Newbie - choosing between volt, bmw i3, and tesla M3
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Thread: Newbie - choosing between volt, bmw i3, and tesla M3

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2017

    Default Newbie - choosing between volt, bmw i3, and tesla M3

    Greetings from Los Angeles!

    I'm tired of giving my money to the oil companies. They are singlehandedly endangering the human race, they've been lying to us for years, filling our government with their puppets, and polluting our world so they they can enrich themselves. I want to vote against them with my dollars.

    I've always been a big tesla fan, and have been eagerly awaiting the Model 3, for which I've put down a $1000 deposit and have a good spot in the reservation line.

    But as the release date approaches, I have a few questions in my mind.
    One is the tax credits - will they still be available?
    Another is tesla build quality. I've heard a lot of horror stories.
    I'm also not crazy about the M3's interior. No driver instrument cluster? That giant computer monitor? I want a high tech car, but I don't see why that means I have to have a giant screen in my face when I drive.
    Also I think they tesla supercharger network will be overwhelmed by the coming wave of teslas, meaning those long distance trips you imagine won't be possible in reality.
    I've also never bought a new car. I prefer to let someone else take the depreciation and buy it when its 2-3 years used. I'm unsure what the depreciation on the M3s will be, and I'm wondering if I'd be smarter waiting a couple years and then grabbing a used one.

    So my alternate options are a used 2014-15 volt or a used BMW i3.
    Both of these have depreciated rapidly and are much more affordable for me. In fact I could get one of each for the price of a new tesla M3.
    I test drove the i3 and loved it, as well as the interior design. I hated the exterior at first, but I've come to kind of like it.
    As for the volt, I like the old gen1 design much more than the new design, which is far more bland to me. Gen2 Looks like a an old person car or rental fleet car to me.
    I haven't test driven one yet, but I'm not expecting it to be as fun as the i3, but I know it would be much more useful, without the i3's long distance limitations, and still allow me to commute to work without using any gas.

    The other consideration is my fiance HATES the way the i3 looks. Doesn't care for the volt either, but doesn't think it's as bad as the i3. Obviously she'd rather be escorted around in a new tesla. Women and their competitive consumerism

    So I'm just here to learn more and help me make my decision by the time the Tesla M3 comes out.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011


    The Volt is the simplest option - due to the dual fuel nature of the car, it can drop in to anyone's life with no changes, and gradually convert them to mostly electric driving. They are solid cars that have served people well.

    We'll have to see how the 3 interior plays out - I'm still betting there will be major changes for the actual production car - possibly a big augmented reality HUD.

    Tesla reliability stories are overblown - build quality has improved over time, and the core of the cars mostly wasn't problematic anyway (though Tesla replaced a lot of still functional drive unit for noises - drive units that are a lot different from what most Teslas now have.)

    There is a real problem getting repair parts for crashed cars at the moment, but that won't necessarily continue.

    I wouldn't worry too much about the Superchargers - Tesla has promised to double the number this year, and 90% of charging is at home/work anyway. They are now doing real time status in the car's navigation system, and in the future I expect to see them actively adjusting Nav routing and supercharger targets to deconflict routes.

    Not really a fan of the i3. It could have been a great car, but came out weird and oddly limited, with a checkered reliability and odd exterior and interior in my opinion.
    C4884 - White Diamond, purchased 10/15/11
    2016 Tesla X75D delivered 8/25/16

    Hidden Content

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Des Plaines, IL.


    Agree with Saghost

    Voting with the pocketbook is the best way. Start now.

    I would go with 2015 Volt premier for the reason you stated then get a used Model 3 later. Don't wait. You will enjoy the performance.

    Not a fan of the i3 either.

    Based on some article I read, the model 3 for the most part will not be here soon enough to take advantage of the Tax Rebate.
    ***2013 Black Volt***



  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2012


    Buy a Bolt and get tax credit.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    South Carolina


    Get a non-materialistic fiance that says "Get whatever you want. It's your car and your money."

    (now if she is a sugar-mama and it is HER money, scratch what I said and practice the phrase, "yes, dear".)

    The i3 was designed as a European city car. The Volt and Bolt were designed for American commuters. The M3 is still just a promise.

    The Gen1 Volt is the best deal going IMO. Inexpensive, reliable, fun, good for the environment and giving the finger to OPEC.
    2013 Volt - Silver Topaz Metallic
    2015 Honda Pilot (wife's mid-life crisis is finished)

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Nashville TN


    I don't understand why anyone who really weighed all the options would even consider the i3. The only people I see it appealing to are those who get all starry eyed about BMW's.
    2012 Volt premium - cyber grey metallic

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Frisco, Colorado


    I have already found one disabled i3 on the road because it was allowed to run out of electricity. It was during a cold winter day with a heavy snowstorm over Vail Pass. I had no problem getting to and from work in my Volt because there was a charging station within one mile and six miles of the stranded i3. The owner of the i3 failed to consider the adverse weather effects on the electric battery pack range. Furthermore, the owner failed to map-out the location of charging stations along the I-70 corridor. With my Volt, I do not need to research every charging station and can choose my routes without limitations of available charging stations. I took a 4,000-mile trip in remote areas of the northern Rocky Mountains last summer and never needed to charge my battery pack. I still got more than 40 MPG. You cannot travel freely in any all-electric vehicle. I took a three-hour trip over to Aspen last weekend for the World Cup Finals. I got about 100 MPG by hiking a mile from a charging station to my hotel for one full charge that took a few hours, then taking a healthy run to cover the mile to pick-up my vehicle again. You must consider the constant inconvenience posed by an all-electric vehicle. I do not need to be desperate in the Volt when a charging station is occupied. However, I hike more than a half-mile every day to charge my vehicle. During some peak times, the charging station in my area is fully occupied. Also, I lose sleep waiting for my vehicle to charge some nights.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2008


    Interesting that the Bolt isn't on your list but the M3 is. The Bolts are available right now and the M3 isn't. Is the fiancé going to help pay for it?

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011


    Quote Originally Posted by srmarti View Post
    Interesting that the Bolt isn't on your list but the M3 is. The Bolts are available right now and the M3 isn't.
    I wondered the same. Take a Bolt EV test drive at least. Same for the Volt.
    2011 Cyber Gray, Std Wheels, Black Leather/White Console, Bose, Nav, Htd Seats, Park Assist. Picked up May 2011
    Best All Electric Miles: 54.2
    Lifetime: 85,558 miles, 125 MPG, Remaining Oil Life 38%
    Typical Commute: 60 miles
    30 day Stats: 966 miles, 108
    MPG, 62% Electric, 38% gas, Saved 33 gal., 31 kW-hr/100 miles
    Hidden Content Free Volt Manual here: Hidden Content



  12. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    KC, MO.


    The Volt is a no excuses car for getting your feet wet in EV driving.
    It would serve you well for a few years until the M3 is available to you.

    A Bolt with DCFC would give you M3 functionality now,,, almost. The DCFC network is increasing all the time.
    The Tesla SC network will not be free for M3's. Road trips may cost very similar with these two EV's. But one is here and now.

    Since you and her are into 'Looks', you'll just have to fight it out!
    '14 Spark EV w/DCFC
    In the middle of the country,
    far from any of its sibs,
    feeding off free electrons, mostly.

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