There is much to like about the simple usability of the 2023 Chevrolet Bolt EUV, especially its high-value pricing
Table of Contents
Range and Charging
Information About Bolt Tax Credits
Performance and One-Pedal Driving
Ride and Handling
Super Cruise Technology, Confusion
Why Buy the Chevrolet Bolt EUV?
Six inches can be pretty satisfying when trying to make the best impression — especially when it’s in the back seat of a Chevrolet Bolt EUV.
The extended-length Bolt “Electric Utility Vehicle” was added for the 2022 model year, following the original Bolt’s debut in 2017. Both models share a battery-electric front-motor and front-wheel drive layout. The small SUV crossover has five seats, four doors, and a rear liftgate. The design of both models features a high-strength-steel frame and aluminum front fenders, hood, door, and liftgate.
Both versions of Chevrolet Bolt use the same powertrain:
• A 65-kWh nickel-lithium-ion high-voltage battery
• Variable-speed automatic transmission
• A permanent magnet 150-kWh drive motor
The shorter Bolt EV has an EPA-estimated driving range of 259 miles. The Bolt EUV, heavier by 90 pounds, has a range estimate of 247 miles.
Among the Bolt competitors for size, electric driving range, and pricing are the Kia Niro EV and Hyundai Kona EV.
Designing the Bolt EUV freshened the front-end styling which was also applied to the standard Bolt. But no exterior sheet metal parts are shared between the two vehicles.
The new body style is about 6 inches longer than the standard model on a wheelbase stretched by 2.9 inches. And back seat legroom grew by 3.1 inches, now at 39.2.
The new interior includes a flat-bottom steering wheel that incorporates the Regen on Demand paddle.
With every new Bolt EUV, Chevrolet includes a dual-level charge cord. It has a changeable plug that can be used with a household 120-volt three-prong outlet for Level 1 charging. Or change ends to plug into a 240-volt NEMA 14-50 amp outlet for 7.7kW Level 2 charging (the charge rate of many home EV chargers). For many Bolt owners, however, the dual cable function could eliminate the need to buy and install a home charger.
For maximum Level 2 charging speed, both Bolt models are capable of 11kW Level 2 charging, but only with a higher-capacity charger.
- Level 1 120-volt charging will add about 4 miles of range per hour of charge.
- Level 2 240-volt charging (with the dual-level charge cord) will add about 25 miles of range per hour of charge, with a full charge in about 10 hours.
Chevrolet will cover standard installation through Qmerit for Level 2 home charging. The offer is good whether leasing or purchasing a Bolt model.
And Chevrolet EV owners also have access to more than 80,000 chargers in North America through the Energy feature in the myChevrolet app. There are several other access points to the app, including:
- Route planning and locations of available charging stations along the way.
- Real-time alerts about range.
- Click-to-charge payment for public charging.
There is much to like about the simple usability of the Chevrolet Bolt or Bolt EUV, including their high-value pricing. Unfortunately, it was smacked down last year with a significant recall by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. GM had to recall all 143,000 Bolt and Bolt EUV models because of a battery manufacturing defect that increased fire risk. Korea-based LG Energy Solutions makes the lithium-ion batteries.
GM quickly found two manufacturing defects in the battery cells: a torn anode tab and folded separator. GM said that in some rare circumstances, the defects could lead to a battery fire.
The remedy is to replace entire battery packs or selected battery modules. Progress has been slow, and other occasional electrical glitches have been noted, according to comments on the many Bolt-owner websites. Among my sources were ChevyBolt.org and the Chevy Bolt Owners Facebook page.
Says General Motors: “We continue to prioritize battery module replacements for customers and are making progress every day. Customers who have completed the most recent software update can charge their [Bolt] battery to 100 percent capacity.”
Federal law requires automakers to provide hybrid battery warranty coverage of 8 years or 100,000 miles. But California requires a warranty length of 10 years or 150,000 miles.
Check here for Chevrolet information on the Bolt recall.
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 or go to NHTSA.gov.
For 2023, the 2023 Bolt EV is available in two trim levels: 1LT and 2LT, with starting prices of $26,595 and $29,795.
The 2023 Bolt EUV is available in four trim levels: LT, LT Redline, Premier, and Premier Redline. New for 2023, the Redline treatment includes black wheels with red accents, black leather-trimmed upholstery with red stitching, and a horizontal red line on exterior mirror caps. The Redline is available with no-cost paint colors of Mosaic Black Metallic, Silver Flare Metallic, or Summit White.
2023 Bolt EUV starting prices are $28,195 for the LT; $28,690 for the LT Redline; $32,695 for Premier, and $33,190 for Premier Redline. All Bolt MSRPs include the $995 freight charge from Lake Orion, Mich.
Congress recently passed new legislation in the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. The law changes credit amounts and requirements for clean energy vehicles, according to FuelEconomy.gov. Among the new requirements to qualify for a federal EV tax incentive, the vehicle’s final assembly has to be completed in North America.
In regard to the federal EV tax credit for the Chevrolet Bolt, General Motors is waiting on full Treasury guidance to determine vehicle eligibility. However, the IRA requirements make an important modification to the EV tax credit: It lifts the 200,000-vehicle-volume cap, which GM had already hit as an early mover on EVs.
According to GM’s latest statement on the federal EV tax credit provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act: “We think the legislation aligns very well with GM’s long-term plans, and over the life of the credit, we intend to offer a number of vehicles that should be eligible.
“While some of the provisions are challenging and cannot be achieved overnight, we are confident we can rise to the challenge because of the domestic manufacturing investments we are making to secure a supply chain for batteries and critical minerals,” GM said in the statement. “We will have more updates after the implementing guidance is finalized.”
For updates, check with your Chevrolet dealership or FuelEconomy.gov
Chevy Bolt Standard Equipment
There is no shortage of standard equipment on the base LT model. Among its safety features are 10 air bags, an electric parking brake, and Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning.
LT convenience features include keyless entry and starting with remote start, six-way manually adjusted front seats, wireless phone charging, USB type A and C charge ports, six-speaker audio system, HD rearview camera with guidance lines, and wireless capability for Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.
The 8-inch color driver-information center (gauges) has a choice of visual themes for Modern or Enhanced. And there is a screen that includes displays of vehicle efficiency with programmable charge times.
The Premier tester was $37,390 with the two major factory option packages of Sun and Sound ($2,495) and Super Cruise, $2,200. Details are below in the specifications chart.
Bolt EUV Premier adds such extras as perforated leather-trimmed upholstery, an eight-way power driver seat with two-way power lumbar, heated and ventilated front seats, heated steering wheel, and heated rear seats. Safety technologies include rear park assist, rear cross-traffic alert, rear camera mirror (digital), HD surround-view camera system, and lane change alert with side blind zone alert.
Find current pricing and special offers for the 2022 and 2023 Bolt EUV here.
The Bolt EUV has big-and-tall head and leg room for a subcompact-class SUV.
Front headroom is large-vehicle tall at 40 inches as a hardtop or 39.1 inches with the dual-panel panoramic power sunroof, part of the $2,495 Sun and Sand package.
Legroom in the front seats is a lengthy 44.3 inches. There is comfortable seating for a 6-foot-6 passenger who has uncropped visibility out the windshield or having to steeply recline the seatback.
Back seat roominess benefits from a completely flat floor. While the rear legroom is long, the bench seat bottom is short for adult thigh support. But it works well for the school carpool or ride-hailing.
Cargo space is just a few tenths smaller than the standard Bolt. The space measures 16.3 cubic feet behind the back seat or 56.9 cu. ft. with the 60/40 back folded. The cargo entry opening is wide at 41 inches with multi-level capacity. Subfloor storage beneath the second level neatly stores the charging cables. Fold the back seat for 5 feet in length. And the roof rack is low enough to load bikes or other awkward-shaped gear that won’t fit inside.
Chevrolet interiors have a premium mix of plastics and other textured materials, all of which are in the Bolt.
The driver area is simply designed and straightforward to use. The technologies, such as the Chevrolet Infotainment 3 Plus touchscreen, are not intimidating but facilitating. Its 10.2-inch-wide screen is easily viewed, and there should be no frustration for tech beginners to page through the choices.
Especially welcome are physical switches for many cabin functions, such as fan speed, temp control, and seat heating and ventilation.
Driver sightlines are unencumbered at the side mirrors or over the shoulder. And in between, the Premier’s surround-view camera system gives overhead and front or rear views. It is salvation when inching out of tight parking to see when it is time to crank the steering wheel.
There is enjoyable kick to the Bolt EUV performance with its 200 horsepower and 266 foot-pounds of torque. For most of my test week, I nursed the battery reserve by driving in Normal mode. And then I found Sport mode, which changed my perspective. Sport mode adds a line-drive response to acceleration. It is not blunt-force fun, but Chevy cites an estimated acceleration to 60 mph in 7 seconds and 6.9 for the slightly shorter Bolt EV.
With a Level 2 charger at home and the freedom to charge at will, I felt empowered to enjoy the quickness of Sport mode. And, in my experience, it was not a significant drain on the battery. The quick zip is enjoyable around town and essential to guard your line in commuter traffic.
I especially enjoy the feature of one-pedal driving, the so-called e-Pedal. The driver can slow or stop the Bolt using only the accelerator pedal under most conditions. And at the same time, the system recaptures energy for the battery.
In time, drivers can anticipate their stopping distance and lift off the accelerator to stop precisely at the intersection. The function does not eliminate the need to use the brake pedal altogether, especially in emergencies. But using one-pedal driving reduces the switching back and forth between pedals, which can take away from the electric driving range.
The one-pedal function can be switched off at the shift-console button. Sometimes when inching along in heavy traffic or when parking, the e-Pedal operation can be jerky.
When one-pedal is not engaged, the driver can get manually applied regeneration by using the Regen on Demand paddle at the back of the steering wheel. Pulling the regen paddle activates the regeneration process, piping kinetic energy to the battery.
For a tall and small SUV, the Bolt EUV rolls with uncommon smoothness and no choppiness on the interstate. The suspension is simple but well-engineered of front MacPherson struts with a solid stabilizer bar and a rear torsion beam with coil springs.
The driver might notice the heft of the curb weight, 3,715 pounds, with the 947-pound battery. But I experienced no bottoming-out in dips are sensitivity to chin scrapes at driveways.
The suspension has a comfort-ride composure, but the Bolt EUV is steady in evasive maneuvers or hard braking. Its turning circle of 38.3 feet is nimble enough in cramped parking or making a U-turn on a side street.
Regenerative four-wheel-disc braking has vented 11-inch front rotors and 10-inch solid rotors rear. There is good steering response and little noise or road harshness transmitted by the 17-inch Michelin Energy Saver Selfseal (215/50).
And the Bolts are dolly towable behind a motorhome.
The 2022 Bolt EUV is the first Chevrolet offered with Super Cruise, a so-called hands-free driver assistance technology for enabled roads. The assist system can be used on more than 200,000 miles of enabled roads in the U.S. and Canada.
Super Cruise employs many advanced technology features, including a Driver Attention System and precision LiDAR map data. The Driver Attention System uses a small camera on the top of the steering column. It works with infrared lights to determine where the driver is looking whenever Super Cruise is in operation.
If the Driver Attention System detects the driver’s gaze has turned away from the road ahead for too long, the steering wheel light bar will prompt the driver to return their attention to the road. If the system determines continued inattentiveness, it will use visible and audible alerts to notify the driver to take back control of the wheel.
I don’t like surprises while driving, and semi-autonomous or fully autonomous systems always inject a little surprise into the driving experience. In my experiences with Super Cruise, I consider it a good hands-on driver-assist system — and I always drive with my hands poised near the steering wheel.
Super Cruise Confusion
Like many driver-assist systems, Super Cruise is not precise in lane centering. At times, the system would issue alerts when the Bolt EUV crossed into the white lines of lane delineation — but it did not cross over completely.
It was a prior testing experience that really put me on guard. While testing a GMC Sierra with the hands-free system, Super Cruise misread the road ahead.
Along a section of Interstate 5 north of downtown San Diego near the state Route 52 exit toward La Jolla, the interstate runs beneath SR52 as it merges with the interstate. The divided highway of SR52 cast two bold shadows across I-5. Approaching the underpass at 65 mph, Super Cruise must have thought the dark shadows were solid objects. The system applied full braking force at the first shadow crossing the interstate. It could not have stopped the truck, as the Sierra crossed the first shadow, it resumed heavy acceleration. Then, just a few yards beyond it came upon the second shadow, and Super Cruise again slammed on the brakes.
Fortunately, in both incidents the highway behind was clear for several car lengths.
I took over steering as my pounding heart rate settled down. The Super Cruise system also shut down and gave a message that the dealership should examine the vehicle.
While testing Super Cruise in the Bolt EUV, I covered the same interstate route to see what would happen. It was a cloudy day, but the system still applied braking but less firmly at the lighter shadows.
If I were buying a Bolt EUV, I’d pass on the $2,200 Super Cruise option and enjoy the standard adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go.
The Chevrolet Bolt EUV is not a lifestyle statement. It is a life choice — and a smart one. It has the familiar operation of a traditional car but elevated by electric power.
There are many compact SUV EVs that are theaters of dazzling electronic tech. And most of those can cost $50,000 and a lot more.
The Bolts are an uncompromising first step into the future of battery-electric vehicles.
Body style: subcompact, 5-door, 5-seat, front-wheel drive battery-electric SUV crossover
Transmission: 1-speed automatic with one-pedal drive and Sport mode
Battery: 65 kWh lithium-ion of 288 cells
Weight: 947 pounds
Type: Single motor and gearset
Motor: 200-hp permanent magnetic drive motor; 266 lb.-ft. torque
Driving range: EPA-estimated 247 miles on a full charge
0-60 mph acceleration: 7 seconds, using Sport mode
120 volt: 4 miles of range per hour
240 volt, 32 amps (dual charge cord): 25 miles of range per hour; full charge in about 10 hours
240 volt, 48 amps: 37 miles of range per hour; full charge in about 7 hours
DC fast charge: up to 95 miles in 30 minutes
EPA fuel economy equivalent: 125/104 city/hwy MPGe
BY THE NUMBERS
Cargo space: 16.3-56.9 cubic feet
Front head/leg room: 39.1*/44.3 inches *40 inches w/o sunroof
Rear head/leg room: 37.8/39.2 inches
Length/wheelbase: 169.7/105.3 inches
Curb weight: 3,715 pounds
Turning circle: 38.3 feet
Standard equipment includes: smart key locking and push-button ignition, remote start, Chevrolet Infotainment 3 Plus with 10.2-inch wide HD color touch screen with voice recognition, electric parking brake, Bluetooth phone and audio, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capable, in-vehicle apps, wireless charging, efficiency display screens with programable charge times, perforated leather-trimmed upholstery, leather-wrapped steering wheel, 8-inch driver-information display, sliding visors with lighted vanity mirrors, 8-way power driver seat with 2-way lumbar, 6-way manual front passenger seat, heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, adaptive cruise control, HD surround-view camera system, solar-absorbing glass, LED headlights-taillights-daytime running lights, 17-inch alloy wheels with carbon flash painted pockets, heated and power adjusted side mirrors with turn-signal indicators, rear wiper-washer.
Safety features include: 8 air bags; stability and traction controls; lane change alert with side blind zone alert, rear cross-traffic alert, and rear park assist (standard on Premier and available on LT).
Chevy Safety Assist includes automatic emergency braking, front pedestrian braking, lane keep assist with lane departure warning, following-distance indicator, forward collision alert, and IntelliBeam auto high beams.
Bolt EUV Premier base price: $32,695 including $995 freight charge; price as tested $43,690
Options on test vehicle: Sun and Sound package, $2,495, includes 7-speaker Bose audio system, power dual-panel sunroof with power sunshade, Chevrolet Infotainment 3 Plus with navigation;
Super Cruise, $2,200, includes 3-years of Super Cruise connectivity and enhanced automatic emergency braking.
Where assembled: Lake Orion, Mich.
Warranties: 3-years/36,000-miles basic bumper to bumper; free first scheduled maintenance service; 8-years/100,000-miles electric propulsion components (but 10-years/150,000-miles in California); 5 years/60,000 miles roadside assistance and courtesy vehicle when servicedRead more