2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV review: affordable and adorable
Editor’s Note: On August 20, 2021, General Motors extended its recall of the Chevrolet Bolt EV to include all 2019 models that were not previously covered and all vehicles from the 2020 to 2022 model years in the event of a fire risk. If you currently own an affected vehicle, you can get more information about the recall here.
The Chevrolet Bolt has always been a good (if forgettable) electric vehicle, especially nowadays with more enticing options from Ford, Tesla, and Volkswagen joining the mix. So, in an effort to keep pace, Chevrolet has updated its quarter-sized electric vehicle for 2022, even giving it a big brother in the EUV.
The Bolt 2022 is overall more enjoyable than before. Chevrolet has improved the styling, improved the interior and technology, and added standard DC fast charging to make its power tailgate more attractive. On top of that, the base asking price of $ 31,995 means you won’t have to break the bank to log in.
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The new Bolt looks super cute. It takes the funky side of the first-gen model and adds a grille-less front end for a more futuristic look, slim light fixtures near the hood line, and glossy black accents that extend to the side mirrors. Among other flat-faced EVs, the Bolt’s unique “grille” design with trapezoidal elements is the most attractive of the bunch.
We like the new taillights and their black surrounds, while the 2LT trim tested here sports a sharp set of 17-inch two-tone wheels, as opposed to the base silver shoes on the 1LT model. This car also sports an optional Bright Blue metallic paint ($ 395) which gives it a bolder look than some of the free silvers and whites.
Opting for the 2LT model also adds perforated black leather-trimmed seats with matching trapezoidal detailing to the front. Leather covers the steering wheel and is dotted around parts of the door panels as well, but there’s a lot of unsightly hard plastics elsewhere in the cabin.
At the center of it all is a new 10.2-inch touchscreen that sits neatly in the dashboard, surrounded by glossy gloss black. The plastic bezel is prone to fingerprints (as is the screen itself), but it looks less shocking than some of the other apps we’ve seen.
save over $3,400 on average excluding MSRP * on a new Chevrolet Bolt EV
The Bolt is not a strong argument for being a comfortable car in this category. The leather seats are soft and plush to the touch, but it’s like you’re sitting on them rather than in them. The support is weak, so is the butt and back support, and although the 2LT offers eight-way electric support with lumbar adjustment, we couldn’t find a really comfortable sitting position during our week. with the Bolt.
To make matters worse, the wind and the noise of the tires regularly enter the passenger compartment. Driving the Bolt on the freeway is noisy – nothing more than a quick city break requires you to turn the volume knob all the way to muffle outside noise. And even light winds push the large hatchback down the highway.
But at least the Bolt is roomy. The 40.1 inches of headroom up front seems sufficient, but it falls on the lower end of the spectrum. More traditional electric crossovers like the Ford Mustang Mach-E (40.5 inches) and Volkswagen ID.4 (41.1 inches) are better, as is the Nissan Leaf (41.2 inches). But the Bolt offers the best front legroom with a generous 44.3 inches – and with that, the front compartment is very spacious for the driver and passenger.
The rear seat also benefits from 37.9-inch headroom and 36.0-inch legroom, which is average to above-par for the class, and getting in and out is easy thanks to the at the low entry point and wide rear opening. Unlike some other crossovers in this class, the Bolt’s 5.5-inch ground clearance makes entry easy. Unfortunately, the Bolt only has 16.6 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second row, which is the worst number in its class – the Mustang has 29.7 cubic feet and the VW has 30.3 cubic feet.
Technology and connectivity
The 2022 Bolt gets a sharper 10.2-inch center touchscreen fitted with GM’s latest Infotainment 3 Plus software. As in most GM products we’ve seen this setup before, the home screen is clean, the graphics are crisp and easy to analyze, and the tactile responsiveness rivals that of a modern smartphone.
The difference here from, say, a Chevrolet Silverado with the same UI is that the Bolt gets custom EV-focused screens that monitor things like efficiency and driving habits. The “Energy” screen displays your driving history, shows average kilometers traveled and range used, and shows how things like air conditioning and outside temperature affect estimated range. It’s a nifty way for Bolt owners to try and get the best possible result.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto wireless connectivity is also standard, as is 4G LTE connectivity; we had no problem connecting to Android Auto during our test. By opting for the $ 595 infotainment package, you add wireless phone charging, a premium Bose sound system with seven speakers, and two USB charging ports for rear passengers (one USB-A and one USB-C).
Behind the steering wheel is a configurable 8.0-inch digital cluster that displays things like driver assistance functions, estimated range, power consumption, and more, depending on the usage you are using. you want to make it. Everything is neatly displayed in three individual partitions which make the features easy to see while driving.
Performance and handling
The new Bolt is powered by the same 66.0 kilowatt-hour battery as last year, with a single electric motor sending 200 horsepower and 266 pound-feet to the front wheels exclusively. Fast the Bolt isn’t, but the instant torque of the electric motor gives it solid thrust and allows for some agility around town. And if you’re feeling particularly fit, the Sport mode button improves throttle response with just a touch.
Thanks to the Bolt’s low center of gravity and low ride height (compared to some taller crossovers), it has decent cornering capabilities. The Mach-E is still the performer of the group, but the direction of the Bolt is well weighted and responsive, while body movement is minimal. You’ll need better rubber if you really want to throw it away, but most drivers should be more than happy with the way this sedan moves.
The Bolt offers one-pedal handling, accessed via a button mounted on the shifter, but it has one of the most aggressive regenerative braking systems we’ve tested. Lift your foot off the gas pedal and regeneration takes the Bolt too high, pushing you and the car forward. If you prefer the DIY method, the Bolt retains its paddle-wheel drive from last year which lets you choose when you want to use aggressive regeneration.
The most obvious problem here is that the Bolt EV doesn’t offer Super Cruise, unlike the larger Bolt EUV. And again, if you want adaptive cruise control, it’s a $ 375 upgrade available only on the 2LT model. That said, the driver assistance system performs well in heavy traffic situations. It automatically brings the vehicle back to speed smoothly and accelerates as needed. Opting for the 2LT model also gives you a lane change alert with blind spot monitoring and a 360-degree aerial camera.
Beyond that, all versions of the Bolt 2022 come standard with automatic emergency braking, automatic high beams, and two of the best front and rear cameras we’ve seen in a non-luxury car. The crystal-clear projection on the entire 10.2 inch screen makes parking much easier.
The Bolt doesn’t gain any additional range for 2022, but it’s still one of the best options in the class. The 66.0 kilowatt-hour battery allows it to go 259 miles on a single charge, which is better than what you get on the Hyundai Kona EV (258 miles), Kia Niro EV (239 miles), and Nissan Leaf (226 miles). ). The Tesla Model 3 offers a bit more range, although it is more expensive. And the Ford Mustang Mach-E and Volkswagen ID.4 suffer from both being more expensive and having less range in basic form.
One thing the Bolt is gaining for 2022 is standard DC fast charging, and it’s much appreciated. With the ability to charge up to 55.0 kilowatts, the Bolt will add 100 miles of range in as little as 30 minutes. We tapped into an Electrify America station at 19% range with 48 miles on reading and hit an 80% charge (bringing available mileage to 203) in just under an hour.
Unfortunately, finding the nearest charging station forced us to pull out our phones – the Chevrolet Bolt doesn’t offer standard navigation, and even on the larger Bolt EUV, it is an option. That’s a huge contrast to the Ford Mustang Mach-E, which offers one-touch charging station locator navigation – a much simpler solution.
The 2022 Base Bolt starts at $ 31,995 before the mandatory destination fee of $ 995. That makes it about $ 5,500 more affordable than last year and one of the most cost-effective options in the whole class. Only the Nissan Leaf is cheaper to start up, asking for $ 27,400 plus an additional $ 975 for freight – but the comparable Plus model costs $ 32,400.
In comparison, alternatives like the Kona EV cost $ 34,000, the Niro EV starts at $ 39,090, the Tesla Model 3 is $ 39,990, the Volkswagen ID.4 at $ 39,995 and the Mustang Mach-E costs 42. $ 895. The Tesla Model Y is the most expensive of the lot at $ 53,990.
Our test car is a top-of-the-line 2LT model, which costs $ 34,200, but it comes with a standard kit like leather seats, a 360-degree camera, and blind-spot monitoring. Adding options like the infotainment pack ($ 595), adaptive cruise control ($ 375), and a Bright Blue metallic paint job ($ 395) brings the total cost to $ 36,560 – et c ‘is fully loaded.
Even with every option selected, a well-stocked Chevy Bolt is still more affordable than many of its competition to start with (especially with some of the lease deals that appear). And while the Nisan Leaf is technically the cheapest of the bunch, a loaded SL Plus costs almost $ 45,000 when all is said and done.