BMW to Chevy Bolt?

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IMRTguy
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BMW to Chevy Bolt?

Post by IMRTguy » Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:16 pm

Hi fellow bogleheads,
I currently drive a 2012 BMW 335i coupe which comes off CPO warranty in 8 months from now. It has been a fairly reliable car, but has had about $5k in repairs under warranty. I am concerned about ongoing maintenance costs going forward.

My local Chevy dealer has a 0 down 0 drive off deal on a Chevy Bolt for $317 a month (only have to make 35 payments) and there are $3000 of rebates from California which bring the net lease cost to $231 per month. My apartment complex has Level 2 charging stations which are free for residents. I currently spend almost $200 In just gas for my BMW plus there will be ongoing repairs and maintenance that it will certainly require in the next 3 years (tires, likely water pump and oil leaks). Carmax has offered me $15.5k for it. It has 64k miles and I own it free and clear. Should I sell it and take the bolt? I could pocket the cash and don’t even have to make the first month payment. I mostly use the car for commuting to work in SoCal traffic, I don’t think it makes sense to keep this car.

visualguy
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Re: BMW to Chevy Bolt?

Post by visualguy » Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:22 pm

Don't forget to try the seats on the Bolt first. Many find them to be uncomfortable. The seats are the weakest aspect of this car, and killed it for me when I was considering it.

Valuethinker
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Re: BMW to Chevy Bolt?

Post by Valuethinker » Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:23 pm

IMRTguy wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:16 pm
Hi fellow bogleheads,
I currently drive a 2012 BMW 335i coupe which comes off CPO warranty in 8 months from now. It has been a fairly reliable car, but has had about $5k in repairs under warranty. I am concerned about ongoing maintenance costs going forward.

My local Chevy dealer has a 0 down 0 drive off deal on a Chevy Bolt for $317 a month (only have to make 35 payments) and there are $3000 of rebates from California which bring the net lease cost to $231 per month. My apartment complex has Level 2 charging stations which are free for residents. I currently spend almost $200 In just gas for my BMW plus there will be ongoing repairs and maintenance that it will certainly require in the next 3 years (tires, likely water pump and oil leaks). Carmax has offered me $15.5k for it. It has 64k miles and I own it free and clear. Should I sell it and take the bolt? I could pocket the cash and don’t even have to make the first month payment. I mostly use the car for commuting to work in SoCal traffic, I don’t think it makes sense to keep this car.
It doesn't sound like you get any driver value out of driving the BMW? (commuting in SoCal).

You have to like the Chevy Bolt though as a driving experience.


So

- based on family member experience (in harsher climates) the BMW will be an expensive item

- Chevy Bolt looks good-- get it before the subsidies for EVs disappear? The individual economics of the Bolt for this decision look favourable

BUT

- you have not mentioned any other choices of car that you have looked at?

- you might need to think about your long term car ownership strategy? Are you minimizing your costs of ownership in the long run?

- do you like driving the Bolt?

psteinx
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Re: BMW to Chevy Bolt?

Post by psteinx » Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:27 pm

The Bolt sounds pretty good in your case, if you're happy with the Bolt in general. Obviously, a Bolt is not a BMW 335i.

Caveats:

By selling the BMW, leasing the Bolt, you're signing up for long term lease payments, unless/until you BUY (not lease) something in the future. That said, the gas savings alone get you back close to even. (I suspect insurance will be higher on a new Bolt versus an old BMW. Not sure about property taxes, registration, etc, though some of that may be covered in the lease payments.)

There is a general feeling in car threads on this forum to buy, not lease vehicles, but I think that's only a guideline, and your case seems reasonable for leasing. There's a fair chance that available electric vehicle options circa 2020, when this Bolt would come off-lease, would be significantly more attractive than those available now.

Some caveats on the charging situation... Are the free chargers at your apartment complex generally available? Is there a significant chance that will change in the next 2-3 years, as more plug-ins come on the market? (assuming your apartment complex doesn't add more chargers). Much chance you'll move to a less amenable situation in the next 3 years? How fast can a Volt charge on Level 2? Have much need for long distance travel, and if so, what do the charger network options look like for Bolts?
Last edited by psteinx on Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

alfaspider
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Re: BMW to Chevy Bolt?

Post by alfaspider » Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:38 pm

psteinx wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:27 pm
The Bolt sounds pretty good in your case, if you're happy with the Bolt in general. Obviously, a Bolt is not a BMW 335i.

Caveats:

There is a general feeling in car threads on this forum to buy, not lease vehicles, but I think that's only a guideline, and your case seems reasonable for leasing. There's a fair chance that leasable electric vehicle options circa 2020, when this Bolt would come off-lease, would be significantly more attractive than what you have now.
I think the buy vs lease debate is a bit different when talking electrics. The residuals tend to be heavily manufacturer subsidized and the depreciation curve quite steep for non-Tesla electrics. Electric technology has been advancing quickly, so obsolescence does too- much more than ICE vehciles.

My only issue with the Volt itself is that reviews seem to indicate that it is really cheap and plasticky inside- it will be a bit of a rude awakening if you are used to BMW. Seats are also supposed to be rather uncomfortable. GM put all the money into the powertrain with the Volt- there wasn't much leftover to make the rest of the car nice.

randomguy
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Re: BMW to Chevy Bolt?

Post by randomguy » Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:46 pm

I am not sure deprecation is really that much worse when you remember that 7500 of it is a result of the government subsidy.

In this case getting .CA to pay 3k of your costs covers a decent chunk of your lease payments/depreciation.

If you like the boktt, leading seems like a fine way to go. If yuou choose to keep it 10 years, you will pay a couple thousand more than buying it outright. If you trade it in in 3 years on one of a zillion new Eve, you will have only paid a bit more.

With "free" charging this is likely to be as cheap to own as any other <5 year old car.

IMRTguy
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Re: BMW to Chevy Bolt?

Post by IMRTguy » Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:47 pm

There are two charging stations in my complex and I believe only 4-5 EVs and from my own observation there is usually a spot available for charging. This could change if more people get EVs but the building is only a year old and I believe per California law new buildings must have charging stations in 10% of spots which in my 300 spot building would be 30 stations. Management has indicated they do not have plans to add more stations at this time.

Insurance costs on the bolt are only $10 more per month. I have test driven it and the seats don’t bother me since I am a smaller guy.

psteinx
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Re: BMW to Chevy Bolt?

Post by psteinx » Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:50 pm

Hmm, 4-5 EVs now for only 2 charging stations. I would think the target would be >1 station/EV. You're under that now, and it'll likely get worse. This would be a major area of concern for me, were I in your shoes.

IMRTguy
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Re: BMW to Chevy Bolt?

Post by IMRTguy » Thu Nov 16, 2017 2:11 pm

I should clarify, of the 4-5 vehicles, 1 is a Bolt, the other are Hybrids such as Prius, Ford Energi? which I believe charge less frequently. Anecdotally from my own observation there is usually a spot available for charging which I have seen when I drive by. Of course, this could change if more people get these cars. There is an EVgo DC Fast charging station 1 mile from me next to the gym I work out at, which could fully charge the battery in an hour and costs $0.20 per minute ($12 for full charge) while I work out.

Broken Man 1999
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Re: BMW to Chevy Bolt?

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Thu Nov 16, 2017 2:25 pm

Although you might save much/most of your estimated $200/month gas bill, don't forget that leases come with mileage limits, and some lease deals I have seen are downright stingy.

So don't get caught up in saving that gas money and get trapped for future lease expenses if you go over your limit.

Good luck!

Broken Man 1999
“If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven than I shall not go. " -Mark Twain

IMRTguy
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Re: BMW to Chevy Bolt?

Post by IMRTguy » Thu Nov 16, 2017 2:27 pm

The lease is for 15k miles per year (45k miles total). My past history indicates that I drive 13k per year.

psteinx
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Re: BMW to Chevy Bolt?

Post by psteinx » Thu Nov 16, 2017 2:33 pm

Re: the charging. I think you'd be a little "safer" if your daily commuting needs were ~25% of battery capacity, or less. That way, you could go 2 days without a charge and end the third day at about >=25% charge. If the chargers in your complex were all still busy on the 3rd day, then you could actively seek out a less convenient/more expensive option, like they pay for use chargers you describe.

If you would generally need >50% of the battery capacity daily, I would probably not go plug-in, without a dedicated charge location that is almost certainly available to you exclusively. That does not describe your situation. And for situations between 25 and 50% used, per day, you're in a gray area - could go 1 night without charging, but would potentially be scrambling on day 2.
Last edited by psteinx on Thu Nov 16, 2017 3:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

IMRTguy
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Re: BMW to Chevy Bolt?

Post by IMRTguy » Thu Nov 16, 2017 2:36 pm

My daily commute is 30 miles round trip (15 mi each way). Which is about 12.5% of the 240 mile battery capacity, therefore I would probably feel comfortable charging every 3-4 days with battery life at 50-62% of full.

Broken Man 1999
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Re: BMW to Chevy Bolt?

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Thu Nov 16, 2017 2:52 pm

IMRTguy wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 2:27 pm
The lease is for 15k miles per year (45k miles total). My past history indicates that I drive 13k per year.
Great! Sounds like everything would work out nicely for you. I know about lease mileage overages as my wife leased a Altima many years ago, and sure enough, she ran over her mileage limit. She had to pay a few hundred $$$$ when she turned in the car at the end of the lease.

Hope the Bolt works out well for you.

Broken Man 1999
“If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven than I shall not go. " -Mark Twain

Valuethinker
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Re: BMW to Chevy Bolt?

Post by Valuethinker » Thu Nov 16, 2017 4:23 pm

Broken Man 1999 wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 2:52 pm
IMRTguy wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 2:27 pm
The lease is for 15k miles per year (45k miles total). My past history indicates that I drive 13k per year.
Great! Sounds like everything would work out nicely for you. I know about lease mileage overages as my wife leased a Altima many years ago, and sure enough, she ran over her mileage limit. She had to pay a few hundred $$$$ when she turned in the car at the end of the lease.

Hope the Bolt works out well for you.

Broken Man 1999
We worry that EVs have insufficient range.

But we also worry that we may drive them too many miles in a year :? :?

OP has not mentioned the BMW i3, but that might be a better choice from a seat/ interior finish viewpoint? (however, less range?).

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matjen
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Re: BMW to Chevy Bolt?

Post by matjen » Thu Nov 16, 2017 4:52 pm

Valuethinker wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 4:23 pm

We worry that EVs have insufficient range.

But we also worry that we may drive them too many miles in a year :? :?

OP has not mentioned the BMW i3, but that might be a better choice from a seat/ interior finish viewpoint? (however, less range?).
I agree with this sentiment. 2015 i3 RExs coming off lease will still give you a CPO warranty and cost between 20-25K depending on how loaded it is. These cars have a 70 mile battery range but also have a little scooter engine that gives you another 70 miles. Much better finish than any other electric car and better handling dynamics than any other than Tesla I believe.
A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone.

mouses
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Re: BMW to Chevy Bolt?

Post by mouses » Thu Nov 16, 2017 5:00 pm

alfaspider wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:38 pm

My only issue with the Volt itself is that reviews seem to indicate that it is really cheap and plasticky inside- it will be a bit of a rude awakening if you are used to BMW. Seats are also supposed to be rather uncomfortable. GM put all the money into the powertrain with the Volt- there wasn't much leftover to make the rest of the car nice.
The OP is talking about a Bolt, not a Volt.

OP, I would be sure you are comfortable driving the Bolt before deciding. I have never driven one, so that's just a general caution. Otherwise, I would say go for it.

alfaspider
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Re: BMW to Chevy Bolt?

Post by alfaspider » Thu Nov 16, 2017 5:09 pm

mouses wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 5:00 pm
alfaspider wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:38 pm

My only issue with the Volt itself is that reviews seem to indicate that it is really cheap and plasticky inside- it will be a bit of a rude awakening if you are used to BMW. Seats are also supposed to be rather uncomfortable. GM put all the money into the powertrain with the Volt- there wasn't much leftover to make the rest of the car nice.
The OP is talking about a Bolt, not a Volt.

OP, I would be sure you are comfortable driving the Bolt before deciding. I have never driven one, so that's just a general caution. Otherwise, I would say go for it.
Said Volt but meant Bolt. I was referring to the Bolt.

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: BMW to Chevy Bolt?

Post by TomatoTomahto » Thu Nov 16, 2017 5:16 pm

matjen wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 4:52 pm
Valuethinker wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 4:23 pm

We worry that EVs have insufficient range.

But we also worry that we may drive them too many miles in a year :? :?

OP has not mentioned the BMW i3, but that might be a better choice from a seat/ interior finish viewpoint? (however, less range?).
I agree with this sentiment. 2015 i3 RExs coming off lease will still give you a CPO warranty and cost between 20-25K depending on how loaded it is. These cars have a 70 mile battery range but also have a little scooter engine that gives you another 70 miles. Much better finish than any other electric car and better handling dynamics than any other than Tesla I believe.
I’m a big fan of EV, and willing to support hybrids also. I’ve got to say that the only rationale for how quirky and ugly the i3 looks is that BMW must have wanted nobody to think of it as a BMW. Finish shminish, the ugly had to be intentional :D

Valuethinker
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Re: BMW to Chevy Bolt?

Post by Valuethinker » Thu Nov 16, 2017 5:32 pm

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 5:16 pm
matjen wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 4:52 pm
Valuethinker wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 4:23 pm

We worry that EVs have insufficient range.

But we also worry that we may drive them too many miles in a year :? :?

OP has not mentioned the BMW i3, but that might be a better choice from a seat/ interior finish viewpoint? (however, less range?).
I agree with this sentiment. 2015 i3 RExs coming off lease will still give you a CPO warranty and cost between 20-25K depending on how loaded it is. These cars have a 70 mile battery range but also have a little scooter engine that gives you another 70 miles. Much better finish than any other electric car and better handling dynamics than any other than Tesla I believe.
I’m a big fan of EV, and willing to support hybrids also. I’ve got to say that the only rationale for how quirky and ugly the i3 looks is that BMW must have wanted nobody to think of it as a BMW. Finish shminish, the ugly had to be intentional :D
Actually I think it looks kinda neat, with the reverse opening suicide doors and all ;-).

What it reminds me of is the cars in the original "Tron".

It really does feel like a retro version of the future. If I got in one and the guy next to me flashed his ID that said "Deckard. Blade Runner" and the danged thing took off and flew I would not be surprised ;-).

http://www.devo.com/bladerunner/sector/3/spinners.html

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matjen
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Re: BMW to Chevy Bolt?

Post by matjen » Thu Nov 16, 2017 5:38 pm

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 5:16 pm

I’m a big fan of EV, and willing to support hybrids also. I’ve got to say that the only rationale for how quirky and ugly the i3 looks is that BMW must have wanted nobody to think of it as a BMW. Finish shminish, the ugly had to be intentional :D
Could be worse. Could cost 130k and be fugly like the Model X! :P
A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone.

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: BMW to Chevy Bolt?

Post by TomatoTomahto » Thu Nov 16, 2017 5:38 pm

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what makes horse races :D

ClaycordJCA
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Re: BMW to Chevy Bolt?

Post by ClaycordJCA » Fri Nov 17, 2017 12:24 am

The new Nissan Leaf reportedly has a 150 mile range. You might want to compare with the Bolt.

Point
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Re: BMW to Chevy Bolt?

Post by Point » Fri Nov 17, 2017 9:54 am

If you lease it, you're kicking the can down the road, but it's smart to lease a battery vehicle vs purchase.

Act now to take advantage of CA incentives.

With lease minus fuel = ~0.00 it seems like a no brainer, assuming you can charge it in your apartment for free (no fee change, access=100%)

Cars are depreciating assets, another beemer makes little sense, used or new. Particularly in CA. This assumes you don't need a nice car for job function (sales).

Comfort: is it a need or a want...

WhyNotUs
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Re: BMW to Chevy Bolt?

Post by WhyNotUs » Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:01 am

Sounds like a good option to me. No more oil changes and for a three year lease and a charger at your home the cost of use should be low.

I own a Leaf and it has been a very good car for us.
I own the next hot stock- VTSAX

ManhattanTrnsfr
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Re: BMW to Chevy Bolt?

Post by ManhattanTrnsfr » Fri Nov 17, 2017 5:28 pm

The company I work for has a number of EVs in its fleet which employees can borrow for company business, including both the Bolt and the Volt. I have driven extensively in the Volt and have used the Bolt a few times including a recent 320 mile one-day trip (with a stop at a DC fast charger). I find both vehicles to be enjoyable to drive with excellent performance in terms of acceleration. The Bolt’s range, which is advertised as 238 miles, is better than the advertised value, at least when i am driving in 40-80 degree weather.

Based on what I perceive as the more enjoyable performance of the Bolt compared to the Volt, I would recommend opting for the Bolt with the DC fast charger capability, unless you expect to be making really long day trips (> 400 miles in one day) in which case the Volt is more convenient. I didnt mind the seats in either car, although they weren’t awesome either.

hightower
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Re: BMW to Chevy Bolt?

Post by hightower » Fri Nov 17, 2017 5:38 pm

IMRTguy wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:16 pm
Hi fellow bogleheads,
I currently drive a 2012 BMW 335i coupe which comes off CPO warranty in 8 months from now. It has been a fairly reliable car, but has had about $5k in repairs under warranty. I am concerned about ongoing maintenance costs going forward.

My local Chevy dealer has a 0 down 0 drive off deal on a Chevy Bolt for $317 a month (only have to make 35 payments) and there are $3000 of rebates from California which bring the net lease cost to $231 per month. My apartment complex has Level 2 charging stations which are free for residents. I currently spend almost $200 In just gas for my BMW plus there will be ongoing repairs and maintenance that it will certainly require in the next 3 years (tires, likely water pump and oil leaks). Carmax has offered me $15.5k for it. It has 64k miles and I own it free and clear. Should I sell it and take the bolt? I could pocket the cash and don’t even have to make the first month payment. I mostly use the car for commuting to work in SoCal traffic, I don’t think it makes sense to keep this car.
I switched to an all electric car this year (BMW i3) and I absolutely love it! Never going back to ICE. If you're used to all the costs of repair and maintenance on a BMW, you'll be blown away by how simple and maintenance free an EV is. Absolutely I would go for the Bolt if I were you. Might be the last year to take advantage of the EV tax credit as well;)

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eye.surgeon
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Re: BMW to Chevy Bolt?

Post by eye.surgeon » Fri Nov 17, 2017 6:04 pm

I'd do it.

Bolt is an excellent car. I have a Tesla, but any EV will provide a superior driving experience. I used to be a BMW fan, had multiple M3s, etc. I might go back to BMW when they catch up in the EV market.
"I would rather be certain of a good return than hopeful of a great one" | Warren Buffett

Jeff Albertson
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Re: BMW to Chevy Bolt?

Post by Jeff Albertson » Fri Nov 17, 2017 8:04 pm

Bolt is Motor Trend's 2017 car of the year -
http://www.motortrend.com/news/chevrole ... -the-year/
Perhaps the most impressive thing about the Bolt EV is there are no caveats, no “for an electric car” qualifiers needed in any discussion. It is, simply, a world-class small car, and that’s before you factor in the benefits inherent in the smoothness, silence, and instant-on torque provided by the electric motor. The ride is firm and sporty, but transmitted road noise is very well damped. The steering has slightly artificial weighting, but brake feel is natural, and once you learn to use the higher regenerative braking modes, you can pretty much drive all the time without touching the friction brakes at all.

IMRTguy
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Re: BMW to Chevy Bolt?

Post by IMRTguy » Sat Nov 18, 2017 8:32 pm

Pulled the trigger today. Got a $15.5k check from carmax. Then went to Chevy, 0 down 0 drive off, didn't even pay a cent, and they paid for my first month. 2017 Bolt LT with 2 packages and tinted, sticker price of $40k, 35 payments of $317 for 15k miles per year. This car rocks!! I enjoy driving it way more than my BMW. Its more comfortable and has more/newer safety features. Very happy.

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: BMW to Chevy Bolt?

Post by TomatoTomahto » Sat Nov 18, 2017 9:22 pm

IMRTguy wrote:
Sat Nov 18, 2017 8:32 pm
Pulled the trigger today. Got a $15.5k check from carmax. Then went to Chevy, 0 down 0 drive off, didn't even pay a cent, and they paid for my first month. 2017 Bolt LT with 2 packages and tinted, sticker price of $40k, 35 payments of $317 for 15k miles per year. This car rocks!! I enjoy driving it way more than my BMW. Its more comfortable and has more/newer safety features. Very happy.
:thumbsup

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