I’ve owned my Chevy Bolt LT now for about a week and a half So I thought I’d write a recap of my impressions. I am retired and got the Bolt as a second family car. I live near Nashville, TN so the Bolt wasn’t available until last month. I have had an interest in electric power for years (my bicycle is electric) and have followed the Bolt’s progress for nearly a year - ever since I saw it at the local auto show. I have been reading all the reviews and comments I could find, and even downloaded and read the entire user manual so even though I had not even touched one before mine arrived I was pretty familiar with the Bolt. After nearly two weeks and 500 miles, here are my impressions:
The best word / phrase I can think of to describe the Chevy Bolt is that it is “one SWEET ride”! It has awesome power and it’s instant - no engine noise or shifting effect - it just goes. This in itself is such amazing fun. It’s also quiet with only moderate tire noise as you get up to speed. Handling on the straight-away highway has always been an important thing to me and this Bolt is the best handling vehicle I’ve ever driven. It’s pure pleasure to drive down the straight and open road. However, while it still hugs the road nicely on bumpy / undulating road surfaces, the ride does get a little “busy”.
I’ve read quite a bit about the seats so I was a little concerned. I’m a smaller person (5’6”, 164 lbs) and so I was hopeful that the seats would be ok. I have found them to be indeed rather narrow. I came from a Chevy Spark and the seats in the Spark are larger, more padding - more comfortable. After driving a while I find the sides of the seat kind of “pinching” into my rib cage. There is a woeful lack of lumbar support. There is also too little padding on the sides of the seats; when I’m getting out of the car I feel the hard side of the seat pressing into the back of my leg. I’ve added a memory foam pad on the bench and a small lumbar support pad to the backrest. They both help to make the seat adequately comfortable, but Chevy really needs to increase the seat size and padding.
It took me a little time to get used to one-pedal driving in L but now it feels so natural, I hardly ever use the brakes. And normal range typically indicates well over 250 miles on full charge. The shifter took a bit of getting used to - it is a little quirky - but after a week I like it. I was surprised the LT doesn’t have any remote hatch opening. Every car should have some button or lever to open the rear hatch, trunk. And the backup camera is poor, just as other reviews have said. The interior isn’t expensive looking but it is nice.
I read on the forum that the charge cord delivered with the car can actually charge at 240V so I installed a 240V NEMA 6-20 plug in my garage and purchased an adapter. It works fine, charging at 12 amps, 240V. But I noticed the cord got quite warm at 12 amps (240V or 120V) and upon checking the cord I found it to be 16 gauge. That’s not adequate for 12 amps whether 240V or 120V. So I went ahead and purchased a 16 amp Duosida cord for $200, after first checking with the vendor and verifying the cord as 12 gauge. Now I feel comfortable charging at 240V, 16 amps at home and leaving the stock cord in the trunk should it be needed on the road.
When driving on a sunny day the sun would reflect off the chrome strip just below the center dash vents. How in the world could anyone have not noticed such a design problem!? Thankfully an easy fix was putting electrical tape over the chrome strip. It fit perfectly and looks like it was designed that way.
I like the display in front of the driver - lots of useful information. Lots to learn about the Infotainment system. So far the only problem I’ve had is getting Keypass connected with my Motorola MotoG5 Plus phone. It always times out in the pairing stage. But I doubt I would have much use for KeyPass anyway. The keyfob and MyChevrolet app together give me all the functionality I want.
In summary, my Chevy Bolt is everything I had hoped, and more. I find myself thinking of reasons to get out and drive it. I smile every time I go in the garage and get in it. And I find it quite liberating not having to search for the cheapest gas for the day. I’m by no means a “greenie / tree hugger” sort of person. I believe in Capitalism / Free Enterprise, and the benefits that come from the “enlightened self interest” creativity they foster. In the case of the Bolt, I think GM has a real winner, and it’s in the forefront of what I think will soon be a major change in the auto industry. GM just needs to “refine” a few things - like the seats - and get the word out with some main stream advertising.