2018 Chevrolet Bolt Review

The 2018 Chevrolet Bolt ranks near the top of the hybrid and electric car class, thanks to its peppy acceleration, long driving range, nimble handling, and spacious interior.

Pros & Cons

  • Brisk acceleration
  • Lively handling
  • Plenty of standard features
  • Outstanding EV range
  • Lots of hard plastics in the cabin
  • Firm seats due to insufficient padding




Critics' Rating: 8.9
Performance: 8.8
Interior: 7.9
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.9
Safety: 9.5
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2018 Chevrolet Bolt Overview

Is the 2018 Chevrolet Bolt a Good Used Car?

The 2018 Bolt is a great option in the used hybrid and electric car class.

The Bolt EV has many appealing traits:

  • Lengthy all-electric driving range of 238 miles
  • Lively acceleration
  • Agile handling
  • Roomy cabin
  • Lots of high-tech standard equipment

However, it also has a couple shortcomings:

  • Many cheap interior plastics
  • Firm seat cushions can be uncomfortable
Why You Can Trust Us

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 this vehicle in our comprehensive Chevrolet Bolt EV review. It combines concrete data (like predicted reliability ratings, crash test results, and cargo space dimensions) with professional evaluations from 28 automotive sources.

U.S. News & World Report has 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 Is the 2018 Chevrolet Bolt?

Based on listings for the 2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV on our site, the average price is $33,300, which is well above average for the class. Prices range from $30,300 to $37,000 and vary depending on the vehicle’s condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2018 Chevrolet Bolt Cost to Own?

The 2018 Chevy Bolt’s five-year costs for insurance, repairs, and maintenance are projected to be around $19,410, or $3,882 per year.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Bolt?

The 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV is relatively unchanged from earlier models. Aside from the new-car warranty, there’s little reason to buy a new Chevy Bolt EV.

Read about the new Bolt »

Chevrolet released the Bolt EV as an all-new electric car for the 2017 model year. The 2018 model saw no major updates. An older Bolt EV will probably be less expensive than the latest model, and it will be nearly identical.

Compare the 2017, 2018, and 2019 Bolt »

See the Best New Car Deals »

See the Best New Car Lease Deals »

How Reliable Is the 2018 Bolt?

The 2018 Chevrolet Bolt has a good predicted reliability rating of four out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about Bolt reliability »

2018 Chevrolet Bolt Recalls

At the time of writing, one recall has been issued for the 2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV:

  • Insufficient coating on rear brake calipers can reduce braking performance in some models

Before buying any used vehicle, make sure all recalls have been addressed.

See more information on Chevrolet Bolt safety recalls »

Which Used Chevrolet Bolt Trim Is Right for Me?

The 2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV is available in two trim levels: LT and Premier. Both trims use the same powertrain, a single-speed transmission paired with an electric motor and battery pack.

The base Bolt LT comes well-equipped and has a few extra safety options, making it a better value than the pricier Premier.

  • Chevrolet Bolt LT: The entry-level Chevrolet Bolt EV contains the MyLink infotainment system, a 10.2-inch touch screen, a six-speaker sound system, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, satellite radio, Bluetooth, two USB ports, cloth seats, automatic climate control, proximity keyless entry, push-button start, and a rearview camera. Available features include rear parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, a false cargo floor, a heated steering wheel, and heated front seats.
  • Chevrolet Bolt Premier: Building on the base LT, the Chevrolet Bolt EV Premier has all the extras listed above, as well as a 360-degree camera, leather seats, and heated rear seats. It’s available with a seven-speaker Bose stereo, two more USB ports, wireless device charging, and a suite of safety features, including forward collision warning, brake assist, lane keep assist, and lane departure warning.

See 2018 Chevrolet Bolt trims and specs »

What Does Chevrolet's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Chevrolet offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles six years old or less and with fewer than 75,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. For its certified pre-owned vehicles, Chevy extends the original new-car powertrain warranty to six years or 100,000 miles. These vehicles also get a one-year/12,000-mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty after the three-year/36,000-mile new-car warranty expires. Chevrolet CPO vehicles must pass a 172-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and 24-hour roadside assistance may be available, so read Chevy’s warranty page carefully.

Chevrolet has one of the better CPO programs among affordable carmakers. Hyundai, Buick, and Kia are better, according to our analysis.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the Bolt?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Chevrolet Bolt EV the highest rating of Good in five crash tests. Properly equipped models also earned a Superior rating for front crash prevention. However, the Bolt's headlights received the lowest rating of Poor for outward visibility.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave this EV a five-star overall rating out of five, with four stars in the frontal crash test and five stars in the side crash and rollover tests.

Standard advanced safety features:

  • rearview camera
  • Teen Driver (lets you set volume and speed limits for secondary drivers)

Available advanced safety features:

  • blind spot monitoring
  • rear cross traffic alert
  • lane change alert
  • lane keep assist
  • lane departure warning
  • forward collision warning
  • low-speed forward automatic braking
  • front pedestrian braking
  • surround-view parking camera
  • rear camera mirror
  • rear parking sensors
  • automatic high-beam headlights

See Bolt safety scores »

2018 Chevrolet Bolt Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2018 Chevrolet Bolt or 2018 Chevrolet Volt?

The 2018 Chevrolet Volt is another fine option in the hybrid and electric car class. Unlike the Chevrolet Bolt EV, the Volt is a plug-in hybrid, meaning it has a gas engine that kicks in when the battery is depleted. The Bolt’s electric range easily eclipses the Volt's EPA-estimated 53 miles. However, the Volt has a gas engine to fall back on, enabling it to travel much farther than its electric-only range. The Bolt EV has more rear-seat space and a larger trunk, as well as a higher predicted reliability rating, but the Volt is likely to be the more affordable Chevy. Choosing between these two is a matter of preference.

Which Is Better: 2018 Chevrolet Bolt or 2018 Tesla Model 3?

The 2018 Tesla Model 3 is another great choice. Like the Chevy Bolt, the Tesla is an electric vehicle. However, it has a longer EPA-estimated electric range – 260 miles to the Chevy’s 238 – and a classier cabin. The Model 3 has comfortable, roomy seats, too, although the Bolt EV has more cargo space. Pricing is difficult to estimate, as used Tesla Model 3s are hard to come by. If sporty performance and a longer electric driving range are your priorities, go with the Tesla. Stick with the Chevy if practicality is what you’re after.

Which Is Better: 2018 Chevrolet Bolt or 2018 Nissan Leaf?

The all-electric 2018 Nissan Leaf is another EV option. However, the Bolt is the better pick. It has a higher EPA-estimated electric range by 87 miles, as well as quicker acceleration and sharper handling. On top of that, the Bolt has a larger cargo hold and standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which are only available in select versions of the Leaf. The Nissan’s main advantage is price, as buying one will save you around $6,200 compared to the Chevy. But if your budget stretches that far, go with the Bolt.

Compare the Bolt, Volt, and Model 3 »

2018 Bolt Performance

How Does the 2018 Bolt Drive?

The Chevy Bolt bolts. Acceleration comes nearly instantaneously, and this peppy EV sprints from zero to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds. The Bolt feels energized when zipping through town or merging on the freeway.

This electric car feels light and sporty, which help make it fun to drive. It also comes with two drive modes: Drive (normal) and Low. Drive mode features light regenerative braking, helping the Bolt EV feel more like a traditional car. Low lets you drive the Bolt using mostly just the right pedal. Pushing down accelerates the car, and easing off engages the regenerative brakes to slow you nearly to a stop.

  • Base powertrain: electric motor with the equivalent of 200 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque
  • Drivetrain: front-wheel drive
  • Transmission: single-speed
Does the 2018 Bolt Get Good Mileage?

As a battery-electric vehicle, the Bolt EV draws its power solely from a battery pack. Its EPA-estimated all-electric range of 238 miles is great for a vehicle at this price point and compared to other EVs, though Teslas go even farther.

  • Lithium-ion battery pack: 128/110 MPGe city/highway

For more on decoding these ratings, check out What Is MPGe?

2018 Chevrolet Bolt Alternative Fuels and Charging

Powering the Chevy Bolt is a single electric motor, a 60-kWh lithium-ion battery pack, and a single-speed transmission. There’s also a 7.2-kW high-voltage on-board charger. This Chevy has an EV range of 238 miles.

The charging time depends on the method used:

  • DC Fast Charging: provides 90 miles of range in 30 minutes
  • 240-volt charging unit: 9 hours and 20 minutes for a full charge
  • Household outlet: about 4 miles per hour

Read more about Bolt performance »

2018 Bolt Interior

How Many People Does the 2018 Bolt Seat?

The Chevrolet Bolt EV is a hatchback that seats five people in two rows. The front and rear seats are roomy, and taller passengers can sit comfortably in the back for short trips. However, some critics say the seats lack adequate cushioning and feel overly firm. Contemporary cabin styling helps the Bolt EV feel modern, but there are a lot of hard plastics throughout the interior.

Standard seating features:

  • cloth seats

Available seating features:

  • leather upholstery
  • heated front and rear seats
  • leather-wrapped, heated steering wheel
How Many Child Car Seats Fit in the 2018 Chevrolet Bolt?

The Chevy Bolt EV has two complete sets of LATCH connectors for the rear outboard seats, as well as a third tether anchor for the rear middle seat. The lower anchors are set deeply in the seats, and attaching the anchors requires a lot of force. Because of that, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the system the second-lowest rating of Marginal for ease of use.

2018 Chevrolet Bolt Features

The MyLink infotainment system is straightforward, and the large touch screen has a simple menu layout. There are lots of physical controls too, along with internet access. There is no built-in navigation system, though you can integrate your smartphone via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

For more information, read What is Apple CarPlay? and What is Android Auto?

  • Standard infotainment features: the MyLink infotainment system, a 10.2-inch touch screen, a six-speaker stereo, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, OnStar with a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hot spot, satellite radio, Bluetooth, and two USB ports
  • Available infotainment features: a seven-speaker Bose premium stereo, wireless device charging, and two more USB ports
  • Additional standard features: automatic climate control, proximity keyless entry, and push-button start

See Chevrolet Bolt specs »

Read more about Bolt interior »

2018 Chevrolet Bolt Dimensions

Chevrolet Bolt Cargo Space

This hatchback has 16.9 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats and a total of 56.6 cubic feet of space with them folded down. Those figures are excellent for the hybrid and electric car class. A false cargo floor is available, which can be raised to create a flat cargo floor that is level with the rear seats when they're folded.

These cargo dimensions are for comparative purposes. There is no substitute for visually examining the storage area in any car you’re considering.

2018 Chevrolet Bolt Length and Weight
  • Length: 13 feet, 8 inches
  • Curb weight: 3,580 pounds

Where Was the 2018 Chevrolet Bolt Built?

Chevrolet built the Bolt EV in Michigan.

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