Tesla Model 3 vs Chevy Bolt EV: Throttle House Comparison Video


The winner should be the Model 3, but the Bolt is shown some love too.

Our friends Thomas & James over at Throttle House are at it again with another electric car comparison video.

These self-proclaimed “Petrol Heads” have definitely been warming up to electric vehicles lately, and have offered to share their EV videos here with the InsideEVs community.

You may remember these guys from the Model 3 vs BMW M2 video we posted last month. They’ve promised a follow-up video with those two cars being driven and compared on a track, which should be interesting. One of the aspects we like about their EV videos is that since they aren’t really EV-guys, they come at them from a different perspective than some videos produced by EV-centric sites.

In this video, they put the Tesla Model 3 against the Chevrolet Bolt EV. While I don’t think many people expect the Bolt EV to come out on top, the guys do like the Bolt, and understand why some people will choose it over the Model 3.

Let us know what you think in the comments section and maybe even some suggestions of what other EV comparison videos you’d like to see Throttle House do in the future.

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63 Comments on "Tesla Model 3 vs Chevy Bolt EV: Throttle House Comparison Video"

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Glad they mentioned motor noise on Bolt. Bolt is quite loud, relatively speaking. Pitch is like a muffled jet engine.

Pros for Bolt: Price (when on sale), shorter, hatch.
Pros for Telsa 3: everything else (too many to list)

For me, shorter is a big deal, not sure if I’ll get the long 3. Maybe shorter C if Tesla ever makes one.

@BoltEV said: “…For me, shorter is a big deal…”


Easier to park?

Also garage space. Like everyone else, garage is more a storage / workshop than for cars, and space is a premium. Paradoxically, I don’t mind having the Bolt sit on driveway, but I’d hate to have the good looking 3 sit outside.

@BoltEV said: “…Paradoxically, I don’t mind having the Bolt sit on driveway, but I’d hate to have the good looking 3 sit outside.”

I can relate to that but perhaps somewhat flawed logic like saying I don’t mind eating average quality meals but I would hate eating great meals out of fear the next following meal may be disappointingly average.

For charging, both need the garage space. I meant letting the car be vulnerable to pigeon bombs, especially with glass roof.

Don’t need garage space for charging. My EVSE cable is 25ft long and the unit is mounted close to the garage door. I can reach any spot in my driveway.

Get a smart car then

2 seater can’t carry the dogs. I considered keeping SparkEV, but 60% higher residual than going rate for used SparkEV made the decision easy.

You could have returned the leased car and then bought a used one.

The interior space is not even remotely comparable between a Smart Car and a Bolt

Doesn’t the Tesla park itself?

Also, wait a second, they didn’t talk about autopilot at all.

Parallel parking in dense cities. Second, it also has an effect on turning radius. Model 3 – 19.4′. Bolt – 17.7′. i3 – 16.2′.

Weird, my performance Model S is only 18.5’

The Tesla Model 3 is only 2.5 inches longer than the Honda Civic Sedan (most popular compact sedan) but yes much longer than Bolt (20.8 inches longer).

Coming from SparkEV, even Bolt feels large (20 inches longer than SparkEV). I thought I’d get used to it after so many months, but I still look at tight spaces with fond memories.

I’m really good and getting large things into to tight spaces. 😉

Doh! LOL. Looking back, the words in my comment were just asking for it.

(Don’t tell any of this to bro1999)

@John said: “(Don’t tell any of this to bro1999)”

Likely bro1999 has already seen the comparison video and sulking in a corner somewhere.

Petrol Heads Thomas & James clearly liked Tesla Model 3.

Tell me what? That a significantly higher priced car comes out on top in performance categories?
Where’s the $35k base Model 3 again? Cheapest 3 is at least now down to $44k! Lol
18 months since the Model 3 went on “sale” and the $35k 3 is still vaporware that is forever “3-6 months” away. Lol

Both reviewers found that the lack of heads-up display was a demerit. The Bolt has that, so should the Model 3 imo.

Cost of the compared cars is an overlooked important point. It’s not a valid comparison until they review cars in the same affordability range (+/- ~$5,000 area) like they do in real life car comparisons.

The Bolt that was reviewed was $43k.

That is MSRP. People don’t always pay MSRP. But people always pay Tesla sticker price.

I am sure that $43K included that ugly color option.

Considering how “dishonest” that review showed Tesla’s price being only $35K which we all know it doesn’t exist yet or ever (including destination it would cost $36K), it puts some doubts on that $43K claim.

They didn’t show the Tesla as $35K. They said the short range which is NOT AVAILABLE is $35K and they quoted the mid range they reviewed as $46K it is actually $44K now. While you are right the Bolt will be less than MSRP it is in the +/- $5K that DM asked for even sold under MSRP.

You can get a stripped Bolt for $35K but options add up quick. To equip a Bolt so that it is comparable with a MR Model 3 will run you at least $40K. $40K for a smaller car with less space, less performance, and less range that also looks like a potato.

At least Chevrolet offers you the option to buy a BEV with over 200 miles range for $35,000. Nobody else in the US does that. I’ll take my potato that has more utility than the TM3 does and keep the savings. After all, some of us desire an electric car to save money, not squander it on gizmos and gadgets all covered in plush naugahyde.

The easy answer is I didn’t want an EV equipped like a midrange M3. I got a $38,600 or so Bolt and received exactly what I wanted. And I didn’t want black. It’s like -show me the money! Show me the cost of the configuration of the base midrange M3. Not in black.

And because I didn’t have to wait I got a $10k break for the fed tax credit and no sales tax no longer available. So I was @ $28,600. And 18k+ miles at 8 cents a kw. First maintainance at 150k miles.

What’s not to like?

Explain to us again MadBro why your employer GM is shutting down factories/laying off employees/pulling out of major markets like Europe and betting on selling overwhelming large gas-guzzling trucks and SUVs while canceling the Volt and lobbying the Trumpster MalAdministration to weaken CAFE standards?

And while you try and spin reality keep in mind that Tesla is building additional factories to keep increasing production of its all-electric vehicles and expanding into new markets and new products like a base Model 3 soon!

Don’t forget GM also sells the Trax, Encore Acadia, Equinox and XT4 which aren’t large SUV’s. Also GM has more capacity than what they need. Tesla needs more capacity because they only have one plant. They are just at different points in their growth.

GM is doing that so they won’t need another bailout again. The last bankruptcy happened because GM tried to keep plants/capacity open just to keep jobs around.

You need to have a Staples ‘Easy’ button installed on your forehead. Hahaha- thanks for not disappointing!

“Where’s the $35k base Model 3 again?”

Coming sooner than any Volt replacement with GM killing the Volt this year with no replacement being announced.

Funny how GM fanboys complain about one single trim level of the Model 3 not coming soon enough, while GM has been killing one plug-in after another with no replacements in sight.

The GM introduction of cars with batteries have been a continuous and logical progression. Why stay committed to a hybrid if battery improvements and costs keep improving? Should Tesla make a hybrid? It’s the most complex configuration possible needing the most controls and compromises and parts.

The reason for GM dropping the hybrid is also reflective of GM’S goals. Two more EVs in 2020 and maybe 3 or 4x that number in 2023-4. I think there’s a dichotomy between Tesla and other auto companies. Other companies don’t depend on a lot of hype to signal something might be going on. They just do it.

One might also add, if one values such things: the Bolt offers a higher sitting position and enormous for its footprint passenger space in the rear. Also the cargo section swallows a very impressive amount of stuff.

They could save even more interior space by removing the seats altogether. Passengers could ride around squatting thereby maximizing room for banana boxes.

Weird! I don’t hear the motor in my Bolt at all. I was confused over the pedestrian warning white noise (under hood speaker) I thought it was a fan or dry bearing for a long time. Until it quits right after 15 mph. I’ve run a lot of complex rolling machinery and instinctively pick up noises to make sure everything is operating correctly. It was a big deal to my living.

My motor doesn’t make noticable noise. When the pedestrian warning noise cuts off all I hear is road noise cuz nothing else stands out. There’s virtually no other drivetrain noise.

Man, I thought we were done with the Model 3 / Bolt EV comparisons?

Nope. As long as they still get clicks, they will continue to flog the dead horse.

Slow news week – although others have been disappointed with Model 3 sales – somebody is because the stock price dropped 9% today. Didn’t see any news of the unexpectedly missed low model 3 sales here – even if to dispute the point.

Now as far as GM’s total conversion to electric cars (Per the Barclay’s Report for the stockholders):
Since all these new cars are basically news to me – who tries to keep abreast of this stuff – what about Joe Sixpack?

Shouldn’t GM at least lay the groundwork and advertise EV’s just a little bit if they’re going to be a significant offering in two years? The reality of the present doesn’t jibe with the near future and that is why I’m legitimately skeptical.

Better read my post just above. Difference in culture. Fanboys need a constant diet of flattering Tesla news. For better or worse GM isn’t into that. They tell you what they are going to do and they do it. They don’t feel the need to talk it up.

Precisely. These two geniuses pretty much outdid themselves. Give us a break!

What’s sad is with GM unlike Tesla they won’t be able to pull any levers to produce large numbers of evs in the quarter which ensues after they hit the cap, since they don’t have that many in production. So they have the coming quarter to produce as many evs as possible and still get the full credit, but few models that qualify and they produce a low number of those.

Yup, GM’s HYPE lately has not matched the reality. Let’s convert to all electric cars but then close the factory making them and lay off the battery plant workers.

Supposedly LG has a large Battery Plant in Batavia, New York; if so they can sell them to others if GM ultimately doesn’t want them… Now that the VOLT is gone looks like the BOLT ev is going to be the basis of 90% of their offerings in the states, presumably through badge engineered stuff which wasn’t highly successful in the past.

Why would people spend extra money for a Buick when you can buy a cheaper Chevy? Maybe for nice seats – that’s a point. And at least, the ELR was a different, more impressive car than the VOLT, but if logic holds that it was smart to discontinue the car – then they won’t waste the money again trying something like that.

I mean – usually GM traditionally has made New Boneheaded mistakes first before going back to the old Boneheaded mistakes later.


Kinda weird how GM timed out about the same time as Tesla. How’d they do that???

The difference is GM doesn’t have to sell large numbers. They are already a profitable company. Tesla is fighting for their existence. We like comparing GM, VW, BMW to Tesla and what they do but they are worlds apart for better or worse. Microsoft has a larger market capitalization than Apple but they don’t make phones. There is more than one way to get to the EV future.

This the the “Asleep at The Wheel” theory where some folks think that the LICE car makers can just continue to delay quarter after quarter until it adds up to year after year and somehow catch up with Tesla some magical day in the future.

It doesn’t work that way. GM and VW and BMW really DO need to sell large numbers and start doing it very soon.

Wow, what’s next an Apples and Oranges comparison from these two geniuses?

Until there are more variety of apples and oranges to choose from, they will continue to be compared.

This quite a good review, with a few caveats. The more subjective views are generally acknowledged with a few subjective comments that are from relatively young men. For instance – the lower and layed back seating position IS associated with performance cars but, in this case it doesn’t really make a case. I specifically ‘have been there, done that’ for years. I want a more upright position, and yes, I have parents and even young friends who do not appreciate getting in or out of cars in poor conditions when they have to crawl in or out from a low position because of disabilities like knees etc. And I’m not fooling myself that I’m on the track when driving. Yeah, I’m over that. It’s also true that I could see the writing on the wall that the base Model 3 might never be produced. I’m in agreement that the Bolt has the best instrument layout and that’s more my ‘connection to the car’. Otherwise the Bolt is completely competent. Lastly, there is no price competition really. You need the feeling you’re low and in control then spend more money. Then pay exorbitant shipping and get an M3 in black or… Read more »

Why compare the two when one is more than $15K more expensive in actual transaction price? With more than $15K price in difference, it should be way better.

They’re pretending the Model 3 only costs $35,000 but they have to pretend pretty hard. The $35,000 car if and when it arrives, will be BLACK ONLY. They usually like to show the RED color , but that is $2,500 extra.

Bolt costs $37,500, Model 3 MR costs 44k, that is only a difference of 6.5k.

Well, that’s the mystery then. Just what do the ‘hundreds of thousands’ of reservation holders want, because Tesla’s beating the bushes and dropping prices to sell. I think the figures I saw were that 2/3 of the buyers Q4 were NOT reservation holders? If that’s true then Musk has to look at the next bond payoff with dread. We already know the $35k base M3 is a money lose and yet the lid may have been hit for expensive models.

I’m a potential ‘Y’ customer but I still want instrumentation more like the Bolt – which I find perfect for my needs – though I have Head up display for my PU. But the ‘Y’ won’t appear by 2020 in my estimation. GM will have a crossover by then, guaranteed by past performance.

Again, people need to stop using MSRP to compare against Tesla’s sales price.

Bolt’s $37.5K is list price that most smart people don’t pay. But Tesla’s MR list price of $45K is the price you have to pay.

Bolt are easily bought for only $35K or less with dealer incentives or Costco pricing. That is at least $10K in price difference. Combined with extra $3750 in incentives, that is easily $13750 in price difference. And if you order any color beside, black, then the $15K price difference is easily there.

Some dealers have even more discounts if one knows how to negotiated.

Electrek shows lowest priced Bolt at $29K (might be unicorn), but average seems about $33K with many in $32K range. Along with tax credit and other subsidies, these Bolts will probably be the cheapest 200+ miles range EV for a long time ($23K CA) , maybe ever after tax credit is killed.


Base Tesla’s are rwd. Nobody who lives where it snows gets rwd as a daily driver. It’s very dangerous on slick roads. Therefore, us northerners would have to get an awd Tesla, which start at $54k. Fwd Bolts can easily be had for under $35k with dealer incentives. Therefore, if you live in the north, the Bolt is $20K less than Tesla.

Go ahead and try to argue that Tesla has some magic traction control (they don’t) that makes their rwd ok in snow. That is bs. I live in New England. Nobody drives around in rwd cars here in the winter. Fwd is ok, rwd is not.

This was painful to watch.

I sometimes wish I were as clueless as these two dolts.

I’m disappointed in this review. It mentions all the current and future pricing options of the Model 3 but only the up level Premier pricing of the Bolt EV? Also these guy’s clearly don’t know about plugshare. In Ontario CCS chargers out number superchargers (by plug count not site) by more than 2 to 1.

I already had this video on my watch-list, and am interested to hear their thoughts. I own a Bolt, and have ridden around in a Model 3. I still absolutely cannot stand the Model 3’s interior. This is mostly personal preference, yes, but for me, it’s a deal breaker. I wouldn’t be happy in the spartan cabin every day. To me, the Bolt’s layout and controls make WAY more sense. Also, I could afford the Bolt, and I couldn’t afford the Tesla, which helps. 🙂 Even if I could have, I wouldn’t have bought the 3 though. I do love me a Model S, however.

I have a DC charger I charge the car every night and for every day life I am happy. When you have to go further than 90 miles you have to really plan. Big con for Bolt is charging stations. Tesla has more charging stations. Also,the Bolt is very bad for snow. Bolt does not go more than 90 miles per hour.The yellow Bolt car does not have a DC charger. Only black and white have DC chargers Another thing is the incentive.If you lease the car, you do not get the incentive, the manufacturer gets it. When it is cold outside the range drops to 140 instead of 240 miles. Also, miles are used for your heating and air conditioning. So, I have Bolt EV for long trips you have to really plan the charging stations, you can’t drive it in the snow. I love it but I will try to buy he Tesla next time. For the chargers and all wheel drive