The Chevrolet Bolt EV has been on sale in the US since the 2017 model year. Back when it came out, we called it the "King of attainable EVs." We even picked it as an Editors' Choice. For 2019, the $36,620 (plus $875 for destination) Bolt remains an attractive value with its mix of affordability and practicality thanks to its impressive 238-mile range.
As a result, GM is ramping up production by 20 percent to match the all-electric vehicle's popularity. In the first half of 2018, Chevrolet sold 7,858 Bolts in the US compared with 6,659 US sales for the Nissan Leaf.
Chevrolet's all-electric Bolt EV is powered by an alternating-current electric motor producing 200 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque sent to the front wheels via a single-speed, direct-drive transmission that Chevy says can accelerate the EV from a standstill to 60 miles per hour in 6.5 seconds.
The EPA estimates the Bolt can return 128 miles per gallon of gasoline equivalent in the city and 110 mpge on the highway. That's pretty much the top of the class. Only the $49,000 Tesla Model 3 Long Range can handily beat the Bolt's efficiency with its 136/123 mpge rating. The Volkswagen e-Golf returns 126/111 mpge, beating the Bolt EV's highway figure by 1, but the Nissan Leaf (125/100 mpge), Kia Soul EV (124/93 mpge) and the Ford Focus Electric (118/96 mpge) are less efficient.
When it comes to range, none of the competition -- with starting prices around $30,000 -- comes close. The Nissan Leaf makes do with a 151-mile range and the e-Golf can go 125 miles on a single charge. The Focus Electric (115 miles) and the Kia Soul EV (111 miles) have even fewer miles per single charge. If you need more than the Bolt's 238 miles, you'll have to shell out extra dough for the 310-mile Tesla Model 3.
The Bolt EV may be small on the outside, but it's plenty spacious on the inside for up to five people. Cargo space behind the rear seats is 16.9 cubic feet and 56.6 cubic feet with the second row folded. The Nissan Leaf isn't as spacious with only 30 cubic feet of max cargo volume. The Ford Focus electric isn't that great, either, with 33.2 cubic feet. The Kia Soul EV (49.5 cubic feet) and Volkswagen e-Golf (52.7 feet) are more competitive.
With standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto operated through a 10.2-inch touchscreen, the Bolt has you covered on the interior tech front. Another 8-inch display sits inside the instrument cluster. The Bolt also comes with standard satellite radio, six-speaker audio and 4G LTE Wi-Fi with a free month (up to 3GB) of data to power up to seven devices.
Features like collision-mitigation braking, lane-keep assist, rear cross-traffic alert and blind-spot monitoring are all optional, and that's pretty much the same case with the competition, too.
Chevrolet offers the Bolt EV in two trims, LT and Premier, with base prices ranging from $36,620 to $40,905. The LT comes standard with 17-inch aluminum wheels, self-sealing tires, HID headlights with LED daytime running lights, heated power outside mirrors, keyless access and automatic climate control.
The Premier comes with a brighter set of 17-inch wheels, turn indicators in the outside mirrors, roof rails, chrome strips in the door handles, perforated leather seats with heating front and rear, automatic heating for the leather-wrapped steering wheel, silver trim on the center stack, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and a surround-view monitor.
Options include a seven-speaker Bose premium audio system and wireless phone charging as part of the $485 Infotainment Package. $750 DC fast-charging is also optional. Fully loaded, the Bolt EV can approach $44,000.
The 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV is on sale nationwide now.