After stumbling off the block with a battery recall that halted production, the 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV is finally here. The SUV-esque sibling to the Bolt hatchback, the EUV uses the same mechanics, but with larger dimensions and more assertive styling. The bigger Bolt is a capable commuter with solid driving dynamics, but it’s better for spinning around town than long interstate excursions.
The EUV shares the platform of the Bolt, but is 6.3 inches longer, with an additional 2.9 inches between the 17-inch wheels. This offers a surprising amount of legroom in the rear for a compact vehicle, and the flat floor provided by the electric powertrain makes the interior feel even more spacious. The EUV also swallowed more luggage than the Bolt hatchback, with six rear-seat carry-on bags versus the five hatchbacks. Still, the EUV is a narrow car, and the flat seats could use more cushioning to keep the plastic seat base from sticking into our thighs.
Although some interior materials are missing, the infotainment system excels. The standard 10.2-inch screen displays sharp graphics with large buttons that are easy to operate while driving, and the system responds quickly to inputs. A wireless charging pad and remote start are included, with the Premier trim adding adaptive cruise control and 360-degree cameras.
The small size of the EUV makes it manoeuvrable in the city. The steering lacks feel, but is precise and the turning circle is tight. Acceleration feels firm in everyday driving, and the direct 266 pound-feet of torque from the front-mounted electric motor makes passing a breeze. We recorded a 60mph sprint of 6.8 seconds, 0.1 seconds behind the last Bolt hatch we tested. The EUV also squirts from 30 to 80 mph in just 2.5 seconds.
All that torque going to the front wheels produces wheelspin when riding with a heavy right foot, but the initial throttle response is so relaxed it’s easy to steer smoothly. On the skid pad, the EUV registered 0.79 g. The Bolt EUV handled Michigan’s pockmarked roads well, ran smoothly over minor blemishes and did a commendable job with bigger bumps. As with the standard Bolt, regenerative braking is well managed. Rain is minimal in standard mode, but there’s a single-pedal mode that offers hefty regeneration, a boon in the city that extends real-world range. A paddle behind the wheel also turns on rain on demand and can even bring the bolt to a complete stop.
While the higher levels of rain help maintain true range in the city, the Bolt EUV burns its battery faster on the highway. The EPA estimates the EUV’s range at 247 miles, but in our 75-mph highway test, we only got 190 miles.
Long loading times hinder further road trips. When connected to a 350 kW DC fast charger, the Bolt’s charging speed reached a maximum of 53 kW; the transition from 10 to 90 percent took an hour and 24 minutes. The last Nissan Leaf we tested, an SL Plus model, took just over an hour to reach 90 percent, while a 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 First Edition charged at 125 kW and reached 90 percent in 45 minutes.
Our $43,995 Premier Launch Edition tester was packed with features, including heated and ventilated seats, wireless phone mirroring, and GM’s hands-free Super Cruise driver assistance system. While Super Cruise’s ability to control the Bolt on major highways is hugely impressive, it seems unnecessary in a car not geared up for long journeys.
Ultimately, the Bolt EUV is best suited as a daily commuter rather than a cross-country road tripper. The Premier model represents the best value for money, including ventilated front seats and a leather-trimmed interior not available on rivals with similar prices, such as the Hyundai Kona Electric SEL. Skip frivolities like Super Cruise ($2200) and the $2495 sunroof and Bose sound system package, which send the price north of 40 grand and push the EUV into a more premium segment, where the still slightly tacky interior and small size can’t quite compete. While the Bolt EUV packs a lot of equipment into an agile package for everyday drivers, shoppers don’t have to spend too much more to find a stronger all-round EV.
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