Chevy Bolt or BMW i3

Hi everyone,

So I need to finalize by tomorrow if I go ahead with a Chevy Bolt or BMW i3.

I currently have a 535i lease ending in two months.
I drive ALOT (GLS550 I got two months ago has 3300 miles on it and Sienna from 2.5 years ago has 62,000 miles on it). And on highways. and my primary motive is an HOV sticker.

I’ve tried both, they are both pretty much the same. Lease I believe will pretty much be the same at 15,000 miles. With the i3 I just give the 535 back. With the Bolt I have to finish it.

I3 has maintenance included and 2 years of free charging although I only see myself charging it at home.

Chevy has 238 range, i3 REX has 180?

I am a little concerned with some comments i’ve read online about the i3 not being as sturdy on highways, and it being lighter than the Bolt.

Any suggestions will be appreciated.


Why don’t you take the i3 on a highway ride to make sure you like it? From what I hear, the Bolt sounds like the better vehicle.

I preferred the much better range of the Bolt. Sounds like you drive a lot.

I am currently faced with a similar decision. I have owned a Volt, and currently have 2017 i3 Rex and Ford Fusion , both with green stickers. I plan to test drive the Bolt today. Parked sidexside the Bolt and i3 look similar.
The i3 leases better than the Bolt from the numbers I have received. If you are located in Socal would refer too @chevysalesgirl (posted price sheet below) & @BMW_Dave .

If you are coming from a BMW 535, and your primary interest is green sticker highway driving I would recommend either waiting 2 months for 2018 i3, or the Ford Fusion. The current 2017 i3, due to narrow tires, does not hold the road like the 535. With the Bolt you have range anxiety, “will I make it to the destination before power runs out”. The 2018 BMW i3 Rex will be slightly larger, with a sport model, which offers greater highway stability.

I find it odd the MSRP of i3’s is generally higher than Bolt’s, but lease rates are lower for i3’s.

2018 BMW i3 update review

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Thanks. I did try both on the highway but on the 210 there was traffic both ways so couldn’t really speed up.

The i3 gets a green sticker. The bolt gets a white. For a moment I even considered the e-tron as that gets a green sticker too and does not drive bad. Pretty sure it can lease just under $500 with zero down, but I haven’t researched it too much. It definitely does have a better grip then bolt or i3. The ford i went to had all EV’s out of order (dead battery).

I did reach our to trish, haven’t received a response yet - probably tied up with year end sales. Dave came in a bit higher than what i’m already receiving at other dealerships but still working with him.

Tesla is amazing but i can’t afford it after the gls :slight_smile:

but the bolt has a longer range than the i3?

Yes, 2017 Bolt has greater electric range than 2017 i3. i3 comes standard with fast charger, Bolt is an upgrade.
In NoCal we can get a full free charge < 2 hours at our local Whole Foods.

Here is a comparison blog i3 vs Bolt review Feb 2017

Just get a Tesla model S/X! A P100D won’t be that much more than your 535i, right? :smile:

I’ve test driven both the Bolt and the i3 Rex, but was so completely underwhelmed by both of them, despite the crazy giveaway deals they have on them. Performance wise, you get the instant torque, which is great, but these cars are marked up by at least 100% of their actual value IMO, simply because of the huge subsidized rebates. Build quality is appalling in the Bolt, and the i3 is not worthy of a BMW badge or price tag.

I was kinda impressed by the infotainment interface in the Bolt, with its huge touch screen and all, but that quickly got washed away after sitting in the Power Wheels sized seats and rubbing skin on the hard as a rock surfaces for 2 minutes. The BMW was more fun to drive, better build quality but it’s just so weird looking and still very cheap feeling on the inside. It is definitely more comfortable than the Bolt, though not by much.

With that said, I wish I could qualify for the $80/mo Bolt just for quick runs to the market and such. For as much as you drive, I couldn’t imagine either of these options being at all comfortable for more than 10 mile zips here and there, especially when coming from a 535/GLS.

If I had to choose between one of the two, I’d choose the Bolt because of the much greater range, a slightly less dorky appearance, and normal 4 door operation. Just make sure to ask the dealer to throw in some ice packs for your bruised knees and elbows.

Just get a $140,000 Tesla
Much better than a $35,000 Bolt

k. thx.

Is your mileage going to be similar to the Sienna? It might make more sense to finance if you’re going to put 24k a year on the odometer.