Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2017 BMW i3 VS 2017 Chevrolet Bolt Near Phoenix, AZ

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2017 BMW i3

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2017 Chevrolet Bolt

Safety Comparison

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

Warranty Comparison

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 1 year and 12000 miles longer than Chevrolet pays for maintenance for the Bolt (3/36,000 vs. 2/24,000).

Reliability Comparison

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Chevrolet vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW fifth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 1 more problems per 100 vehicles, Chevrolet is ranked 6th.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the i3 60Ah gets better fuel mileage than the Bolt (137 city/111 hwy vs. 128 city/110 hwy MPGe).

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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:





70 to 0 MPH

163 feet

181 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

108 feet

132 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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 Comparison

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 track (width between the wheels) on the i3 is 2.8 inches wider in the front and 2.9 inches wider in the rear than on the Bolt.

For better maneuverability, the i3’s turning circle is 3.1 feet tighter than the Bolt’s (32.3 feet vs. 35.4 feet).

Chassis Comparison

The BMW i3 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 350 to 700 pounds less than the Chevrolet Bolt.

The i3 is 6.6 inches shorter than the Bolt, making the i3 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The design of the BMW i3 amounts to more than styling. The i3 has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .29 Cd. That is lower than the Bolt (.31). A more efficient exterior helps the i3 go faster and keeps the interior quieter. It also helps the i3 get better fuel mileage.

Ergonomics Comparison

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.

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 has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which 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 or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Bolt doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

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