Affordable EV Showdown – Tesla Model 3 vs. Chevrolet Bolt
Across the globe, all-electric car sales are on the rise. Automakers are pouring money into development and laying the groundwork for a future where battery-driven automobiles rule the market, and while internal combustion is still number one when it comes to industry success, the battle for EV supremacy is starting to heat up. The new frontline can be found in the pockets of consumers looking for relatively affordable electrified conveyance, and two major players are gearing up for an all-out assault – the Tesla Model 3 and Chevrolet Bolt EV. Both offer impressive distance-per-charge at a reasonable price point. But the question is this – which one is better?
For now, details on the yet-to-be-released Model 3 are still in flux, but given what we know so far, these two titans of the EV world should stack up nicely for a head-to-head showdown.
For this comparison, we’ll take a look at a variety of vehicle characteristics, including gadgets and technology, performance and range, cargo space and practicality, style and aesthetics, and comfort and interior, plus we’ll give you a few alternatives if neither car is what you’re looking for.
Continue reading for the full comparison.
2017 Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback
Chevrolet has announced its newest model ahead of the 2016 North American International Auto show, the 2017 Cruze Hatchback. Technically already roaming other parts of the globe, the Cruze Hatchback is making its first appearance in the U.S. thanks to spreading acceptance and growing sales of hatchbacks in the States.
“With nine percent market growth in small hatchbacks last year, it’s the perfect time to bring the Cruze Hatch to America,” said Alan Batey, president of General Motors North America and Global Chevrolet. “As Cruze continues to set the tone for Chevrolet globally, it articulates the brand promise of offering cars with the latest technologies, more features and greater efficiency, performance and safety with fresh, distinctive styling.”
The hatchback version of Chevy’s best-selling global car rides on the same all-new platform found under the 2016 Cruze. It also features the same vastly improved interior, updated powertrain, and continues undercutting the previous Cruze’s curb weight.
The 2017 Cruze Hatchback will offer all the same high-tech features as its sedan brother, as well, including MyLink with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, heated seats front and rear, a heated steering wheel, projector-beam headlights with LED accents, and an interior that features French stitching and available leather surfaces.
In the safety department, the Cruze Hatchback offers Lane Keep Assist, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Side Blind Zone Alert, and Rear Park Assist. Parents can even keen an eye their teen driver with the available Teen Driver feature, which provides driving statistics.
Update 06/16/2016: Chevrolet has announced prices for the 2017 Cruze Hatchback will start at $22,190, making it $195 more expensive than the Cruze LT sedan. The 2017 Cruze Hatchback will go on sale in the fall of 2016.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback.
2016 Chevrolet Cruze
The Chevy Cruze is essentially GM’s modern version of the Chevy Cavalier here in the U.S. It replaced the Chevy Cobalt in 2008 and saw two updates before being redesigned for the 2016 model year. When the second-generation Cruze debuted for the North American market, it grew in length and width and came with sportier styling cues. The most dominate change came in the form of new headlights, a reshaped nose and new character lines on the sides. On the inside, there is a little more room thanks to the slightly larger size. The infotainment system has been upgraded to Chevy’s second-generation MyLink infotainment system with a 7-inch screen, Android Auto, and Apple Carplay as standard equipment. Furthermore, the car now comes with heated seats in the front and rear as well as a heated steering wheel. Under the hood, we see more improved as Chevy is now offering the Cruze with a 1.4-liter engine that delivers 153 horsepower, 177 pound-feet of torque, and offers a combined fuel economy of 32 mpg.
The second-generation Cruze also brought a change to the lineup as well. The L and LS trim levels carry over, and the LT trim is now a combination of the LT1 and LT2 trims from the previous generation. The LTZ trim was also dropped in favor of the Premier trim as the range-topping model. A six-speed manual will be the only transmission available for the base, L trim. A six-speed manual and a six speed automatic will be available for LS and LT trims, while the Premier trim will be stuck with just the six-speed automatic.
The second-generation model is also spawning a hatchback variant that should be coming for the 2017 model year, and there is still a lot to discuss about this generation as well. With that said, let’s dive on into all the juicy details and see what the 2016 Cruze is all about.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Chevrolet Cruze.
2017 Chevrolet Sonic
Revealed at the 2010 Paris Motor Show, the current Chevrolet Sonic is a little long in the tooth compared to its main competitors, but that didn’t stop it from being a hot seller that brings new, younger customers to the brand in the U.S. But, while Chevrolet isn’t planning on ditching the already six-year-old Gamma II platform, the Sonic received a significant makeover ahead of the 2016 New York Auto Show.
Compared to last year’s model, which also gained a few nips and tucks, the 2017 Sonic is miles ahead in terms of exterior design. Solid improvements were operated inside as well, where a new infotainment system and the latest connectivity technologies are available. Chevy did ignore the drivetrain department, but the standard 1.8-liter and the optional 1.4-liter turbo provide just enough power for the small compact, along with excellent fuel economy. The hatch also comes with a couple of segment-first features, but we’ll talk about that in detail in the review below.
“The new styling and features of the 2017 Sonic reinforce its position as a fun, efficient small car with leading technology – all at an affordable price,” said Steve Majoros, director of marketing at Chevrolet. “This is an important segment for Chevrolet, as we really have an opportunity to introduce ourselves to new buyers and show them what we’re all about.”
The new Sonic goes on sale this fall with three trims to choose from for the sedan version. The hatch, on the other hand, will only be offered in RS guise.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Chevrolet Sonic.
The Chevy Trax didn’t hit U.S. dealerships until 2015, but Chevy is already on a mission to provide it with more diverse options. If you remember, Chevy offered us several visual options for various cars in its lineup for 2015. Models like the Chevy Camaro Red Accent Package, Camaro Black Accent Package, Malibu Redline Series, and Trax Redline Series all broke cover at SEMA this year.
We’ve seen the Impala offered in a “Midnight Edition,” and now Chevy’s little-car-based crossover is getting the “Midnight” treatment. Say hello to the Chevy Trax Midnight Edition. As we’ve seen with most of the models I’ve mentioned here, there aren’t a lot of major upgrades to the Trax with the Midnight Edition package, but there are subtle changes that make the model worth noting.
Before I go into details, it should be noted that these subtle changes can only be had on the range-topping LTZ trim level and are offered at a $500 premium to the LTZ’s base price (including the destination charge) of $26,125. So, with that said, let’s take a look at what makes it worth the extra $500. You might be surprised what you get for that price.
Continue reading to learn more about the Chevrolet Trax Midnight Edition.
2016 Chevrolet Volt
Launched for the 2011 model year, the Chevrolet Volt is GM’s first volume plug-in hybrid vehicle. Also sold as the Holden Volt, Vauxhall Ampera and Opel Ampera around the world, the five-door compact has already won numerous awards, including the 2011 North American Car of the Year. The most advanced version of the Volt used a 17-kWh battery that enabled it to return a range of 38 miles in all-electric mode. For 2016, the current Volt is being replaced by a redesigned, second-generation vehicle that delivers enhanced fuel economy from its revised gasoline generator, better performance and a greater electric-only range.
The new Volt has been revamped inside and out, with emphasis on a sportier exterior design and a brand-new drivetrain that’s significantly lighter than its predecessor. The five-door compact is also slightly bigger in its second generation, allowing Chevy to not only increase legroom front and rear, but enable the Volt — previously a four-seater — to offer seating for five. Read on for the full run-down.
Updated 09/13/2016: The 2017 Chevrolet Volt scored a Top Safety Pick+ award for its crash performance from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Check the "Safety" section for the full details.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Chevrolet Volt.
Chevy has just announced a $5 billion investment plan to develop a new vehicle family intended to bolster its presence in global growth markets. Chevy is focused on tailoring the new line to be flexible in meeting “rapidly changing” consumer demands, and will include advanced technologies in the areas of connectivity, safety and fuel efficiency. The cars will come in a variety of different body styles and be equipped with both diesel and gas engines. The first entry is expected to make its debut in 2019.
Looking ahead to the next 15 years, the automaker anticipates a good deal of industry growth “outside of mature markets,” and as such, will seek to secure long-term profitability with this new investment. The new vehicle family will replace several existing vehicles already sold overseas, although Chevy declined to specify which models would get the axe.
Part of the plan includes an expanded partnership between General Motors and the Chinese state-owned auto-manufacturing company SAIC Motor, with the two firms signing an agreement to jointly develop the core architecture and engines for the new vehicle family.
Chevy says a multinational team of engineers and designers is tasked with creating the new vehicle family to meet the expectations of customers in each individual market where the vehicle will be sold. These include Brazil, India, Mexico and China, with exports also expected to other high-growth, emerging markets.
Chevy hopes to see sales for the new line grow to more than two million units annually. Critically, the new vehicles will not see export to markets like the U.S. or Europe.
Further information on the investment plan and the new vehicle line for each market will be announced in the future.
Continue reading for the full story.
Starting with the 2017 model year, General Motors is planning to add a new family member to its line of Chevy crossovers. The new model, which has yet to be named, is scheduled to debut around mid-2017 and should effectively compete with vehicles like the 2015 Ford Edge, 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport and even the 2016 Honda Pilot. GM is dipping into the Traverse gene pool for design ideas, though, and will include third-row seating in the new mid-sized design.
Chevy can’t just pop out a new mid-sized model without making at least one change to its current lineup. To make room for another crossover, Chevy is designing the 2017 Equinox to be a bit smaller than in previous years — designing it around the same compact platform underpinning the 2016 Opel Astra and the 2016 Chevy Cruze. The smaller 2015 Chevy Trax will remain to compete with vehicles like the 2016 Honda HR-V and 2015 Nissan Juke, and the Traverse may undergo some design changes too, but it will remain the full-sized option in Chevy’s crossover lineup.
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Chevrolet has solved a problem that very few people outside of Death Valley, the Sahara Desert or Venus even knew existed: cell phones overheating in cars.
You’ve probably seen spy shots on these pages of camouflaged cars testing in the world’s hottest deserts and above the Arctic Circle. Apparently, Chevrolet quality assurance engineers were testing wireless charging functionality for cell phones in hotter climates when they noticed their phones would frequently overheat and shut down during wireless charging, which potentially stranded them in the desert like Jim Morrison searching for his spirit animal.
That last part probably never happened, but evidently, cell phone manufacturers don’t put their products through the same exhaustive temperature tests as car manufacturers do.
To rectify the issue, Chevy is introducing a new Active Phone Cooling system in a few new cars, including 2016 Chevrolet Impalas, 2016 Chevrolet Malibus, 2016 Chevrolet Volts and 2016 Chevrolet Cruzes equipped the with optional wireless charging feature. An air vent connected to the air conditioner is situated under the wireless charging bin and continuously sends cool air to lower the phone’s temperature.
“Innovation doesn’t mean reinventing the wheel,” Impala engineer Dan Lascu says of the system. “Sometimes simplicity offers the most elegant solution to a problem.”
Continue reading for the full story.
For some time, car enthusiasts in the U.S. have been clamoring for more fun and affordable compact hatchbacks, and now is the time to put up or shut up. Joining the already long list of compact hatchbacks, it is being reported that the all-new second-generation Chevrolet Cruze will be offered as both a hatchback and a sedan. Although the Cruze has only been a sedan thus far in the U.S., other markets have had access to the Cruze as a hatchback and a station wagon.
The report comes from Automotive News, which cited three attendees of a recent dealer meeting in Las Vegas, who said that a hatchback version of the next-gen Cruze was revealed under secrecy. It is also being reported that the hatchback shown was listed as a 2016 model, so it isn’t clear if Chevy will launch the sedan and hatchback at the same time or wait until after the sedan goes on sale to introduce the five-door. This latter scenario is what happen with the current Cruze as the sedan was first rolled out before the hatchback and then the station wagon joined the lineup.
Chevrolet will introduce the second-gen this week, and while we’ve only seen spy shots of the car, it will have the same basic shape as the redesigned Cruze that launched last year in China. This new design will essentially leave the new Cruze sedan looking like a shrunken version of the new 2016 Chevrolet Malibu, so it will be interesting to see how well the swoopy new design language lends itself to a hatchback body style.
Continue reading for the full story.
Apple and Android users will enjoy easier integration between their smartphones and Chevy’s infotainment systems starting with the 2016 model year, as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto make its way to 14 different Chevy models. The new software integration will utilize Chevy’s 7-inch MyLink infotainment screens. The 8-inch MyLink screens will be compatible with Apple CarPlay at the beginning of the 2016 model year, while Android Auto is expected to be available on the 8-inch screen some time later in the 2016 model year, following further development and testing.
“For most of us, our smartphones are essential,” said Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors, in a press release. “Partnering with Apple and Google to offer CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility across the widest range of models in the industry is a great example of how Chevrolet continues to democratize technology that’s important to our customers.”
So far, vehicles penned for integration using the 7-inch screen include the Spark, Cruze, Malibu, Camaro coupe and convertible, and Silverado light- and heavy-duty. The 8-inch screen integration will be found on the Cruze, Malibu, Impala, Volt, Camaro coupe and convertible, Corvette coupe and convertible, Colorado, Silverado light- and heavy-duty, Tahoe, and Suburban.
Chevy also plans on bringing this new integration to markets outside the U.S., including Brazil, Mexico and Canada. You can find more information regarding Android Auto market availability here and Apple CarPlay market availability here.
Continue reading for the full story.
Meet the new 2015 Chevrolet Trax – Chevy’s latest small crossover and the newest vehicle riding atop the Gamma II platform. The Aveo, Sonic, and Spark are the corporate cousins, but the Trax is much taller, and in the case of my tester, is available with AWD.
The Trax is a truly global product, selling in some 67 markets across the world. It’s even built overseas in Bupyeong, South Korea. Nevertheless, the compact ‘ute blends in nicely with the larger, full-body SUVs that roam the streets of America. Still, there’s no denying this thing’s small-car up-bringing.
Thankfully some small-car attributes have snuck through the “crossing over” process. The Trax is rated by the EPA for 26 mpg city and 34 mpg highway. Opt for the AWD, and those numbers drop by two and three mpg respectively. That’s not terrible. On the other hand, the down sides to owning a small car – cargo space, for example – didn’t make the transition. The Trax offers a generous 48.4 cubic feet of room with the second row folded flat.
So what’s it like to live with the Trax for a week? Keep reading to find out.
Continue reading past the jump