Rebbi
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Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2022 2:35 pm
Delivery Date: 22 Aug 2022

Bolt versus Leaf: Am I crazy?

OK,
Wanting to cover all my bases, I went to a local Chevy dealer today and drove both a 2023 Bolt EUV and a 2020 Bolt EV. (They weren’t allowing anyone to take the newer model on the nearby highway, but they allowed some highway test driving in the older car, so I did both.)
Much as I came in predisposed to preferring the Chevy over the Nissan, I just couldn’t get there. Although the top-of-the-line Bolt EUV had all kinds of cool technology and leather seats, I think I still preferred the Leaf.
The Leaf drivers seat is more comfortable, the car feels more roomy and airy inside, it has far more cargo space without folding down the seats, and if memory serves, I think the Leaf had a more pleasing ride (for me) and was quieter.
I also think the Leaf is still a better looking car, again, a matter of personal preference.
I am shamelessly looking for your confirmation bias! Seriously, though, in spite of the knowledge that the Leaf is supposed to be discontinued in a few years and that the Chademo charging standard will be hard to come by, I’m still predisposed to going with the Nissan, even though it will probably end up costing me a few thousand more.
Does this make sense to anybody? ;)
Steve
GerryAZ
Gold Member
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Re: Bolt versus Leaf: Am I crazy?

It makes sense to me because I looked at the older Bolts before buying my 2019 SL Plus. They are small. If you anticipate needing to use DCQC frequently, then CHAdeMO might become an issue as time goes on and there is less support for those stations. On the other hand, I have encountered several combination charging stations with broken SAE connectors and never found a physically broken CHAdeMO connector. There are some on this site (Dala is one individual) engineering DIY methods to add an SAE DCQC charging port, but don't expect any commercial conversion/adapter units any time soon. Also, multiple DCQC sessions in a day will heat up the LEAF battery pack and the charge rate will be slower. If you don't anticipate needing frequent fast charging, then I highly recommend the LEAF. I purchased the Plus version because it has enough range so that I rarely need to use DCQC.
Gerry
Silver LEAF 2011 SL rear ended (totaled) by in-attentive driver 1/4/2015 at 50,422 miles
Silver LEAF 2015 SL purchased 2/7/2015; traded 8/10/2019 at 82,436 miles
White LEAF 2019 SL Plus purchased 8/10/2019
SageBrush
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Re: Bolt versus Leaf: Am I crazy?

<<shrug>>
So long as you know the CHAdeMO and lack of active cooling stories, and can stomach Nissan corporate and its dealers, pick the EV you like more.

I sold my 2013 LEAF and bought a Bolt because I dislike owning dying tech, my OCD would not give me rest from the pack temperatures in the summer, and the Bolt form and size work very well for us. I should add that my wife and I grew up on European cars so we prefer small, nimble hatchbacks. I also very much like the large Bolt center screen and integration with Android Auto (or the Apple equivalent.). I always found the LEAF rear storage good volume but not real useful due to the shape of the cargo floor. The Bolt storage areas are outstanding given the car size.

Regarding interior room: Compared to a Tesla Model Y we own the Bolt feels a bit cramped, but if I drive the Bolt for a couple days without driving the 'Y' then the cramped feeling goes away. A long story shortened is that I cross shopped the Bolt and LEAF and chose the Bolt for the above reasons. But now we own a Bolt and a Model Y and since I only want to own one car, I am expecting to sell the Model Y. I like the Model Y very much, but the Bolt serves our use case exceptionally well for a lot lower cost.

Regarding service and customer support, I'd say that GM and Nissan are both corporate dicks and both their dealership networks are more likely to be awful than useful. If you want assurance of competent EV service you buy Tesla. Sometimes a local dealership can be OK so you may want to ask local owners.
Last edited by SageBrush on Tue Sep 13, 2022 6:01 pm, edited 4 times in total.
2013 LEAF 'S' Model bought Jan 2017 from N. Cal @ 90% SOH
SOLD 7/2022 @ 83% SOH
LeftieBiker
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Re: Bolt versus Leaf: Am I crazy?

I also test drove an older Bolt in 2017, and much preferred the Leaf. Maybe when I was younger and was driving a Civic Si I would have liked the Bolt more, but several intervening Camrys and a Volvo 240 - along with my poorly aging body - changed my perspective.
Brilliant Silver 2021 Leaf SV40 W/ Pro Pilot & Protection
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GerryAZ
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Location: Phoenix, AZ

Re: Bolt versus Leaf: Am I crazy?

Like most car companies, Nissan has good, helpful, knowledgeable dealers that provide excellent service and bad dealers that know very little about the LEAF. I happen to live near a dealer who has sold/serviced many LEAFs and provides excellent service. Nissan as a manufacturer and my local dealer have both provided excellent customer service to me. Nissan provided a retroactive battery capacity warranty (in writing) on the 2011 and Nissan LEAF Customer Service initiated replacement of the original battery after the second annual battery test and long before I received any correspondence from the plaintiff attorneys regarding the class action lawsuit. Nissan started the battery replacement process on my 2011, not me.

I have no experience with Tesla except looking at them in two different Tesla showrooms in the Phoenix area and a short ride in a Roadster during an EV car show. The Roadster was impressive, but I was not impressed with the fit/finish of the current models I saw in the showrooms and I will never buy a car that forces me to look at a display in the center of the dash to see how fast I am driving and fumble through menus to control basic features such as wipers and HVAC.
Gerry
Silver LEAF 2011 SL rear ended (totaled) by in-attentive driver 1/4/2015 at 50,422 miles
Silver LEAF 2015 SL purchased 2/7/2015; traded 8/10/2019 at 82,436 miles
White LEAF 2019 SL Plus purchased 8/10/2019
alozzy
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Location: Vancouver, BC
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Re: Bolt versus Leaf: Am I crazy?

Don't buy either right now, wait a few more months as new car inventory levels are starting to increase so prices should come down.
Vancouver, CA owner of a 2013 Ocean Blue SV + QC, purchased 01/2017 in WA
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Loving my first BEV :D
DaveinOlyWA
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Leaf Number: 319862
Location: Olympia, WA
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Re: Bolt versus Leaf: Am I crazy?

I was willing to overlook the many shortcomings of the Bolt for a good price but missed the prime window (Q4 2017) as I was in a lease and despite getting a decent offer to get out of it, passed on the deal.

As luck would have it, that car was killed on the streets of Tacoma WA a few weeks after the incentives expired. By then the deals were gone, price was almost $10,000 more so LEAF it was.

The Bolt had the advantage of range (which they don't any more) but CCS at the time was barely there in the best of circumstances, completely absent in others so yeah; not the right time.

The shorter wheelbase means the car qualified for discounted ferry service but also made the ride choppy. My LEAF rides smooth as butter and I like it.

Fast Forward a bit and now I have a Plus which reduces the "range penalty" to a few dozen miles if that and I have FASTER DC charging.

Knowing everything I know now, I would have still stuck with the LEAF.

FYI; on the Bolt battery issues? I never considered to Bolt to be a risky car to drive. Of course, I feel the same about Tesla's despite their having many more fires.
2011 SL; 44,598 mi, 87% SOH. 2013 S; 44,840 mi, 91% SOH. 2016 S30; 29,413 mi, 99% SOH. 2018 S; 25,185 mi, SOH 92.23%. 2019 S Plus; 46,415 mi, 90.94% SOH
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Toby
Posts: 147
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Leaf Number: 311086
Location: British Columbia

Re: Bolt versus Leaf: Am I crazy?

A car is not like a shoe. It does not mold to your shape over time. Trust your butt in this; if a car doesn't feel right the first time you sit in it don't buy it. This is particularly important for older people and those with ambulatory issues.

Be aware that you can infuriate sales people. Refusing the test drive after finding the car uncomfortable can upset them.
SageBrush
Posts: 7808
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 2:28 am
Delivery Date: 13 Feb 2017
Location: NM

Re: Bolt versus Leaf: Am I crazy?

DaveinOlyWA wrote: Tue Sep 13, 2022 10:07 am ... and I have FASTER DC charging.
You forgot to mention that you live in the cool weather Pacific NW where CHAdeMO is relatively well maintained and present; and you drive slow enough to avoid rapid-gating. :lol:

OP came looking for confirmation, so I hope he is satisfied with spin.

" I feel the same about Tesla's despite their having many more fires."
Ignorant statement. Fires per fleet size are far lower in a Tesla, and that is what matters. Regardless, any Bolt being sold today by a GM dealership is post recall so your fire stink bomb is trash talking.
Last edited by SageBrush on Wed Sep 14, 2022 6:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
2013 LEAF 'S' Model bought Jan 2017 from N. Cal @ 90% SOH
SOLD 7/2022 @ 83% SOH
DougWantsALeaf
Posts: 3704
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Delivery Date: 18 May 2013
Leaf Number: 407811
Location: Chicago North Side

Re: Bolt versus Leaf: Am I crazy?

We also cross shopped the Bolt and Leaf. My wife did test drive a Tesla as well, but it wasn't really in the running as the price difference felt too.. boushie (as my young adult kids would say) for our needs.

The Bolt ride felt rougher than the Leaf..but I would like to try again as I wonder if I would say the same now that I run my tires consistantly st 40-42, which does noticeably stiffen the ride. 99% of the time the range difference between Bolt and Plus wouldn't matter, but might not complain about an extra 20 miles freeway range.

We felt the seats were more comfortable in the Leaf, but supposedly in 21 the Bolt seats got better. Cargo is King and Leaf (with seats up) wins. When we have 4 in the car for our long trips, I don't think we could get all the luggage and spare tire in a Bolt. Leaf cargo has also been masterful for our Costco runs...though those days are fleeting with only 1 child left in the house.

Here in the midwest, Chademo is still well supported. Evgo just replaced all of the local Chademos with new units. Iowa/east Kansas is great now with good redundancy and new locations still coming online. I do worry once the Leaf is no longer actively sold, whether that changes... and with what speed.

If I were to need a car today, I would definitely try an euv. The rear leg room looks pretty good for slender adults.

Good luck with your purchase.
2019 S Plus (92.8% SOH) & 2019 SV Plus (88% SOH) Both Silver
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