Chevrolet jumped ahead of everyone in the battery-electric vehicle game. The Bowtie brand added an accessible long-range electric hatchback to its lineup with the arrival of the Bolt EV. This allowed General Motors to build on its experience with the Spark EV, creating something for the masses. However, the SUV craze meant that the Bolt EV lacked the mass appeal of a rugged-looking utility vehicle. Enter the 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV. Essentially, the Bolt EV’s larger sibling, this entry promises affordability and practicality wrapped in a right-sized package. With cutting-edge tech features, the Bolt EUV checks many boxes. But does this rugged-looking four-door give up anything? Let’s find out.
2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV: Looks That Stand Out
The 2022 Bolt EUV arrived as part of the refreshed Bolt lineup. As a result, it gets a grille-free look and stacked headlights. Unlike the revised Bolt EV, the larger Bolt EUV doesn’t house the daytime running lights and main projector in one cluster. Both vehicles get slim LED taillights but with unique patterns. Further distinguishing the Bolt EUV is its added length and height. It’s 6.3 inches longer, 0.2 inches wider, and 0.2 inches taller, giving it more balanced proportions.
Roomier and More Practical
Thanks to its larger exterior footprint and the 2.3-inch longer wheelbase, the Bolt EUV possesses a roomy interior. You get plenty of space for four adults and their gear since the car offers generous head- and legroom. The flat floor also means rear passengers won’t need to fight for foot space. Its use of an electronic shifter, on the other hand, opens up more storage spaces like the bin under the center console. While the seats are higher up, they don’t provide the commanding perspective of an SUV and have stiff cushions. Thankfully, they provide easy entry and exit because you slide in instead of climbing up or ducking down. Most of the additional length goes to rear passenger space because the Bolt EUV’s cargo capacity is nearly identical to the Bolt EV. Thankfully, it’s usable and flexible. You get a removable floor, enabling you to expand the overall capacity and create a flat surface when you fold the second row or make a deeper storage area.
The Bolt EUV makes extensive use of soft-touch surfaces and padding, all of which feel good. While they don’t exude an upscale feel, they still give you a sense of quality. There are harder bits but they’re far away from areas you interact with frequently. A welcome touch is a two-tone interior on this Premier trim test car. The black and dark blue combo works nicely with the baby blue contrast stitching and silver trim. Additionally, the Bolt EUV possesses great levels of sound insulation. It’s quiet on the highway save for the occasional road and tire noise on poorly maintained roads.
Intuitive and Trustworthy Technologies
GM’s latest infotainment system ranks among the most intuitive. Featuring a responsive 10.2-inch touchscreen, it’s easy to use even if you’re not tech-savvy. Between the lack of submenus, big icons, and lots of shortcuts in the bottom row of the main display, navigating through the functions is a breeze. The 8.0-inch digital gauge cluster displays key information clearly and even gives you a maximum, minimum, and average driving range. The seven-speaker Bose audio system, on the other hand, offers great levels of cabin immersion and clarity. For those who don’t like too much bass and treble, lower it down because this specific system has a lot of both. Chevy Safety Assist, a suite of driver assistance features, works well and rarely gets overly intrusive. Lane-keeping, though, needs a little finessing because its corrections sometimes feel abrupt. The rest of its components operate in the background without making their presence overtly known.
GM’s semi-autonomous system remains one of the best in the industry. Combining steering assist, traffic jam assist, lane centering, and adaptive cruise control, Super Cruise enables you to take your hands off the wheel and let the car do all the work. This allows the Bolt EUV to maintain your set speeds, take turns on the highway, and follow the flow of traffic even in gridlock. Best of all, the system’s adaptive nature lets it detect oncoming turns and slow the vehicle down to enable you to complete them safely. It’ll also tell you when to take over, which happens when exiting highways, entering onramps and in emergencies. However, the version of Super Cruise in the Bolt EUV lacks automatic lane changing capability found in the Cadillac Escalade, GMC Hummer EV, and Chevrolet Silverado 1500.
2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV: Great Road Manners Come Standard
The Bolt EUV’s car-like demeanor shines on the road. You effortlessly dart through tight spaces and traffic thanks to the vehicle’s agility. Quick, communicative steering and good body control keep this electric hatchback planted on winding roads and when making evasive maneuvers. Just don’t push the car too hard because the eco-focused tires lack grip due to their low rolling resistance. You don’t sacrifice comfort in favor of handling, either. Thanks to the nicely-tuned suspension and tires with generous sidewall, the Bolt EUV does a great job absorbing harsh impacts. As a result, you get good levels of isolation, especially on the highway.
Complementing the Bolt EUV’s ride and handling balance is its silky powertrain. Its single electric motor routes 200 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque down through the front wheels. Put your foot down on the accelerator and you get seamless power delivery that won’t leave you wanting. Sport mode sharpens the throttle response and steering, giving the car a sportier demeanor. Unlike some of its competitors, the Bolt EUV won’t pin you into your seat if you suddenly floor the throttle. It prioritizes smoothness over overtly assertive power delivery regardless of whether from a standstill or on the move.
GM was among the first to figure out how to tune linear blended braking systems. The Bolt EUV possesses smooth transitions from regenerative to mechanical braking even during hard stops. Its one-pedal driving system ranks among the best. You get progressive energy recuperation and stopping power as you ease off the accelerator and switch to the brake pedal. Chevrolet also includes a paddle on the left side of the steering wheel for full regeneration on demand even outside one-pedal driving mode.
About Those Charging Times…
Now let’s talk about the elephant in the room: the 55-kW peak DC charging speed. Although the car hit that during my two sessions and stayed there for a long time, it’s not enough to replenish the 65-kWh battery quickly. Charging speeds start creeping down at 60 percent, further increasing the time you spend plugged in. It took over an hour to DC charge from 14 to 80 percent and 40 minutes to go from 43 to 80 percent. Yes, you can road trip the Bolt EUV but the extended charging times lengthen your journey. Charging at home using a level 2 AC charger, on the other hand, remains seamless, especially with the 11.5-kW onboard charger.
Thankfully, visiting charging stations isn’t something you’ll be doing frequently in a Bolt EUV. EPA-rated for 247 miles per charge, you can go pretty far. During my week, I easily surpassed the official numbers and got roughly 270 miles on a single charge in mixed driving. Even with extensive highway driving, meeting or exceeding the EPA’s official numbers is a cinch.
An Even Stronger Value
The 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV is a fantastic value at $34,495 for the base LT trim. Even the range-topping Premier grade offers a lot of bang for the buck at $38,995. This test car, which included the Sun & Sound and Super Cruise packages, cost $43,190. That’s just one part of the equation because Chevrolet dropped the Bolt EUV’s price by $6,300 for the 2023 model year and is offering the same reduction for 2022 vehicles! This effectively strengthens the car’s value with a starting price of $28,195 for the LT and $32,695 for the Premier. Even with every optional package, the car manages to stay well below $40,000.
2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV: The Perfect Starter EV?
There’s a lot to love about the Bolt EUV. From its tidy dimensions and roomy interior to its excellent tech features and pleasant road manners, it checks a lot of boxes. The biggest red flag is the low DC charging speed, which keeps the car from being road trip friendly. Other than that, the Bolt EUV makes for a great introduction to fully electric vehicles. It normalizes the driving experience through user-friendliness and approachability, making the car less intimidating than its robotic looks might suggest. Think of this as your first set of training wheels, the car that eases you into electrified motoring and makes the transition as simple as possible.