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We have the Bolt, and an ICE which we use to tow. We're considering going electric on the tow vehicle, so we test drove a model Y LR. ( if the Bolt EUV could charge at 100kw, had 300+ miles range, was a foot wider and could tow 3500 lbs, it would be great ).

A bit about us: we tow a popup camper; we don't drive fast or aggresively. My wife wants the ride smooth enough to knit. We aren't gadget people. We are probably not Tesla's target market.

Some initial thoughts on driving experience, relative to the Bolt:
  • rearview mirror is "minivan-level" useless, and there's no camera mirror (we set the infotainment to show the rear camera the whole time)
  • the steering response felt a bit dead; the salesperson said this was adjustable
  • it seemed to require more steering adjustments to drive in a straight line; probably fixable with toe-in
  • it was nice to be able to see the speedometer, as nobody in our household can see it in the Bolt (!)
  • the ride feel was nicer leaving driveways into the road (independent rear suspension)
  • the ride wasn't overly harsh (I had figured we'd have to go to 18" wheels to get a soft enough ride)
  • We are skeptical about how the frameless windows will deal with sheets of freezing rain.
  • We liked being able to fold the rear seats and pop the rear door from the front (for covid grocery pickup)

Otherwise, maybe the most surprising thing we felt was that it was "just a car." Like if someone had asked us to test-drive an Escape. Nothing jumped-out as bad, and nothing really jumped-out as great. That was actually a surprise; I think we'd expected to either love it or hate it.
This Tesla will be far away from reaching 300 miles between charging and be lucky to see 180 miles in the winter.... And if you considering pulling 3500 lbs behind be ready for disappointment. You will be lucky to manage 1.2 miles per kWh or less.
If Tesla is the choice you consider you should wait for Tesla S long range and fat cells.
I have one in my family and other types of Tesla.
Before you decide to pull the trigger... rent out one for long trip in the winter or less than ideal weather.
Only Tesla S long range would be close to what you want to see. Regarding pulling something behind be ready for charging every 100+ miles even with 100 kWh pack.
Pop-up camper will drop you down to 1.9-2.7 miles
per kWh at level ground and no wind. And depending on length of the trip I would plan charging each 100 miles or more if road and weather is on your side. I would not advise Tesla Y pulling anything on long distance. It will just turn in so much time to get to your destination.
Good luck on hunting down your next EV .
If you need more information on my personal experience using Tesla's I will be more than happy to help.
I don't try to keep Tesla in silver lining over other EV'S.
 

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  • it was nice to be able to see the speedometer, as nobody in our household can see it in the Bolt (!)
Question regarding this - are you saying that you are too tall and the wheel is too low? I'm 6'1" and can see it fine - I haven't heard this being an issue before. I'm guessing you know you can lower the seat and raise the steering wheel - curious if I misunderstood what you were saying.

there are a few other EV's coming soon that may fit the bill too (Mustang Mach-e, VW ID4, etc). Based on what you stated you should consider a pre-owned Model X.

Good luck!
 

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Question regarding this - are you saying that you are too tall and the wheel is too low? I'm 6'1" and can see it fine - I haven't heard this being an issue before. I'm guessing you know you can lower the seat and raise the steering wheel - curious if I misunderstood what you were saying.

there are a few other EV's coming soon that may fit the bill too (Mustang Mach-e, VW ID4, etc). Based on what you stated you should consider a pre-owned Model X.

Good luck!
I'm 6'7 and I fit perfectly fine in Bolt as I fit in any Tesla. Regarding model Y and X is definitely easier to get in and out
 

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But I'm a little scared of what an X costs to maintain out of warranty.
I wouldn't want to own any Tesla out of warranty for long esp an S, X or Y.

Model X is an engineering disaster. It fell into CR's least 10 reliable vehicles 4 years in a row:

Now it's been replaced by the S: 10 Least Reliable Cars.

The Y did horribly at Who Makes the Most Reliable New Cars? but couldn't make it into the least reliable list since at two years of data are needed.

For the X, I believe Acceleration Shudder and The shudder problem: Current status (end of February 2020) is still an ongoing issue as I've still seen recent complaints about it over on TMC. People seem to be getting half shafts replaced under warranty, sometimes multiple times.

Clunking sound is costing me a bundle to fix out of warranty is an example of how much half shafts are on the S.

Another problem w/towing w/Teslas if you want to user their Superchargers is that there's no uniformity as to their setup for towing friendliness.

Take a look at the pics at Range and Charging While Towing a Trailer - 2016 Tesla Model X Long-Term Road Test and 2016 Tesla Model X - Edmunds Road Test, for example. You may have to block multiple spots by parking sideways (may not be possible) or you may need to disconnect the trailer.
 

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Even though the Y has cons, it's probably your best bet if you need a car now. Otherwise I would wait for other, more truck like, EV offerings (Rivian, Hummer(?), Cybertruck, F150, etc)
 

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Otherwise, maybe the most surprising thing we felt was that it was "just a car." Like if someone had asked us to test-drive an Escape. Nothing jumped-out as bad, and nothing really jumped-out as great. That was actually a surprise; I think we'd expected to either love it or hate it.
"just a car?" Could that be that most of the mystique is from being an electric car? And since you've experienced that part from the Bolt, another electric is not that much more impressive?
 

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I'd like a Y or something like it...eventually...maybe after the early quality issues get worked out and a fairly high power ~200 Amp CCS adapter is available.
 

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What do you mean nobody in your household can see the speedometer?
We understand he means when the driver's seat and steering wheel are adjusted for maximum personal comfort, the speedometer is blocked by the upper steering wheel quadrant. I'm 6'2" and have the same problem
 

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Otherwise, maybe the most surprising thing we felt was that it was "just a car."
If you are familiar with an EV and have already gone through the "wow" phase, then yes, it is just a car. I experienced the same when we traded our 2019 Leaf for a 2020 Model 3. I thought the Leaf was amazing when we got it. I loved the EV change so much I bought a Bolt. We then decided to test drive a Model 3. While I thought it was great, and I liked it more than the Leaf, It wasn't earth shattering. My goalposts had been moved by the Leaf and Bolt, and the Model 3 was just a nice car.

This looks like it could be a repeat of the model 3 failure points; the 3 seems to have relatively few motor fails and battery fails (compared to the S).
My 2020 Model 3 that I took delivery of in March of 2020 was almost perfect. The only things I could nitpick is the driver's door was a little "out" and not quite flush with the rear passenger door. I loosened the latch/strike plate/whatever you call it and bumped it in a few millimeters. All good now. And the left rear passenger's door handle is a little recessed compared to the others. Not enough for me to worry about or complain. The paint is great although not as smooth as the Bolt when you look at something reflected in it. No panel gaps or misalignment other than what I mentioned previously. No squeaks, rattles, or noise. After almost a year I've had no issues. I can't say that for my 2019 Bolt, I had the rear axle replaced and now the battery issue. And that's not a dig at the Bolt, it is just a fact.

If you live near a Tesla Service Center, that makes the decision a little easier. Especially if you're in an area where the service centers aren't swamped. If not, think things over a little more vs. something else. I haven't had to use Tesla service, but if I do it is as close as the Chevy dealer.

Another thing to consider is Tesla's warranty is 4 yr/50k mi and the Bolt is 3 yr/36k mi. Battery warranties are both 8 yr but the Tesla drive unit is 120k vs. the Bolt's 100k.

So with Tesla you are taking a bit of a gamble, especially if you buy one during their ramp up of production. Hopefully they have things ironed out for the Y after almost a year. But a gamble is the case with any new car model, new manufacturer, or new technology. Whether you buy a Bolt, Leaf, Tesla, or anything else, we're all early adopters and guinea pigs at this stage. You've just got to be prepared for that. That's why I'm being patient with the battery issues and my Bolt. I knew stuff like this was possible when I made the jump to two EVs. Gonna stick with it and see where things go. I'm not going back to ICE though, that's for sure.

In hindsight if I were to do it all over again, I'd probably end up with a Tesla and Bolt just like now. Depends on what happens with the Bolt's battery. And maybe a Model Y instead of a Model 3. I'd just skip the Leaf. It wasn't a bad car, but just not the right car for me.
 

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So we talking tesla on a bolt forum lol 😂
Yup. If you're riding a donkey in a field full of elephants, it's kinda hard not to mention the elephants once in a while, especially when a lot of the donkey riders also own elephants.
 

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We're buying a Bolt today, an upgrade from our 2013 Leaf. I have two friends with Model X and S Teslas and like somebody here said once you're in and driving its mostly just another car and even apart from price the Bolt meets our needs better than the Model 3. One thought on towing: the plug in Rav 4 hybrid. Electric-only miles pretty low, BUT for short drives to store etc. you don't need any gas...
 

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If you are familiar with an EV and have already gone through the "wow" phase, then yes, it is just a car. I experienced the same when we traded our 2019 Leaf for a 2020 Model 3. I thought the Leaf was amazing when we got it. I loved the EV change so much I bought a Bolt. We then decided to test drive a Model 3. While I thought it was great, and I liked it more than the Leaf, It wasn't earth shattering. My goalposts had been moved by the Leaf and Bolt, and the Model 3 was just a nice car.



My 2020 Model 3 that I took delivery of in March of 2020 was almost perfect. The only things I could nitpick is the driver's door was a little "out" and not quite flush with the rear passenger door. I loosened the latch/strike plate/whatever you call it and bumped it in a few millimeters. All good now. And the left rear passenger's door handle is a little recessed compared to the others. Not enough for me to worry about or complain. The paint is great although not as smooth as the Bolt when you look at something reflected in it. No panel gaps or misalignment other than what I mentioned previously. No squeaks, rattles, or noise. After almost a year I've had no issues. I can't say that for my 2019 Bolt, I had the rear axle replaced and now the battery issue. And that's not a dig at the Bolt, it is just a fact.

If you live near a Tesla Service Center, that makes the decision a little easier. Especially if you're in an area where the service centers aren't swamped. If not, think things over a little more vs. something else. I haven't had to use Tesla service, but if I do it is as close as the Chevy dealer.

Another thing to consider is Tesla's warranty is 4 yr/50k mi and the Bolt is 3 yr/36k mi. Battery warranties are both 8 yr but the Tesla drive unit is 120k vs. the Bolt's 100k.

So with Tesla you are taking a bit of a gamble, especially if you buy one during their ramp up of production. Hopefully they have things ironed out for the Y after almost a year. But a gamble is the case with any new car model, new manufacturer, or new technology. Whether you buy a Bolt, Leaf, Tesla, or anything else, we're all early adopters and guinea pigs at this stage. You've just got to be prepared for that. That's why I'm being patient with the battery issues and my Bolt. I knew stuff like this was possible when I made the jump to two EVs. Gonna stick with it and see where things go. I'm not going back to ICE though, that's for sure.

In hindsight if I were to do it all over again, I'd probably end up with a Tesla and Bolt just like now. Depends on what happens with the Bolt's battery. And maybe a Model Y instead of a Model 3. I'd just skip the Leaf. It wasn't a bad car, but just not the right car for me.
With my experience and owning Tesla and Bolt.
Bolt is a keeper even after warranty expired it is dirty cheap vs Tesla. Tesla is good for as long warranty is there. Parts are much cheaper and easy to get.... GM has more service locations. If you are experienced mechanic you can buy scanner straight from GM for troubleshooting vs Tesla that they think no other shops or mechanics are qualified to work on Tesla. Tesla will become like German made car's once warranty is over. High cost maintenance.
I'm not against Tesla but this is truth that is going to sting hard your wallet once they become owners full responsibility for all repairs.
 
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