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2021 Chevrolet Bolt Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 9.1

The 2021 Chevrolet Bolt is a peppy performer. It feels powerful in regular driving situations, and the lack of a gas engine means that, aside from some wind noise, the ride is quiet. This EV offers a smooth ride, spirited handling, and a decent battery range.

  • "Driving the Bolt EV is unremarkable. Which is a compliment. There are no surprises, no great learning curve to accompany a different method of propulsion. There’s no engine noise, either (there’s no engine), so road and wind noise might be more noticeable than in a gasoline-engined car. But it’s mostly a case of getting in the Bolt EV and driving. Chevy claims acceleration from standstill to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds, which is pretty quick for a subcompact hatchback." -- Autotrader
  • "For 2020, Chevy increases the Bolt’s driving range from 238 miles to 259. … Its extended all-electric driving range also puts the Chevy ahead of electrified rivals such as the Hyundai Ioniq, the Kia Soul EV and the Kona Electric, and all but the long-rang (sic) Tesla Model 3." -- Car and Driver (2020)
  • "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 … range, the Bolt is a joy to drive." -- Kelley Blue Book (2018)

Powertrain Options, Horsepower, and Acceleration

  • Powertrain: 66-kW lithium-ion battery pack and an electric motor with a combined 200 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque
  • Drivetrain: front-wheel drive
  • Transmission: single-speed

The Chevrolet Bolt has a strong powertrain. This EV launches quickly from a stop, and acceleration comes swiftly. Whether driving around turns or cruising down the freeway, you’ll find the Bolt packs plenty of punch.

  • "One of the biggest differences between a battery-powered vehicle like the Bolt EV and a traditional gasoline engine-powered car is how quick it is off the line. Electricity, and therefore power delivery, is like a light switch. Hit the accelerator pedal for instant punch and passing power. There’s no waiting for cylinders to fire or turbos to kick in. The sensation is more on or off, and it’s fun. The 2021 Chevy Bolt EV can zip from standstill to 60 mph in just 6.5 seconds, yet it feels even faster." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The Bolt's electric motor provides instantaneous response to accelerator inputs and ample low-end torque that lets you scoot ahead when the light turns green. Responses are less immediate at highway speeds, but the electric Chevy still makes passing and merging on the highway a cinch." -- Car and Driver (2020)
  • "You'll find plenty of oomph when you press the Bolt's accelerator. It merges onto freeways with ease, and there's a good deal of reserve power for passing on two-lane roads." -- Edmunds (2019)

MPGe Estimates

The 2021 Bolt EV is rated at 127 MPG-equivalent in the city and 108 MPGe on the highway, which is good for the class. It has an estimated driving range of 259 miles on a fully charged battery.

For more information, read What Is MPGe?

Alternative Fuels and Charging

Using a 240-volt outlet, you can recharge the Bolt’s battery in around 10 hours. With DC Fast Charging, you can get around 100 miles of range in just a half-hour.

Handling and Braking

The Bolt is surprisingly nimble. It feels stable around turns, and light steering feel gives it a whiff of playfulness. It rides smoothly too. The braking system has a Regen on Demand paddle next to the steering wheel. It comes with two drive modes. The first, named Drive, has normal two-pedal operation where you press the brake pedal to slow the vehicle. Low enables more one-pedal driving in which the vehicle will start to slow when you lift your foot off the accelerator.

  • "Beyond initial swiftness, the Bolt EV’s other driving manners also differ from traditional vehicles. With no rumbling engine, this Chevy electric car is exceptionally quiet and smooth." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The electrically assisted power steering is responsive and has some feel, with a light weight at low speeds and more heft at higher speeds. The car’s low center of gravity (thanks to the placement of the 1,000-pound battery pack below the floor) brings stability through the curves. It’s even possible to have a little fun on a winding road. The Bolt EV offers levels of engagement that drivers can get into or not – as their personalities, tastes and whims dictate." -- Autotrader
  • "With a composed ride and plenty of power, the Bolt will challenge whatever negative preconceptions you might have of electric vehicles." -- Car and Driver (2020)
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2021 Chevrolet Bolt

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