The Uncool Chevrolet Bolt Video Review

5 months ago by Steven Loveday 80

The Chevrolet Bolt is really an excellent car on paper, but many people still don’t know it exists, and some that do don’t think it’s very cool.

Doug DeMuro likes to offer a comedic twist with his car reviews and titles. He doesn’t think the Chevrolet Bolt is “uncool” at all actually … as a whole. Honestly, after spending a day with the Bolt, Doug was truly impressed. He didn’t really believe the Tesla Model X was an awful car either (video below). He shared:

“The base-level Model 3 costs $35,000 and can go 220 miles between charges. Well, guess what? The Bolt costs $37,500 and goes 238 miles between charges. It’s on the level of the Tesla!! And yet, if you were to drive around in a Model 3 in the Bay Area right now, you’d cause a 19-car pile-up from all the cell phone camera people, whereas if you drove around in a Bolt, people would be wondering why someone in California bought a Chevy.”

Chevrolet Bolt

Inside the Chevrolet Bolt with Doug DeMuro.

Doug reminds us that while the Bolt costs more, it’s MSRP. The price is “suggested”. This is very unlike Tesla. The current production Model 3 costs $44,000, and Tesla’s pricing doesn’t fluctuate. Added to this, the Model 3 will really cost many people around $60,000 once they get the options they desire. However, there are many people out there securing fabulous deals on the Bolt, and it will likely only get better as time goes on. Even a Bolt Premier is only $40,905, and it’s well-equipped … mostly.

He also points out that the Bolt is quite the performer. It will go from zero to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds. Yes, the Model 3 does it nearly a second quicker (5.6), but 6.5 is still impressive for a versatile compact car. The acceleration was one of the features that impressed him the most. He also praised the Bolt’s infotainment system, cutting-edge gauge cluster, and safety tech.

Conversely, Doug wasn’t happy that the Bolt has manual seats. For $40,000+, this is unacceptable. He was also critical of the car’s handling. Most importantly, Doug does note the “uncool” factor. The Bolt’s styling is just not where it needs to be to attract buyers. He says it looks much like a normal hatchback and not like a future vehicle. This will not appeal to those enamored with the Tesla Model 3.

You can get a Bolt today though, and it may be years before you can get a Model 3. Doug concludes:

“If you went to a Tesla dealer right now and plunked down your $1,000 deposit, you might see your Model 3 in two years. Meanwhile, you can buy a Chevy Bolt — with a longer range, strong acceleration, and good technology — literally right now, today, for probably less money. I haven’t driven the Model 3, so I have no idea if the Bolt is better — but I will say this: The Bolt is here, right now, and it’s pretty darn good.”

Check out Doug’s Tesla Model X video review:

Source: Autotrader

Tags: , ,

80 responses to "The Uncool Chevrolet Bolt Video Review"

  1. Alan Winston says:

    I test drove a Bolt and was delighted with it. The look is a bit flashy, but will probably blend in a bit better over the life of the car. The Tesla 3 looks rather twee to me, but that’s no big deal. The big problem is that potential buyers of the Tesla 3 need to compare it to what will be available in 1.5 to 3 years, and there are a lot of new EVs coming during that period. If the Bolt had adaptive cruise control, there would be no reason to be considering any of the someday-cars like the Teslas at all.

    1. Klaus says:

      No reason? Well, if you’re like me in the Denver metro area, there’s no reason you’d buy anything but a Tesla if you want to be able to leave the metro area with it. No problem comparing the model 3 to what will be available in 1.5 yrs as there still won’t be a solid charging network for anything else that makes the competition more than a metro runabout.

      That’s just one of a handful of reasons I didn’t get a Bolt after test driving it.

      1. John says:

        Yeah, I’m sure the Bolt’s 250-260 real world mile range that folks are actually reporting to be achieving right now won’t allow for leaving metro areas at all…

        Good call.

        1. me says:

          He means being able to actually go somewhere worth going outside of the Denver metro area and he’s right because you need the super charger network to get anywhere. Sure, a 200 mile range EV will get you anywhere in the Denver metro area but try going to the next closest major metro area (i.e. not Colorado Springs or Ft Collins) in any EV but a Tesla.

        2. John Ray says:

          250 miles? Wow, that’s one seriously large metro area! Denver has grown quite a bit since I was last there.

        3. James P Heartney says:

          Pull up, and hide everything but the fast chargers. Zoom out to a wider view, and go to the midwest. Go to any major city, and check which fast chargers are available. You’ll quickly find that most of the ones located where you’d want them for a cross-country trip (i.e. between major cities) are Tesla-only Superchargers. Of the rest, quite a few are CHAdeMO, which a Bolt can’t use.

          Bottom line: the cross-country Bolt charging options are not good in much of the country. Maybe that’ll change in a few years, but right now it’s kind of dire.

          1. ffbj says:

            Yes, that is the actual case. Dire is a fine word to choose.
            Regarding the review, he slams the Bolt as a sports car and gives it high marks as a daily commuter/runabout. Which I find to be accurate.

            1. Get Real says:

              I couldn’t agree more ffbj.

              I have a leased Bolt for my wife and it has a fantastic drivetrain (but middling interior) but is godawful slow at fastcharging if you can find a charger.

              So much so, that we only use it as a commuter or go no further then 100 miles out so we can get back in case the chargers are taken/broken.

  2. L'amata says:

    The Bolt is a Phyllis Diller…The Model 3 is a Marylynn Munroe…Which one would you choose?? A NO BRAINER!!!!!DUUUUUU!!!!!!!!

    1. William says:

      Said Captain Obvious!

    2. John Ray says:

      The Model 3 looks like a Dodge Neon. The new LEAF is far better.

      1. ffbj says:

        In your dreams. 80 miles less range, no sc network, slower, less curb appeal.
        So what is it that makes the new Leaf, actually Leaf 1.5, better?

    3. needa says:

      I think everyone would agree that Phylis Diller would be a heck of a lot more fun to be around than Miss Monroe.

      1. Tom says:

        And lived 6 decades longer

    4. Bob says:

      Ye’ll the Bolt Hello!

  3. kent beuchert says:

    “A 19 car pileup”? Get real, the Model 3 is a Model S clone, and those never cause 19 car pileups. Sedans are out, SUVs are in, in case you haven’t seen the car sales numbers. The front end of a Model 3 is a styling disaster, for the obvious reason : too great an emphasis was placed on insignificant aero. Talking of which – anyone really want to be seen in a car with the Model 3 wheel covers? I simply refuse to believe that they couldn’t do better than that.

    As for GM styling, that will come, as that Bolt chassis already has a Buick variant this year and “many,many” more variants in the next several years, meaning Cadillac

    and GMC. Cadillac is quite capable of producing a very attractive vehicle. And a Camaro is also on the boards, for those sedan/coupe/sporty car lovers. The main obstacles Tesla will face are 1) loss of govt tax credits – and resulting huge price disadvantage 2) high insurance rates, 3) overloaded supercharger network, 4) overloaded service/maintenance 5) loss of zero emission credit buyers ($190 million last year), 6) reputation for shoddy repair work 7) reputation for very high priced, proprietary collision repair 8) a veritable avalanche of electric cars from prestige brands BMW and M-B and Volvo , Ford, Nissan, Honda, Kia, etc etc. All of those brands have world-wide distribution and solid repair facilities in every town.

    1. Vexar says:

      Someone’s short-selling TSLA. Wow. Plenty of distortion in your comments, but the one I will take exception to is the design of the Model III front-end. The rest is just “if you read any EV news blogs, you know better.” I think the production Model III nose looks great, but the fundamental beauty of it is that, as a flat surface, you can already buy several vinyl wraps for it ala WWII bomber nose art.
      However, this debate will never end. Join the fun here:

      I wish GM would make an all-electric Camaro. My guess is that GM won’t do squat about making EVs of their successful models until ICEs are illegal in at least two European countries.

      1. John Ray says:

        So someone brings up legitimate Tesla issues and the best you can do is defend the appearance? Everything he says is correct and I will add a sub-par interior, a dangerous Autopilot system and charging customers for full self driving of which the car is incapable and never will be.

        1. says:

          I bet you are just mad because you didn’t place your M3 reservation in time and now you have to wait 2 years to get it….it’s ok, John, one day you will (maybe) drive a real ev.

          1. John Ray says:

            Lol, stop you’re killing me…sides splitting…can’t stop…laughing.

            Whew, I guess the 50,000+ EV miles I have driven over the past 5 years aren’t real. Nice try.

        2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          “So someone brings up legitimate Tesla issues… Everything he says is correct…”

          One troll supporting another. How sad that the two of you losers don’t have anything useful to do with your time.

          A bunch of EV hater “opinions” and a few exaggerations don’t add up to anything that’s either “legitimate” or “correct”. You don’t care if anything you post is true; you only post to hurt Tesla’s reputation.

          Every large auto maker has similar complaints. What nobody will get from a Tesla hater’s laundry list of complaints is that Tesla has the highest rating for customer satisfaction of any auto maker in the world.

          In a way, your laundry list is a backhanded compliment to Tesla, because that shows it’s getting big enough to have some of the same problems that larger auto makers have. So… ummmm… thanks, trolls?? 😉

          Go Tesla!

          1. John Ray says:

            A lot of words and a lot more nothing.

            1. bro1999 says:

              That’s part for the course for PP

    2. Get Real says:

      Kent beuchert is a serial anti-Ev, anti-Tesla and anti RE troll and has been spamming his FUD all over the internet for over 10 years under multiple usernames:

      Hopefully Jay bans him.

    3. Tom says:

      All of your points are huge challenges for Tesla. My OPINIONS inserted.

      1) loss of govt tax credits — I think they are positioning themselves in a price range of a 3 series BMW so it’s less sensitive there.
      2) high insurance rates–perhaps this will get mitigated under the model 3. In the S, I think you have a higher incident rate for several reasons but one of them is compared to peer group which are luxury $100,000 cars. Other $100,000 luxury cars don’t get driven as much. But certainly idiot S drivers are an issue.
      3) overloaded supercharger network–certainly a risk.
      4) overloaded service/maintenance– They are working to fix this issue by adding in thousands of loaner vehicles recently. Certainly one advantage of say BMW is that BMW has a whole line of service/repair centers already in place. Definitely more work needed here.
      5) loss of zero emission credit buyers–that’s more of a revenue hit to the company rather than purchase activity I think.
      6) reputation for shoddy repair work–I don’t know anything here.
      7) reputation for very high priced, proprietary collision repair–certainly an issue w.r.t. the high insurance you mentioned. I seem to remember an article where they are working to expand this though so perhaps it will get better. Repairs are a big deal.
      8) a veritable avalanche of electric cars–Kia/Hyundai the one to watch in economy areas. BMW still the long term juggernaut here I think. They’ve put in the time and money and building out a wide array of product even if they don’t get much respect here. I don’t think Kia/Hyundai competes directly but they are going to pressure Toyota and Nissan.

  4. L'amata says:

    The Nissan Leaf is a much improved Better Looking ,wider & longer much better engineered/Build than Bolt , Roomier ,more comfortable etc: . The Leaf is a much better Car all Around than the Bolt for Less money. If Model 3 wasn’t around I’d go with the Leaf.

    1. theflew says:

      The Leaf is about an inch wider, 3 inch longer wheelbase. Yet the Bolt has more rear head and leg room. And basically equal front. The only area the Leaf wins is cargo capacity with the seats up. With the seats down the Bolt almost doubles the Leafs capacity with the seats down. The cars weigh about the same yet the Leaf has 20 kWh less battery capacity and is “air” cooled.

      How exactly is the Leaf better?

      1. William says:

        Ouch, the truth is a bit harsh! Leaf will need to close the range spread with their bigger battery, even if it is a whole year behind the Chevy Bolt. Nissan “Innovation – that you have to wait for, kind of like a Tesla Model 3, but without the “Cool Factor” Stuff!

      2. ffbj says:

        I do think it looks better than the Bolt, and the pro pilot looks ok, the interior looks better. On just about all else Bolt is preferable.

      3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        “How exactly is the Leaf better?”

        Not to argue with any of the points you made, but nobody is complaining about the front seats of the Leaf being either too narrow or uncomfortable.

        And altho of course style is a matter of individual taste, I think the consensus is that the new Leaf looks a lot more like a car that people would like to be seen driving… and the Bolt EV doesn’t.

        Overall, of course, the Bolt EV is part of the newest generation of plug-in EVs… and the Leaf, still lacking any battery pack thermal management system, simply isn’t.

    2. CCIE says:

      You e seen the specs on the new leaf right? It’s unclear if the longer range version with even have a liquid TMS. Weak sauce!

      1. ffbj says:

        I think they already made it clear that it will not have TMS, in the longer range one.
        Since they don’t need it. According to Nissan.

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:


    3. Steven M. Heller says:

      New leaf range is 88 miles less than bolt. And no thermal battery management makes me think they’ve cut back too much to bring the leafs selling price down.

  5. vdiv says:

    Don’t care what this guy thinks, do care about what the owners think, and they like their Bolt EV, a lot.

    The price will go down, value proposition will improve as it did with the Volt.

    1. R.S says:

      Just watch the video. He says it’s great and he doesn’t understand why it doesn’t get more attention.

      Really valid points IMO. And that Model X video is even better.

    2. Steven says:

      I firmly believe that the federal tax credit is keeping ev prices higher than if the credits were gone. No manufacturer spends so much on bringing a car to market and then watch buyers walk away when rebates are gone

  6. Gazz says:

    If it was the Nissan Bolt you would all be saying how amazing it is.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      If it was a Nissan Bolt EV, then…

      1. Nissan would actually be advertising the car

      2. Nissan dealers would actually want to sell the car, rather than resist selling it

      3. Nissan would be selling the car primarily in markets where that body style is popular. That is, in Europe, in preference to the USA.

      4. Nissan would likely be offering a right-hand-drive version, for sales in Japan, the UK, Australia, Hong Kong, and other markets.

      Nissan would almost certainly not be restricting sales primarily to U.S. States where the company can earn ZEV credits from selling the car, as GM is.

      In short, if the Bolt EV was a Nissan car, then Nissan wouldn’t be treating it like a red-headed stepchild, as GM is.

      1. Steven says:

        GM is simply making a compliance car with the bolt. The engineers did a great job, but only CCS fast charging is strange. Just wondering how many more charging stations will be on place next year with VW having to pay millions on penalties for
        diesel gate to build out more chargers

  7. offib says:

    Can we PLEASE not show that dumb Doug DeMuro around here? He’s a joke among car enthusiasts. I can’t bloody escape him.

    1. Hans Wurst says:

      Don’t click on it – problem solved!

  8. Rich says:

    IMO, there’s a few reasons why the Bolt isn’t selling well. Most of it is self (GM) inflicted.

    1) For the money, people want the ability to take it on trips. GM does not offer a nationwide charging network.
    2) $37,500 is expensive for a base trim small vehicle with a Chevy badge. This isn’t a jab at Chevy, just an observation.
    3) GM priced the Bolt $5,800 more in the USA than the exact same version sold in Canada. Not cool.
    4) GM was pocketing the entire $7,500 Federal Tax Credit on all Bolt leases. Now, they’re still pocketing $5,000 of the $7,500 Federal Tax Credit on all Bolt leases. Not cool.
    5) Until recently, the Bolt hasn’t been available nationwide. While it’s available nationwide, inventory is sparse. There’s only a few for sale in major cities (1+ million in population).
    6) 400K+ customers put $1K down on a competitor’s product. This has to be impacting current/future sales.

    Disclosure: I’m a Model 3 reservation holder. However, I would lease a Bolt for our second car … in a heartbeat. While I can negotiate past point 3, point 4 is a huge issue for me. If GM wants my business, they have to pass the full amount of the Federal Tax Credit back to the customer (through a cap cost reduction) on a lease.

    1. Someone out there says:

      The Bolt is one of the best selling EVs on the market

      1. Rich says:

        This is true. Chevy sold 2,107 Bolts last month. IMO, Chevy could easily sell 3x this number if they wanted to. I know LG Chem battery supply is limited, but still. IMO, the Bolt is a great car. There’s no reason why it couldn’t poach 10’s of thousands of Model 3 reservations.

      2. says:

        For a car that was supposed to change the ev landscape the Bolt is not selling well at all and it probably never will. Change the design and make it a CUV and then we’ll see numbers.

        1. Someone out there says:

          Complain all you want but you can hardly claim that it doesn’t sell well when it’s one of the best sellers. Sure I’d like to see it do even better but maybe the market simply isn’t there yet?

      3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        “The Bolt is one of the best selling EVs on the market”

        Yes, it’s one of the biggest fishes in a rather small pond. But it had the potential of breaking out of the tiny 1-2% of new car sales which is the plug-in EV market. The Bolt EV had a chance to be a breakout car, a true competitor in the wider market against gasmobiles; at least a middling-sized fish in a much larger lake.

        As it is, only the Tesla Model 3 has the potential to do that over the next couple of years or so. GM never had any intention of ramping up production of the Bolt EV to rival that of any of the best-selling sedans or hatchbacks. In fact, GM couldn’t even if they wanted to, because they don’t have access to the very large supply of Batteries which Tesla will get from Gigafactory 1.

        I’d love to see Tesla get some serious competition in the 200+ mile BEV category. Competition in volume of sales as well as making compelling BEVs. Unfortunately, it’s not going to get any for at least a couple of years, and perhaps longer.

    2. ziv says:

      Rich, the Bolt is already selling at $33,500 around me in Northern Virginia according to Truecar, so the price of the Bolt is a bit stronger than a lot of people give it credit for.
      And if you allow the dealer to take the tax credit and lease a Bolt without getting the full credit, you aren’t paying attention. They may try it, but all you need to do is go to another dealer.

      1. Rich says:

        Agreed, the going price for a base trim Bolt is $4K less than MSRP. If the full tax credit isn’t passed to me through a Cap Cost reduction, I won’t buy. It’s that simple. Once inventory builds past 2 in the whole city, I’ll try to negotiate a favorable deal.

        1. Ziv says:

          Yeah, inventory of 2 in the area kind of undercuts most negotiating strategies… LOL!
          Dealers near me that didn’t get into the Volt until late have 12 to 20 Bolts on the lot now. So GM is sending inventory out there.

    3. unlucky says:

      On #4: how much of the $7500 rebate is Tesla keeping?

      I don’t really get people getting excited about where the $7500 goes. There’s no law that says you have to lease a car from the company that the manufacturer designates. If you think you should get the $7500 then find another company to buy it and lease it to you.

      The problem there is it actually might cost you more because that other company is going to have a lower end of lease value/higher capitalized cost (i.e. make you pay for more of the car).

      Ultimately, the issue is how much you pay, not the accounting behind it. If GM’s leases are still cheaper than other offerings then can you really continue to say what they are pocketing?

      Just worry about what you’re paying. If the figures work for you, why complain about the details?

      1. ffbj says:

        That’s right just sit back and relax don’t worry your pretty little head on how much it’s going to cost you. GM will take care of you.

        Oh Boy, I’ll say they will.
        Great Advice. (Not)

      2. Rich says:

        I was hoping this didn’t get into another Tesla vs. Chevy discussion.

        “On #4: how much of the $7500 rebate is Tesla keeping?”

        Since you asked, Tesla keeps $0 of the rebate. All other automakers pass the full amount of the Federal Tax Credit back to the customer in the form of a Cap Cost reduction. GM is the only one that keeps the money.

        1. justanotherguy50 says:

          I got an excellent lease on my Bolt. Works out to costing less than purchasing, even when getting the $7500 credit. Shop around & negotiate, something you can’t do with a Tesla.

        2. unlucky says:

          BMW kept the i3 CCR for months. Toyota kept all of it on RAV 4 EVs. FIAT 500e leases didn’t have a $7500 CCR either.

          And you know what the lease deal on the Model 3 is how? You’ve been offered a lease deal on the Model 3? No? If not then I you don’t know.

          None of the figures matter except what you’re paying. Get the figures, compare them, then act accordingly.

      3. says:

        i personally don’t care much if i get the rebate or the discount as long as i get it. Last month I visited many Chevy dealers trying to get a Volt and almost all were taking the 7500 fed rebate and giving me a 4000 discount and saying they have nothing to do with it and it’s between me and the leasing company. At one time i was really close to punch a sale guy. The cheapest 3 year lease i could find was 8800 which is, at 48% residual, is basically the fed credit at msrp. So much for getting deals below msrp from dealerships. One way or the other they will find a way to take advantage of the credites and screw you.

        1. John Ray says:

          The reason I went with a LEAF five years ago is because GM wouldn’t deal on the Volt (my first choice). Nissan is far more willing to pass on the tax credit AND discount.

      4. John Ray says:

        Rule of thumb is 1% of MSRP on a 3 year/36,000 mile lease with $0 down. If you can get that, it’s considered a pretty good deal.

    4. justanotherguy50 says:

      I took my Bolt on a multi-state trip. Worked fine. The supercharging network is impressive, but people will be doing 99% of their charging at home. Although the supercharging network does provide a real benefit over the CCS network, people overestimate it well beyond the shortcomings of the Model 3 as a practical car.

      1. Rich says:

        There was an article on someone taking a trip from VA to KY and back. While they did it, I wouldn’t consider this trip “successful”.

        1. justanotherguy50 says:

          I find it amazing how many people suddenly think they will be driving cross country on a regular basis when talking about EVs.

          Some places will be easier to travel cross country in a Model 3 with supercharging access.

          Should these be such a large factor for the majority of car buyers? I don’t think so. You’ll be doing an overwhelming majority of charging at home, and CCS networks are decent in most populated places & routes when needed. When people actually get Model 3s, the CCS network will be even better.

        2. John Ray says:

          I have a friend who is fortunate enough to be able to afford a Model X. He took it from just north of Atlanta to Orlando and indicated that it took him three hours longer than in his previous ice car even with the supercharger network. So, even with SCs, EVs aren’t close to parity yet.

          1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            Still churning out your endless series of Tesla bashing posts, I see.

            Your imaginary “friend” with his imaginary Tesla car must be a very poor planner.

            Over the ~440 driving mile route from Atlanta to Orlando, the Teslarati map shows no less than 5 Supercharger stations between the two cities, along Interstate 75.

            Starting out with a full charge, two Supercharger stops of ~30-45 minutes apiece should have gotten your imaginary “friend” to Orlando with plenty of kWh to spare.

            1. John Ray says:

              Look chief, I have no reason to lie and that’s what he told me. His is a 90D for what it’s worth and I have no idea what charge he started with. But, hey maybe he felt like he needed to fully charge it at each stop. He’s not an EV geek, just a well to do guy who wanted a cool family SUV. In fact, the reason we were talking about it is that I have been considering a used Model S as a possible LEAF replacement. He is the only person I know with a Tesla of any kind. I texted him a couple of questions and he called. Overall, he was complimentary of the vehicle and hadn’t had any major problems. And that’s the truth.

        3. unlucky says:

          I took a trip down to San Diego and back over a few days in my Bolt EV. Over 1,000 miles. I only had to reroute to another charger once because the one I went to was busy. I only went to that charger because between 110 degree heat and a headwind I lost much more range than I expected on one segment. That charger had only only one CCS at the location and so I would have normally have avoided it anyway.

          I never used a charger slower than 100A (no 62A/24kW chargers). No waiting behind anyone else ever.

          I’d call it successful. I did have to plan all the segments of my trip, but then I do have years of practice at this.

          As is my normal way of doing things I did not take the direct route home, instead taking a longer, scenic route.

          I will say this though. If more people are going to attempt trips like this they need to add more chargers in the cities. The ones between cities are easy to access, the ones in cities have competition from people getting free charging.

    5. Steven says:

      Excellent points

  9. me says:

    It’s easy to understand why it’s not selling well. The types of people who buy EVs today aren’t going to pay BMW prices for a Chevy. It’s that simple.

    1. ziv says:

      me, $33,500 less the tax credit is just $26k. The Bolt is a lot of car for just $26k.
      But you actually have to, you know, look for the dealers with a good price. So that means 90% of car buyers are not going to be able to do this, right? LOL!
      The Bolt isn’t for me, but GM has built a nice car. I just wish it looked a bit more appealing. I don’t mind living in the ugliest building on the block, but I don’t want to drive the ugliest car on the street. But that is just me.

    2. justanotherguy50 says:

      Why do people keep saying it isn’t selling well? It is one of the top selling EV, #1 in July & #2 in August.

      As its availability improves, price drops & disappointing competitive EVs are revealed (looking at you, Nissan Leaf), the Bolt should even sell more.

      1. Ziv says:

        The Bolt is just the 5th highest selling plug in car for 2017. Just barely ahead of a nearly dead Nissan Leaf.
        It is an impressive engineering feat but it is packaged in a rather unattractive vehicle. When people see it, they see a tiny Chevy with all the horrible history of quality issues that Chevy brings to the table when people think of small Chevys.
        GM needed to make the Bolt a bit sexier to make more people forget the Chevy taint, but they went boxy and utilitarian instead. And the Bolt is barely ahead of the currently struggling Leaf.

        1. justanotherguy50 says:

          Availability & marketing has been holding it back earlier in the year, which is why it started slow but now on top.

          Word of mouth is spreading: the Bolt is a very nice electric vehicle. Availability is improving. I hope to see the numbers keep rising.

          The Bolt wasn’t meant to be sexy, am I’m OK with that. The Model 3 made many compromises to be sexy (cargo space a big one for starters). The “boxy” Bolt is far more practical for daily use than the Model 3 ever will be.

          The Bolt & Model 3 are very different vehicles, and that is a good thing. We need options in electric vehicles to satisfy different needs. The Model 3 is sexy, the Bolt 3 is practical. They both can sell well.

          1. ziv says:

            I hope you are right about Bolt sales continuing to rise. Tesla needs competition for the 3 and the Leaf won’t be real competition until they get 200+ miles of AER.

            I just don’t see Ford, Fiat, BMW, VW et. al. getting a strong selling EV onto the market in the US/Canada before 2019, so all the heavy lifting for the next 2 years will be by Tesla, GM and Nissan. I started following the Volt on Dr. Lyle’s site more than 10 years ago. I thought we would be further along by now, but we kind of spun our wheels from 2012 to 2015.

  10. unlucky says:

    As an observation, when talking about the interior space, so many people are quick to say the interior space of a Bolt or a Leaf is inflated because of useless space over your head.

    And sure, there is more vertical space in Leaf or Bolt. But it isn’t all over your head.

    If you get into a Bolt or Leaf and then get into a BMW i3 or Mercedes B250e you will notice immediately that while the cars are very similar in size and shape the floor is several inches lower in the Bolt or Leaf. It’s also true versus the Model S or Model X although those don’t seem similar so the difference isn’t so startling.

    When you sit in those seats in the rear of a B250e your knees are up higher in your chest because of the high floor. This is less comfortable and means you’re losing space not just over your head but instead losing space to your knees at chest height too.

    The Bolt is a well thought out design. Even if it isn’t for everyone.

  11. BillT says:

    We will definitely be looking at the Bolt to replace my wife’s 2008 ICE RAV4 in 2018 or 2019. Only the lack of cargo room behind the 2nd row of seats may be an issue. We don’t care about the lack of DC charging infrastructure because we have my Volt for road trips. I do really wish GM had made the Bolt a couple of inches wider and a foot or so longer (and taken the range hit). The Leaf is a non-starter for us here in hot sunny Austin due to a lack of TMS combined with us keeping cars 10+ years.

  12. H Roussel says:

    Totally agree with the “uncool” factor. When I showed my wife a Bolt her reaction was “that’s kind of small”. But when I showed her a model 3, she was like “ohh it’s really pretty!”. So even though from a practical point of view the interior dimensions of the Bolt are matching the model 3, the Bolt simply doesn’t attract much interest.
    IMHO GM should have gone with a small SUV, not a wannabe crossover. Then they could have gotten a success on their hands. And they should also make sure the car is distributed in proper markets instead of piling them up in California.

  13. Bill Howland says:

    My wish list for the Bolt is just in addition to his (DOUG’s) fine review.

    1). Yeah, I’d like a power seat option.

    2). The seating is so great in the rear that I wish a full width bench seat was available as an option for the front. Unlike drive shaft cars, or voltecs where you sit in between the battery, there is no intrinsic restriction here.

    3). That Precision Shift is someone’s Wet Dream ( you can’t do a quick 3 point turn ).

    The right way to do this would be to have 4 small lighted push buttons as the Roadster had….. Cheap, effective, super fast, and it just works.

    4). Talking to owners of other half hearted electrics, such as KIA, VW, Toyota, etc, all those companies go to GREAT EFFORT AND COMPLICATION to put solenoids, locks, and switches on both the L2 Charge access door and also a LOCKING j1772 connector – when al l of that is totally unnecessary, and is a pain when public charging since you cannot do any charging changes unless the owner is there. That is just dumb, since there most of the time is nothing to steal, so why lock it?

    The 2011-12 volts had that silly nonsense but then quickly got rid of the troublesome latch because it finally dawned on the dim-bulbs that if there is nothing to steal, you don’t need a lock.

    All recent GM’s have no restrictions at all, except for the L3 ccs connector for technical reasons.

    5). I don’t like the displays and lack of simple navigation – to me they waste way too much space and I disagree that they show you enough. I also do not like that you cannot shut off the wi-fi, (it only fools you into thinking you can) aince it makes connecting to another hot spot difficult since your puter conatantly wants to connect to the car’s internet which for me isn’t there anyway other than the microwave signal which can’t be shut off.

    I also don’t like the obtuse ‘digital numbers’ given that just can’t be right: eg: says I’m L2 charging at 8 kw when the size of the charger maxes out at 7.2, and there are parasitic losses that decrease that number to under 7..

    Tesla always gave you real voltage, and current numbers, and, to a certain extent, you could adjust the current, and it would rarely lie to you.

    Tesla did it basically right. GM products tell you next to nothing, and it costs nothing for them to tell you since I’m sure they internally monitor everything anyway.

    6). As others have said, the BOLT ev for what it is, a sub-sub-compact Crossover, is all well and good, but they should try to come up with larger vehicles that Americans in general want/need.
    They already have the hardware:

    You can do alot with two 60 kwh batteries (120 kwh total), and 2-200 horsepower drive axels. 400 hp of electric motors would be adequate for quite a large SUV, and 120 kwh would give the car decent range, probably over 300 miles.

    If they did a slight bit more engineering work, they could take 1 – 60 kwh battery and have an easy 120 mile AER PHEV.

    1. unlucky says:

      I agree about the shifter. Even once you get used to it it’s unnecessarily fiddly in multi-point turns. They should just have buttons. And move the shifter up to the dash somewhere or the steering column

      The charge port is fine, I wish there was a light in there like on the Volt.

      People have suggested that the car actually goes past 7.2kW. It charges at 32A, I tested it myself using a current clamp. At 240V that would be 7.68kW, rounding to 8. On 208V it would be 6.6kW at 32A.

      I never use the WiFi for anything but the car joining its own hotspot. I hear you about your computers wanting to join that hotspot. I could probably arrange the networks properly on my computer to prioritize, but don’t know how I’d do it on a phone.

      I cannot comprehend how a 60kWh battery in a PHEV makes any sense. Certainly it could be done.

      1. Bill Howland says:

        It doesn’t in the general case ‘charge at 32 amps’, the limitation is usually in the wallbox, and almost certainly most public ones in the states.

        When using the amprobe, find out what the voltage is at the wallbox.

  14. Nix says:

    Even if it were an “uncool” car, the roads are chock-full of uncool cars, from minivans to iMiev’s and a whole bunch of uncool cars in-between. If it performs and people learn that it performs, it will find a sales niche.

Leave a Reply