Chevrolet Bolt EV Review | Ultimate Guide

Chevy Bolt EV Review

Chevrolet Bolt EV Changes

The Chevrolet Bolt EV has been on the market for the last 4 model years (2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020). While visually you’ll see no noticeable changes, it does not mean there’s no changes on the interior. 

Below I’ll outline any exterior and interior changes each model year has gone through:

Buying a Chevrolet Bolt EV

If you look at the last 3 year models of the Chevrolet Bolt EV, you’ll notice NO changes to the exterior and interior. While there’s some subtle changes here and there, they are not noticeable to the eye. 

Some dealers are even offering sub 30K base model Chevrolet Bolt’s for sale just to get rid of them… yup!

Unless you are going to try and save money by the federal tax incentive, consider strongly to get a used Bolt EV. There’s at least a few dozen Bolt’s that are for sale for under 25K USD. 

It may take a little while to find the Bolt EV with every option, but its doable (especially if you look at the higher mileage ones).

New Bolt EV Prices:

2017: $37,495

2018: $37,495

2019: $37,495

2020: $36,620


Used Bolt EV Prices:​

2017: $21,000-$31,000

2018: $28,000-$35,000

2019: $30,000-$37,000

2020: TBD

New Chevrolet Bolt EV prices
NEW Bolt EV's
Used Chevrolet Bolt EV prices
USED Bolt EV's

Chevrolet Bolt EV Specs

  • Years in Production: 2017 – Present 
  • Trim Levels: Base and Premier
  • Battery Capacity: 60kWh-66kWh
  • Fuel Type: Electric
  • Electric Range: 238-259 miles
  • Charge Times: 1.5 hrs @ 440v and 9.3 hrs @ 220volt and 47-53 hrs @ 110volt
  • Drivetrain: FWD

Why the Chevrolet Bolt EV?

Chevrolet seems to be cementing its place in most of new technological advances when it comes to their vehicles. They managed to make one of the best plug-in hybrids back in 2011 and also one of the most affordable (and user friendly) electric cars back in 2014 – 2016 with their Spark EV

While the latter you can call a compliance car, the rare few that had the fast charging capabilities were PROPER compact electric cars.

When they discontinues the Spark EV, Chevrolet dedicated themselves to create a “electric car for the masses” when Tesla seemed to be the only option for everyone if they wanted to drive 200+ miles per charge. Their answer was the Bolt EV, and it was a SUCCESS on all accounts.

The Bolt EV is a great option to buy for a few good reasons.

First of all, they made the compact like many other cars (Leaf, eGolf etc). While the looks might be repelling for some, it can grow on you and make you appreciate the overall styling (especially when you pay attention to the subtle designs of things like the headlights, taillights, front grill, and more).

As mentioned earlier, its also a very affordable option compared other similarly price cars (Hyundai Ioniq EV, Nissan Leaf, BMW i3 and a few others).

As Chevrolet keeps on producing more and more Bolt EV’s, the prices will continue to drop. In addition to that, more and more fast charging stations will become available making long distance driving a greater reality (requiring less planing).

Things to LIKE about the Chevrolet Bolt EV

As most people from the outside if they would buy the Chevy Bolt EV based on just looks, they would likely opt out for something better looking. There’s no denying it looks a little like an egg-shaped go-cart (not as bad as the Mitsubishi iMIEV). Aside from the looks, there’s a LOT of things to love about the Bolt EV. Below I have broken down the most important things to keep in mind about the mostly new, Chevrolet Bolt EV.

Here they are:

  1. The 2017-2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV’s are a great value. At the moment, you can’t find a better deal that gets so many miles, has so many features and costs so little. A great buy, especially in the used market!
  2. You can take this car anywhere for a long distance. Usually you can reach the 238 miles driving on the highway from 60-70mph, but if you end up driving slower, that range can likely go up towards 250+ miles (as always… weather, speed and elevation change plays a BIG role).
  3. The made the car very practical to drive, from the electronics to the actual size. Did you know the Bolt EV is just 1 inch shorter than a Volkswagen eGolf? Yep, it also has great visibility when you are inside.
  4. I’m not sure why this part is not standard across the entire Bolt EV lineup, but when equipped with the optional DC Combo Charger, you can get 90 miles of range in just 30 minutes. A full charge is within reach in less than 1.5 hours on average.
  5. The Chevrolet Bolt EV lost its $7,500 tax incentive in 2019, but replaced with the 2nd best offer of $3,750 tax incentive from the federal government when bought brand new.
  6. Surprisingly, the Chevrolet Bolt EV managed to do a quick sprint from 0-60mph in 6.5 seconds. The 200 horsepower and 266 ft-lbs of torque is rather impressive, considering many other manufacturers are making their cars with horsepower in the low to mid 100’s.
  7. Just like the Nissan Leaf, you can get an option that lets you see a “birds eye view” when parking, ensuring you always park with the most accuracy. Theres a camera in the front of the bumper, rear bumper and in both side-view mirrors

Things NOT TO LIKE about Chevrolet Bolt EV

It’s not often that you come across with a vehicle that has very FEW things that there’s not to like. The positives mentioned above, I think really make this car shine. 

But, there’s a few things that I notice that could concern others out there.

Below is a list of the things you may NOT like about the Chevrolet Bolt EV:

  1. The first thing I notice about the Bolt is that it’s not too comfortable. The seats even in the Premier model are OK at best. For a person who is 6′ feet tall, they were on the stiff side.
  2. The car is not a “looker”. If anyone was to guess, they would think its a glorified golf cart. Of course if you found looks to be THAT repelling, you probably wouldn’t be looking at it in the first place.
  3. Some models don’t come with the DC fast charging option. Can you imagine having a Chevrolet Bolt with NO level 2 charging, making you wait 9-10 hours each time to charge the battery to 100%… It’s a $750 dollar option, so this park is a MUST in order to drive one of these on a regular basis.

Chevrolet Bolt EV's Closest Competitors

When the closest competitors were analyzed, current price and driving range were the significant determining factors. Below are the current (as of 2019) closes competitors to the Chevrolet Bolt EV:

2019 Tesla Model 3 SRP

Tesla Model 3 Compared

The Tesla Model 3 is the most anticipated electric car of this decade, see how it stacks up against the Bolt EV:

  • Battery Capacity: 50.0kW
  • Fuel Type: Electric
  • Electric Range: 240 miles
  • Charge Times: 64 hrs @ 110-120v and 7.25 hrs @ 220-240v and 0.50 hrs @ 440v
  • Used Values: $39,500-$49,000 (new)
  • Drivetrain: RWD

2019 Hyundai Kona EV

Hyundai Kona EV Compared

The Hyundai Kona EV is the first “long range” electric car from Hyundai. See how it stacks up against the Bolt EV:

  • Battery Capacity: 64.0kW
  • Fuel Type: Electric
  • Electric Range: 258 miles
  • Charge Times: 60 hrs @ 110-120v and 10.0 hrs @ 220-240v and 1.25 hrs @ 440v
  • Used Values: $37,000-$46,000 (new)
  • Drivetrain: FWD

2019 Nissan Leaf Plus

NIssan Leaf Gen2

Nissan has finally answered our prayers with the 200+ mile Leaf Plus. Range anxiety gone. See how it stacks up against the Bolt EV: 

  • Battery Capacity: 62.0kW
  • Fuel Type: Electric
  • Electric Range: 226 miles
  • Charge Times: 48 hrs @ 110-120v and 9.5 hrs @ 220-240v and 0.50 hrs @ 440v
  • Used Values: $38,510 (new)
  • Drivetrain: FWD

2018 Nissan Leaf

NIssan Leaf Gen2

The 2nd generation Nissan Leaf was a noticeable improvement.. See how this stacks up against the Bolt EV:

  • Battery Capacity: 40.0kW
  • Fuel Type: Electric
  • Electric Range: 151 miles
  • Charge Times: 30 hrs @ 110-120v and 6.0 hrs @ 220-240v and 0.50 hrs @ 440v
  • Used Values: $23,000-$31,000
  • Drivetrain: FWD

To Sum It Up

We’ve come to the end of this article, it’s time we wrap-up. There’s not much more that could be said about the Chevrolet Bolt EV. What it will come down to now is deciding if the Chevrolet Bolt EV is for you, or not.

If you ask me, it’s pretty clear. What makes this car great is its ability to cover 200+ miles of range on a single charge. Looking at its next closest competitors, its clear that when it comes to the used market values…. the Bolt EV takes the lead (for now).

For anyone who wants the BEST value for the money at the moment, consider the Bolt EV over others. Better yet, go find a dealer near you and test drive one. If you like it, start looking for a good deal in the used market.

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