General Motors is the leading American company when it comes to the EV transition. Unlike the others, they aren’t trying to catch up, as they have been offering EV models for so many years. The problem manufacturers have been dealing with is still the same in the EV market, bland entries, boring looks, overlapping versions in their model lineup. Chevrolet solved the problem with a unique EV platform that prioritizes utility and not looking like a traditional SUV or Crossover. The new Chevrolet Bolt EUV is here for families.
Though the Bolt nameplate isn’t new. The first Chevrolet Bolt without the EUV badge has been on the market since 2017, developed and manufactured in partnership with LG Corporation. The Bolt still stands out as it is still one of the most affordable EVs on the market, where most other manufacturers are focusing on the luxury segment, making the EVs more of a status symbol rather than a fuel saver.
The EUV badge, also short for “Electric Utility Vehicle” indicates that this is a battery electric subcompact crossover under the Bolt nameplate, which basically means it is the larger version of the Bolt. The exterior design looks very similar to the small hatchback version of Bolt, a clean front end design with almost no sharp lines. It has a huge front bumper and short hood line, Daytime Running Lights are located separately at the top, and low beams are located at the bottom.
The differences are more obvious when you go around the Bolt EUV, it looks much bigger especially behind the front doors. The rear doors are much longer, and the C-Pillar is much bigger than the small hatchback, and that’s where the you find much more space. However, the Bolt EUV does not have traditional crossover layout, even though it is technically a subcompact crossover, it does not have a lot of ground clearance and the rugged looks. It just looks like a larger tall hatchback version of the traditional Bolt from the side and rear end.
The Bolt EUV comes with the same updated interior design that you would find in the smaller Bolt, and it offers a nice balance of futuristic but usable design. There are lots of glossy black plastics all around the dashboard, which starts to look bad as soon as you touch it. Other than that, Chevrolet used the right materials for the price range, nothing looks extremely cheap. You still get physical buttons for essential features like the HVAC controls, which is great for longevity, and that’s something we rarely see in an EV nowadays.
The infotainment screen is located right in the middle of the dashboard. It comes with a relatively large 10.2″ screen with the latest software, and it offers wireless smartphone integration. It also comes with 360 camera and excellent rear view camera resolution. I think it is one of the most intuitive and easy-to-use options for the price range.
Another digital screen is located right in front of the driver. The 8.0-inch digital cluster designed exclusively for Bolt and Bolt EUV, which shows the range gauge on the left and a power graph on the right, speed in the middle. It is extremely easy to use, and it can show a lot of information if you need. The top trim Bolt EUV also offers optional Super Cruise adaptive cruise control, which is trickled down from the more expensive GM models. The Super Cruise works great and can self-drive on the highways, but occasionally it stops working especially if it doesn’t recognize the highway, and it does not have lane changing assist like in more expensive models.
Typical GM fashion, the seats are firmly padded and you need to sit first to make sure it is the right fit for you. I do not find it particularly uncomfortable, but some people like softer cushioning. You don’t get a lot of adjustment options, but I found you have tons of space for the driver and passenger. I just wish it came with adjustable armrest, as it would not be usable if you move your seat all the way to the front.
The rear seat space is why you would consider the Bolt EUV. It has tons of rear legroom and headroom even for tall adults. It is one of the few vehicles that you can have the front passenger seat all the way back with a rear facing child seat. It also comes with decent creature comforts like the heated rear seats and USB outlets, quite impressive for a subcompact crossover.
The trunk is where you feel this is not a large crossover, and not meant for large families. It comes with 16.3 cubic feet (461 L) of cargo space behind the rear seats and 56.9 cubic feet (1611 L) with the rear seats folded down. Even though it’s longer than the smaller Bolt, it offers less amount of cargo space. It also comes with 60/40 rear seats, which means you have to place child seat to the driver’s side rear seat to be able to fully utilize the rear space if you are planning to carry larger cargo items. The Bolt EUV doesn’t have impressive cargo carrying abilities and this is a big missed opportunity for an EV meant for extra utility.
Behind the steering wheel, it just feels very similar to the smaller Bolt. It is built to the price meant to save money, therefore the ride quality isn’t premium. It offers good amount of comfort and minimal amount of body roll due to the lower center of gravity, but the ride isn’t pleasant or plush like bigger American cars. It is just as good as it gets for a small platform with some road and wind noise, and that is quite normal for the price range.
The Bolt EUV does not come with a front storage space, which allows us to take the picture of the electric motor. The permanent magnet AC motor generates 200 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque available anytime you want, and that’s what makes EVs zippy even in lower powered entries like the Bolt. The powerband is more than enough for any kind of driving, but you will not be able to find the “roller-coaster” experience like in luxury EVs.
It only comes with 65.0 kWh lithium-ion battery pack located at the bottom of the vehicle and that allows Bolt EUV to have approximately 247 miles – 397 kilometers of range. However, based on your driving style, and weather your mileage may vary. My range wasn’t as good and I was averaging around 26.0 kWh / 100 km in cold weather and a lot of high speed driving on the highway. Level 2 charging can fully charge the Bolt EUV in less than 10 hours, which allows most people to daily drive it with no range anxiety issues unless you are stuck with Level 1 charging.
The 2023 Chevrolet Bolt EUV is clearly more practical and utilitarian Bolt, and it is the right “Bolt” for larger North American families. However, it is not a direct replacement for a traditional subcompact crossover if you are looking for extra ground clearance, or if you need an all-wheel-drive. It is a purpose built roomy EV meant to save money as it is still one of the most affordable fully EV along with the Nissan Leaf, but not the greatest utility vehicle due to the limited cargo space.
|Battery Pack||65.0 kWh – Liquid-cooled lithium-ion|
|Max power||200 hp|
|Max torque||266 lb-ft|
|0-100 km/h||6.9 sec|
|Curb Weight||3779 lbs – 1714 kg|
|Range||247 mi – 397 km|
|Price (as tested)||$47,793 CAD|