Now You Know Test Drives Chevrolet Bolt – Video

5 months ago by Electric CarsTV 25

We’ve seen more than our fair share of Chevrolet Bolt EV test drive videos now, but this one come to us via our friends at Now You Know.

The usual drawbacks are mentioned, like the slightly uncomfortable front seats (a common complaint) and some interior elements that don’t quite seem up to par, but like most other Chevy Bolt EV reviews, the overall take is that it’s a fine electric car.

Chevy Bolt

Video description:

“Welcome back for another episode of Now You Know. Today we go on a test drive of the Chevy Bolt with our friend, Gerry! Come along for the ride with us.”

It’s 11-plus minutes of Bolt time, unfortunately there’s too much time spent not driving the Bolt, but we think it’s still worth the watch.

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25 responses to "Now You Know Test Drives Chevrolet Bolt – Video"

  1. unlucky says:

    When the guy is trying to indicate how much regen there is the battery is too full and thus it isn’t giving full regen. If he would drive it another 5 miles the amount of regen available would almost triple. He’s also pressing the wrong paddle to increase regen, it’s the on one the left (by the window side), he’s pressing the radio volume buttons. And he’s driving in D which has less regen than L.

    Perhaps they should have had a salesman in the car to explain things.

    Also funny to hear the guy ask the salesman if they get in a lot of them. I know he had good intentions but any car salesman will brag about how their dealership gets a lot of cars. ALWAYS. It’s a basic defense mechanism, as if to say “don’t go anywhere else, if you can’t find it here no one has it”.

    1. Acevolt says:

      One thing about Quirk Chevrolet is that they really like selling Bolts. They currently list 125 in stock and that is more than any other car they stock. Of course they also list 503 Silverado’s.

      Even Rydell Chevrolet is Southern California only lists 118 Bolts in stock.

    2. vdiv says:

      That’s what happens when you have redundant and confusing controls. Regen can be controlled by the brake pedal, accelerator pedal, gear selector, AND one of the two paddles?! Come on, those paddles are completely useless and unnecessary.

      1. Bill Howland says:

        Actually that is not true – while the BOLT ev does have redundant radio controls, the regeneration controls are *NOT* redundant. The only way to get the whopping 70 kw of dynamic braking (around 100 horsepower worth) is to put the Pernindl in “L” and use the left paddle.
        I find I get used to the “great Regen” and then am constantly miscalculating when I go back to driving my ELR, which has reasonably good regen (60 kw, but only at high speeds – besides being a larger coupe).

        It is not a perfect vehicle, but after the car has been ‘broken – in’ the efficiency of the car really is quite amazing. It is entirely conceivable to drive almost 300 miles on one charge. If all you are doing is city driving, then you’ll do over 300, of course, the 60 kwh battery rating is somewhat conservative since I’ve gotten quite a bit more than 59 kwh usable out of the battery – so they could have easily ‘called’ it a 65 kwh battery – so the surprisingly large battery (it takes 67.77 kwh to recharge it at a 6 kw rate (1/10 C) in moderate weather) is an unexpected bonus.

        No wonder this car has won so many awards. Its a great value and will satisfy many, many people’s needs for a pratical, affordable EV.

        1. unlucky says:

          You can get max regen simply by pressing the brake pedal. No need to use the paddle. He’s getting the max regen simply by using the brake pedal (which he rightly says is a bit spongy). The real issue here is that he doesn’t understand that the max regen is being limited by the battery being full. They made a video which him saying that his e-Golf has more regen when actually this car has a lot more, he just has to drive a few miles before it can work. That is an unforced error on their part. They should have had a salesman there to help them not make such mistakes.

          I’m not really sold on the paddle, even though I use it sometimes. I’ve though about simply trying to tape it down. Because even if you have the paddle down pressing the gas still reduces the regen.

          1. Bill Howland says:

            I don’t use the brake pedal – and since you can’t operate the hydraulic brakes from the left paddle, it is not redundant.

  2. Rick Bronson says:

    Nice functional crossover. But for some reason GM decided to start with few states and expand slowly.

    Hopefully they will expand to all states soon before Model-3 and Leaf-2 hits the market.

  3. Larry says:

    Yet to see even one in SW Virginia. So far only one other G2 Volt spotted though admittedly not as eye-catching. I have seen three Tesla’s !!

    1. vdiv says:

      Plenty available for sale in NoVA, and there are charging stations on the way. Come on over 🙂

  4. EVA-01 says:

    It’s so annoying having to keep reading about the “popular complaint” that the seats are slightly uncomfortable. Chevrolet says that this is a subcompact crossover. The EPA says that it’s a small wagon (the U.S government doesn’t recognize crossovers as a category).

    I sat in the Bolt EV at an auto show and the seats were absolutely fine for the category. This is a small car so of course everything would be sized appropriately. If you’re complaining about the seats, you’re too wide for them, simple as that. No need to not be blunt about it. A tall person doesn’t get inside a FIAT 500 and start complaining about the cramped interior because he/she knows that it’s a small car to begin with.

    The message here is to stop complaining about common sense things. If your size fits inside the Bolt EV, cool. If you don’t, wait for a larger vehicle that fits your size. Stop treating the Bolt EV like a one-size-fits-all car and making foolish comments.

    1. vdiv says:

      And that is exactly the challenge EVs face, people always find something to complain about them. If it’s not one thing then it is another. And when they (quickly) run out of plausible things they go on a rant about lack of a fifth seat or uncomfortable seats or too ugly or what not.

    2. unlucky says:

      I also find the hullabaloo over the seats to be a mountain out of a molehill. I don’t think calling them slightly uncomfortable is unfair. They are rather narrow. They are slightly uncomfortable like sports seats in a sports sedan are slightly uncomfortable. The seat bolsters are touching your thighs all the time.

      But that’s it. I don’t understand the big deal otherwise. I sat in a Model X seat the other day and it felt so similar that I actually measured the seats to see if they were the same width (they were an inch wider). But they had the same feel, the same thing of the bolsters touching your legs and to the same extent. But not many people are having fits over those seats being too uncomfortable.

      This is getting blown well out of proportion.

      I do think GM should be looking to offer a slightly wider EV. The front seats would benefit. The shoulder room when 3 across the back seat would benefit. And the trunk width would benefit, making it possible to put golf clubs more easily.

      But that’s not what this car is. It should do fine in the market, because it’s well suited for most people if they just don’t get hung up on the seats before giving it a chance.

    3. want2go ev says:

      The seat issue is real. We tried several bolts last week taking a book to spend some time in the seats just to test. The first seat was uncomfortable for my wife after about 10 minutes. The second caused shooting pain down her legs after just a few minutes. The 3rd vehicle, which we test drove, seemed to be fine. Lastly she went back with a book again and sat in a vehicle for 45 minutes reading. This seat was fine as well. Seems the seat comments are justified based on our own testing of the premier trim leather seats. This variance in seat comfort is documented on several sites. Don’t know if there are multiple suppliers or what, but the seat comfort is hit or miss. Try several before you dismiss the vehicle. It’s a shame to see the poor seat quality control deter people from an otherwise great EV.

      1. Kdawg says:

        Just be careful when the bears return.

    4. friedputty says:

      Small cars need not disallow non-small people. (FWIW, I’m 6’1 and fit fine in a Fiat 500.)

      A standard auto seat is 2″ wider than the Bolt’s. Honestly the narrow seats wouldn’t be a big deal EXCEPT that the metal frame rises up and can be felt under the lower left bolster, making it uncomfortable to slide in and out of the car and causing discomfort if you’re not centered in the seat. If you’re centered, it’s comfy. There are ways to fix this — pop on a seat cover or, to keep it looking stock, the owner’s forum shows how to slip a second piece of foam under the upholstery so you rise past the frame, and it only takes a few minutes.

      But it does seem like an avoidable mistake, and it was enough for my wife to rule out the car. Fair enough: if the seat alone can make me want a Volvo, the seat alone can make her not want this…

  5. Jim Whitehead says:

    The Tesla Model 3 directly competes with the Bolt and Ioniq. (I don’t know much about the Ioniq so I will ignore it for now). Lets put aside my personal preference for Tesla’s acceleration and sexiness… What will be the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of the cars over the years?

    As my wife has a delivery job of 35K miles a year. My TCO is dominated by repair costs.

    Tesla car reliability has been low in the early years of every model, but they learn fast and do constant updating. Also, I have met several Tesla owners and all say their repair experience has been positive, and Tesla hasn’t very Tesla owner I met says their shops have been honest and Tesla never inflated bills.

    GM cars in general have good reliability in the early years and repairs are fine inside the warranty period. But outside of warranty, we are at the mercy of the dealers for repairs. All the Virginia Beach area GM dealers I know, TRY to gouge me for inflated repairs half the time. (Perhaps other people are lucky to find an honest one. I haven’t so far found that rare bird).

    In a nutshell, who would you rather deal with: A pricey but honest Tesla repair shop OR your local GM dealer, who may see the word “sucker” written on your face when you walk in? My choice is clear. 🙂

    1. Bill Howland says:

      That’s a pretty broad brush – I’ve seen good dealers, and bad. My at this point rather dated experience with Tesla Service centers has been on the lower side of avg, but the technicians coming to my house have been BETTER than average..

      So its not quite so a ‘black and white’ stark contrast between GM and the others. I’ve had to hold BOTH to warranty agreements to get adequate satisfaction.

    2. mx says:

      The Volt, lately isn’t showing good reliability.
      And the Bolt has already had some horror stories about complete battery failure.

      1. theflew says:

        Can you share links to these stories? I haven’t seen them.

    3. unlucky says:

      Inflated bills? Virtually all Tesla owners have never had their car fixed outside of warranty. We don’t even know the price of many of these fixes because there’s no non-Tesla agency seeing the bills.

      I’m not sure where you heard all Tesla repair experiences are positive. This is not the case for me. Some friends have good experiences, some bad. And all of them have complained at times about how hard it is to get an appointment for repairs and how it’s even harder to get into a Tesla-certified body shop. Tesla says they are working on these things, hopefully it will get better.

  6. PC says:

    Great video, great questions. It was just too bad that the regen issue was not understood, because I think that is a huge draw to this car. Diving in L you can stop the car without brakes, although the brake lights do come on. Driving in L and using the paddle, you can stop this car on a steep mountain. Anyway, good for Quirk.

  7. Tom W. says:

    The seats aren’t that bad. the only way to find out is to test drive one. We’ve had ours since 12/31/16 and love it. To be clear, it’s quite fun to drive and has very many nice features; the only minor complaint I have is that I wish the sun visor would telescope; that it. Enjoy!

  8. The seats were a huge issue for us for our cross country trip. A gel pad and lumbar support really made a huge difference.

    The cavernous interior will allow us to sleep inside if need be. We’ve configured our Bolt so specific sizes cargo totes in the rear and behind the front seats great a stable base for 2 light weight self inflating air mattresses.

    Knowing how to maximize the regen and altering/adjusting our driving habits, we just woke up to an overnight charge of 505 klms.

    We love our Bolt. Had a fun drive over the Highway Through Hell.

    https://www.boltacrosscanada.com/single-post/2017/05/15/Bolt-on-the-Coquilhalla

  9. Bill Howland says:

    I sat in a Premier with Leather Seats at the local auto show here, and didn’t like the driver’s seat at all, – it was much more uncomfortable than the diminutive but comfortable tesla roadster seats.

    The BOLT ev I ended up purchasing was the ‘plain jane’ LT, which had rather comfortable CLOTH seating, and the driver’s position is in the acceptable range. But its easy for me to see why people don’t like those leather seats.

    Rear seating is uncanny in that it is more comfortable than the front.

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