Surprised and Impressed
August 26, 2018
In the span of a week, I test-drove a Tesla Model 3, a Chevy Volt and. Chevy Bolt EV. Not surprisingly, the Model 3 blew me away. The Volt was nice but somewhat compromised, and seemed out of its league in this group. The Bolt EV was the big shock ’ I actually preferred it to the Model 3. The Bolt’s airy interior ambience, panoramic driver views and silent-but-powerful operation are impressive. I was ready to be underwhelmed but came away with a very high opinion of the Bolt. With its frumpy styling, the Bolt is hopelessly behind the Model 3 in terms of panache and coolness. And while the 3’s minimalist dashboard is totally Zen, I found the every-control-on-the-central-screen design to be distracting and needlessly complicated. The Bolt’s controls are user-friendly, and the displays are beautifully clear and crisp. The 3 is very quick, but the Bolt seems nearly as fast, and to my ear the Bolt is quieter at speed. It’s extremely quiet. I personally prefer the versatility of a hatchback to a trunk, so chalk up another point for the Bolt. The front seats in the Bolt and rear seats in the 3 have drawn criticism, but I found both to be comfortable (I’m 6’1, 185 lbs.). I wish GM would let the Bolt stylists run free ’ it’s such generic looking little car. Apart from that, it’s a winner.