Chevrolet Bolt Test Drive Concludes It’s An EV-1 Turned Up To 11



Chevrolet Bolt

Another Chevrolet Bolt test drive review in the books…another impressed test driver.

Chevrolet Bolt EV

Business Insider had some wheel time in a Bolt recently and walked away thoroughly impressed with GM’s first long-range, affordable electric car.

Business Insider states:

“We were impressed with the Bolt, as a car, as an electric car, and as a mobility concept. In many ways, it is GM’s post-bankruptcy masterpiece, a real feather in the cap of CEO Mary Barra and her executive team, who took what the company had achieved with its ill-fated EV-1 back in the 1990s and turned it up to 11.”

Editor’s note:  And yes, we are now required by Internet law to include a video clip (below) in reference to “turned it up to 11” below.

To date, most Bolt reviews have been largely positive. A few gripes seem common though, including uncomfortable seats and a plasticky interior.

By and large though, the overwhelming majority of reviewers are impressed by how the Bolt drives and by how it returns even more range than the rated 238 miles.

Business Insider adds:

“I also flat-out loved driving it. I blasted in and out of New York City twice, rocketed around the streets of Gotham darting through traffic, and cruised along the highways of New Jersey.”

“The steering is quick and responsive, and the handling is sharp enough to provide the confidence you need when surfing that sweet EV torque.”

On the design front, the Bolt is kind of a dud though:

“Not a single person asked me about the car, and that can be chalked up to the ho-hum design.”

The reviewer concludes with a statement rarely tied to 4-door electric cars outside of Teslas and perhaps the BMW i3:

“Plain and simple, the Bolt is fun.”

Video (below): As promised, Spinal Tap’s “These go to 11”

Source: Business Insider

Categories: Chevrolet


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26 Comments on "Chevrolet Bolt Test Drive Concludes It’s An EV-1 Turned Up To 11"

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“Not a single person asked me about the car”

Good! I’m tired of hearing the same uninformed questions about my Volt over and over again.

“How far does it go on a charge?”
“What do you do when it runs out?”
“How much does it raise you electric bill?”

“…It’s all available on the web!”

No joke, I once had someone ask me what happens when it is cloudy out. I laughed thinking they were harassing me but then realized they were serious. I tried to compose myself and explain that it had a battery that was charged from the grid.

Not so dumb questions – even though I haven’t verbalized them there are certain ground rules that must be established. It is not immediately obvious that: 1). Manufacturers would make Automatic Synchronism Inverters on the AC SIDE. Or provide automatic variable impedance solar cell loading on the DC side. Those 250 watt microinverters do an incredible amount of work for their size. 2). That NY State would mandate that excess sales would be: A). EVEN permitted (the utilities argue elsewhere that Mom and Pop shouldn’t be in the retail generation business). B). Amazingly, FORCE the utility to BUY-BACK excess at the same ridiculous rates they sell it at. – Interestingly, I don’t see why ANY CONSOLIDATED EDISON reader here doesn’t have at least SOME solar panels, even if they have to make ‘lets make a deal’ with their landlord. In National Grid areas, historically residential rates were relatively cheap, but now, are by far THE most expensive electricity they sell (other than miniscule sized commercial customers such as billboard, CATV repeaters, and barber shops). They of course justify it by greatly overbuilding the infrastructure in most residential areas (not at my house as I’ve previously mentioned), such that most neighborhoods… Read more »

You just say, well that gives you a nice cool day to push.

Helps if you can keep a straight face.

Someone asked me at DCFC “how do they bill you for public charging?”. I told him by the minute (eVgo). Shaking his head in disapproval, he said “wow, that’s awful expensive” to which I replied, “not really; it works out to about 70 MPG gas car”. He went away impressed.

I just noticed gas prices are above $3/gal.

Been driving electric 4 years now, three with the Leaf and now with a TMS. Still occasionally get those exact questions but I’ve noticed a distinct transformation in the inquiries. Now I’m getting things like, “is it as fast as they say it is?” “can you really drive across the country for free?” “I didn’t realize just how big that car is, it looks much wider than my …”

Part of being an early adopter is to inform the general public. If you get tired of this then just stop being at the front line of technology. 😉

Most of the time I enjoy being an EV Ambassador. Luckily almost everyone that has approached me about my Volt has been curious, not antagonistic.

Maybe an 8.5. It certainly doesn’t go to 11.

I love that Spinal Tap quote. I use it from time to time and half the people get it and laugh.
I thought it was on this thread, but someone mentioned that Bolt inventory had just taken a sharp jump up. I looked at the numbers I have and the amount of Bolts has really spiked over the past 5 days.
Whether the slow ramp up in inventory was due to QC issues or something else, the recent surge in inventory really bodes well for April Bolt sales. That having been said, Cars dot com shows cars on lots and in transit so a lot of these new Bolts are probably not on the lot yet.

16-Dec 800
January 900-1200
February 1300-1500
3/14/2017 1900
3/22/2017 2010
3/24/2017 2205
3/26/2017 2375
3/30/2017 2490
4/2/2017 2600
4/4/2017 2585
4/5/2017 2670
4/9/2017 3955

@Ziv, thank you for the numbers!

I do hope that nationwide expansion and push do their job in the next few months.

Ourselves, we’ll have to sit into one to see whether it can replace our Leaf space-wise.

You should of course try before you buy, but space-wise it should beat the LEAF hands down. My biggest worry would be whether it has comfy seats.

It’s kind of ironic if the LEAF can’t go far but has seats that would allow you to, but vice versa in the Bolt. It’s clear that the Bolt’s seats are considerably narrower than those in the LEAF, but whether they’d still be comfy for me I don’t know. I’ve just seen a few complaints about them here in Norway (where the Ampera-e is yet to launch).

WRONG! (Tone in a Trump impersonator)
Seriously where did you get your info?
Pretty sure you haven’t sat in one.
I owned a Leaf since 2012, and I try a Bolt and even measure it.
The Bolt is narrower, fell tight inside and have a narrower trunk opening and shorter cargo with the seats fold in.
There is more head space thought.
But it is smaller than the Leaf, and probably less practical to load it with cargo.

This reinforces my conclusion that Chevy blew the exterior design; too cheap and small looking.

The Pontiac Aztek was a very innovative and functional SUV, but it was a failure due to the exterior design. I’m afraid the Bolt will suffer the same fate unless they redesign the looks.

The difference might be that the Aztek was an unconventional design, while the Bolt looks conventional.

If anything tells GM style matters, it’s the overwhelming response (over 400,000) to pre-sales for the Tesla vs the lack of sales in the available Bolt. The Bolt has it all, other than styling, and I’m certain GM is taking note.
I met a total greenie, early adopter who had just bought his Bolt and was overjoyed. He had a Prius, then eh BMW i3 and said the Bolt beat those two in every way, which is the best review one can hear.

How do you know that’s due to styling? It could be brand image just as well. Or voting with your wallet for a company that is working to make transportation more sustainable, not lobbying against it while making much less than 1% of their products eco-friendly. Or other considerations, like the Model 3s likely sportier drive, rear wheel drive, or all wheel drive. I admit I am a bit surprised by the Bolt’s slow sales so far, but it doesn’t worry me. I’m sure the Bolt sales help increase total sales and I still think it will pick up speed as more people get them and introduce other people, perhaps not familiar with EVs at all, to it. It can’t help doing a better job at that than earlier affordable EVs, since it is nowhere near as limited and a ton more fun to drive. As for the “nobody asked about my car” thing, I find that silly. This isn’t a sports car or a crowd pleaser, but a pracitcal car. Loads of people buy cars that share the characteristic and where a car reviewer would never expect anyone to ask about it – it’s only because the Bolt is… Read more »

The bolt is not available nationwide yet so I wouldn’t say lack of sales. Also, Chevy didn’t offer pre sales reservations to be able to compare.

1. I’m so tired of the criticism of its exterior looks. First EVs were widely criticized for looking too futuristic “make it look more normal – like a regular car” they said. So they did.
2. I’m also puzzled by the “plasticiky” interior critiques. I’ve been in the Bolt a number of times. They’re no more plastic than many luxury cars with their plastic (or fake metallic) dashes and center consoles). I’ve run my hand over the surfaces and they feel satisfyingly rich and or padded – not thin or “hollow. ” I know cheap feeling plastic – you won’t find it on the Bolt.
3. Yes I would have designed it differently had I designed it myself – but I can say the same thing about a Tesla or any other number of fine cars.

Not sure if you had a chance to feel the standard steering wheel, that will leave you feeling that the interior is too cheap. Worst feeling standard steering wheel I have ever felt. Must get leather rapped version.

I wouldn’t have designed better myself: GM did. The Bolt Concept was really good looking. I loved it. Still, the production Bolt isn’t terrible or anything. But given their starting point, it was a missed opportunity.

The styling appears to be very conventional contemporary, so much so that it looks a if it has a large air intake on the front. That seems a bit odd yo me as if they were trying to make it look like a conventional car that would require airflow for a radiator and combustion air. A bit of an anachronism isn’t it?

There is still a need for heat exchangers, even in an EV. The largest is obviously the one used for the air conditioner. Combustion air is often taken from the lip of the hood and only needs a few square inches of space. That’s not what the large frontal opening in a car is for.

Look closely. A majority of the “grille” area is solid plastic. Only a small sliver of the grille at the bottom is open.

I believe the correct term is “turnt”.