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MSRP: $36,620 - 41,020




Critics' Rating: 8.1
Performance: 9.3
Interior: 7.2
Safety: 8.9
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2019 Chevrolet Bolt Review

The 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV ranks near the top of the hybrid and electric car class. The Bolt is an electric vehicle that offers lively acceleration, a spacious cabin, and lots of standard features. It also has a longer electric-only driving range than other EVs at or below its price point.

Pros & Cons

  • Outstanding range
  • Lively acceleration and handling
  • Roomy, quiet interior
  • Lots of standard features
  • Higher starting price than many competitors
  • Thin seat cushions
  • Underwhelming cabin materials

Is the Chevrolet Bolt a Good Car?

The Chevrolet Bolt is a great pick if you’re shopping for an electric vehicle. It has an all-electric driving range of 238 miles, which is one of longest of any EV on the market. It also has agile handling and brisk acceleration. A roomy cabin and a long list of standard features only add to its appeal. However, the Bolt’s interior quality is a little disappointing considering this car’s price, and insufficient seat cushioning makes the Bolt feel uncomfortable on longer trips.

Should I Buy the Chevrolet Bolt?

If you’re considering the Chevrolet Bolt EV, chances are you’re looking for an all-electric vehicle with a long range. In that case, this vehicle is a great pick. Outside of a Tesla, it has one of the longest ranges available among electric vehicles. You can charge this car overnight with a 240-volt charger, or use the available DC fast charger to get up to 90 miles of range in around 30 minutes. Unlike some hybrids, the all-electric Bolt not only feels lively when taking off from a stop but also when passing cars on the highway.

The Bolt is a good car to buy, but with a starting price of $36,620, it's pricey (there are federal and state tax credits available to help offset that price). You might want to consider other options in the hybrid and electric car class as well. The Nissan Leaf is an electric vehicle with a starting price of around $30,000 and a driving range of between 150 and 226 miles, depending on trim level. The Hyundai Ioniq electric vehicle starts at around $30,000 as well, and it offers 124 miles of driving range. The Tesla Model 3 has an even longer range than the Bolt, but its starting price is about $3,000 more and can climb quickly past $50,000.

Compare the Bolt, Leaf, and Ioniq »

Should I Buy a New or Used Chevrolet Bolt?

Chevrolet launched the Bolt as an all-new car for the 2017 model year. Neither the 2018 nor 2019 Bolt have received any significant updates. While this often means that you'd save money by shopping used, it isn't so clear cut here. The federal tax incentive available for the Bolt EV ($3,750 as of this writing) does not apply to used vehicles. Because of that, you might actually save money with a new Bolt in some circumstances.

To research some other models in this generation, check out our reviews of the 2017 and 2018 Chevrolet Bolt. If you decide an older model is right for you, check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts on used vehicles.

Compare the 2017, 2018, and 2019 Chevrolet Bolt »

We Did the Research for You: 29 Reviews Analyzed

Our goal is to provide you with the information you need to make car shopping a breeze. You'll find everything you need to know about the Chevrolet Bolt in our comprehensive review. It combines concrete data (like fuel economy estimates, safety scores, and cargo space dimensions) with professional evaluations from more than two dozen automotive sources. This Chevrolet Bolt review incorporates applicable research for all models in this generation, which spans the 2017 through 2019 model years.

Why You Can Trust Us

We’ve been reviewing cars since 2007, and our Best Cars team has more than 75 years of combined automotive experience. We also award the Best Cars for the Money, Best Cars for Families, and Best Vehicle Brands on an annual basis. To ensure our impartiality, a third party handles our advertising, and we don't accept expensive gifts from automakers.

How Much Does the Chevrolet Bolt Cost?

Chevrolet’s new Bolt EV has an MSRP of $36,620. That’s a little higher than most rivals, though some shoppers may qualify for select tax credits, including a $3,750 federal credit. For more info, check out our coverage on how the electric car tax credit works. With its lengthy list of standard features, the base LT trim is a fairly good value. You can find more convenience and safety features in packages and in the Premier trim, which has a starting price of around $40,900.

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 Chevy deals page.

Chevrolet Bolt Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Chevrolet Bolt or Hyundai Ioniq?

The Hyundai Ioniq is available nationwide as a hybrid, and in certain regions of the country, it also comes as a plug-in hybrid or an EV. The Ioniq Electric actually has a larger battery and a better MPGe rating than the Bolt, but the Bolt has nearly double the all-electric driving range on a full charge. Both EV models have a similar set of features. The Ioniq Electric’s starting price is about $7,000 less than the Bolt's (though it’s only available in select markets), and the hybrid and plug-in hybrid Ioniq models are even more affordable. Both are good EVs, but go with the Bolt if the Ioniq Electric’s limited availability and lower electric range concern you.

Which Is Better: Chevrolet Bolt or Chevrolet Volt?

The plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt is another option in the hybrid and electric car class. Both the Volt plug-in hybrid and the Bolt EV offer quick acceleration, smooth brakes, many tech features, and all-electric driving ability. That’s where the similarities end though. The Bolt has a longer electric range by 185 miles. It also has livelier handling, roomier seating space, a larger cargo area, and a higher predicted reliability rating. Overall, the Bolt is the better car, though you may still want to consider the Volt if you frequently take long road trips. The Volt can shift to its gasoline engine when its battery pack runs low.

Compare the Bolt, Ioniq, and Volt »

Bolt Interior

How Many People Does the Bolt Seat?

The Chevrolet Bolt EV can seat up to five on standard cloth upholstery. Leather upholstery, heated front and rear seats, and a heated steering wheel are available. Head- and legroom are pretty good, and two adults can generally sit in the back without feeling too cramped. A tall driver’s seat increases visibility, though the seat cushions are a little flat.

Bolt and Car Seats

For securing child car seats, the 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV has two complete sets of LATCH connectors and a middle-seat tether anchor. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gives the Bolt's LATCH setup the second-lowest rating of Marginal for ease of use because the lower anchors are set deep in the seats and require a lot of force to install a car seat. 

Bolt Interior Quality

Given the Bolt EV’s high price point, its interior is a little disappointing. There are lots of hard plastics and low-rent materials scattered throughout the cabin. However, the Bolt looks and feels modern. Rivals such as the Hyundai Ioniq and Toyota Prius feature cabin materials of a higher quality.

Bolt Cargo Space

The Bolt has 16.9 cubic feet of cargo space behind its rear seats. The back seat can fold forward to expand cargo space up to 56.6 cubic feet. That’s very spacious for a hybrid or electric car.

Bolt Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Connectivity and technology are among the Bolt EV’s strong suits. Standard equipment includes the MyLink infotainment system with a 10.2-inch touchscreen, an OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi hot spot, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, a six-speaker stereo, two USB ports, and satellite radio. For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto?

The system’s 10.2-inch touch screen is easy-to-use. It’s in a good location on the dash, and it has redundant climate and audio control buttons underneath. MyLink provides both in-car entertainment and useful information for managing your charging and driving habits.

A seven-speaker Bose premium audio system, two rear-seat USB ports (for charging only), and Qi-compatible wireless device charging are available.

Read more about interior »

Bolt Performance

Bolt Engine: Like a Lightning Bolt

The Bolt EV is powered by an electric motor producing 200 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque. It’s paired with a 60-kWh lithium-ion battery pack and a single-speed transmission. Acceleration in the Bolt is quite good for the class, and it can sprint from zero to 60 mph in about 6.5 seconds. This electric hatchback has ample passing power and makes a strong case for itself as a daily driver.

Bolt Mileage: Impressive Range

As a battery-electric vehicle, the Bolt EV’s only power source is its lithium-ion battery pack. The EPA estimates its all-electric driving range to be around 238 miles on a full charge. By comparison, the 2019 Hyundai Ioniq Electric has an EPA-estimated 124-mile range, and the 2019 Nissan Leaf’s range is projected to be 226 miles in its most efficient configuration. The Bolt’s range is excellent, though many Tesla models surpass 300 miles. Recharging the Bolt takes about 9.3 hours with a 240-volt charger. DC fast charging is available, providing 90 miles of electric range in just 30 minutes.

The Bolt has an efficiency rating of 128 MPGe in the city and 110 MPGe on the highway. For more on decoding these ratings, check out What Is MPGe?

Bolt Ride and Handling: Energized and Enjoyable

Some hybrid and electric vehicles have bland driving dynamics, but not the Bolt. It’s fun to drive regardless of road conditions, and its battery pack gives the car a low center of gravity, granting extra stability and composure. Responsive steering and smooth, strong brakes only enhance the driving experience. This vehicle is also coordinated, with good road grip and minimal body roll.

Worthy of note is the Bolt’s two driving modes that affect regenerative braking. In Drive mode, it operates much like a normal car. In Low mode, the regenerative brakes become more aggressive, allowing you to drive with one pedal. The car will slow down as soon as you let off the throttle. There is also a Regen on Demand feature, which activates aggressive regenerative braking by pulling a paddle on the back of the steering wheel. Keep in mind that the brake pedal may still need to be used in some situations.

Read more about performance »

Bolt Reliability

Is the Chevrolet Bolt Reliable?

The 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV earns a slightly above-average predicted reliability rating of 3.5 out of five from J.D. Power. 

Chevrolet Bolt Warranty

Chevrolet covers the Bolt 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 Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2019 Bolt the highest rating of Good in five crash tests and a Superior rating for the effectiveness of its optional front crash prevention system. The Bolt earned the lowest rating of Poor for how well its headlights illuminate the road ahead. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the Bolt five out of five stars in all but the frontal crash test, in which it received four stars.

Bolt Safety Features

Standard driver assistance features on the LT trim include a rearview camera and the Teen Driver system, which lets you do things like set limits on audio and speed for secondary drivers. Several other safety features are available, including a surround-view parking camera, a rear camera mirror, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, rear parking sensors, a following distance indicator, and automatic high beams.

That’s a generous helping of safety features, though a few rivals – namely, the Tesla Model 3 – go above and beyond in providing near autonomous driving capability, but for a much higher price.

Read more about safety »

Which Chevrolet Bolt Model Is Right for Me?

Chevrolet offers the Bolt in two trim levels: LT and Premier. Both share the same powertrain and lithium-ion battery pack, so the main difference between the two trims boils down to convenience and safety upgrades. Of the two, the Bolt LT is the better value. It features a generous list of standard features, and it’s also available with a number of packages that outfit it with some of the Premier’s convenience and safety upgrades without reaching the Premier’s price tag, which is higher by roughly $4,300.

Chevrolet Bolt LT

The Chevy Bolt EV LT starts at around $36,620 before any tax credits are applied. It comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, remote start, proximity keyless entry, push-button start, automatic climate control, cloth seats, a rearview camera, and the Teen Driver safety system. It also comes with the MyLink infotainment interface with a six-speaker stereo, satellite radio, a 10.2-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, OnStar with a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hot spot, two USB ports, and Bluetooth.

Several packages are also available. The Comfort and Convenience package costs around $560 and includes heated front seats, a heated and leather-wrapped steering wheel, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. For about $500, the Driver Confidence package adds rear parking sensors, lane change alert, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert. There’s also the Driver Confidence II package, which features even more safety features such as forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, a following distance indicator, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, and automatic high beams. This package is estimated to be around another $500.

Chevrolet Bolt Premier  

In addition to gaining the features in the Comfort and Convenience package and Driver Confidence package, the Chevrolet Bolt EV Premier ($40,905) comes with leather upholstery, heated rear seats, a rear center armrest, a false cargo floor for increased versatility, and a surround-view parking camera. The Driver Confidence II package remains available, and there’s also an Infotainment package (about $500) offering wireless charging, a seven-speaker Bose premium audio system, and two rear-seat USB charge ports.

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

See 2019 Chevrolet Bolt specs and trims »

The Final Call

The Chevrolet Bolt EV is an appealing pick as a daily commuter, thanks in large part to its 200-plus-mile range, swift acceleration, and lively handling. Its cargo area and seats are spacious, and the Chevy’s nicely equipped infotainment system is user-friendly. It's worth noting that there are hybrid and electric cars in this class with more-impressive cabin materials and far lower pricing. Even so, the Bolt is well worth a look.

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

  • A long range and low price mean that cost savings had to come from somewhere, and the Bolt's interior materials are below average, even for a compact car. … The front seats are also fairly uncomfortable, so you might not actually want to take the Bolt on the long-distance road trips it's capable of. Now, the Tesla Model 3 is more comfortable, sportier and capable of a longer range. But long-term reliability is a question mark, and it's unlikely that Tesla will be building many (or even any) of the promised sub-$40,000 versions for the 2019 model year. So, realistically, the Bolt is the lone member of the long-range, low-price EV category." -- Edmunds
  • "Tesla may have made the long-range electric car sexy, but GM is the first company to make one affordable. The 2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV features a big 60-kWh battery pack giving the Bolt an impressive 238-mile range on a single charge. As most people only commute between 30 and 50 miles a day, the Bolt could easily replace a gasoline-powered car in every area save long-distance travel." -- Kelley Blue Book (2018)
  • "The Bolt EV is … a well-rounded, eminently usable, forward-thinking small hatchback that's satisfying to drive-and perhaps the most compelling argument yet for the staying power of the mass-market electric car." -- Car and Driver (2017)


Expert Advice

Last Updated: July 18, 2019

Steady Sales: Sales of the electric Chevy Bolt sit in the upper half of the hybrid and electric car class, and they’ve remained consistent in 2019 relative to the same period last year. However, the Bolt is still being outsold by the class sales leading Toyota Prius by more than 3 to 1.

Research more buying advice »
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2019 Chevrolet Bolt

MSRP: $36,620 - $41,020

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