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Used Model S or New Chevy Bolt

buggaby

Member
Aug 16, 2018
13
3
Fort Worth
Hi everyone,

Read a few posts on here about this question, and learned some stuff, but had a few other questions. I'm looking to enter the EV world. I'm leaning towards the Bolt, but thought I'd see what others here think about it.

Living in Texas, I can get $10k in rebates or tax credits on a new EV. This means I can get a new Bolt for like $32k taxes in (after credits). A used Model S (2013 or 2014, S60) with 2+ years warranty will be in the neighborhood of $40-45k.

We already have an ICE, so long trips could just be done in that, so the supercharging network isn't a huge plus, though not nothing. Test drove a Bolt, and I have to admit, I quite liked it. Surprisingly peppy, stable, and fun to drive. Probably less likely to attract negative attention than the S, too.

But the Tesla has much better tech, nicer interior, more punch, much more storage (hatchback-style back door is sweet), more comfortable sitting, and as far as I can tell, it's much safer. I suppose resale would be better, too, since it's not a new car.

Wondering if there's anything I'm missing here.

Thanks for any advice,
bug
 
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seattlite2004

Active Member
Apr 12, 2016
1,186
1,427
Puget Sound
More money in your pocket is pretty compelling. The Bolt is a decent car to scratch that EV itch. The $35k Model 3 will be the car to get to scratch that Tesla itch.
 

tpham07

Active Member
Mar 21, 2017
1,965
2,395
Rhode Island
Dont get the bolt. the lack of charging infrastructure ensures you wont be able to drive outside DFW. Even with a tesla and their range and the vast supercharging network, getting to west texas can be a challenge sometimes.

you think you'd only travel long distances in your ICE, but trust me once u drive a tesla for an extended period of time you wont want to drive an ICE again
 
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ReddyLeaf

Active Member
Mar 19, 2014
1,835
3,544
WA State
For an in town car with little trunk space, I’m sure the Bolt would work fine. Certainly the smaller EV is better for zipping around town. I use the Leaf exclusively in town and save the huge S for cruising out on the open road. If I was choosing now, I’d go with the smaller model 3 for all my driving.
 

Benjanos

Member
Jul 20, 2018
194
155
Switzerland
If your heart is set on a Model S, then get one. I wanted one for years then compromised myself and bought a second hand i3 as a 'gateway' EV. It was OK for what it was but I should have just got a Model S to begin with. My 2 cents...
 
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azred

Active Member
Apr 12, 2016
1,986
2,951
Chandler, AZ
Hi everyone,

Read a few posts on here about this question, and learned some stuff, but had a few other questions. I'm looking to enter the EV world. I'm leaning towards the Bolt, but thought I'd see what others here think about it.

Living in Texas, I can get $10k in rebates or tax credits on a new EV. This means I can get a new Bolt for like $32k taxes in (after credits). A used Model S (2013 or 2014, S60) with 2+ years warranty will be in the neighborhood of $40-45k.

We already have an ICE, so long trips could just be done in that, so the supercharging network isn't a huge plus, though not nothing. Test drove a Bolt, and I have to admit, I quite liked it. Surprisingly peppy, stable, and fun to drive. Probably less likely to attract negative attention than the S, too.

But the Tesla has much better tech, nicer interior, more punch, much more storage (hatchback-style back door is sweet), more comfortable sitting, and as far as I can tell, it's much safer. I suppose resale would be better, too, since it's not a new car.

Wondering if there's anything I'm missing here.

Thanks for any advice,
bug
Good question. Reminds me of the time I was considering a used Corvette or new Corvair.
 

Patrick W

Active Member
Mar 17, 2015
1,492
918
SLC, UT
And don't forget that if you get a Tesla using a referral code you won't have to pay for "fuel" while on those long trips. Heck, use my code and I'll happily give you the Model S for kids or the charging setup they'll give me. Anything to get someone into a Tesla (BTW, I'm not kidding about the freebees. I've already given away several.) Not allowed to post the code here so just message me if interested.
 

S4WRXTTCS

Well-Known Member
May 3, 2015
5,739
6,897
Snohomish, WA
Personally I think a Model 3 LR is your best bet given the range plus super charging.

I imagine Texas also has lots of long boring drives, and that's when TACC/AP comes in real handy. I'm not sure if the Bolt even has adaptive cruise control (it didn't when it was initially released, but hopefully it does now).

I don't think a used Model S really competes due to all the tax credits you'd be missing out on.

If I was you I'd test drive a Bolt, Model S, and Model 3 in that order. I think you'll find a winner among those.
 

ucmndd

Well-Known Member
Mar 10, 2016
7,039
13,835
California
If your heart is set on a Model S, then get one. I wanted one for years then compromised myself and bought a second hand i3 as a 'gateway' EV. It was OK for what it was but I should have just got a Model S to begin with. My 2 cents...

+1

I took a needless 8 month detour through a Volt that I lost a bunch of money on. Should have gone with what I really wanted from the beginning.
 

THXULTRA

Member
Oct 4, 2017
436
348
Chicago
I found the Bolt to be very cramped and feels like a cheap sub compact. Easy win for a used S or a new model 3. New Model 3 or Bolt yu do get the tax credit so something to be said about that. I just didn't like the bolt when I sat in one. What I like about the Tesla is it is a great car that happens to be a EV. The Bolt felt like a sub compact that Chevy thought they had to make into a EV.
 

buggaby

Member
Aug 16, 2018
13
3
Fort Worth
Thanks for the responses. Indeed, a new Model 3 with the tax incentive is close enough to used Model S prices to be worth the switch. But now it's $12-13k more than a bolt, after the rebates and whatnot (and without EAP).

Neither. Long range RWD Model 3. You could likely have one within a few weeks.

The site says 2-4 months delivery time. That's dangerously close to the end of the year, which means half the tax credit, which then means $15-17k more for the Model 3. That's more than half a Leaf :)

More money in your pocket is pretty compelling. The Bolt is a decent car to scratch that EV itch. The $35k Model 3 will be the car to get to scratch that Tesla itch.

Agreed - no discussion if the $35K Model 3 is available. Would have purchased it a few months ago.
 

JonathanD

Member
Apr 21, 2014
432
540
OC, CA
For an in town car with little trunk space, I’m sure the Bolt would work fine. Certainly the smaller EV is better for zipping around town. I use the Leaf exclusively in town and save the huge S for cruising out on the open road. If I was choosing now, I’d go with the smaller model 3 for all my driving.

Bolt actually has pretty good cargo space. The tall and slightly ungainly profile is the reason why.

Trying to be objective for the OP, here are some pros and cons on the Bolt:

Pros
Cheaper to buy than a used Model S
Cheaper to own than a used Model S
Available now, which means federal tax rebates still available
200+ mile range makes it a realistic EV to live with as long as you don't expect to go more than that in a day

Cons
Aesthetics - admittedly some subjectivity, but the Model S is a pretty elegant car, I'm not sure even Bolt owners would describe their vehicle as such. This may not matter to you, which is totally fine. Personally I find the Bolt pretty rough on the eyes, but that's just me.

Charging network - without a supercharger network, you will need to plan pretty carefully if you are going to far afield from your home charging situation. If this is your only car, this could be a significant drawback.

Missed opportunity on Model 3 - if there is any way you can wait for standard range Model 3, it should be a better overall ownership experience at a comparable price (albeit missing the federal tax incentives).
 

Dukeybootie

Member
Nov 12, 2015
226
141
United States
I own and love both my 85D and my Bolt, and am always amused at the Bolt hate and condescension I see on Tesla forums. The Bolt has no competition in the sub-$40k arena since you can't get a $35k Model 3 before the end of the year. I find the Bolt plenty of fun to drive and actually prefer it for all my around town trips since it is so easy to park, get in and out of, and has excellent visibility/sightlines. It has Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as well as a 360 degree camera. And the A/C could make icicles form in the cabin, with remote preconditioning just like the Tesla. Got $7000 off MSRP on top of the $7500 tax credit since i was turning in a Volt lease. Dump on the Bolt all you want, but I love it. Don't care that the interior is plastic and am perfectly fine with a 6 second run to 60mph. And I don't have to worry about a crappy delivery experience or the bumper falling off in the rain.

That said, I'm still taking the S for my 100 mile daily commute. But just wanted to show the Bolt a little love here. Don't forget both GM and Tesla have hit the 200k mark so you don't want to wait forever if you want that full tax credit.
 

tranzndance

Member
Sep 10, 2017
495
325
Bay Area
I know someone who is very happy with the Bolt. I think if you could consider a Bolt vs Tesla, to choose the less expensive option if you will use the EV as a second car. Personally, I would not go back to driving an ICE after driving a Tesla, but I'm out more money than if I could be happy with a Bolt.
 

buggaby

Member
Aug 16, 2018
13
3
Fort Worth
Don't care that the interior is plastic and am perfectly fine with a 6 second run to 60mph. And I don't have to worry about a crappy delivery experience or the bumper falling off in the rain.

That said, I'm still taking the S for my 100 mile daily commute. But just wanted to show the Bolt a little love here. Don't forget both GM and Tesla have hit the 200k mark so you don't want to wait forever if you want that full tax credit.

Agreed, I test-drove a Bolt and came away quite impressed. My wife actually prefers the way it looks to a Model 3 probably because it looks more "normal". Also, having her learn the 1-screen-only driving might not be awesome. Right now I don't drive much as I work from home, but the tax incentive is nice and Texas just introduced a $2500 rebate (that Tesla's don't count for because of silly dealership laws here). But the long-range Model 3 would be my car for at least the 8 years of the warranty if not more. A Bolt? Depends on future charging infrastructure, which is likely to be much better than now, but it wouldn't be as useful - would probably stick us with a need for a long-distance 2nd car (ICE or long-range EV). Also, I imagine that the long-range battery would last longer as there would be more range you can lose before it needs replacing.
 

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