2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV Pros and Cons Review: Bulkier Bolt, But a Better One?
- Super Cruise hands-free highway driving assist
- Brakes feel natural
- Button for one-pedal driving
- Lacks AWD
- Top trim price deserves better materials
- Relegated to average status among new EVs
With the 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV, Chevrolet looked to address the shortcomings of the regular Bolt hatchback while also offering something in the increasingly hot electric SUV space. To increase development speed and increase cost savings, the Bolt EUV uses the now slightly upgraded but nevertheless aged electrical powertrain platform and batteries of its hatch sibling, all while every other new and forthcoming General Motors EV will take advantage of the state-of-the-art BEV3 architecture and Ultium battery system.
Although Chevy has intermittently tried to convince everyone the regular Bolt is an SUV, the new EUV actually is more of one. It looks the part, and it’s certainly more versatile. The EUV is 6.3 inches longer than the Bolt EV and rides on a wheelbase stretched by 2.9 inches. The result is an additional 3.1 inches of rear legroom, making this a more usable, roomier compact SUV. It has decent cargo space and underfloor storage, boosting its practicality quotient.
The EUV also piles in a sunroof and an upgraded interior with touches like blue contrast stitching, but the Premier trim at our SUVOTY event, which costs more than $43,000, should really chill with the hard black plastic and include comfort features such as air vents for the rear passengers.
One selling point: GM’s excellent Super Cruise highway driving assist system, no longer exclusive to Cadillac. It’s standard on the Launch Edition and a $2,200 option on Premier models. The Bolt EUV does not get the enhanced version of the system that makes lane changes, but it’s still an excellent feature for commuters, allowing hands-free operation on hundreds of thousands of miles of mapped freeways in America. Lower trims can get adaptive cruise control.
Among our judges, buyer’s guide director Zach Gale applauded the physical button to activate one-pedal driving and the paddle to regulate regenerative braking, as well as the practical controls located on the back of the steering-wheel spokes. The brakes feel remarkably natural for an EV, but technical director Frank Markus called out a suspension that bottomed out over obstacles, pronouncing it “one of the most poorly behaved vehicles” among our contenders on harsh surfaces. On the handling track and during figure-eight testing, we experienced pronounced body roll and what road test editor Chris Walton could only describe as “howling, massive understeer.”
The Bolt EUV’s EPA-rated range is passable at 247 miles, and its onboard charging cord can be plugged into 120- or 240-volt sources. But with only a single motor up front, it lacks all-wheel drive, making it a nonstarter in deep sand and squirrely on gravel. “The Bolt might work as a car, but it doesn’t as an SUV,” MotorTrend en Español managing editor Miguel Cortina said.
The Bolt EUV did impress in certain ways. Chevy did a nice job, for example, integrating the large infotainment screen into the dashboard so as not to overwhelm. There are myriad ways to customize the information it displays, and data nerds can geek out on power usage; seeing what devices and systems are using how much juice; and efficiency while accelerating, braking, and cruising, among others. The Bolt hatch’s clever estimated range display is used here, too—we love that it includes maximum and minimum totals to account for different driving styles and conditions. We didn’t like that the EUV’s front USB ports are located deep in the bottom of a dark, narrow cubby, but at least rear passengers have the option of both USB-A and -C jacks.
The original Bolt was the 2017 MotorTrend Car of the Year, when modern EVs were still somewhat rare and special. Five years later, EVs come in many sizes and shapes and from manufacturers the world over, and it takes more than what the Bolt EUV has to offer to rise even to the top of its own segment, never mind being named SUV of the Year. The EUV is a better Bolt and decent commuter vehicle, but as editorial operations director Mike Floyd noted, “It’s been lapped.”
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