Tesla Model 3 vs Chevrolet Bolt vs Nissan Leaf: Which EV Is The Best Package?

We have arrived at that point where the market offers enough mainstream electric vehicles in order to get those classic comparison tests going. So here it is: the Tesla Model 3 against the Chevrolet Bolt and the Nissan Leaf.

The whole comparison seems a little bit unfair, especially since Tesla hasn’t launched the base version of the Model 3 yet, but it’s still interesting to see how the different choices each maker has made compare to each other.

Out of the three, the Model 3 is easily the fastest and the one that handles the best. It’s also the one with the longest official range, offering 310 miles on a full charge. The setback is of course the price, as the Model 3 with the Long Range battery option is easily the more expensive out of the three.

And while the Tesla offers the quickest acceleration, it’s not that the other two can be deemed as slow; the Chevy Bolt, for example, offers a 0-60mph in 6.8 seconds, while the Nissan Leaf can hit the 60mph mark in 7.8 seconds.

Then there’s the range. At 310 miles, the Model 3 offers the longest of the bunch, at least officially, with the Bolt getting a 238-mile rating and the Leaf 150 miles on a full charge.

However, Edmunds’ comparison found that the Bolt can easily travel for more miles than its official range suggests, with their best result to be a very impressive 334 miles. Similarly, the Nissan Leaf can go past its 150-mile rating when you enable its Eco mode and E-Pedal – plus there’s a new version with a range of more than 200 miles coming for the 2019MY.

Each one has its strong and weak points, but which of the current crop of electric vehicles is the smartest choice?

 

  • Mr. EP9

    If I had to choose between the three, I’d probably take the Bolt for what it offers at its price. Now, sure, the Leaf is cheaper and I’d argue it has a better looking interior compared to the Bolt. But it has less range than the Bolt and is slower. Now of course, I don’t really care how fast these cars hit 60mph but some decent overtaking speed would be nice and the Bolt is the next best compared to Tesla. And although the Tesla is faster, has a longer range and that supercharger network going for them, it also has the highest price, any repair costs for any accidents you get into will be far higher than the Leaf or the Bolt such as labor for example and the interior is far worse. And let’s not forget the issues with Tesla and quality control. That and I may end up having to wait a few months to get my hands on a Model 3 when you take into account Tesla having a 420k backlog of people who have reservations for the car last I checked.

    • fabri99

      I agree, but I’d go with the Leaf. Ultimately, I’d feel stupid buying a supermini when I could have C-segment hatch/sedan which is just as good for a lower price (even if I don’t need a big, spacious car). I’d be getting more car, which is just as good (if not better, considering the experience Nissan has in the field), for less money. The range might be a concern, but I wouldn’t worry about overtaking capabilities in an electric vehicle.

      • Chris Krajnik

        The Bolt is 10″ shorter overall, but only 4″ in wheel base. It has 0.5″ shorter front legroom, but 3″ more rear. Really it is the cargo volume of 7 cu ft less. Chevrolet has just as much experience as Nissan in the field.

  • Brent Morrison

    I don’t know if the Reality Distortion Field is weak enough to go through the minds of Elon sheeps.

    • EXCEPT IF IT WEREN’T FOR TESLA THE OTHER TWO WOULDN’T EXIST.

      • fabri99

        What do you mean by that?

        • REALLY?

          • fabri99

            Mmh… yeah. It’s not like Tesla invented electric cars. The Leaf has been around since 2010, Renault was making the Fluence, the electric Kangoo and the Zoe since 2009 and so was the Mitsubishi/PSA electric citycar trio. The Model S came later and you honestly cannot say that the Roadster, a Lotus-based niche sportscar is the reason why electric cars exist (and are successful) today.

      • Mr. EP9

        That’s an absolute lie. The original Nissan Leaf came out in 2010. The only car Tesla had at the time was the Roadster and the Model S didn’t go into production until 2012. So, no, Tesla isn’t the reason the Leaf exists.

        • Dude

          You are correct

      • GT

        Tesla made electric premium and cool, nether the Bolt or Leaf are those things. Therefore I disagree. Perhaps you could say that about Jaguar I-Pace, but this was always the direction the market was going to take, Tesla just got out there with something unique early, and good on them. But now that cars like the I-Pace and E-Tron are coming, I hope their quality is up to scratch.

        • I WAS SPEAKING IN GENERALITIES. I’D IMAGINE MANY WOULD THINK THE LEAF AND BOLT ARE COOL. THE I-PACE IS DEFINITELY ONE OF THE MORE ATTRACTIVE ELECTRICS ON THE ROAD. BUT ID TESLA HADN’T COME UP WITH A COOL AWARD WINNING ELECTRIC I DOUBT THERE WOULD BE SUCH A RUSH TO CATCH UP.

          • emjayay

            CAPS AGAIN. STFU already.

      • paulgdeaton

        Anyone who has to SHOUT to get attention has absolutely no credibility here.

        • Actual EV Owner

          WAIT…WHERE IS THE CAP LOCKS BUTTON AGAIN?…oh, there it is…between Tab and Shift.
          Yes, all that yelling is a bit loud for my eyes. Hard to hear (read) what the messages were.
          Thank you for saying something.

      • Mike anonymous

        Yeah I might have to disagree with you there. The model S was fist introduced as a conceptual idea back in 2009, and finally hit the roads during the years 2012 – 2013. The automotive market didn’t feel the “push” from Tesla until late 2013-2014, when the models really begin to make “moves” (per-say) within the automotive market. The Leaf had been out for a MUCH longer time than the model S at that point and was actually quite a popular and successful “first modern” attempt at an affordable EV.

        The Chevrolet Volt was also introduced before the Model S, and along with it, the concept for a bigger “crossover-like” car based on the Volt. Both vehicles were in development long (if not a little bit) before the Model S began to make the push it did.

        Also remember The BMW efficient Dynamics concept (and Fisker Karma) were both developed and revealed before Tesla’s model S concept. and BMW had the i8 and i3 planned about 2-3 years before the model S really began to make headlines amongst the automotive industry.

        Tesla is responsible for pushing the rest of the market towards electric vehicles, (basically every company that was not already making one) because they created one that could actually compete in a class with some of the bigger more respected manufactures (Mercedes Benz, Etc…). I agree that if it weren’t for Tesla a lot of companies wouldn’t be jumping on the (whilst good) “electric bandwagon” (because let’s be honest, they wouldn’t be doing it if Tesla didn’t do it). BUT, the vehicles such as the i3, i8, the Bolt, the Leaf, and others already existed and were (in some cases) more popular when It comes to sales and impact on the market than Tesla.

        • Dude

          You can disagree and be wrong at the same time.

          • Mike anonymous

            where? (if your talking about the i8 and i3, those went on sale in AFTER the Model S came out. But BMW had been working on them for years as well as EV technology BEFORE the Model S came out.)

      • Big Black Duck

        Amen …. a lot of folks have selective amnesia when it comes to that fact

  • Nick099

    Who really cares except those that think batteries are “clean” and “green.”

    • Six_Tymes

      true

    • …and those that don’t want millions of people to die from pollution each year? The debate is endless about how green it is to produce and recycle the batteries (there are plenty of good reads on the Internet), but there is no tailpipe emission -> clean cities.

      • Nick099

        Yeah sure “Kokaine”.
        The best “read” is from the US Government about Lithium batteries, written by actual research scientists.These batteries emit all sorts of deadly gases etc., and get this…the researchers work for the EPA.

        Look it up Ace, the reality is Lithium batteries are very bad for the environment.

        • Status

          Why do you keep putting quotation marks around your words for emphasis instead of posting links to back up your unsupported claims?

          • Nick099

            Cause “Status” some sites do not allow links. So research it yourself…like I did. It’s there and easy to find if you just have the inherent ability to ask the question.

          • paulgdeaton

            Well… both Kokaine and Status do allow you to use their names, so there is no need for the silly (and gramatically incorrect) quotation marks.

            And there is also no need for the silly snideness…

          • Status

            This site allows links; I’ve posted them without issue.

            https://www.carscoops.com

            See?

            As for your claims, why should I do your lifting for you? You’re the one making the positive claim, you have to back it up, just like in a court case. You have to prove it.

            You did the research? Okay, show us what you’ve found! It’s that easy!

        • TheBelltower

          When you take EV production along with charging infrastructure, and compare it against the entire vehicle production/fuel/fuel transportation/fuel refinement/fuel station infrastructure, there’s no contest. EV’s use considerably fewer resources to produce and maintain during the life of the vehicle. And that’s before taking air quality or other necessary ICE fluids and emissions materials into account. Happy to read anything that you provide proving otherwise.

      • Dude

        You must be very gullible .

    • Big Black Duck

      since you into being “clean and green”..i am sure you are taking transit and just troll here for fun i persume?

  • Arthur Burnside

    The Bolt and Leaf are near parallel vehicles and can be compared, but the Telsa is squat and small and
    a less-than-desirable sedan made for the eldely or the gum chewing younger crowd. The Supercharger network
    advantage is quickly being eliminated by the rapid buildout of the faster recharger prottcol that is NOT proprietary
    like the Supercharger network – it is CCS protocol and canrecharge more than twice as fast as Tesla. I suspect the next iteration of GM electrics will recharge at 120KW to 350KW. CCS rechargers are what the 120 plus electric models coming to showrooms
    over the next few years will require, thus these will be the universally available type. The Supercharger network makes little sense
    in the future and will have to switch to what everybody else is using – CCS.

    • That’s a huge IF. Today the reality is that the supercharger network functions as it is supposed to, and you have no chance to cross USA or Europe with any other electric car without a massive pain in the ass. Also take into consideration that Tesla only needs to upgrade its current chargers, they already have the stations in place. In my view they are years ahead of competition in this regard, and I find it highly unlikely that this will change.

    • Axiom Ethos

      Sorry but the buildout is not rapid, nor is it eliminating the Supercharger network. If anything the supercharger network is out-growing everything else due to it’s already heavy use and over-crowded superchargers. Doesn’t really matter if it is proprietary either because Tesla has plenty of cars to support it so it’s not like it’s going anywhere or will stop being used. It’ll just be used alongside everything else for quite some time. Tesla will easily be able to upgrade / make additions their charging stations if need be as well if they shift to a different charging protocol at some point. The bottom line is they are putting the foundations (locations / stalls) in place that people are taking advantage of by the hundreds of thousands.

  • BASED ON INTERIOR ALONE I LIKE THE LEAF. WHEN YOU GO OUTSIDE THE MODEL 3 IS A MORE ADULT DESIGN. BEING A SMALL TWO DOOR HATCH GUY NONE ARE WHAT I’D BE LOOKING FOR.

    • Spyder Hole Fantome

      Good to know…

      • I’LL SLEEP BETTER TONIGHT.

    • D3X

      I’m always wondering why GM, Nissan or any other manufacturer simply won’t convert one of their petrol-based cars into an EV, at least from a outer design. It’s likely cheaper to produce since they have reusable parts except for the drivetrain.

      Not sure what you mean by the 2-door hatch comment, both the Bolt and the Leaf are 4 door hatchback designs.

      FYI, I think your caps-lock is stuck…

      • A LOT OF COMPANIES ARE TAKING ICE BASED CARS AND TURNING THEM INTO ELECTRICS. TO ME THAT’S A COMPROMISE. I’D RATHER SEE A GROUND UP ELECTRIC PLACING COMPONENTS IN THE IDEA LOCATION.
        NO IDEA WHY THEY MAKE HYBRID/PLUG-INS LOOK SO RADICAL.

        I SEE THE LEAF AND BOLT ARE 4 DOOR HATCHES, I PREFER COUPES OR 2 DOOR HATCHES.
        MY CAPS LOCK IS WORKING JUST FINE.

        • D3X

          You’re in the wrong market to be honest. All of these EVs and HVs right now are trying to be the next Corolla or Civic for the common commuter for A -> B. Tesla is also off the mark here in my opinion as their pricing and their interior seems to be on conflicting ends while slotting them in the premium luxury sports sedan market.

          It’s unlikely they will make a 2-dr Economy Sports coupe EV anytime soon. An FT86 with a EV drivetrain is likely what you’re looking for, which sadly doesn’t exist.

          FYI: Layoff the all caps if I you want to be taken seriously. It’s really hard to read your posts in terms (google ‘all caps readability’, ignore the ad ranked troll article) and while the internet would likely refer you as shouting all the time. Time to lean some internet ettiquette.

          • I’M NOT A TREE HUGGER OR REALLY EVEN CAR ABOUT FUEL ECONOMY AS I DRIVE MY CAR FOR RECREATION NOT DAILY.

            I BOUGHT MY CAR ON AN IMPULSE SO I’M NOT REALLY IN THE MARKET. BUT IF AN ELECTRIC COUPE CAME ALONG WHO KNOWS.
            I DON’T COME TO COMMENT SECTIONS FOR ETIQUETTE LESSONS. IF MY CAPS BOTHER YOU I’LL TELL YOU WHAT I’VE TOLD OTHER WHINERS, USE THE BLOCK USER BUTTON AND YOUR STRESS LEVEL WILL DROP.

          • emjayay

            What’s wrong with you?

        • D3X

          Personally I don’t think it’s a compromise, I mean if you look the Tesla 3 drivetrain, it’s not impossible to build a chassis from ground up to fit a certain dimension / shape / shell in terms of engineering. By designing a radically unaccepted exterior, now that’s a compromise. Form + Function, neither follows either.

      • Jay

        Actually Nissan has an all electric Sentra coming soon. Its called the Sylphy ZE but will only be sold in China for now. Kia has an all electric Soul and even a Niro coming soon, Smart also has an all electric fortwo. I agree with you more companies should follow suit.

        Also, MICHGO’s caps lock is permanently stuck. Yep even if they bought a new Keyboard.

        • D3X

          Thank you.. I googled that and that further proves my point below actually. The Sylphy ZE actually uses a lot of the Leaf’s drivetrain. I don’t know about other people, but the Sylphy looks actually pretty good.

  • EyalN

    the car that you can walk into a showroom and buy it is the best car.
    and it’s not the Tesla

  • Six_Tymes

    Does anyone know when we will see the first cars with solid state batteries? I am curious to see what they will offer in real world usage

    • liams92

      Probably the Dyson electric car due out in 2020. They bought Sakti3 who specialise in solid state batteries.

      • Сафиуллина-Мохамед Рамазанов

        Lexus CT will also appears in 2020

    • Dude

      Current batteries are destroying aquifers in areas of dumpage.

  • lagunas3ca

    Model 3 (the only vehicle of these 3 that will get you laid after picking up a girl on the first date).

    • Dude

      Dumbest comment I’ve yet to read this year. Looks no better than an Altima. Bravo!

      Oh, and don’t you mean your boyfriend??

  • emjayay

    First, having a brand-exclusive charging network does not make sense. It’s VHS vs Beta. It’s like some cars need only BP gas and others only Sunoco. (Am I right about this?)

    Second, all electric cars are getting a free ride on the rest of us by not paying gas taxes which pay for roads and highways and interstates – the construction and maintenence.This can’t last. A tax could be put on charger power, but there would still be home electricity being used. If you use your Leaf to commute to work and do a few errands you could easily only use charging electricity in your garage and still freeload on the roads you use. This can’t continue, but I’ve never read a thing about it.

  • emjayay

    Jesus effing Christ stop with the shouty caps already.

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