Talking Cars With Consumer Reports – 2017 Chevrolet Bolt – Video

Chevrolet Bolt


Consumer Reports‘ first test drive review of the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt concludes with this reference to the Tesla Model 3:

“While the Bolt lacks the Tesla’s cool factor, it’s practical and enjoyable to drive.”

Chevy Bolt

Chevy Bolt

Turns out the Tesla connections to the Bolt continue in this Talking Cars episode on the Bolt presented by Consumer Reports.

Here’s the video description:

“Turns out the first relatively affordable long-range electric car isn’t from Tesla; the Chevy Bolt beats the Tesla Model 3 to market. We found the Bolt to be enjoyable and practical, but wonder if buyers will be turned off by its dowdy styling.”

And even the written version of Talking Cars by Consumer Reports just can’t avoid mentioning Tesla…Tesla…Tesla:

“Let’s say you want an electric car with over 200 miles of range, but you can’t swing the payments on a Tesla Model S or X. You could wait (along with over 300,000 other people) for the Tesla Model 3. Or you can get a Chevy Bolt in a few weeks.”

And it continues:

“While the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid was dubbed “GM’s moon shot” by more than a few pundits (including us), the Bolt is actually more radical. Built from the ground-up to be all-electric, it makes the most of its 60-kWh battery pack with an EPA-rated 238 miles of range. That beats a Tesla Model S 60D with the same capacity battery pack by 20 miles.”

How many times can Tesla be mentioned in connection to the Bolt? The two brands/cars are so far apart that really the only thing in common is electric and long range. Beyond that, any comparisons seem a stretch to us.

Source: Consumer Reports

Categories: Chevrolet, Videos


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60 Comments on "Talking Cars With Consumer Reports – 2017 Chevrolet Bolt – Video"

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Expect Tesla to at least make a cameo in every Bolt EV review…

in almost all Bolt reviews I’ve seen up to now, it does. It’s like a curse

“How many times can Tesla be mentioned in connection to the Bolt? The two brands/cars are so far apart that really the only thing in common is electric and long range. Beyond that, any comparisons seem a stretch to us.”

So just 10 articles before this one there are over 200 comments with over 100 mentions of Tesla versus the Bolt. Yes, it’s a foolish comparison, but everyone does it anyway.

The Tesla vs. Bolt comparison doesn’t make complete sense, but just like the Volt vs. Leaf comparison, we are going to be hearing it A LOT!
Because in a way, they are the best comparable cars to each other, even though there are huge differences between them.

They make many comparisons with the Spark EV, Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf and other vehicles as well as Tesla. I feel this is appropriate considering there are still limited options in the EV space.

But many of the points are contradictory and make no sense.

The woman on the left and the gentleman on the right are mostly making good reasonable comparisons about the vehicle and what it brings to the table.

The guy in the center leads the discussion down all kinds of incorrect points, irrelevant comparisons and tangents like his “improv class”, that “most DC fast chargers are at Nissan dealers” and how the Volt really only went 25 miles on electric, and that the Spark EV has more cargo space than the Model X.

I don’t know why they get so many facts & figures wrong. If they can’t remember them, wny not have some reference cards made up that they can revert to when needed?

I also didn’t understand all the hub-bub about the Volt not being reliable, because it has an engine. Last I checked, all cars besides BEVs have engines.

The guy on the right was saying how he liked the regen paddle because he could drive almost all the time without even using the brake pedal to get greater range.

He doesn’t even know that the brake pedal engages regen and then blends with the brake pads in harder braking. How could he not know that GM has been using this blended regen braking system since the Volt came out? And the Leaf uses blended braking/regen as well.

So really the paddle doesn’t do anything new and is sort of a gimmick since you could just use the brake pedal and get the same regen.

Real one-pedal driving is just that. It’s where maximum regen or enough strong regen is obtained by lifting off the accelerator slowing the car in most situations. Braking with the brake pads occurs when hard stopping is needed.

With the paddle it’s an extra step just like it’s an extra step to move your foot back and forth from the accelerator to the brake pedal.

GM claims the Bolt does not use blended regen/friction braking.

And I don’t think anyone who has driven it has called them a liar.

Actually unless Chevy has said something else on the subject I think that original quote you are referring to was a misunderstanding by many people because it was poorly worded.

“No. Adaptive cruise control – no, you would need the blended brakes to do that and we didn’t want to do that with this car. ”

They were saying they didn’t want to do adaptive cruise with the blended brakes on the car.

Okay. Thanks. I won’t repeat my misconception further.

Although I can’t see why they wouldn’t want to do adaptive cruise on the car if it is capable of it. Of course an explanation of this is beyond all of us I suppose.

Yeah a detailed explanation would be nice but I don’t think anyone has followed up on why the blended braking would not work with it.

Taking a wild guess, I’ll bet that was just an excuse and it has nothing to do with the blended brakes.

We already know that Chevy is working on self-driving Bolts – they are driving around California and Michigan as we speak.

I don’t think Chevy wants to have an early model Bolt with Adaptive Cruise Control when the Self driving version will be released this model’s lifespan. We’ve seen a lot of confusion and fear related to autopilot deaths because people were relying on the technology as if it was true self driving tech. I don’t think Chevy wants sensationalist headlines about ACC wrecks by people thinking their car could drive itself.

Just speculation though. I don’t know the real reason. 🙂

Yeah Kdawg, I could only sit though about half of it. I actually feel less informed after watching this video.

Good point about the Paddle, philip D. This isn’t new to Chevy. The new Volt and the ELR have this.

I do see a use case for it personally. In heavy traffic I always drive the Spark in L which has max regen.

But there are situations where it’s more efficient I drive in D not L. Having a max regen paddle could be useful in D for the last few feet when pulling up to a stoplight. Since the max regen can now bring the car to a full stop – it might capture more energy than using the brake.

At least that’s my understanding. I am not certain if this is how the paddle functions since I have not driven the car yet.

True, but when they call the Tesla not all that reliable I don’t see you foaming at the mouth about that.
I’m Just saying we all have our individual perspectives, about accuracy, emphasis, and reviews in general, our likes and dislikes inform our opinions. Whereas we overlook certain things in one product but harp on the same ones in another.

1. I didn’t hear him say anything about Tesla reliability

2. Tesla legitimately has had reliability issues… in the early Model S, and more recently in the Model X. That’s why I keep preaching KISS for the M3.

They smear Tesla quite regularly. Just recently they made some snide comments about stupid doors. Just asides mostly, stuff like they did with unsubstantiated statements about Volt reliability.
Some time ago I started to understand that their personal prejudices often colored their reviews, mixed with some factual information.

I wonder if they will be sending out time for an oil change notes with the Bolt. To me it just sends a negative message. Of course that could be individual dealerships but maybe a memo from corporate would help.

The general thrust of the CR piece is the Bolt is a good city runabout limited by charging infrastructure in your area, and is not cool like the coming Model III.
The engineers won, which is good thing, and it looks dorky, good visibility, lots of room, and a few niggling problems.
The shift stick.
I think they miss the boat in why people will buy an ev. There are a number of reasons they might, but bottom line, it will be because they are better.

Tesla has proved people will fork over the cash for a superior vehicle, and that is what will really continue and re-enforce the ev revolution.

When I leased a Spark EV from my local dealership this summer, the F&I lady tried to sell me a comprehensive maintenance package, and highlighted how I’d get free oil changes during the entire lease.

I was like “Um….the Spark EV doesn’t need oil changes. It doesn’t have a gas engine.”
F&I lady: *blank stare* ……oh, really? Ok, nevermind then.
Me: *rolleyes*

Exactly. Sort of depressing that the people selling the product don’t even the rudimentary things about it.

I got regular oil change notices during my LEAF lease. I mentioned it to be dealer, but they didn’t seem to have control of the system.

My friend has a Leaf. She had a beef about the dealer’s service and they sent her a $50 gas card by way of apology!

That buys quite a few Red Bulls and Gatorades!

I think it makes perfect sense to compare the Bolt to Tesla. The EV world consists of 100 mile NEVs and the expensive Tesla. Until the Bolt arrives, then you can get a decent range car without paying through your nose for the Tesla. This is a big step forward and if GM could manage to meet demand it will likely have an effect on Tesla sales.

It certainly makes sense to compare the Bolt to the Model ≡ when discussing what PEVs (Plug-in EVs) will be available in the near future. What does not make sense is to spend time during what is supposed to be a review of the Chevy Bolt, talking about a car which isn’t being sold yet, and whose final form hasn’t even been shown!

I’m a Tesla fan, but honestly, there’s no need to talk about Tesla cars in what seems like very nearly every. single. article. at InsideEVs.

There are EVs being sold and being developed by other auto makers. I think those should get their fair share of attention, too.

If the Bolt didn’t have the range it has, it would not be news (and this is true in no small part because we EV buffs have been clamoring for more range for years). If there were a dozen other affordable long-range EVs, no one would be comparing it to Tesla.

But right now, Tesla is the only other EV one can compare it to for range, so it gets compared.

Throughout the discussion, I haven’t heard a peep about DCFC.

It’s nice that they had a person with SparkEV (lady on left), but she mentions nothing about SparkEV being quickest charging EV in the world (in percentage), and talk about it like she can only drive it around town in Long Beach and unable to get on freeway. There are enough DCFC in the area to drive almost thousand miles in a day.

I noticed that too. I don’t think her spark had the DCFC capability, which is an option.

Sparky, she used Free chargers (I know that’ll cheer you up) and it was her unique driving pattern that meant she did not Naturally drive 405 (which she mentions is so bad that it cuts her mileage to 60mi, making it Less tempting to use).

She did mention going on city-street drives and arriving with more mileage than when she left – she Likes the Spark. FWIW, I know you won’t see this so late.

OMG, Could anyone sit and watch the whole thing? I tuned out before the one minute mark.

I listened to about half of it passively while at work. I could have continued if it was just the woman and the man on the left.

But the guy in the center was quite uninformed and contradictory in many of his arguments. I got sick of listening to him.

The woman on the left and the man on the right I meant to say.

He’s been totally anti-EV and Hybrid from day one.

He’s complaining about the looks of the Volt. Has he looked out the windshield of his car, the world is full of UGLY SUV’s, with this exact same layout.

Actually he almost said something nice about the Volt.

The woman on the left, if you’re electrical system needs $3000 of upgrades, DO THE UPGRADES.

You must be Woefully Out of Code, this could be a safety issue.

Oh, and get 3 estimates.
It could be just a first high estimate.

Just an very high amount of misinformation, sarcasm, exaggeration and/or worst case scenarios presented as factual information from that guy.

Yeah. 3k could only be if they were still using antique insulators, knob and socket. Not sure but mine cost $600, and they drill and run a new circuit.

The guy in the middle Tom Mutchler has always been a Prius fan and very critical of the Volt. Actually I am surprised that he is actually “nice” to the Bolt.

The guy on the right is Tom’s Boss Jake Fischer who is a Tesla Fan boi. His point about two power train is stupid. Prius has excellent quality and reliability. Gen 1 Volt was average too which was better than many of the single power train models out there. The PHEV configuration actually reduces wear and tear per types of power train. It is actually going to last longer. Sure, it is more complex but the load are divided up between the two so for a given miles, the power train actually has less wear on average.

The lady on the left are just “guest” panel. She is just there to offer her real life experience.

Typically talking car with consumer report crew aren’t always “EV friendly” or “GM friendly” bunch. Based on that history, I actually consider this as an overall positive review of the Bolt.

I always have to fight back to the urge to virtually punch Tom Mutchler in the face. He irks me so.

MMF – a Glowing review, as they could do nothing but harp on the looks – as mentioned earlier, have you Looked at the rest of the cars out there? Tom, you’re dorky lookin’, ok?
Many Famously popular cars were engineering wins, my 70’s 5-series being an example, Wow, I can actually see OUT of this car! lol, but NO beauty contest winner, sorry.

Why does this website have a Pro-Tesla bias? You should be for all EVs.

Face it – Tesla screwed up by not pursuing the Model 3 before the problem plagued Model X which only the wealthy can buy (or those not bothered by a big car loan).

“You are entitled to your opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts.” ―- Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Fred, your assertion is factually incorrect.

For Tesla to sell the Model ≡ at a “semi-affordable” price, they need the Gigafactory cranking out huge volumes of cheap batteries. It would have been pointless for Tesla to try to make and sell the M≡ before the Gigafactory is producing batteries in volume.

Yes, the Model 3 has always been predicated on the completion of the Gigafactory. As you know, this is due to the new battery cells, expected cost reduction due to mass production, and finally the required capacity to supply 100s of thousands of battery packs.

I will be interested to see if people adapt to the shifter. BMW drivers don’t seem to have much complaint and their shifter is similar.

The thing about getting out of low is kind of crazy, but I think you’re supposed to use the button to engage temporary high regen, not shift to low. So I think she can adapt.

I just wonder a bit if GM if she will. Or if she (and others) will give up before giving the shifter a chance. You can design something that works as well or better than existing systems but if it’s too alien than people won’t like it.

My Nissan dealer tried to sell me a maintenance package with my LEAF. That didn’t last long, I pointed out it was dumb and they dropped it. Nissan still told me to bring the car in once a year and I did.

They never did anything substantive on the car except for recalls. The brakes on that car were awful on day one and there was no fix.

I barely made it through some of this. I kept cringing on some of the incorrect things people said. But one thing that caught me off guard is their complaint that the Volt was unreliable because it has engine problems. Is this true? I have not heard of any abnormal amount of issues. Of course, being how often I use the engine on my car, it could break and I might go 6 months before I noticed.

It certainly appears to fly in the face of what’s generally reported, which is that the Volt 1.0 has proven to be exceptionally reliable.

An article at “Consumer Reports Says Chevy Volt Is GM’s Most Reliable Vehicle”

But they were talking about Volt 2. Apparently there have been some problems.

(Yay! My name was finally filled in automatically!)

“engine” is very subjective in the EV world…Dozens have the reported their Gen2 Volt dying on the road, sometimes with the steering wheel locking and dash displays “shift to park”…Many would attribute the car not going to “engine problems” when it might not be…With all that being said, in the Volt forums the Gen2 has been out for 13 months and there are already 20 stickies in the problem section…

Consumer Reports of 2017 Chevy Volt: First-year reliability of the redesign has been well-below average.

Question: Why is it that almost every single article on the Bolt has to mention the Tesla Model ≡?

Answer: Because magazine editors and website editors know that including the word “Tesla” in an article, or even better in the headline, will get the article more attention. 🙁

How about for once, we just consider the Chevy Bolt on its own merits? I think it’s a compelling PEV, and congratulations to GM for raising the bar on semi-affordable BEVs. I’m confident that GM will easily sell out of the slightly over 30k units they plan to make in the first production year, and I hope they will ramp up production swiftly in future years.


While I agree with you about not having to invoke Tesla, I don’t get the “semi-affordable”.

The average car price in the US is about $33.5K. It’s hard to call this less than “affordable” given that. It’ll be about at that price after rebate and if you can confine yourself to the base model it’ll be only a bit above it before rebate.

What’s the P in PEV?

Maybe the practicality is the “semi-” part of it. If you can’t put in an EVSE and the infrastructure isn’t good in your area it’s going to be on the ragged edge of practical. 3 miles range added per hour will keep it on a short leash even with 238 miles range.

PEV = Plug-in EV.

Regarding your claim that the “average” price for a new car in the USA is $33.5k: Just what is meant by “average” when you use the term? Perhaps that’s the average of all the MSRPs of different models added together, but is it really the average price paid in the USA for a new car? Less expensive cars are sold in greater numbers, which of course pulls the average price down.

Of the top 10 best-selling cars (not light trucks) in the USA in 2015, MSRPs ranged from the Nissan Sentra at $16,780 to the Nissan Altima at $22,500. The $33.5k you’re claiming is rather far out of that range.

KBB says the average transaction price is $33.6K.

That’s price paid as far as I know. Although there is that qualifier about incentives. Although it does include options, whereas your comment about the MSRPs (base MSRPs) for the most popular cars doesn’t.

Something doesn’t have to be one of the cheapest (best selling) cars to be affordable. If it were one of the cheapest cars we’d call it “cheap” not “affordable”.

You can tell they are “car guys” by the way they dump on the Bolt’s looks. The Bolt looks generally similar to a Fit, but for me that’s a complement. I always lusted after the Fit.

“While the Bolt lacks the Tesla’s cool factor, it’s practical and enjoyable to drive.”

… and so might the Tesla be.

Yeah I’ve always hated CR reviews – even back when I was a young teenager. This new generation is dopier than the last.

Volt 25 miles. Uh Huh. Bolt 200 miles. When real test drives on real routes have shown over 300.

The car I’ve always said is a bit of an ugly duckling (although some people really like its looks – especially younger folks), but the car is a BIG IMPROVEMENT over the concept BOLT.

I don’t think everyone is enthralled with the looks of the ‘3’ either. If I was a ‘3’ I wouldn’t criticize the Bolt for its looks.

I really liked the now unavailable catfish grille of the “S”. I don’t like the ‘skinny lips’ new look – totally subjective admittedly.

But these guys are getting to the point of being semi-silly. I bet they smoked Pot before the interview they are so giddy – and they just talk about ‘slice of life’ ev stuff. Big deal.

I’m glad the one guy reminded me he’s an engineer.. I never would have guessed it.

Bill Howland said:

“Bolt 200 miles. When real test drives on real routes have shown over 300.”

That’s not driving at the normal highway speed a typical driver would average when driving a long distance. It’s amazing how much mileage you can milk out of an EV if you drive it at a steady 25-30 MPH!

That’s rather far away from what most people would call a “real test drive”.

This has been rehashed over and over again. In test drive after test drive at 40-60 mph, (in other words very NORMAL driving), the cars were on track to get 300 miles.

You persist (just like almost every Voluminous comment you make again and again and again) of postulating fairy tales. None of the test drives were at 25 mph.

Thankfully, I don’t have to listen to your wet dreams, I know what mileage I get in my Volt and ELR, and it is easy to make roughly the same comparison when I hear ANYONE BUT YOU talk about the Bolt, who has actually driven it.

Right now I’m gathering on the toll roads I’ll get around 240 miles. On back roads, 40-60 mph, I figure around 300.

Tesla compared to Bolt: no contest. (1.) A bird in the bush or in the hand. (2.) Price price price. (3.). I’ll be test driving a bolt tomorrow… affordable Tesla probably never. Thank you Chevy.

Let me know what you think of the Bolt EV.

I think its not really a Tesla and Bolt comparison, but a way to show the improvement in the EV sector.

Going for a cheaper EV to this day has three disadvantages: worse looks, feels and range. Now its only looks and feels, thats an improvement!

“Now its only … looks and feels”.

Thats open to opinion.

Most S’s have an upgraded at extra cost interior. The base interior doesn’t look any improvement over the base Bolt.

As far as the exterior goes, I USED to like the way the S catfish grille looked. But I just can’t get accustomed to that “skinny lips” new look.