When Matt test drove the 2018 Chevrolet Bolt in late August, he noted the current growth of the electric vehicle segment and the amount of new EVs launched in the last year or on their way.
Despite a new Hyundai IONIQ and a new-generation Nissan LEAF, the 2018 Chevrolet Bolt remains the range king in its segment, and only Tesla can provide you an EV with more freedom. You’ll pay a lot more, however, and that includes the Model 3.
With a 60-kWh battery powering a 150-kW engine with 266 pound-feet of torque, the Bolt provides 383 kilometers of range, 25% to 50% more than its competition. The LEAF will give you 241 kilometers while most other EVs on the market can’t crack 200.
On the other hand, that still wasn’t enough to give the Bolt the edge in our EV comparo with the Volkswagen E-Golf and LEAF.
The problem is in the price
Pricing is a big issue with the 2018 Chevrolet Bolt. Sure, it’s a lot more affordable than a Tesla Model 3 at the moment, but you will still be paying close to $50,000 once fees and taxes are included.
Yes, you have government rebates, but at the end of the day the Bolt is a lot more expensive than a Nissan LEAF, IONIQ EV, E-Golf and every other direct competitor.
Should you want to pay that much, do you get your money’s worth? Matt noted some subpar materials in the EV Chevy and I tend to agree. It doesn’t feel like a 50k car, and I personally find the LEAF and IONIQ to be as nice if not nicer once behind the driver seat.
On the other hand, you get a ton of fancy tech and decent features, especially in the top trim. Leather seats, rear heated seats, rear cross-traffic alert and a BOSE premium audio system are offered in the top trim. The entry-level model doesn’t give you more features than the more affordable competitors named previously.
Driving the 2018 Chevrolet Bolt is an enjoyable experience. The car is sportier than you would first think and handles very well. It’s quite solid and feels well planted thanks to the heavy battery pack positioned between the axles.
There is a ton of passenger space both front and rear, but the trunk fills up quickly.
Final thoughts on the 2018 Chevrolet Bolt
Chevrolet has done a very good job with its first full electric vehicle. More range by far than its direct rivals give the Bolt a distinct advantage, but you seriously need to ask yourself if you need 383 kilometers of range, or if you can do with less in order to pay less. Because after its range advantage, the Bolt doesn’t do enough in my opinion to justify its higher price.