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Discussion Starter #1
Bolt drive starts around 10:10
Kona drive starts around 12:50.
Model 3 drive starts around 16:25

The Bolt does ok until they drive the other two vehicles. Then it definitely does not look as good to the reviewers.

Comparison | Bolt vs Kona vs Model 3
43,209 views•Published on Sep 8, 2019
 

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I found that all three vehicles were fantastic, and I think potential shoppers should drive as many of these as they can. I spent 15 km (10 miles) in the Kona, and almost 50km (30 miles) driving the Tesla.... actually, the Tesla drove me through the highway interchanges of Reno with a Tesla engineer in the passenger seat (who almost kept me calm during car initiated lane changes).

We ended up ruling out the Kona due to insufficient back seat space for our kids (who are 5’ 10” each right now)... plus a 6 month wait time in Ontario. There are Federal grants for new EV’s in my area, but a Federal election in a few weeks that may remove the incentive if there is a change in power.

We passed on the Model 3 due to the sedan layout. By comparison, my wife really enjoyed the visibility and ride height of the Bolt (with the Volt having the the worst sight-lines for her of the cars we tested). Plus, for similar range, the Tesla would have been close to $20K more. The three week Tesla lead time wasn’t an issue for us.

The Bolt we wanted was on the lot, and the dealer worked with us while negotiating.

Just my $0.02 on how much I appreciated all three of these vehicles, but in the end still joined the Bolt Club!
 

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It is a rather discouraging review. I had been eyeing the Bolt since it came out. When we became ready to pull the trigger, I looked at the Kona but I don't like the screen standing up like that and while little used..the cramped back seat area. Also that it's a converted ICEV...not a purpose-built EV. And lastly...Hyundai. I never looked at a Tesla as I'm not interested in spending that kind of money. I also just feel more comfortable having a car from a traditional manufacturer and the wide dealer network. I wanted some range so the suburbia EV's were of no interest.
So here I am too. Ecstatic to not be continuously pouring that awful, expensive liquid into the car.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
It was really good to wake up to balanced helpful responses. When I post on this or other sites, it is almost always just for general industry discussion purposes, and little or nothing to do with my own driving purposes, but as it happens at this time I'm looking around more than usual for my next vehicle move, and some of the points are more directly helpful to me at this time.

non-comprehensive notes from my side fwiw

  • The sentiment about being ecstatic to get away from gasoline is one that resonates for me.
  • the Kona is not available at nearby dealers (south of Tucson). Yes, I could go out of my way to consider it or one of the Kias, but what a pain in the neck!
  • Fire is a touchy topic, but yes, concern about fire is a consideration.
  • The Leaf e+ is not in the video, and is not under consideration by me due to the battery degradation I had 2012-2015 here in the heat. They did not move to liquid cooling, but assuming they would respond in part by noting their good safety record and that they can address degradation in other ways, I would say that after what so many of us went through with degradation in round one here in Arizona, I will need to see empirical proof, over many years and hundreds of vehicles.
  • I feel like the "fever has broken" on the used Bolt pricing, and from a buyer point of view that is good to see.
  • I am waiting for the fever to break on used Model 3 pricing, though I am trying to manage my expectations - perhaps (especially given the transitional times we live in) the depreciation curve in general on that vehicle will not be as steep as one might like from a used buyer standpoint. Also, I am wary of the well-known quality control issues they had during the first few quarters of production. Assuming there was improvement, I don't know at what point that improvement occurred. It's a pain, but an example of the sort of thing unfortunately one needs to worry about in buying used.
  • Since I lean toward used cars for personal financial reasons, a factor for me is that this can increase risks, and in the case of BEVs, and Arizona, I am concerned about what happens to batteries with both heat and age. There is a comment above as to going with a mainstream manufacturer, and I do agree to a point on that. If I am going to invest a decent amount of my savings and future payments into a used BEV, I want to know as much as possible not only about the risk in vehicle range with age and miles, but the reputation of the manufacturer for dealing with battery module or pack maintenance and replacement, and future costs. I feel like there could be improvement in completely transparent information on these areas both from Tesla and Chevy.
 

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I've been looking for alternatives to the Bolt because after 2-1/2 years I'm running out of patience with the uncomfortable (for me) front seats. I just finished driving the Kona, M3 SR+, 2020 Soul, and Niro. My favs were the M3 and Niro, but each had their problems (for me) that stopped me from making a change. If anyone cares, here are my observations of the competition as a Bolt owner
  • Tesla - great performance and handling, I like the HVAC system, seats are a great shape and great ergonomics in the car, but the seat material didn't breath and the car transmits a LOT of road noise into the cabin. It's deceiving because it doesn't measure that different in shear amplitude, but the tone is totally different and bothersome. This car had the 18" aero wheels which should have the best ride quality. Also I'm not confident in their ability to make a car that will perform well with the mundane day to day stuff.
  • Kona was too small in the back seat and trunk. Also I find the brakes bothersome, even on max regen
  • Soul I found to be a good offering, but ergonomics were pretty bad for me. Good room inside though.
  • Niro offered good tech and convenience, good seats, decent space, but bland looks and I had ergonomic issues there too (though not as bad as Soul).
  • All the cars were quiet and rode well except the M3. All of them were satisfactorily quick, M3 was a step above of course. Adaptive cruise control was a great feature across the board too. Power memory seats in the Niro and M3 were a differentiator for me.
When it came down to it, none of them were the total package for me, so I'll continue to suffer the seats in my Bolt until hopefully the ID.3 comes to Canada and gives us the dream: RWD hot hatch from an experienced auto maker, with adult sized seats, all for mass market price!
 

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I too hope the VW ID.3 comes to Canada, but right now for us, the Bolt (esp 2020) wins at the low trim, low $ end, and the Tesla 3+ wins at the high $ end.

At the low trim, low $ end in Canada, the Kia Soul only comes in the low range version, and the low end Kia Niro doesn't have heated steering wheel or seats :)eek:). The low end Kona EV is small in the back and currently requires a special order and ~ 10 month wait. Oddly, the Bolt seats don't bother us; my wife actually prefers them to the Kona.

At the high $ end, high trim, the Tesla 3+ is about the same price as the others, has better safety/electronics/computer stuff (esp. Autopilot) and is bigger inside, much bigger than the Kona, and RWD. But it lacks a heated steering wheel:(.
 

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The Kona EV is being priced over MSRP and is not being sold seriously in the US. The Bolt is under $30,000 and the Model 3 is a $40,000 car. Two much different cars and prices. I also had my Model S brought in for service and had a better experience than I ever had at a stealership. All warranty work was fixed no problem, car was going to take 5 hours to work on so they rented a car for me for one day, the prices they charge are also very fair. $30 for a cabin air filter change. It is much more expensive at Chevy. I also got an appointment in three days. They needed to order a part, so they will drive to my house for a repair when it is in.
 

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The Kona EV is being priced over MSRP and is not being sold seriously in the US. The Bolt is under $30,000 and the Model 3 is a $40,000 car. Two much different cars and prices. I also had my Model S brought in for service and had a better experience than I ever had at a stealership. All warranty work was fixed no problem, car was going to take 5 hours to work on so they rented a car for me for one day, the prices they charge are also very fair. $30 for a cabin air filter change. It is much more expensive at Chevy. I also got an appointment in three days. They needed to order a part, so they will drive to my house for a repair when it is in.
The cabin filter in a Bolt can be replaced in 5 minutes with no tools. The Model 3 filter isn't complicated by my standards but I suspect a fair number of owners wouldn't want to remove a side kick panel, lower dash panel, electrical connectors, and hard-to-reach screw on the Model 3 in order to replace it and would rather take it to the dealer than risk breaking a retention clip or not being able to get panels back on the way they came off.

Mike
 

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As always, it's horses for courses. Some features and lack thereof matter more to some than others:
1. If one has to commute twice daily in rush-hour traffic, the Bolt's lack of a follow-cruise would be a deal-breaker.
2. If the seats are uncomfortable to a particular driver, that's not arguable. If a Bolt is a local errand-mobile, the seats are a non-issue.
3. If one is determined to road-trip a BEV, then range, superchargers, DCFC, et al, are major requirements. If it's a local use only, then those are moot.
4. If it's a local runabout, when a used Tesla S can be had for the same cost as a new Bolt, that the S is a large, low sedan makes it not the best choice; Bolt hatchback wins easily. Pulling up to the valet parking at the country club is a different deal for those who care about that sort of thing.
5. One-pedal - as of today, Bolt is the clear winner. No BEV does this major feature as well; some not at all.

Your opinions and results will vary, because your experience, daily needs and budget varies.

jack vines
 

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4. If it's a local runabout, when a used Tesla S can be had for the same cost as a new Bolt, that the S is a large, low sedan makes it not the best choice; Bolt hatchback wins easily. Pulling up to the valet parking at the country club is a different deal for those who care about that sort of thing.
I agree with you on all your other points, except number 4. I am a Bolt owner and a Model S owner. The Model S is actually a hatchback and is a more capable hatchback than the Bolt. The room in the Models S is amazing, I can fit four golf club sets when I take my friends golfing. The Model S is very convenient.
 

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Wait, are there used Model S available near Bolt new prices now ($26-30k)? I'd be very tempted by a used S.
I bought my used 2013 Tesla Model S for $35,000 over one year ago with 70,000 miles. Right now it is 95,000 miles and has a KBB value of private party sale at $30,000. Tesla only puts 2014 Models and up on their used website these days. If you look around you should be able to buy a 2013 for $26,000 with high mileage, but will have no autopilot software.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I've been looking for alternatives to the Bolt because after 2-1/2 years I'm running out of patience with the uncomfortable (for me) front seats. I just finished driving the Kona, M3 SR+, 2020 Soul, and Niro. My favs were the M3 and Niro, but each had their problems (for me) that stopped me from making a change. If anyone cares, here are my observations of the competition as a Bolt owner

[...]
Thanks for writing this out, good to have the added perspective. Was there a specific reason you dd not consider the Leaf e+?

Here south of Tucson, AZ, realistically none of those cars is available to buy (without enormous hassle) other than the M3, Bolt and Leaf e+. The Leaf e+ isn't really a consideration for most (due to poor track record of Nissan in this region as to battery degradation, though in the final analysis, who knows, maybe the newer vehicles will do well, I really don't know), so for many it comes down to the M3, Bolt or maybe (in that price range) a used Model S.
 

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i
I agree with you on all your other points, except number 4. I am a Bolt owner and a Model S owner. The Model S is actually a hatchback and is a more capable hatchback than the Bolt. The room in the Models S is amazing, I can fit four golf club sets when I take my friends golfing. The Model S is very convenient.
As I said, your opinions will vary.
Agree, the S is a marvelous car for many uses. Yes, I'd love to have one of each.
Yes, the S has much more interior room than the Bolt; it should have, as it's a much larger car and we decided too much so for our daily use.
Yes, we found the S to be less convenient than the Bolt for frequent ingress/egress and the larger size much less convenient in urban traffic and parking lots. The longer nose of the S is noticeably less easy to maneuver in tight parking garages.

jack vines
 

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Going further OT, the S appeals to me because of the extra space, which would come in handy when we further expand the family. Don't think I'd use DCFC much, but having it free is a nice bonus too. I better test drive one just to better inform my next purchase decision. Thanks Dan.
Don't test drive one, because you will buy one. The Bolt is a great car to drive, but the power of the standard Tesla is a whole different experience.The Tesla Model S feels like a sports car and sits low. Sometimes I forget I am driving a 4800 lb family sedan. I already went through two tires in 25,000 miles. I am still going strong with my original Bolt tires at 60,000 miles.
 

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As always, it's horses for courses. Some features and lack thereof matter more to some than others:
1. If one has to commute twice daily in rush-hour traffic, the Bolt's lack of a follow-cruise would be a deal-breaker.
Set the Bolt on One Pedal driving and it is fine. The reason stop and go traffic is tiring is because you are switching your foot from gas to brake... With L mode, you just vary your foot pressure most of the time.
 

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So much talk about the Model S for a thread that is supposedly about the Model 3, Bolt, and Kona. The Model S is an entirely different beast. The fact that used S's are the price of a Bolt means nothing - even the most expensive cars depreciate in time.

Of these three (3/Bolt/Kona), the Bolt is the oldest design, and it shows. But other than being slightly older, the Bolt still holds its own. It is a respectable option, which some people would reasonably still choose for their situation.

If price were the same and I were buying a car today, I think I would go with the Kona. It's a little wider and lower than the Bolt, which appeals to me. It also has a sunroof option (that opens, unlike the glass roof of the 3). I would choose it over the 3 because of the hatchback and the integrated roof rails (which were deciding factors for me in choosing the Bolt over the 3 two years ago).
 
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