With the launch of the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV, GM re-entered the electric car field for the first time since the 1990s.
It was followed in 2021 by the larger Bolt EUV, and what a difference one letter makes. OK, it means the price starts $2,000 higher than its smaller sibling. But size matters, bringing with it more interior space and a better overall look.
Offered in base LT and uplevel Premier trim, Chevrolet reduced the price of both models by $6,000 for 2023, partially in reaction to the brand’s loss of a $7,500 Federal tax credit.
Aside from that, the only significant change for the new model year is the availability of a new Redline Edition trim package. So, price aside, the 2022 model we test drove remains the same as what you’ll finding 2023. But one thing you should keep in mind is that GM’s semi-autonomous driving system, Super Cruise, is offered only on Premier models, which also adds a host added goodies. More on that in a moment.
The Bolt EUV has been around long enough to be treated to a facelift. While its overall style remains unchanged, the front end gets a facelift with thin horizontal headlamps and a detailed fascia that maintains a modern appearance. Vaguely attractive, its far from ugly, but you’d never call it stunning either.
While the Bolt EUV takes its looks from its smaller sibling, the Bolt EV, they don’t share a single body panel. Nevertheless, comparisons are inevitable. So, in case you’re wondering, the Bolt EUV is 6.3 inches longer, than the Bolt EV, but only 0.2 inch taller and wider.
Given their difference in exterior size, it’s no surprise that there’s 2.6 cubic feet more passenger space than the Bolt EUV, with it all going to the rear seat, which has 39.1 inches of rear legroom, 3.2 inches more than the Bolt EV’s. Cargo space is nearly identical between the two at nearly 17 cubic feet, although it lacks a front trunk like some competitors. Folding the rear seats expands cargo room to 56.9 cubic feet; not too shabby for a vehicle less than 170 inches long.
If the last GM vehicle you experienced was from 20 years ago and was a sea of drab gray plastic, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. Both are nicely trimmed, with quality materials and good fit and finish, a result of upgraded materials and more soft-touch surfaces being added for 2022, although you will still find the occasional bit of hard plastic. But this is a Chevrolet, not a Buick, GMC or Cadillac. Overall ambience is very contemporary. The driver’s seat is firmly supportive; headroom and legroom are generous.
Like the Bolt EV, the Bolt EUV uses a single, front-mounted permanent magnetic drive motor generates 200 horsepower, 266 pound-feet of torque and has an EPA-estimated 247 miles of range. Front-wheel drive is standard, all-wheel drive is not available. Keep in mind the Bolt EUV weighs 91 pounds more than the Bolt EV and has the same powertrain. As a result, the EPA says that the Bolt EV returns 120 mpg-e in combined city/highway driving, while the Bolt EUV nets 115 mpg-e. Yet both cost $550 to fuel according to the EPA.
The Bolt EUV comes with a dual-level charge cord with 120-volt and 240-volt capability.
But both Bolts use an older version of GM’s battery electric technology rather than the Ultium platform that underpins its newest EV offerings, including the GMC Hummer and Cadillac Lyriq. The tradeoff is price; GM’s Ultium vehicles cost far more. A DC fast charger provides 95 miles of range in 30 minutes, while a 240-volt plug provides about 35 miles of range per hour, or a full charge in approximately 7 hours. It’s best to skip the 120-volt plug; it only provides four miles of range per hour on the Bolt’s 65 kWh lithium-ion battery pack.
Safety and Technology
Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has crash tested the 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV.
Chevy Safety Assist is standard and comes with Automatic Emergency Braking, Front Pedestrian Braking, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Following Distance Indicator, Forward Collision Alert and automatic high beams. Adaptive Cruise Control is standard on Premier models.
The instrument panel is anchored by a 10.2-inch color touchscreen with crisp graphics and lightning quick responsiveness. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come standard, as does a wireless charging pad at the base of the center console. A USB-A and USB-C port is provided in each row.
You might not think that 200 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque is all that much, but you’d be mistaken. In the day-to-day slog of daily driving, there’s more than enough instantaneous torque on demand for fast takeoffs or overtaking other vehicles. And it’s dispatched with an unearthly calm, a feeling so different from internal combustion engine vehicles, it will make you smile and wonder why all of that noise and fuss was really necessary.
But there’s enough power provided that wheel spin is induced a little too easily, a result of their low-rolling resistance tires. Tires with a bit more grip would be welcome here, as this is clearly no sports sedan. But it does comport itself like a true family hauler, with good ride comfort, some body lean in corners and a bit of body motion over rippled pavement. It’s very controllable and well-behaved once you know its limits, which are fine for most drivers.
Driven moderately, the Bolt provides an accurate range reading. In fact, EVs prompt you to drive modestly by cruising to a stop and accelerating gently to extract the maximum amount of range per charge. Consider it a driving skill of a different sort. Drive aggressively, and you’ll find your range disappear quicker than a politician’s scruples.
Recharging is a snap as well, thanks to the ability to use a DC fast charger.
Of course, you can help recharge the battery by activating one-pedal mode, which uses regenerative braking to capture energy to recharge the battery during deceleration. It ensures you’ll rarely tap the brakes, but takes getting used to. A paddle on the steering wheel can adjust the amount of regen being applied.
The Premier test vehicle was equipped with Super Cruise, a $2,200 option and one that works remarkably well on the highways equipped to handle it. There are some surprising gaps, such as I-95 in South Florida, where it doesn’t work. Also, keep in mind that Super Cruise connectivity is free for the first three years, after which you must pay a monthly subscription fee. But for those who do a lot of highway driving, it will be well worth it. That said, highway driving drains the battery much more quickly than city driving, especially once above 70 mph.
Once activated, and the steering LED lights turn green, you can take your hands off the wheel and let the car do the driving. But a driver-facing camera makes sure your eyes remain focused on the task of driving, which the Bolt handles nearly as well as you do. It’s remarkably good.
2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV Premier Specifications
|Dimension||L: 169.5 inches/W: 69.7 inches/H: 63.6 inches/Wheelbase: 105.3 inches|
|Powertrain||Single permanent magnetic drive motor, continuously variable transmission and front-wheel drive|
|Fuel Economy||125 mpg-e city/104 mpg-e highway/115 mpg-e combined|
|Performance Specs||200 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque|
|Price||Base price: $37,500; As tested: $43,685 including $995 destination charge.|
|On-Sale Date||Available now|
While GM offers EVs with newer technology, the Bolt EUV proves to be a competitive entry in the EV sweepstakes. It’s roomy for its relatively diminutive overall size, has a reasonable amount of range that you’ll go days without recharging, and delivers a very pleasant driving experience.
And, at the time of posting, Chevrolet will cover the installation of a Level 2 charging outlet with the purchase or lease a 2022 Bolt EUV or Bolt EV if you don’t have one. Sweet!
Well-designed, well-built and well-executed, the 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV will strike you as the perfect introductory electric vehicle. And if you regularly use second row seats, you’ll find the Bolt EUV a worthy proposition. If you don’t, opt for the Bolt EV and save some scratch.
2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV — Frequently Asked Questions
Is the 2022 Bolt EUV available?
Yes, production resumed in late January after being paused while GM resolved issues surrounding the Bolt’s battery recall.
Is the Chevy Bolt EUV AWD?
No. The Chevrolet Bolt EUV and EV come with front-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is not available.
Can the Bolt EUV tow?
With a towing capacity of 2,000 pounds, the Bolt EUV can haul a light boat trailer or a small camper.