EV Engineering News

2019 Chevy Bolt EV – still charged and ready

We first reviewed the Chevrolet Bolt EV in June 2017, and were impressed. I gave the Bolt two thumbs up in 2017, and I’ll repeat that assessment for the 2019 model. The Bolt has plenty of range for a driver’s daily needs, it handles well, and it has enough power to surprise the hell out of any ICE driver who might be next to you at a traffic light.

Modern vehicles come packed with features, and every model has its handy pros and its annoying cons – some consumers buy (or get rid of) cars because of these little details. In this day and age, one would think that, like computers (and to a lesser extent, phones), cars would have somewhat customizable user interfaces. However, so far the only cars I’ve driven that allow any substantial personalization are from Tesla. If you don’t like the fact that your car won’t turn the lights off automatically (my Toyota will, my Nissan won’t), too bad – live with it, or buy another model that does.

I found no features on the Bolt that annoyed me personally. Some reviewers have found it odd that there is no built-in navigation system. However, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are standard, and in my experience, onboard nav systems tend to be clunky anyway, so that didn’t bother me.

On the contrary, there’s one little detail of the 2019 Bolt that I like very much. Every door has a little button on the handle, so it can be unlocked and opened individually. On my Prius (for example), you can’t unlock the rear doors without unlocking one of the front doors first, and even after years as one of the Pious, I can’t get used to this.

A finicky little detail? Yes, and one that you may not care a whit about. I don’t recommend that you choose a car based on how the doors or the lights work. However, I’d like to see GM and other automakers introduce some options for personalizing little details for us finicky felines.

In any case, if you want a pure EV at a mid-market price, and you live in the US outside of California, you probably shouldn’t quibble about door handles, because the Bolt is one of only three viable options. By all means, check out the Nissan LEAF Plus and the Tesla Model 3, but you won’t go wrong with the Bolt (don’t just take it from me: Car and Driver, Motor Trend, Kelley Blue Book and CNET’s Roadshow each gave it a thumbs-up).

The 2019 Bolt sports a 60 kWh battery pack, and has an EPA-rated range of 238 miles and combined efficiency of 119 MPGe. It packs 200 hp and delivers a 0-60 time of “under 7 seconds.”

The base LT trim comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic LED headlights, LED taillights, an 8-inch instrument panel display, a 10.2-inch center touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, two USB ports, and remote start. It starts at $37,495.

The Premier trim adds roof rails, leather seats, front and rear heated seats, heated steering wheel, surround-view camera system, ambient interior lighting, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, rear parking sensors, and rearview mirror camera. It starts at $41,895.

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