2020 BMW i3 vs. 2020 Chevrolet Bolt

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/04/03

Both the i3 and the Bolt have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available crash mitigating brakes.

Warranty

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/04/03

The i3 comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Bolt’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The i3’s corrosion warranty is 6 years and unlimited miles longer than the Bolt’s (12/unlimited vs. 6/100,000).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the i3 for 3 years and 36,000 miles. BMW will pay for tire rotations, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Chevrolet only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the Bolt.

Reliability

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/04/03

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the i3’s reliability 21 points higher than the Bolt.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks BMW 8 places higher in reliability than Chevrolet.

Brakes and Stopping

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/04/03

The i3’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Bolt are solid, not vented.

The i3 stops much shorter than the Bolt:

i3

Bolt

70 to 0 MPH

163 feet

191 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

108 feet

132 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/04/03

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the i3 has standard 19-inch wheels. Only 17-inch wheels are available on the Bolt. The i3 offers optional 20-inch wheels.

Suspension and Handling

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/04/03

For superior ride and handling, the BMW i3 has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Chevrolet Bolt has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the i3 is 3.2 inches wider in the front and 2.9 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Bolt.

For better maneuverability, the i3’s turning circle is 3 feet tighter than the Bolt’s (32.4 feet vs. 35.4 feet). The i3s’ turning circle is 1.6 feet tighter than the Bolt’s (33.8 feet vs. 35.4 feet).

Chassis

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/04/03

The BMW i3 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 250 to 600 pounds less than the Chevrolet Bolt.

The i3s is 5.9 inches shorter than the Bolt, making the i3 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Ergonomics

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When two different drivers share the i3, the memory system makes it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position, outside mirror angle, climate settings and radio stations. The Bolt doesn’t offer a memory system.

The i3’s front power windows open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Bolt’s front passenger window doesn’t close automatically.

If the windows are left open on the i3 the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Bolt can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The i3 has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Bolt doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

The i3’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Bolt’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the i3 has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Bolt doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The i3’s standard rear and side view mirrors have an automatic dimming feature. These mirrors can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Bolt offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the i3 offers an optional Active Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Bolt doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

The i3’s optional Parking Assistant can parallel park by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Bolt doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/04/03

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the i3 is less expensive to operate than the Bolt because typical repairs cost less on the i3 than the Bolt, including $31 less for front brake pads.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/04/03

Consumer Reports® recommends both the BMW i3 and the Chevrolet Bolt, based on reliability, safety and performance.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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