The brand new look actually works.
It is obtained a brand new look and a few new tech, however not a lot else has modified for the 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV. Nevertheless, mix these smaller quality-of-life tweaks with a extra attractive price ticket — beginning round $5,500 cheaper than final yr — and the little Bolt begins to seem like a fairly large worth.
Priced competitively for long-range classMore premium really feel and appearanceAdaptive cruise management is now out there
Do not Like
DC quick charging nonetheless restricted to 55 kWNo Tremendous Cruise freeway help
New look, new angle
The obvious change to the 2022 Bolt EV is the brand new entrance fascia, which trades the playful, toy-like look of its predecessor for one thing extra grown-up and premium in look. Slim LED signature lights sit the place the Bolt’s large eyes used to stay. In the meantime, the precise LED headlamps have been moved right down to the house previously occupied by the foglights. This flip-flop — which the Chevrolet Trailblazer additionally pulls off — provides the looks of super-slim, idea automotive headlights through the day whereas nonetheless providing enough illumination at evening.
The 2 gentle clusters are linked by an angular slash of gloss black trim that helps to border the Bolt’s grille. Round again, the taillights are narrower; gone are final yr’s 3D squiggles, changed with a less complicated oval define that higher blends in with the hatchback’s rear glass. The bumper can also be up to date with a thinner reflector bar, a repositioned single reverse gentle and a bigger space of black plastic that helps visually elevate the rear finish.
The adjustments to the cabin are maybe much more intensive. The 2022 Bolt options an all-new heart console that connects extra naturally to the dashboard than the earlier floating design. The shift lever is changed with a vertical financial institution of PRND buttons and a devoted button for the one-pedal driving mode. The brand new shifter additionally sits forward of the cupholders, which at the moment are a lot simpler to entry.
All through the cabin, you will discover extra premium feeling supplies. Whereas I am somewhat unhappy to see the loopy, high-contrast white theme go, the brand new look is way much less obnoxious and sure appeals to a broader set of drivers.
Much less flashy than earlier than, the up to date inside options nicer supplies and a reshaped heart console.
Entrance and heart is a ten.8-inch display screen now dwelling to Chevrolet’s Infotainment 3 software program. This interface is way simpler to navigate than the previous, Bolt-specific setup, and is much less reliant on commonplace Android Auto and Apple CarPlay for primary performance — although each telephone connectivity suites are nonetheless supported and might now be linked wirelessly.
The cabin tech options Chevrolet’s person profile system which accommodates for the preferences of a number of drivers. Chevy Infotainment 3 additionally options onboard apps that may be downloaded and powered by the Bolt’s 4G LTE connection and has numerous bespoke EV options. This consists of menus for monitoring the power affect of assorted automobile programs, cost scheduling and the power to restrict the cost stage to maximise battery well being over time.
Charging and vary
The Bolt excels as a commuter automotive, boasting 259 miles per cost in response to the EPA’s estimates. That vary estimate is unchanged from final yr regardless of an ever-so-slightly smaller 65-kilowatt-hour battery (a 1-kWh discount). This vary remains to be sufficient to edge out the competitors from Hyundai, Kia and Nissan, however continues to fall behind the Tesla Mannequin 3.
House charging is doubtlessly sooner with this yr’s improve to as much as 11.5-kW Degree 2 charging — although you will must guarantee that your house can help the additional present and set up a 48-amp wall charging unit to take full benefit. This reduces the cost time to round 7 hours versus the 10-hour estimate in case you plug the dual-level charging twine straight right into a NEMA 14-50 outlet. After all, you can even trickle cost at nearly any commonplace 110-volt wall outlet, however that solely provides round 4 miles of vary per hour.
Having been spoiled by newer, extra upmarket EVs, I used to be a contact disenchanted to be taught that the Bolt can nonetheless solely DC quick cost at round 55 kW max. Which means getting a lift to 80% capability at a fast cost station takes about an hour. That is not a dealbreaker — particularly contemplating the Bolt’s value and its vary between these prices — and on the very least, DC quick charging is now a normal function, so no less than you are not paying extra to get it.
Throughout every week and 201.9 miles of testing, commuting and working varied city errands, I averaged a calculated 124 miles per gallon equal — truly a contact increased than the EPA’s 118 mpge estimate. I did not hypermile or deal with the accelerator like an eggshell, both. In truth, I spent a whole afternoon testing the Bolt’s Sport mode within the hills and nonetheless ended up with better-than-decent effectivity for the week.
House charging speeds have been improved, however CCS DC quick charging remains to be restricted to 55 kW.
Electrical really feel
Talking of Sport mode, the Bolt options just a few totally different driving applications. There’s Regular and Sport, the latter adjusting the accelerator sensitivity for extra responsive driving. Then once more, with 200 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of immediate electrical torque, the Bolt feels nice off the road in both mode.
There are additionally two regenerative braking modes. The usual setting coasts if you carry the accelerator and creeps ahead a bit at low speeds. The one-pedal mode immediately decelerates proportionately as you carry, ultimately bringing the automotive to an entire cease with out having to faucet the brake pedal. Now accessed with a button — moderately than the previous Bolt’s poorly labeled L shifter place — drivers can choose one-pedal mode because the default setting, which makes getting used to this distinctive EV choice even simpler and extra predictable.
After all, the Bolt’s regen paddle returns for 2022, permitting the motive force to immediately entry full regenerative braking by pulling a paddle on the left spoke of the steering wheel. Personally, I discover this function too tough to modulate and far much less pure feeling than simply one-pedal driving.
Drivers can now set one-pedal driving because the default mode for higher management over regenerative braking.
It is a good factor the Bolt is so torquey as a result of the dealing with remains to be fairly underwhelming. The Bolt corners effectively sufficient, however its hefty weight and low-rolling-resistance tires is usually a handful when driving shortly on a twisty mountain move. Thankfully, the low heart of mass, gentle steering and responsive proper pedal preserve the Bolt feeling full of life on the freeways and concrete environments the place it will spend nearly all of its time.
Adaptive, however not Tremendous cruise management
The 2022 mannequin yr replace sees the addition of adaptive cruise management to the Bolt’s bag of optionally available methods — a sore omission in earlier mannequin years that is now a $375 improve for the very best 2LT trim stage and essentially the most compelling motive to improve from the 1LT base mannequin. The system operates easily in stop-and-go visitors and compliments the usual lane-keeping steering help on the freeway.
All 2022 Bolts come commonplace with a rear-view digital camera, ahead pre-collision alerts with pedestrian detection, lane-departure alerts and computerized excessive beams. Stepping as much as the 2LT spec upgrades to a surround-view digital camera and blind-spot monitoring with lane-change pre-collision alerts.
Sadly, the Bolt EV nonetheless would not supply Normal Motors’ hands-free Tremendous Cruise freeway driving help. For that, you will must improve to the newer, bigger 2022 Bolt EUV.
Many small adjustments add as much as an enormous distinction within the 2022 Bolt, made solely extra compelling by its new value.
The worth is correct
The 2022 Chevy Bolt EV builds atop an already strong inexpensive EV method with improved aesthetics and a extra upmarket inside. New infotainment and the choice for adaptive cruise fill gaps within the cabin and security tech that assist to maintain this EV aggressive. And whereas I would like sooner DC charging, the slight velocity enhancements to dwelling charging — the place it is best to get most of your juice anyway — should not be missed.
Nevertheless, the very best new function on the 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV is the cheaper price. Beginning at $31,995 (together with a $995 vacation spot cost and earlier than any EV tax incentives), the Bolt is $5,500 cheaper than final yr and is now essentially the most inexpensive long-range electrical automotive in its class. Solely the 40-kWh Nissan Leaf and the Mini Cooper SE are cheaper — and you will get no less than 100 fewer miles with each. As examined, this 2LT spec with premium audio ($595) and the adaptive cruise management improve ($375) has a pre-incentive sticker value of $36,165 — practically $10K lower than another present member of the 250-mile electrical compact membership.
The Bolt was already, in some ways, the just-right on a regular basis EV. Now, inexpensive than some competing gasoline automobiles, it is extra compelling than ever.