Chevrolet Bolt vs. Tesla Model 3

Oct 17, 2016 by Cedric (Driver Weekly)

There are still a very limited number of electric vehicles available on the market, although the options are slowly growing. Two upcoming models that have attracted attention the Chevrolet Bolt and the Tesla Model 3: both will offer the latest electric technology, range, and amenities. The Chevrolet Bolt (sold as the Opel Amera-e in Europe) should debut at the end of this year while the Model 3 is expected at the end of 2017. While critics have compared these prospective models in the past, let’s take a closer look at these two cars and discover how they are similar and how they are very different.

Pricing


Tesla

The first thing most buyers are concerned about with a new vehicle is the price. Tesla is known as a luxury automaker, but the Model 3 is listed at $35,000 while Chevrolet will release their new vehicle for $37,495. Both will be eligible for various government incentives. It’s important to note Tesla has only taken preorders for their latest model while the Bolt will arrive on showroom floors this year. Dealers may offer discounts, so don’t rule out either vehicle. Let’s see if there’s anything that’s worth the price.

Body and Style


Chevrolet

Right from the start, you will need to think about whether you prefer a sedan or hatchback. The Bolt is a five-door hatchback, which means you will get to enjoy an expansive cargo area. You can get up to 56.6 cubic feet, and there is even a compartment in the trunk floor for “hidden” items or extra space. Although the Tesla 3 is a sedan, a body type typically offering limited cargo room, it is the exception to the rule. That is because it has two trunks: one in the front and one in the back. However, the front trunks often have limited utility, and you probably won’t get as much storage space in the Model 3. However, Tesla is known for their sleek style, and their latest model is no exception. We don’t know, however, if the interior will match the style or how they have cut costs to achieve their lower price point. The Bolt, on the other hand, is a more practical design while the Premier trim should satisfy any customer. Whether or not the body and style matter is up to you.

Charging and Range


Tesla

While both vehicles are electric, they do have a slight difference with charging. The Bolt is designed to work with normal chargers with an available 240V system will the Model 3 was created to work with the Supercharger Network. Both offer programs and apps that can optimize your charging. Tesla Superchargers are faster than regular outlets or charging stations and an effective way to get out and across the country on your electric vehicle, which is a significant advantage for electric buyers. However, the Bolt has a longer range at 238 miles per charge while the Model 3 only has a range of 215 miles per charge. In either case, both can take most drivers through their daily commute with ease.

Performance


Chevrolet

Those who are looking for a more exciting drive will find the Tesla Model 3 to have a clear advantage. It should reach 60 mph in less than 6 seconds, and it is designed to have greater acceleration. It is also available with either rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive while the Volt only offers a single drivetrain. Tesla is known for their continual software updates that improve the performance of their sophisticated powertrain so that you can expect a continuous improvement to your driving experience.

Availability


Chevrolet

If you want to buy your vehicle right now, then you will have to go with the Chevrolet Bolt. In just a few months you will be able to walk into a dealership and drive away with an economical electric vehicle. The Tesla Model 3 is being built in limited quantities, and pre-orders are already in the hundreds of thousands. Ultimately, Tesla is also known for their delays, and it’s not sure when drivers will receive their new sedans. Chevrolet has a significant advantage if you’re worried about sales, service, and accessibility. Their large dealership network can assist you anywhere in the country. While the Model 3 is cheaper, for now, it’s not clear if that will remain the case as dealers receive and sell the Bolts. If you are considering waiting a few years on a waiting list to buy your Model 3, you will need to use the above points of comparison to make your decision. In one sense, they are two cars that don’t need a comparison. The Model 3 promises entry luxury while the Bolt offers practical pleasure. While Tesla has a prestige that some drivers might not want to give up, Chevrolet has a car available this year with storage, range, and style. The choice is up to you.

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