siennared wrote:After owning my Sienna Red BMW (E39) 530i for 16 years, it had come time to move to an electric drive-train. Given my driving requirements, I would have liked to get a car that I could drive a radius of 50-60 miles from home and come back, under varying weather conditions, without having to worry about stopping to re-charge in between. For long trips, that happen no more than twice a year, I am happy to rent a car without having to worry about range and incomplete charging network.
I really like the car. I mostly agree with all the design compromises that Chevrolet made to get the car out to meet the price targets. Hopefully there is a feedback loop that will take the experience from driving customers and incorporate it into the next generation and make it even more compelling.
@Michael: Are your category ratings based on a max of 3 or 5 stars? I'm assuming a max of 3. Wouldn't make sense otherwise.
I've driven my Bolt 808 miles so far in 1 month.
Here are my ratings in comparison with yours:
External Design: ★★
I'm not in love w/it but it doesn't bother me. Wouldn't have leased it otherwise. Like they say, you aren't looking AT the car when you're driving it.
Internal Design: ★★★
I like the interior design. It does not look cheap or plastic-like to me. Looks just fine. Much better than the new Prius which does look cheap and plastic-like and was one reason I decided not to buy/lease it.
After you learn where everything is and how to navigate the screen controls, it's fine but organization could be better. Could be more intuitive than it is and am still learning how to "properly" execute some commands.
Love the way the car drives/handles, as long as you don't push it too hard. When you do that, the tires squeal and the car dramatically understeers. Could also use a bit more top speed (I'd prefer 102 or so like the Prius) but 93 is usually enough.
But, if you drive it "nicely," it works just fine.
Battery Charging: ★
The battery management system is fine but my rating is not based just on that.
I've only been using the L1 110V cord that same w/the car so far and it's agonizingly slow. This will improve when the L2 charger that I bought and installed in my house is hooked up after my electrician recovers from his recent injury BUT I think that faster charge times should be available.
My experience at public free and pay L2 and DCFC charge sites have been less than satisfactory which is what mainly accounts for my rating in this category. It's more a function of the "system" and current state of the technology, than the car itself.
Service: No Rating
There was an annoying rattle coming from the passenger seat assembly when there is no one sitting it that seat. Just discovered this was because there was a bolt missing in the rear outside passenger seat track; ie., the seat wasn't bolted down properly. This is more a "quality control" than service issue. Ordered the bolt for $3.70 rather than taking the car into service to get one for free thru the service advisor. Didn't cost much and easier for me to just install the bolt myself.
I agree that the traditional sales model for automobiles sucks but my experience at Capital Chevrolet in San Jose was one of the best I ever had. Placed a $500 deposit for the Bolt in Dec by phone. Got a call that the car I wanted was available in Feb. Went there, test drove the car and leased it w/only a little haggling about my trade-in.
Sales rep was not pushy, went to a special Chevy training program on the sale/operation of the Bolt and the lease/finance terms were exactly what I wanted. No problems what so ever. Should also note that sales reps at this dealership are NOT paid by commission -- they are salaried -- which also makes a difference.
The Bolt replaced a gas guzzling FJ Cruiser as my daily driver. The objective was to use it for local driving in town, for 60-80 mile trips on the freeway and occasional trips into the City (160-180 miles) as I use to do in the FJ without the need to ever go to the gas station again and without the need to recharge until I get back home.
This has largely been achieved. I can drive it locally in town and on 60-80 mile trips on the freeway w/o concern but I have since determined that I cannot drive it into the City on those 160-180 RTs w/o the need to recharge in town before returning home. So, I'll never use it for that.
The latter is a bit disappointing but I will not downgrade my rating of the Bolt because of it. The Bolt does about 95% of what I need it to do really well and for the remaining 5% (for those drives into the City) I can just drive one of my other cars instead. No problem.