Test Drive: 2023 Bolt EUV Proves Less is More (Value)

CHATHAM, Mass. – The 2023 Chevrolet Bolt EUV, one of the best values amongst the entire pantheon of electric vehicles, is an even better choice than last year’s model as the list price has dropped by $6,300.

And Chevrolet made this unusual change – prices tend to go up yearly – without de-contenting: the 2023 Chevrolet Bolt EUV Premier we drove had the same premium level of features and equipment as its 2022 predecessor.

This means the long list of advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS); wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto; front and rear heated, leather-appointed seats; heated steering wheel, and keyless start. In addition, it comes with DC fast charging capabilities to allow gaining 95 miles of range within 30 minutes.

And all of this comes with a price of $31,700, a significant offering amongst the EVs on the market.

Fast charging, up to 240+ miles of range and solid platform with extensive ADAS

Motivating the 2023 Bolt EUV is a permanent magnet drive motor putting 200 horsepower and 266 pounds-feet of torque through a 7.05:1 final drive to the front wheels. Being an EV, the torque is available immediately, so the innocent-looking Bolt EUV can get up to 60 miles per hour from rest in less than seven seconds (according to Car and Driver), which was once the rate of a high-performance vehicle.

Providing the energy is 65 kWh Lithium-ion battery with a DC fast-charging capable system on board. This means on a 120-Volt (standard household outlet), recharging is about four miles of range per hour, but on a 240V 38-amp system, it jumps to 25 miles of range per hour, and if the 240V is a 48-amp system, this jumps to 37 miles of range per hour. 

The ultimate is a Level 3 DC fast charger that can provide up to 95 miles of range in 30 minutes, allowing a road trip to continue reasonably.

Bolt EUV

Keeping the Bolt EUV charged was simple, thanks to the Level 2 Autel MaxiCharger AC Wallbox Home unit installed in my garage. Plugging in at night ensured worry-free driving the next day (like most Americans, I rarely drive more than 40 miles in a day, well within the Bolt EUV’s range).

Keeping this power under control is a front suspension of MacPherson-type struts with a direct-acting stabilizer bar and, at the rear, a compound crank (torsion beam) with coil springs. 

The suspension incorporates the renowned GM StabiliTrak electronic stability control system with traction control which automatically helps enhance control, particularly during emergency maneuvers, by adjusting the brakes and drive motor torque to help keep the vehicle on its intended path.

Like most EVs, the Bolt EUV allows for one-pedal (the accelerator) driving utilizing regenerative braking.

Activating one-pedal driving is easy – a simple push of the prominent console-mounted button turns on the system, confirmed by a bright green light. Then all the driver does is ease off the accelerator, and the EV’s motor runs in reverse, slowing (to a full stop if desired) and recharging the battery through regenerative braking.

The conventional braking system is electro-hydraulic, partially regenerative, featuring four-wheel discs (the front vented rotors 11 inches, rear solid ones 10) with anti-lock (ABS).

Vehicle control is also the purview of the extensive advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), which are part of the Bolt EUV Premer.

This group begins with the Chevy Safety Assist package consisting of automatic emergency braking (AEB); front pedestrian braking; lane keep assist with lane departure warning; following-distance indicator; forward collision alert, and intelligent high beams.

Additional ADAS includes lane-change alert with side blind-spot alert; rear cross-traffic alert; rear park assist, and adaptive cruise control.

These various systems and components translate into a comfortable, relatively smooth ride for all occupants. And this car is fun to drive under the unassuming Bolt EUV skin, a perky, instantly responsive motor, and a simple but well-conceived and engineered chassis. It moves, and it handles with aplomb. It might look like a basic five-door, but it performs more like a hot hatch (and one which will pass all gas stations!)

SUV proportions in a subcompact EV equals an EUV

When Chevrolet launched the Bolt EUV for the 2022 model year, it brought us yet another non-car, non-truck category – the electric utility vehicle or EUV. Specifically, the General Motors brand described the design as having “SUV proportions.” 

I’m not sure what SUV proportions are beyond a two-box, upright stance with large windows – features which fit the small (169.5-inches long, 69.7 wide, 63.6 high), but roomy (96.5 cubic feet of passenger volume in part thanks to the relatively long 105.3-in. wheelbase) electric vehicle (EV) perfectly.

Cargo volume is 16.3 cu. ft. behind the second seat or 56.9 cu. ft. with the seat folded.

2023 Bolt EUV Proves Less is More (Value)

The roomy cabin is filled with features and amenities

The Bolt EUV Premier — especially one with the optional ($2495) Sun & Sound Package, which brings a powered panoramic moonroof, enhanced audio system with Bose seven-speaker/subwoofer audio system, and upgraded infotainment system with navigation – includes an extensive array of premium amenities, features and comfort items.

The standard leather-appointed front seats are ventilated and heated; the driver’s seat has eight-way electric adjustment (including its lumbar support); automatic climate control system; wireless mobile device charger, WiFi hotspot, and the features mentioned at the beginning of this article.

A 10.2-inch color touch screen is the centerpiece of the dashboard and the infotainment system, which includes the aforementioned wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto; SiriusXM satellite radio; Bluetooth streaming audio; AM/FM radio, and navigation.

Voice activation supplements the touch-screen controls for the infotainment system. The touch screen supplements the simple-to-use-and-understand-on-dash toggles for the climate-control system.

The screen also provides 360° HD Surround Vision images, which uses multiple cameras to display a digital overhead image of the area around the Bolt EUV along with HD Rear Vision Camera or front views. It works at low speed to help with parking in tight spots.

Priced to open the masses to electric motoring

All these numbers, systems, and features morph into a comfortable place for up to four people to travel near silence (another positive EV characteristic).

A couple would find the Bolt EUV Premier a near-perfect vehicle for everyday living – it fits in virtually any legitimate parking spot, can maneuver through tight traffic and small spaces (like Provincetown, Mass. at the height of the season), carry plenty of their stuff and do it for very little money (in today’s terms). 

The Bolt EUV Premier I drove had a list price of $31,700. Add in the optional Sun & Sound package ($2,495), and new-for 2023 Redline Appearance package ($495) with red accents on the black alloy wheels, black interior and outside mirrors, as well as the $995 destination and handling charge, and the test EUV had a very un-EV price of $33,190.

The 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV was a value-oriented, full-featured EV we really liked. Chevy made one significant change for 2023 – lowering its price – which makes it even better!

Mike Geylin
Mike Geylin

Mike Geylin is the Editor-in-Chief at Hagman Media. Geylin has been in automotive communications for five decades working in all aspects of the industry from OEM to supplier to motorsports as well as reporting for both newspapers and magazines on the industry.