Bolt Defectors?

Bolt Defectors?

I put a deposit down on a M3 back on March, 2016. Thinking how I really want a downsized Model S, which I find to be too big of a car for my tastes and most around town driving. The M3 seemed like a better option.

Most people laugh at the iMiev, but it has a really great upright seating position and good visibility (compared to Leaf, for example). I liked that and I'm pretty sure the form of the Model 3 will be at least somewhat of a pain to get into and out of, as well as not comfortable to sit in ...

... relative to the Bolt as well. So I put a deposit down last month (in Maryland) to get the Bolt. I sat in one a couple weeks back, it seems a little less "tall" than an iMiev, but quite upright. It didn't feel quite a roomy as the iMiev (I know, you guys/gals are all going to pan me as an EV exception, but I liked the iMiev, for what it was), but had some features, range, technology, speed, looks, that are much better than any other EV out there right now for the price. And, the small crossover format is appealing in other ways that the M3 will never be.

So, all that to say, I'm considering defecting to get a Bolt. Are others going through this same thought process? Why shouldn't I? I feel Tesla deserves my money for sticking its neck out whereas GM is perhaps more into being a car maker of any type, as long as it's profitable. (Yes, the M3 will have more panache, but I expect it to have a price premium for that too.) I'm finding the wait for the M3 also kind of annoying; I get the impression that Tesla wants to focus on the higher price point models (S/X) over the 3.

Red Sage ca us | February 6, 2017

A show of hands, please? How many of us has not seen the inside of a gymnasium as an active participant since 9th Grade Physical Education class?

DTsea | February 6, 2017

The wait is annoying?

It is still exactly on track as far as anyone knows.

Enjoy your bolt. Free country.

mdd | February 6, 2017

Two words: charging network.

dsvick | February 6, 2017

It all comes down to what is important to you and what you consider good value for what you get. If the Bolt is more suited to you then get the Bolt. If it is just the wait you can't live with then that's your choice as well.

One point though, if you think you're paying a premium for the Model 3, you're also paying one for the Bolt since it costs more than the Model 3.

viper17d | February 6, 2017

It's definitely true that the Bolt will be higher from the ground - it will also likely have more "utility" if you ignore the frunk. You might get it sooner, you might not (depending on when you reserved your Model 3). I'm sure it's also nice to have actually seen the final version.

With all of that being said, Chevy is not an EV car maker. They do not have the service capacity, the nationwide chargers, or the design ability to make the most efficient use of space. Chevy is an ICE car maker that has to make EVs.

If you go to the Bolt, you will be perfectly happy - odds are, though, you will be very jealous 8 months from now.

If you aren't close enough to the front of the line to get your Model 3 in 1H18, I'd understand switching. If there is new news of production delays, I'd understand switching. I, for one, will not be switching. I know I'm somewhere in the first 100,000. I want a car I'm excited for - a car that will likely redefine the EV era.

A Bolt, no matter how tangible, and ultimately utilitarian it is, does not excite me. I'm at the point where if I'm spending money on a brand new car, I want to be excited to get it - not resigned to.

Frank99 | February 6, 2017

Everything I've read says the Bolt is a great car. If it fits your needs (ingress/egress, availability, seating position, etc) better, by all means buy one and don't look back. You have a great opportunity - you could buy a Bolt and keep your reservation, if you decide that the Bolt just isn't your thing, you could sell it and get your Model 3 by the end of the year without losing your spot.

If the Model 3 wasn't on horizon, I'd buy a Bolt over any other EV out there ('cause a Model S is outside my comfort zone in terms of price). But with my Model 3 reservation, I'm not tempted at all by the Bolt - but I am frustrated by the wait, even though I now expect to get my car sooner than I did when I reserved.

dyefrog | February 6, 2017

When I first read about the bolt, I was interested but it was still a ways off so I opted for a used Leaf to get my feet wet. I didn't have any urgency, just sick of the maintenance of my ICE. I rarely drive the ICE now and once the Model 3 arrives will most likely sell it and give the Leaf to one of the kids. To have only one car is important to me and the Tesla is the only car that can do that IMHO. Sure, I'm anxious to get the Model 3 but I see no reason to jump into the bolt for exactly the reason mdd stated. CHARGING NETWORK. Unless you have need for the hatchback utility and don't mind that it looks like all the others but costs twice as much, I would wait if possible. If you just reserved your Model 3 I might advise differently but you could see yours this year so sit tight. There's a ton of other reasons given on previous threads comparing the two but being a part of a historic shift in the industry with what could prove to be the turning point for humanity is enticing. Okay, I may have laid it on a little thick but getting to put a hammer blow in the nail of the coffin of the legacy auto industry is sweet.

JeffreyR | February 6, 2017

@Frank99 advised, "...Keep your reservation, if you decide that the Bolt just isn't your thing, you could sell it and get your Model 3 by the end of the year without losing your spot."

That makes a lot of sense. You drive an EV while you wait for the M3 and keep your options open.

@dyefrong wrote, "To have only one car is important to me and the Tesla is the only car that can do that...." Which backs up @mdd's short but sweet, "charging network."


Finally, @viper17d's warning makes a lot of sense: "With all of that being said, Chevy is not an EV car maker. They do not have the service capacity, the nationwide chargers, or the design ability to make the most efficient use of space. Chevy is an ICE car maker that has to make EVs."


Tesla's stated goals are much more conducive to your driving an EV. GM is being dragged into the project while Tesla is leading it. If you are worried about the wait, then wander over to the other Model's sections and ask them about waits. We have nothing to compare to. Many of them bought their car sight unseen w/o any Supercharger Network to speak of. So we have it easy when it comes to waiting. Tesla claims they are still on track. Even if they miss by six months, that's nothing compared to what others had to contend w/.

If you can make a Model 3 work for you, I think you will enjoy having a car you can Supercharge along any major highway. Your Model 3 will also improve over time. Your Bolt will not.

Finally take a read of my "Tesla Advantage" post for a few more reasons:

swingshiftworker | February 6, 2017

I already "defected but I was never a Tesla "loyalist."

Leased a Bolt LT over the weekend. I wanted an EV that had at least a 200 mile range and Chevy provided one. "A bird int he hand" as they say. I have 2 other cars and a truck. The Bolt is only for drives w/in a 70-80 miles of my house.

Very happy w/it. Handles with it's low center of graviand accelerates well enough for me. The few people who have tried to pass me have been surprised when they couldn't. Max speed is 91 mph. Have been driving it in L - Regen - 1 pedal mode most of the time so far but it also as a "sport" mode, which sucks power but is "fun." However, it'll never be as "fun" as driving my MR2 or 335i. So, I won't be using "sport" mode much.

Software controls and smartphone integration are also good enough for me. Interior looks fine; very roomy. Digital screens are easy to read and access. Exterior kinda grows on you and FWIW you don't look at the exterior while you're driving it. Trunk could be larger but you can drop the seats down for larger loads. It's so "new" that Weathertech doesn't even have mats for it yet.

Recharge time on the 110 cable sucks but since I'm not driving it much, not sure if I really need to get an EVSE yet or not. Will decide after I drive the Bolt for awhile to see how it goes. In the meantime, there is a FREE Chargepoint location w/a lot of chargers very close to my house in case I need a quick charge.

Haven't decided whether to cancel my M3 reservation yet or not. Probably not. Don't need the $1k and want to hold my place in line and decide whether or not to get an M3 when one is actually offered to me which won't be for at least a year (and probably longer).

By that time, I'll probably already have 2 years on the Bolt and, if I like the M3, I can just drive both (or loan the Bolt to my GF) until the Bolt lease expires. We'll see . . .

jordanrichard | February 6, 2017

"Everything I've read says the Bolt is a great car", I am on You Tube quite often and 99.9% of the reviews of the Bolt are from media outfits that talk about the Bolt as if Tesla doesn't exist. Meaning, they talk the car up like it's a revolutionary car and a "game changer". They all regurgitated the same exact info. Is it a coincidence that none of these reviews mention about real world range numbers...............? There is one review out there that actually doesn't whole heartedly praise the car. He also owns a MS and does a comparison between the cars, where comparisons can be made. In other words he doesn't really measure the cargo capacity between the cars. He does mention that the nav system is far from intuitive. If you want to go somewhere new, you first have to call On-Star. Only previously driven routes/destinations are selectable from the nav screen.

SamO | February 6, 2017

I abhor all the "reasonable responses" and "thoughtful answers". How dare the Teslarati only feel lukewarm about the Bolt. The fanbois just can't hide their disdain for the undeniable awesomeness that is the Bolt. The rapacious serenity. The sleek boxiness.


greg | February 6, 2017

At least you have the option.

Round here Tesla is about the only EV only game in town. Couldn't buy/lease/whatever a Bolt if I wanted too.

Keep your M3 reservation in place. Then decide when you get the chance to configure.
You have 6 months? from memory to configure your M3 once invited, so time is on your side even when called.

Enjoy your Bolt and come back often and tell us *your* good and bad experiences with it when you do get it.

Coastal Cruiser. | February 6, 2017

danpatgal said:

"Yes, the M3 will have more panache, but I expect it to have a price premium for that too."

" I'm finding the wait for the M3 also kind of annoying;"

"I get the impression that Tesla wants to focus on the higher price point models (S/X) over the 3."

dan pat gal, Forgive me if I'm mistaken, but your comments lead me to believe you may not have had the time to think the Model 3 through, let alone the Bolt. It's possible you have some misperceptions about the M3.

danpatgal said: "I put a deposit down on a M3 back on March, 2016"

And yet to have made a deposit on a M3 in MARCH, it would have had to be the last day of March. You would have had to have some pretty strong convictions to go and wait in line to lay down you money.

Yet some of your questions border on the naive.

It's possible that Red Sage haS the best answer to your post. I'm not sure, because I don't fully understand it. I think he's smarter than me, and he definitely knows more about cars. But if I am understanding what RS said, then yes, that is my answer too.

If you don't like that answer here is my Plan B answer:


Coastal Cruiser. | February 6, 2017

SSW said: "The few people who have tried to pass me have been surprised when they couldn't."

I LOVE that.

JeffreyR | February 6, 2017

EV = instant torque and quick/responsive driving.


topher | February 6, 2017

"(Yes, the M3 will have more panache, but I expect it to have a price premium for that too.)"

You should look at the MSRP for both cars, you will be surprised.

Thank you kindly.

swingshiftworker | February 6, 2017

Coastal Crusier quoted SSW as saying:

" ' The few people who have tried to pass me have been surprised when they couldn't.' then said:
I LOVE that."

As they say, it's the driver not the car. I use to have the same experience in the 2 Priuses that I previously owned/leased which could each top 100 mph.

The fact that I drive a hybrid or EV doesn't change the fact that I like to accelerate quickly, cruise at 80-85 on the highway and will routinely pass others who don't drive as fast as I want to. Admittedly, not good for fuel or energy conservation.

I just pushed the Bolt up to the top of the speed limiter, which read 91 mph, after I left the dealer to see how fast it could go and there were people who were trying to pass me that couldn't when I increased my speed in the fast lane fro 70-75 to 80-85.

However, since I can't just pull into a gas station to refuel, I already notice that I am not pushing the car as fast as it can go in the interest of conserving as much electricity as practicable w/o making the driving experience entirely boring and tedious to me. [Wink]

Scott22066 | February 6, 2017

One of the main things I like about the M3 is that if appears that it will be a relatively sporty car. It seems more like a BMW 3-series that happens to have electric engines. A Bolt, on the other hand, seems nerdy.

bgbythsea | February 6, 2017

I bought a used i-MiEV in 2012 and drove it for 36,000 mi. I'm 6'3" and managed fine, but would have like a few more inches (in the car that is). I too considered the MS too big for the city. I have a reservation for a M3, but couldn't wait so I caved in and leased a MS in which I'm navigating and parking around the dense city just fine. The bolt is a fine EV and has the CCS DCQC. But, you can get a used i-MiEV really cheap and if you don't need to do super long trips, many i-MiEV's come with Chademo QCDC. My i_MiEV more than paid for itself in gas, TOU electrical savings, and maintenance on my ICE that sits idle 98% of the time. By the way, Tesla gave me a very fair trade-in value for my i-MiEV.

Haggy | February 7, 2017

It has to come down to preference. If you've seen the Bolt, you know what to expect. The Model 3 will be longer and wider, but not as tall. It should have as much headroom as a Model S, but not what you'd get with an SUV. In terms of seat width and legroom, it might end up being the Model 3 that's roomier. I don't know that the Model 3 will be a pain to get in and out of, but if you get the air suspension you can have to be at a better height for getting into and out of. With the current models, Tesla uses geolocation, so if you want it to automatically set the suspension to high when it gets to your driveway, you can do that. If you get a current Model S without air suspension, it has no grab handles and some people do have problems getting in and out. My 80 year old father would never buy one. I have no problems at all.

The Bolt will be roomier in some ways, and if you need to bring home a rocking chair, you'd probably do better getting it home with a Bolt and chances are slim it will fit in the trunk of a Model 3. If you want to take long trips, the Model 3 will make life much easier. If you have multiple cars and/or road trips are rare, that might not be an issue.

This isn't the best place to get objective feedback about the Bolt. The Model 3 isn't out yet. As a Model S owner, there are plenty of things I expect out of a Model 3 that I wouldn't expect out of a Bolt. But my priorities aren't necessarily the same as yours. Ironically since I have a Model S, and it would likely get used for all road trips, I don't need the extra range or fast charging as much as many people will. For others, those two alone would rule out the Bolt.

polaris | February 7, 2017

Sooo ... here's my story. Was jazzed for the M3 and was disappointed at the reveal because it wasn't a hatchback. Just don't understand cars designed for functionality not being a hatchback. I know the MY will be a crossover but that is like 4 years away. So, with the Bolt sort of out now ( estimated delivery 5 months here in Toronto) and great incentives from the province - I thought I would make the leap. All the reviews of the Bolt are pretty good but unfortunately there are none at any dealer here you can see or test drive as any that come have been sold. So, you're kind of hoping one gets delivered and you can be at the dealer before they give it to the owner just to see it. An option, which we still plan to take, is to check out the car at the Auto Show coming up soon (hopefully, test drive is an option).

Simultaneously, I emailed Tesla about the hatchback and basically I got a response saying the M3's design hasn't been finalized and that the trunk will be "hatchback like" similar to the MS. The pictures they sent me definitely makes the trunk look like a hatchback and they claimed it would have the most cargo space compared to cars in its class.

My concern with the Bolt are:
* No OTA updates
* Poor charging network
* Rear seats do not fold flat
* It's a bit small (slightly bigger than a Honda Fit)

So, considering they are guessing if I ordered one now - they weren't sure when I could get it and that they wouldn't commit to a trade in value of my old car, I decided to make a deposit today on the M3 based on the belief it will be a hatchback.

We may still get the Bolt but it looks like the M3 will be the superior car between the two in most areas except for when I might be able to get one. Also, considering that I will have to install a charger at my home - which manufacturer am I most likely to stick with.

Anyways - I was pretty set on the Bolt but I may just wait 14-18 month variance for the M3 because ultimately, it looks like the better car long term.

Frank99 | February 7, 2017

Wow, Polaris, that's some new information. Can you post the relevant parts of the email and the pictures?

KP in NPT | February 7, 2017

Yeah...that sounds almost..unbelievable.

Red Sage ca us | February 7, 2017

polaris: No. The Model ≡ will not be a hatchback in this iteration. It will be a four door sedan with trunk and frunk. The trunk decklid does swing up and over the rear windshield, completely clearing the opening, though.

Also, it could be the BOLT is taller, wider, or longer than the FIT... But both are classified by the EPA with the designation of 'small station wagon'... And the FIT is actually LARGER in total interior passenger/luggage space by 1 cubic foot.

dsvick | February 8, 2017

@Polaris - Yes, please post the email and the pictures!

polaris | February 8, 2017

Response from first email:

Thank you for reaching out to Tesla! At this moment, we have not finalize the style of the Model 3 yet. However, the design of the trunk currently looks to be similar to a hatchback style and it is predicted to have the most storage space of its class. Feel free to check back once the Model 3 nears production later this year!

When I asked for clarification - I got this:

From the pictures of the Model 3, the Model 3 trunk seems very similar to that of the Model S, where the rear lift gate is composed of the entire back section of the car and creates a very large opening to our enormous trunk. The rear seats also fold flat. Please see attached pictures of the Model S.

I'm not sure how to post pictures here - but they are just shots of the Model S not of the Model 3

It's definitely not a conventional hatchback but if it indeed is similar to the Model S and the pictures - it serves the purpose of what we want in a hatchback - essentially how big of an opening exists to load cargo in the back.

KP in NPT | February 8, 2017

Who exactly sent this email to you?

KP in NPT | February 8, 2017

I ask because whoever wrote this has impressions about the model 3 trunk that are contrary to everything written about it, including several articles discussing the design. And contrary to what Elon Musk himself has said. So I question the authority of the person who wrote this.

jordanrichard | February 8, 2017

Here is the problem with what this employee from Tesla emailed you, they are only going off what anyone can see in the pictures and even that they get wrong. In other words, that person is guessing. Because the trunk lid is so high up on the body, it may appear to be like that of the MS. However if you look closely at the pictures, there is no seam in the glass, which would be indicative of a hatchback like the MS.

Just re-read their response. Everything they said is based on pictures, no factual information from the design team.

polaris | February 8, 2017

I emailed the NASales account for Tesla. He responded from Freemont, CA.

Can you clarify how it's contrary? From what I've read - it could be consistent. Someone tweeted Musk about the small trunk and he replied that "it's already taken care of". Not sure what that means.

KP in NPT | February 8, 2017

It is contrary according to EM tweets - saying the only way to get headroom for rear passengers was to move the rear crossbeam, which made a hatch impossible.

That said, the best course is to just wait until the official unveiling. Anything is possible despite EM tweets. But I would weigh them more than speculation from an employee.

What we have learned is Tesla employees are kept in the dark just as much as we are - the design is a very closely held secret so I find it hard to believe a Tesla employee would leak something that has been so controversial. Do you have the name of the person who emailed you?

KP in NPT | February 8, 2017

Also, I find it hard to believe the "Design hasn't been finalize (sic)" since pencils down was in July of last year. When did you get this email?

polaris | February 8, 2017

I'm just relaying what was sent to me. I figure at some point someone is gonna get to configure their car in the next 6 months and we will know for sure.

If someone else wants to email the NASales account and ask - let us know what you find.

Frank99 | February 8, 2017

Polaris -
Don't get the feeling everyone's jumping on you. There's so little new information on the Model 3 that every little crumb is going to get picked over with a fine tooth comb.
That said, I agree with some of the other comments - sounds like a relatively new hire who has the beauty shots of the Model 3 from the reveal available to them, and made some personal conclusions that they shared with you. It's interesting information, and may turn out to actually be true, but I don't personally put much faith in it.

Thanks for reaching out to Tesla, though, and sharing what you learned.


polaris | February 8, 2017


All good here - It's a public forum. Not gonna take anything personally.


I got this email yesterday. I don't want to name the guy personally in case it gets him in trouble.

KP in NPT | February 8, 2017

Yes I'm not trying to jump on you - but understand there has been almost a year of speculation about the model 3 including way too many threads and disputes over what will be the trunk/hatch.

And that an employee would write this is pretty unbelievable.

Rocky_H | February 8, 2017

They should be having a full reveal of the final design within the next couple of months probably, so overall, it just seems so close that it's just not worth trying to draw conclusions from vague stuff at this point.

polaris | February 8, 2017

Ok - so, I emailed the guy back and he called me.

Basically - it is purely based on his speculation and that you guys are right in that the Sales team knows about as much as the general public. So, basically no hatchback and will have to see what this trunk is going to be.

Sorry for the confusion - I didn't realize that the dude was speculating based on old pictures.

dsvick | February 8, 2017

"Sorry for the confusion - I didn't realize that the dude was speculating based on old pictures"

Oh good, now we can go back to our own completely baseless speculation :)

Rocky_H | February 8, 2017

Heh, I guess I understand someone from Tesla wanting to be helpful in giving some kind of answers to a potential customer, rather than just saying, "I don't know.", but his guesses aren't much better than ours.

Frank99 | February 8, 2017

Whew! I was getting taken out of my comfort zone there, thinking there was real information...

dsvick | February 8, 2017

Out of your comfort zone?!

Hell, the "At this moment, we have not finalize the style of the Model 3 yet." part had me so far out of my comfort zone I was going to need a guide dog and a compass to find it again.

KP in NPT | February 8, 2017

Yeah....that was the red flag. This person doesn't know what they're talking about. Not only for that statement, but for extrapolating that the trunk on the prototype looks like the Model S rear hatch, and that they would actually answer the question at all (and include pictures!) other than to say "we won't know until the unveiling."

Haggy | February 8, 2017

The person would have been correct in saying that the public information doesn't represent the finalized design. It's not that the design hasn't been finalized but that none of it has been released.

polaris | February 8, 2017

I'm considering reporting this guy to someone. The more I think about it - the more annoyed I get. If you don't know - you say you don't know. As an employee of Tesla - the assumption is that this person knows what he's talking about. Awful.

Frank99 | February 8, 2017

I'm guessing that the guy has already had a talking to. Tesla doesn't officially participate in this forum - but my understanding is that there are likely people inside Tesla who read it on a regular basis. Your comments have probably been forwarded to everyone who talks to the public, and they've probably all received remedial training. If Tesla was really concerned, they know who you are, and every time that anyone in Tesla has had contact with you, and would have given personal counseling to the employee involved.

I'd let it go.

KP in NPT | February 8, 2017

I wouldn't want the guy to get in trouble - but he definitely should not be sending emails like that to people who are asking questions about the model 3. He knows nothing more than we do.

The initial reveal and now the final unveil have been amazingly well kept secrets. No leaks, no spy photos, no NOTHING. A friend just did the factory tour (after having done it with me back in June) and reported back that the entire area we'd been told would be for the Model 3 line was completely curtained off (and it's huge.)

The trunk, front end, and interior are very much open questions that have been debated to death here over the past year. I haven't seen your username so I'm not sure how long you've been following - but any "real" news about any of those things will be widely reported in the press immediately. Its not going to come from some schmo employee.

We are all waiting with bated breath for any news - but likely we'll get nothing substantive until the unveiling - which should be announced any day now....come ON Tesla.

Frank99 | February 8, 2017

"bated breath" spelled correctly. Such a breath of fresh air...

KP in NPT | February 8, 2017

@Frank LOL!