When I put down a deposit on a Leaf in 2011, I had only driven it, an iMiev, and the Tesla Roadster. The roadster was way outside of my budget, but I sure would have loved one! The iMiev didn't really feel like a "real" car to me. The Leaf was an easy sell.
When it came time to upgrade, I had driven many more EVs. Model S, Focus, Golf are the ones that stood out. Ultimately to upgrade I need more range so that my EV could go from a regional car to an actual road-trip car. With my budget, that left the Leaf, Bolt, and Model 3.
The Model 3 is a great car, but it seems more like a computer than a car. I am one of those who is turned off by the lack of a proper instrument cluster. The single 17" monitor doesn't do it for me.
The 2018 Leaf looks like another great option, but it simply doesn't have enough range. The nearest QC along my typical route is 140 miles east. That means coming home, I'd have to QC to full, and then I'd still be sweating bullets driving 140 miles on the highway, into a typically strong westerly headwind. Basically, I wouldn't be road tripping in the 2018 Leaf until more chargers appeared. Maybe in the next year or two.
The Bolt really checked all the boxes for me. The range was plenty to make the last leg home on my journeys. The QC is slower than I want, but fast enough for my needs. The car drives like it was designed by an auto-cross racer (probably because it was
), which I love. I don't need the extra power, but I sure do enjoy it. Plus it really holds the road better than my old Leaf. The "penalty" for this is a stiffer ride. That's really just physics, though, and is true for any sporty car.
I really do think that all three cars are great options. I'm thrilled to see them all available, and am looking forward to the 2019 e-Plus, not to mention the Hyundai Kona EV.