Long term Model S owner and Green Car Reports contributor, David Noland took to the California streets in a Bolt for a test drive. Of course it’s going to fall short of the Model S which costs twice as much, but on its own the Bolt is good enough to compete against the Tesla Model 3 once it goes on sale.
Sliding in and out of the Bolt EV is easier compared to the low sitting Model S, along with a higher ride height and wide door the Bolt is tall passenger friendly. Sure the front seats are not that roomy nor are they the most comfortable as many forum members have pointed out, but the rear seats are spacious in terms of width and head clearance.
The Bolt’s infotainment system has a few more features compared to Tesla, mainly with how much information is on display. An example would be the Bolt’s energy usage that is broken down into different uses on screen; driving, climate control, audio system, and battery conditioning. Then you have tire pressure information at the tip of your fingertips, something Tesla is lagging behind. And of course, the Bolt’s rear view camera that can be switched to a normal mirror when needed.
It’s no ludicrous mode, but the Bolt has an impressive 0-60 acceleration time of 6.5 seconds, putting it ahead of competitors already in the market. Noland has even chirped the tires from takeoff without meaning to, but the lively drive doesn’t translate into a significant amount torque steer. In fact, there’s barely any.
Comparable to the Tesla’s when shifted to L, the Bolt’s regenerative braking will bring the car to a complete stop without the “idle creep” feature experienced in normal regen mode. Even without it, the Bolt is around 20% more efficient than the Model S.
Overall, he thinks the Bolt’s price and range has made other non-Tesla electric vehicles obsolete. As for how the Bolt will fare against the Model 3, we’ll just have to wait until publications can get a hold of both for a test drive.