Would you consider a cheaper (GM employee discounted) Bolt over a base spec Model 3 RWD?

I don’t believe that a 2024 model year was slated to be produced, so it would most likely end up being a 2023. I’m not sure what wait times are looking like now. It took around 5 months for me to get mine if I remember correctly. Part of that wait was actually waiting for the production line to start up though. The Model 3 and the Bolt both have 11 kwh on board chargers so the charging speeds should be the same. Anecdotally, I’m convinced that Tesla plays some kind of trickery with their charging stations though. My job has mostly Tesla branded chargers, both universal and Tesla only. I carry an adapter to use on the “Tesla only” ones when the universals are full. In my experience the “Tesla Only” charger seems to charge my car faster than the universal charger, even though they appear to be the same aside from the connector. It might just all be in my head, but it’s interesting to me.

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I think the EUV is going to have 2024s, while the regular Bolt’s last model year is 2023. One of the dealers today told me the nearby plant is briefly idle right now. Who knows if that is accurate. What I can not do is order a Bolt or Bolt EUV and end up having a June delivery estimate punted until late summer or fall. That is just too long. I’ll make some more calls tomorrow. The details per convos today seemed scant and the pre-sold new Bolts coming in for customers sounded like a trickle per month (and these are some of the biggest Chevy dealers in Michigan). Not a super optimistic feeling!

I have a 2023 Bolt and have previously owned 2 Model 3s (currently have a Model Y). The M3 is better but it’s also significantly more expensive than the Bolt. And I don’t agree with a lot of the naysayers who haven’t driven or owned a Bolt:

  1. Charging - if you’re going to take a lot of long road trips, charging will be a nuisance. If not, charging a Bolt overnight is just as easy as charging a M3. Plug it in at night and it’s charged in the morning. Charging speed is irrelevant for most drivers. Buying a car for long trips that you rarely take is like buying a minivan because your relatives visit every Christmas.

  2. The Bolt resale values were bad pre-Covid but the starting price was also $7000 more. Gas prices didn’t spike until post-Covid and that’s when EVs became more popular and accepted. For multiple reasons, resale isn’t driven by current MSRP less tax credits. I recently got a dealer offer of $28500 for my son’s 2023 Bolt LT and I only paid $29250 new. Also, I believe the used EV tax credit will keep a lot of EVs around 23k-$24k as the 30% tax credit reduces a $25k used EV down to $17,500 for a qualified buyer.

  3. The Bolt is actually fun to drive…seriously. It kind of feels like an electric go-kart. It doesn’t look the greatest but if looks don’t bother you, it is a fun car.

  4. The M3 has a lot of tech but you have to access everything on the screen. You get used to doing it but it’s still a pain. The Bolt’s tech is clean and simple but, most importantly, it works really well. The ID4 touchscreen is truly awful and infuriating, Audi and BMW were a little better but I still had issues with Android Auto. In the Bolt, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto work flawlessly. That was a big surprise to me for a Chevy.

  5. Our Bolt interior (LT2) is way nicer than a M3. Again, this was a surprise. I wanted to buy an LT1 but wasn’t able to find one before the EOY. So I took an LT2. The interior is more upscale than Tesla.

It sounds like you would choose a Bolt EUV over a regular Bolt. The regular Bolt actually has more headroom in the rear seat…just not as much storage as the EUV. I’m guessing your cost on a Bolt 2LT would be $28k before tax credit. A M3 would be $44,400 before tax credit which is 58% more. Assuming you qualify for the tax credit, you’re comparing $20,500 vs $36,900 which is 80% more.

I’m not advocating that you get a Bolt over a M3. But I do think the Bolt deserves a lot more credit than it receives. That’s why it won so many awards:

Elektrek’s vehicle of the year
KBB Best Buy Among Inexpensive EVs
Edmunds Top Rated Electric Car
InsideEVs Best Electric Car Deal

Side note: I can’t believe I just spent this much time writing about a Bolt. :astonished:


Thanks for that breakdown. Issue is new Bolts and Bolt EUVs are apparently impossible to get? A dealership right next to the plant just told me best-case 6 months out. Said the most recent pair he delivered this March 2023 were ordered back in September 2022.

Another metro Detroit salesman’s theory was the Bolt plant’s production is 24/7 but their dealership suspects GM is shipping a large chunk of Bolts out to California. I don’t know what the motive would be for GM to do that? He said they would sell 100 a month if GM gave them 100 a month but as it stands they only get a handful at-best per month.

Check with @chevysalesgirl or @ChevyPhil - it would not surprise me if states with EV rebates, not just CA, are getting priority. the general advice of “expand your search” would apply here.

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There’s a broker on LH (@endeavorauto) that seems to have them available relatively frequently. Idk if the dealer makes less on an employee deal or if GM reimburses the dealer for the discount but Bolts can be found.


Can you speak to difference in interior space? I can’t drive a new Bolt — but I borrowed a colleague’s Model 3. This is a small car! But maybe it just feels small at first due to me daily driving something much bigger right now and it grows on you. A Model Y next to me at a stop light seemed huge in comparison! But I don’t want to spend that much more on a Model Y.

Interior is spacious, especially for the front seats. That interior space comes at a cost…the trunk. Without folding down the rear seats, you can only fit one carry on luggage. My son has a school backpack, a basketball bag, and a small duffle and the trunk is full.

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More specifically, the Bolt space vs your old Model 3.

I don’t remember the M3 well enough to give a true comparison.

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Is there a website to search for employee purchase vehicles? I qualify for the GM Supplier discount and used this site to find a car at a dealer willing to participate: https://www.gmsupplierdiscount.com/

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Comparing the Bolt EUV and the Model 3, they are in two different worlds.

My situation:

  • Anywhere from 20k-30k miles per year, mainly highway miles
  • Live through harsh NJ winters
  • Mainly rely on DCFC

The Bolt is an excellent deal for the price, has lots of great features for the money, a smooth ride, and is small and easy to drive BUT

The DCFC speed is snail slow and would take forever to charge, I probably charging 1% a minute. I mainly drive highways, it was bitter cold, and I was averaging 2.4-2.6 miles per kWh. I was getting anywhere from 160-180 miles on a charge. If you are able to have overnight level 2 charging, it would’ve been fine.

The tech on the Tesla is amazing, from watching Hulu to making funny noises on the exterior speaker, it’s a great UI, and is very responsive. It does have its gripes though, the build quality was not the best, the customer service is HORRIBLE, and the ride is on the stiffer side. What I like about the Model 3 the most is that no matter what SOC the car is at I know that I can get up and go anywhere because of the supercharging network and speed.

I will say the Model 3 definitely has surprisingly more storage and cargo space than the Bolt EUV. As far as resale value, EVs have historically had low residuals considering that EV technology improves and gets cheaper each year, and something like a Bolt is definitely behind on modern EV tech.

Let me know if you have any more specific questions!


Hey, thanks! What is DCFC? And sorry, to be clear, you’re a former Bolt owner who upgraded to a Model 3? Specifically, the RWD base spec? I think the RWD is flirting with competing with the Bolt, but the Sport and Long Range are in higher tier due to much higher cost and their 300+ ranges.

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Yes, the base spec and (DCFC) Direct Current Fast Charging.

Meaning you’re constantly paying for charges? No charging at home ($) or office (for free)? I drive a ton too, so I’m just curious how much monthly you’re spending out of pocket on third-party chargers.

In a separate thread comparing an i4 e35 to a Model Y, I didn’t mention the fart mode. But it is a fun feature to have. :crazy_face:

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$0, taking advantage of free chargers on plugshare :slight_smile:

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How much do you drive daily and where do you drive?

I’m not sure why you used a useless thread tag like USA-nationwide. The practicality of driving an EV heavily depends on geographic-specific stuff like climate, terrain, infrastructure, etc.

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Pothole-filled Michigan. Tags were difficult to use on mobile and it forced me to select one, so I chose nationwide.