$27,680 - $31,474

2017 Chevrolet Bolt Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt was new.

Scorecard

Interior: 8.4

While the all-new 2017 Chevy Bolt's cabin is a hub of technology, its interior materials consist mostly of hard plastics. Plush surfaces are few and far between, with less padding on the armrests or seats than what you'll find in other cars, especially in this price range.

With thinner seats, the Bolt makes more room for passengers, allowing 6-footers to fit comfortably behind the driver. The seats are comfortable, despite having minimal padding. There's a clear focus on technology, with plenty of smartphone connectivity options, a Teen Driver system, and a slew of available safety features. The Bolt has a typical cargo hold for a hatchback, but it's larger than average for an EV.

  • "Most battery-powered machines feature interiors vastly compromised by the need to make room for big, bulky battery packs. Not here. The pack slots in beneath the front seats and runs beneath the rear, where it doubles up beneath the rear cushions. This does result in a higher seating position than in many cars of this sort, but it also provides a nice flat floor between the rear seats and, crucially, a spacious trunk." -- CNET
  • "The interior is roomy and airy with good outward vision in all directions." -- New York Daily News
  • "While the Bolt's technology palette is attractive, we were a bit disappointed with its interior quality, which is more befitting a $20,000 car than a $30,000 one. Chief engineer Josh Tavel admitted that priorities for the Bolt dictated more of a focus on innovative tech than it did on soft-touch dashboard materials and the like. This is an understandable compromise, even with an abundance of hard plastic trim, some of which is poorly grained." -- Car and Driver

Seating

The five-seat Chevy Bolt comes standard with cloth upholstery and manually adjustable seats, with no option for power seats. However, you can add leather upholstery, heated front and rear seats, and a leather-wrapped heated steering wheel.

For those installing car seats, the Bolt’s LATCH system provides two complete sets of anchors and a middle upper tether anchor. Car seats install easily, and there are no problems with space or access to the latches, though the top tether anchors aren't labeled.

The Bolt's cabin is surprisingly roomy, thanks to some space-smart engineering. The electric motor is smaller than a typical gas engine, which means that the dashboard is designed to take up less space. Also, the seats are thinner and positioned toward the front of the car. The Bolt's batteries are underneath the rear seats and the floor of the car, which maximizes cabin space well for a car of this size.

Although its seats offer less padding than is typical, they still provide decent comfort and support. There's plenty of room in the back, too. The rear seats can accommodate passengers taller than 6 feet without a problem, thanks to the EV's hatchback shape.

  • "The Bolt is also surprisingly roomy … Part of this is the smart packaging of the dashboard, and the way design options open up when you don't have a big engine up in front. The front seats are further forward than in a gas car, for example. And they've been specially designed to be extra thin, giving the rear seat passengers an extra inch of leg room. The rear bench sits on top of the batteries and perched slightly higher than the front, theater-style. All the seats are comfortable, and there's plenty of head room." -- Autoblog
  • "The rear-seat roominess is made possible in part by the (industry-first) ultra-slim front seat designs that involve a metal framework with a flexible plastic shell lined with a thin (0.4-0.6-inch thick) layer of foam. They provide ample support, and in our brief drive we felt no hard pressure points. And anyway, nobody will ever spend 10 hours at a stretch in these seats." -- Motor Trend
  • "All steps taken result in an exceptionally roomy cabin for a car of the Bolt's size. People well over 6 feet tall had enough headroom and reasonable legroom even in the backseat." -- Cars.com

Interior Features

Standard features include proximity keyless entry, push-button and remote start, automatic climate control, a rearview camera, an 8-inch driver information display, the Teen Driver system, the MyLink infotainment system, a 10.2-inch touch screen, a six-speaker audio system, satellite radio, two USB ports, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth, voice recognition, and a Wi-Fi hot spot.

Available features include a 360-degree parking camera system, a rearview camera mirror (which shows a camera feed in the rearview mirror rather than just the reflection through the rear window), a wireless device charging station, a seven-speaker Bose audio system, two USB ports for the rear passengers, high beam assist, rear parking sensors, rear cross traffic alert, blind spot monitoring, lane change alert, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, and lane departure warning.

If you're looking for an electric vehicle with futuristic tech, exclusive features, and a useful and informative interface, the Chevrolet Bolt fits the bill. Its 10.2-inch touch-screen MyLink infotainment system presents tons of smartphone connectivity options, including Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. These two systems allow you to use your own smartphone apps through the infotainment system.

The large screen also displays a healthy variety of driving data, so you’ll know what's going to happen down the road. For example, the Bolt can tell you how much energy the air conditioning is sapping from the batteries. It also shows how you could further the car’s battery range by improving your driving habits. The system as a whole really helps the driver keep a finger on the pulse of their car.

The Teen Driver system allows parents to set up certain speed and audio limits for the vehicle, ensuring that their new driver stays safe even without parents in the vehicle.

See 2017 Chevrolet Bolt specs and trims »

  • "The Bolt's 10.2 inch touchscreen is a delight, and indicates, along with all the connectivity built in to the car, that the Bolt will get a lot of fresh consideration from Millennial 'connecterati'-people for whom ease of connectivity while they drive actually trumps horsepower and torque." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "The central 10.2-inch infotainment screen offers additional metrics useful for EV driving and charging. One screen shows how much energy is being used by certain vehicle functions, including Driving and Accessories, Climate Settings, and Battery Conditioning … Another screen is a sort of driving scorecard that rates things like driving technique, climate-control usage, and terrain. All information on the two screens (both of which are engineered by South Korean electronics giant LG and designed by GM) is clearly and cleanly presented, and the responsive central touchscreen also includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capabilities." -- Car and Driver
  • "This gauge is quite nicely executed: In addition to a current range prediction, it shows a 'Max' prediction above it (158 miles when our drive ended) and a 'Min' (109 miles) below it. A green bar extended upward partway from the main toward the Max number representing that the driving on this trip, if continued, would grant farther range. This might seem confusing, but it reflects a reality EV drivers must recognize: Range varies widely with driving style, terrain and other conditions, such as outside temperature and heat or air-conditioning use. It's a nice reminder." -- Cars.com

Cargo

Behind the rear seats, the Bolt offers 16.9 cubic feet of cargo space. Fold the standard 60/40 split folding rear seats, and you'll open up about 56.6 cubic feet of cargo space. That's about average for a hatchback and above average for an electric vehicle. Chevy achieves a large cargo hold because it hides the rechargeable lithium-ion batteries under the floor of the car, rather than putting them in the cargo area like in other electric cars.

In front of the shifter and cup holders, there's a large storage area for smaller items with a cellphone holster just above it. In the Premier trim, the Bolt comes with a false cargo floor, which will come in handy when you want to hide valuables out of sight.

  • "At 94.4 cubic feet, its interior passenger volume is said to be larger than that of a Nissan Leaf. Add the 16.9 cubic feet of cargo behind the fold-flat 60/40 rear seat, and you'd have an EPA midsize car if not for the station wagon designation." -- Motor Trend
  • "The 2017 Chevrolet Bolt's strong suits are its attractive five-door package, with interior space made more generous by the flat floor. The batteries are in the floor of the car, freeing up functional cargo space." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "There's a big, roomy center console that's raised off the mostly flat floor, creating a large storage area under the instrument panel between the front foot wells." -- New York Daily News

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