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The first request I had was to turn creep off if available. There is a creep setting and it was disabled. I estimate the regen wasn't as strong as the Bolt, and the TM3 would 'coast' under 10MPH, (perhaps a little less than 10MPH) with no regen available. So one absolutely has to use the brake pedal to come to a complete stop. Again, my review is extremely weighted as I have become like that dishwasher detergent commercial where the kid says "...what does the dishwasher dooo?" Getting to comfortable with Bolt "L" driving and I'll be saying "...what does the brake pedal doooo?"

The steering wheel has 2 thumb scroll wheels, that work in conjunction with the center tablet. The driver can adjust the side mirrors, or adjust the steering wheel, or click the AP speed up/down in 5MPH increments, and probably a lot of other stuff. I would like the TM3 owners here to confirm this; you need to interact with the tablet manually to get to the proper screen for these thumb scroll functions to do the thing you want them to do? Can the driver somehow use the thumb scroll to interact with the tablet, and change screens without having to physically touch the tablet?

Otherwise, it would seem that the driver would need a F-14 Tomcat-like Radar Systems Officer in the passenger seat to help manage administration of the car.

It's amazing what aesthetic design can do. The Bolt is seems to be only 5 or 6" shorter, but apparently its 21" shorter. The TM3 is just 3" wider. When I see the TM3 on the street, it seems much wider. But when side-by-side, it's like some optical illusion. Again, visually, the Bolt looks to have a stubby front hood, whereas the TM3's is long and sleek. but from the respective windshield to the most forward tip of the cars, it's not that much difference. perhaps 3-4"?

That 3" width is very evident in the interior of the TM3. The center console arm rest is visibly wider, add that the TM3 seats the passengers in much more of a reclining position (as low slung sedans do). So the driver and passenger can share the arm rest without elbows touching. I imagine this is very comfortable for long distance driving. Whereas the Bolt center arm rest is a one-person arm rest only, as the seating is more upright.
To your question about the thumbwheels on the Model 3, as you mentioned, the intent is that they change in function a little bit based on what active features are running. The default left button controls the radio to some degree but if you want to mess with treble, bass, concert hall settings, those are done on the pad. The voice command library is still evolving and it's great for nav or radio but to say "turn up the fan" or "open the glovebox", it won't and that requires taking your hand off the steering wheel and two touches to the screen. As I mentioned earlier, you can basically ignore the screen for days and not impact the driving experience. The TACC and Autopilot are initialized thru the stalk and then you adjust speed with the right thumbwheel. I will have to play around with them some more to see what other functions they can do as well as the voice commands to open up settings and such. The more you drive it, the more you see the beginning of the FSD concept with all the autonomy along with safety and convenience features. I just downloaded the latest upgrade which includes a lot of additional safety features, and convenience settings as well as the summon feature. Supposedly there's another big upgrade coming this month to add more autonomy to the EAP.

2,511 Posts
But then there are some who remember the Vega as having the worst POS engine GM ever built. Why did an iron head on an open deck aluminum block ever seem like a good idea? Chevrolet had to replace more of them under warranty than any engine ever.

jack vines

Yeah. Those pesky expansion coefficients be [email protected]!

678 Posts
Was at the Honda dealer to get something, and decided to drive 4 blocks down to the Tesla showroom to eyeball the TM3 up close. Somebody cancelled their test drive appointment and I, Johnny on the spot, was lucky enough to slam that opening.

This showroom has two TM3 demo's, both rear-wheel drive LR/310 Mile range,Enhanced Autopilot, Full Self-Driving *Capability*, both about $59,000. Test drive was about 30 minutes, streets and freeway.

My Review (as a Bolt EV owner)

The large tablet in the center would take some getting use to. It's a distraction at first because I'm not accustomed to looking over there, and even more initially irritating was trying to find what I needed to find; audio, air conditioning, Soc, etc. Not having that instrument cluster behind the wheel, reflexively looking down because every car ones ever been in has it, only to see a wood panel is extremely disconcerting. But much of this can be memorized on the steering controls. No doubt it wouldn't take a TM3 owner long to orient themselves...then ignore it.

I noticed when I sat in the back seat, the upholstery was loose or felt like it had torn away from under the cushions. Not appreciably more rear legroom than the Bolt, and you sit lower with less headroom. But the 3 is a sedan.

Not necessarily a con, but surprisingly, when the two cars are side by side, the TM3 is only about 5" longer, and a few inches wider.

Of any car I have been in, the TM3 was crying for a killer HUD (not the Atari 2600 quality graphics I see on almost every car with an HUD) system. A HUD that displays along the bottom of the windshield with the basics...pretty much like this:

Traction control. Perhaps because its a RWD, but I couldn't force a tire squeal. Unlike the Bolt where I have to work for it not to burn rubber during a jack rabbit start.

Quick. But not as impressive for a Bolt owner, vs. the guy before me who owned a BMW M5. Much smoother feeling and quieter as well. This must be due to areodynamics, as believe it or not, the Clarity in all-EV mode - although not hardly as quick - shares the same quiet smoothness when accelerating. The Clarity is quieter and has a markedly softer ride IMO BTW.

Handling was so-so for a $60K EV. Better than the Bolt, but I wouldn't say it's $25K better. Especially considering the TM3 has much better tires. Not near the Tesla S performance models.

Although the windshield swept back a little further, it wasn't anything like the wondrous Model X-like driving experience that I had hoped for. But better than anything else out there.

There's something unconsciously magic about the brand. Other drivers notice it, and you're aware people are noticing. Whereas the only people ever to notice my Bolt are the other few and far between Bolt owners.

Other than the above, it was just a nice BEV sedan. I will say an ICEv owners first experience in probably many BEV's is world changing, and even more so when that "first time" is in a Tesla. But coming from a Bolt, I'm very familiar with that thrill. The Tesla person said if I ordered one today, it would be delivered by September sometime...most likely.

Bottom line is if I weren't driving a Bolt, I would be thoroughly impressed.
Great review shotel. You couldn't be more right, the centre console needs to be explored really well while parked. The car only really started working magic for me once I got into voice control mode, and that wasn't always an easy exercise given my ability to pronounce French names, or the Model 3's ability to understand them. Love the HUD. Probably asking too much, but I think it would really add something to this car, especially the performance version. I get the thrill thing, and believe it or not, the thrill is still very much there with no apparent end in sight. My biggest concern about getting an EV was whether I would be able to use the car on my terms, and so far, I have no complaints. The car thus far has proven to be a very capable total replacement for my ICE. I took a little 280 mile round trip a couple days back just to take in the beauty that is Lake Champlain. Although it was not a requirement, I took a 12 minute pitstop at the Supercharger there in Burlington just to say I did, which saw me home with nearly 100 miles of range left in the tank. There is nothing, time or otherwise, that I would have asked more of my ICE car. I will be taking a longer 7 hour trip to New York at the end of this week, but I am not expecting any hiccups.

As far as who is, or isn't noticing the Bolt? Can't say for sure, but up here in the chilly north, they are well sought after. IF you can find a used one, negotiation is not part of the contract. There is the sticker price, and then there is the sticker price. And then there is a long wait to find another one. That being said, this is a very EV friendly place, where the Government provides incentives for both the cars and level 2 chargers needed to fuel them. I don't know what GM is doing, but they aren't busy shipping Bolts to Quebec. And Nissan isn't any better. The local dealer here has more then 45 people that have been told their 2018 Leaf will not arrive until 2019. Anyone in the biz of selling used EV's, is bringing Leafs up from the US a dozen at a time. It would be interesting to know the actual percent of NA Nissan Leafs currently registered in Quebec. As for the Bolt, I was told the Chevy dealer here is doubling their order request for 2019. I guess its up to the big wigs now.
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