Chevrolet Bolt Test Drive Review From Kron4 -Video

5 months ago by Steven Loveday 49

Reporter Gabe Slate, from Kron4 News was just at the San Jose Auto Show, and comes away showing off many of the best features in the Chevrolet Bolt in this quick video. Of course, he starts with a “no Tesla Model 3” joke.

Chevrolet Bolt "surround-view" 360-degree video feed

Chevrolet Bolt “surround-vision” 360-degree video feed

The nice part is that Gabe is actually in the vehicle, driving, for most of the presentation.

Takeaways from Gabe’s Chevrolet Bolt review:

Pros:

  • Long range, cheap price (especially after rebate)
  • No competition yet (as the Tesla Model 3 is missing from the San Jose show)
  • Smooth, quiet ride
  • Roomy
  • Brisk acceleration
  • Two rear-seat USB ports
  • Front and rear heated seats, and heated steering wheel
  • 10-inch color touch-screen infotainment system
  • Rearview mirror doubles as a rearview camera
  •  Surround-vision 360-degree video feed (screen animation of the vehicle and its surroundings)

Cons:

  • No concealing trunk (hatchback only)
  • Doesn’t look “cool”
  • Tesla offers “bells and whistles” like Autopilot, over-the-air updates
2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

2017 Chevrolet Bolt

Video Description via Kron4 News (Santa Clara, California):

No longer being dependent on gas and buying an all-electric car just got easier.

Chevy’s new lower costing EV “The Bolt” is now on the market in California.

We are the first state to have dealerships selling this Tesla rival.

KRON4’s Tech Reporter Gabe Slate took one for a test drive and shows us the highlights of this vehicle.

Watch the above video to see Gabe’s full report.

Gabe says the Chevy Bolt offers quite a ride!

Tags: , , , , , ,

49 responses to "Chevrolet Bolt Test Drive Review From Kron4 -Video"

  1. Kdawg says:

    1. I prefer a hatchback over a trunk.
    2. The Bolt EV *WILL* have OTA updates.

    1. ClarksonCote says:

      Agreed.

      #1 is subjective (hatchback versus trunk)
      #2 is true, the Bolt WILL have OTA updates.

      1. Scott Franco says:

        Yea I wondered about that.

    2. Brett says:

      Yeah, the back hatch area is too dark to see into anyway. Just tint the window if it’s an issue.

      1. Scott Franco says:

        If you are talking about back storage visibility, I believe they have that covered (pun). As in the Spark, there is a removable modesty panel that hinges up with the hatch.

        1. unlucky says:

          Only on premiers. You have to buy it separately for the LT.

          1. mike schenck says:

            I own a LT and it came with it.

  2. DougB says:

    So the only cons are personal preferences? Really sounds like they were reaching for something negative to say.

    1. floydboy says:

      Relax guys, stop competing against Model 3! Different type of car, not even here yet and we want to replace GAS cars, not EVs!

      So even when the press goads us, let’s not take the bait!

  3. unlucky says:

    If you have the Premier (and this did, given the rear view mirror) then there is a little flap beneath the rear window that hides the contents of the trunk area when the hatch is closed. You can’t see what is in the trunk.

    Speaking of the trunk. This better be a platform GM uses for something else, because there will be people who want a 200 mile EV from GM who also want to keep their golf clubs in the trunk all the time.

    The narrowness of this car means that you can’t get a driver in the back without taking out the false floor and it is nearly impossible for me to get my 3 wood in either (but I found a way to do it). You have to take your woods out of your bag and load them separately either way.

    1. mx says:

      LOL. First World Problems.
      But, you’re right, I wonder if a target bow would fit too. Would have to put the seat down.

      Of course had GM build a Chevy Volt WAGON…

      1. jaymac says:

        +1 on the wagon ! I would buy a Volt wagon ( ala Prius V ) NOW ! But I will most likely settle for a BOLT EV instead and make the full leap to gas free. The 4 door hatchback is near perfect.

    2. ClarksonCote says:

      Golf club solution: Lower one side of the folding seats. Boom. 😉

      Granted, this doesn’t necessarily let you keep them in your car ALL the time, but it’s an easy way to haul clubs when you want to.

    3. Kdawg says:

      According to Mary Barra, the Bolt EV will be a platform used for more vehicles.

      http://insideevs.com/general-motors-ceo-chevy-bolt-platform-huge-range-vehicles

      1. Ziv says:

        I wonder when it will happen. I would love to see either a Voltec or Bolt based Equinox/Envision CUV, preferably with AWD as an option. If no AWD then at least an even roomier version of the Bolt (do we dare call them station wagons?) with comfortable seating for 5 and even more rear cargo space and maybe a version with seating for 7.
        But instead, first we get a drastically overpriced Cadillac CT6 built in China… What could go wrong? The ELR did SO well!

    4. Larry says:

      I thought the driver was supposed to go in the front.

      😉

  4. mx says:

    Can we get a better description of handling?

    -Steering wheel responsiveness.
    -Ride on smooth and bumpy roads.
    -moderate speed thru some s’s.
    -fast speed thru some s’s, and what the center of gravity / weight transfer feels like.
    -Wheel slippage, during acceleration, braking or handling?

    1. This is a quick TV report; I think you can find more detailed things from owner and car reviewers.

    2. Durkle says:

      I test drove one in CA a couple weeks ago, didn’t get a chance to do anything other than some city streets and a bit of freeway, but can add a bit of insight:

      -Steering was OK, but not great. I don’t remember it being as sloppy as the old Volt, but would say it’s in line with other compact cars/new Volt. It’s no miata.
      -It was sprung quite a bit stiffer than I expected. There were four of us in the car so between that and the torsion beam rear suspension may have affected the ride a bit. It was a bit harsh on the poor section of freeway I was on, but again, more time on roads I’m more familiar with is necessary. That being said, definitely wouldn’t be a deal breaker for me as my car is fairly stiffly sprung as well.
      -Didn’t really get to do any speedy corners, but it cornered pretty flat. I got the impression it would handle alright with the really low CoG. More testing necessary!
      -Yes. It was mid 50’s and dry (overcast) and slipping the front was easy off the line, especially when coupled with poor road surfaces. Didn’t get any during braking or handling, but again, didn’t get a chance to do anything extreme.

      Overall, I expect it will feel fairly comparable to a somewhat sporty compact hatch. Not quite hot-hatch handling territory, though it’s got the torque of one. I’m looking forward to getting more seat time in one, for sure.

      1. mx says:

        Thank you.

      2. unlucky says:

        Suspension-wise I think the problem is with sharp shocks. If you hit a bott’s dot it is very loud and you feel it quite a bit. I put this down to low amounts of sound insulation and a somewhat stiff suspension due to the weight.

        However, for slower bumps it feels a lot better than similar EVs like a LEAF or an i3. It doesn’t porpoise like those do and it doesn’t rise up as much for a bump as those do. Although so it’s more compliant than those and with good damping. But it still is not as smooth as you might expect from a 3600lb car.

        I’ve never got complaints about “sloppy” steering. It isn’t sloppy and when you turn it goes where you turn to. Is it darty? No, of course not, it’s too heavy for that and it’s not like they are trying to optimize for handling above utility and efficiency.

  5. otto says:

    I test drive one yesterday, and I was a bit let down. Currently driving a 500e and off the line the Fiat is much quicker… Numbers suggest Bolt is faster to 60 but Fiat quicker to 30, so in the city that’s more relevant for my day to day driving. Interior space feels cheap even vs Fiat. They offered me a lease at 2500 down, 450 a month (plus tax)…. I suppose this will go down but I’m probably going to stick with the 500e for another leasing round, which is about half the cost for me vs Bolt.

    1. ClarksonCote says:

      I’m surprised to hear you feel the Fiat is quicker to 30 if the Bolt EV is faster to 20 than a non Performance Model S.

      Perhaps it’s just perception?

      1. WadeTyhon says:

        Actually the 500e is roughly the same or slightly faster than the Bolt from 0-30.

        But from 30-60 the 500e is slower.

        http://insideevs.com/plug-vehicle-cross-section-acceleration-30-mph-60-mph-ev-mode/

        1. otto says:

          http://insideevs.com/chevrolet-bolt-slower-0-30-mph-volt/

          3.2 here which is where I got my 0.4

          May vary by vehicle and testing conditions but it was a marked difference to me

          1. WadeTyhon says:

            Looking at the article, 3.2 is actually the measurement of the Ampera-e to 50 kM/h. It also states:

            “Separately, Chevrolet previously announced that the Bolt (effectively the same car outside some badging) would zip from 0 to 30 mph in 2.9 seconds, with 0-60 coming up in “less than 7 seconds“. So there is a bit of a discrepancy happening on in the initial launch times at GM.”

            So the difference is pretty negligible… although I think you are correct that the 500e is a tiny bit faster to 30mph. 🙂

            I believe I read that GM intentionally tried to pull back the “zippiness” of the Spark EV and Volt. I know my spark can sometimes be so quick off the line that it chirps the tires and loses traction for a moment.

            They wanted to smooth out the acceleration for the Bolt if I remember correctly. I think this might be the difference you’re most noticing on the fiat 500e?

            1. unlucky says:

              GM said they biased the engine toward more torque at highway speeds and less down low. Given the tires are not very grippy this is the right way to do it.

              People can claim butt dyno figures all they want but it’s going to be hard to see a significant difference in these two cars (or other similar EVs) in real world use to 30 because of the limitations of the tires. And 2.9 vs 3.0 vs 3.1 isn’t going to make a lick of difference in normal day to day driving. What percentage of the time are you at the front of the line at the stoplight trying to drag race the car next to you to 30 and you know it’s going to do it in 3.1s?

          2. ClarksonCote says:

            My post is wrong. I was thinking of the Volt for the 0-20 stats. Sounds like the Bolt EV fairs pretty well though according to others here.

      2. Spark+Fiat Leased -- M3 Reserved - Bolt TBD says:

        Test drove the Bolt at SD autoshow and have both Fiat and Spark EVs.

        Bolt is essentially Spark 2.0 with incremental improvements. It holds the line MUCH better than the Spark and traction refinements much improved as well as moderate interior steps forward.

        Pure joy driving the Bolt managed to meld the Fiat and Spark benefits. Quick off the line as the Fiat and really holds through 40-70 nicely where the Fiat dies off considerably.

        Cornering is great and turning radius is sufficient for city turns. Parks fine for its size.

        The ‘mirror’ camera takes a bit to get used to given the widescreen bar effect.

        Cargo is ‘massive’ compared to Spark and Fiat. Workable for two regular suitcases now. Still marginal for our dog though, and we’re cautious about this one KEY factor.

        Otherwise, it’s a great car.

        Financially, being Spark and Fiat leeasors, For $300/month, that’s WAY TOO RICH.

        It’s doesn’t move us enough off the block to get over the Fiat at reup for the 1st line commuter.

        For our second car, we may move over and consolidate our ICE -CRV, but holding out for someone to build a fun compact SUV EV out there.

        1. KumarP says:

          You sound like an ideal candidate for a used 2013-2014 Toyota RAV4 EV. The prices are really good right now, but you should make sure it either comes with extended warranty, or is under the threshold in mileage for you to purchase one.

          1. Fiat+Spark leased; M3 reserved Bolt TBD says:

            2014 tech – no warranty offered are our concerns; room wise, yes. RAV4 definitely the sweet spot. Need it to come back already — come on Toyota drop the FC stuff already — then again, we have a station just 2 miles away so a RAV4 FC would be interesting!

    2. DonC says:

      Actually the numbers show the Bolt EV is faster 0-30 MPH (2.7 seconds versus 2.8 seconds) and much much faster 0-60 MPH (6.5 seconds to 8.7 seconds).

      Most electrics are quick off the line. The problem with them is that the acceleration levels off. Not a huge problem but not ideal for highway merges and so forth.

      Sometimes a crappy car “feels” faster because the ride is more noisy and the ride isn’t as good. That might account for your impressions.

      1. Otto says:

        Uh… no. I’ve owned many performance cars (four 911s, multiple M BMWs, Ferrari), raced wheel to wheel for a decade at club levels. It’s not that the Fiat is ‘crappy’ and I’m misperceiving this as enhanced acceleration. If anything, the Fiat feels more solid and put together than the Bolt. Maybe I had a lemon Bolt, but it was markedly slower off the line

        1. ozzy code says:

          Did you put it in Sport Mode for your test drive? Also, who cares about a tenth of acceleration difference when you aren’t on the track. You should also understand that the Bolt has 3 times the battery weight and an extra 2′ of length than a Fiat so wouldn’t you say that’s a win for the Bolt? It’s not trying to be a sport car, but it’s achieving MUCH more than the Fiat is.
          Look, the Fiat is great runabout… with such little space it makes my bicycle seem competitive. It’s not really a fair assumption to compare the Bolt to the Fiat, especially from a leasing perspective… we know the only reason Fiat is leasing these is to offset carbon. I for one wouldn’t like to feel like a pawn in Dodges game of selling 800 hp Challengers in CA.
          Summary: Fiat, decent commuter, but it ain’t a real car and the playing field isn’t even level.
          The Bolt works for 80% of american families and if folks would embrace the tech, they could sell 20k a month.

          1. Otto says:

            Sport doesn’t affect acceleration on Bolt, only pedal sensitivity, or so I’ve read. I’m not saying it’s a pig, and I don’t expect a sports car. It’s just that for city driving, it’s nice to have the car accelerate quickly from low speeds. Fiat feels fun, Bolt felt like an appliance. Not bad, mind you, but with range as the major selling point, it’s already hard to justify at twice the ownership cost. I was hoping it would be more fun to drive and found it disappointing.

          2. Fiat+Spark leased; M3 reserved Bolt TBD says:

            Fair is fair with the checkbook. For a commuter and a +1 ride along, it’s really hard to beat the Fiat.

            And if you’re really a local drive situtation, it’s really hard to beat it on the surface roads in the fun factor while in a pretty cute car vs the servicable boxy Spark we have.

        2. Fiat+Spark leased; M3 reserved Bolt TBD says:

          I drove the Bolt both regular style and drag racing style as well as the cornering and driving. and turning.

          Bolt really melds both the Fiat and Spark benefits with minimal sacrifice. It’s fast off the line. steady on the corners. doesn’t torque over the wheels. maintains powers from 40-70.

          It’s a solid car. If they put incentives to drop it down to $150/mo, we may jump into it over.

          I am disappointed that it didn’t rise up on the tech part to match up with Tesla. GM has the tech and could easily offer up a Tech package with the goodies to park/valet/summon/adaptive cruise and keep it updated via OTA.

    3. unlucky says:

      I fail to see how the interior feels cheap compared to a car where they felt free to just glue a Tom-Tom to the dash from the factory and inserted a blank-out panel with 4 buttons where the shifter would be.

      It may not be the nicest interior but the 500e sets a low bar.

  6. Not bad for a local TV report – I hope a lot of the regular public find out about the Bolt EV and other EV’s; and TV reports like this should reach people who are outside the cloistered EV world.

    1. Scott Franco says:

      This board would reach a lot more people if you all would stop calling half the voters in the USA evil racist idiots.

      Just sayin’

      1. KumarP says:

        A little misguided anger?

  7. otto says:

    Road test numbers I saw have Fiat 0.4 seconds faster to 30. Certainly felt like a huge difference to me.

    1. bro1999 says:

      0.4 seconds would be noticeable 0-30.

      500e is probably also a lot lighter than the Bolt, which likely explains most if not all of the time difference.

      500e is just shy of 3,000 pounds….Bolt is almost 3,600 pounds.

  8. FFE 1 says:

    Cool! I like the rear seat warmers and heated steering wheel as part of the package.
    Interesting to compare to the model III – yeah – not really an apples to apples. I view it the same as comparing a Prius to Audi A2. You can probably massage both cars and get them to the same price approximately with options and such, but – yeah… The Tesla 3 comes off to me as a sporty, stylish, desirable ride – the Bolt pretty utilitarian. Price is not the final arbiter. Plus, we see what Nissan has done, or not done with the Leaf; first to market but dying on the vine. I think the delayed start will actually be a good thing for Tesla in terms of this market segment.

  9. Michael Will says:

    The two major issues are actually what makes v1.0 of the Bolt less attractive for two major use cases:

    1) local commuter use with stop and go traffic: no adaptive cruise control taking over stop and go traffic for you, in contrast to other cars with less but probably enough range like the Hyundai Ioniq, BMW i3 and probably others.

    2) road trip use: no super charger network means longer charging after using up the 238 mile range. This is not a problem for close road trips where you can charge at the destination, but it will likely mean more than an hour of recharging at one of the more rare 50kW DC fast chargers from EVGo or ChargePoint along the way. When you use a tesla for road trips, the you typically start out with more than 110kW/h charging, I think the current superchargers can provide up to 145kW/h and the next generation is rumored to be drastically faster. Some expect the model 3 to come with faster charging capability than current model S/X.

    The remaining use cases are still cool, and since they are mostly battery production constrained they will still sell all they can make:
    1) replace second family cars that is only are driven to the train station but still need to go say 150 miles on a day when you have more guests over than fit in your primary car and want to do sight seeing around town without worry about charging

    2) longer commutes without stop and go traffic, say in more rural settings, with or without destination charging as long as you can fill back up over time in the garage

    I could see a lot of nissan leafs / egolfs and ev sparks being replaced where the owners felt that electric driving is awesome but the range just is not enough for them to be happy with what they have.

    The ones that are happy with the range, like us using it as a second family car, will probably wait for model 3 because of all the new autonomous driving technology that is going to come with it.

    And then there may be the occasional downsizing from model S, where people overstretched their budget in order to get range and electric driving but now finally have a cheaper alternative. Then again if they already know what tesla can do for them they may be less inclined to defect 😉

    1. unlucky says:

      I don’t expect the Model 3 to have faster charging than the S/X because the charge rate is limited by the size of the battery. A faster battery can charge more quickly (in kW) than a smaller one. With a 60kW pack the Model 3 will be slower than an Model S for sure.

      I think you also didn’t consider this when speaking of the Model S charge rates. The 60s/75s charge slower than the 90s/100s and Tesla only really talks about how fast the fastest ones charge, not the slower ones.

      See this link for example. A 70D has less range added after 80 minutes than a 85D does after 60. And a 60 (a true 60, later 60s are 75s derated and thus charge like that 70 there) takes 40 minutes to add 100 miles while a 85D adds 100 in 18 minutes.

      1. Tech01x says:

        The Model 3 will have 2 generations newer chemistry than the original Model S 60’s chemistry. Plus, expect changes to the pack configuration. Therefore, the original Model S 60 doesn’t really tell us much about the Model 3.

        1. unlucky says:

          Sure, it’ll have a newer chemistry. But the Model S also has been upgrading its chemistry.

          My point was not about the original Model 60 in particular but about the effect of different pack capacities. There is no reason to think Tesla will “hold back” their Model S chemistry, so any advances will effect each the same. And so with the larger pack the Model S will still continue to charge more quickly.

          And I don’t think larger cell sizes will improve this either. In fact, making a pack with fewer, larger cells often reduces pack power density.

  10. mike schenck says:

    My Bolt LT is quite responsive, and in sport mode is very spry. LT is very basic, Premier is pretty nice. Might of waited for the Tesla if it was < 12 months, but it is probably at least 24 months. So 200+ electric only miles and looks decent enough to commute in, was good for us. Spend the extra money, we wish we did. There may be some inherent issues with the car, so be sure to read boards all around, just sayin….. (in the middle of one now, which I will elaborate on in the future, if need be). Working on addressing it now.

Leave a Reply