MotorWeek Declares Chevrolet Bolt Winner Of “Drivers’ Choice Best of the Year” – Video

7 months ago by Eric Loveday 45

The Chevrolet Bolt has added another major award to its already packed trophy case. This one comes from the folks over at MotorWeek!

MotorWeek Award

As MotorWeek explains:

“Each year we roll out the red carpet for our annual Drivers’ Choice Awards. These are the cars and trucks we would like to have parked in our driveway, or at least dream about owning if we won the lottery. We look at the factors mattering most to consumers – price, practicality, performance and fuel efficiency. Then our editorial staff selects the best models in a variety of lifestyle categories ranging from family sedan to luxury car, to large utilities and pickups. From that group, an overall best of the year is chosen. MotorWeek’s Drivers’ Choice Awards have been presented annually since 1983.”

This year, the honor goes to none other than the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt. MotorWeek declared:

“The Chevrolet Bolt is the winner of MotorWeek’s Drivers’ Choice Best of the Year award!”

Chevy Bolt Takes Home MotorWeek Drivers’ Choice Award

Here’s the MotorWeek write-up on the Bolt’s victory:

Chevrolet Bolt

The Chevrolet Bolt EV is our 2017 MotorWeek Driver’s Choice best of the year.

A clear standout above all of the vehicles we’ve driven over the past 12 months, it should be no shocker to anyone who has followed the evolution of electric cars, that this highly practical plug-in takes our most coveted prize. Ever since modern EVs first hit our streets, countless critics and consumers have collectively proclaimed that they wouldn’t truly be viable alternatives to internal combustion vehicles until they could travel 200-miles between charges and cost less than $30,000. Well, we’ve finally breached that milestone, and it’s Chevrolet, not Tesla or any other upper crust brand that got there first. And they did it with a good looking, highly practical package that’s not an eco-freakmobile strictly for the greenies.

As for specifics, Government EPA range is estimated at 238-miles, with MPGe ratings of 128-City, 110-Highway, and 119-Combined. The Bolt EV’s 60-kWH battery pack puts out 200-horsepower and 266 lb-ft. of torque through a permanent magnetic drive motor. A full charge on 240-volts takes 9-hours, but 90 miles of range can be added in as little as 30-minutes with a DC fast charge. There are things that you expect, like EV-specific navigation, high efficiency tech throughout, and a host of active and passive safety features.

But there are also things you might not expect like seating for 5 in the well-equipped cabin, modern crossover-like exterior styling, and hatchback utility with 16.9 cubic-ft. of cargo space behind the seats. It’s even fairly entertaining to drive thanks to near-instantaneous torque delivery, and batteries that are mounted as low as possible in the chassis. You can easily dial in your preferred amount of regenerative braking, less to make the driving experience close to normal, or max to add as much energy as possible back in and pretty much drive the car without using the brake pedal. The Bolt EV removes whatever obstacles and excuses that remain in keeping all-electric cars from going mainstream.

True, base pricing is actually $37,495. But, once the full federal tax credit is applied it squeaks under the $30,000 threshold, and many state incentives take it even lower. Hopefully, those perks will remain in place for the foreseeable future.

Pushing boundaries, setting benchmarks, while keeping it affordable; that’s what made the Chevrolet Bolt EV our staff’s unanimous choice as our 2017 MotorWeek Drivers’ Choice Best of the Year.

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45 responses to "MotorWeek Declares Chevrolet Bolt Winner Of “Drivers’ Choice Best of the Year” – Video"

  1. Warren says:

    So, here in the hinterlands. There are 11 new Bolts at a northern Virginia dealership. They are loaded up with every gadget offered. But none has a DCFC port!?!?

    1. Ziv says:

      Warren, I noticed the same thing. Ted Britt has a bunch of Bolts and none show as having DCFC, despite their having $3000+ worth of options.
      I would bet even money that Ted Britt doesn’t realize how important DCFC is to a substantial portion of the BEV buying public. Or it could be stupid as “the system won’t let me enter DCFC as an option!” Nah, even Chevy isn’t that backward. LOL!

      I get my Volt serviced at Koons, and normally I would check there first, but they haven’t gotten any Bolts yet.

      1. no comment says:

        the model that GM is using seems to be based on the notion of home charging. at 30 minutes of charging time for a mere 90 miles of range, i don’t see the DCFC option as having much value. while BEV buyers are a niche, those who would refuse to buy a Bolt for lack of DCFC are a niche within a niche.

        1. Ziv says:

          I hear you, no comment, but I have to admit that even though I wouldn’t use DCFC that frequently, I wouldn’t buy a BEV without it.

          Right now fast chargers are rare, but within 2 or 3 years they are going to be all over the place. I don’t roadtrip all that much but when I do, I want my pit stops to be 40 minutes or less. DCFC will do that.

          Since I sold my Z, I am back to owning just one car, so if I get a BEV it will have to roadtrip and that means I want to fast charge.
          I think that people who want to roadtrip occasionally in their BEVs are a large part of the electric car buying public. DCFC isn’t the only thing that drives a BEV purchase, but it is in the top 3 or 4 for a lot of people.

          That having been said, I think GM was right to make DCFC an option because there are a lot of people that will never use it. Though the non-DCFC buyers may take a hit on resale when they end up selling the Bolt down the road.

          1. CLIVE says:

            CHAdeMO are not rare.

            Try 5 years.

            ?

          2. BenG says:

            I agree 100%. Wouldn’t buy a Bolt without DCFC. Even if you only use it one week out of the year it would be worth it over time compared to the expense and trouble of renting a car for a week each year.

        2. Nick says:

          On the other hand, you’ll be lucky to pickup 16 miles of range over the same 30 minutes of L2 charging.

          Optional DCQC on this car is strange.

          1. CLIVE says:

            LOL… not cool !!!!

            BMW did this too in the beginning.

            Then once people figured out what they were missing they offered it standard and removed the $1000 up charge. Pissed ? off many buyers before they figured out they need to include it from the factory so the dealer could not order wiithout it.

          2. BenG says:

            I understand GM making it optional this first year as they tried to bring the car in under $30k after incentives.

            I expect they’ll include it as a standard feature either next model year or the following.

        3. Someone out there says:

          Hopefully you will be able to retrofit the charger later if you find that you need it

      2. GSP says:

        Ziv,

        That is rediculous. Even if rarely used, DCFC is crucial to have when you need it. Even for the rare EV driver that will never drive further than round trip range from home, DCFC will be needed by second and subsequent owners. EVs without DCFC will take a (bigger) hit on resale value.

        Every EV should have DCFC capability.

        GSP

        1. GSP says:

          The above reply was meant for “no comment” instead of Ziv. Sorry.

          GSP

    2. Ziv says:

      Warren, your comment made me wonder what was up so I went over to Koons and saw that they have a Bolt in the prime position inside the dealer, right next to the Grand Sport Corvette.

      So I go in and the sales guy said that they have 8 that were supposed to be in already but they are waiting on 7 that are late. He said that they aren’t sure how much demand they will have for DCFC, so they ordered 4 with it and 4 without it.

      This was the first time I saw a Bolt that wasn’t a Premier and all I have to say is that the base model cloth seats in Dark Galvanized and Sky Cool Gray look like they belong in a Yugo. They really look cheap and somehow they even look smaller than the seats in the Premier Bolts I have sat in. Is that even possible? Could the bottom side bolsters actually be smaller? Because they look pretty slim.

      One thing that I found that was interesting was that a month or two ago I read that DCFC was an option that you could only get on Premier Bolts, but when I built one myself the $750 DCFC was an option for the LT package as well.

      1. Ziv says:

        Angie at Ted Britt says that the Bolts are coming in with DCFC but it doesn’t show up online. But it is on the invoice. I have to say, leaving one of the better features a BEV can have off the online ads because that feature isn’t on ICE vehicles sounds just like GM.

        1. Warren says:

          I hope she’s right. Because those cars will lose half their value without it.

          1. Ziv says:

            I hear you, but I don’t think buying a Bolt without the DCFC option will cost half the value.
            Think about it. In 3 or 4 years Bolts will sell for 30-40% of their current MSRP, much like the Volt. If the Bolt has DCFC it will sell for $12k. If it doesn’t have DCFC it will sell for $11k. Yeah, I made those numbers up, but the fact is that there will be 2 markets for used Bolts. One that needs DCFC and will spend a bit more for it, and one that doesn’t care, and will spend a bit less. I don’t know if a quarter or a half won’t care about DCFC, but I would imagine that the people that don’t care will probably outnumber the ones that really, really want DCFC.
            Just my two cents.

    3. JohnL says:

      I went with a friend when he picked up his new Bolt last weekend at a Chevy dealer in Los Angeles. The dealership had 13 new Bolts on the lot. Every one had DCFC.

  2. no comment says:

    there is a certain extent to which i wonder whether these awards are based on marketing hype. even when compared to the comments on this forum, this seems like a glowing commentary. on the other hand, it is good publicity that might help expand the market for electric vehicles, which itself is a laudable goal.

    1. floydboy says:

      Yeah, I’m starting to get a feeling here. I’ll know for sure this time next year.

    2. mx says:

      MotorWeek’s snarky comment about previous “green” cars, and their attitude toward Tesla, seem to confirm some kind of “incentive” to give the Bolt a good review.

      On the plus side that would mean GM actually want’s to sell these. But, we’ll really see if GM is serious, and delivers an HONEST Lease nationally, that includes the FULL Federal Tax Credit in the lease.

      Otherwise the BMW i3, with an HONEST lease, is still cheaper.

      1. mx says:

        The importance of an honest lease is that a buyer can lease for 3 years, and then buy the car at the end of the lease. Otherwise, the price is still just too high.

      2. Rich says:

        +1
        I’m thrilled about the Bolt, but hate GM pocketing $5,000 of the $7,500 federal tax credit on their leases. Hopefully, the Motorweek review will appeal to mainstream buyers. If that means they have to snicker at us “greenies”, so be it.

      3. Lloyd Szabo says:

        Have owned the BMW. Couldn’t give it away. You can lease them for next to nothing. Drove the Chevrolet at my local dealership, much better vehicle. They had 12 in stock. Most are sold,more on the way.

    3. Koenigsegg says:

      GM clearly paid for the award

    4. Nix says:

      It depends on who is giving the award, they all have their idiosyncrasies. For example, MotorTrend used to only give COTY awards to US car makers. Foreign cars could only get “Import Car of the Year” awards:

      http://www.motortrend.com/news/car-of-the-year-winners-2/

      Some awards openly admit to charging car companies for using the awards:

      https://www.thezebra.com/insurance-news/2671/auto-industry-awards/

      https://consumerist.com/2010/05/10/can-you-trust-those-awards-you-see-in-auto-ads/

      “what many people don’t know is that these awards and thumbs-up ratings almost always cost the car companies a pretty penny.”

      Wall Street Journal had a good story, but it is behind a paywall.

      The thing to keep in mind is that all the companies handing out awards are all in business, and they all give awards based upon their own business model. They all make money on handing out awards either directly or indirectly.

  3. ffbj says:

    Good for the Bolt!
    DCFC, it’s a must if only for the resale value it brings.

    1. William says:

      The Chevy Bolts without DC Fast Charge, that come off their 30 or 36 month Lease, will sink in value, with substantialy more depreciation at the regional Manheim Auto Auctions. This is a significant resale problem for used car dealers that are going to be bidding on Lease returned GM Bolts without DC Fast Charge.

  4. DJ says:

    Ok, who else when reading the article read it using that guys awesome voice. I haven’t even clicked on the video yet.

    1. mx says:

      Yes. “awesome” voice.

  5. Bill Howland says:

    Hehe awesome voice. Jim Davis does use an animated delivery that is true… But his show is for the most part a 30 minute commercial so it all fits.

    Having been less impressed than I thought I was going to be sitting in the BOLT for the first time at my local auto show, I am rather surprized that the MotorWeek staff thought this is the BEST VEHICLE BY A WIDE MARGIN. The other vehicles for 2017 can’t be that mediocre.

    The difference must be its extremely fun to drive, something admittedly I have yet to do. My 1964 VW bug was not much of a looker, but the seats were more comfortable than the BOLT’S, and since the car was so tall a 6’7″ friend in college also bought a used one after sitting in mine, – even being ‘large frame’ there was plenty of width for comfort, and the VW was one of the most enjoyable cars to drive of the decade.

    So I’ll take their word for it that the car must be a hoot to drive. Many of the YouTube comments accused MW of just being paid to say this – but they are PAID for every car that appears. They do put negatives in their review if something is really bad. The cheapish interior and the too narrow seats apparently didn’t make their ‘complaint grade’.

    Granted my first impressions of the car must be somewhat in error considering the amount of awards this car has garnered.

    I’m getting the first batch of BOLTS in my area… If the car turns out to have similiar reliability to the VOLT, the car should be great. And seeing as the battery technologies are similiar (both use LG pouches), the BOLT should have even greater longevity due to the many fewer discharge cycles.

    Regarding the fast chargers – many people do not realize they come EXACTLY as the dealership ordered and which ‘options’ they think their customers want.

    In my area, of 4 BOLT evs I was considering (order forms only – none of the cars have yet to be actually made), only 1 had the $750 CCS option due to the choice made by the particular dealership.

    I can see this in my area since the nearest fast charger is 170 miles away – which, incidentally is perfectly placed for me when I’m going to the Ithaca Drive Electric event. But my car wont have it, and I didn’t want the option for just this one thing.

    1. ffbj says:

      It’s true they mostly do softball reviews, though they are consistent.
      The ones where they rank vehicles are the best, for then they will say why they found the lower ranked vehicles wanting or lacking.

  6. CLIVE says:

    I stopped reading MT years ago.

    They are the same Good Old Boys.

    If you give them a car and pay them they will say just about anything.

    1. Taser54 says:

      Apparently, you didn’t read the post either. This award is from Motorweek, the public television car show.

  7. Koenigsegg says:

    They called it good looking and highly practical

    LOL

  8. Iletric says:

    Frumpy, Subaru-ish and weird-shaped inside. I still literally can’t find a sunshade that would fit the strange elongated windshield (roughly 4″ by 2.5″).

    And its Bluetooth won’t connect to Chinese burner flip phones. But it has that 200-mile range, perhaps Bolt’s only appreciable attribute. The rest of it is just … Chevy.

  9. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    I’m glad to see that the Bolt EV is racking up the “Best of the Year” awards, altho perhaps not as fast as the Tesla Model S did back when it was new.

    And for those who say they would never need the DCFC option for their Bolt: “Never” is a long time! In two or three years, you may feel differently.

    1. Bill Howland says:

      If you say it “HAS TO HAVE IT”, then that is plenty enough confirmation for me.

    2. Nix says:

      Especially once 80 kW chargers become widely available. That’s a significant jump from 50’s, and will change how people think about using their EV’s.

  10. Kdawg says:

    Positive Bolt EV news you say? (braces for the haters)

    1. vdiv says:

      It is well-deserved, by all indications the Bolt EV is a great car.
      (from a Tesla fanboi)

      Time to start planting those CCS chargers along freeways.

    2. ffbj says:

      On a negative note, though positive for evs, Ford Suv Explorer exhaust entering the cabin investigations.
      CO detectors put in by one police department, that uses the vehicles after one officer passed out and they are registering positive.

      1. EVA-01 says:

        What year is the Explorer?

        Btw: If it is the 2011 or newer generation, it is a CUV, not an SUV.

        1. BenG says:

          Nah, common understanding of “SUV” definitely includes the Explorer.

          There is no reason to limit the use of “SUV” to body on frame construction or whatever definition you are using.

        2. Nix says:

          EVA — Your definition of SUV is outdated by about 6 years….

          Everything has changed across the board once SUV’s came under stricter emissions and safety regulations.