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2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV KBB Expert Review

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KBB Expert Rating 9.6 / 10
This Car - 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV
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Consumer Rating 9.8 / 10

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KBB Expert Review

KBB Editors' Overview

By Bob Nagy

GM’s first mass-producible/mass-market electric car, the Chevrolet Bolt EV sets a new standard for acceptance by potential real-world buyers. Fitted with a huge 60-kWh battery pack -- the biggest to appear in any non-exotic electric car to date -- the Bolt EV in LT or up-line Premier form offers a benchmark 238-mile EPA per-charge range. That stat alone makes this ultra-green Chevy genuinely viable as a primary-use vehicle for a significant number of U.S. drivers. But the Bolt EV is a whole lot more. A natural rival to the Nissan Leaf and more affordable than a BMW i3, this cleanly styled, well-finished compact hatch boasts impressive room for five and their belongings, a sporty demeanor and offers features that rival those of many pricier conventional vehicles.

You'll Like This Car If...

Simply put, the new Chevy Bolt EV is the most compelling pure electric vehicle produced to date. With its 238-mile EPA range, an impressive feature set, solid driving dynamics and an affordable price point, it really can take the place of a conventional alternative for many buyers.

You May Not Like This Car If...

While the Bolt EV does work wonders when it comes to eliminating classic range anxiety, there are gasoline-powered as well as hybrid-compact hatchbacks that can provide the same level of transport functionality for a lower price of entry.

What's New for 2017

Latest addition to the division’s lineup, the Chevrolet Bolt EV is a completely new offering built on a dedicated platform and fitted with an advanced electric powertrain that gives this compact 5-door hatch an outstanding 238-mile-per-charge range and excellent real-world drivability to match its solid functionality.

Driving It Driving Impressions

Well-sorted, capable and energetic, the new Bolt EV has lots more to offer than its spectacular 238-mile-per-charge range. Surprisingly quick off the line, the Bolt EV’s robust core structure and sportily tuned suspension make it genuinely engaging on the road. Although the battery pack accounts for over a quarter of the car’s total weight, its low, central positioning helps improve balance and drops the center of gravity to ensure this super-clean Chevy also can make optimum use of its 215/50 self-sealing Michelin Energy Saver A/S tires wrapped around custom 17-inch alloy wheels. Toggling the Bolt EV’s Electronic Precision Shift lever from Drive to Low enables energy recovery via One Pedal Driving that helps extend the range using a regenerative braking system that feels notably less intrusive than several others we’ve tested. The Bolt EV’s steering wheel also features a supplemental Volt-style Regen-on-Demand paddle to further augment the energy-harvesting process.

Favorite Features

Co-developed with LG Chem, the Bolt EV’s high-efficiency battery pack has a massive 60-kWh capacity that endows it with a class-leading 238-mile EPA per-charge range rating -- sufficient driving distance to make this new Chevy a genuinely realistic alternative for current owners of similar-sized gasoline-fueled or hybrid vehicles.

The Bolt EV features Drive and Low operating modes, with the latter boosting the regenerative braking level to a degree that the car can be stopped under certain conditions merely by lifting off the accelerator without ever having to touch the brake pedal.

For vehicle details and pricing notes… Read More
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