EV Review: 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

 In Electric Cars

When the concept was initially unveiled in 2015, it received high praise but was overshadowed by Tesla. Having arrived on the market much sooner than the Tesla Model 3, the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV is fully and completely stealing the spotlight. It’s compact crossover-style appearance and sports car-like performance are just a couple reasons the Chevrolet Bolt EV top of its class.

Then there’s the electric driving range. The 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV is the first mass-produced electric car anywhere near affordable with an all-electric range of more than 200 miles. Thanks to its 60-kWh battery that runs the length of the floor, the Bolt EV can be used for city and highway commutes and still have enough range at the end of the day for a night on the town.

The Chevrolet Bolt EV’s price tag is another unbelievable reason for its popularity. It’s the electric car for the masses with an introductory price tag, after tax credits, of around $30,000.

Exterior Styling

The 2017 Bolt EV is officially called a small wagon but more resembles the cabin of a crossover SUV on a compact car platform. The tall window height gives excellent visibility for the driver from all angles, and the design allows for up 94.4 cubic feet of interior space. 17-inch aluminum wheels are standard on both the LT and Premier trims albeit with different finishes to add a touch more class. The exterior is the one aspect that could be a detractor for some. It’s not exactly the most attractive electric car on the market and relies on its capabilities as its main selling point.

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV exterior

Fit and finish interior

For the price, you just can’t beat the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV’s equipment package. Electronic Precision Shift is an innovative shifter for simple gear control. Keyless Open and Keyless Start are standard equipment on all trim levels. Chevrolet MyLink with a 10.2-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and USB charging ports are also standard on all Bolt trims. Teen Driver mode, a configurable system that allows driver monitoring, is included across the board. The instrument cluster is new, taking the form of an 8-inch configurable full-color display that includes energy monitoring.

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Above and beyond the standard features are those found in the Bolt EV Premier. A Rear Camera Mirror, bird’s-eye view Surround Vision, and heated rear outboard seats are standard on the Premier trim.

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV interior

The exceptional interior equipment continues with available packages. The Bolt EV LT’s packages are a Comfort & Convenience Package with heated front seats, a heated leather-wrapped steering wheel, and auto-dimming rearview mirror, while the Driver Confidence Package includes Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, and Rear Parking Assist. On the 2017 Bolt EV Premier, an available Infotainment Package adds Bose premium 7-speaker system, Wireless Charging for devices and USB charging-only ports for rear passengers. The Premier’s available Driver Confidence II Package tacks on Low-Speed Forward Automatic Braking, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert, Following Distance Indicator, Front Pedestrian Braking and IntelliBeam headlamps.

Needless to say, the bang-for-your-buck factor is incredible with the 2017 Bolt EV.

Driving Experience

After a look at the 2017 Bolt EV’s exterior, you might not expect much in the way of performance. Prepare to be amazed. The Bolt EV is silent as a sniper, and so when you put the hammer down, you may not realize how quickly you reach highway speed. The Bolt’s 0 to 60 mph time is a slim 6.5 seconds, beating most of the gas-powered fleets currently built. It’s because the 2017 Bolt EV contains a powerful single electric motor producing 150kW, equivalent to 200hp, and 266 lb.-ft. of torque. The Bolt EV is rated at 128MPGe in the city and 110MPGe on the highway, and real-world testing has seen 96MPGe at speeds of 75mph. Its EPA-rated range of 238 miles is not far from true results.

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV performance

The Bolt EV is rated at 128MPGe in the city and 110MPGe on the highway, and real-world testing has seen 96MPGe at speeds of 75mph. Its EPA-rated range of 238 miles is not far from true results.

If you expect the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV’s driving experience to be lacking, you’re going to be quite surprised. High-strength steel is used extensively to keep the body rigid, and Performance Ride and Handling suspension create a quiet, controlled experience in the cabin. The Non-variable electric power steering feels slightly non-responsive but it’s only a minor annoyance.

Features

MSRP $37,495 USD
Type BEV
Electric range 238 Miles / 383 Kms
Total range 238 Miles / 383 Kms
Time to charge 9.3 Hours (Level 2)
Electric Motor 150 kW
Battery Capacity 60 kWh
Top Speed 93 Mph / 150Km/h
Warranty 3 Years / 36,000 Miles or 60,000 Kms Comprehensive warranty8 Years / 100,000 Miles or 160,000 Kms Battery and Electric Component Coverage

8 Years / 100,000 Miles or 160,000 Kms Battery and Electric Component Coverage

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV cutaway

Conclusion

The 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV has mass appeal. With its versatile and spacious cabin, it’s a winner for families as well as commuters. Its outstanding equipment appeals to a diverse group of buyers from young to old. The efficiency and solely-electric powertrain is attractive to the environmentally-conscious car buyer, and the exciting performance and sporty feel draws attention from those who would buy an electric car as long as the driving experience isn’t compromised.

In short, there are very few shortcomings with the Bolt EV. As long as you can get past the slightly odd design – or even like the appearance – you can’t go wrong with the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV.

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV Top Competitors

  • 2018 Tesla Model 3
  • 2017 Nissan LEAF
  • 2017 Kia Soul EV
  • 2017 Volkswagen e-Golf

 

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