Woz: Chevrolet Bolt A Better Daily Driver Than Tesla Model S

9 months ago by Steven Loveday 61

Woz was impressed with the Chevrolet Bolt from day one

Woz was impressed with the Chevrolet Bolt from day one

As expected, former Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is filling everyone in on Facebook about his new Chevrolet Bolt. We will keep our eyes on the message thread and keep you posted, if Woz provides some noteworthy feedback.

He says that the Tesla Model S is just a bit much for driving around San Francisco. However, he continues to repeat that the Supercharger network is the only option for long trips, unless he takes his Hummer. He explains that the Bolt is better for “all the day-to-day stuff (dining, shopping, eating).” He says that the real comparison comes down to which car the couple will choose to drive now that they have both choices at their disposal.

Another “friend” asks Woz how the Bolt drives compared to the Tesla. Woz makes it clear that has hasn’t had time to check it out:

“How would I know? I drove it home from the dealer. It was my first time in the car and it was raining heavily. It may be several days before I ever have time to play with it to learn how things like the radio work.”

It gets pretty comical. At other points in the thread, people ask Woz questions about the Bolt and the Tesla, that he has already answered. He sort of calls them out for not reading. Nonetheless, we’re sure to see some interesting information once he gets more opportunity to enjoy his new car.

Tags: , , , , , ,

61 responses to "Woz: Chevrolet Bolt A Better Daily Driver Than Tesla Model S"

  1. Bill Howland says:

    I assume Mr. Woz must, surprisingly, have a more or less stripped model S, similarly appointed to the Chevrolet Biscayne of years past.

    The Bolt, while I find it appealing is quite a stripped car ‘appointment wise’.

    The “S” is not that huge a car to begin with, so it doesn’t seem to be that much of a pain to park, unless the Bolt truly is much better. It certainly is a very practical vehicle for a day to day hauler.

    After his initial excitement, I’d expect Mr. Woz, inquisitive person that he is, to compare efficiency, driving range, heater and air conditioner output, charging efficiency, etc.

    But most test drives to date have shown the car to be comfortable and fun, unless the driver is very huge.

    1. SparkEV says:

      “S” isn’t huge compared to the hummer, but it is huge compared to Bolt. When it comes to city driving, Bolt is probably far easier than S and SparkEV easier than Bolt.

      That’s why I always have a smallish car as main driver and huge truck and van as secondary to carry cargo. But when I get Tesla 3 (or whatever EV that can tow 1500 lb), I may get rid of giant secondary cars.

      1. WARREN says:

        If you do a lot of driving in the city, sometimes only “compact car” spots are left. In these cases the Spark, 500E, Imiev,Smart and the narrow i3 are truly at an advantange. These cars are so easy to manage in tight city spots, that you almost feel guity!

        1. SparkEV says:

          You’d also want DCFC. There are times when you need just few more miles, but you have to go home and bring out the gasser without DCFC. That would exclude 500e.

          I think Woz has dogs, so that would exclude Smart.

          iMiev is just too slow.

          i3 pricing is more than Bolt, it’s better with Bolt.

          That makes SparkEV ideal, but unfortunately, it’s tough to find it anymore. But with Woz’s money, Bolt does almost as well.

          1. Asak says:

            The i-MiEv is also just kind of a piece of junk.

      2. Doggydogworld says:

        Model S is 6 inches longer than Hummer H2. But the Hummer is 4 inches wider.

        The big difference is in height (almost 2 feet!) but that doesn’t really affect navigating and parking.

        1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

          For navigation in city traffic and parking you would better have a car with higher seating position, and be able to see where your car front bumper is clearly.

      3. Neromanceres says:

        Note the Bolt EV has more passenger volume than a Model S. And personally I prefer how it’s packaged too.

        1. BenG says:

          The Bolt and the Model S have essentially equal passenger volume at 94 cubic feet. The Bolt has better headroom, but the Model S has better hip and shoulder room.

          S has much more cargo space.

          1. unlucky says:

            You’re both saying the same thing. The Bolt indeed has more but the difference is less than a foot. Not sure why we need two spins on that.

            Headroom doesn’t tell the whole story. In a Model S the occupants are stretched out more. You are less upright and more laid back. Your feet are closer to under your knees on the Bolt while they are further out ahead of you on the S. And the same for your upper body, the S lays you back more.

            In short, the Bolt “sits a little more like an SUV”. Some find this preferable, as we currently see with the shift to CUVs.

    2. JoeP says:

      Hi Bill.

      I picked mine up last week.

      At work, a 6’10” guy fit in it just fine with someone sitting behind him in the back seat, so it should be fine for almost anyone.

      BTW, the Bolt is a nerd dream car. I am still learning about the interface, but so far, the interface is not so intuitive.

      In general, it feels like the design team could have benefitting from having one Italian or former Apple designer.

      I really love it.

      1. Ydoc says:

        I’m 6′ 2″ and find it very crowded in any car or truck with someone sitting behind me. Unless your 6′ 10″ buddy is all torso he could not fit comfortable in the Bolt

      2. Bill Howland says:

        Glad to hear it Joe. Although I bet your 6′ 10″ friend is not ‘gravity challenged’.

        You can’t say FAT anymore.

    3. XRB says:

      I checked out the Bolt. My first impression was its less roomier than my Leaf! I hopped in the back seat and hit my head, I thought wow didn’t see that. But then my wife tries the other door of the back seat and bam same thing she hit her head coming in. Lol! I’m only 5’8 and my wife 5′. I think it’s about same space as my old 99 Civic. My 3 year lease on the Leaf is coming up, already pre-ordered Model 3 (1st of April) and also been a look out for the Bolt. Leaf has served us well this passed 2.5 years, dropping off kids to school, groceries at costco, soccer, basketball practices, etc. 90 miles around the city is more than enough. I still have my Honda Odyssey for those long trips to Vegas, San Diego coming from the Bay Area.

      1. bro1999 says:

        Need to learn how to enter a car properly. Lol

        1. SparkEV says:

          Try out the rear seats before saying such comment. While it’s “not bad”, it is kind of weird how they made the entry.

    4. no comment says:

      first of all, wozniak has a benz-o. so he doesn’t need luxury or “appointments” from either the tesla model S or chevy Bolt. when it comes to appointments, neither the model S or the Bolt compare to the benz-o.

      secondly, it makes sense that his initial impression would be that the Bolt would be a better car for daily driving because it is a smaller car. small cars are very convenient to drive around. add to that the fact that electric vehicles provide the kind of smooth driving experience which, in some ways, is like that of high end ICE vehicles. so electric vehicles give you the convenience of driving a small car, but without as many of the driving experience trade offs that you would normally have to make.

      some time ago there was video posted by a couple that did a cargo area comparison between the tesla model X and the nissan Leaf that they owned. in that video, the guy commented that he enjoyed driving the Leaf better.

    5. John B Thayer says:

      “Chevrolet Biscayne”! Good Gawd! How far back that goes. Nice reference, though.

      1. Bill Howland says:

        I needed a point of reference that was at once, both :

        1). Basically a good car and good design. and
        2). Ran for several years with the same premise.

        That excluded Chevy Citations, Monzas, early Corvairs, and the cream of the crop – the Aluminum cylinder head VEGA, all 45,000 miles of it before an overhaul.

        As regards the P100 , from looking at the website I see you can still order that without the all the bells and whistles.

    6. Spider-Dan says:

      His current Model S is a P100D. I don’t think that qualifies as “stripped.”

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Thanks for the reality check. Yeah, I found the assertion that Woz (or his wife) would get a “stripped” Model S to be rather strange. It’s not like they can’t afford one that’s fully loaded!

        But then, that comment was from Bill Howland. From that commenter, remarks rather tangential to reality are the norm.

        1. Bill Howland says:

          I have owned four electrically powered vehicles and have mentioned pluses and minuses of each of the vehicles as I’ve seen them in my experience with them so far.

          You have never even driven one let alone owned one.

          I claim you are just a silly, spoiled clown, with nothing to do all day. Why not try to make an intelligent comment? Or do I have to ask you a question about something?

          That seems to be the only way you clam up.

    7. unlucky says:

      The S is a huge car. And the Bolt is 3 FEET shorter.

      Yeah, it’s a lot easier to park.

  2. Rob Stark says:

    When did they legalize crack in CA?

    1. Anon says:

      Most Movie Production Studios have personal “Gophers” to provide it for clients, should it ever be requested…

    2. Ydoc says:

      Legal or not it’s available. Sorry to say.

  3. CopperRoad says:

    In regards to the front seats… I would not call the car comfortable in any stretch of the imagination.

    After sitting in the Bolt at the LA Auto Show, and test driving it last week… it has nothing to do with being wide or thin. (I’m thin at 6’3″, 160lbs) The seat base, in my opinion, is poorly designed. There is simply not enough lateral hip room, which on its own could have been livable. But GM opted for very little lateral cushion bolstering down the side of the seats. So one can actually feel the frame of the seat.

    Any slight movement and there is a sharp ridge of plastic ready to meet your hip. Hop in and take your seat and you have to adjust, and readjust yourself in an attempt to find a sweet spot where you’re hips are not saying hello to that ridge of plastic. The left side is more pronounced because you have the confluence of the manual seat controls and the seat pivot mechanism eating into the already limited seat space. All of this probably could have been avoided with a sufficient lip of lateral padding… I’m reminded of this when sitting in the Spark EV, a small car with small seats, but firm lateral cushioning.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      I’ve seen a lot of complaints about the Bolt’s seats. Reviewers say the padding is exceptionally thin, apparently to save weight, and backed up by springs instead of more padding.

      Here I think GM has made a mistake. If one is to spend hours sitting in a car on a daily basis, then the seats need to be quite comfortable. Skimping there is, in my opinion, being penny-wise and pound foolish. Even if the reason for skimping is to save weight in a BEV, it’s still counter-productive. Skimping there is going to cost the Bolt a lot of buyers.

      If I were seriously considering buying a Bolt, I’d look into the possibility of aftermarket replacement seats. One caveat: I’ve been told that in some cars these days, the front seats have side impact air bags built into them. Hopefully the Bolt doesn’t have those, because obviously one wouldn’t want those to be removed.

      1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

        ” I’ve been told that in some cars these days, the front seats have side impact air bags built into them. Hopefully the Bolt doesn’t have those,..”

        Pu-pu, you are funny 😉 How many decades you are not driving? Every econobox nowdays has side impact airbags in front seats, curtain side airbags, etc. Bolt has it too. Just get a pillow if it is so bad – low tech solution for lousy seat problem unless you plan some street racing at the same time :/

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          Perhaps you haven’t been driving longer than I haven’t been, if you don’t know that some side impact airbags are mounted in doors!

          But then, I guess you have to maintain your “standards” of 100% of your posts having at least some B.S. in them, don’t you zzzzzzzzzz?

          Some car manufacturers have chosen to place side impact airbags in the front and/or rear doors of the vehicles. Some door airbags may be seen in BMW, Cadillac, Mercedes, Land Rover and Porsche vehicles.

          source:
          http://www.emsworld.com/article/10322668/side-airbags-and-side-curtain-airbags

          1. JIMJFOX says:

            Yep, confirmation bias and ignorance of facts is alive and well online. Sadly.

          2. zzzzzzzzzz says:

            Pu-pu,

            Are you paid for all this B.S. or are you just 16 year old with nothing to do? 1 minute google search would show you where are Bolt airbags, in seats, just like “Most vehicle manufacturers have chosen” to do quoting your 10 year old article.

            Your “I’ve been told that in some cars these days, the front seats have side impact air bags built into them” note makes you sound like granma. Get into car and look for big SRS letters around, these are airbags.

            1. Bill Howland says:

              When I was 16 if I talked like that I’d be embarrassed. But he is around 62.

      2. Viking79 says:

        The Bolt EV is not a long distance car you spend all day in. It is a city run-about, probable rare to spend more than 1 or 2 hours at a shot.

      3. Asak says:

        I didn’t notice anything unusual with the seats when I sat in it. Felt the same as the Leaf, Volt, Honda Civic or just about any other car I’ve sat in over the past few years.

        1. Bill Howland says:

          Humm this is getting to be an intersting subject Asak….

          My Roadster I always felt was very comfortable, and I tried sitting in the seat different ways and there was no way I could twist so that I was UNcomfortable.

          Interestingly, Musk said the original Lotus’ Elise’s seats were uncomfortable, so they were REDESIGNED PER MUSK’S ORDERS TO BE COMFORTABLE.

          I say he succeeded, but then I did have some very out-of-shape, or extremely elderly passengers that DID find the seats uncomfortable, but then , after all , you couldn’t expect the Roadster seats to cure Constipation.

          The comments seem EXACTLY like the comments for the BOLT’s.

    2. DJ says:

      I noticed that as well when I sat in one. There was also no lumbar support or adjustment option. Add another friggin 20 lbs and make it comfortable for the driver (at least). I have issues with my Volt seats as well. They are really soft in the lower back area and then get firm right in the middle of the back where I have a back problem so it is more pronounced for me. Others have commented on it as well. The model I test drove had leather seats and I didn’t notice it at all or in a friend’s Volt that has leather. Shoulda opted for leather I guess!!!

    3. unlucky says:

      You’re just wrong. It is not possible to run into the hard plastic near the hinge with a tiny movement. You’d have to move your butt quite a bit to do it, and at that point you wouldn’t be sitting straight in the seat so you couldn’t drive.

      I’m not sure it’s even possible to meet it at all with your hip because the hard thing you are speaking of is too close to the hinge to touch just by moving sideways.

      The thing in question is visible in this picture:

      It is the “thin piece of plastic” between the levers and the seat. Except it doesn’t feel like plastic, it feels like plastic over metal.

      Because of the shape, you can’t contact it with your thigh at all, the seat will mushroom over it as you move toward it. So you’ll always have the cushion between you and it.

      The one way I can contact it is if I swing my legs out when exiting the car. There, with my legs at a 90 degree turn from forward the bottom of my leg (your quadriceps) is sitting right on it. And it does not give, so it does kind of hurt. But that’s just for a moment as you get in and out.

      None of this seems to relate to a lack of bolstering, more to the width of the seat. It is a very narrow car and it shows in these seats.

      So here is my take. At least with the leather seats. When sitting, if you are as heavy as I am (which is more heavy than him) if you pay close attention you can feel that the seat bolster “pinches in” about where the lower seat cushion is split laterally. But you aren’t contacting any seat frame, it is the bolster pushing on you. And it isn’t bad at all, it’s still soft, just a bit tighter. It’s less of a feeling than the seat belt latch is and that’s nothing too.

      You cannot contact that hard piece when sitting in the car normally because it stops about 1.25″ from the folding hinge of the seat. If you are contacting that then it’s only because you are intentionally moving your rear around. And not just even your knees or legs, but your rear. Or perhaps if a person is very, very wide. I’m thinking over 250lbs just for starters.

      There indeed is no adjustable bolster, there is no adjustable lumbar. If the lumbar isn’t good for you you can move the entire seat up and then change the back angle by using the two levers. But given how the adjustments work there is no guarantee it’ll do anything for you.

      The outermost lever changes the seat back angle in the way you would expect. And the innermost lever tilts the entire seat bottom (and thus the back too but you can then go back and adjust that) forward and back. It does this by raising the hip point. It works like a Jetta in that way. It is not sophisticated, that’s for sure. But works and it isn’t uncomfortable. And no matter how you adjust it that hard piece in question doesn’t get closer to or further from your thighs as it moves with the seat cushion.

      I say this as a person with over 200 miles in a Bolt. The only thing that started to hurt after hours in a row was my lower back and that’s just because my lower back sucks. It hurts in other cars too, including luxury cars.

      You want to grouse about something, let’s talk about the backup camera. The entire screen it is on is clearly a 480i video input (not for every screen that LCD displays, just the backup camera one). It’s incredibly low resolution. And that includes the “top down” view you are paying extra for on a Premier.

      Or we could talk about the front edge of the window frame. It is also visible in this picture on the left just to the right of the window gasket. It’s a bit over a foot tall and it faces you and it is glossy (reflective). What’s wrong with that? It’s perfectly positioned to reflect the dashed lane lines on your left. So as you drive down the highway it’s like a stroboscopic effect as the white lines go by. Also odd, those “FAV” buttons on the steering wheel. What are they doing down there? Why not just leave them off? They’re kind of out of the way and they make the wheel asymmetrical. Oh, and I still don’t get why it’s a good thing that the LCD is tilted away from you so much. It puts the top of the LCD a bit behind the steering wheel and juts the button out in a way that, while harmless, doesn’t seem to accomplish anything except mean you can plug something into the cigarette lighter and have it a little bit hidden.

      As to getting in and out of the back, I measured the top of the door opening back there, it is almost 56″ from the ground to the top of the door opening in the rear (lowest point along the top line). This is not at all low. On my other car it is 53″ from the ground to the top of the door opening. The rear seat is up higher on this car though than my other car if you measure from the seat bolster to the top of the door opening it is 29″ on my other car and 28.5″ on this car. So while you will have to duck your head (I do, your wife shouldn’t) it’s not a small opening at all, you just didn’t do it right. I mean, your wife is only 60″ tall and she hit her head getting below a bar that is over 55″ from the ground? Practice would make perfect on this very quickly I would say.

  4. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    “He says that the Tesla Model S is just a bit much for driving around San Francisco.”

    If by that, Woz means that a smaller car is more convenient as a daily driver, then I feel the same. I always preferred driving smaller cars. Easier to park, easier to turn around in, and the vehicle doesn’t block as much of your vision.

    Of course, larger cars offer other advantages, including more hip room and shoulder room.

  5. FFE 1 says:

    It is interesting. I would say perhaps my Ford focus e is a better kick around daily driver than my Model S. I know most of you on this blog love to hate FFEs. The S is a clearly superior car in every way. The difference is I can go running, throw sweaty clothes in, pile my drums in, park anywhere downtown and not worry about dings. That is the difference between driving a 20k dollar car vs an 85k dollar car and says more the fear of damaging and using a vehicle that is four times as valuable than the quality or performance of one car over another.

  6. James says:

    I’m sure he’s right, it would be way easier to navigate a tiny car like the Bolt around a Whole Foods parking lot and park in parallel parking spaces in downtown Palo Alto. My question is why not get something like a Fiat 500e for around town driving? I wouldn’t want to spend much of my time on a highway in a Bolt vs a big, comfortable and safe Model S. Honestly, the RAV4EV makes a much better around town car than just about anything else–has fold flat seats and way more cargo space.

    1. Alonso Perez says:

      The Bay Area is kind of large and you can quickly run out of range in a 500e if you have multiple destinations during the day. I mean sure, you can charge somewhere, but it’s easier just to have more range now that you can get it for not so much money.

  7. Vexar says:

    He owns a Hummer? Yo Woz, you’re not Berkeley Enough! The Model S is very annoying to park, it is quite wide and the hood is long and slopes so much that it is hard to perceive where the nose is. I don’t blame his views for SF on Bolt versus Model S. Based on other comments here, I bet he gets really tired of the chintzy seats in the Bolt, though.

  8. Independent Observer says:

    He (WOZ?)explains that the Bolt is better for “all the day-to-day stuff (dining, shopping, eating).

    In the Midwest, dining and eating are done at the same time. Maybe this is a west coast thing? You dine, the do some shopping, and then go out to eat?

  9. Jim Whitehead says:

    Somewhere I read that Woz got a lot of criticism from Bolt fans, after his wife gave him another Tesla Model S Christmas gift and Woz made an unfavorable comparison: He said Tesla was better on long trips because the Bolt can’t Supercharge. (Its like observing that track shoes are better for a race, duh).

    Boom! Woz gets tons of hate mail from Chevy. As a low-conflict guy, Woz threw them a bone and made nice. That’s all.

    Its like when your wife asks “does this make me look fat?” There is only one right answer. 😉

  10. TK says:

    Any car, not just S, is too much driving around SF. Just leave the car at home and take public trans or uber. That’s what I’m planning to do. And S will be only for out of town trips.

    1. SparkEV says:

      I took public transit in San Diego about a week ago to auto show, and every seat smelled like urine! I triple washed my clothes afterwards, and I still feel dirty. Who knows if there was more than just urine on those seats! I’m staying away from public transit.

      1. CLIVE says:

        No doubt.

      2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        “I triple washed my clothes afterwards, and I still feel dirty.”

        The imaginary problems which one-percenters create for themselves must be truly endless.

        1. SparkEV says:

          Your love of soaking in other people’s excrement is truly baffling. That is the weirdest mental disorder I’ve ever heard of.

          1. WadeTyhon says:

            Never been to San Diego, but Public transit can be a hit or miss.

            The Dallas Light rail system (DART) is mostly clean. Do not ride it after midnight though, unless you like hanging out with all different kinds of drunks. But hey, at least they arent driving. 🙂

            DART buses are not as well kept however. Denver, and Houstons much shorter rail systems seem to always be clean when i take them. Their buses are better as well.

            Chicago is one of my favorite cities in the country to visit and they have very good public transit. But the trains and the train stations can be very run down and uninviting. Ive only ridden the NY subway a few times but it is the same way.

            The age of those systems and their high usage rates are major reasons for this. San Diego is pretty high on the list of systems that are actually *utilized* by its populace. 🙂

            But urine is not a smell I have come across often in public transit.

  11. CLIVE says:

    Go figure!

    I prefer a Mac over a PC for a daily.

  12. G2 says:

    Who. Cares. About Woz’?

  13. unlucky says:

    Looks like this Woz thing will turn into a goldmine for insideevs but let me at least attempt to head this off at the pass.

    Woz does not have a developed public persona. If you are expecting him to be consistent in anything, don’t. He has an engineer’s personality and he will be very direct about whatever he last noticed even if it contradicts what he noticed before. Think of him like that robot (K2SO) in Rogue One. He just hauls off and says stuff, listener reaction be damned. And if he is prodded it’ll show up even more, because he really hasn’t had a lot of time with the car.

    So that means probably if he says something you don’t agree with don’t get too upset about it and if he says something you agree with don’t get too self-assured about it either. Hanging on his every word may not make sense.

  14. Koenigsegg says:

    Well look at him. The Bolt suits him perfectly. Dorky looking car for a dorky looking guy.

    The Model S looks too good for him.

    1. Kdawg says:

      What are you, 12?

  15. DonC says:

    What he’s saying is obviously true. The Model S is a fairly large vehicle which isn’t ideally suited for narrow streets, double parked delivery trucks, and small parking spaces. On the other hand, I don’t think I’d want to drive a Bolt EV on a long trip. The superchargers aren’t the only reason the Model S is better suited for longer hauls.

  16. tosho says:

    Apple probably had the idea to make autonomous/electric cars long before Tesla existed. And the appearance of Tesla literally nuked that idea. No wonder that Woz is pissed off.

  17. Fred says:

    Small, maneuverable cars are better for the city. Huge luxury cars are better for the highway. Horses for courses. The Bolt is brilliant as a city car; it packs as much interior volume as the ocean liner sized Model S into a potato shape roughly the size of a Honda Fit, with a narrow width that can squeeze right past obstacles. But the seats are narrow, and SAE DCFC rather than Suoercharging means highway fast-charging takes twice as long. They’re two brilliant cars optimized for two different missions.

  18. Nix says:

    I thought riding in a friend’s Fiat 500e was perfect for SF. Small and easy to park, it was perfect FOR THAT TASK. Even smaller than the Bolt.

    Now would I say that the 500e is an overall better car than a P100D just because it was good for that one use? Well, YMWV, and everybody have their own opinions. But no, it just isn’t a better car overall.

    With that said, it is silly to buy more car than you need. And if a 500e, or a Bolt, or a Ford Fusion PHEV satisfies your personal needs, what works for anybody else is meaningless for you. With EV’s and PHEV’s, the term Your Mileage WILL Vary more than ICE cars, and what matters is what works for you.