2021 Chevrolet Bolt EV

MSRP range: $36,500 - $41,700
Edmunds suggests you pay$25,066

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2021 Chevrolet Bolt EV Review

  • Impressive 259 miles of range
  • Cabin is spacious
  • Quick acceleration and nimble handling for an EV
  • Nationwide availability
  • Interior looks and feels cheaper than most
  • Front seats are narrow and lack cushion depth
  • Ride comfort loses its polish on rougher roads
  • Touchscreen has no built-in navigation maps
  • DC fast charger is now standard on Premier trim
  • Part of the first Bolt generation introduced for 2017

The Chevrolet Bolt wasn't the first electric car, but it was one of the first to offer a long range at a somewhat affordable price. Four years on from that 2017 debut, the 2021 Bolt still fits that description with an EPA-estimated 259 miles of range. This amount isn't quite as novel as it once was — most EVs in 2021 can go at least 200 miles — but it's a healthy number for a compact hatchback.

There are minimal changes to the Bolt for 2021. Chevy had planned to give a major update this year but was delayed by the pandemic. You'll see more substantial changes for the 2022 model year. That means that you're more likely to get a better deal on the 2021 model, but you won't have the latest body style for very long. 

Overall, we like the Bolt and find it to be an agreeable commuter car. But it does have some drawbacks that might make you want to shop the Hyundai Kona EV, Kia Niro EV, Tesla Model 3 and Volkswagen ID.4 instead. Check out the categories of our Expert Rating below to learn more.

What's it like to live with?

Edmunds' editorial team acquired and lived with a 2017 Chevrolet Bolt for about three years, logging about 34,000 miles. Overall, we found it to be a great commuter car. To learn more about our test, check out our long-term Chevy Bolt test. The 2021 Chevrolet Bolt differs from our 2017 Bolt by way of improved front and rear cameras and a newer battery pack that adds more range. It's the same generation, though, so most of our observations still apply.

EdmundsEdmunds' Expert Rating
Rated for you by America’s best test team
The Chevrolet Bolt is a solid electric vehicle, especially with its 259 miles of range. It solves many of the qualms that EV shoppers have traditionally held. A spacious interior and fun-to-drive dynamics are bonuses. Its biggest problem is the swath of affordable competitors that have followed hot on its heels from Hyundai, Kia and — of course — Tesla.
There is plenty of muscle in the Bolt's throttle pedal. It merges onto freeways with ease, and there's a good deal of passing power when you need it. In D mode, the Bolt has standard friction brakes that are easy to control, while L mode activates lift-throttle regenerative braking that is fun to use and improves range.

It's hard to imagine how the Bolt could drive better. It responds smoothly to steering inputs without feeling darty. The steering feel and feedback are good, and the car stays straight ahead on the highway without demanding driver attention. When the road begins to curve, the Bolt feels nimble and sure-footed.
The front seats are relatively thinly cushioned, and some larger drivers will be able to feel the seat frame edges through the padding. But if you're of average size, the seats should hold up well, even on longer drives. More of a problem is the Bolt's overly busy and choppy ride because the suspension struggles to absorb pavement cracks and sharp-edged potholes.

But when the pavement is smooth, so is the Bolt. The climate control systems reacts quickly, and the Premier trim comes standard with heated front and rear seats. We also like the Bolt's quiet cabin. Wind noise is not an issue.
The controls are thoughtfully arranged, with a handy volume knob and tune buttons below the touchscreen. The instrument panel can be configured to show helpful range-coaching features. Our drivers found it easy to settle in behind the wheel with a height-adjustable driver's seat and telescoping steering wheel.

All of the doors open wide, and the roofline is tall all the way to the rear hatch. The Bolt feels much larger inside than you might expect. There's plenty of head- and legroom, though the cabin is narrow. Peek-a-boo windows and a commanding seating position help you see past the front roof pillars, and a range of available cameras aid visibility.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility is standard. You can use these systems to run navigation through your phone, but know that an integrated navigation system isn't available on the Bolt. The touchscreen is nice and big, but its menu responses can be slow. Two front USB ports come standard.

Most of the Bolt's advanced driver safety features are optional, which is disappointing. Many rivals offer these kind of features standard. You can't get adaptive cruise control at all. The Premier trim's 360-degree camera system is a boon in parking lots at least.
Considering its size, the Bolt has a good amount of space inside for small items. The front door pockets, center console and glovebox are adequate, the main cupholders are well positioned, and there's an open bin for purses. The cargo area is a bit smaller than the competition, but it's still useful. The Premier trim has a floor panel that provides hidden basement storage or can be removed to carry bulkier items.

The Bolt also works out pretty well for family taxi duty. The car seat anchors for child safety seats are easy to locate, and there are top tethers on all three rear seat positions. The rear doors open wide enough to fit bulky rear-facing seats inside.
The Bolt received a range boost for 2020 and is rated to return 259 miles on a single charge, making it one of the longest ranges in the segment. It's also estimated to return 100 miles for every 29 kWh of energy. In Edmunds' real-world EV range testing, the Bolt was able to travel 277 miles on a single charge at a slightly more efficient 25.7 kWh per 100 miles.

While that's a great result, the Hyundai Kona Electric, which received a similar range and efficiency rating from the EPA, far outperformed its estimates, traveling more than 300 miles.
In the time since the Bolt debuted, Hyundai and Kia have released affordable EVs with more standard equipment and better interiors for a similar price. The standard-range Tesla Model 3 has numerous advantages over the field too. Chevy did the Bolt no favors by using thin carpets, hard plastics and other cost-saving measures. An upgraded range of 259 miles helps at least.

Like all electric vehicles, there's little required maintenance. The battery and other electrical components are covered for eight years and 100,000 miles.
The Bolt's playful nimbleness and one-pedal driving afforded by the strong regenerative braking effect in L mode are very entertaining. It's an enjoyable EV to drive. The upright hatchback styling doesn't stand out in a crowd, but the Bolt delivers solid green street cred and low-cost long-range performance.

Which Bolt EV does Edmunds recommend?

Much of the Bolt's appeal lies in its value. As such, we recommend the base LT trim. There's a big price jump to get the Premier. The Bolt no longer qualifies for any federal tax credits either, which also makes the Premier less enticing. Many of the advanced safety and convenience features from the Premier trim (such as the DC fast-charging capability) can be added to the LT trim as options.

Chevrolet Bolt EV models

The Bolt comes in two trims: the LT and the Premier. Both models are equipped with the same 66-kWh battery pack under the floor, sending power to a single electric motor (200 horsepower, 266 lb-ft) that drives the front wheels. The estimated range is the same on both trims: 259 miles.

This entry-level Chevy Bolt comes with:

  • Automatic high-intensity discharge headlamps
  • 17-inch alloy wheels
  • Keyless entry with push-button start
  • 10.2-inch central display screen
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility
  • Cloth seats

Main options for the LT include:

  • Comfort and Convenience package
    • Heated front seats
    • Heated and leather-wrapped steering wheel
    • Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  • Driver Confidence package
    • Blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert (warns you if a vehicle is in your blind spot during a lane change or while reversing)
    • Rear parking sensors
  • DC fast-charging port

Comes with all of the above plus:

  • Surround-view camera system (gives you a top-down view of the Bolt and its surroundings for tight parking situations)
  • Roof-mounted side rails
  • Heated rear seats
  • Perforated leather seats
  • Hands-free liftgate

Optional for both trims is the Driver Confidence II package that adds:

  • Forward collision mitigation (warns you of an impending collision and applies the brakes in certain scenarios)
  • Lane departure warning (alerts you if the vehicle begins to drift out of its lane)
  • Lane keeping assist (steers the Bolt back into its lane if it begins to drift over the lane marker)
  • Automatic high-beam headlights
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Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2021 Chevrolet Bolt EV.

Average user rating: 5.0 stars
5 total reviews
5 star reviews: 100%
4 star reviews: 0%
3 star reviews: 0%
2 star reviews: 0%
1 star reviews: 0%

Trending topics in reviews

  • appearance
  • spaciousness

Most helpful consumer reviews

5/5 stars, It is a Bolt in the Arm!
1st a Colt, 2s Volts & Bolt,
Premier 4dr Hatchback (electric DD)
Having leased and liked a Gen 1 and Gen 2 Volts, I traded one in because of the incredible incentives and value on the 2020s but got a sweet deal on a fresh from the factory 2021s. The Bolt Premier has exceeded my epectations and make the 2019 Volt seem like 1980s! The Bolt handles better, feels more planted, it's Michelin tires have so much better grip than the Michelin OEMs on the Volt. The Volt is quick but the Bolt is a rocket ship. It is wolf in sheep's clothing! Apparently they improved the seats and dash for '21 and the seats are an improvement over the Volt but still are not like my Buick's! The car is exceptionally well made no visual flaws. The AC works well. The safety systems and infotainment systems are so extensive I've watched tutorials. Visibility is great because of the rare greenhouse styling. You sit up higher like in a SUV which is also better than the Volt. I wish the seats had lumbar support and that there was an adaptive cruise control option. My guess is that they will rectify that with the "22s. Why a $43K car doesn't have HomeLink either is a question. The salesperson and finance director were unusally knowledgble. It was my best experience out of 35 cars I've owned! The salesperson told me to drive it in L gear (actually there are not any gears) and the engine acts as a brake when you let your foot off the pedal. Apparently this is what Telsa owners do. Anyway it works great in stop and go traffic and urban driving. I am getting a charger installed in my garage as this Bolt charges about the same as the Volt, 50 miles at night. I need more than that. The interior feels spacious and if you stand next to a Volt it is actually bigger than it looks. There's more interior space than a Telsa S! It's well planted because of its width.
5/5 stars, Who knew it would be so good?
Premier 4dr Hatchback (electric DD)
Went, somewhat reluctantly, for a test drive to help get this particular EV “out of my system”. The pictures had made it look small and so, at 6’3” I had not expected much. Boy was I wrong. This feels spacious inside and it drives like a rocket! All electric sweet! With the current sales prior to the 2022 release year models, this was way more affordable too.
5/5 stars, You'll like it more than you thought you would
Daddy Fix IT,
Premier 4dr Hatchback (electric DD)
The Chevy Bolt is my second EV in 7 years. In car one, I went 126,000 miles all electric miles and I swore I would never go back to a gas car. Having nothing to do with my so called "Carbon Footprint," an all Electric car is simply just to drive and maintenace costs are counted in pennies. So last month it came time to trade in old "Sparky" for my next EV. I was beyond surprised by Bolt. I had actually gone to the dealer to look at a used EV by another manufacturer. While waiting for the paperwork, I came across the Bolt in the showroom. The more I looked at it, the more I liked it. Fit and finish are well above what I would expected, 250+ miles on a single charge, and most critically, the interior space fit all of the work related stuff I have to carry to do my job. (Small car with gobs of room... Who knew?) Then came the test drive. I was hooked. Plenty of power, great handling, and the creacher comforts of the Premier package, make the Bolt irresistible. That coming from a seasoned EV driver (7years & 100+K EV miles) I knew what to expect and Bolt exceeded all of those expectations. Quite simply, you will like the Bolt more than you think. :)
5/5 stars, Love it
LT 4dr Hatchback (electric DD)
Is it what you want

2021 Chevrolet Bolt EV video

[MUSIC PLAYING] DAN EDMUNDS: Prevailing wisdom suggests that an electric vehicle needs more than 200 miles of range to stave off range anxiety and make it useful for more than just commuting. But until now, there's only been one affordable example. The Chevrolet Bolt EV brings 238 miles of range to the table. But now there's a new Hyundai Kona Electric with 258 miles of range. KURT NIEBUHR: Which of these vehicles is better? Are these finally the affordable EVs that everybody's been waiting for? Before we answer that, make sure you subscribe to our channel, and visit Edmunds.com to help find your next vehicle, electric or otherwise. DAN EDMUNDS: When I first proposed this test in the office, everybody said, why are you putting a Bolt up against a crossover SUV? Well, the Kona electric isn't really that much of an SUV. I mean, it's only got front-wheel drive. There's no all-wheel drive version. KURT NIEBUHR: And the Chevy's just kind of a tall hatchback anyway, and it's front-wheel drive too. I mean, these things are pretty close on paper, when you look at the specs. DAN EDMUNDS: Oh, yeah, the wheelbase is identical. And the Kona is only about a half inch longer. And both of them have 150 kilowatt electric motors. Chevy says theirs is good for 200 horsepower. Hyundai's number is 201 horsepower. But I'll give it to them, because their electric motor makes more torque. KURT NIEBUHR: These things do not look the same at all. DAN EDMUNDS: No, no, the Kona Electric is both lower and wider than the Bolt, some SUV, right? KURT NIEBUHR: People around the office are asking, why didn't you guys include the Leaf? Why didn't you include the Model 3? DAN EDMUNDS: Well, the Bolt has 238 miles of range. And the Kona Electric has 258 miles of range. KURT NIEBUHR: Yeah, the Leaf's 150 is just way too short. DAN EDMUNDS: Right. As for the Model 3, the $35,000 version, with 220 miles of range, they're not making it. I mean, we can't compare these two vehicles to something that doesn't exist. KURT NIEBUHR: Nah, that's just vaporware. DAN EDMUNDS: Yeah, really. [MUSIC PLAYING] KURT NIEBUHR: So what are we looking at? DAN EDMUNDS: Well, at the moment, a whole lot of plastic. But up in here is the electric motor that drives the front wheels. KURT NIEBUHR: Yeah, I can just see it up there. DAN EDMUNDS: Right. We move back and there's this big aluminum expanse, the width of the car, really long. This is the battery pack. 65 kilowatt hours of storage, that's like gallons to a gas tank. And that's what gives this car 258 miles of range. KURT NIEBUHR: It's so flat. DAN EDMUNDS: Yeah, the smoothness of this battery pack and the plastic ahead of it contributes to a 14% reduction in drag compared to a regular Kona. KURT NIEBUHR: That's a lot. DAN EDMUNDS: Yeah, it's not nothing. And we move back here, and we see a really nice multi-link suspension, which gives this car really good ride and handling. And also makes room for the battery pack to be as big as it possibly can be. KURT NIEBUHR: So I imagine that the Chevrolet looks exactly the same underneath. DAN EDMUNDS: Well, maybe. KURT NIEBUHR: So we're under the Chevy and there's a lot of black plastic underneath here too. DAN EDMUNDS: Absolutely, but trust me, there's an electric motor up in there that drives the front wheel, just like the Kona. We move back, and we see, this is the battery pack. But it looks different. It's narrower. It's not as long. But it's almost as big, at 60 kilowatt hours, 238 miles of range. So it's got to be taller, which might be why the Bolt has the roofline that it has. KURT NIEBUHR: It's also not very smooth under here. DAN EDMUNDS: No, it's not. It doesn't look like they paid nearly as much attention to smoothing the airflow underneath here. We move back and we see something different here too. KURT NIEBUHR: Yeah, this suspension does not look anything like the suspension that's in the Hyundai. DAN EDMUNDS: No, this is a basic twist beam rear axle, which is really pretty cheap and inexpensive. It was popular in compact cars. But it's not the most sophisticated suspension for ride and handling. It'll be interesting to see how the two compare when we start driving them back to back. KURT NIEBUHR: Yeah. DAN EDMUNDS: They might not be the same at all. KURT NIEBUHR: I can't wait to find out. DAN EDMUNDS: Yeah. [MUSIC PLAYING] So both of these have plenty of space if you fold the seats down. But they have a lot of range, so you can go somewhere with the family. So you might have four people in this. Where are you going to put the luggage? Will it fit? KURT NIEBUHR: I don't like how that kind of rides on the plastic trim back there. DAN EDMUNDS: It's a little bit tight. What about third one? KURT NIEBUHR: The third one, we're going to have to put it-- DAN EDMUNDS: No choice there. KURT NIEBUHR: It's easy enough, but will it shut. DAN EDMUNDS: Oh, actually pretty easily. No problem. KURT NIEBUHR: But we can lower the floor. DAN EDMUNDS: Oh, yeah, that's right. And it's a pretty dramatic change. Oh, look at that. You can stand these things up. Easy. KURT NIEBUHR: There we go. On the Kona-- DAN EDMUNDS: Well, you can already see that the floor's longer here. KURT NIEBUHR: Yeah, there's more room. DAN EDMUNDS: More width too. KURT NIEBUHR: You can probably shove that one in. DAN EDMUNDS: I think so. KURT NIEBUHR: And it shut. DAN EDMUNDS: Not a problem. You can also lower the floor as well. KURT NIEBUHR: Oh, yeah. DAN EDMUNDS: It's not as deep. But it might do the job Yeah, this stands up. There out the line of sight. KURT NIEBUHR: Yeah. DAN EDMUNDS: If you don't want to drop the basement, this has a little more space. But if you do, there's really not a big difference. Wow, who was driving this thing. KURT NIEBUHR: I was. DAN EDMUNDS: Well, I got to bring it back. Are you OK? KURT NIEBUHR: Yeah, I'm OK. DAN EDMUNDS: How's that. KURT NIEBUHR: It's OK, you can go back a little farther. I'm actually happy back here. I've got enough room for my legs. I got enough room for my feet. I even have a heated seat. Let's go check out the Hyundai. DAN EDMUNDS: All right. Oh, I'm going to have to bring this one back big time. KURT NIEBUHR: This isn't so bad back here. Oh, what are you doing. DAN EDMUNDS: I got to bring it back. KURT NIEBUHR: Oh, I hate you. Oh, my god. OK. DAN EDMUNDS: That's a power seat, though. The other one wasn't. KURT NIEBUHR: There's less leg room back here than in the Bolt by quite a bit. DAN EDMUNDS: You think? KURT NIEBUHR: My feet are starting to go numb. Could you move this forward? I can't get out. [MUSIC PLAYING] Now comes the fun part. DAN EDMUNDS: We've left town, and we're in the mountains, and we're going to go up to Crystal Lake. KURT NIEBUHR: Yeah, and because we have plenty of range, we don't have to worry about range and we're not going to talk about ranch. DAN EDMUNDS: Right, we can think about the normal things that people think about, ride, handling, steering, braking, how fun are these things to drive. KURT NIEBUHR: Let's find out. DAN EDMUNDS: Let's take the Bolt. [MUSIC PLAYING] Wow, these roads are pretty incredible. KURT NIEBUHR: Yeah, they really are. DAN EDMUNDS: What's not incredible is this seat. It feels like I'm sitting on a seat frame. It's really narrow. I'm sitting on it, rather than in it. KURT NIEBUHR: I think I'm overlapping on the side of the seat. And I'm with you. My upper back, my shoulders are not happy with the seat. DAN EDMUNDS: The driving position is good, but the seat itself just feels too small. The interior just feels kind of cheap. It just does not have really attractive materials. I wish they'd put a little bit more money in the seats and the interior panels. KURT NIEBUHR: The one thing that's really prominent in my eyes, and it's literally in my eyes, is how bright and light the interior is. Because there's a lot of shiny or light plastics, which now we're in shade, and it's great. But as soon as we come back through the sun, like reflections flicker off the windscreen. DAN EDMUNDS: Yeah, the angle of the windshield is just about perfectly wrong, because it's reflects the-- every detail of the top of the dash back into my eyes. It's like I need sunglasses just for that. But that is an option. I suggest that you get the darkest one they sell. KURT NIEBUHR: You'd have to. DAN EDMUNDS: Yeah, absolutely. You know what's really cool about this car, the driving position is great. I mean, the telescopic steering wheel's right where I need it. I feel I can see out really well, other than the glare. And the re-gen on this thing, using the motor's magnetism to slow the car, is really easy. You just flip the shifter and it goes into L. And now, when you lift off the throttle, you're slowing down and you're not touching the brake pedal. And it's really kind of fun. It's not kind of fun, it is fun. KURT NIEBUHR: Yeah. DAN EDMUNDS: I got to get on a little bit of breaks for this tight hairpin, but-- yeah, the tires, they make a little noise. KURT NIEBUHR: We might be having fun, but the tires don't sound like they're having fun. DAN EDMUNDS: Low rolling resistance. But that doesn't mean low fun. Because this thing really changes direction really well. KURT NIEBUHR: Yeah. DAN EDMUNDS: And I have really good control of the car's entry speed because of the lift throttle re-gen It's really kind of neat. Yeah, these seats though, they're-- [TIRES SQUEALING] Listen to that. What was I saying? All right, I guess it's your turn to drive, right? KURT NIEBUHR: Yeah. I'm absolutely with you on the seating position. I can get comfortable in this car very quickly. I like the range the steering wheel moves towards you. The seat is very adjustable. DAN EDMUNDS: It just isn't nice to sit on. KURT NIEBUHR: It's not a comfortable seat. DAN EDMUNDS: No. KURT NIEBUHR: This could be the like worst seat I think I've sat in that's on sale today. Now I get to make the most of this car's torque. DAN EDMUNDS: Oh. KURT NIEBUHR: All EVs make torque right from zero miles an hour. DAN EDMUNDS: Well, it's not just that. This thing's got 200 horsepower. I mean, we can't forget that. KURT NIEBUHR: No, and it's actually fun to drive. It's not sloppy. DAN EDMUNDS: That's a tight hairpin. And that's a skinny tire. KURT NIEBUHR: That's a skinny tire. But I have to tell you that I'm not using the brake pedal, I'm just using the re-gen of the throttle pedal, because it's so intuitive. Back off a little bit to slow down, twist it to speed up. DAN EDMUNDS: And you know, the body isn't rolling a whole lot. I mean it's rolling some, but any car would on this road. KURT NIEBUHR: Yeah. DAN EDMUNDS: But that's probably because the battery's under the floor, so the center of gravity of this thing is really low. KURT NIEBUHR: I will say that I feel like I'm sitting more on top of the car than in the car, which creates more of a sensation of speed. Like I feel like I shouldn't be driving the car this fast, even though the car feels just fine. DAN EDMUNDS: The cal is really low. The seating position's a little high, because you've got the battery under your backside. Just needs some sticker tires I think. KURT NIEBUHR: This is way too much fun for an electric vehicle. So what's your opinion of the Bolt? DAN EDMUNDS: Well, I like driving it. I mean, the steering, the handling. It's got plenty of power, they regenerate braking is really fun, actually even on a challenging road like this. I just don't like the interior, the seats, the way the dash is put together. I'm not a fan of that. But to drive it, it's great. KURT NIEBUHR: I completely agree with you. And you must not buy the light colored interior. DAN EDMUNDS: Exactly. [MUSIC PLAYING] Oh man, right away, I love this seat. It looks good, and it's wide, and it's comfortable. KURT NIEBUHR: Yeah, we are definitely not in the Bolt anymore. DAN EDMUNDS: Exactly, and we're a little further apart. This cabin is wide and spacious too. And look at the materials. This thing looks nice. KURT NIEBUHR: I feel more surrounded. I feel like I'm sitting in the car. DAN EDMUNDS: Right. KURT NIEBUHR: Whereas, in the bolt, I felt like I was kind of higher up, kind of perched. DAN EDMUNDS: And the controls are really nicely laid out. There's the touchscreen, air conditioning, shifter, and these are the heated and ventilated seat controls. KURT NIEBUHR: I've got vent-- I'm going to use mine. DAN EDMUNDS: Yeah, right? KURT NIEBUHR: Yeah. DAN EDMUNDS: This also has a sunroof. The Bolt didn't have one of those. KURT NIEBUHR: No. DAN EDMUNDS: And the Bolt is the premier. It is the top of the line offering. This is the ultimate, which is also the top of the line offering. Its more ultimate. KURT NIEBUHR: Yep. Something else that's glaringly obvious is the distinct lack of glare. Now, this is still a light colored interior, but I'm not getting blinded by shiny plastic bits. DAN EDMUNDS: Right, right, I agree. And as the driver, I appreciate it. The other thing I'm noticing is going into that last corner and some of these other ones, the regenerative braking just isn't quite as powerful as it is in the Bolt. KURT NIEBUHR: That was a squirrel. DAN EDMUNDS: Squirrel. I do have three settings. I can adjust it with a paddle here. But I set it to the max and wish I had one more step. You know, this car really feels more substantial. It's wider and it feels like it has a wider footprint on the road. It's a little bit more composed. The tires don't feel like they're working as hard. It's not squealing as much. It's really nicely balanced. I mean, the Bolt wasn't unbalanced, it wasn't bad. But this just feels better. And even there, on that really tight corner, a little hint of squeal, but nothing like the Bolt generated. KURT NIEBUHR: The bolt was a little vocal. DAN EDMUNDS: Yeah, the transitions feel real nice. The multi-link rear suspension over twist beam, I think we're feeling a little bit of a benefit here. KURT NIEBUHR: I'd say so far, I feel less movement. DAN EDMUNDS: It's almost like this road is a smoother road than when it was in the Bolt. KURT NIEBUHR: Yeah. DAN EDMUNDS: Oh, wow. KURT NIEBUHR: That was way better. No arguing that, the Kona electric rides better. DAN EDMUNDS: I just wish I could get a little bit more lift throttle re-gen in these corners. It's just not quite there. The steering in this car feels pretty good. When I drove it in town, I thought, it's a little light, it doesn't feel as distinct on center as the Bolt. And that's true. But when we get up here in these corners, it loads up a bit nicer than it does on the street. I still think the Bolt's steering feel is a little better, but this is better than it was in the city. KURT NIEBUHR: So when am I going to get to drive? DAN EDMUNDS: Right about now. If you listen closely, there's that-- KURT NIEBUHR: Yeah, I think it gets louder when you start moving. DAN EDMUNDS: Listen to that, that's awesome. KURT NIEBUHR: You're right, right away the car feels more solid. It isn't that the Bolt feels the least bit flimsy. It's just I like the way this car feels. I agree with you on the steering feel. It is a little light, but I like the way this feels through the corner. And I also like the fact that it has wider tires on it as well. It's very noticeable. There's not the tires squeal that the Bolt had. DAN EDMUNDS: It has the power. It's just the matter of not having as much power? KURT NIEBUHR: No. DAN EDMUNDS: That's not it. KURT NIEBUHR: The power feels more robust. And the Bolt does not feel like it's lacking for power. DAN EDMUNDS: No. KURT NIEBUHR: But the Kona makes that power available to you. DAN EDMUNDS: This has about the same horsepower, 201 versus 200. Let's call it equal. But it makes more torque, about 30 more pound feet than the Bolt. So I think that's what you're feeling coming out of these corners. KURT NIEBUHR: I'll second what you said about the interior of this car. I feel like I'm sitting in a more regular car. Because the Kona Electric is also a regular Kona, it's the same car. And the Bolt was built just to be an EV. DAN EDMUNDS: Right. Which usually would make the Bolt a better EV, because it's purpose built. But this doesn't feel like they've made any sacrifices to make an electric car version. Just look at the way the battery is mounted underneath, as we saw yesterday. It's just so well integrated into the chassis. KURT NIEBUHR: You're right about the re-gen. I wish it was a little bit more aggressive. We have it set at the maximum. We both seem to prefer the way that the Bolt handles it. [MUSIC PLAYING] DAN EDMUNDS: Well, that was fun. KURT NIEBUHR: That was really fun. DAN EDMUNDS: I mean, why wouldn't it be? These are compact hatchbacks with 200 horsepower. KURT NIEBUHR: Yeah, and we said we wouldn't talk about range. We're still not going to talk about range. Because we both have over half a charge left. DAN EDMUNDS: And we're at 5,000 feet. It's downhill most of the way home. Things are only going to get better. So let's go. KURT NIEBUHR: Let's go. [MUSIC PLAYING] DAN EDMUNDS: So which of these two EVs is the right one? First, we have to talk pricing. We don't know exactly what the Kona Electric costs just yet. But sources say the base model's price will come in close to that of the base Bolt. And we know with certainty that the Kona will be better equipped. But here's another point to consider. Chevrolet is about to cross the phase out threshold for federal tax credit eligibility. The Bolt's $7,500 tax credit will shrink by half to $3,750 early next year. Then shrink again to $1,875 six months after that. In just over a year, it'll be down to zero. Hyundai, on the other hand, is just getting started with EV sales. The Kona electric will qualify for the full $7,500 tax credit for years to come. There's a lot to like about these cars. Both are more fun to drive than you might expect. They're practically hot hatchbacks. And you can go places and be spontaneous, because each offers enough range to make them useful for more than just commuting. We like the Bolt for its superior regenerative braking and more generous rear leg room. But the clear winner here is the Hyundai Kona Electric on the strength of its more sophisticated ride and handling, nicer interior, and longer list of standard and optional features. The extra 20 miles of range it offers is merely a bonus. For more videos like this, be sure to click Subscribe, and visit Edmunds for all your car shopping needs.

Chevrolet Bolt EV vs. Hyundai Kona Electric: Which Is the Best Affordable Long-Range EV?

NOTE: This video is about the 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV, but since the 2021 Chevrolet Bolt EV is part of the same generation, our earlier analysis still applies.

Features & Specs

Battery & Range
EPA KWh/100 mi.: 29
Time To Charge Battery (At 240V): 10.0 hr.
EPA Electricity Range: 259 mi.
5 seats
Type: front wheel drive
Transmission: 1-speed direct drive
Basic Warranty
3 yr./ 36000 mi.
Length: 164.0 in. / Height: 62.8 in. / Width: 69.5 in.
Curb Weight: 3563 lbs.
Cargo Capacity, All Seats In Place: 16.9 cu.ft.
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Bring back a dealer's quote, and we'll tell you if it's a good price!

Example Price Checker

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Build Your Bolt EV
At a Glance:
  • 9 Colors
  • 2 Trims
  • $36,620starting MSRP
See pricing and options on your next Chevrolet
*The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price excludes destination freight charge, tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment. Click here to see all Chevrolet vehicles' destination freight charges. Some colors are extra cost. See dealer for details.


Our experts’ favorite Bolt EV safety features:

Forward Collision Alert
Scans the road ahead and warns of potential rear-end collisions in case the driver hasn't already identified the risks.
Automatic Emergency Braking
Works with forward collision warning to help you avoid or reduce the severity of a front-end collision. Works at speeds under 50 mph.
Lane Keep Assist w/Lane Departure Warning
Warns the driver that the car may be drifting from its lane and can apply corrective action to nudge it back into line.

NHTSA Overall Rating 5 out of 5 stars

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.

Frontal Barrier Crash RatingRating
Overall4 / 5
Driver5 / 5
Passenger4 / 5
Side Crash RatingRating
Overall5 / 5
Side Barrier RatingRating
Overall5 / 5
Driver5 / 5
Passenger4 / 5
Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsRating
Front Seat5 / 5
Back Seat4 / 5
Rollover5 / 5
Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
Risk Of Rollover9.7%

IIHS Rating

The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.

Side Impact Test
Roof Strength Test
Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
IIHS Small Overlap Front TestNot Tested
Moderate Overlap Front Test

Chevrolet Bolt EV vs. the competition

2021 Chevrolet Bolt EV

2021 Chevrolet Bolt EV

2020 Nissan Leaf

2020 Nissan Leaf

Chevrolet Bolt EV vs. Nissan Leaf

The Nissan Leaf in its Plus trim is worth comparing to the Bolt since it has 226 miles of range and costs about the same. The standard Leaf will set you back less than a Bolt, but it only has a range of 150 miles. Edmunds ranks both of these two EVs about midpack for mainstream EVs. Read Edmunds' long-term road test of the Nissan Leaf.

Compare Chevrolet Bolt EV & Nissan Leaf features 

Chevrolet Bolt EV vs. Tesla Model 3

The Tesla Model 3 has a stylish interior and a high-tech infotainment system. It can receive over-the-air updates that Tesla uses to update software or even capability. Another big advantage is Tesla's nationwide network of Supercharger quick-charge stations. The Model 3 has an estimated 263 miles of range in its base model. Read Edmunds' long-term road test of the Tesla Model 3.

Compare Chevrolet Bolt EV & Tesla Model 3 features 

Chevrolet Bolt EV vs. Hyundai Kona Electric

The Kona is similar to the Bolt in terms of price, range and acceleration. But the Kona offers a more composed ride than the Bolt, and its interior feels more solidly put together and properly finished. Take note: The Bolt is offered nationwide, but the Kona is only available in select regions. Read Edmunds' long-term road test of the Hyundai Kona Electric.

Compare Chevrolet Bolt EV & Hyundai Kona Electric features 


Is the Chevrolet Bolt EV a good car?

The Edmunds experts tested the 2021 Bolt EV both on the road and at the track, giving it a 7.9 out of 10. You probably care about Chevrolet Bolt EV energy consumption, so it's important to know that the Bolt EV gets an EPA-estimated 118 mpg-e. What about cargo capacity? When you're thinking about carrying stuff in your new car, keep in mind that the Bolt EV has 16.9 cubic feet of trunk space. And then there's safety and reliability. Edmunds has all the latest NHTSA and IIHS crash-test scores, plus industry-leading expert and consumer reviews to help you understand what it's like to own and maintain a Chevrolet Bolt EV. Learn more

What's new in the 2021 Chevrolet Bolt EV?

According to Edmunds’ car experts, here’s what’s new for the 2021 Chevrolet Bolt EV:

  • DC fast charger is now standard on Premier trim
  • Part of the first Bolt generation introduced for 2017
Learn more

Is the Chevrolet Bolt EV reliable?

To determine whether the Chevrolet Bolt EV is reliable, read Edmunds' authentic consumer reviews, which come from real owners and reveal what it's like to live with the Bolt EV. Look for specific complaints that keep popping up in the reviews, and be sure to compare the Bolt EV's average consumer rating to that of competing vehicles. Learn more

Is the 2021 Chevrolet Bolt EV a good car?

There's a lot to consider if you're wondering whether the 2021 Chevrolet Bolt EV is a good car. Edmunds' expert testing team reviewed the 2021 Bolt EV and gave it a 7.9 out of 10. Safety scores, fuel economy, cargo capacity and feature availability should all be factors in determining whether the 2021 Bolt EV is a good car for you. Learn more

How much should I pay for a 2021 Chevrolet Bolt EV?

The least-expensive 2021 Chevrolet Bolt EV is the 2021 Chevrolet Bolt EV LT 4dr Hatchback (electric DD). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $36,500.

Other versions include:

  • LT 4dr Hatchback (electric DD) which starts at $36,500
  • Premier 4dr Hatchback (electric DD) which starts at $41,700
Learn more

What are the different models of Chevrolet Bolt EV?

If you're interested in the Chevrolet Bolt EV, the next question is, which Bolt EV model is right for you? Bolt EV variants include LT 4dr Hatchback (electric DD), and Premier 4dr Hatchback (electric DD). For a full list of Bolt EV models, check out Edmunds’ Features & Specs page. Learn more

More about the 2021 Chevrolet Bolt EV

2021 Chevrolet Bolt EV Overview

The 2021 Chevrolet Bolt EV is offered in the following submodels: Bolt EV Hatchback. Available styles include LT 4dr Hatchback (electric DD), and Premier 4dr Hatchback (electric DD).

What do people think of the 2021 Chevrolet Bolt EV?

Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2021 Chevrolet Bolt EV and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2021 Bolt EV 5.0 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2021 Bolt EV.

Edmunds Expert Reviews

Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2021 Chevrolet Bolt EV and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2021 Bolt EV featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

Our Review Process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.

What's a good price for a New 2021 Chevrolet Bolt EV?

2021 Chevrolet Bolt EV LT 4dr Hatchback (electric DD)

The 2021 Chevrolet Bolt EV LT 4dr Hatchback (electric DD) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $39,295. The average price paid for a new 2021 Chevrolet Bolt EV LT 4dr Hatchback (electric DD) is trending $14,229 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $14,229 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $25,066.

The average savings for the 2021 Chevrolet Bolt EV LT 4dr Hatchback (electric DD) is 36.2% below the MSRP.

Available Inventory:

We are showing 32 2021 Chevrolet Bolt EV LT 4dr Hatchback (electric DD) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburn area.

2021 Chevrolet Bolt EV Premier 4dr Hatchback (electric DD)

The 2021 Chevrolet Bolt EV Premier 4dr Hatchback (electric DD) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $43,785. The average price paid for a new 2021 Chevrolet Bolt EV Premier 4dr Hatchback (electric DD) is trending $14,491 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $14,491 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $29,294.

The average savings for the 2021 Chevrolet Bolt EV Premier 4dr Hatchback (electric DD) is 33.1% below the MSRP.

Available Inventory:

We are showing 75 2021 Chevrolet Bolt EV Premier 4dr Hatchback (electric DD) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburn area.

Which 2021 Chevrolet Bolt EVS are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2021 Chevrolet Bolt EV for sale near. There are currently 107 new 2021 Bolt EVS listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $38,245 and mileage as low as 0 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2021 Chevrolet Bolt EV. Then select Edmunds special offers, perks, deals, and incentives to contact the dealer of your choice and save up to $14,627 on a used or CPO 2021 Bolt EV available from a dealership near you.

Can't find a new 2021 Chevrolet Bolt EVs you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a new Chevrolet for sale - 5 great deals out of 10 listings starting at $24,539.

Why trust Edmunds?

Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.

Should I lease or buy a 2021 Chevrolet Bolt EV?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Chevrolet lease specials