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2020 Chevrolet Bolt Review

The 2020 Chevrolet Bolt sits in the bottom half of our hybrid and electric car rankings. It has ample passenger space, a peppy powertrain, and a long driving range, but this EV's lackluster cabin materials and uncomfortable seats don’t support its high base price.

Pros & Cons

  • Engaging ride
  • Peppy motor
  • Long driving range
  • Plenty of standard features
  • Subpar cabin materials
  • Seat cushions aren't very supportive
  • Pricey compared to some rivals




Critics' Rating: 8.3
Performance: 9.2
Interior: 6.8
Safety: 9.0
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

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The U.S. News Best Price Program saves users an average of $3,206 off the MSRP, and a lower price equals lower monthly lease payments. That means you could see a savings of $90 a month on a 36-month lease.

Is the Chevrolet Bolt a Good Car?

Despite its ranking, the Bolt is a good electric vehicle (EV). In addition to its superb 259-mile driving range, the Bolt delivers agile handling and quick acceleration. You’ll appreciate its ample cargo space and long list of standard features, which includes smartphone integration via Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

On the downside, the Bolt's unsupportive seats and drab cabin materials are a knock against a vehicle this pricey. Additionally, while this Chevrolet has a good safety score, it’s on the lower end for the hybrid and electric car class.

Should I Buy the Chevrolet Bolt?

Shop around within the hybrid and electric car class before you decide whether the Chevrolet Bolt is a good car for you. Even with possible federal and state tax credits, the Bolt has an above-average starting price compared to similar vehicles. The Hyundai Ioniq Electric costs roughly $6,300 less than the Bolt, though it has a shorter driving range of 124 miles. The Tesla Model 3 has a range of 310 miles, but it's much pricier than the Bolt.

Compare the Bolt, Ioniq, and Model 3 »

Should I Buy a New or Used Chevrolet Bolt?

The 2020 Chevy Bolt belongs to a generation that debuted for the 2017 model year, and the 2020 model is the first to see any major changes. For 2020, Chevrolet increased the driving range from 238 to 259 miles. If the longer driving range is important to you, stick with the 2020 Bolt. If not, we recommend purchasing a similar 2017 to 2019 Bolt, which is likely more affordable.

If you're considering an older model, be sure to read our 2017 Bolt, 2018 Bolt, and 2019 Bolt reviews to help make your decision. Also check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts you can find on used vehicles.

Compare the 2018, 2019, and 2020 Chevrolet Bolt »

We Did the Research for You: 34 Reviews Analyzed

We’ve analyzed 34 Chevrolet Bolt reviews, as well as performance specs, interior dimensions, fuel economy ratings, and more, to give you all the information you need to make a smart car-buying decision.

This review incorporates applicable research for all models in this generation, which launched for 2017.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been reviewing cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our Best Cars team has more than 75 years of combined automotive industry experience. To remain impartial, we do not accept extravagant gifts from automakers, and an outside source handles our advertising.

How Much Does the Chevrolet Bolt Cost?

The 2020 Bolt EV has a starting price of $36,620, which is high for an all-electric vehicle. That said, you could qualify for a $1,875 federal tax credit. Read how the electric car tax credit works for more information. The top-of-the-line Premier trim starts at $41,020.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Chevrolet dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Chevrolet deals page.

Chevrolet Bolt Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Chevrolet Bolt or Hyundai Ioniq?

The Hyundai Ioniq Electric is a hatchback that is only available in select regions. It comes with ample cargo space behind its rear seats, a better MPGe rating than the Bolt (136 combined versus 118), and a lower base price (by about $6,300). Both models have nearly identical features lists. However, the Bolt has a much longer driving range of 259 miles versus 124 miles for the Ioniq. For that reason alone, most EV shoppers will likely prefer the Bolt.

Which Is Better: Chevrolet Bolt or Tesla Model 3?

The Tesla Model 3 is a luxury electric car worthy of your consideration. The Model 3 provides semiautonomous safety tech (like an Enhanced Autopilot system) that you can't get in the Bolt, and it has quicker acceleration and higher-quality interior materials. Plus, the Tesla has a range of 310 miles. The Bolt costs less than the Model 3, provides more overall cargo space, and comes standard with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, which are unavailable in the Tesla. Both of these cars are solid choices, so you'll have to decide which one fits you best.

Compare the Bolt, Ioniq, and Model 3 »

Bolt Interior

How Many People Does the Bolt Seat?

The Bolt has seating for up to five people. There's a good amount of space for adults to stretch out in both rows. The seat cushions are flat, so occupants may become uncomfortable during long commutes. Cloth upholstery is standard. Leather upholstery, a leather-wrapped and heated steering wheel, and heated seats are available.

Bolt and Child Car Seats

There are two complete sets of LATCH connectors for the Bolt’s rear outboard seats, as well as an upper tether for the rear middle seat. The upper tethers are easy to find, but the lower anchors are set deep in the seats and require a lot of force to attach.

Bolt Interior Quality

The Bolt EV's interior pales in comparison to those of class rivals. It has lots of hard plastics, and it doesn’t fit the price point.

Bolt Cargo Space

The Bolt has 16.9 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats and 56.6 cubic feet when the seats are folded flat. Those figures are very good compared to most hybrid and electric cars.

Bolt Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

This Chevy doesn't disappoint when it comes to standard technology. The Bolt’s 10.2-inch touch screen is easy to use, and the MyLink infotainment system features handy menus that display battery usage and range information. However, the system is slow to respond to inputs.

Other standard features include Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, two USB ports, satellite radio, a Wi-Fi hot spot, and a six-speaker audio system. Available features include a seven-speaker Bose premium audio system, two rear USB ports, and wireless device charging.

Read more about interior »

Bolt Performance

Bolt Powertrain: Super Quick

The Chevy Bolt is extremely quick. This hatchback features a 200-horsepower electric motor paired with a 60-kWh lithium-ion battery pack and a single-speed transmission. This setup gives the Bolt ample power and immediate throttle response.

Bolt Mileage: Great Among the Ranks

The Bolt can go 259 miles on a full charge, which is one of the longest ranges among non-Tesla EVs. According to the EPA, this Chevy delivers 127 MPG equivalent in the city and 108 MPGe on the highway, which is above average for the class.

For more information, read What Is MPGe?

Bolt Alternative Fuels and Charging: Energized

It takes about 10 hours to charge the Bolt's 66-kWh battery pack using a 240-volt outlet. With DC Fast Charging, you can get roughly 100 miles of range in just 30 minutes.

Bolt Ride and Handling: Pretty Fun

The fun-to-drive Bolt EV delivers a comfortable ride and precise steering. It has composed handling thanks to a low center of gravity, but critics say it doesn’t give enough feedback from the road.

This Chevy's regenerative braking system features a Regen on Demand steering paddle with Drive and Low modes. If you want your Bolt to brake like a traditional gas-powered vehicle, go with Drive mode. For one-pedal driving that recharges the battery and slows down the Bolt upon release of the accelerator, choose Low mode.

Read more about performance »

Bolt Reliability

Is the Chevrolet Bolt Reliable?

J.D. Power gives the 2020 Chevrolet Bolt a predicted reliability rating of three out of five, which is about average.

Chevrolet Bolt Warranty

The Bolt comes with a three-year/36,000-mile limited warranty and an eight-year/100,000-mile battery warranty.

Read more about reliability »

Bolt Safety

Bolt Crash Test Results

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2020 Bolt an overall safety rating of five out of five stars. It earned five stars in the side crash and rollover tests and four stars in the frontal crash evaluation.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the 2020 Bolt a 2019 Top Safety pick, giving it the highest rating of Good in five crash tests and the second-highest rating of Acceptable in the passenger-side small overlap front test. Its headlights received an Acceptable rating for how well they illuminate the road ahead.

The IIHS uses a different scale for evaluating collision avoidance features. It gave this Chevrolet's optional front crash prevention system the highest rating of Superior.

Bolt Safety Features

The entry-level Bolt comes standard with a rearview camera and the Teen Driver system, which lets you do things like set speed and audio volume limits for secondary drivers.

Available safety features include blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, a surround-view parking camera system, a rearview camera mirror, and forward collision warning. Automatic emergency braking, a following distance indicator, automatic high-beam headlights, and rear parking sensors are also available.

Read more about safety »

Bolt Dimensions and Weight

The 2020 Bolt EV is about 13.7 feet long. Its curb weight is 3,563 pounds.

Where Is the Chevrolet Bolt Built?

Chevrolet builds the 2020 Bolt in Michigan.

Which Chevrolet Bolt Model Is Right for Me?

The 2020 Chevrolet Bolt comes in two trims: LT and Premier. Both models feature the same 200-horsepower electric motor, lithium-ion battery pack, and single-speed transmission. For the best value, stick with the base LT. It's packed with a good amount of technology, and several available packages allow you to add more features without having to move up a trim level.

Chevrolet Bolt LT

The base LT trim starts at $36,620. It features the MyLink infotainment system with a 10.2-inch touch screen, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, a Wi-Fi hot spot, a six-speaker stereo, satellite radio, two USB ports, and Bluetooth. Cloth upholstery, remote start, push-button start, automatic climate control, the Teen Driver safety system, and a rearview camera are also standard.

The Comfort and Convenience package ($555) adds an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a leather-wrapped and heated steering wheel, and heated front seats. The Driver Confidence package ($495) includes rear cross traffic alert, blind spot monitoring, lane change alert, and rear parking sensors. The Driver Confidence II package ($495) comes with lane keep assist, lane departure warning, automatic emergency braking, automatic high-beam headlights, and a following distance indicator.

Chevrolet Bolt Premier

The top-of-the-line Premier trim has a starting price of $41,020. It comes with the Driver Confidence package, the Comfort and Convenience package, as well as leather upholstery, heated rear seats, a false cargo floor for additional storage, a rear center armrest, and a surround-view parking camera system. In addition to the Driver Confidence II package, the Infotainment package ($595) is also available. It adds two rear USB ports, a seven-speaker Bose premium audio system, and wireless device charging.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Chevrolet dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Chevrolet deals page.

See 2020 Chevrolet Bolt specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2020 Chevrolet Bolt lives up to its name by providing lightning-quick acceleration, and its 259-mile driving range is competitive with other EVs. The Bolt costs more than the average hybrid and electric car, but it comes with loads of standard features and plenty of interior space. Still, its subpar cabin materials and flat, uncomfortable seats fail to support this little Chevy’s higher price tag.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "The 2020 Chevy Bolt is an all-electric hatchback with a long driving range, spacious cabin, and affordable price tag. … Likewise, people will appreciate its roomy accomodations, available infotainment and driver-assistance technologies, and crossover-like cargo capacity. While everyone won’t be enchanted by the 2020 Bolt’s looks and cheap interior, they’ll likely appreciate everything else it offers." -- Car and Driver
  • "The 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV continues to sell well, keeping pace with better-known, more expensive electric vehicles like the Tesla Model S. GM’s gamble in the electric-car market has paid off handsomely as the Bolt continues to make inroads, even in the face of less expensive challengers like Nissan’s Leaf. The secret to the Bolt’s success is its impressive range." -- Kelley Blue Book (2019)
  • "The 2019 Chevrolet Bolt continues its sales surge, offering near-Tesla-like range at a price not much more expensive than a well-equipped family sedan." -- Autotrader (2019)


Expert Advice

Last Updated: October 23, 2020

Healthy Sales: The Bolt is selling well among hybrid and electric cars, behind only the stalwart Toyota Prius, which is outselling the Bolt by over 2 to 1. Despite a volatile economic landscape, dealerships have managed to sell 7.2 percent more Bolt models this year compared to the same period in 2019.

Research more buying advice »
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2020 Chevrolet Bolt

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