500? On a car with tradein value around $2k.
I have a 99 and they're a beast. Our generation had known issues with the head gasket. Once you have that and the timing belt changed, though, you should be good for another 100+. I'm over 220k with nothing more than oil changes, air filters, and spark plugs since 95k. Just figured you'd want to know before you decide.
 

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I had a 1996 Legacy that went 230,000 miles before getting rear-ended and totalled. Only thing I put into it was tires, spark plugs, wiper blades, and maybe a set of brakes. It used oil, but not from the head gasket (2.2L seemed to avoid the problem). Was getting 28 MPG which isn't too bad. The car took me up ridiculous snowy logging roads, and even romped around the forest where there were no roads. I treated it like garbage and it never let me down.
 

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I have a 99 Outback and they're a beast. Our generation had known issues with the head gasket. Once you have that and the timing belt changed, though, you should be good for another 100+. I'm over 220k with nothing more than oil changes, air filters, and spark plugs since 95k. Just figured you'd want to know before you decide.
Yeah. I don't know what the insurance cost would be to own three cars but I'll likely keep the Outback for occasional rural towing like this. (photo). I'm within rated capacity - barely.

And of course for camping in the Sierras. (another photo). Try this with a Bolt! :D

I'm hoping the Bolt-derived mini-SUV comes along before I have to put any money into the 18 year old Outback.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Thanks for all the feedback guys. Sadly I have to say that my current "deal" is dead. While examining the window sticker of the vehicle I put the deposit on I noticed it lacked a number of options. I was informed it had the following options: DC Fast Charging, Comfort and Convenience, and Driver Confidence packages. The reality is it only has the Comfort and Convenience package. This changes the value proposition of the deal. I can live without the Driver Confidence package but the DC Fast Charging is a big issue. Here in CO the dealers order 99% of their Bolts with this option which means I would be at a serious disadvantage at resale (I've read there are caveats with DC Fast Charging which limit its value but it's still something I'd like to have).

So, the dealer offered an alternative one (different color but I'm good with the different color) which includes the DC Fast Charging at the same price as the original. However, here in CO, Dealer Preparation and Handling is an additional fee. I absolutely refuse to pay this fee and I informed the salesman of this. I told him the prices I gave him are the total price (minus taxes as Uncle Sam is something outside of their control) and I am not going to pay more. He was honest and said he was bringing his top price and couldn't budge any more. I appreciate his honesty and as it stands this deal is dead over a $500 charge.

Unless they waive this fee by mid day Saturday it looks as if this is a non-starter for me, at least for the time being. I'm on the fence and if I can't get the deal I want I have no problem walking away (best negotiating position to be in). Salesman has been excellent, dealer has been decent (this is a business transaction so I harbor no ill will). Maybe they'll call me tomorrow with the price I've set but as it stands there's no deal.

Regarding insurance cost, insuring all three of my vehicles isn't too bad...about $350/month for significantly more than the state requirements. I might drop the full coverage on the Outback because this endeavor has made me see how little my Outback is worth.
 

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All that said I just put down a $500.00 deposit on a 2017 LT (nicely configured, it's as if it was ordered just for me...lol!) which I'll be going to the dealer tomorrow or Saturday to see it and make the final decision. It's discounted due to it being a 2017 MY and there's a $2,017 discount added on top of that to sweeten the deal. I've already knocked $10K off the price from this Saturday (I started out considering a Premier but think the LT will be just fine).

Which dealership did you end up going to?
 

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Greenhouse gas emissions from an average EV in Colorado are about the same as a 58 mpg gasser/hybrid if you charge from the grid.
What's your source for this? A quick back-of-the-envelope calculation from the Colorado data at https://www.afdc.energy.gov/vehicles/electric_emissions.php shows that a BEV would be responsible for emissions equivalent to a 43 MPG car. That would go down as Colorado's grid gets cleaner, of course.
 

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What's your source for this? A quick back-of-the-envelope calculation from the Colorado data at https://www.afdc.energy.gov/vehicles/electric_emissions.php shows that a BEV would be responsible for emissions equivalent to a 43 MPG car. That would go down as Colorado's grid gets cleaner, of course.
I'm probably (likely?) too old to rely on my memory when quoting such things., but it was one of the union of concerned scientist maps we used at the Auto Show.
It shows 38, not 58 :eek:



However, the calculator on their site does show the Bolt as 45 using a Denver Zip:
https://www.ucsusa.org/clean-vehicles/electric-vehicles/ev-emissions-tool#z/80014/2017/Chevrolet/Bolt

My mistake.


That being said, comparing the 2017 Bolt to a 2005 Subaru Turbo (emissions when new),
Upstream and tailpipe GHG are:
Bolt = 250 g/mi
Subaru = 564 g/mi

https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/Find.do?action=sbs&id=38187&id=21473&#tab2
Click on "Calculate Emissions" to go to a page where you can put in your zip to see the Bolt results.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Which dealership did you end up going to?
There turned out to be some issues with the deal so it ended up falling through. I was informed they had a car with the Comfort and Convenience package, the Driver Confidence package, and the DC Fast Charging option all for a price I felt was worth jumping on. Unfortunately it only had the Comfort and Convenience package. Given this the value proposition changed for the worse and I no longer felt the deal was something to jump on. In fact, unless I receive a significant discount, I am avoiding any Bolt which does not have the DC Fast Charging option. So this one fell through.

I was then informed they had a model with the Comfort and Convenience package and DC Fast Charging option that I could purchase for the same price. Not as good a deal as when I thought I would be buying one with all three but I considered it. Upon further examination this vehicle lacks the Comfort and Convenience package, having only the DC Fast Charging option.

As I'm undecided if a Bolt is right for me I don't mind losing a few options (except for DC Fast Charging) for a lower price. At the moment we're at an impasse over the $500 Dealer Prep & Handling fee. They did make some concessions and I consider that a gesture of goodwill so I'm going to give it some thought overnight. I've also requested an extended test drive so I can take it up to my family's place in the mountains. If they allow it and it goes well (well being it has a reasonable SoC after the trip) I may move forward with the deal.

The salesman has been very helpful, though he wasn't provided all of the details on the models under consideration. Dealer is Ed Bozart off of Havana. I reached out to John Elway and they didn't seem very interested in discussing anything with me since they didn't have any in stock (though they did offer to take my name and call me when they had stock).

At this point the deal that was motivating my accelerated purchase is dead (and can't ever be since they do not have a 2017 model with those options). Thus if I can't agree to the terms on this one car then I've decided to hold off until dealers are stocked up with 2018 models and see what's available at what price.
 

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What's your source for this? A quick back-of-the-envelope calculation from the Colorado data at https://www.afdc.energy.gov/vehicles/electric_emissions.php shows that a BEV would be responsible for emissions equivalent to a 43 MPG car. That would go down as Colorado's grid gets cleaner, of course.
That doesn't factor in the commissioning of a whole new car being built, which consumes lots of resources. Besides all that, mother nature isn't going to high-five anyone for driving an EV. In fact, she won't even notice.

At the moment we're at an impasse over the $500 Dealer Prep & Handling fee... Thus if I can't agree to the terms on this one car then I've decided to hold off until dealers are stocked up with 2018 models and see what's available at what price.
I admire your adherence to the price. Most people don't have the patience to set a price and stick to it. The salesman is likely to say something like "why let the deal fall through just because of $500". I walked away over the matter of $400 once, and the salesman said that to me. I told him $400 is way less valuable to the dealership than it is to me, so why is he letting the deal fall through for a matter of $400.

2 weeks later he called back and conceded the $400. I suspect it's just a matter of days before they give you the $500.
 

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Do it

Hey,

Just switched from a 1999 outback to a Bolt. No snow driving yet but the Bolt is great in the following ways:

Great handling/acceleration on steep and windy hills (way more fun to drive than underpowered subies)
Decent clearance and great departure/breakover angles
Decent cargo space with virtually lay flat seats (flatter than most outback models)
Cargo space is high but shorter and can be added to by taking out the styrofoam under the trunk insert
Regen braking means similar range in hilly terrain and no brake repair (almost no braking in L "gear")
Seat and steering wheel heaters are excellent (and use less power than air heater in EV's)

There are plenty of level 2 and 3 chargers on the front range so you should be good for charging. Also, the grid may be dirty but it will only improve and local air pollution (causing chronic respiratory disease, lung cancer, heart disease, and damage to the brain, nerves, liver, or kidneys) is much worse from ICE cars than modern power plants.

I'd recommend the Bolt over a subie anyday and so would my wife who is driving a 2001 outback at the moment.
 

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Just DO IT!

We went from a 2 Subaru family (2014 Crosstrek hybrid, 2016 Outback) to a blended family - Traded in the hybrid crosstrek and got a Bolt - Best deal ever, we love the Bolt. Fold down the back seat and you have almost as much space as we had in the Crosstrek and, because we have solar power, "refueling" is 100% free. Driving the Bolt is LITERALLY amazing - the torque kicks ass and the "L" regenerative saves the brakes.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I admire your adherence to the price. Most people don't have the patience to set a price and stick to it. The salesman is likely to say something like "why let the deal fall through just because of $500". I walked away over the matter of $400 once, and the salesman said that to me. I told him $400 is way less valuable to the dealership than it is to me, so why is he letting the deal fall through for a matter of $400.

2 weeks later he called back and conceded the $400. I suspect it's just a matter of days before they give you the $500.
I wouldn't be surprised if they do end up calling. Unfortunately I wasn't able to get a long term test drive, at least not tonight, so unless they make some move this potential purchase isn't going to move forward either.
 
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