Chevrolet Bolt EV review: A little bit better, a lot more affordable
The Redesigned Chevy Bolt has a more luxurious design and more contemporary technology, but it's the price that makes it more appealing than ever. The 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV features a fresh design and some new technology, but not that much else has changed. When you combine these improvements to the quality of life with a more appealing price tag — beginning about $5,500 less than last year — the tiny Bolt starts to appear like a good deal.
New look, new attitude
The most noticeable difference between the 2022 Bolt EV and its predecessor is the redesigned front fascia, which trades the fun, toy-like aspect of its predecessor for something more grown-up and luxurious in appearance. Narrow LED trademark lights have replaced the Bolt's large eyes. Meanwhile, the LED headlights relocated to the area formerly occupied by the foglights. This flip-flop, which also appears on the Chevrolet Trailblazer, offers the impression of super-slim concept car headlights during the day while yet providing enough lighting at night.
An angular slash of gloss black trim connects the two light clusters, helping to frame the Bolt's grille. The taillights are smaller around the back; last year's 3D squiggles were restoring with an oval design that merges in better with the hatchback's rear glass. The bumper has been modified as well, with a slimmer reflector bar, a relocated single reverse light, and a section of black plastic that optically raises the rear end.
The cabin's modifications may be much more substantial. The redesigned centre console on the 2022 Bolt links more organically to the dashboard than the previous floating design. The shift lever has been restoring with a vertical bank of PRND buttons and a specialised one-pedal driving mode button. The new shifter is also located in front of the cupholders, making them much easier to access.
More premium-feeling materials may find throughout the interior. While I'm sad to see the insane, high-contrast white theme leave, the new design is considerably less annoying and likely to stick around. A 10.8-inch screen in the middle now houses Chevrolet's Infotainment 3 software. This interface is significantly to use than the previous, Bolt-specific design and relies less on conventional Android Auto and Apple CarPlay for basic functioning – through both phone connection suites are still supported and may now be linked wirelessly.
The cabin technology includes Chevrolet's user profile system and takes into account the preferences of numerous drivers. Chevy Infotainment 3 also has onboard applications that can be downloaded and used on the Bolt's 4G LTE connection, as well as a variety of EV-specific functions. Menus for monitoring the energy effect of different car systems, charge scheduling, and the option to limit the charge amount to maximise battery health over time are all included.
Charging and range
According to the EPA, the Bolt shines as a commuter car, with a range of 259 miles per charge. Despite a slightly smaller 65-kilowatt-hour battery, that range estimate remains constant from last year (a 1-kWh reduction). This range is still sufficient to outperform the competition from Hyundai, Kia, and Nissan, but it lags behind the Tesla Model 3.
With this year's increase to up to 11.5-kW Level 2 charging, home charging might be faster – but you'll need to make sure your house can sustain the higher current and install a 48-amp wall charging station to take full benefit.
If you put the dual-level charging line straight into a NEMA 14-50 outlet, the charge duration will be about 7 hours instead of the 10-hour estimate. Of course, you can trickle charge at virtually any regular 110-volt wall outlet, but this only adds around 4 miles per hour to your range.
It was a little surprising to find that the Bolt can only DC fast charge at approximately 55 kW max, having been spoiled by newer, more expensive EVs. That implies a quick charge station increase to 80 per cent capacity takes roughly one hour. That isn't a deal-breaker, especially given the Bolt's pricing and the distance between charges, and at the very least,
The Bolt has a few distinct driving programmes when it comes to Sport mode. Normal and Sport modes are available, with the latter increasing accelerator sensitivity for more responsive driving. The Bolt feels terrific off the mark in either way with 200 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of immediate electric torque.
Two regenerative braking modes are also available. The normal setting coasts and crawls forward a little at low speeds when you raise the accelerator. The one-pedal mode decelerates proportionate as you remove the foot off the accelerator bringing the car to a complete stop without the need to press the brake pedal. Instead of the earlier Bolt's mislabeled L shifter position, it has now reached via a button.
The Bolt's regen paddle, which allows the driver to access full regenerative braking instantaneously by drawing a paddle on the left spoke of the steering wheel, is back for 2022. This feature, in my opinion, is far impossible to regulate and seems far less natural than simple one-pedal driving.
It's a good thing the Bolt torqued because the handling is still lacking. The Bolt handles well, but its heavyweight and low-rolling-resistance tyres may challenge it while navigating a twisting mountain route fast. On the highways and in urban areas, the Bolt's low centre of gravity, light steering, and quick right foot keep it feeling energetic.
Adaptive, but not Supercruise control
Adaptive cruise control has been enumerating to the Bolt's bag of optional tricks for the 2022 model year update, which is a glaring absence in prior model years. But a $375 upgrade for the top 2LT trim level and the most compelling reason to upgrade from the 1LT basic model. The technology works well in stop-and-go traffic and complements the highway's lane-keeping steering assist.
A rearview camera, forward pre-collision alarms with pedestrian recognition, lane-departure alerts, and automatic high beams are standard on all 2022 Bolts. A surround-view camera and blind-spot monitoring with lane-change pre-collision alarms are comprising of the 2LT standard.
The price is right
The 2022 Chevy Bolt EV improves on an already cheap EV formula by adding new looks and a more upscale interior. New infotainment and adaptive cruise cover holes in the interior and safety tech, allowing this EV to compete. While I prefer quicker DC charging, the modest speed increases to home charging – where you should receive the most of your power anyhow – should not be disregarded.
The new feature of the 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV, though, is the reduced pricing. The Bolt starts at $31,995 (with a $995 destination charge and before any EV tax credits), which is $5,500 less than last year and makes it the most inexpensive long-range electric vehicle in its class.
In many respects, the Bolt was already the ideal daily EV. It's more appealing than ever now because it's less costly than some rival gasoline vehicles. The all-electric Chevrolet Bolt has a long driving range and quick acceleration, but it suffers from interior materials and a low category safety score.
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