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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Recently completed 3-year lease on 2015 e-Golf (SEL, base model)
Now Leasing 2018 Bolt EV (LT + comfort & DC-chargeup)

Overall, the e-Golf drove incredibly well. It felt smooth, substantial, and enjoyable to drive up until its last turn into the dealer. The Bolt has some hefty tires to replace, but I'm firmly entrenched in the EV world now. Decision to get a Bolt was pretty simple: at present, nothing compares. We did hesitate and had a gut check on whether GMs lobbying for the CAFE standards roll-back should drive us away. We evidently came to peace with that and have now made the Chevy plunge. Of note, this is literally the first American car for either my wife or me, and neither of us is spring chickens. Congrats to GM for getting this to market, now don't f' it up. ;)

Besides range limit on the e-Golf (we averaged 4.4 mi/kW with max range ~ 105 mi on the 24kWh pack) its primary failing is traction (dangerously loose with any moisture). So far, the Bolt appears better in this regard. We had hoped to hold out for the 2018 e-Golf (European model has 180 mi range), but with a Fall release (if at all), we are now quite happy with the Bolt. The lease deal we found in MD was OK. Of note, we shopped between four local dealers and received wildly varying offers. None were as good as the reported online deals that I've seen of late, but acceptable in the end. One thing that baffled me was that even when I told a dealer what their competitors offered (even showing the essential breakdown) they wouldn't even come within 20%. Crazy to think that they can do business at all in this way in this era.

So far, we are pleasantly surprised with the easy and seemingly reliable charging features on the Bolt. I've seen some forum complaints about the interface/features, but coming from the e-Golf world where you had to log into their glitchy web portal to set timers every darned night, well the Bolt is a dream. It has obvious range and performance advantages over anything currently available, and appears to be in the pole position in the EV world for a good while. Of course, with a lease, I hope to see things evolve for the better. and perhaps one of the new battery techs (silica structured Li, especially) will be viable and available when our Bolt lease expires.

I pleasantly noted before purchase the robust community of enthusiastic Bolt owners. The e-Golf community thinned pretty quickly after the 2016 release and became understandably manic as negative VW news emerged and future EV models became less than promised. Nonetheless, the e-Golf online community was very helpful on a few important issues (timed charging challenges, etc) over the course of that lease. Naturally, I look forward to really digging into the shared knowledge about the Bolt through this forum. I wish the same existed for our Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, which seems to have almost no online community resources at present. I'll give a shout out to the Outlander here, however: a tremendous 4WD plug-in so far in my experience. Since Mini has discontinued their Countryman E PHEV, the Outlander is the only 4WD/AWD PHEV on the market. Note to eco-conscious skiers like us.

Cheers,
Tim
 

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Welcome to the forum, congratulations on your new Bolt, and thanks for the description of your e-Golf experience. It's an EV that I don't get to hear a lot about.

I was pretty excited about VW's BEV van prototype because I currently have a camperized van that's getting pretty long in the tooth (it's 24 years old now). But the years seem to be rolling by with little to show for it in the way of actual product, or even solid announcements. I hope their much-hyped EV strategy starts to bear some fruit soon.
 

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Welcome, great to get a eGolf perspective on the Bolt. I test drove and almost leased an eGolf, it looks great and drove well. Good interior too. I prefer the way the eGolf blends in to the scenery styling wise, but the range and accel kept me from signing. The Bolt's extra 80hp makes squirting into gaps in aggressive LA traffic easy peasy. I'm surprised you did not comment on the difference in power!

Traction was a big concern of mine with the Bolt at first, but now with a few thousand miles on the tires it seems fine. Was not even aware of the existence of the Outlander phev..
 

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I moved from a 2015 SEL eGolf also (in January 2018). Decision was easy. While i did like the interior comfort of the eGolf better, the range of the Bolt eliminated the range anxiety I got every time I got into the VW. Also, the infotainment system in the Bolt is so far superior to that in the VW. By leasing (again) I figure I'll be able to jump to the latest EV technology in 3 years.
 

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Glad you like your Bolt and thanks for the comparison with the e-Golf. I haven't driven one or even read a good road test.

Also, glad you like your Outlander, so help us understand how it works as an EV. It sometimes seems most current PHEVs are just marketing blue sky and BS. A 22-mile best case range is pretty thin claim as an EV. I have several friends with hybrids and they are on ICE most of the time.

FWIW, as a ski vehicle, one would have to be pretty close to the mountain to get there on Outlander EV. I have a friend in SLC who drives a PHEV. We were going up to Park City in zero degree weather. We hadn't hit the SLC limits before the ICE kicked in. In cold weather, he had maybe ten miles of EV.

Your opinions and results may vary, but even so, thanks for sharing your first hand experience.

jack vines
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Glad you like your Bolt and thanks for the comparison with the e-Golf. I haven't driven one or even read a good road test.

Also, glad you like your Outlander, so help us understand how it works as an EV. It sometimes seems most current PHEVs are just marketing blue sky and BS. A 22-mile best case range is pretty thin claim as an EV. I have several friends with hybrids and they are on ICE most of the time.

FWIW, as a ski vehicle, one would have to be pretty close to the mountain to get there on Outlander EV. I have a friend in SLC who drives a PHEV. We were going up to Park City in zero degree weather. We hadn't hit the SLC limits before the ICE kicked in. In cold weather, he had maybe ten miles of EV.

Your opinions and results may vary, but even so, thanks for sharing your first hand experience.

jack vines
One clarification on the Outlander, I should have been more precise in my notes above: it's the only SUV-PHEV w/ AWD/4WD under $55-60K. Available around ~ $36K for base model, it's at least $15K below the offerings from Volvo, etc.

Now, here are my observations: we've had it a month now and we've put about 600 miles on it. Most of the driving has been done by my wife, she's an experienced EV driver, but not a range rover. Most of it has been ~ 25 mi per day commuting. The full EV range (which does not engage the ICE at all) is definitely greater than 25 mi in mild temps (it's been about 50 deg around here most days with just a short warm spell). So, with moderate climate, and typical city commuting (no freeway) w/ lots of lights and hills we've rarely (like 1% of the time) engaged the ICE. There is a dedicated EV mode that you can set (must do it after start each time) and this will essentially run full electric until it can't any longer.

Of the few times we've used the 'hybrid' features (not solely EV), it has mostly run in series hybrid mode, where the electric motor provides all power to the wheels and the ICE recharges the batteries. It can run in parallel mode as well, I've kicked that in once by purposefully cruising on an empty charge. Overall, the ICE is very quiet and I had to turn down the speakers to verify it has engaged.

I should clarify that our goal for skiing on mid-atlantic usage is not to use the EV to do that, as it would be as you describe (spent by the time you get out of the city). We 'practice' ski on local mountains most winter weekends, and even for our local hills about 1 in 4 times you encounter ice/snow/mix. So, our goal was to find this PHEV w/ AWD for dutiful EV short commuting (< 30 mi) and a flexible hybrid for the small mountain driving we do in winter. On the west coast or in the Rockies (where we do our 'real' skiing trips) we are Turo users, so it's mostly Subarus there...

By the way, when we test drove the Mini PHEV (now out of production), I was able to get the salesman to admit that it had an optimistic range as full EV in the 15-20 mile category. This Outlander is better. So, I understand the point you make about extreme range limitation on the EV modes. In no way am I saying this is worth writing home about (a 30 mile range), but for what it is, commuting on full EV in and around the big city feels like sticking it to the man at times...

Cheers,
Tim
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Welcome, great to get a eGolf perspective on the Bolt. I test drove and almost leased an eGolf, it looks great and drove well. Good interior too. I prefer the way the eGolf blends in to the scenery styling wise, but the range and accel kept me from signing. The Bolt's extra 80hp makes squirting into gaps in aggressive LA traffic easy peasy. I'm surprised you did not comment on the difference in power!

Traction was a big concern of mine with the Bolt at first, but now with a few thousand miles on the tires it seems fine. Was not even aware of the existence of the Outlander phev..
Interesting, the e-Golf was impressively peppy. I have pushed the Bolt in our short time with it, and they feel relatively comparable from a stop in that both are limited by excessive tire spin when you gun it. The e-Golf never had any problems overtaking traffic, but the upper end acceleration and top speed at 85 would have been a concern had we done much freeway driving with it. In the mid-Atlantic, the vast majority of our commuting concern is 0-40 in order to slow down at the next three cycle wait at the light.

So far the Bolt is amazing. No question. Much better traction than the e-Golf so far and superior (but not truly significant for my usage) pep. However, even my Tesla owning (3!) neighbor admired the e-Golf as an impressive drive.

Cheers,
Tim
 

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20-40 or 30-50mph sprints are where the bolt shines. No comparison with the vw. That is where I really use the accel for getting in those openings in traffic. Its somewhat like a motorcycle in how I use it. Just a quick dip of the pedal to the floor and you've squirted into the merge, no problems. I find the more hp makes it quicker and safer, at when you have aggressive traffic like I have here.

Below 20 I got a lot of spin on new tires, but its a lot better with 5k of break in.
 

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Below 20 I got a lot of spin on new tires, but its a lot better with 5k of break in.
Very early on I would spin the tires when trying to pull away. I realized that I was trying to apply too much torque too quickly and eased off. With a little practice I'm able to pull away quickly and only very rarely to I spin the tires. When it does happen, it's usually a second after getting underway as I start to ramp up the power. I put those rare occasions down to unexpected road surface issues.
 
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