(I posted this on oReddit, but am posting it here because I think it is useful for someone deciding whether to buy a 2020 Bolt vs their existing lease)
Yesterday I got a 2020 Oasis Blue Premier to replace my 2017 Cajun Red Premier. (Neighbor: "That car is remarkably blue." I'm not sure she meant it as a compliment, but I like the color.)
The incentives are astonishing. Mine was:
- MSRP $44,245
- Dealer discount: -1,389
- Chevy consumer cash rebate: -8,500
- Chevrolet dealer cash: -2,500
- GM Lease loyalty rebate: -1,500
- (Net before taxes + fees: $30,356)
- Sales tax: 3,972 (tax is charged on 44,245)
- Doc fees: 115
- DMV Registration: 559
- "Out the door": $35,002
This was the advertised price on their website, with no haggling (from Concord Chevrolet in California).
Plus it qualifies for $4,675 in after-purchase credits:
- Federal tax credit: $1,875
- California tax credit: $2,000
- PG&E rebate: $800
So the actual cost to me, including all taxes, fees, and rebates, is $30,327. The residual buyout on my 2017 Bolt was $27,340 including sales tax and fees, so I got a three year newer car for $2,987 more than I would have paid to buy out the lease. If you like your 2017 leased Bolt, you should absolutely consider buying a new one before the incentives expire February 3.
As far as the car, it really is almost unchanged compared to the 2017. The only changes I can find are:
- the extra range (which seems to be real);
- the rearview mirror camera is higher resolution, with noticeably better nighttime usability and options to zoom(!) or set the view higher or lower (as if the back camera were tilting, although I'm sure you're really just choosing to crop the top or bottom in software);
- the center console backup camera is higher resolution, with better visualization lines and a new "curb view" ;
- there's a new top-level menu interface button to immediately view the camera, so it only takes one click instead of 2 (I really wish it was a physical button, though, because it's still two clicks instead of 3 if you're using CarPlay);
- the "Heat/AC" button is split into two buttons so you can control them separately;
- the "hilltop reserve" is replaced with a charge limit setting of 5% increments so you can choose 100%, 95%, 90%, 85%, etc.;
- the white dashboard texture is more complex and "interesting". Same for the exterior front grille;
- the charging port has a little raised bump so you can feel it in the dark;
- the much-loathed "keypass" seems to be completely gone.
Everything else seems identical. I find no change in seat comfort, suspension, ride, etc.
Finally, I considered replacing it with a Tesla Model 3, but preferred the Bolt at this price. In a test drive, the Model 3 was more "luxurious" and had a better ride, which was nice, and the "autopilot" (adaptive cruise control and automatic steering within a lane) was neat. But the list of what it didn't have that I like and use in the Bolt was substantial, too:
- no rear cross-traffic radar when backing up;
- no simulated "overhead view" camera for parking;
- no rearview mirror camera;
- no blindspot alerts in side mirrors (they are in the center display but it's a computer visualization that only shows cars that are pretty close to you -- the Bolt warnings seem to show cars further back);
- no support for Apple CarPlay.
In addition, the Model 3 is 21" longer than the Bolt with no real increase in storage to compensate. I mostly drive the Bolt around Berkeley, where parking and traffic are horrible and you really benefit from a smaller car -- almost 2 feet more length is a big difference. Also, the Tesla just felt "heavier" -- yes, there's more acceleration if you floor it (I did so on the test drive and felt slightly nauseous like I was on a roller coaster), but at slow speeds the Bolt feels smaller, lighter and peppier. When I got back into the Bolt after the test drive it seemed more fun. If I had a commute where I drove 100 miles a day on the freeway, I would probably have chosen the Tesla for the "self-driving" features and luxury, but for a city car, the Bolt felt more practical.
Cajun Red Bolt Premier