Electric cars are all the rage right now, but all the big EVs making headlines are a little expensive — not to mention impossible to actually buy. The likes of the Ford Mustang Mach-E, Tesla Model Y, and others are excellent cars, to be sure, but with price tags of $50,000 and above, they’re not exactly in reach of the wider population. That, however, is where the Chevrolet Bolt EV comes in — as a more affordable EV that still offers a solid driving experience.
Of course, as one of the first EVs in its price range, Chevrolet Bolt EV obviously has to cut some corners to hit that sub-$30,000 price. Ultimately, the Bolt EV is still able to deliver a great drive, while ensuring that you don’t pull into another gas station for anything other than snacks.
Rating: 4 Stars
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- Design upgrades
- Comfortable interior
- Good acceleration
- Some premium features
- Still not the sexiest EV
- Charging limited to 55kW
2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV exterior design
Perhaps one of the most obvious differences between the Bolt EV and other, more expensive electric cars comes in the form of design. Not only is the Bolt EV not as sleek as other options, but it’s also quite a bit smaller.
Then there’s the exterior styling, and honestly, it doesn’t look bad in person. I vastly prefer how the Bolt EV looks in person compared to how it looks in pictures — though of course, it’s still not the sleekest or most stylish car out there. The Bolt EV is a small hatchback with a rather bulbous front, and frankly, it looks like it’s a low-cost option. That’s not a huge deal necessarily — after all, it is a low-cost option, so it’s hard to expect more. But don’t just hear the letters “EV” and expect an ultra-futuristic, sleek car.
That said, Chevrolet has done a few things to help it look a little more stylish. I like the design of the slim front and rear lights, and I like many of the colors that the car comes in. Our car has the Ice Blue Metallic finish, and it looks fine — though perhaps not my favorite color option. And, the 2022 Bolt EV does look better than the 2021 model, which looked much more toy-like, and I’m glad Chevrolet has made those changes.
2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV interior design
The interior of the car is better too, and I actually quite like the interior look and feel. Chevrolet has included mostly premium materials for the seats, and it helps make for a generally comfortable drive. The driver gets motorized seat adjustments, however, the passenger has to make do with manual adjustability.
I was a little surprised at how much space the rear passengers get too. Sure, there isn’t a ton of room back there, but easily enough for the kids in the back. And while there isn’t that much room in the trunk, there is again, more than you might expect.
That’s not to say that everything is premium. There’s a lot of plastic on the dash, surrounding the touch display and other components, and while it doesn’t necessarily look like cheap plastic, it definitely looks a little cheaper than some recent cars I’ve tested.
Still, generally, the interior of the Chevrolet Bolt EV looks and feels more expensive than it actually is, which is great news.
2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV infotainment
The 2022 Bolt EV offers a 10.8-inch display at the front, running Chevrolet’s Infotainment 3 operating system. It’s not a badly put-together operating system, and much easier to navigate than much of the competition. It’s basically designed around a home screen that you can customize, and then a few screens of apps. I found it to be responsive to touch, which is always helpeful.
Of course, you don’t have to use Infotainment 3 if you don’t want to — the Bolt EV supports CarPlay and Android Auto through a wireless connection, so you can use your phone’s infotainment instead.
2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV performance
The 2022 Bolt EV is far from the best-performing EV out there, but it still benefits from many of the advantages that EVs often get — like the immediate acceleration and the quieter drive. The Bolt EV definitely feels more responsive than most other cars on the road out there, and while it’s not as quick as some of the competition, it’s still easily quick enough for day-to-day use.
The car offers a few different driving modes — Normal, and Sport. Sport is more responsive, but it does take a small toll on range. The car also supports regenerative braking, and you can drive it with a single pedal much of the time.
The car handles well enough, though it’s nothing to write home about. The Bolt EV is pretty heavy, and that does have an impact on handling, but you’ll get used to the feel.
2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV battery and charging
Of course, one of the most important metrics to consider when buying an EV is range, and the Bolt EV does pretty well in that area, especially for a car this size and this cheap. The 2022 Bolt EV 2LT, our review model, offers an estimated range of 259 miles. That doesn’t quite reach the heights of some of the more expensive EVs out there, but it’s more than enough for day-to-day driving, especially if you don’t drive far for work, and can charge at home or at work.
Unfortunately, the charging speed on the car isn’t all that fast. The car supports up to a charging speed of 55kW, which is slower than most competitors. It’ll still get you around 100 miles of range in 30 minutes or so, but that means it’ll take over an hour to charge on a road trip.
2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV driver assist
The 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV boasts a number of driver-assist features that might be helpful. Notably, the car supports things like adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping, which can combine to make for a near self-driving experience in some situations. Unfortunately, however, the car does not support GM’s Super Cruise tech — you’ll have to get the bigger EUV for that.
Other features include a backup camera and 360-degree camera view when parking. That feature is only available on the 2LT — not the entry-level 1LT.
The 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV is an excellent option in its price range. Of course, it doesn’t have a ton of competition in the price bracket, but even if it did, I suspect it would remain competitive. It’s not the sexiest car out there, but it’s convenient, easy to drive, and offers features that you wouldn’t expect on a car this cheap.
Most of the competition in the EV space is more expensive than the Bolt EV — and at this point, if you’re looking for an EV in the sub-$35,000 space, the Bolt EV is the way to go. If you’re willing to pay more, then you may want to consider cars like the Tesla Model 3, Hyundai Ioniq 5, and Kia EV 6.
Should I buy the 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV?
Yes. It’s a great EV at a competitive price.