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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.

Ergonomics
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.

Cabin Features
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.

Road Performance
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.

Energy Regen
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.
 

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The comparison is not fair. This is as if a Cadillac owner evaluated the Chevy Spark. They are different vehicles, and have different markets. The Mode S is a luxury sedan versus the compact crossover Bolt EV. Their only similarities is that both use electric power as their only source.

Not even the proposed Model 3 is a fair comparison, either. There is no equal to the Bolt EV and the closest comparison can be with the Nissan Leaf, which is old in model generations.

So, Bolt Ev owners, you have the BEST electric CUV on Earth!
 

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Now only if we can get some i3 owner to do the same thing but my gut is telling me we'll get the same result as we got here ;)
 

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I've long ago stopped caring about these comparisons between the Bolt and the Model 3 that is still not on sale yet. The only point I agree with is the charging infrastructural and the lack of superchargers. Would be nice if the Bolt could charge faster on road trips and it has access to the DC fast-charging network, but that's pretty much it.
 

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Now only if we can get some i3 owner to do the same thing but my gut is telling me we'll get the same result as we got here ;)
I just returned my 3 year old 2014 i3 REX and am waiting for my Bolt to arrive here in the Boston area (supposedly arriving next week) and plan to do a detailed review.

Based on my ~15 min test drive of the Bolt , I loved the acceleration, giant screen, overall spaciousness and lack of the (silly) suicide doors. The seat in the i3 was the worst in any car ever and I complained about it direct to BMW NA on several occasions.

Look forward to receiving the Bolt and putting together my review.
 
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