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Discussion Starter #1
I've been thinking, somewhat seriously, of buying a late-model used BMW i3 REx or Bolt.

Now, I know a number of you think all (recent) BMWs are expensive, crap-tastic money-pits. Heaven only knows what you think of Chevies.

Setting all that emotional stuff aside, people...

I do very little driving, anymore, a few thousand a year. And while my G1 continues on in it's stasis-like perfection, getting in and out of the car is getting difficult, especially for my sweetheart. That means my little car is used even less and I know that's not good for the battery. If I could get something a little more upright, like the i3 or Bolt, it would be used more often.

80% of the drives we take are less than 50 miles. We sometimes go about 120 at a stretch, and an occassional round trip of 250 miles that's exactly half highway, half 55mph. We own a great cruising car for any drive that's longer than that.

I figure my experience driving my Prius C and Insight makes it fairly certain that I'd get better-than-advertised miles out of any EV battery pack.

I've read and watched on-line reviews on the i3 and Bolt until I'm not learning anything new. Were these normal times, I'd have driven a couple of each, but I'm not doing that until This Stupid Virus Thing calms down.

Have any of you driven either of these cars? If so, what did you think?

Even if you haven't, what do you think?
 

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I drove the I3 and was highly impressed. They did everything they could to save weight and I think that that resulted in a somewhat tacky interior, but that may just be my biases. The acceleration, as most electrics, was quite dazzling compared to Insight. Being a BMW, I found the handling excellent. Sat in the back seat and found it a bit tight for at 6'4", but I think it would be comfortable for "normal" folks for occasionally use.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I drove the I3 and was highly impressed. They did everything they could to save weight and I think that that resulted in a somewhat tacky interior...
Thanks for your thoughts!

When I had the Prius C we used the back seat maybe a half-dozen times over a couple of years, so that's not an issue.

The interior of the i3 may be a little quirkier than I like. I'm spoiled with the G1 when it comes to that... everything's exactly where it should be. I think it's nearly perfect in that way.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Tesla not an option? Seems like it would be inline with i3 pricing
Thanks for responding!

An i3 loses about 50% of it's value over 2 years. I don't think even Teslas are that bad. And Teslas aren't appealing to me. They all look sort of like overwrought, grumpy frogs to me. Of course, the i3 is no beauty and the Bolt is just sort of blah. But I find neither objectionable. With the Bolt, I'd just be a guy in another car. That might be a good thing.
 

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I have mixed feelings about the i3... Love the technology, or at least the concept - light weight, battery in floor, carbon fiber, etc. - but I kind of waffle on the appearance. Hated it at first, then it grew on me, and now when I see it I'm again taken aback by some ugliness... In person up close they look really nice, proportional, right size; passing them by on the road, though, there's just some stylistic cues that throw me... Was also always torn between REX vs. non-REX. The idea of having an extra gas engine, I don't know, don't really like it. But I like the extra range. Were I to buy one I think I'd just get the non-REX and live with limited range, maybe hope I could get a bigger battery at some point...

The Bolt? I drove one of those. Those are way uglier than they needed to be. But they're totally functional. Good blend of stuff, like range, size/space, etc. Very quick, very smooth, solid. Considering styling of the i3 vs. the Bolt, I think I'm way more bullish on the i3. The i3 has some 'mustache on the Monalisa' like foibles, whereas the Bolt is just plain ugly... Unless the Bolt had to look the way it does because of underlying engineering/functionality, I have a hard time understanding what the design people were thinking when it comes to its 'styling'... Too tall, too narrow, too long, etc. - the proportions are awkward, and then the 'stylistic cues' on top of those just make things worse... The interior reminds me of one of those 'boom boxes' from a certain era, maybe late 90s/early 2000s? At some point those devices started growing superfluous doo-dads, kind of like the fins on the ~1960 Cadillac. Totally pointless.
 

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I started a Bolt thread a month ago, here were my conclusions:

I'm a G1 Insight owner and am researching for possible future purchase of an EV. The Bolt is quite affordable and seems to be a great car. 2017s can be had for $13k right now which is insane, unbelievable even. From all my study it seems like a cheaper version of a Tesla that does all the same things only at a lesser degree. Seems like a great entry EV.
THEN A FEW DAYS LATER.......

I test drove one early this morning. It had all the good options, 25,000 miles and the price was about $15,000. The car is everything you read about in the reviews. Roomy, quick, lots of tech and lots of options. The low price is insane. As a car enthusiast it did feel a bit like an appliance to me but I think most cars do, and the ones I own and drive tend to be very niche and unique cars so anything is probably going to feel a bit boring.

The car in question has been sitting on the dealership lot for quite a while and I think they would give me a deal on it. However I just cannot get past this recall/fire thing. As I have investigated it it seems to me that the only real fix would be replacing the battery which they are not going to do to 50,000 cars. So, owners are just going to have to live with 90% battery charge maximum. Of course that has an affect on Range which is one of the cars best features. So it’s sort of like that Homerun record but with an asterisk.

As a consumer I don’t know that I would buy a Chevy bolt now unless it was a killer deal and I’m talking like $12,000. Aside from that happening which it will not, this is some thing I’m going to keep my eye on over the next few years and perhaps get one then.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I have mixed feelings about the i3... Love the technology, or at least the concept - light weight, battery in floor, carbon fiber, etc. - but I kind of waffle on the appearance. Hated it at first, then it grew on me, and now when I see it I'm again taken aback by some ugliness... In person up close they look really nice, proportional, right size; passing them by on the road, though, there's just some stylistic cues that throw me... Was also always torn between REX vs. non-REX. The idea of having an extra gas engine, I don't know, don't really like it. But I like the extra range. Were I to buy one I think I'd just get the non-REX and live with limited range, maybe hope I could get a bigger battery at some point...

The Bolt? I drove one of those. Those are way uglier than they needed to be. But they're totally functional. Good blend of stuff, like range, size/space, etc. Very quick, very smooth, solid. Considering styling of the i3 vs. the Bolt, I think I'm way more bullish on the i3. The i3 has some 'mustache on the Monalisa' like foibles, whereas the Bolt is just plain ugly... Unless the Bolt had to look the way it does because of underlying engineering/functionality, I have a hard time understanding what the design people were thinking when it comes to its 'styling'... Too tall, too narrow, too long, etc. - the proportions are awkward, and then the 'stylistic cues' on top of those just make things worse... The interior reminds me of one of those 'boom boxes' from a certain era, maybe late 90s/early 2000s? At some point those devices started growing superfluous doo-dads, kind of like the fins on the ~1960 Cadillac. Totally pointless.
Like you, the i3 is appealing in the technology it uses, especially its construction, but the electric range without the REx simply isn't enough and the idea that a bigger battery will come along at anythink like a reasonable price. Don't know about that. At the same time, one of the draws of an electric car is that there is no engine and none of that "engine stuff" to deal with. If I was happy with lugging around an engine, I'd just by a way cheaper used Volt or Clarity (if I could find one of those) and go in that direction even though the seating isn't as upright and they, especailly the Clarity, are bigger than what I need.
 

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Wow I had no idea the 2017 Bolt was so cheap... I just found a dozen of them for ~$12k on autotrader.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Wow I had no idea the 2017 Bolt was so cheap... I just found a dozen of them for ~$12k on autotrader.
Yep. Very attractive pricing. And I bet you could get an even better deal by mentioning the battery fires. I figure I'd charge it less than 100% unless I was going to use the full range and I'd be good to go.
 

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Discussion Starter #11

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Probably THE car on my short list, if I needed something with back seats, would be the Ioniq / Niro, which share a drivetrain. The Niro has more upright seating and "crossover styling". The Ioniq seats more like a sedan and has more cargo room (crazy useful hatch) and better fuel economy (~60mpg on gasoline).

You can find 2017+ model year plug-in hybrid Ioniqs for under 10 grand, with low miles. They'll do 30 miles (EPA) on battery alone, then ~60mpg on gasoline.

Compared with a G3 Insight, in my mind, the Ioniq/Niro:
1) Have better fuel economy
2) Have PHEV options
3) Are cheaper
4) Have more useful cargo room

They also drive well and are (compared with my G1) superbly smooth and quiet.

EDIT: For original owners, the hybrid battery has a "lifetime" warranty. I'd still buy one used though, as they drop in value so much.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Probably THE car on my short list, if I needed something with back seats, would be the Ioniq / Niro, which share a drivetrain.
I've considered them, but availability 'round these here parts (northern Ohio) seems to be a problem. Where are you looking that you find them?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I don't mind traveling for the right car, but I'm finding plenty of them in the Northeast.
I can find plenty of hybrid versions, but none of them specify they are plug-ins.
 

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There are some techniques which help access the G1. The front vertical part of the door makes a good "assist" handhold, and I have one of those latch loop handles which is wonderful.

At 82 I still just keep "creaking" into my G1. Yeah, gets harder, but still well worth the effort when I get the seat belt snapped.:D
 

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Discussion Starter #18
There are some techniques which help access the G1. The front vertical part of the door makes a good "assist" handhold, and I have one of those latch loop handles which is wonderful.

At 82 I still just keep "creaking" into my G1. Yeah, gets harder, but still well worth the effort when I get the seat belt snapped.:D
Were it just me, Jim, I wouldn't mind so much, but when it's your sweetheart... Well, you know how it is... After putting up with me all these years, I want her life to be as easy as possible.

All the same, we just got back from a 50+ mile meandering drive on secondary highways and backroads, to exercise the battery, and as always I adore my little car as much as when I first drove it. Maybe I'll check into raising the seats a few inches, instead. I bet that'd help. I've read a few of the posts on that. How hard could it be? It certainly would be cheaper!

Latch loop handle: you mean like one of these?
2 - Car Door Automotive Handle Standing Aid Cane & Window Breaker - Walmart.com - Walmart.com
 

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Maybe I'll check into raising the seats a few inches, instead. I bet that'd help. I've read a few of the posts on that. How hard could it be? It certainly would be cheaper!
I put CR-Z seats in mine. They're much easier on my back, and have height adjustment. It's a relatively easy swap.
 

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I've considered them, but availability 'round these here parts (northern Ohio) seems to be a problem. Where are you looking that you find them?
I’m West-Side Cleveland....... I buy cars as commuters....... If I can’t drive it everyday in the winter, I’m ok with that! Would like an AWD Tesla (actually would like a cybertruck but I know most hate them)
 
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