Alex On Autos Reviews The Chevrolet Bolt EV – Video

NOV 14 2017 BY MARK KANE 73

The Chevrolet Bolt EV was recently reviewed by Alex on Autos, who is well known for providing detailed walk-throughs, helping to make purchase decisions.

Chevrolet Bolt EV

The Bolt EV is a small car dimensionally, but with an interior space that fights well above its class segment.

It’s power-train (150 kW) and battery/range (60 kWh/238 miles EPA) both stand out from the other all-electric offerings on the market – outside of the more premium Tesla brand that is.

Alex does notes that the Bolt EV’s affordability probably required the sacrifice some more popular features, but overall it’s a great car.

Some insights from the review:

  • Long EV range
  • Generous interior room
  • Below average front seat comfort
  • Large standard infotainment screen
  • Active battery temperature management
  • Excellent acceleration
  • Good handling
  • No heat-pump or ventilated seats

The review also includes a comparison to few other electric cars (not necessarily direct competitors), including the Tesla Model 3.

“With 238+ miles of electric range, an affordable sticker price and better acceleration than your average compact hatchback the Bolt is the first no-compromises EV in America. There may be snazzier EVs, there may be faster EVs and there may be more comfortable EVs, but none of the other options offers the blend of features, price, range and of course universal availability that we see in the Chevy Bolt.”

Chevrolet Bolt EV – Alex on Autos

Bonus: Chevrolet Bolt EV Infotainment Review

“Chevy’s Bolt comes with an all-new and all-ginormous touchscreen infotainment system. Join me as we take a deep-dive into the in-dash system and the associated app. “

Categories: Chevrolet, Test Drives, Videos

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73 Comments on "Alex On Autos Reviews The Chevrolet Bolt EV – Video"

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Saw it a few days ago. Still no adaptive cruise control when the Leaf has the ProPilot Assist option. I root for GM, own a Volt and hope they adapt a version of Super Cruise to the Bolt, it’s the only way I would consider buying one.

Even the base Prime ($27,100 MSRP) comes with Dynamic Radar Cruise and Lane Keep Assist. It’s really odd that GM decided to not make features like that standard.

The heat-pump is standard on Prime as well, the more advanced vapor-injected type too. Only having the least efficient resistance type of Bolt doesn’t exactly send a message of pushing boundaries.

Typical john, trolls GM, then tries to sell Toyota’s lame products.

The prime also has 213 LESS electric miles of range than the Bolt EV.

The Prime gets over 600 miles of TOTAL range with fast ICE refilling…

The people looking to go all electric don’t care about ICE miles, hence the reason they’re considering the Bolt in the first place.

So does an Acura TLX… O_o

Hey just a quick clarification, the bolt does have lane keep assist, and automatic braking the only thing it doesn’t have is adaptive cruise control, but the selling point of this car is its battery and even with the resistive heating system its range is still around 200 miles in 30 degree weather, what other vehicle from the old automakers offers that

Need to upgrade to the Premier and add all other packages to get autobraking within C2 or a nearly $43K MSRP…Standard on the Prime…

Dude, people can get whatever they want if the most important thing for you is standard automatic braking there are plenty of ICE cars that will do that, however if the most important thing for you is to run on zero fossil fuels and make long trips, you can get a bolt. An equivalent argument to yours is that you get more cargo space and power seats on Toyota Tundra so you should get that over a Bolt, however since this is a EV website most readers probably won’t prioritize those things compared to say the Bolt’s battery.

No after how you try to defend your poor purchase, the fact remains that the Volt is a superior PHEV to the Prime. It costs the same or less out the door, it has good acceleration, and most importantly it has reasonable EV range.

Comparing the Bolt to the Prime makes no sense, but it looks like others have pointed out your errors already.

I will take 238 mile range and no ACC today over ACC and 150 mile range next year.

Price matters.

If the latter is significantly less, the longer range could be a challenge to justify.

And here’s the first pivot. With john, eventually you’ll end up with him saying the efficiency of the 25 miles of electric range of the PP is better than the Bolt, so it’s a better EV. LOL

You usually have such great things to share here, KDawg. Why the sudden ad hominem responses?

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

They have a “Love to H8” bromance going on…….lol

It’s actually more entertaining than than some articles they go back and forth on.

When someone’s sole purpose is to constantly troll GM as segue into praising Toyota’s pitiful EV efforts, this needs to be called out.

John171A has a long history of this, stemming back from the days of when the Volt first launched, and Toyota only had the Prius Hybrid. Back then, his argument was plugins were stupid and hybrids were still the best. Once Toyota started emulating GM, the argument had to pivot of course. And as Toyota keeps lagging and coming up short (too little too late) over the years, it’s made John’s job harder, and his arguments more ridiculous by the day.

I just look beyond the early-adopter mindset, focusing only on mainstream acceptance.

That’s why my focus is on MSRP needing to be so much lower… able to compete directly with traditional vehicles for rapid replacement… which some designs don’t deliver yet.

If the Volt or Bolt had a lower MSRP than the PiP or the PP, you would just pivot to something else.

There’s nothing earnest in your posts. You just throw mud and try to sell Toyotas.

Try to explain the Mirai? You can’t w/out contradicting yourself. Cognitive dissonance at its finest.

Price has always been the problem. Volt was too expensive to reach the masses. Now, we see the same issue arising with Bolt, especially with the new Leaf already stirring so much demand overseas… despite the shorter range.

You just like to point out the details that suit your agenda.

Before, according to you the Volt never sold well because it only had 4 seats, and it was the most ridiculous decision GM could ever make.

Now the Prime has 4 seats, and the new Volt has 5 seats, so instead you cling to a $2000 price delta after factoring in tax credit differences, something that is easily made up for by discounting on the Volt in much of the country.

Of course you have to focus on other items because the Volt has far superior electric range and performance compared to the Prime. But your bias is wildly evident.

Those less biased would love to see all plug-ins succeed rather than trying to cut one down to try and prop up their own preference.

For the masses means no dependency on tax-credits.

Last I checked Toyota is being rewarded with tax credits for being a laggard.

Without juicy tax credits, there’s no argument to buy a PiP over a regular Prius.
(unless you’re going for fuglier and less seats)

The Prime is also dependent on tax credits at this point.

Nope. $27,100 for a base price before any incentives or subsidies is already competitive to stand directly against traditional vehicles.

Or get a Prius Hybrid for $4,000 cheaper. And it comes with 5 seats.

Exactly, everyone is making use of tax credits. Toyota even did it back in the day with the original Prius.

It’s very telling when the only way to defend the Primes small battery is to claim that’s and advantage because it qualifies for less tax credit.

Bring afraid of competing directly against traditional vehicles without tax-credits… Some choose not to.

That “some” doesn’t include Toyota, since the Prime’s small battery does qualify for a partial tax credit.

$27,100 does not compete directly with traditional ICE cars. You can get a Corolla or Cruze which are essentially PP equivalents for $10,000 less, or you can drive a much nicer, much roomier, much quieter, better handling mid-size such as a Camry or Malibu and still spend less. You can’t hide the battery cost, there’s no magic wand that Toyota waves to eliminate the cost of the EV drivetrain.

>> You can’t hide the battery cost, there’s no magic wand that Toyota waves to eliminate the cost of the EV drivetrain.

That has never been necessary for any hybrid or any plug-in.

For the past 20 years, the goal has always been to offset cost. You can spend more upfront on the vehicle because it will save you money in fuel & maintenance later. That still holds true today.

It is a matter of how much is that worth?

People do put value on reduction of emissions & consumption. Switching from oil to electricity has clear, easy to understand benefits.

LOL, john trying to use the “payback” argument.

Sorry, but you’ll never get a payback on a $28K PP vs. a car that cost $10K less.

Star Trek John keeps us Chevy People honest…..And admittedly, he isn’t out of the ordinary when it comes to People LOVING their PRIUS PRIME – it usually takes on almost a religious fervor from those I’ve spoken to. My View is the PP is a great value and an impressive car – although much more Volt like than the BOLT ev. The downside of course, is what ‘could have been’. I must defer to Toyota Marketing as to their projected plans for the MIRAI, but personally I feel that in the VAST MAJORITY of the USA, Hydrogen Vehicles will go no where. So, Toyota’s emphasis on all future large vehicles being Hydrogen may, for a world wide market including China, may have been a smart business decision, but that in no way applies to where I live. The ‘what could have been’ is a VERY IMPRESSIVE LARGE PHEV, and a VERY IMPRESSIVE LARGE BEV. With Toyota’s impressive attention to detail in all their cars, such vehicles would be stupendous and would make even Tesla afficianados blush. But, apparently the PP is about the most plug in electric that we’ll ever get out of Toyota. As far as the BOLT ev… Read more »

The answer to my question is quite obvious now, sorry for doubting you, KDawg!

That’s what I get for being absent from discussions lately – I have no idea of the history that has been carrying from one thread to another!

Extremely doubtful the Gen1 Chevy Bolt will get either ACC (based on the chief engineers comment of ” would require blended brakes and we didn’t want to do that”) or supercruise is has only been deployed to one single highway cruising model…

The Bolt EV based Buick Encore would stand a better chance of having gaining ACC or supercruise…

Needs better front seats with power and two position memory. Make them both the same. That’s what killed my decision to buy it. Otherwise Great.

Wow, really? I guess if you are dead-set on those features. I’ve never had a car with memory seat positions, but I suppose it would be handy. I’ve had power seats and frankly I don’t care that the Bolt’s seats are manually adjusted. It’s not something I tolerate on an otherwise great car, it’s simply something I don’t care about.

To each his own, I guess.

Exactly. Power seats tend to be slow to adjust. And how often do you really need to change the settings? My wife and I are pretty similar in size and we trade cars all the time, without having to adjust seats or mirrors.

You answered your own question. There is a one foot height differential between my wife and I, and we swap the car all the time too.

I am perhaps wrong, but I thought I read an article awhile back where BMW had backed away from the heat pump in the BEV version of i3 (and there never was on on the Rex) because the cost, complexity, and weight did not justify it. Heat pump is only good down to about 15F anyway so somewhat limited in scope. I also would like to point out that power seats, vented seats, etc also add weight, cost, and complexity for really no good reason. I don’t know. Perhaps I got used to driving VWs and my Audi A3 for 10 years where neither had power seats. Properly manual adjusted seats that are made correctly are better anyway in my opinion. Seems to be wide butt Americans that want their big old power seats. My current Ford Fusion has big leather power seats and I hate them. Inherently too soft and unsupportive and despite 47 way adjustment or whatever they are nearly impossible to adjust to a comfortable position. Can wait to get rid of that thing for what probably is going to be a Kia Niro PHEV but maybe a Bolt.

Yeah I don’t get this obsession with power seats. I suppose memory with multiple drivers is handy, but ehh, not worth the $$ and another part that can break.

GM seems to have challenges with automatic cruise control. It’s available as an option on the Volt and gets good reviews, but not available the Bolt. But on the Volt it was simply not available when I ordered mine. Inventory issues or something. So maybe that’s the cause of the lack of availability on the Bolt?

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

“Yeah I don’t get this obsession with power seats. I suppose memory with multiple drivers is handy, but ehh, not worth the $$ and another part that can break.”

Me too.

Take advantage of the crazy cheap EV leases and you’re always under warranty…

Every vehicle I’ve ever sat in with supposed luxury power seats feels like a downgrade not an upgrade compared to sitting in a VW or Audi with proper manually adjusted seats. And the extra weight kills MPG on gas cars and range on EVs. Always just seemed completely pointless to me.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

yeah, if you never own the car and always lease again and again…. After the warranty the lame motors they use are engineered to break AFTER the warranty……lol

Are you kidding?

I can deal without power seats, in fact I appreciate the simplicity of manual. The size and comfort however of the Bolt seats is lacking. The seats are too small and poorly padded. Hopefully the Buick “Bolt” remedies this, along with increasing cargo capacity behind the second row.

I think folks should boycott EVs until they are as cheap and easy as ICE. What did the grandkids ever do for us?

I still find it odd in this day and age of computer design and ergonomics engineering, car companies can still make crappy seats.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

That’s one of the complaints from some folks that I directed to the Bolt, the seats. Surprisingly they also said it was quite noisy.

For me I thought the seats were adequate for my fata$s. As for the noise, I install loud subwoofers in my cars so I wouldn’t notice it….lol

Could it be that they were unaccustomed to EVs..? I have the impression many people first think there’s more wind and tire noise in EVs, when really there’s just less other noise and thus this noise becomes more noticeable. And it does. My LEAF is objectively a pretty quiet car, not exceptional but quieter than most non-luxury ICE vehicles. And yet I myself perceive it as a bit noisy, especially at highway speeds. Better sound proofing is definitely high on my list of attributes to look for in my next EV.

The Bolt is alone in its class, and will remain there for some time. 6.5 seconds 0-60mph acceleration; 235+ mile range; $37k…. it was enough for me to buy one this past weekend.

Agreed, but the seats leave many looking elsewhere despite that. Hopefully specs like these will become mainstream at this and even lower price points soon!

I was among those who did not like the seat. But with the tax credit possibly ending by the end of the year, I gave it another shot – went to a dealer and sat in one. It is snug in the ass, but I found comfort to be passable with butt planted in the center of the seat cushion.

So I searched all over California, found two identical Bolts with exactly the options I was looking for at Keyes in Van Nuys who BTW were having a $5500 off MSRP sale ending on Sunday. So I pulled the trigger and gotta say, I’m very impressed with what GM has done with it. I had a Volt for three years, it was a great car; followed it up with a Spark EV for 18 months… the Bolt is a very refined successor to both.

I find the seats in our Bolt OK, not great. I am pretty sure that priority 1 and 2, for most things were light, and cheap. We are still in the 10 pound cellphone era of EVs. It would be great to have another few decades to perfect all this, as many like to pretend.

Good in-depth review!

My experience has been very similar except for a few things:

– I find the seats more comfortable (I’d give them a 7 / 10 😉 )

– His efficiency is terrible! My lifetime average is 4.4 mi/kwh. Even on a recent road trip averaging 70 mph I was getting about 4.

But it is flat here in Texas. I think his poor numbers might be because of his mountain driving and because he is spending a lot of time idling the car for the video.

I live in the mountains and short trips in my area go anywhere from 5k to 10k elevation and I still average 4mi/kWh with my Bolt. Add to that my occasional sport mode runs and I’m not sure how he got such bad efficiency. Maybe he was in D for the mountain driving. I find L + regen paddles go a long way to increasing range on the downs.

I wonder about the correct term to use instead of “idling”. Idling is definitely an ICE term. Maybe “having the EV in standby mode”?


If you drive up a mountain, you have to come down eventually. “Idle” shouldn’t take much unless he’s standing still for hours. Maybe he had the heater going all the time?

I’m not sure what his scoring typically looks like on his reviews. The C seems a bit harsh. And an A- on fuel economy? What is better?

He said the ride is stiff and would be helped by better tires, which is true. He compares the economy to the efficiency of the Ioniq, which is tops.


Alas, for the half of your readers not residing in the US, this car is now irrelevant – for the simple reason that GM doesn’t want us to have it.

It is already one of the best selling EVs all time in Canada. Easily outselling the prime, leaf and tesla models.

It is safe to say that the Buick model will be launching in China next year.

And apparantly in a few months the Bolt will be launching in some Gulf nations.

So really, Europe and South America are the major markets getting short changed.

But GM doesn’t want to sell ANY car in Europe anymore. So it has left the market entirely.

That’s why I don’t get the belly-aching about GM not sending more Bolts/Ampera-E’s to Europe. Uh, HELLO! GM withdrew from the European market. Why are people complaining they aren’t sending more units to a market they no longer do business in?

GM is supplying the amount of Ampera-E’s to PSA as negotiated in the sale of Opel. If demand is greater than that contracted amount, well, too bad so sad.

Isn’t it clear? The people here are first and foremost EV fans, not GM or PSA stockholders.

The Bolt actually makes a lot more sense for Europe, where it’s in the best-selling size class by far (the Golf has been the best-selling car in Europe for years), and where hatchbacks are very popular, rather than for the US, where most people drive larger vehicles.
I’m pretty certain that had the GM-PSA deal happened a year later, more Bolts by far would have sold in Europe than the US, and that’s a shame.

As one of the biggest Bolt proponents out there, I can agree that the front seats are not the best in the world. Depending on what kind of pants I wear, the seat comfort ranges to “perfectly fine” to “this is sorta annoying”. I am 6′ tall, and of average build, so I think I’m fairly representative of the “average” adult American male.

That being said, I was told by “someone” that a front seat tweak is eventually coming for the Bolt. Whether it is for MY2018 or 2019 or whenever, I’m not sure, but one is coming.

No change to the front seats for MY2018 from what I understand. But, I do agree. Better front seats, softer touch materials at top of door and better rear suspension are things I’d love to see. Even without them, my new Bolt is a surprisingly good car so far.

Two Biggest changes that are needed for the Bolt are:
1.) lower cost
2.) More production.

I test drove a Bolt this weekend.

The seats weren’t great, but the ergonomic thing that really bugged me was the shifter location. It’s located near the middle of my forearm, and does not fall readily to hand. I had to thrust my elbow into the the rear seating area just to put my hand on the shifter – weird.

Otherwise, it was a pleasant drive. I really like the hi/lo range estimator on the dash, and the controls seemed fairly straightforward.

But all this particular dealer had was the Premier trim, and I didn’t want to pay that much.

Yeah, my local dealer only ordered highly optioned premium trims.

Yeah, agreed Murrysville EV that the “Precision Shift” is someone’s Wet Dream. Practically, you can’t do an emergency 3 point turn, which I could do in my Roadster since it had simple little pushbuttons – which – I got a free loaner GMC 2018 Terrain ‘smaller’ SUV this week which had essentially a push-button automatic. I still couldn’t figure out how to run anything on the car – GM insists on making ALL their dashboards at once Unique and Inscrutable.

TO my knowledge this is the first time they’ve lost a sale over that silly nonsense.

If more people were like you sir, maybe GM would cease and decist with their silly arrogant designs.

“no-compromises EV”????

The bolt is a wide assortment of nothing BUT compromises.
0-60 in 6.2 seconds? SLOW.
The interior is the interior of a $20-25K car.
Does it charge fast? Nope.

Total compromises.
Not bad ones esp for GM.
But still compromises.