2023 VW ID.4 Standard or 2023 Chevy Bolt EV for a teenager?

Trying to decide between 2 cars for a teenager. I have a 2023 ID4 Standard on order that should arrive in Dec. I found an incoming 2023 Bolt EV LT1 at a dealer that is willing to honor GM Supplier pricing. I have a binding agreement on the ID4 and will qualify for the tax credit even if it arrives in 2023. I will not otherwise qualify for any tax credit in 2023 due to income limits. The ID4 will cost roughly $4000 more than the Bolt.

ID4: $38790 - $7500 tax credit + $600 higher sales tax vs Bolt = $31890
Bolt: $29200 (includes a dealer required $150 add on) - $1250 GM Supplier = $27950

The ID4 is larger and arguably has a nicer interior. It is the base trim in a line that goes up to $57k MSRP (base trims usually hold their value better as a percentage). And it is a relatively new model.
The Bolt is a little quicker than the ID4 and may be more nimble. It has a lower starting price point that should also help with depreciation. But it’s an older model that will be discontinued in the near future.

I was leaning towards the ID4 from a total expected depreciation point of view. But I’m also starting to convince myself that the Bolt might be better for an inexperienced driver. Thoughts from the peanut gallery?

Bolt will be slightly easier to park and reverse…teen will have a better sense of overall size, etc. on Bolt.


Agreed that Bolt EV is the easier vehicle to drive with its more compact dimensions, better outward visibility, and more linear primary controls.

ID.4 Standard is probably the better “deal” here if it arrives before the year-end or if you truly have a binding agreement – what state are you in? VW has stopped new orders of ID.4 Standard making it a rarity, and the tax credit is icing on the cake.

In terms of crash safety, ID.4 is hard to beat. At 4,500+ lbs, it’s a tank and did better than any vehicle tested so far in the updated IIHS side test. ID.4 also charges much more quickly, which is handy if your teen plans on taking road trips further than 200 miles a day.


Yes, I think the ID4 is the better “deal”. I live in GA and feel pretty confident about the way the dealer handled the “binding agreement” prior to the deadline. They created an actual buyer’s order with the VW reservation number so it’s set up as a signed deal that is just waiting to be delivered. (I actually have 2 ID4 Standards on order)

I had assumed the ID4 was the safer car since it’s 800+ lbs heavier. But I didn’t realize it scored so well in the crash tests. Good to know.

The max charging speed for the ID4 (140 kW) is higher than the max charging speed for the Bolt (55 kW). But I’m not sure how much of a difference that will make IRL. I had a 2021 ID4 Pro S AWD that had a max charging speed of 125 kW but I would rarely get above 55-60kW at Electrify America. It got to the point where I kept detailed logs across 10+ EA charging stations and spent hours with EA trying to troubleshoot. The VW service techs were clueless as the car was relatively new to them. I currently have a BMW i4 that has a max charging speed of 205kW but again, I never get anywhere close to that even when I’m at a 350kW charger. I “sometimes” get up to 110-115kW but usually get around 70-80kW. Hopefully, the improved software in the 2023 improves actual charging speeds.

Thanks for the feedback.

1 Like

The 22/23 Bolt EUV has a nice interior but I haven’t sat in a EV LT1/LT2.

With that said… the 2021 ID.4 Pro RWD I owned with cloth seats (basically like the 2023 version) felt super cheap. The 2022 ID.4 Pro S Gradient AWD that I ordered + test drove + declined delivery was a little nicer with leather/leatherette seats. I would not say ID.4 interiors are nicer… the Bolt EUV is luxury compared to the ID.4

I’d probably say the base audio on the Bolt is better than the ID.4. ID.4 has a terrible audio system and VW cut the premium audio from the upper trims. Basically you are paying for an “base RAV4” (sub $27K MSRP) vs. a slightly more premium but smaller EV.

The ID.4 has an insane turning radius and visibility is good. It’s fine for a new-ish driver but the smaller Bolt LT1 would probably be more confidence inspiring because it is smaller and can fit tighter spaces.

I’ve have both Bolt generations, and the new ones are fantastic. LT with all the options and it was night and day compared to the old Bolts. Especially enjoyed the ventilated seats, which for some reason feels better than my 87k Yukon XL Denali.


Most standards I see are showing q1 2023 delivery including mine. If you think you’ll be getting it in Dec. then you should be one of the first.

-Larger trunk space - not something everyone needs on daily basis but when you do need it Bolt ownership is a struggle.
-Fast charging - ID.4 charges 3x faster
-Free charging with EA for 3 years is a nice bonus.
-Subjective but IMO much nicer design.
-Newer platform, should stay relative for longer therefore better resale. Like you said Bolt is old and we all know GM is killing it soon and switching to Ultium platform cars.

Bolt is a good value car today, but I feel like in 2-3 years itll be a hard flip.


I feel like if you asked your teen they would want the ID4, the bonus dad points are hard to beat.

I like the ID4 over the Bolt but front seat space may favor the Bolt depending if you need more legroom vs width.

Have you considered the Leaf? (I’m a member of the rare LeafLikers club)

If price isn’t that important… the ID4 is the “coolest” car.

I’ve heard the smaller Bolt (not EUV) is more fun to drive. It’s closer to a hothatch.

The ID.4 RWD acceleration is terrible. ICE-like. Something like 0 to 60 in 7.8 seconds. It’s more of a mommy-SUV than zip-around car.


That’s why I’m not asking the teen. :smiley: I should be overflowing with dad points just by getting him a new car.


I currently have a 2015 Leaf. I was going to let him use my almost new 4Runner to practice driving but then I thought a cheaper car would be a lot less stress on him and on me. The Leaf turned out to be a perfect car for that purpose.

I actually like the Leaf but our year/trim doesn’t have a lot of safety features. Mainly want the emergency braking and blind spot monitoring.

Give him the leaf and let him crash it first. Then get the bolt. As you have a ‘binding’ agreement with VW I guess you are getting that no matter what.

I’ve been going through this exercise of the last year or so trying to decide what car to get for our new teen drivers (I know there are memes on LH about this).

What I should have known is that depending on your kid’s usage, you may want to get a car that not only they can drive but you can too. As it turns out, vehicle sharing can be worked out so you don’t necessarily need a car for each driver. One of our vehicles just sits most of the time and now I realize I probably should not have got it and just got a bigger “first” car for our kid. Going EV though was a great decision but if I could rewind… I would have got a bigger EV than the Leaf… like the ID4… or even the Bolt EUV (I sat in one during a recent car show and it’s roomier than the Leaf).

I also have the same concern about safety features and having BSM, lane change warning, and collision warning/braking are peace of mind things for parents… esp because 3 of our kid’s friends have all got in front end collisions already (the friends’ fault in all 3 cases… which the safety features may have helped avoid)… We actually chose the trim on our Leaf because of the 360/surroundview/birdseye camera because our kid learned on my wife’s vehicle which is what they were used to.

I don’t think you can go wrong with either choice… good luck.

1 Like

Because phones should not be allowed in the cabin.

Maybe I’m in the minority but it just teaches the driver to not pay full attention because someone/something else is doing it for you.

Those extra sets of eyes are good for mature drivers whose habits are already fully formed.

A teen with AEB is going to rely on AEB for the rest of their lives and just like any electronic device it will fail at some point. Except the crash won’t be the same as your laptop crashing.


I thought about that when he was using the rear view camera to learn parallel parking. I made him learn without the camera.

But for AEB, my understanding is that it doesn’t avoid an accident…it just limits the impact by applying the brakes. So I don’t think having AEB will impair his ability to learn safe driving.

Valid point to consider though.

Those are valid points but I would like to say these new safety features have taught me to be a better driver as I learned without all this new fangled technology.

I signal more on lane changes and I don’t follow as closely as I used to because the car gets mad at me otherwise.

I still don’t rely on the cameras when backing out but the cross traffic warning is something that even looking at with my own eyes doesn’t catch if they are coming from the other direction and has saved me on possible backup cross collisions more than once.

Tech is no replacement for conscious attentiveness. Sure, the fancy bells and whistles will go off as you collide, because your attention was somewhere else. False sense of security, anything that takes your eyes off the road and other drivers. Nearly all collisions I come up on are clearly lack of attention… whether an object in the roadway, or a side-swipe, but mostly rear-enders.

Hindsight, wow AEB taught me to be a good driver.

Teen Foresight, where we driving too, what’s that beeping?