Alain Kuhn Von Kuhnenfeld
2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV
This week we are reviewing the 2022 Bolt EV. Our vehicle was assembled at the Orion plant in Michigan and has an MSRP of 41238.00 CAD before incentives.
Fun Factor: 8
Can it Family: 7
City Cruising: 10
Two years ago, we tested the Bolt EV on a road trip to Ausable Chasm. EV charging stations were few, and we needed to plan our trip carefully on longer distances. Since then, the Bolt engine has seen a range increase from 383 km to 417km. This time around, we wanted to push the envelope and planed a 400km round trip enjoying a picnic at the beach of Mont Tremblant national park. We drove the vehicle as spirited as we would with any hot-hatchback, and there was no question of turning off the A/C while exterior temperatures oscillated above 30°C (86°F). We wanted to be comfortable without any drawbacks, nor did we want to stop charging the car with the kids. Additionally, we wanted the vehicle to be cool when we arrived, so we used the pre-condition any chance we had.
Chevrolet has redesigned the interior for 2022. The seats of the outgoing model were known for being hard on your back on long journeys. Chevrolet addressed the issue; our kids found that even the rear seats provided more bolstering compared to the 2021 model. It's too bad the Bolt EV is now considered the base model and does not offer leather or imitation leather; you have to step up to the Bolt EUV to gain these goodies.
With all the groundwork laid out, how did we do during this trip? We averaged 16.1 kWh/100km; while this is high, we were not easy on the Bolt. Our 400km trip pushes the limits of the Chevy Bolt EV, driving up steep hills. It also did for our support vehicle, a gasoline vehicle that needed fueling even though it had announced a 600km range at the start of our trip. We arrived back to our starting point with an uncomfortable 14km to spare. However, we could charge our Bolt EV overnight without needing to stop at a gas station, arriving a good 15 min before our gasoline-powered vehicle.
Naturally, this is not how everyone will drive the Bolt; this exercise was to experience the limits of the 2022 Bolt EV. During the week we tested the vehicle, we drove it a good 1500km and averaged 15.2 kWh/100km. The 2022 Bolt EV shines in the city where we were able to achieve electric consumption as low as 12.2 kWh/100km, making it possible to drive over 500km every day. So, one could drive up to 3500km weekly without charging outside their home.
The infotainment and controls received an update to make them more user-friendly. The climate controls are now separate from the screen, and we found them easier to operate. Android Auto and Apple Car Play are now wireless. The rearview camera is of better quality on our LT trim; the Bolt has lost the other trims in favour of the Bolt EUV, which means that you will need to get the Bolt EUV if you want to have a surrounding vision of your vehicle.
The ease of car seat installation has always been a strong point of the Bolt EV. Luckily this hasn't changed with the 2022 model. Even rear-facing car seats will not diminish the space for the passenger in front. The interior space has been well thought of in this compact size. The car seat latches are hidden behind the seat's fabric and can easily be moved. We were able to fit 2 cars seats without any problem. It is possible to fit up to 3 boosters; however, it will be a squeeze. Finally, the door does open quite easily; kids will have no trouble entering/exiting the vehicle by themselves. One thing you need to take into consideration with taller car seats is that you will need to remove the headrest to find a perfect fit.
While the Bolt EV has proven that it's more than a city car, this is really where it shines. It has surpassed internal combustion engines in every metric. Quick acceleration off the red light even surprised motorcyclists of its prowess. Its compact size makes it possible to park nearly anywhere without hassle. We wish it had a frunk to make it more functional. Compared to the previous generation, Chevrolet has also softened its suspension, making it more comfortable over bumps. In return, it does feel slightly less engaging around corners.
Why would we buy the 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV, or what we liked about it? The refresh of the Bolt EV gives it better power management and an even more precise range indicator. Improved seating bolstering, physical buttons for its climate controls. Easy car installation, this vehicle is a no-brainer for city dwellers.
Why would we not buy the 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV, or what did we not like about it? No 360 degrees camera on the EV model; the LG battery recall unfortunately also affects the 2022 model year. No AWD is available at this time. No traditional gear lever; to put the car into D is done via buttons.
Due to its batteries, there is currently a recall on this model and those going back to 2017. The existing software allows the vehicle to charge indoors and overnight. Chevrolet and LG are concentrating on replacing existing clients' batteries before building new Bolts. GM's mentality has changed; they would have tried to shove issues like these under the rug in the past. It shows that they take these issues at heart, unlike other manufacturers with the same situation.
Chevrolet has lent us this vehicle one week as a press vehicle. We have no affiliation with Chevrolet Canada. The above is a recollection of our personal opinion of the car referred above.