2017 Chevrolet Bolt

Pros: Generous driving range; reasonable price for an electric car; surprisingly peppy acceleration; useful high-tech features

Cons: Expensive compared to conventional subcompacts; so-so interior materials; some desirable safety features are restricted to top-line model

CG Says: For 2017, Chevrolet introduces its first mass-market pure-electric car. The Bolt EV is a subcompact-sized 4-door, 5-passenger hatchback that has an estimated driving range of 238 miles—more than double the range of most electric cars. The only other pure-electric vehicles that currently boast that kind of range are the Tesla Model S (which starts at almost $70,000) and Model X (which starts at more than $85,000). The Bolt EV’s base price is around $30,000 when the maximum federal tax incentive is deducted. (Tesla’s promised Model 3 compact sedan has a claimed starting price of $35K, but it doesn’t appear to be ready for launch anytime soon.) The Bolt EV’s 60 kWh lithium-ion battery pack provides the power for a 200-horsepower electric motor. Charging the battery from empty takes roughly nine hours on a Level 2 charger, and more than 60 hours on a Level 1 charger. Chevrolet says that charging via the Bolt’s optional Level 3 charging port can replenish 90 miles of range in about 30 minutes. Base LT and top-line Premier trim levels are offered. The nicely equipped LT comes standard with Chevrolet’s MyLink touchscreen infotainment system, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto functionality, a 4G LTE WiFi hotspot, rearview camera, keyless access and starting, and GM’s Teen Driver Mode monitoring system. LT options include heated front seats and steering wheel, blind-spot alert, rear cross-traffic alert, and rear obstacle detection. The Premier comes standard with most of the above and adds automatic high-beam headlights, heated rear seats, wireless device charging, lane-departure warning with lane-keep assist, forward collision alert with automatic braking, forward pedestrian detection, and a novel rearview-camera mirror.  The Chevrolet Bolt EV’s segment-topping driving range and accessible price point are its headline-grabbing features, but its virtues don’t end there. It’s also surprisingly quick, space-efficient, and available with a fine selection of state-of-the-art technology features. The Bolt EV represents the next big step in electric-vehicle technology, and for some, it may be the first truly practical electric car.

The Facts
Class Subcompact Car
Body Style(s) 4-door hatchback
Passenger Count 5
Drive Wheels front-wheel drive
Manufacturer Chevrolet
Nation of Manufacture USA
Base Prices LT: $36,620
Premier: $40,905

Base Engine
electric motor
Horsepower
200
Std. Transmission
single-speed
Avail. Transmission
NA
EPA City Range (MPGe)
128
EPA Hwy Range (MPGe)
110

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV
2017 Chevrolet Bolt