U.S. News Best Cars: Chevrolet Bolt Comprehensive Review

6 months ago by Inside EVs Staff 18

Chevrolet Bolt

We have seen many reviews of the Chevrolet Bolt, ranging from amateur videos, to quick test drives, to more in-depth automotive website pieces. It seems everyone is starting to ramp up their coverage of the EV segment. However, we have yet to see something as in-depth as U.S. News’ Best Cars full review on the Bolt EV.

Chevy Bolt Interior

If you aren’t familiar with the site, these reviews are substantial. Sometimes we have to wait a bit for them, as they are put together with upwards of 50 or more pieces of automotive press data, to come up with mixed information for scores and rankings.

Thus far, the Bolt review is comprised of information from 11 significant sources. As more sources come in, the review will change, as well as scores and rankings. It is an ever-evolving system with periodic updates and add-ons, so check back from time to time.

The full reviews at U.S. News Best Cars are going through a transition to a new format. As you will see, if you click the link below, the setup is “question based” and “comparison based.” So, it answers all of the typical questions most people would have regarding a new vehicle (which is especially advantageous for new EV owners), and the vehicle is compared to the most logical competition. In the case of the Bolt, comparisons are featured for the Nissan LEAF, BMWi3, Chevrolet Volt (which is interesting as we have had lots of discussion about it here), Tesla Model S, and yes … the Tesla Model 3.

U.S. News gives the Chevrolet Bolt an overall 8.7 out of 10, landing it at No. 4 of 25 compact cars reviewed to date. It receives a Critics’ Rating (recommendation) of 9.1. Is performance score is at 8.9, with interior score of 8.3. Of course, safety scores aren’t yet in. J.D. Power gives it 3.5 out of 5 Power Circles for predicted reliability.

The publication mentions pros such as long range, fun driving characteristics, quiet, roomy cabin, and lots of tech features. Cons include low-rent cabin materials and the price (when compared to compact car rivals in general). The review is way too lengthy to regurgitate here. It includes a wealth of info, clickable sections, etc. There is also a good amount of professional photos. Check it out for yourself at the link below.

Source: U.S. News & World Report

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18 responses to "U.S. News Best Cars: Chevrolet Bolt Comprehensive Review"

  1. Miggy says:

    Good detailed review of a great little car with a peppy motor putting out 150 kW of power that allows the GM Bolt to get 0-100 km/h in 7 seconds.

    1. Bailey Lee says:

      Yes, except it looks like ****, feels like ****, and drives like ****. I test drove the car about a month ago, really wanting to like it but was bitterly disappointed. This was the Premier model (starting at just under $42K). First, the interior materials are so last generation—hard, ugly, and uncomfortable. Seat height it too high for conventional entry and too low for best visibility. Acceleration is fine but handling is more like a truck than a car. IMO styling is horrid but this is entirely subjective. Tesla Model 3 is gonna kill this car. However if you are a fan of typical American car feel, handling, and style (as opposed to European), this might be for you after all.

      1. Busaka says:

        Sounds like you’re the only one complaining to this degree. You’re off the bell curve.

        1. ffbj says:

          Clearly a statistical outlier, though many have complained of the same things, here though all of them bother the poster. Looks, ride, feel.

  2. WARREN says:

    They said compared to the i3 it didn’t feel as sporty or nimble, but it is aimed at more of the mainstream market I’m sure.
    However, just the interior materials, advanced suspension, available safety features and unique CFRP in this class makes the $10000 difference between this and the i3 worth it to me to pass on the Bolt.

    1. JimGord says:

      Kia Soul EV was best value in the 100 mile class.
      The i3 even with its larger battery is still way short of the Bolt’s 238 mile EPA range. Bolt wins (for now)

    2. mx says:

      Factor in GM leases are horrible…

  3. ffbj says:

    It was #3 in 3 categories, beaten by Kia Soul and Mazda 3. Number #1 in evs.

    1. WARREN says:

      Kia Soul? Wow.
      I have heard good things about the Mazda though.

    2. Neromanceres says:

      By their scoring it was #3 by only 0.1 points in those three segments. Once safety ratings come out that might change and might bump the Bolt EV to #1 in all four categories.

      1. ffbj says:

        I just looked at the ranking. Yeah it was close. Useful in that other cars I was considering ranked much lower, such as the Volt.

  4. Bolt TBD - M3 reserved says:

    It’s a quality car and delivers on GM’s goals. It’s NOT a BMW and doesn’t aspire to be a european nor japanese car.

    I agree that the interior is not a $35k level (post credit) materials, but it does everything else quite exceptionally well.

  5. JIMJFOX says:

    IF it sells in anything like the numbers hoped for, an interior upgrade will follow swiftly…

  6. SHANE LaHousse says:

    Personally I haven’t been able to get a drive in one get. I can share my impression of comparing 2013 (2nd gen) and 2017 (updated) Chevy Volt which was a decontenting exercise, big drop in interior and ride. The 2013 being more reminiscent of my Cadillac CTS (tight rattle free interior, connected and substantial feel, even in the steering wheel). The 2017 felt like an econobox, poor highway presence, tracking the pavement grooves back and forth, barer bones interior, thinner steering wheel). Supposedly it has improved acceleration but I didn’t feel it. Overall unimpressed even with the improved range.

    If these improvements are what are in store for the Bolt, it will be disappointing. The demographics of EV owners are upper middle class, they should keep in mind as they roll these out. I feel Tesla has a better focus on this segment, converting 3 series owners rather than Cruze owners. No Cruise owner can take the risk either on the car, no backup at home nor would they risk the criticism of their peers or parents (you bought what?!).

    I fear Chevy squandered the owner equity with the Volt to secure an uplevel vehicle market beachhead and instead left the door open for Tesla. No other company has the culture to bring a real electric vehicle to market either, witness the i3 debacle (almost a textbook example of how to blow your customer’s perceptions of your brand). Tesla will get their chance. As a former powertrain engineer employee of them I wish them luck.

    1. ffbj says:

      I would use the phrase ‘disconcerting exercise’ or ‘an exercise in discontent’,
      as in:
      “Now is the Winter of our discontent.”
      Yeah Volt quality has gone done apparently, thanks for the info regarding that.

      I think your conclusions that the missteps of others have further cemented Tesla’s place as the North star in the firmament of evs is correct.

  7. Seadog says:

    The Fossil Energy Barons will under Trumpf do whatever is necessary to kill off this segment of cars. Keep in mind this one fact to understand why. 65% of every barrel of oil is refined into gasoline, diesel or kerosene ( jet fuel.) They will also do whatever is necessary to kill or thwart battery research. These are an evil greedy bunch and they now have both the $$ and the political power to do both things.

  8. Brenno says:

    Really disappointed that the Bolt is not looking like it is coming to Australia.

    If that, the Model 3 and Hyundai Ioniq came to our shores in addition to the updated Leaf i could see a real shift in our local market.

    Fingers crossed!!! Common GM/Holden 🙂

  9. Bill Howland says:

    Couldn’t get the US News carfinder links to work.