After stumbling off the block with a production-stopping battery recall, the 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV is finally here. The SUV-like sibling of the Bolt hatchback, the EUV uses the same mechanics but with larger dimensions and a more assertive styling. The grander Bolt is a capable commuter with solid driving dynamics, but better for getting around town than a long interstate trip.
The EUV shares the Bolt platform but stretches 6.3 inches longer, with an additional 2.9 inches between the 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 more spacious. The EUV also takes up more luggage than the Bolt hatchback, carrying six carry-on bags with the rear seat on top versus five in the hatchback. However, the EUV is a cramped car, and the flat seats could have used more cushioning to prevent the plastic seat pads from sticking out of our thighs.
While some interior materials are lacking, the infotainment system excels. The standard 10.2-inch display features sharp graphics with large buttons that are easy to nail while driving, and the system responds quickly to input. A wireless charging pad and remote start are included, with the Premier trim adding adaptive cruise control and a 360-degree camera.
The small size of the EUV makes it agile around the city. Steering is less pronounced but accurate, and the turning radius is tight. Acceleration is fast in everyday driving, and the instant 266 pound-feet of torque from the front-mounted electric motor makes commuting a breeze. We recorded a 60 mph sprint in 6.8 seconds, 0.1 seconds behind the last Bolt hatch we tested. The EUV also squirts from 30 to 50 mph in just 2.5 seconds.
All the torque that goes to the front wheels produces wheelpin when you ride with your heavy right foot, but the initial throttle response is relaxed enough to make it easy to steer smoothly. On the skidpad, the EUV recorded 0.79 g. The Bolt EUV handles Michigan’s pockmarked roads well, rides smoothly over minor imperfections and does a commendable job with bigger bumps. As on the standard Bolt, the regenerative braking is well managed. Regen is minimal in default mode, but there’s a single-pedal mode that provides hefty regeneration, a boon around the city that extends real-world reach. A paddle behind the wheel also replays on demand and can even stop the Bolt completely.
While a higher level of regen helps maintain real-world range in city driving, the Bolt EUV burns its battery faster on the highway. The EPA rates the EUV’s range at 247 miles, but in our 75-mph highway test we only managed 190 miles.
Long charging times further hamper road travel. When connected to a 350 kW DC fast charger, the Bolt’s charging speed is up to 53 kW; going from 10 to 90 percent took an hour and 24 minutes. The last Nissan Leaf we tested, the SL Plus model, took just over an hour to hit 90 percent, while the 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 First Edition charged 125 kW and hit 90 percent in 45 minutes.
Our $43,995 Premier Launch Edition testers are equipped with features including heated and ventilated seats, cordless phone mirroring, and GM’s hands-free Super Cruise driver assistance system. While the Super Cruise’s ability to pilot the Bolt on major highways is impressive, it doesn’t seem necessary in a car that isn’t geared for long trips.
The Bolt EUV is ultimately best suited as an everyday commuter than as a cross-country cruiser. The Premier model represents great value—you get comfort including ventilated front seats and a leather upholstered interior not available on similarly priced competitors such as the Hyundai Kona Electric SEL. Skip the frivolities like the Super Cruise ($2200) and the $2495 sunroof and Bose sound system package, which cost the price up 40 grand and push the EUV into the more premium segment, where its still a bit plastic interior and small size can’t quite compete. While the Bolt EUV packs a lot of gear into a nimble daily driver package, buyers won’t have to spend too much money to find a more powerful all-around EV. By 2023, however, Bolt EUV buyers will be spending less, as Chevy has announced a $6300 price cut.
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