2023 Chevrolet Bolt EV Review

2023 Chevrolet Bolt EV Review

Since its 2016 debut, Chevy has transformed the Bolt into a captivating small electric hatchback with distinctive styling, offering remarkable value. Not to be confused with the slightly larger Bolt EUV mini-SUV, the Chevrolet Bolt EV stands as the most affordable electric vehicle available in the U.S. for 2023, providing an accessible alternative to vehicles like the Tesla Model 3 and Hyundai Kona Electric. Its power stems from a single 200-horsepower motor that propels the front wheels, delivering an EPA-estimated 259 miles on a single charge. Equipped with DC fast-charge capability, the Bolt can reportedly add up to 100 miles of range in just 30 minutes. Inside, an unexpectedly spacious interior, reminiscent of previous Chevy models, unfolds. With its rear seatback folded, the Bolt offers nearly as much cargo space as a Chevy Equinox.

What’s New for 2023 Enhancements?

2023 Chevrolet Bolt EV Enhancements

The standout change for the 2023 Chevy Bolt is a significant $5900 price drop compared to the 2022 model, slashing its MSRP by an impressive $10,900 from the 2021 model for essentially the same car. This substantial price reduction is a strategic move by Chevy to maintain competitiveness after losing the $7500 federal tax credit due to the production volume of its electric vehicles. It also serves as a remedy for the Bolt’s reputation, which faced a setback when the company issued a recall in late 2020 to address a battery issue that posed a fire hazard. Production of the Bolt EV and EUV was temporarily halted until April 2022 after the issue was resolved. With General Motors announcing the 2023 model year as the final one for the Bolt EV and its crossover sibling, CEO Mary Barra confirmed the arrival of a larger Bolt with GM’s Ultium battery tech in 2025. Consider 2024 a period of calm before the impending developments.

Pricing and Our Recommendation

Both Bolt 1LT and 2LT trims offer an EPA-estimated 259 miles of range and accommodate DC fast charging. The 2LT trim adds heated leather seats, a heated steering wheel, a 360-degree camera, and additional driver safety features, making it a worthwhile upgrade for this already highly affordable electric hatchback.

EV Motor, Power, and Performance

Though we haven’t test-driven the 2023 Bolt EV, its powertrain and chassis remain identical to previous models we’ve evaluated. The electric motor continues to deliver 200 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque to the front wheels, granting responsive acceleration and substantial low-end torque for swift takeoffs. While responses might not be as immediate at highway speeds, this new iteration of the electric Chevy is anticipated to excel in passing and merging on highways. We expect it to deliver a composed ride and sufficient power, challenging any preconceived notions about electric vehicles. The one-pedal driving mode, activated via a button on the center console, maximizes regenerative braking, minimizing the need to use the brakes to slow down.

Range, Charging, and Battery Life

The 2023 Bolt EV boasts an EPA-estimated 259 miles of range on a full charge, matching the previous generation’s rating and standing competitively against other similarly priced EVs like the Hyundai Kona Electric. In our 75-mph real-world highway range test, the Bolt approached its EPA estimate at 220 miles. However, in an unconventional range test in California’s Death Valley, we exceeded the EPA’s estimated 259-mile driving range. While the Tesla Model 3 Long Range can cover up to 353 miles on a single charge, it comes at a considerably higher cost. The Bolt EV offers a dual-level charging cord suitable for both Level 1 (120-volt) and Level 2 (240-volt) outlets, eliminating the need for many owners to invest in a separate home charger. The Bolt’s maximum Level 2 charging speed has also increased to 11 kW, enabling a full battery charge in seven hours. Additionally, the electrified hatchback remains equipped with DC fast charging, capable of adding approximately 100 miles of range every 30 minutes with a Level 3 connection.

Fuel Economy and Real-World MPGe

The 2023 Bolt EV garners a combined EPA rating of 120 MPGe. In our real-world test, the previous Bolt EV achieved 102 MPGe, translating to a highway range of 180 miles. During our two-week evaluation, we observed an efficiency of 90 MPGe. Consistent lower-speed driving is likely to yield significantly improved range. For further details on the Bolt EV’s efficiency, refer to the EPA’s website.

Interior, Comfort, and Cargo

2023 Chevrolet Bolt EV Interior, Comfort and Cargo

Chevy has refreshed the Bolt EV’s cabin, incorporating a more sophisticated design with improved materials and additional soft-touch surfaces. The updated features include a sporty flat-bottom steering wheel, a new 8.0-inch fully digital gauge cluster, and a transition from the previous electronic shifter to a set of toggles and buttons.

Although the Bolt EV maintains its previous passenger space, accommodating a roomy back seat for two adults, it now boasts redesigned front seats for enhanced comfort. The hatchback retains its rear cargo space of 17 cubic feet behind the rear seats and expands to 57 cubic feet with the rear seatbacks folded flat.

Infotainment and Connectivity

Each Bolt EV includes a 10.2-inch touchscreen infotainment system featuring standard wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Optional subscription-based features such as a Wi-Fi hotspot and wireless smartphone charging are also available. Complementing the touch controls are physical knobs for volume and tuning, along with a shortcut button for the home screen. The system supports over-the-air updates and integrates built-in apps compatible with Amazon Alexa and Spotify music streaming services.

Safety and Driver-Assistance Features (NHTSA Overall Safety Rating: 5 Stars)

The 2023 Bolt EV offers a suite of standard and optional driver-assistance technologies. Alongside standard features like automatic high beams and front pedestrian detection, the hatchback can be equipped with a 360-degree camera system and rear cross-traffic alert.

For more information regarding the Bolt EV’s crash-test results, refer to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Notable safety features include:

  • Standard forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking
  • Standard lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist
  • Available adaptive cruise control

Warranty and Maintenance Coverage

Chevrolet extends standard coverage for the Bolt’s electric-powertrain components and includes the first maintenance visit, though it falls short of Hyundai’s comprehensive coverage.

  • The limited warranty covers three years or 36,000 miles
  • The powertrain warranty covers eight years or 100,000 miles
  • Complimentary maintenance covers one scheduled visit

Advantages and Limitations of the 2023 Chevrolet Bolt EV

Here are the Advantages and Limitations of the 2023 Chevrolet Bolt EV:

2023 Chevrolet Bolt EV Advantages 2023 Chevrolet Bolt EV Limitations
Roomy Hatchback: Spacious interior providing ample room for occupants and cargo. Front-Wheel Drive Only: Limitation to front-wheel drive without all-wheel-drive option.
Bargain Prices: Affordable pricing, offering excellent value within its segment. Similarity Between Bolt EV and EUV: Limited differentiation between the Bolt EV and EUV models.
Super Cruise Availability: Availability of Super Cruise technology for enhanced driving assistance. Mundane Handling: Handling performance lacks excitement or dynamism.
Large Touchscreen: A sizable touchscreen for infotainment and control functions. Mundane Looks: The aesthetic appearance is ordinary and lacks distinctive appeal.
Standard Safety Tech: Inclusion of standard safety technology, prioritizing safety.
Roomy Hatchback: Spacious interior providing ample room for occupants and cargo.
Bargain Prices: Affordable pricing, offering excellent value within its segment.

Specifications

Here are the complete specifications of the 2023 Chevrolet Bolt EV:

Name  Specifications
Vehicle Type Front-motor, front-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door hatchback
Price Base/As Tested: $27,495/$32,180

Options:

  1. Dual-level charge cord: $295
  2. Infotainment Package (Bose seven-speaker stereo, wireless device charging, USB charging ports for rear passengers): $695
  3. Adaptive cruise control: $495
Powertrain
  • Motor: Permanent-magnet synchronous AC
  • Power: 200 hp @ 5500 rpm
  • Torque: 266 lb-ft @ 0 rpm
  • Battery Pack: Liquid-cooled lithium-ion, 63.0 kWh (C/D est)
  • Onboard Charger: 11.5 kW
  • Peak DC Fast-Charge Rate: 55 kW
  • Transmission: Direct-drive
Chassis
  • Suspension, F/R: Struts/torsion beam
  • Brakes, F/R: 10.9-in vented disc/10.4-in disc
  • Tires: Michelin Energy Saver A/S 215/50R-17 91H M+S DT TPC
Dimensions
  • Wheelbase: 102.4 in
  • Length: 163.2 in
  • Width: 69.5 in
  • Height: 63.4 in
  • Passenger Volume, F/R: 52/42 ft³
  • Cargo Volume: 17 ft³
  • Curb Weight: 3597 lb
C/D Test Results
  • 60 mph: 6.6 sec
  • 1/4-Mile: 15.1 sec @ 93 mph (Results above omit 1-ft rollout of 0.3 sec.)
  • Rolling Start, 5–60 mph: 6.6 sec.
  • Top Gear, 30–50 mph: 2.5 sec
  • Top Gear, 50–70 mph: 3.5 sec
  • Top Speed (gov ltd): 93 mph
  • Braking, 70–0 mph: 185 ft
  • Road holding, 300-ft Skidpad: 0.79 g
C/D Fuel Economy and Charging
  • Observed: MPGe: 90 MPGe
  • 75-mph Highway Range: 220 mi
EPA Fuel Economy
  • Combined/City/Highway: 120/131/109 MPGe
  • Range: 259 mi

Conclusion

The Chevrolet Bolt EV stands as the pinnacle of eco-friendly driving solutions. With its exceptional power efficiency, extended range, minimized carbon footprint, advanced technological features, safety enhancements, and overall reduced cost of ownership, advocating for the Bolt EV is a clear choice. Why not experience it firsthand by taking it for a test drive?

Here are some compelling points to consider:

  • A 2020 study by the International Energy Agency revealed a substantial 40% surge in global electric vehicle sales in 2019.
  • According to a 2021 survey conducted by Consumer Reports, the Chevrolet Bolt EV emerged as the most reliable electric vehicle available in the market.
  • Recognized for its excellence, the Chevy Bolt EV earned the distinguished title of the 2017 North American Car of the Year award.

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