First off, a debt a gratitude to Kevin for allowing me and several others to crawl all over his shiny new Tesla. Again, reading about a car simply does not do it justice. Being there reveals so much more about the car! It was a struggle to find balance in my observations. (It can't be ALL good!) So lets be honest; it was Black and showed dirt really well. Whooo, That was tough!
And that is about all the bad. In fact, even the weather was good. Despite ominous forecasts, there was not a single drop during the hour long event held at Pioneer Park (a very lovely venue for a show!)
2) Driving aids
3) Public Charging
6) Comfort (primarily seat height, seat heaters, etc.)
Finally to the car!!
All three are acceptable. The LEAF might have the edge in driver's seat comfort and with my long slogs across Puget Sound, comfort is very nice to have. The Tesla comes close and easily could be better. I don't have as much time in the seats of the Tesla so I would call it a toss up. As mentioned in my Bolt review, the driver's seat has minimal padding and its easy to see how it could be an issue especially for someone thicker than me because the seat back is not flat, (I am fairly small...in a chubby sort of way... ) but the seat was not uncomfortable in any way. So it passes and the seat height (which is way more important) was fine.
It wasn't until I test drove the 2018 LEAF that I realized I had been undervaluing driver aids. I am old school (or just plain old!) and the thought of relinquishing any tidbit of control of my car to someone (or something) else is a pretty alien concept. But the traffic conditions have become untenable here so before you chide me for putting range so far down the list, lemme explain. Cause up until that test drive; range was EVERYTHING to me. My only goal back then was how to get the most range for the least amount of money. PERIOD! Nothing else mattered. Uncomfortable seats? Better than walking!
But as 90 minute drives home changed into 3 hour drives home (this is no exaggeration. I get paid to drive which means I have to file a driving log along with payroll EVERY day which I do by email and Google is nice enough to remember all of it in case I forgot what I did on July 7, 2013!) my ability to maintain alertness after a 10-12 hour day was becoming suspect. Every day, I would pass by another rear end fender bender wondering when my turn would be coming up. So range? I get a ton of that in my LEAF at 20 mph (and 20 mph is all too frequently wishful thinking!). So range is a priority; just not a big one and its the easiest to fix. Its called public charging!
Both the Tesla and the Bolt are nearly identical in cargo space. Now the option to make the car a "two passenger" vehicle is not always available so I have serious doubts about the Bolt. Since I normally am alone or sometimes with one passenger (if I can talk someone into staying late so I can HOV it!) storage would only be an occasional issue but the Tesla simply has much more usable space than the Bolt. Despite the LEAF having 50% more in the cubic footage dept, I see it as only slightly better than the Tesla and even then only in certain circumstances.
Mentioning this is completely unfair to the LEAF and the Bolt. Tesla will soon have well over a dozen urban SC stations in the Puget Sound region and unlike the public stations I use now, you will likely have 4 to 10 plugs to choose from instead of one or two. It is still shocking to me that only Tesla gets it; There is NO RANGE that minimizes the need for public charging support!
2) Driving aids
Another easy one. The Tesla and the LEAF have it, the Bolt does not. I get that Chevy cut costs to provide a bigger range but imm, they went too far and for me, it was a HUGE mistake. I had hoped the 2018 would have had it but alas... it did not.
The Tesla and Bolt are nearly the same price and have about the same range but I would pay $36,200 for a Tesla straight up. I wouldn't pay more than $30,000 for a Bolt and even then, I am not sure its worth that. The LEAF promises to be MUCH cheaper, likely $10,000+ cheaper than either the Tesla or the Bolt simply due to favorable lease terms which also makes the financial commitment much easier to deal with. If they continue with ridiculously low money factor rates they will be a tough one to beat especially with the huge advances on the performance divide the 2018 provides.
Ok when I actually "read" the Model 3 owners manual, I found that my assumption that "Speed Control" was some sort of adaptive Cruise Control was completely wrong so now the T3 is now "normal" in its lack of perfection since its bundled with a package I am not likely to buy... at least not initially.
On the steering wheel stalk, the wiper control does not control speed. Pushing the button only activates wipers for one sweep. Press and hold the button for spray and you will get two wipes right away plus a 3rd after a 2 second delay.