You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

2017 Chevrolet Bolt: What You Need to Know

US News & World Report - Cars logo US News & World Report - Cars 6/19/2017 U.S. News & World Report
2017 Chevrolet Bolt© General Motors 2017 Chevrolet Bolt

The all-new 2017 Chevrolet Bolt rewrites the electric car playbook, providing over 230 miles of driving range per charge and oodles of high-tech convenience features its competitors don’t offer. These benefits justify its price tag, which is higher than most rivals’. Meet the new class leader.

The 2017 Chevrolet Bolt is ranked:

Is the Chevrolet Bolt a Good Car?

The Chevy Bolt EV pushes electric cars further mainstream by tackling one big problem: range anxiety. Until now, most entry-level electric cars couldn’t achieve much more than 100 miles of driving range on a single charge. That’s a major roadblock for commuters or frequent road trippers, especially since EVs can take hours to fully recharge. The 2017 Bolt delivers an exceptional 238 miles of driving range per charge. It can travel up to 90 miles on a 30-minute charge at a direct current (DC) fast-charging station. Yet, it also serves up agile driving dynamics, swift acceleration, spacious seating for up to five, and loads of high-tech features (such as a big 10.2-inch touch screen and Wi-Fi hot spot). The best part? It only costs $36,620 before any tax incentives are factored in. Previously, you’d have to step up to the pricier, more luxurious Tesla Model S (starting at $68,000) for this range or equipment. The Bolt isn’t just the new benchmark for electric cars, it’s a very capable alternative to conventional gas-powered cars.

Should I Buy the Chevrolet Bolt?

If you’re looking for a nonluxury electric car, you won’t find a better option. At $36,620, the Chevrolet Bolt isn’t as cheap as many of its rivals – the popular 2017 Nissan Leaf starts at $30,680 – but the Bolt’s 238-mile range and excellent features are worth the price difference. The 2017 Leaf offers 107 miles of range and includes a 5-inch LCD screen and rearview camera in its fairly spartan base trim level. In comparison, the standard Bolt more than doubles the Leaf’s range and packs high-end gear like a 10.2-inch touch screen, parental controls for teen drivers, and support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto – two systems that blend your smartphone’s functions and apps into your car’s infotainment. Active safety systems (like parking sensors and blind spot alerts) are available in the Bolt, but not the Leaf. For many shoppers, this convenience and driving range is worth paying for. The Bolt’s (and the Leaf’s) battery pack and electric drive components are covered by a lengthy eight-year/100,000-mile warranty, which takes much of the worry out of owning a high-tech EV. 

If the Bolt does have a drawback, it’s that its interior materials and hard plastics don’t feel up to par with its price tag. If that’s a big concern for you, the luxe BMW i3 is a better option. That luxury comes at a price, however. The i3 starts at $42,400. That said, it still can’t match the Bolt’s all-electric driving range; the i3 gets up to 114 miles (180 miles when equipped with BMW’s gasoline range extender). All in all, the 2017 Bolt is a solid pick for subcompact car shoppers who are ready to say goodbye to the gas station.

We Did the Research for You: 12 Pieces of Data Analyzed

Buying an electric vehicle and making the switch from gas stations to charging stations is a big decision. That’s why we’ve researched 12 data points to help you make the best choice when you buy. This research includes EPA fuel economy estimates, expert reviews, reliability scores, and crash test results.

Why You Can Trust Us

Our team has 75 years of collective experience in the automotive industry, and while we’re passionate about cars, we’re even more committed to providing the most helpful consumer advice. Additionally, we don’t accept expensive gifts or take trips paid for by car companies, and the advertising on our site is handled by an outside team.

How Much Does the Chevrolet Bolt Cost?

The 2017 Chevrolet Bolt starts at $36,620. You may be eligible to claim a federal tax credit of up to $7,500 to help reduce this cost, depending on your tax situation. Some local governments offer smaller tax incentives as well. Still, this price is higher than the majority of electric vehicles, including the 2017 Nissan Leaf ($30,680), Kia Soul EV ($31,950), and Ford Focus Electric ($29,120). Not surprisingly, the BMW i3 is pricier, starting at $42,400.

The Bolt comes in two trim levels: LT and Premier. Both come with an electric motor, single-speed transmission, and front-wheel drive. Both can achieve a 238-mile driving range per charge.

The $36,620 Bolt LT comes very well equipped with a large 10.2-inch touch screen, support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a Wi-Fi hot spot, a rearview camera, Bluetooth, voice recognition, two USB ports, satellite radio, proximity keyless entry, and an 8-inch driver information display (with speed, distanced traveled, remaining battery charge, and other pertinent information). Two optional packages are available. The Comfort and Convenience package ($555) adds heated front seats and a heated steering wheel. The Driver Confidence package ($495) includes rear parking sensors, rear cross traffic alerts, blind spot monitoring, and lane change alerts.

The Bolt Premier trim starts at $40,905 – still less than the standard BMW i3 – and adds leather upholstery, heated seats (front and rear), a 360-degree parking camera system, the safety features from the LT’s Driver Confidence package, and a rearview mirror with an integrated camera feed. An available Infotainment package ($485) adds a wireless device charging station, a Bose audio system, and two USB ports for rear passengers. The Driver Confidence II package ($495) adds high beam assists, forward collision warnings, pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, and lane departure warnings.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Chevrolet dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Chevrolet deals page.

Chevrolet Bolt Versus the Competition

The 2017 Bolt EV is the latest addition to a growing class of alternative fuel vehicles. This class includes battery electric vehicles (like the Bolt), as well as gasoline-electric hybrids and plug-in hybrid models (such as the Toyota Prius and Chevrolet Volt). If you’re looking to go green but aren’t willing to fully go gasoline-free, both of these vehicle types are worth careful consideration. Here are a few key points about how they work. 

Hybrids pair a gasoline engine with an electric motor(s) to maximize fuel economy. Plug-in hybrids follow a similar formula, but typically provide longer electric-only driving ranges and store more energy in their battery packs. True to their name, they can be recharged using a wall outlet or charging station. Because hybrids and plug-in hybrids can always be fueled up with gasoline, both make a lot more sense than an electric vehicle if you regularly drive long distances. Stopping for gas takes just a few minutes. Recharging an electric car at a DC fast-charging station may take half an hour to an hour (or more) for a near-full charge. When unavailable, a 240-volt charger may take hours for a full recharge.

Which Is Better: Chevrolet Bolt or Nissan Leaf?

The 2017 Nissan Leaf tops the all-new Chevy Bolt in one crucial category: price. The Leaf starts at just $30,680 (before federal tax incentives), while the Bolt asks a higher $36,620 starting price. Beyond that, however, the Bolt gives you a lot more for your money. A lot more. 

The obvious advantage is driving range. The Bolt can drive up to 238 miles on a single charge, whereas the Leaf manages just 107 miles. The Bolt is also roomier inside, with an extra 3 inches of rear legroom. It hauls a lot more cargo, offering up to 56.6 cubic feet of gear with its rear seats folded. The Leaf packs up to 30 cubic feet of space. 

It’s the same story with convenience features, too. The Leaf offers an available 7-inch touch screen and navigation system, but no advanced safety features like blind spot monitoring or forward collision warnings. The Bolt offers both and comes standard with a huge 10.2-inch touch screen, Wi-Fi hot spot capability, voice recognition, and support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Neither are particularly upscale inside, however, and hard plastics are common. All in all, the Nissan Leaf is cheaper off the bat, but the Bolt is a much more practical and enjoyable electric car.

Which Is Better: Chevrolet Bolt or BMW i3?

The BMW i3 has a lot going for it. In the past, it’s been the go-to choice for shoppers who want more luxury and features than the Nissan Leaf offers, at a price below the $68,000-and-up Tesla Model S. Starting at $42,400, the i3 boasts upscale interior styling and high-quality materials like eucalyptus woodgrain, plus advanced optional features like semiautonomous parking assists (the car parks itself), forward collision warnings, and adaptive cruise control. Befitting its BMW heritage, the i3 is also rather spry and quite fun to drive. 

That said, the Chevrolet Bolt improves on nearly all of the i3’s fronts, interior quality being the notable exception. The equally fun-to-drive Bolt crushes the i3’s all-electric driving range: 238 miles versus just 114 miles from the i3 (84 miles in base models). The Bolt can even top the i3’s range extender models, which feature a gasoline generator that stretches driving range to 180 miles. Looking to seat five? The Bolt can, but the four-seat i3 can’t. Both offer ample space for cargo with the rear seats folded, but the Bolt’s cavernous 56.6 cubic feet of room dwarfs the i3’s 36.9 cubic feet.

Then comes the price. The Bolt starts very well-equipped at $36,620 and comes fully loaded at $41,885 with things like heated front and rear seats, forward collision warnings with pedestrian detection, and a bird's-eye view camera. That’s nearly the same price as a base model i3 – the one with 84-mile range – without any options. Unless you’re after brand identity or a bit more elegance in your EV, the 2017 Chevy Bolt is the better buy.

Which Is Better: Chevrolet Bolt or Chevrolet Volt?

Not ready to take the EV plunge yet? The 2017 Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid is a credible alternative to the Bolt if you like the idea of an environmentally friendly vehicle but worry about running out of battery on longer trips.  The Volt’s electric motors and large battery pack allow it to cruise on electric power alone for up to 53 miles. For some, that could cover the daily commute, and all you’d need to do is plug it in at home (or work) for a full charge. 

Once the Volt’s batteries are depleted, however, its gasoline engine kicks in to recharge them and shuttle the car along (up to 420 miles of driving range between fill-ups). This efficient gas engine returns an EPA-rated 42 mpg in combined city/highway driving. 

Like its Bolt EV sibling, the Volt provides brisk acceleration and a quiet ride. Both models also offer high-end features like large touch screens and Wi-Fi connectivity, but notably only the Volt offers adaptive cruise control and semiautonomous parking. The Bolt is a bit roomier inside for both rear-seat passengers and cargo. It’s a bit more exciting to drive, too.

Of course, the Volt is still reliant on the gas pump, but it offers a best-of-both-worlds scenario that no EV can match. It’s also less expensive. The 2017 Volt starts at just $33,220, around $3,000 less than the standard Bolt EV. That’s a lot of cash for the occasional fuel bill. Rest assured, you can’t really go wrong with either; but if you’re still queasy about running out of juice, or if you regularly take long trips, the Chevy Volt is the better pick.

Which Is Better: Chevrolet Bolt or Tesla Model 3?

Another key alternative to the Chevy Bolt is the upcoming Tesla Model 3, which is expected to start at around $35,000 and provide an all-electric driving range of 215 miles per charge. Production of this five-seat sedan is scheduled to begin in mid-2017. 

Though details have yet to be finalized, the Model 3 holds a few key advantages over the Chevy Bolt. Off the bat, the Model 3 is $1,620 less than the least expensive Bolt. That’s an even more important distinction when you consider that the Model 3 will come equipped with some of Tesla’s Autopilot active safety features as standard equipment, including forward collision warnings and automatic emergency braking. The Bolt’s active safety features are extensive as well, however its entire package is available only in the Bolt’s pricier Premier trim, which starts at $40,905 before tax incentives. Tesla says every car it produces – including the Model 3 – has the hardware necessary for fully autonomous driving. In time, this feature could be added to all Tesla models through over-the-air updates, making it a worthy option if you’d like to eventually own a self-driving car. 

Driving range is another hot topic. Currently, the Chevy Bolt holds the lead with its 238-mile driving range per charge (versus 215 miles in the Model 3). Both offer much greater driving range than any other competitor at this sub-$40,000 price point. The catch is that Tesla models can fast-charge at any of the company’s Supercharger stations nationwide, which can supply up to 170 miles of range in as little as 30 minutes. The Bolt, however, can recoup up to 90 miles of range in 30 minutes when plugged into a public DC fast-charging station. 

Neither are particularly pokey once you hit the road. The Bolt zips to 60 mph in under 7 seconds; the Model 3 makes the dash in less than 6. 

Another issue worth consideration has to do with your taxes. The federal government and some local governments offer big tax incentives that can help reduce the cost of buying an electric vehicle. The most notable is an up-to-$7,500 federal tax credit. Chevrolet Bolt buyers are apt to see this full credit for some time now, as long as their tax situation permits (you must owe at least $7,500 to receive the full credit). Model 3 buyers may not be so lucky. This tax credit program enters a phase-out period for each automaker once 200,000 qualifying vehicles have been sold. For Tesla, this includes the Roadster, the Model S sedan, and the Model X SUV. Early Model 3 buyers may get the credit, but later shoppers will settle for less once Tesla surpasses this production milestone. The maximum credit then steps down to $3,750 before dropping to $1,875 and eventually phasing out completely.

We won’t beat around the bush: If you want to buy an EV today that gets over 200 miles of driving range and costs less than $40,000, the answer is simple – go with the Chevy Bolt. Otherwise, you may want to wait until the Tesla Model 3 has been finalized for production before you decide.

Which Is Better: Chevrolet Bolt or Tesla Model S?

The Tesla Model S and Chevrolet Bolt have much in common. Both offer 200-plus miles of all-electric driving range per charge, both provide exceptional infotainment features and in-vehicle connectivity, and both can be jam-packed with active safety equipment like forward collision warnings and automatic emergency braking. Simply put, they are the two best electric vehicles currently on the market. However, they’re not direct competitors.

The Chevrolet Bolt, which starts at $36,620, is in effect a Tesla Model S for the masses. It can emulate the luxurious Model S’ driving range and high-end electronics, but doesn’t compete when it comes to interior quality, handling and driving performance, or price. The Model S starts at $68,000, and high-performance versions like the P100D (with an EPA-rated 315-mile driving range) tip the scales at $134,000.

The Model S is also optional with Tesla’s Enhanced Autopilot system, which can change lanes for you, self-park the car near your destination, and be summoned on command. Full self-driving capabilities are also optional (pending testing and government approval). You won’t find either of those luxuries in the Chevy Bolt, nor will you find an adaptive air suspension, high-end sound system, or available jump seats (for seating seven). The Bolt and the Model S appeal to two separate buyers, and unless you desire (and can afford) the luxuries of the Model S, the Bolt is the more sensible EV option.

Bolt Interior

How Many People Does the Bolt Seat?

The Chevy Bolt seats five and stands out as one of roomiest subcompact crossovers on the market. And it's by design. Chevy uses thinner seats with less padding, which might make some road trippers apprehensive. However, the seats are comfortable and supportive. The rear seats are particularly accommodating, even for passengers who are 6 feet or taller, thanks in part to the Bolt’s ample 36.5 inches of rear legroom. By comparison, the 2017 Nissan Leaf provides a slimmer 33.3 inches of rear legroom, and the BMW i3 offers just 31.9 inches (and only seats four).

Cloth upholstery comes standard in the base LT trim level, while leather upholstery comes with the upper Premier trim, as do heated front and rear seats. One downside to the Bolt's seating is the lack of available power adjustments. Even in the top Premier trim level you’ll have to pull a lever underneath your seat to move it fore or aft, rather than simply pushing a button. This is a minor annoyance, however.

Bolt and Car Seats

Every 2017 Bolt EV comes equipped with a set of LATCH child-seat connectors at each of its outboard rear seats. These include a pair of lower anchors and a single upper tether anchor. The middle seat features an upper anchor only. The lower anchors can be found between the seat cushion and seatback. The upper tether anchors are clearly marked on the back of the seats.

Bolt Interior Quality

One of the Bolt’s few drawbacks is its plain-Jane interior. With a starting price of $36,620, you would expect the Bolt’s interior trim to be made from high-end materials like those in the BMW i3. However, cheap plastic is abundant in the Bolt. Soft-touch surfaces are a rarity, and even the armrests lack decent padding. The lion’s share of the Bolt’s price tag pays for that big battery pack underneath the car that makes its 238-mile driving range possible.

Bolt Cargo Space

The Chevrolet Bolt offers 16.9 cubic feet of cargo capacity behind its rear seats and 56.6 cubic feet with them folded flat. That's pretty sizable as far as hatchbacks go, and it can readily accommodate a few chairs, longer items like a coffee table or bookcase, or even a bike. But those numbers are truly impressive for the hybrid and electric class. By comparison, the Nissan Leaf offers up to 30 cubic feet of cargo space with its rear seats folded and the BMW i3 extends that measurement to 36.9 cubic feet.

In some electric cars, batteries are hidden underneath the cargo floor, which can create odd humps that make moving freight a little tricky. That's not the case with the Bolt; its batteries are underneath the rear seats and below the passenger compartment floor. The cargo space is quite usable, and if you want a place to hide your valuables, an available false cargo floor comes in handy.

Bolt Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The 2017 Chevy Bolt serves up a healthy dose of top-flight technology, and much of it comes standard – even in the base Bolt LT trim level. This includes Chevrolet’s MyLink infotainment system and large 10.2-inch touch screen, which supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. These two systems blend the features and functionality of iPhone and Android devices with the car’s infotainment, making it easy to access music or apps in a familiar format. Neither the 2017 Nissan Leaf nor the BMW i3 offer Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, but the Ford Focus Electric and Kia Soul EV do.

Notably, the Bolt doesn’t come with a satellite navigation system, but you can access turn-by-turn directions through either CarPlay’s Apple Maps or Android’s Google Maps, using your smartphone’s internet connection.

For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto? Then, see the Best Cars With Apple CarPlay and Best Cars With Android Auto.

Additional standard equipment includes a rearview camera, a built-in Wi-Fi hot spot, Bluetooth phone connectivity, satellite radio, voice recognition, and a Teen Driver system, which allows parents to set music volume limits and driving alerts for their teenage drivers.

A host of optional features add to the Bolt EV's cool factor, too. For example, the Bolt Premier trim packs two camera systems. One displays a live rearview camera feed into the Bolt’s interior rearview mirror, providing a wider-angle view of what’s going on behind the car. (Note the feature can be turned off and used as a regular mirror.) The second camera system shows a 360-degree view of the Bolt’s surroundings, making it easier to maneuver through tight city streets and cramped parking lots.

Bolt Performance

Bolt Engine: Electrifying Acceleration

The business end of the 2017 Chevy Bolt is its 60-kWh lithium-ion battery pack and 200-horsepower electric motor, which drive the Bolt’s front wheels through a single-speed automatic transmission. Give the accelerator a firm press, and the Bolt zips away from a stop like … well, a bolt of lightning. The dash from zero to 60 mph takes just 6.5 seconds. That’s not just fast for an electric vehicle (0.7 seconds quicker than a BMW i3) – it’s fast by most modern standards. That translates to a very peppy driving experience around town. There’s always plenty of oomph to spare at lower speeds.

On the highway, the Bolt keeps up with traffic and offers decent passing power, but it doesn’t feel quite as powerful or responsive at these higher speeds. That said, this tends to be a common criticism of electric vehicles.

Bolt Driving Range: Positively Efficient

While zippy performance is certainly a plus, the Chevy Bolt’s true claim to fame is its driving range. The 2017 Bolt can drive up to 238 miles on a single charge. Considering the typical range among EVs is around 100 miles, the Bolt can drive almost double what its rivals can. This range is surpassed only by select trims of the Tesla Model S, which has a starting price nearly double the Bolt's: $68,000.

By comparison, the 2017 Nissan Leaf achieves up to 107 miles per charge. The 2017 Ford Focus Electric nets up to 115 miles of range, and the all-new Hyundai Ioniq Electric provides 124 miles of driving range. BMW i3 models vary between 81 and 114 miles per charge (depending on battery pack size), but they can notch up to 180 miles of range when equipped with BMW’s gasoline range extender.

Chevrolet Bolt Charging

Charging time depends largely on which type of connection you use. With a 240-volt outlet, it will take nine hours for the Bolt to reach a full charge, which is equivalent to about 25 miles of range per hour of charging. Need more driving range in a jiffy? Consider visiting a public-use DC fast-charging station. There, you'll be able to add 90 miles to your range with just a half-hour of charging. This is a great way to top up on the go. The necessary DC fast-charging equipment is $750 extra in both Bolt trim levels.

The Bolt's charging times are a bit longer than competitors like the Nissan Leaf and BMW i3. The Leaf can fully charge on a 240-volt connection in six hours, while the i3 takes between 3.5 and 4.5 hours (depending on battery pack size). That said, the Bolt's range is a lot longer than most EVs in its class. In fact, depending on the length of your commute, you may only need to charge the Bolt a couple of times per week.

Bolt Ride and Handling: Shockingly Nimble

You may not think of EVs as sharp handlers, but the Bolt wants to change that perception. Its steering is precise, and the steering wheel feels properly weighted. Chevy houses the Bolt's batteries underneath the floor and beneath the rear seats, which helps give the car a low center of gravity. This results in terrific body control, with very little lean in turns. The Bolt doesn’t feel quite as nimble as the sporty BMW i3, but that’s hardly a mark against it.

The Bolt’s ride quality is a bit firmer than many EVs and hybrids dare, yet it remains comfortable overall and offers a pliant ride over rough patches of road. It’s also rather quiet; electric motors make much less noise than the typical gas engine.

Like most hybrid and electric cars, the Bolt uses a regenerative braking system in tandem with traditional friction brakes. This system recharges its batteries by recapturing energy that would normally go to waste. Once more stopping power is needed, the system then transitions over to friction brakes to bring the car to a halt. Overall, the Bolt's braking system works well, with smoothness unmatched by class rivals.

In addition to the transmission’s normal Drive mode (or “D”), the Bolt offers a Low mode as well, which makes better use of this regenerative braking system. In Drive, the Bolt will coast along like a normal car when you let off the accelerator. In Low, the car’s regenerative brakes are dialed into a higher setting and begin slowing the Bolt as soon as you lift off the throttle. This can be handy when traveling down steeper hills or just trying to recoup a bit of battery life. Current owners of hybrid and electric cars will be familiar with this one-pedal style of driving. The regenerative brakes can bring the car to a complete stop in this setting, and a paddle mounted behind the steering wheel increases this level of regenerative braking.

Bolt Reliability

Is the Chevrolet Bolt Reliable?

J.D. Power and Associates rates the all-new Bolt EV at 3.5 out of five for predicted reliability, which is slightly above average. The rival Nissan Leaf checks in slightly lower at three out of five.

Chevrolet Bolt Warranty

The Chevy Bolt is covered by a three-year/36,000-mile limited warranty (often referred to as bumper-to-bumper coverage). Its battery pack, electric motor, and many associated drive components are covered by an eight-year/100,000-mile warranty. Many other models in this segment offer eight-year/100,000-mile electric component warranties as well, including the 2017 Nissan Leaf, BMW i3, Ford Focus Electric, Chevrolet Volt, and Toyota Prius.

Bolt Safety

Bolt Crash Test Results

We’re currently unable to provide safety scores for the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt. Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) have published crash test results for the Bolt EV.

A few other models in this segment score highly for crash test safety, including the 2017 Chevrolet Volt and Toyota Prius hybrids, which both earn 2017 IIHS Top Safety Pick+ ratings. The Prius also earns a five-star overall rating from the NHTSA.

Bolt Safety Features

The 2017 Chevy Bolt comes standard with a rearview camera and a Teen Driver system. With Teen Driver, parents can disable certain functions, like loud volume settings for music. The system also gives a report card of driving habits, recording things like how many times the driver went over a predetermined speed limit, or if the forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking systems are activated. It acts as a tool for parents to instill good driving habits in young drivers.

Available safety features include blind spot monitoring, lane change alerts, lane departure warnings, rear parking sensors, rear cross traffic alerts, a rearview mirror that displays a live camera feed, forward collision warnings with pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, and high beam assist, which will automatically switch to low beams when it detects another car in proximity.

This is an excellent array of advanced safety features, and it closely mirrors those found in the 2017 Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid. However, the Bolt doesn’t offer adaptive cruise control or a parking assist system that can semi-autonomously parallel or perpendicularly park the vehicle. The Volt offers both, as does the 2017 BMW i3. Notably, the 2017 Nissan Leaf doesn’t provide any of these features.

With lane change alert, the Bolt notifies you if a car in the lane next to you is approaching from behind. Lane departure warnings alert you when you drift out of your lane, whether another car is there or not.

Rear parking sensors beep when you get too close to an object while reversing. A related feature, rear cross traffic alerts, will help you remain aware of approaching vehicles while reversing out of a parking spot. Arguably, one of the Bolt’s most distinctive features is the available rearview camera mirror. When switched on, it shows a camera feed of what’s happening behind the car rather than just the reflection from the mirror, giving you a wider field of view.

Forward collision warnings and pedestrian detection will alert you to possible collisions with either another vehicle or a pedestrian. If necessary, automatic emergency braking applies the brakes to prevent an accident.

Which Chevrolet Bolt Model Is Right for Me?

The standard Bolt LT model is the best trim, unless you’re passionate about active safety features. The LT packs a large touch-screen infotainment system, voice recognition, parental monitor settings, a built-in Wi-Fi hot spot, a rearview camera, and support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, ensuring your favorite features are always close at hand and easy to use. Available options include things like heated front seats, blind spot warnings, and rear parking sensors.

If you demand the Bolt’s full suite of active safety features, you’ll need to move up to the Bolt Premier trim. At this level, you can purchase the Driver Confidence package, which adds forward collision warnings, low-speed automatic emergency braking, lane departure warnings, and lane keep assists. Notably, both trim levels achieve the same all-electric driving range of 238 miles per charge.

Take a look below to see what’s offered in both 2017 Chevrolet Bolt trims – LT and Premier.

Chevrolet Bolt LT

The base model Chevy Bolt LT trim ($36,620 before tax incentives) comes packed with high-tech gear. Standard equipment includes a 10.2-inch touch screen and Chevrolet MyLink infotainment system, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, voice recognition, a rearview camera, a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hot spot, Teen Driver assist, Bluetooth, AM/FM radio, satellite radio, six speakers, audio controls on the steering wheel, two USB inputs, OnStar telematics (with auto crash notification and stolen vehicle assists), and an 8-inch display screen located in the gauge cluster.

Creature comforts include cloth upholstery, manually adjustable seats, single-zone automatic climate control, power doors and windows, proximity keyless entry, push-button start, cruise control, and heated side mirrors with power adjustments.

An optional Comfort and Convenience package ($555) adds a heated steering wheel, heated front seats, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. An optional Driver Confidence package ($495) adds blind spot and rear cross traffic alerts, rear parking sensors, and lane change assists. Looking to charge fast? The Bolt can plug in to public DC fast-charging stations and recoup 90 miles of driving range in 30 minutes of charging, but you’ll need to add that feature (a $750 option, available in both trims).

Chevrolet Bolt Premier

The upscale Chevy Bolt Premier trim ($40,905 before tax incentives) adds leather upholstery, heated seats (front and rear), a rearview mirror (with integrated camera view), a 360-degree view camera, luggage rack rails, and side mirrors with integrated turn signals. The LT’s Driver Confidence package comes standard (blind spot and rear cross traffic alerts, lane change assists, and rear parking sensors).

Two optional packages are available. The Infotainment package ($485) adds a Bose seven-speaker sound system, wireless device charging, and two additional USB ports. The Driver Confidence II package ($495, requires Infotainment Package) adds forward collision warnings, low-speed emergency automatic braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure warnings, lane keep assists, and auto on/off high beam headlights.

Where Is the Chevrolet Bolt made?

The 2017 Chevrolet Bolt is built in Lake Orion, Michigan, at General Motors’ Orion Assembly plant.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Chevrolet dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Chevrolet deals page.

The Final Call

Plain and simple, if you’re in the market for an electric car, the all-new 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV ought to be at the top of your list. The Bolt offers an unrivaled 238 miles of driving range per charge, which is double what most of its competitors provide (107 miles from the Nissan Leaf, 114 miles from the BMW i3). The Bolt is also more spacious inside than both the Leaf and the i3, and it can carry more cargo in its hatchback.

For many, it’ll come down to the price. The standard Chevy Bolt starts at $36,620 (before available tax incentives). Of course, that’s not as cheap as the $30,680 Leaf or the $29,120 Ford Focus Electric, but for the money, you get great features and unparalleled driving distance before having to recharge.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

Read the full 2017 Chevrolet Bolt reviewon U.S. News & World Report for more details, photos, specs and prices.


More from U.S. News & World Report

US News & World Report - Cars
US News & World Report - Cars

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon