Tested: 2022 Chevy Bolt EUV Is a Roomier Take on the Everyday EV

2022-06-07 07:17:53 By : Mr. Laughing Wang

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The Bolt's SUV sibling adds interior space and combines a solid electric range with well-mannered driving characteristics.

After stumbling out of the block with a battery recall that halted production, the 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV is finally here. The Bolt hatchback's SUV-like sibling, the EUV uses the same mechanicals but with larger dimensions and more assertive styling. The grander Bolt is a capable commuter with solid driving dynamics, but it's better for tootling around town than long interstate excursions.

The EUV shares the Bolt's platform but stretches 6.3 inches longer, with an extra 2.9 inches between its 17-inch wheels. This provides a surprising amount of rear legroom for a compact vehicle, and the flat floor afforded by the electric powertrain makes the cabin feel even more spacious. The EUV also swallowed more luggage than the Bolt hatchback, holding six carry-on bags with the rear seats up versus the hatchback's five. Still, the EUV is a narrow car, and the flat seats could use more cushioning to prevent the plastic seat base from poking into our thighs.

While some of the interior materials are lacking, the infotainment system excels. The standard 10.2-inch screen displays crisp graphics with large buttons that are easy to nail while driving, and the system responds quickly to inputs. A wireless charging pad and remote start are included, with the Premier trim adding adaptive cruise control and 360-degree cameras.

HIGHS: More spacious interior, adept around town, regeneration adds meaningful range.

The EUV's diminutive size makes it nimble around town. The steering lacks feel but is accurate, and the turning radius is tight. Acceleration feels brisk in everyday driving, and the front-mounted electric motor's instant 266 pound-feet of torque make passing a breeze. We recorded a 60-mph sprint of 6.8 seconds, 0.1 second behind the last Bolt hatch we tested. The EUV also squirts from 30 to 50 mph in just 2.5 seconds.

All of that torque going to the front wheels produces wheelspin when you drive with a heavy right foot, but the initial throttle response is relaxed enough that it's easy to pilot smoothly. On the skidpad, the EUV recorded 0.79 g. The Bolt EUV handled Michigan's pockmarked roads well, riding smoothly over small imperfections and doing a commendable job with larger bumps. As in the standard Bolt, regenerative braking is well managed. Regen is minimal in the default mode, but there's a one-pedal mode that provides hefty regeneration, a boon around town that extends the real-world range. A paddle behind the steering wheel also dials in regen on demand and can even bring the Bolt to a complete stop.

While the higher-level regen helps preserve real-world range in city driving, the Bolt EUV burns through its battery more rapidly on the highway. The EPA rates the EUV's range at 247 miles, but in our 75-mph highway test we managed only 190 miles.

LOWS: High as-tested price, slow to recharge, some cheap interior materials.

Long charging times further hamper road trips. When hooked to a 350-kW DC fast-charger, the Bolt's charging rate maxed out at 53 kW; going from 10 to 90 percent took an hour and 24 minutes. The last Nissan Leaf we tested, an SL Plus model, needed just over an hour to reach 90 percent, while a 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 First Edition charged at 125 kW and hit 90 percent in 45 minutes.

Our $43,995 Premier Launch Edition tester came loaded with features including heated and ventilated seats, wireless phone mirroring, and GM's hands-free Super Cruise driver-assistance system. While Super Cruise's ability to pilot the Bolt on major highways is mighty impressive, it seems unnecessary in a car not geared toward long journeys.

The Bolt EUV is ultimately best suited as an everyday commuter rather than a cross-country road tripper. The Premier model represents the best value—you get niceties including ventilated front seats and a leather-appointed interior not available on similarly priced rivals such as the Hyundai Kona Electric SEL. Skip frivolities like Super Cruise ($2200) and the $2495 sunroof and Bose sound system package, which send the price rise north of 40 grand and push the EUV into a more premium segment, where its still-somewhat-plasticky interior and small size can't quite compete. While the Bolt EUV packs a lot of equipment into an agile daily-driver package, shoppers don't have to spend too much more to find a stronger all-around EV. Come 2023, however, Bolt EUV buyers will be spending less, as Chevy has announced a $6300 price cut.

2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV Vehicle Type: front-motor, 5-passenger, 4-door hatchback

PRICE Base/As Tested: $34,495/$43,995 Options: Premier (chrome exterior trim, rear park assist and cross traffic alert, lane change and blind sport alert, power driver seat, heated steering wheel, heated and ventilated front seats, heated outboard rear seats, auto-dimming rearview mirror with camera, leather interior), $4500; Launch Edition (Super Cruise, Sun and Sound package with Bose stereo and 10.2-inch infotainment touchscreen with navigation and panoramic sunroof, illuminated charge port), $5000

POWERTRAIN Motor: permanent-magnet AC Power: 200 hp @ 4750 rpm Torque: 266 lb-ft @ 0 rpm Battery Pack: liquid-cooled lithium-ion, 65.0 kWh Onboard Charger: 11.5 kW Transmission: direct-drive

CHASSIS Suspension, F/R: struts/torsion beam Brakes, F/R: 10.9-in vented disc/10.4-in disc Tires: Michelin Energy Saver A/S 215/50R-17 91H M+S TPC DT

DIMENSIONS Wheelbase: 105.3 in Length: 169.5 in Width: 69.7 in Height: 63.6 in Passenger Volume: 97 ft3 Cargo Volume: 16 ft3 Curb Weight: 3779 lb

C/D TEST RESULTS 60 mph: 6.8 sec 1/4-Mile: 15.3 sec @ 92 mph Results above omit 1-ft rollout of 0.3 sec. Rolling Start, 5–60 mph: 6.9 sec Top Gear, 30–50 mph: 2.5 sec Top Gear, 50–70 mph: 3.7 sec Top Speed (gov ltd): 93 mph Braking, 70–0 mph: 186 ft Roadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 0.79 g

C/D FUEL ECONOMY Observed: 99 MPGe 75-mph Highway Driving: 95 MPGe 75-mph Highway Range: 190 mi

EPA FUEL ECONOMY Combined/City/Highway: 115/125/104 MPGe Range: 247 mi