The below article is written by me, Lloyd Jacob.
So, in 2018, I had to make a tough decision. One that took me weeks and ripped me apart. The question was, do I buy a Chevy Volt or a Tesla Model 3.
I’ll compare the various pros and cons, then reveal which I purchased.
Chevy Volt: under $37K (easily), lease for around $360 — WINNER
Tesla Model 3: about $55K, lease for around $650
#2 Car’s Looks
Chevy Volt: good looking car. As a unique triangular shape. Interior is pretty nice as well. I like that it includes Apple/Google Car play. Much more pleasing to look at than a Toyota Prius or Nissan Leaf.
Tesla Model 3: sexy, modern and elegant. I love the headlights, the rear, the simple interior and the huge screen in the middle. — WINNER
# 3 Range:
Chevy Volt: around 48 miles on electric, rest is on gas up to 220 miles. If you want to stay on electric, you will have to charge daily.
Tesla Model 3: up to 310 miles. That's pretty amazing. Most people dive around 50 miles a day. So these folks don’t need to charge their car for 5–6 days. — WINNER
#4 Gas Engine Backup:
Both cars are great for local, and semi-long drives. However, the Volt’s gas engine gives additional flexibility of long ranges without having to worry about charging stops. I can drive San Jose, to San Diego and pump when needed. Yes, gas is expensive, but I just feel the gas backup gave me some peace of mind- WINNER is Volt
# 5 Built Quality:
Chevy Volt: Excellent.
Interior: The interior has cloth and leather options. Stepping up to leather is not too expensive. However, color choices are limited and you can’t customize. The Bose audio system is quite nice. The steering wheel screen is digital and displays good info. The center console screen is also digital. You can see the basics (radio, phone), charging status and energy flow, and it has Google/Apple Car play (this is amazing).
Exterior: Good paint quality. Wheel options are not that great. Gas lid won’t open until you open it from the inside (even if the car is unlocked)- thats annoying. Trunk space is huge.
Tesla Model 3: Good
Interior: Simple and clean. Beautiful large screen in the middle. Makes you feel like even Iron Man would drive this car. Great leather options. Lots of interior color choices.
Exterior: Many color choices, although some of the better colors cost a bit more. Looks great from outer view. Beautiful wheel choices.
I’ve heard from Tesla Model 3 owners that they have mixed feelings about the interior. They expected it to be of much higher quality. In the $55K price area, you can buy a top end BMW 3 series or Mercedes C class. The quality of those cars is amazing. Anyone transitioning from of those to a Model 3 may have a rough time adjusting.
I would still say the Tesla Model 3 is the WINNER!
So which car did I buy?
I drive about 60 miles in a day. I essentially use the car for commuting and weekend drives around town. I really love the Tesla Model 3 :) It’s great looking, all electric and helps the planet.
However, I had to consider the budget. This killed my dreams of a Tesla Model 3. The lease on a Model 3 was $730 vs Volt at $380. The insurance cost is also higher. I also drive around 60 miles a day. In a Volt, 48 of those miles is electric and the rest is gas. Volt gets 48 mpg, so on 1 gallon of gas, I can drive for about 4 days.
I bought the Chevy Volt. Although I could afford the Tesla’s extra cost, I couldn’t justify spending the extra money for a commuter car. I could take the extra money I save per month and buy a used convertible (which I’ve always wanted).
This article is not meant to deter you from buying a Model 3. It is a beautiful car that is the next leap in car technology, it self-drives, is safer, helps mother earth, and you will be part of the “Tesla family” of drivers. I would say if you can afford it, go for it!
Find used Model 3 Tesla cars here: https://teslacarsearch.com/?page=used_tesla_model_3
TeslaCarSearch.com is an independent organization and is not affiliated with Tesla Motors, Inc. or its subsidiaries. TESLA, TESLA MOTORS, TESLA ROADSTER, MODEL 3, MODEL S, MODEL X, ROADSTER, SEMI, TESLA SUPERCHARGER and the “TESLA,” “T” and “TESLA and T in Crest” designs are trademarks or registered trademarks of Tesla Motors, Inc. in the United States and other countries.