Fox News Gives Chevrolet Bolt “B+”, It Could “Absolutely Be Your Only Car”


Chevrolet Bolt

Hopefully dealers nationwide will begin to see an influx of the Chevrolet Bolt, sooner rather than later (InsideEVs/George B)

According to Fox News the Chevrolet Bolt is a “worthy opponent” to the upcoming Tesla Model 3.

The review says that the Bolt is:

“…pleasant to be in, practical to use and could absolutely be your only car.”

For now, the Chevrolet Bolt is the only affordable car that will give you an all-electric range over 200 miles. The EPA puts it at 238 miles and 119 MPGe, which is by far the best combo you can do for less than $30,000 after the federal rebate.

Chevrolet Bolt

Chevrolet Bolt, rear hatch with seats down

Chevrolet decided to go all in, and instead of making a long range affordable EV like the Nissan LEAF (which currently has a 30 kWh battery pack), they used a 60 kWh pack. Keep in mind that this is still not as big as the 75, 90, and 100 kWh packs found in Tesla cars, but the Bolt is much less expensive.

In order to get such long range out of the 60 kWh pack, however, General Motors had to keep the offering small (about the size of a Chevrolet Trax). And … it’s not a looker in everyone’s eyes. Image and striking good looks is something that Tesla prides itself on … but practicality and value should really take precedence right?

It depends on who you ask. Fox News calls its exterior design “conventional,” and “not sexy.”

The cutting edge cabin makes up for the lack of exterior pizzazz. From the fully digital instrument cluster, to the 10.2-inch touch-screen, to the 360-degree “virtual drone’s eye-view” camera. However, the interior has no shortage of cheap, hard plastics.

Although the Bolt rides low and looks like a hatchback, it’s really a subcompact crossover. Four adults that are six-feet tall can fit with comfort. Fox News says that getting someone in the middle back seat is really not too bad, especially compared to other small cars.

It provides a nice mix of “normal” and “next-gen” driving. If you hit the accelerator hard, expect the feeling of a hot-hatch, torque steer and all. The throttle feels almost too responsive, but it doesn’t handle like a hot-hatch. It does, however, masks road imperfections well, and the cabin remains remarkably quiet.

Regen braking is great, and true range is really dependent on how you drive. The display tells a high and low range estimate, which helps you have the real picture, and can also motivate you to drive better.

“Baby it and you might get as far as 300 miles.”

“In a day of mostly highway driving in freezing temperatures, with more than a few energy-sucking sprints thrown in for good measure, I was on track for 180 miles before I parked.”

There’s no built-in navigation, but you can sync your phone and use an app. These days, that’s a better options for most people anyway. It also supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. You can get OnStar, but service is slow:

“It took them four minutes to track down the closest charging station, by which time I’d passed it and would have had to take a 10-mile detour to go back there. That’s a potentially terminal distance in an electric car. Good thing this was just a test. The humans got a C.”

For those seeking an economical electric car that will get you everywhere without the necessity of an ICE backup, Fox News says of the Chevrolet Bolt:

“It’s the only car.”

Fox News gave the Chevrolet Bolt a “B+” overall.

Source: Fox News Auto

Categories: Chevrolet, Test Drives

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65 Comments on "Fox News Gives Chevrolet Bolt “B+”, It Could “Absolutely Be Your Only Car”"

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Coming from traditionally anti-EV Fox News, this is a stellar review!

Fox News is more anti-Tesla than anti-EV

By FN rationale they are getting in a dig at Tesla by praising the GM vehicle.

If looks like a subcompact hatchback it is because it is a subcompact hatchback. People calling the Bolt a crossover are only fooling themselves.

Naw, they were anti-EV, not just anti-Tesla. You should have seen all the anti-Volt stuff they had a few years ago. They’ve taken a much more balanced view in the past couple years though.

Hit pieces from Fox News on the Volt were rampant during the early days of the car. But their 2016 coverage of the re-designed Volt was tepid but somewhat positive. Now their generic but positive coverage of the Bolt EV looks like outright gushing praise in comparison.

They were attacked in the same ways Tesla has been attacked. And in the same way GM’s plug-ins are attacked by Tesla fans who hate ICE carmakers. Some people just want to control the narrative and disregard facts or exaggerate faults. I expect it from fans or comment sections, but I expect better of journalists.

Anyways, there are many examples of this from Fox but here are a few:

Former commentator and sexist serial harasser Bill O’Reilly discussed it a few times, including this exchange:

“On The O’Reilly Factor, Lou Dobbs said the Volt “doesn’t work” because “it doesn’t go fast and go far on electricity. What happens is it catches fire … This is considered a negative when we’re trying to move an automobile.” O’Reilly then repeatedly said that the Volts “catch fire” without mentioning that the fire only happened during a crash test. [Fox News, The O’Reilly Factor, 1/6/12]”

This is quibbling, but there were two Volt battery fires, both occurring in cars which were sitting in a lot following crash testing. My understanding is that this has never happened as a result of a traffic accident, so it’s not something which should concern any Volt owner or prospective buyer.

Actually, even “sitting in a lot” is unfair to GM. They were positioned vertically (perpendicular to the ground) and AFTER TWO WEEKS in this position, some of the battery fluid leaked out of the damaged battery and caused the fire.

I say good riddance to Bill O’Reilly and his ‘Nothing But Spin’ Zone. Glad he is moving on.

Bill O’Rilley will be resurfacing somewhere else sooner or later. His books for some reason sell, and he has a loyal “Rush” type audience. I hope he “moves on” to “warmer climes”! He could use some of that good old fashioned “Climate Change”!

I agree with you.
He appeared to be Egotistical guy, who appeared to think he was right and he was just being nice just allowing other people a little bit of time- sort of like having superiority complex.
Anyway good riddence

Tide goes out, tide comes in. You can’t explain that!

And then there was Eric Bolling’s review of the Volt where he claimed that “after two nights of charging the Volt for 12 hours, full charge, I ran out of electricity, I kid you not, in the the Lincoln tunnel both mornings.” Says that car gets only 25 miles on a charge.

Obviously tested it in sub zero temperatures with the heat blasting. And charged it on a 120v outlet at only the 8 amp setting. Then mentions that the car costs $46,500 without mentioning that it is the loaded version and doesn’t subtract the $7,500 federal incentive.

I tend to agree with their “it’s the only car” assessment. I had a leaf as my only car for a while and with winter and the mountains, it was too much of a compromise. The Bolt would not take care of all of my driving as the CCS network does not allow for leaving my general metro area, even with the Bolt. However, unlike the leaf, it would cover all but a few situations.

If there was an AWD option or it used Tesla’s charging network, I’d probably get one vs wait for a 3.

That being said, I’d also probably wait for the new leaf reveal before buying a bolt if I were seriously considering it now.

I still hate it when they quote “takes 9 hours to charge it up at home.” That will lead a lot of people to believe they will need to dedicate 9 hours each day for charging… which in reality it will probably be more like 1 to 2 hours for most people.

My Bolt hasn’t been charged at home for a whole week. Just local driving and a couple of opportunity charges at Whole Foods and another place.

My Bolt could go M-F without having to be charged most weeks, averaging around 25-30 miles a day for local driving.

This…with my 30 mile commute, I am only charging on the weekends and letting our Volt charge regularly at night.

I had to go 5 days with no charging at all to get my car low enough to try an honest DC fast charge on it.

That’s a good comment- I am considering a purchase, as well, but infrastructure & cost of charging at home are still unknown. Of course faster charging would be a big asset, if on a road trip.

Me too Dave.
But it’s just old fueling habit that they compare with.
Like making a detour for filling up only when you’re on vapor.
It’s the bad case scenario showing every time, because people feel fueling is a nightmare.
Your outside in the wild, it’s too hot or cold, and it’s raining and you spill some gas on your hand and it stink.
EV doesn’t work that way 95% of the time you just put back in at home what you use in your day or one way commute and there is often a lot of energy remaining.
No spill, no odor, no detour, no time waste and practically never the worst case empty battery scenario.
Bad memory last forever, it seems.
But good one give you drive.

Fantastic car, leased one for my wife.

However, I would say yes and no when it comes to it being an “only car”.

Because of the somewhat slow DCFC rate the Bolt does require a lot of time for DCFC when used in long distance applications not to mention the spotty state of CCS at this time.

Maybe not an “only car” but at least the “main car” in the household.

Many people say that EVs make a great second car until they own one and realize that they end up using it as the main car. They then realize how little time out of the year they need a car to travel long distance. The gas car then becomes the “second car”.

Only Car? Not if you regularly venture beyond base range I imagine because spending a lot of time at 50KW chargers trying to get it filled up should get frustrating real quick…

I’m sure the next version will be 150KW capable and I think that’s when people may start to see it as convenient enough to be the only car in their household.

It is going to be very interesting to see how Bolt sales are going to do this month. The amount of Bolts (on Cars dot com) that are either on lots or in the process of being shipped has really gone up. There nearly as many Bolts on Cars dot com as there are Volts! And the numbers started to go up early in the month… It would be cool to see the Bolt doing a bit better.

Bolt Volt
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
4/5/2017 2670
4/9/2017 3955
4/13/2017 4090 4440
4/18/2017 4220 4436
4/21/2017 4334 4394

How fast we went from stupid compliance car that isn’t easily available to whoa they have too much in stock so people can actually buy one 🙂

I’m very glad to see that the attempts to label the Bolt EV a “compliance car” seem to have come to an end in comments posted to InsideEVs.

That was not EV advocates’ finest hour.

AutoTrader US inventory as of now.

Bolt 3606
Leaf 2151
all others 2323

Our nearest dealer, in central Virginia, with a location the size of a Family Dollar, just got one!

This in a burg with no Starbucks, no WalMart, no future.

And it is already offered below list.

The interesting thing about the “only car” stuff (which typically comes back to vehicle size or long distance driving) is that the average buyer might “tolerate” limited long-distance ability in a “cheaper” car like the Bolt whereas we see tons of luxury marquees all “planning to launch in 2018/19/20” where the prices will be a lot higher and yet they too won’t be able to travel long distances with the current state of charging.

I’d like to believe that by 2019 things will be different, but the more likely scenario will be “way too few CCS chargers and 95% of those out there will be slower 50kw units…or less”. Of course this goes to the fact that Tesla doesn’t want to be the next GM/Toyota/Honda…they want to be the next Exxon. I expect I’ll hear the term “Big Electric” (used in a derogatory manner like “Big Oil”) in my lifetime.

Faux news gives it B+? It should be A-! But then, A- is Asian F, so neither isn’t good. If it’s bit cheaper, it might be A (still Asian F). If it can tow 1500lb, it’d be A+.

Remember to give GM, the assembler of the Bolt, a F- to the 10th Power, for not even getting Level 3 charging rolled out at their dealerships, where the Bolt inventory is currently languishing, until further incentives are offered.

When you say “Level 3 charging”, I’m guessing you mean a DC fast charger?

I had read that every Chevy dealer which wanted to sell the Bolt EV was required by GM to install a DCFC on site, so their service department can check the cars’ (optional) DC charging function.

However, I suppose that doesn’t mean the dealers are required to install it where it will be publicly accessible.

But for the life of me, I can’t understand why there are so many people demanding that auto dealers install public EV chargers. I dunno about you, but I would have absolutely no interest in driving to an auto dealer just to recharge my car. Plus, around here at least, most dealerships have gates across the entrance to their parking lots; gates which are locked after hours. So even if there was a publicly accessible DCFC, it would only be accessible during business hours.

They (GM) has delivered EVs (Bolts) to their dealer lots, they are on a super slow roll out of DC fast chargers for said dealers. When I get my Leaf serviced every 6 months, for a tire rotation or the annual battery check/ cabin air filter/ brake fluid exchange, I like it when I get my car back topped up with 80% full, and not having to wait for the charging duration of level 2 foreverness.

HAHA, for once we agree…

I want the dealer to give ME a Better Deal. I don’t want them to be forced to purchase superfluous crap that adds to their expenses.

Most car dealers are up in arms over MANDATORY MILLION DOLLAR remodels when the former space was perfectly fine. I don’t have to have every brand’s dealerships look exactly the same one right after the other.

Those saying a DCFC is required in the service bay may be satisfied by a cheap 6kw fast charging portable test model. I found a cheap one that handles J1772, Chademo, CCS, and the chinese thing (i forget the letters).

That cheap ‘battery chargeresque’ thing would be plenty to test the fast charging facility.

I think though, most dealerships will install a wallbox on the outside wall for a ‘next to free’ installation for either Rental EV’s, or to help the rare person in for service be able to drive 150 miles home.

Oh I’m satisfied with a B+ rating for the BOLT ev. Its not a super huge car, or super-sexy, but it is definitely ‘above average’ seeing as what you get for around $30,000, ($28,000 for those who could wait in NYState, unlike me who missed the rebate). Its comfortable for me, but my ‘thin as a rail’ nephew found a bit of discomfort from the seats which I find a bit hard to understand since he is not a 98 lb weakling; but to me it is very comfortable, even driving until the battery is dead. I rarely stop along the way. But No built-in navigation, the very plain “Chevy Biscaynesque” interior, and the slight hoppiness of the ride mean it is not in A, or A+ category – although the ultimate reliability of this car MAY BE in the A grading area since the critical parts are manufactured by LG. It seems to be a great value – probably better than any other EV for that. But then I bought the car strictly as an affordable vehicle with a large battery. Unfortunately in my area, it seems for quite a while now, there are only 2 EVs that GM… Read more »

I agree with Fox’s rating. It’s not a bad car at all, but it is overpriced for what it provides and that really brings down its potential. Sure, people can play the “but it saves so much money” card to justify the current pricing, but the truth of the matter is that when someone is on a car lot and sees a sticker price of nearly $40k to get a car with something decent, many will keep on browsing. GM better be planning to drop the entry price substantially for MY18. Best option would be to make the 80kW DCFC standard, drop the bare price to ~$30k pre-credit, and introduce a 150kW DCFC option for the upper trims as well as introduce an RS trim that is more sport-oriented. Or an AWD option. One of those is necessary. Finally, they need to bring the safety features downmarket, preferably as standard. If GM were to do that, it would fly off the lots quite a bit faster than now.

“If GM were to do that, it would fly off the lots quite a bit faster than now.”

And GM would lose money on these quite a bit faster, too.

I wouldn’t expect any price drops until the Federal subsidy dries up for GM, or until they get their clock cleaned by the Model 3. Except when it comes to price cutting, GM can out-do Tesla any day because they have their profitable trucks to pay for it.

Not sure how you figure “overpriced ” since any other car with 200+ range costs twice as much.

Relative to other EVs available today, the Bolt is very competitively priced. The cost per mile of range of the Bolt probably beats anything else out there.

($37.5K – $7500) / 238mi = $126/mi

However, 10 to 15 years from now, a 238 mile EV with the feature set of the Bolt (no built in navigation, 50KW limited level 3, no AWD, etc.) should go for about $20K (no incentives). From that standpoint, today’s Bolt is over priced by about $10K ($37.5K – $7500 = $30K; $7500 = Fed tax credit).

Yes, I’m neglecting “gas savings”.

menorman, I agree with the idea that the Bolt is overpriced and could use faster charging. The III isn’t even being built for sale yet, but it is pushing out a bow wave of expectation with regards to price and range. The Bolt has the range but it doesn’t carry the cachet that would get more people onto Chevy lots to buy it at $37k. I think $32k would make a huge difference. $25k net is a very nice price for a BEV with the utility the Bolt brings to the table. And real world 75 kW charging would be huge for the Bolt. It really looks like it has been topping out at 43 kW charge rates even before the charge tapering starts. If they could go from having just 25 miles of AER left in the pack to 160 miles of range in 30 minutes (adding 35 kWh’s) it would make a huge difference. Right now gaining that much range would take almost an hour. The 90 miles in 30 minutes promise seems to be a bit overstated. Or maybe the people I am reading about haven’t found chargers that are fast enough to charge the Bolt at… Read more »

Faux News isn’t entirely consistent with its anti-“green”, anti-EV message. Once in a great while it slips up and lets someone say something positive about EVs! I seem to recall a report here about Faux News having a positive story about the Volt, once upon a time.

There was a report just last night on the PBS News Hour which showed not just one, but two people saying they consider Faux News to be their most trustworthy, most reliable source for news; the source where they can trust that everything they hear is true.

(The reporter also said that most Faux News fans he interviewed were surprised when he told them that both of El Trumpo’s attempts at a Muslim ban had been ruled unconstitutional by the courts!)

Sometimes I weep over how completely human beings can delude themselves. 🙁

I gave it a B-.

When it comes to the price of the Bolt, the harsh reality outside of the EV bubble is that consumers do not value “electric”.

They value things like “cheap”, “fast”, “good looking”, “luxurious”, “big”, etc. The Bolt’s “EV range” is just not enough to persuade the average “non EV enthusiast” to jump. I own a Tesla and so do two of my buddies. Each of us, as car guys, bought them because they were good looking, fast and reasonably roomy PLUS they had the EV driving experience.

If the Tesla had been “slow” or “ugly” it likely would have fallen off the list for at least two of us…maybe all three. If the Bolt were $29K (with leather) then you start to “overlook” stuff like, um, “looks” – wee what I did there?

At $43K loaded….you start seriously cross shopping used Model S 60s.

Yeah, you can consider the cross shoping, but consumers can be a fickle bunch. The Tesla CPO market is competitive with some 2 year old Model S. The larger size factor, and real world range, including supercharger access, is a hands down Tesla winner.

It’s larger outside, not inside. And a 60 has much less real world range than a Bolt. 208 rated versus 238 rated.

Hands down winner?

Supercharger access (and free!) is nice, but the Model S 60 of that era charges no faster than a Bolt in miles per hour. It’s barely faster than a Bolt on a 50kW DCFC and is probably slower than a Bolt on an 80kW DCFC. Although we can’t be sure since 80kW DCFCs are rare. Which of course is back to advantage Supercharger since those may charge a 60 slower but you at least can do that while the Bolt situation is theoretical for nearly everyone.

I will take the Tesla “driving experience”, over the Bolt EV “driving experience”, any day even if it’s a 2 year+ CPO Tesla against a loaded GM Bolt. Just preferences on total EV user friendliness and road trip range realities.

Never stated a Tesla Model S 60 as my CPO base model for comparison in range, by the way.

Okay. You didn’t state a 2 year old Tesla 60 as your comparison. But if you didn’t, do the numbers work?

I see two 60 (non-D) on Tesla’s site right now. One is $62K, one is $53K. The $53K one is 2 years old.

And that’s before an up to $2K transportation fee!

If you are comparing to a more expensive Model S, sure the Model S gets more range, but you’re stretching the idea of “comparable” well past its limit to that of pointlessness.

Go ahead and start seriously cross shopping used Model S 60s. With no track record of repair costs it’s hard to be sure what you’re getting. What happens when it breaks, how much will it cost to fix? Who knows? Tesla handles all the costing under warranty in-house and with “goodwill”. What happens if you don’t get goodwill?

“Good Will” Ignition Switch, brings to the table, some lasting memories for those and their F&F that GM “game overed”! How about GM and their “Tesla Love Legislation” in certain states? GM can bring some controversy to their brand!

Good will ignition switch? What are you talking about? There’s no ignition switch on any GM EV or PHEV.

You seem to want to replace costs with principles. Great, that’s fine. But don’t pretend you’re talking about comparable costs when you do so. You’re making your decisions based upon different criteria.

The CPO come with some coverage so go for that if repairs worry you.

I think this is the first review that has said this could be one’s only car. I’m not sure that’s true for all people, but it is for us, and it’s one reason we’re seriously considering buying one.

The last time we drove more than 300 miles from home was literally years ago for a cross-country trip. And we live in California where there is decent access to CCS such that a round trip of 2 to 4 times the car’s total range isn’t difficult, particularly if there is destination charging.

It is funny that EV comments have gone from Bolt EV being a “compliance” car to now that Bolt is “overpriced”.


Name me another BEV with 238 miles right now!

Exactly, it doesn’t have to move price if there are currently no competition. Until there is a LEAF 2.0 that is competitive or Model 3, Bolt is the only game in town.

Sure, people will wait for “potential choices”. But people also don’t just go out buy a new car just because something new is here like their phones…

Good point on GM bringing the Bolt, that is “Here and Now”! They are the current leader on at least two important EV metrics. Cost and Range, along with the in stock today, is hard to beat.

ModernMarvelFan said:

“It is funny that EV comments have gone from Bolt EV being a ‘compliance’ car to now that Bolt is ‘overpriced’.”

I’d go further: I’ll nominate Dave86’s post above for inclusion in All-Time Top 10 Most Bizarre Comments Ever Posted to InsideEVs.

Seriously, he’s comparing the Bolt EV to a hypothetical car that he thinks will be marketed 10-15 years from now?

WTF? 😯

Perhaps we should also compare the Bolt EV to production plug-in EVs made 10 years ago.

Oh, wait… there weren’t any!

Bolt brings a whole new level of EV range and performance for the price. I am very impressed by Chevy here.

Chevy Bolt is an excellent electric car with a 238 mile range, the height of a crossover, good pickup and it qualifies to be graded as A+. If fox news gives it B+, then you know for sure that this is a pro-oil media group that wants to mislead the people.

Still we cannot compare Bolt (162 inches in length) with Model-3 which will be 180 inches in length.
If we do such comparison, then we can compare Ford Fiesta with Focus as well.

But if both have the same price tag, then we can say that Model-3 is priced more affordably at $35,000 for a 215 mile range than the Bolt at $37,500 for its 238 mile range. No wonder there are 370,000 reservations worldwide.

Bob Nan said:

“Still we cannot compare Bolt (162 inches in length) with Model-3 which will be 180 inches in length.”

Somehow I doubt you’ll get much agreement on that assertion. Especially since the Bolt EV reportedly has more space inside the passenger cabin than the Model 3 does.

Here is the thing. Exterior dimensions matter to the majority of people. The presence on the road is tiny. And tiny won’t cut it for the vast majority of Americans.

Just look at SUVs – big road presence and tiny interiors. Now look at sales.

Exterior size = safe. That equation is burned into the minds of people and you will not get most people to consider changing when safety is involved.

So people can talk all they want about interior size and it won’t sell cars. Height is also not usable beyond the top of your head. It might feel nice but every extra inch is wasted – if you really want to talk practicality.

Length isn’t the only issue of course. Width is a big one. My wife thought it was too diminutive on the road. She loves the smart car (but would never have one) and the Mini – so there is that. She has driven a Leaf for 2 years. Thinks SUVs are an abomination. And she will never drive a Bolt.

The extra 4 inches of height in Bolt is compensated by the extra 3 inches of width in Model-3 and the 18 inches in length will make Model-3 a very big car overall.

So both don’t come in the same size league.
But they do come in the price and the electric range and that’s what makes the media compare.

When people see the both cars in the street, the opinions will change.

I guess I didn’t make my point clearly enough.

The comparisons between the Bolt EV and the Tesla Model 3 are coming fast and furious, and the pace will only accelerate when sales of the Model 3 start. The reasons for the comparison are obvious, and nothing you have written here is going to stop anyone from making that comparison.

People certainly aren’t gonna stop comparing the cars merely because the Model S is longer (and lower) than the Bolt EV!

You are on to something with the width. GM’s idea was to put the interior volume of a C-segment compact into a B-segment subcompact by leveraging the packaging advantages of an electric drivetrain. Which is fine in theory, but in reality gives you a long but narrow interior, with seats that are narrower than average, displeasing some buyers.

Length and style matter too. One of the weird side effects of the Bolt’s introduction has been a jump in sales for the Volt! People come in to look at the Bolt but prefer the Gen 2 Volt’s sexy styling and normal width. (Yes, the Volt is slower and has terrible headroom especially in back, but it’s also cheaper and has no range anxiety ever.)

They would have given it an A+ if it was towing a trailer full of burning oil or even better coal!

I’m surprised they even bothered…

Perfect example.
Well done Samwise.