The 2019 Chevrolet Bolt has been around for a while, but it's still among the leaders in overall range, along with the offerings from Nissan, Kia, and Hyundai. There are others in the same price range, but they can't match the range.
The Chevrolet Bolt will give you an honest 238 miles of range on a full charge, and the car makes excellent use of regeneration capability. To test this, I left Portland with a full charge and drove over the mountains to the coast. At the summit of the coast range, the Bolt showed 140 miles remaining, but about 30 miles later when I arrived at the charging stations at the coast, the Bolt had refreshed itself on the downhill stretches and showed 144 miles of range remaining. Around town, the Bolt is faithful to its range estimates without any special effort on the driver's part.
Inside, the base Bolt looks like an economy car. You won't find leather on the dashboard or massaging seats like the luxury models, but you will find a clean, modern design. The basic Bolt comes with cloth seats, but in the upgrade Premier trim you get heated leather seats for the driver and front seat passenger.
The Bolt also incorporates a great technology package. The Bolt comes with a 10.2-inch touchscreen infotainment and control system, and an entirely digital 8-inch driver information display. The Bolt's onboard 4G/LTE data system supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and you have the ability to create a wifi hot spot in the car.
Onboard safety equipment includes a basic rearview camera, and Premier trim includes a 360-degree surround view camera. The Bolt Premier also includes blind spot and rear cross traffic alerts, pedestrian safety signal, and rear parking assist. Optional add-ons include a confidence package of advanced safety features. Also optional is a DC fast charge capability and a Bose premium audio system with wireless device charging.
The best reason to buy a Chevrolet Bolt is that it's truly fun to drive. The electric motor provides great acceleration. The Bolt will get to 60 MPH in just 6.5 seconds, which is a little bit better than a basic Honda Civic or MINI Cooper. On the road, the Bolt is nimble, quick to pass, and comfortable.
The Bolt is also a great deal financially. Right now, Chevrolet is offering $6,500 in cash allowances on the 2019 Bolt. Then the Federal Government will honor a $3,750 tax credit, and the State of Oregon will put at least $2,500 into the deal. An additional $2,500 from Oregon may apply if you meet low or moderate income standards. If you haven't considered a Chevrolet Bolt, it's well past time for a test drive.
2019 Chevrolet Bolt
Base price: $30,995
Price as tested: $37,235
Type: Compact hatchback
Engine: Electric Motor (200 hp, 266 lbs-ft)
Transmission: Direct drive
EPA estimated mileage equivalent: 128/110
Overall length: 164 inches
Curb weight: 3,563 pounds
Final assembly: Lake Orion, Michigan
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