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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My family and I recently ventured out to Fremont Chevrolet for a test drive of the Bolt EV. It's a fantastic car, and even my mom (who's usually pretty uninterested in cars) called it "really cool." Some thoughts:

- I didn't have any issues with the seats. They felt fine during our short test drive, though they seemed to be on the narrow side. I think someone once called the Bolt EV interior the nicest airline economy cabin you'd ever experience, and I kind of agree. Everything is simply comfy and well done, but not particularly spectacular.

- I didn't try Sport mode, but power delivery from the motor was excellent. Way, way better than the Volt. Stomping on the pedal at 40MPH+ gives you a tremendous surge of power, and the motor whine is more evident than on the Volt. Torque steer was evident, at times. Interestingly, the Bolt feels quite fast above ~30MPH, but feels a little slower than the Volt from 0-30 (I believe test numbers confirm as much) -- GM seemed to tune the initial acceleration down a bit.

- Back seat was comfy, but it's not "super roomy" as some reviewers seem to have suggested. Even with just 2 in the backseat, it felt a lot better than either Gen I or Gen II Volt. Ingress and egress was very easy.

- One pedal driving is awesome. Car comes to a complete stop in L, and there is no creep. Regen below 5MPH is way stronger than what I've experienced in the Volt, even with the paddle. It felt like you got an extra "surge" of regen below 5MPH.

- The salesman was super knowledgeable, which is refreshing for the EV sales world.

We've test driven the Model S w/ AP before, and while the Tesla is an excellent car which we'd love to own, we somehow came away more impressed with the Bolt. Maybe it's the price or the "normal Chevy" vibe the Bolt gives off, but I walked away from the test drive blown away at just how well everything seemed to be put together on the Bolt. It seems practical, it's relatively affordable, and it drives really, really well. The dealer didn't have any lease numbers yet, but I think the Bolt is near the top of the list for our next car.

We didn't have that much time with the car, but if there are any questions, I'll do my best to answer them based on our test drive experience.

edit: typos
 

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The seats seem to be the only real caution. Like buying a new mattress, best to try before buy.
 

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A lot of members (or general public) seem to be obsessed with the luxury factory for the price of the vehicle. In the day and age when a new BASE level Silverado is 38K after Tax/Title etc, I find it humorous. I'm the opposite, how do you rank the utilitarian aspect?

Also, could u list the price they wanted? Just curious. Knowledgeable EV salesmen is pretty cool, but its California right? :D I remember test driving a brand spankin' new Leaf in St. Paul, that had a 4 mile range because no-one bothered to charge it after its once a month test drive! Nissan flagship dealership in the region, too.
 

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How was the ride quality? The wheelbase is almost 4 inches shorter than the Volt (they weight within 20 lbs of each other). The BMW i3, as a comparison, has a choppy ride (although the 2017's with the heavier packs may be somewhat smoother) with an even shorter wheelbase still.

Thanks for the details on the acceleration curve - it definitely has power where it is most needed from your description.
 

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Thanks for the details on the acceleration curve - it definitely has power where it is most needed from your description.
It's very smart of them to gear the Bolt in such a manner to provide >30MPH oomph. EVs have never had an issue blasting away from a stoplight but have always run out of breath at higher speeds. It's nice to see this mitigated here.
 

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The Silverado starts at $28,390 including destination according to http://www.chevrolet.com/2016-silverado-1500-pickup-truck.html and is currently carrying a $2,500 GM rebate. The Bolt starts at $37,495 and carries no rebate.


The base Bolt EV costs 40.8% more than the base Silverado.
Saying that the Silverado comes with a $2500 rebate and not mentioning that the Chevy Volt comes with a $7500 federal tax credit, not to mention tax credits up to $5000 in a state like Colorado, is silly.

The base price of a Chevy Volt in Colorado after tax credits is $25,000. While another states that don't have credits or in which the credit is not as large the price is somewhat higher and cannot find prices of cars must always compare apples to apples.
 

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Saying that the Silverado comes with a $2500 rebate and not mentioning that the Chevy Volt comes with a $7500 federal tax credit, not to mention tax credits up to $5000 in a state like Colorado, is silly.

The base price of a Chevy Volt in Colorado after tax credits is $25,000. While another states that don't have credits or in which the credit is not as large the price is somewhat higher and cannot find prices of cars must always compare apples to apples.

Bolt EV is the car being discussed here, which is $29,995 after the federal tax credit (not a rebate, not available at time of purchase, not everyone qualifies).

Even then, the base Bolt EV is 16% more expensive than a base Silverado. Of course this ignores that Silverados are routinely discounted $5,000 or more by the dealer and Bolts are going for MSRP...
 

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The Silverado starts at $28,390 including destination according to http://www.chevrolet.com/2016-silverado-1500-pickup-truck.html and is currently carrying a $2,500 GM rebate. The Bolt starts at $37,495 and carries no rebate.


The base Bolt EV costs 40.8% more than the base Silverado.
Actually, in Los Angeles, you get $2,500 from the state, $7,500 from the Fed. So $27,495 with destination. This is not available on the Silverado.

The 2017 Regular Cab Silverado Stripper get $500 so $27,239 MSRP all programs on the most stripped 2017 V6 regular work truck.
 

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Even then, the base Bolt EV is 16% more expensive than a base Silverado. Of course this ignores that Silverados are routinely discounted $5,000 or more by the dealer and Bolts are going for MSRP...
Going for MSRP is an improvement over the Volt which went above. In any event, if you look at scheduled maintenance and fuel costs the purchase price isn't that important. Generally people over value the acquisition price and under value the operating costs. Works for most things. Even dogs. When people ask how much we paid for our dog, I always tell them it doesn't mater. It doesn't. The initial cost is something of a rounding error.
 

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It's very smart of them to gear the Bolt in such a manner to provide >30MPH oomph. EVs have never had an issue blasting away from a stoplight but have always run out of breath at higher speeds. It's nice to see this mitigated here.
Agreed that 30-60MPH acceleration is far more useful than 0-30, but as far as running out of the breath, that's really only the Gen2 Volt...Teslas can beat many exotics/supercars up to 100MPH but do trail off; but the Tesla wasn't designed to be a race car, it will eventually overheat/shutdown if you road race it...

Actually, in Los Angeles, you get $2,500 from the state, $7,500 from the Fed. So $27,495 with destination. This is not available on the Silverado.
That's IF you can utilize the full federal amount (odds are you'll need to be able to itemize) and the CA rebate does have income limits...
 

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"Maybe it's the price or the "normal Chevy" vibe the Bolt gives off, ..." funny you say this. I think the bolt looks like a modernized PONTIAC VIBE I use to own which was great car and the Matrix sister car made on the toyota/chevy joint venture line now aka Tesla factory!
 

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Well this has gone totally off the rails and I apologize to the OP just trying to share their experience, but the $2,500 rebate is straight from the Chevy website when configuring a Silverado WT in Southern California and reads:

Vehicle MSRP has been reduced by certain cash allowances and discounts.
Total MSRP
$28,390
Total Cash Allowance
- $2,500
Net Price
$25,890

Price less cash offers. Tax, title, license and dealer fees extra. Take new retail delivery by 01-03-2017. Not available with lease, special finance and some other offers. See participating dealer for details.


But the point of the original reply was that the Bolt was somehow priced on par with a BASE Silverado (all caps) in regards to how much money the customer gives GM in exchange for a vehicle, therefore the consternation over the lack of comfort features in the Bolt is silly because a stripper Silverado requires a similar amount of money from customer to manufacturer to take the thing home and has a similar lack of comfort features.

The Bolt requires nearly 41% more cash than a base Silverado to get it from the dealer's lot to your driveway. If you qualify for the tax credit, that can be lower on the Bolt (reducing it to a 16% premium). If you can write off your Silverado for work duty, it's even cheaper still than the Bolt. There are myriad ways either vehicle's net price can be reduced depending on where you live, what you do for work, and what the vehicle is used for.

As for the amount of money changing hands from customer to dealer, right now, it takes 41% more to take home a Bolt and therefore the argument that lack of Bolt comfort features due to base Silverado price parity is spurious at best. The Bolt is a far more expensive car than a base Silverado, both on the window sticker and in real life transactions.
 

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Agreed that 30-60MPH acceleration is far more useful than 0-30, but as far as running out of the breath, that's really only the Gen2 Volt...Teslas can beat many exotics/supercars up to 100MPH but do trail off; but the Tesla wasn't designed to be a race car, it will eventually overheat/shutdown if you road race it...
I was only referring to EVs that common people can afford. While Tesla is killing it in the premium space that's a market most customers can't play in. As far as the sub-$40k EVs I've driven most run out of breath around 50 MPH. If the Bolt EV can still give you a nice shove in the seat at higher speeds it will be a competitive advantage. I hope other automakers follow suit.
 

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The Bolt EVs 1/4 mile time is very respectable, it keeps the power at higher speeds, and the funny thing is it would be even faster, but is top speed limited for the 1/4 mile :) Really is a good performer, a bit better than the i3 for similar price (how I would equip them). The better range and cleaner looks makes it very tempting.
 

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I was only referring to EVs that common people can afford. While Tesla is killing it in the premium space that's a market most customers can't play in. As far as the sub-$40k EVs I've driven most run out of breath around 50 MPH. If the Bolt EV can still give you a nice shove in the seat at higher speeds it will be a competitive advantage. I hope other automakers follow suit.
Car and Driver data, 50mph and punch it, typical 2 lane passing-

Tesla Model S 60
50-70 mph: 2.9 sec

Bolt
50-70 mph: 3.5 sec

BMW i3
50-70 mph: 4.4 sec

Volt
50-70 mph: 5.1 sec

Porsche 718 Boxster S (350HP performance edition)
50-70 mph: 5.7 sec

Leaf
50-70 mph: 6.9 sec

2017 Prius
50-70 mph: 7.1 sec (Prime will be slower, unknown at this time)
 

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Car and Driver data, 50mph and punch it, typical 2 lane passing-

Tesla Model S 60
50-70 mph: 2.9 sec

Bolt
50-70 mph: 3.5 sec

BMW i3
50-70 mph: 4.4 sec

Volt
50-70 mph: 5.1 sec

Porsche 718 Boxster S (350HP performance edition)
50-70 mph: 5.7 sec

Leaf
50-70 mph: 6.9 sec
The Bolt is in some pretty impressive territory there! Looks like you can give passengers the "EV grin" even when you're already on the highway. Very cool.
 

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Car and Driver data, 50mph and punch it, typical 2 lane passing-

Tesla Model S 60
50-70 mph: 2.9 sec

Bolt
50-70 mph: 3.5 sec

BMW i3
50-70 mph: 4.4 sec

Volt
50-70 mph: 5.1 sec

Porsche 718 Boxster S (350HP performance edition)
50-70 mph: 5.7 sec

Leaf
50-70 mph: 6.9 sec
I imagine the boxter is hurt by gearing (real world would probably be better with a downshift), but this test is a very good measure of passing power. The Volt 1 is acceptable, the Bolt EV is downright fast. The leaf is what I don't like most of the current crop of EVs.
 

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Going for MSRP is an improvement over the Volt which went above. In any event, if you look at scheduled maintenance and fuel costs the purchase price isn't that important. Generally people over value the acquisition price and under value the operating costs. Works for most things. Even dogs. When people ask how much we paid for our dog, I always tell them it doesn't mater. It doesn't. The initial cost is something of a rounding error.

DonC



excellent point !!
 

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