DIY editor for Popular Mechanics, Timothy Dahl, and his gas-guzzling F-150 loving self, spent two days in the possession of a Chevrolet Bolt, and he was beyond impressed.He was enamored with the fact that the car performed so well, and he couldn’t believe its range.
Keep in mind that Dahl’s primary function as a journalist is not to review cars.
So this is coming from someone that can be thought of as your “average Joe,” with no in-depth EV knowledge or passion, or vast grounds for comparison ...
This, however, may be a good thing … because Dahl just sees the car how he sees it, like any average driver may see it as they encounter the Bolt for the first time.
Of course, if you compare it to a Tesla, or a BMW i3, or really any $30,000 plus car, there will be places that the Bolt comes up short, and places that it succeeds. But, all in all, the Bolt is the Bolt, and Dahl had a lot of good words to say about it.
First and foremost, he notes the price. Finally a long-range EV that more people can afford … and then he throws in the part about the competing Tesla Model 3 having a similar price and an “uncertain future.” But, that’s beside the point.
Dahl’s other notable takeaways:
- It’s a compact that doesn’t feel compact
- Smooth ride
- Spirited (guilt free) acceleration, even at freeway speeds
- Simple (and often free) to charge (he test drove it in California)
- It’s great to have your own designated parking spot (he had different things to say about EV charging spots when he drove his F-150)
- “D” standard drive, and “L” low, so you can choose single-pedal driving, or not
- Regen braking is a blast, once you get the hang of it
- Helpful HIGH and LOW estimate of battery usage
- 3 charging speeds: Level 1 (110v home outlet), Level 2 (240v charging unit), Level 3 (DC fast)
- Limited trunk space (especially for a hatchback)
- Four passengers will fit just fine (but not with all their luggage)
- Rear seats are adult-friendly
- It’s not a looker (but neither are most EVs aside from Teslas)
- It is in no way “ugly,” but rather looks mildly aggressive and fun
In the end, Dahl shares that he believes the Chevrolet Bolt to be a perfect car for “city-dwellers” with commutes of “20 miles or less.” Hmm … this seems like an odd statement since it’s a long-range EV – but we digress.