$25,492 - $28,355

2018 Chevrolet Bolt Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 8.8

The 2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV benefits from the instant torque of its electric motor, and it feels energetic under acceleration. This, along with its animated handling, creates a fun-to-drive electric car. Range is further than most EVs in the $20,000 to $30,000 price range.

  • "If you've never driven an electric car before, make sure your first time is behind the wheel of the 2018 Chevy Bolt. Beyond its spectacular 238-mile range, the Bolt is a joy to drive." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Despite the fact that there's a half-ton of battery crammed into a small car, the Bolt is not only a good EV, it's fun to drive as well." -- New York Daily News (2017)
  • "For more typical urban and suburban driving, we could say the ride was quiet, and the Bolt eases out of its parking space and gets underway with smooth decorum. You can sneak in and out of your parking garage late at night undetected. This would be a fine car for ninjas, though GM expects the average buyer to be a professional urban city dweller." -- Autoweek (2017)

Acceleration and Power

The Bolt EV comes with a single electric motor, a 60-kWh lithium-ion battery pack, and a 7.2-kW high-voltage on-board charger. When the battery is fully recharged, this electric car has an EPA-estimated range of 238 miles, which is impressive for a vehicle of this price.

It's no slouch, either. Pushing on the throttle yields instant torque, and the 200-horsepower motor is animated enough to bring the car to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds. Charging the battery takes 9.3 hours with a 240-volt charger. DC fast charging capability is also available.

  • "Power flows through the front wheels via a single-speed automatic transmission with sufficient intensity to send the Bolt EV sprinting from 0-60 mph in about 6.5 seconds. Top speed is electronically limited to 91 mph." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Off the line it, ahem, bolts. We heard one GM staffer say 60 mph arrives in 'under seven seconds.' That is competitive with moderately well-performing cars of a similar size. We launched it over and over in our four or five laps of an autocross-style course in a parking lot across the street from CES and were always happy to feel the surge of acceleration." -- Autoweek (2017)
  • "It's not a fast car by any means, but it does have a prodigious amount of torque as you'd expect, enough to accelerate to 60 from a stop in less than 7 seconds. After that it runs out of steam quickly, but for zipping away from lights or ducking into gaps in traffic, it's quite rewarding." -- CNET (2017)

Handling and Braking

The Bolt EV is a front-wheel-drive compact car. It feels light on its feet, with some sporty driving dynamics that add enjoyment to your drive. There are two main driving modes: the default Drive calms down the regenerative braking so that the Bolt EV feels more like a traditional car when slowing down. In Low, you can drive the Bolt EV using only the right pedal: push to accelerate, and let off to engage a more aggressive regenerative brake setup that can nearly bring you to a stop without hitting the brake pedal.

  • "The Bolt's heavy battery pack sits beneath the floor helping to lower the car's center of gravity, which in turn helps improves cornering and reduce lean. Once in motion the driver can move the Bolt's shift lever from Drive to Low, thus engaging the One Pedal Driving feature that uses regenerative braking to slow the vehicle. The system is far less intrusive than systems we've tested in other makes." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The Bolt isn't just good to drive for an electric car, it's good to drive, period. Sure, its cornering limits are relatively low because of its low-rolling-resistance Michelin tires, but the ride is satisfyingly firm without being harsh, and body motions are well controlled. Steering is heavily weighted, but not overly so, and has good on-center feel." -- Car and Driver (2017)
  • "Another really neat feature I liked was the Bolt's regenerative braking. With the gearshift lever set in Drive, the Bolt feels about like a regular gas car. But shift it into Low, and just lifting off the throttle produces rather strong deceleration – stronger than you would normally use when braking in traffic (meaning you have to learn to modulate your 'lifting off' a bit), and it can bring you all the way to a stop without ever hitting the brake pedal. And if that's not enough, there's a paddle behind the left side of the steering wheel that you can flip and hold that will give you even more." -- Consumer Guide (2017)

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