Every year that goes by, electric hybrid vehicles get more and more competitive. Today the playing field is even more contested, the Chevrolet Bolt is the oldest vehicle here and it’s only been out since 2017 buy now there in the Nissan Leaf, which one would you choose?
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Late last year Nissan introduced the second-generation Leaf, and Tesla began making deliveries of its Model 3. These three environmentally friendly cars are increasingly interesting, as electric technology moves down the market into the less expensive price ranges.
Let’s begin the comparison with an assessment of value. The Chevy Bolt premiere starts at forty-one thousand seven hundred and eighty dollars.
The Bolt LT is much cheaper if that’s all you look for in a green vehicle, but for the sake of the comparison, I am trying to bring all of the prices within a couple of thousand dollars between each other.
Sirius XM, push-button start, and upgraded 17-inch aluminum wheels come standard on the Bolt premiere. As do roof rails, heated and power outside mirrors, and a leather-wrapped heated steering wheel.
The instrument cluster has an 8-inch screen and a 10.2-inch screen that sits in the middle of the dash and serves as the infotainment system. The screen controls apple car play Android auto and Bluetooth, as well as voice-activated technology.
All seats in the Bolt premiere are heated including the rear. It also has lane change alert, and a blind zone alert system. The Bolt has other nice features like location-based charge control, which tells the Bolt when it is at home and what hours to charge.
A 4G LTE Wi-Fi connection, GM’s OnStar system, a rear camera mirror, rear cross-traffic alert, and rear park assist also comes standard. Creature comforts like remote keyless entry, remote start and surround vision are also standard.
Surround vision is an advanced backup camera that gives the driver a bird’s-eye view of the vehicle to aid maneuvering in tight spaces. The batteries are covered under an 8-year 100,000-mile warranty, but the car has a 3-year 36,000-mile bumper to bumper one.
The Nissan Leaf SL starts at 36,000 200 dollars, but again, the base Model Leaf starts at just under $30,000. The SL comes with LED headlights, fog lights, and heated outside mirrors.
The instrument cluster is 1-inch smaller than the Bolts at 7 inches, and even the SL only has a 7-inch touchscreen in the dash, compared to the Bolts 10.2-inch screen.
However, the Leaf also comes with navigation, apple car play, and android auto and Sirius XM. the Leaf also has Nissan connect EV services, which is powered by Sirius XM.
The Leaf 2 gains the bird’s-eye view camera, the car has intelligent cruise control and a driver alertness system that monitors the drivers steering inputs to determine whether the driver is becoming drowsy.
It has a hybrid heater system, an intelligent key with push-button start, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror with home link, a universal garage door receiver. The driver’s seat is 8-way power-adjustable, all seats are leather, and the steering wheel is heated and leather-wrapped. The front two seats are also heated.
The Nissan has a Bose audio system with seven speakers, one more than the Bolt has, and it’s a better system anyway. The active safety systems on the Leaf include rear cross-traffic alert, automatic emergency braking, and blind-spot warning.
The Tesla Model 3 standard starts at 36,000 dollars. This base Model car was never actually produced in 2018 as Tesla was only taking orders for the long-range, more expensive all-wheel-drive Model 3.
However, the base 3 went on sale in early 2019. Standard exterior features are limited to 18-inch wheels and LED tail lamps and running lights.
The inside is better off with 7 speakers in a massive 15-inch touchscreen display that Tesla cars are known for. Additionally, navigation, an LTE Wi-Fi connection, voice-activated controls, and Bluetooth are included.
The front seats are heated and manually six-way adjustable, but the Model 3 only comes with cloth seats. It does have a dual-zone climate control system and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. The active safety systems in the Tesla include a blind spot sensor, and forward collision and lane departure warning.
Compared to the other two the Model 3 is pretty barren, even for the price point compared to the other vehicles. However, you’re paying for different things in the Tesla, like the power train and supercharger network that the company has set up. However, the power train will be evaluated now, and will not count into the value segment, otherwise, it would be double-counted.
Speaking of which, let’s look at the batteries and motors and kilowatt-hours of each car.
As of 2019, all Bolts come with a 60-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery, that supplies power to the electric drive unit, allowing 200 horsepower and 266 pounds of torque to drive the front wheels. Also, the Bolt comes with a 120-volt portable charge card. This setup is good for a relatively quick 6.3 seconds 0-60 time.
The Nissan Leaf comes with a 40-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery, that is connected to a 147 horsepower, 236 pound-foot motor. This setup is good for a 7.5 seconds 0-60 run.
The Tesla Model 3 splits the difference between the Bolt and Leaf with a 50-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery, that routes 258 horsepower through the rear wheels. The torque ratings are not published for the standard battery, but the long-range battery produces 307 pound-feet of torque, so expect something slightly less than that.
The Model 3 is the only vehicle here that is rear-wheel drive, which probably helps it 0 to 60 time to be the fastest of the group, at 5.6 seconds.
As mentioned each vehicle has a variety of active safety features, like forwarding collision warning, blind-spot detection, etc. Unfortunately, the IIHS has not fully tested any car yet, except for the Chevy Bolt.
It received a Top Safety Pick, with a superior rating and front crash prevention and good ratings in almost all other areas of evaluation, the highest mark possible.
Unfortunately, I will not be considered passive safety ratings at this time, as I cannot fairly evaluate the Model 3 and Nissan Leaf. I believe the Tesla to be a strong contender in this segment.
However, Consumer Reports found that the Model threes braking abilities were atrocious, taking nearly as much time to come to a stop as a semi-truck. Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO, said that the issue can be fixed quickly via the Model threes over-the-air software updates.
The previous-generation Nissan Leaf was a mixed bag in terms of safety, but that does not matter for the new car which has been completely redesigned.
Driving range anxiety has decreased over the years as electric vehicles become more par with the industry. The Bolt has a 238-mile range on a single charge, the little car also gets the gasoline equivalent to 128 miles per gallon in the city and 110 miles per gallon on the highway.
Let’s move on to Nissan. It is a much smaller range of 151 miles, the gasoline fuel economy equivalency is 125 mpg in the city, and 100 mpg on the highway.
The standard Tesla can go 220 miles per charge and has yet to be rated for its gasoline MPG equivalent but expect its numbers to be right in line with the Bolts as the Model 3 long-range version gets 131 mpg in the city, and 120 on the highway.
The standard 120-volt basic charging system for the Bolt only gets you about 4 miles per hour of charging. This is not very good, so Chevy offers two upgraded systems, the fast, and superfast systems.
The fast 220-volt system gives the Bolt 25 miles per hour of charge, and the super-fast allows the Bolt 90 miles of range in 30 minutes.
The Nissan starts at the 220-volt option avoiding the 110 volts completely. In one hour the Nissan can acquire 22 miles at 220 volts, and the same amount as the Chevy and the DC quick charging.
Tesla gets five miles per hour of charging on 110 volts, 22 miles on a 30 amp, 220-volt outlet, or a maximum 125 miles in 16 minutes on the Tesla supercharger network. Although, Model 3 owners will have to pay for the service.
To each his own, but in my eyes, the Model 3 is the best looking vehicle of the group in terms of exterior. The interior is clean and plain, but in pictures, it comes off as odd, it’s much more appealing after you have sat in the vehicle.
The Leaf has gone away with its oddball styling of your, instead of looking much more like verso than anything else, which is strangely complemented in this context.
The Bolt looks modern, but too much like a jelly bean, the Bolts older brother Vault is executed better. In the interior battle, I think the Chevy probably wins, with the dashboard integrating the screen nicely and flowing around the driver.
The cabin is extremely airy and the visibility at the front is great. The Leaf isn’t far behind interior wise, but again, I feel like the center stack could be done better. The Leaf has a good-looking steering wheel, however.
Innovation Of Three Cars
This is the cool factor of each car, and this category is unique to this comparison. Electric vehicles are still a new concept to the public, and it would be unfair to avoid acknowledging this.
The Chevy Volt isn’t necessarily cool, but it does have the biggest battery of the three and GM’s extensive electric vehicle experience in its past. It’s probably the lowest maintenance vehicle of the three.
The Nissan Leaf has gone from decidedly uncool, to at best not ugly. but it too does not guarantee and owner bragging rights. A very middle-of-the-road electric vehicle when it seems like two other competitors can offer more.
Tesla offers the most innovative factor. Wireless updates to the vehicle aren’t old yet, and other little gimmicks like the big screen, seductive styling, and brand name give it big gains in this segment.
However, it still takes two to four months to get a Model 3, and the rear-wheel-drive version we are comparing here only went on sale recently.
Tesla has continued to struggle with meeting demand and making profits, and the company still is not on stable ground. However, there is no denying that Tesla offers more innovation than the other two vehicles for the same price.
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