2017 All-Stars Contender: Chevrolet Bolt
Is GM’s first truly competitive EV a star car?
GM's history with electric cars is rather, er, interesting, given that the General was one of the first to enter the game back in the 1990s with the EV1 — only to not do anything with the experience it gained until years later. The General re-entered the EV game in 2013 with the Chevy Spark EV, which was sold only in select markets and offered a mere 82 miles of range, but the 238-mile 2017 Chevrolet Bolt that followed is a properly serious effort. It's also the first EV that's not a Tesla with the chops to make the cut as an All-Stars contender.
Chevrolet sent us a Bolt Premier, which starts at $41,780 including destination and before tax credits. That provides niceties like heated seats, leather upholstery, lane-change alert, and rear-parking assist. Our tester also included the $485 infotainment package (premium audio, wireless charging, and dual rear USB ports), $495 Driver Confidence II package (more active safety, including forward-collision assist, lane-keep assist, front-pedestrian braking, and adaptive headlamps), $750 worth of fast charging hardware, and a $395 Cajun Red paintjob for a total of $43,905.
Some All-Stars attendees were quite fond of the Bolt's interior, including contributor Ronald Ahrens, who noted "the interior design is very clever, with innovative details and materials." Others had their eyes caught by the exterior. "Exterior is high-tech and funky, yet cute," wrote contributor Nelson Ireson.
But the Bolt seemed to make the strongest impression on contributor Michael Jordan. "It's clear that anyone who still doubts the era of practical EV motoring is upon us should be awarded honorary membership in the Climate-Change Denial & Flat Earth Society," he said.
While the era of practical EV motoring is certainly upon us, that doesn't guarantee the Bolt an All-Star trophy. To find out if 238 miles of range and a suite of modern technology is enough to bring one home, come back on March 11.
2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV Premier Specifications
|PRICE||$41,780/$43,905 (base) (as tested)|
|MOTOR||Permanent magnetic drive/200 hp, 266 lb-ft|
|LAYOUT||4-door, 5-passenger, front-engine, FWD wagon|
|EPA MILEAGE||128/110 mpge (city/hwy)|
|L x W x H||164.0 x 69.5 x 62.8 in|
|0-60 MPH||6.5 sec|
|TOP SPEED||93.1 mph|