I've driven the Model S P85 and E-Golf, and ridden in my neighbor's Model 3. The instant torque is fun, but otherwise I was mostly underwhelmed. I think my expectations were too high.
They are definitely quieter than ICE cars (obviously), but I wouldn't really say that they are more relaxing in day to day traffic. Most of the jarring noise in traffic are other cars and wind noise. It's similar to an ICE car with a start-stop ignition system. Car is eerily quiet, but everything else is magnified.
Yes but it was a Leopard complete with a 5-spd manual and clutch. Super fun. You can start in 1-3 and realistically leave it in 3rd for all city driving. No need to engage the clutch to stop.
current: '14 BRZ, '16 Focus ST, '09 Fit, '00 Ducati ST2
Drove a Leaf when it first came out in 2011, and left whelmed; that car does the EV movement no favors with its dynamics, but it's a fine car if you're looking for a Camry type experience.
Obviously I drive an EV every day now, so I have some pretty good comparisons to...
Chevrolet Bolt: Other than the letdown of a cheap interior and tiny cargo space, this is a very nice effort. Feels pretty quick, but I didn't get a chance to floor it 0-60.
Tesla Model S 90D: I'm going to annoy Tesla faithful here, but the driving experience in *regular day to day traffic* is extremely similar to my Focus. In fact, the S has a bit more noise from the motors at low speeds, which to me sounds cool but I wasn't expecting it. Now it is fair to point out that the S is waaaaayyyy faster than my Focus, and is a giggle machine when it comes to onramps. But the takeaway point here is that there just isn't a huge differentiation in the powertrain from EV to EV like there is with fossil cars. The delivery and sound difference between, say, my old 5-cylinder Jetta and a Nissan with a V6 & CVT is very dramatic by comparison.
Reading Automobile's drive of the Taycan and seeing pictures of a human next to it, unless that guy's Andre the Giant this thing is a lot lower and sportier than I originally thought.
Original Tesla Roadster aside, this may end up being the most hardcore EV made to date.
I leased a 500e for three years and loved it. I will say that if you scoff at the HP numbers on paper drive it first. The instant power makes even the small EVs seem much more powerful than they really are. The Fiat has just over 100hp but it feels like much more until you get up to highway speeds. That instant power makes commute driving a breeze and zipping around town is much more enjoyable.
I believe that my next new car will be a BEV. They make gas cars seem so out of date. Not just the tech (the 500e has almost zero new tech compared to the regular 500) but the overall vehicle care is so much easier. All I bought for the Fiat was a set of tires over the time I had it making it the most reliable Fiat probable ever.
Also, the last thing that I found so nice was having a full "tank" every morning. This part was probably the nicest convenience of owning an EV.
Last edited by G0to60; 05-13-2019 at 11:27 AM.
Chevrolet Bolt. Plenty quick, handles pretty well. I'm pleased that it doesn't fall into the "saving the planet takes all the fun out of driving" category. Given my disappointments with my 2017 Golf and it's rather poor throttle response and crappy clutch feel, I actually appreciate the linearity and total smoothness of the 1-speed trans and the electric motor. The reason it's more fun is not only the torque, but also in lieu of an ICE and manual trans, the one-pedal driving actually is fun enough to be a new game to play with your brain, meaning see how you can drive it without touching the brakes. For something that I never thought could be engaging, it is VERY engaging that way.
I've had about 10min seat time in both an i3 and Model 3. As long as I have a manual transmission in my weekend/fun car, then I'd be OK with an electric as a daily. Depending on how the electric offerings progress in the next few years, I would definitely consider one as my next DD.
2019 Subaru Ascent | 2016 VW GTI S | 2010 Audi A4 Avant S-Line | PAST: 2006 MB E55 AMG, 2006 Scion xB, 2005 Volvo S60 2.5T, 2003 BMW M3, 1986 MB 190E 2.3-16
Leased a '14 Spark EV for 3 years and currently have a '16 e-Golf with about 6 months left on the lease.
Before we got the spark I drove every locally available EV on the market at the time - Leaf, Fiat 500E, Focus EV and BMW i3.
Spark was a hoot to drive. Had way too much torque for the stock LRR tires. e-Golf is an appliance. Plug it in and drive wherever you need within range. Next EV will either be a Kona EV or another e-Golf
You can't polish a turd, but you can roll it in glitter
First gen Leaf, both gen Volts, i3, eGolf, pretty much every version of Model S and X, and the eTron.
My take away is they are quite enjoyable in a daily driven application. The smooth and instantaneous power delivery, quiet operation, and heavy regen (negates braking as much) all conspire to make for a rather relaxing, yet pleasing and competent experience. If I had a 911 or something for petro fun and rawnesswhen I wanted, I'm pretty confident i could easily drive one everyday.
But for one car to do it all- be day-to-day transport but also serve as a fun driver, they just lose too much involvement, character, drama, and excitement for me.
Just my .02
Leased a LEAF for three years. Loved it. Great commuter car.
Gen 1 & 2 LEAF
I don't currently commute during peak rush hour anymore. When I did an EV was unbeatable. I hated grinding in traffic in my E39, and my LEAF made it super easy. I'll have another EV at some point, but I should probably just switch back to riding my bike to work and save the SS for the weekends. It's not my favorite thing to commute in either.
Driving While Awesome Podcast. Give it a listen.
Originally Posted by Phillie Phanatic
So I finally did it! I drove a Tesla (Model 3 Performance Dual Motor All-Wheel Drive.)
Holy crap was it fun. Totally not what I expected. Not boring at all.
Definitely do not miss the sound or vibration of an internal combustion engine.
Absolutely love the smooth linear power and pull of the electric motor. I was in the top end Model 3 0-60 in 3.5 sec. Did one hard launch. Never felt anything like that before. Reminded me of motorcycle acceleration.
The thing that let it all down was the interior build quality. I kinda naively said to the sales associate (they call them co-pilots) so what is that about $50K? And she said "Oh no, this one is about $85K" What?!? The interior felt on par with a Honda civic. Really crappy squishy unsupportive seats. Super boring dashboard. The ride felt expensive, but the interior and exterior felt like cheaper than a Golf. No could do.
My next car will be full electric though. For sure. It is totally the future. It's gonna be great.
I am on my 5th day of EV ownership with my 500e, and I enjoy it more each day. One of my favorite parts of owning the car is letting other people try it out. It's so much fun seeing the look on their face when they step on it for the first time! The car delivers surprising response and performance, all while being extremely quiet, and ridiculously efficient. This morning, I reset the trip odometer before I left for work, and arrived after my 14 mile commute with an average trip mileage of 198.5 mpge, or 5.89 miles per kWhr! Thus, I used only 2.38 kWhr @ $0.09 per kWhr, costing me only $0.21 for my 14 mile commute, instead of $1.68 for the same trip in my Focus! In fact, everyday that passes makes me wonder home much longer I will keep the Focus.
I drank the Kool Aid, and I am really enjoying it!
2000 Toyota MR2 Spyder, Absolutely Red/Black, 5spd
2005 Acura TSX, Carbon Grey Pearl/Quartz, Sportshift
2013 Ford Focus ST, Oxford White/Charcoal Black, ST3
2013 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid, White Platinum Metallic Tri-Coat/Light Dune, Reserve +Technology
2016 Fiat 500e, Electric Orange Tri-Coat Pearl/Black - I live life 84 miles at a time!
The interior is def not $85K or even $50k but the magic is all in the drivetrain and tech. What's interesting is that you get the same interior when spending $35k, $50k, or $85k. So in my eyes, the interior is only worth $35k.
This is what happened with my first i3. I dumped my Acura RL shortly after. The premium just didnt make sense.
Slow Car Fast
For anyone who has not driven an electric car, Winding Road published a POV video of a 500e that may be of interest, although you really need to drive one to feel the instant torque and responsive acceleration under 40 mph.
Last edited by Wimbledon; 05-16-2019 at 12:05 AM.
2018 Fiat 500e eSport
2008 Audi TT Coupe 3.2 VR6 Quattro 6MT
2006 Lotus Exige NA
To date, I have only driven two: a very early (2011?) Nissan Leaf, and a 2015 Chevy Spark.
Hearing so many of you gush about the 500e, I'm afraid to drive one--I might decide to get one of those rather than a Leaf like I've been planning.
Any car which holds together for a whole race is too heavy.