Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register

BMW I3 and Chevy Bolt versus the M3

MXWing

Well-Known Member
Oct 13, 2016
7,318
18,035
USA
I do road trips regularly in my Bolt EV. I recently did a winter 4,500 mile trip from the San Francisco area up to Edmonton, Alberta in northern Canada. I did that trip almost entirely on DC charging and overnight hotel charging at a pace of around 300-400 miles a day.

Your time is either cheap or mismanaged.

There is no reason to have a Bolt unless sitting around and experiencing every Motel 6 has an extraordinary high utility to you. You’d make more money swapping it for the 3SR and supercharging.

I can’t imagine the cost of hotels versus what a 3 payment would be.
 

Jeff N

Active Member
Oct 31, 2011
2,313
3,027
Your time is either cheap or mismanaged.

There is no reason to have a Bolt unless sitting around and experiencing every Motel 6 has an extraordinary high utility to you. You’d make more money swapping it for the 3SR and supercharging.

I can’t imagine the cost of hotels versus what a 3 payment would be.
I doubt I would have done the trip in many fewer days in a Model 3. This was a vacation trip, not a business trip, and I don’t enjoy driving ~800 miles a day in any kind of car. There’s a lot to see and experience in “drive through country”. Some non-Tesla EVs like the Bolt are perfectly capable of such casual easy-going trips. I had a great time.

Would I have enjoyed the trip more in a Model 3. Yep, probably. Would I buy a Bolt today instead of a Model 3? Probably not. I bought my Bolt in January 2017 when I thought it was the best option for me and I didn’t feel like waiting.

The Bolt has some advantages over the Model 3 that I would miss such as full-stop one-pedal driving, shorter length for urban parking, the 360 degree birds-eye view, the camera-based rear view mirror, radar-based rear cross-traffic sensors to name a few. But, the Model 3 has enough advantages that make it the better deal for most people.

I personally plan now to wait for the Model Y as my likely next vehicle while the Bolt will replace my 2004 Prius as my second car. I like a higher seating position and a hatchback for easier storage access.
 

afadeev

Member
Feb 28, 2019
692
624
NYC
2017 and up all electric i3s have around 120 mile range and it had regularly gone above that for city driving. Great little city cars.

2019 and up are 153 miles now.

Frankly, that's more than adequate for my daily needs.
I had the 80 mile range i3 one, and then the 120 mile before, and both had more than adequate range for my daily needs.
I also have an ICE minivan for skiing, beach and HopeDepot trips, and that one is a keeper.

So why did I get the LR TM3P?
So that I can drive it to, and flog it on track, of course!

:D


Dan123 said:
Bolt also has Apple CarPlay, which Tesla lacks.
Tesla also lack herpes. So that makes two selling features for it.

That's just an uninformed and bird-brained comment.

CarPlay/Android Auto is one of the features that I badly miss from my Tesla.
I wish I had Waze rout selection, speed trap notification, and real time congestion re-routing. All features that are missing from Tesla's nav.

a
 

SammichLover

Banned
Dec 8, 2018
2,618
1,542
Yup
I doubt I would have done the trip in many fewer days in a Model 3. This was a vacation trip, not a business trip, and.......There’s a lot to see and experience in “drive through country”. Some non-Tesla EVs like the Bolt are perfectly capable of such casual easy-going trips. I had a great time.
Sitting at a charger is rarely experiencing anything of note. Sitting in Red Deer staring at the wall of a motel, or another nigh indistinguishable indoor pool if you've got the budget, wasn't really on your bucket list, was it?
I don’t enjoy driving ~800 miles a day in any kind of car.
I largely didn't either, I liked getting to places but it was 'work', until the Model 3. It is that transformative, 800 miles as a day trip is "easy going", with some sight seeing and just messing around enjoying the side roads and sights if you really wanted to turn a 2 day trip into 4. Then you'd get a chance to head off to interesting side sites, without struggling just to keep from spiraling it all into a 2-3 week slog.
The Bolt has some advantages over the Model 3 that I would miss such as full-stop one-pedal driving, shorter length for urban parking, the 360 degree birds-eye view, the camera-based rear view mirror, radar-based rear cross-traffic sensors to name a few.
To sum up; The Bolt is the car to park. The Model 3 is the car to drive. <edit> BTW I have come to realize why cross-traffic sensors were a low priority, real Tesla drivers back into all parking. :cool: I'm too paranoid about hanging up my front cowling on something to nose in, plus I get to imagine I'm Batman exiting the Batcave every time I pull away.

The Bolt's L regen actually becomes somewhat annoying once you experience how much smoother the Model 3 does it, with the same overall braking effect. And with the Bolt once I realized it wasn't actually braked at the stop I started holding my foot on the pedal at lights and such anyway, for safety. Contrast to the true Hold the Model 3 has, where I press at the end to come to a stop and then can take my foot off.
 
Last edited:

SammichLover

Banned
Dec 8, 2018
2,618
1,542
Yup
That's just an uninformed and bird-brained comment.
It is a solid comment based on a good chuck of experience, via ownership, of both.

CarPlay is a hack that lets the manufacturer shortcut on the UX, with the trade-off that the infotainment sub-system is fundamentally disjointed from the car's own UX. It is a good deal better than most automobile UX out there, but that's faint praise since most automobile UX is brutally bad.
 

Rottenapplr

Member
Apr 6, 2019
992
478
LOS ANGELES
It is a solid comment based on a good chuck of experience, via ownership, of both.

CarPlay is a hack that lets the manufacturer shortcut on the UX, with the trade-off that the infotainment sub-system is fundamentally disjointed from the car's own UX. It is a good deal better than most automobile UX out there, but that's faint praise since most automobile UX is brutally bad.
I have to disagree. I love car play. It’s a bit simpler because you’re driving. The tesla interface is too complex for a car that’s going 70 miles and you nerve to look, where you are going.
 

SammichLover

Banned
Dec 8, 2018
2,618
1,542
Yup
I have to disagree. I love car play. It’s a bit simpler because you’re driving. The tesla interface is too complex for a car that’s going 70 miles and you nerve to look, where you are going.
"Too complex"? Looks like the world has gotten too complex for Grandpa! Can't have a nav map up, and select a radio station at the same time as noting current vehicle velocity and what temp the HVAC is set to, without having to flip around drilling down layers of menus, that's not like the old days where.....wait, that's exactly like the old days except the "nav map" was a paper folding puzzle laid on the passenger seat (or in front of the steering wheel :eek:).

P.S. Would adding CarPlay onto the Model 3 even be legal? Since it hijacks the UI.
 
Last edited:

ammulder

'98 GS400 -> P3D+
Apr 11, 2019
942
3,041
Philly area
My gripe with CarPlay is that I listen to the radio, which CarPlay is oblivious to. There’s a huge amount of clicking required to get between Google Maps and the radio, it doesn’t have an info overlay for the radio, and reasonably often the mode switching just refuses to work (like, I’m on the radio screen and hitting the button to go back to the CarPlay UI just does nothing until I disconnect and reconnect the phone). Also, the voice command button on the steering wheel invokes the car’s awful handler instead of Siri even when CarPlay is active, so I have to actually click my phone button to be ‘hands-free.’ How dumb is that?

That said, my wife listens to podcasts more and uses Siri less and loves CarPlay.
 

SammichLover

Banned
Dec 8, 2018
2,618
1,542
Yup
My gripe with CarPlay is that I listen to the radio, which CarPlay is oblivious to. There’s a huge amount of clicking required to get between Google Maps and the radio, it doesn’t have an info overlay for the radio, and reasonably often the mode switching just refuses to work (like, I’m on the radio screen and hitting the button to go back to the CarPlay UI just does nothing until I disconnect and reconnect the phone). Also, the voice command button on the steering wheel invokes the car’s awful handler instead of Siri even when CarPlay is active, so I have to actually click my phone button to be ‘hands-free.’ How dumb is that?

That said, my wife listens to podcasts more and uses Siri less and loves CarPlay.
The one thing the Bolt does largely right and Tesla so desperately needs to get worked out is integration into its UX handling hands free SMS messaging. You can do it on your phone in the Tesla, outside of the Tesla system, but that's about as kludgy a "solution" as a lot of the Bolt-CarPlay.
 

cab

Active Member
Sep 5, 2013
1,032
719
Grapevine, TX
I recently had a rental in California (a Kia of some kind) and leveraged Android Auto in it. It was the first navigation experience (with Google maps, good voice recognition, etc.) that rivaled our Model S. However, years ago I bought a Garmin navigation unit and at that time I was looking at their various models and every review basically came back to “screen real estate is the most important feature”. In short, all the bells and whistles were nothing compared to “get the one with the biggest screen”. That “ big screen” in Tesla’s cars just wins out for me over any of the other features when it comes to navigation. Indeed, it is actually one of the elements I prefer in the Model S over the Model 3...the former with its “even bigger” screen and vertical orientation make it even more ideal. The fact that you are starting to see similar size screens appearing in other cars seems to validate this (I.e. Polestar 2, Ram pickups, etc.).
 
  • Informative
Reactions: Leafdriver333

Rottenapplr

Member
Apr 6, 2019
992
478
LOS ANGELES
The one thing the Bolt does largely right and Tesla so desperately needs to get worked out is integration into its UX handling hands free SMS messaging. You can do it on your phone in the Tesla, outside of the Tesla system, but that's about as kludgy a "solution" as a lot of the Bolt-CarPlay.
Agreed. I can’t figure out how to read text on my m3. Is there a way?
 

Leafdriver333

Somewhat Active Member
Mar 21, 2019
1,070
824
usa
Tesla should partition the computer and allow 3rd party developers to use a small section of the UI.
Kind of like Apple allows developers to make apps for iPhones.
I said partition because I am not a programmer but I understand Tesla would not want people hacking into the main system.
 

Jeff N

Active Member
Oct 31, 2011
2,313
3,027
Sitting at a charger is rarely experiencing anything of note. Sitting in Red Deer staring at the wall of a motel, or another nigh indistinguishable indoor pool if you've got the budget, wasn't really on your bucket list, was it?
Why would I do that? Red Deer, Alberta has two CCS charging sites.

The Bolt's L regen actually becomes somewhat annoying once you experience how much smoother the Model 3 does it, with the same overall braking effect.
Not really. The Model 3’s strongest regen setting is weaker than the Bolt’s L regen driving mode and the Bolt has the steering wheel paddle to boost the regen even more if needed temporarily during a quicker stop. The Model 3 regen gives up and begins gliding at around 5-7 mph which means having to use the brake peddle in all sorts of situations where you don’t in the Bolt such as turning at intersections, driving around a parking lot, etc.

And with the Bolt once I realized it wasn't actually braked at the stop I started holding my foot on the pedal at lights and such anyway, for safety.
It’s true that the Bolt isn’t using friction brakes to hold the car at the stop nor does it keep the rear brake lights lit. I think that’s a design error and I hope they fix it in the future. The car isn’t going anywhere because it’s held in place by the motor (even on a modest hill) and if it were hit in a collision the car would immediately apply physical braking. Still, because of the brake lighting issue, I use the brake pedal after coming to a full stop. The Model 3’s brake hold feature is an advantage for it.
 

seattlite2004

Active Member
Apr 12, 2016
1,183
1,334
Puget Sound
Why would I do that? Red Deer, Alberta has two CCS charging sites.


Not really. The Model 3’s strongest regen setting is weaker than the Bolt’s L regen driving mode and the Bolt has the steering wheel paddle to boost the regen even more if needed temporarily during a quicker stop. The Model 3 regen gives up and begins gliding at around 5-7 mph which means having to use the brake peddle in all sorts of situations where you don’t in the Bolt such as turning at intersections, driving around a parking lot, etc.


It’s true that the Bolt isn’t using friction brakes to hold the car at the stop nor does it keep the rear brake lights lit. I think that’s a design error and I hope they fix it in the future. The car isn’t going anywhere because it’s held in place by the motor (even on a modest hill) and if it were hit in a collision the car would immediately apply physical braking. Still, because of the brake lighting issue, I use the brake pedal after coming to a full stop. The Model 3’s brake hold feature is an advantage for it.
IMO, I think the Model 3's (at least the LR) strongest regen is equivalent to the Bolt's L mode regen...except, as you said the Model gives up regen at about 5 mph and one would have to apply the friction brakes to stop.

I have a tendency to not step on the Bolt's brake pedal at a stop light and sometimes if the car starts to roll, I depress the paddle to add a bit more friction and roll stops...but the Bolt's parking brakes automatically apply if it detects a roll.
 

seattlite2004

Active Member
Apr 12, 2016
1,183
1,334
Puget Sound
The problem with the bolt and Nissan Leaf is your paying 3 series money before tax incentives for a car that looks like a Chevy spark or a Nissan Versa.
Not really... One can get a 2019 Bolt Premier for about 10k off MSRP(at least in the Puget Sound area) ... So a few k under SR pricing.... But with a 60kWh battery. The best deals were when one could get the 10k off MSRP and the full $7500 tax credit.
 

Randy Spencer

Active Member
Mar 31, 2016
3,290
3,188
Alameda, CA
I’m surprised there hasn’t been any hacks to the model 3. Like pow people hacking the standard model to get higher trim features.
They did, don't you remember that hackathon just recently where Tesla gave a Model 3 to the winner. The car is unhackable, at least from remote. I look forward to the future where the cars continue to be in our lives, so we continue to try and hack them. People pulling modules apart and finding out how to intercept their signals. Sure would love to get a computer from a car that had Free Supercharging for life and put it in my car, that will be quite a hack.

-Randy
 

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


SUPPORT TMC
Top