2017 Chevrolet Bolt: Monthly Update for April 2018
by Will Kaufman, Associate Staff Writer
Where Did We Drive It?
Our 2017 Chevrolet Bolt is back on regular duty after all the recent drama. In case you missed the headlines, in April we wrote up the full story of how faulty hardware and software led to range issues that left two editors stranded on the side of the road with a dead Bolt.
Chevrolet took the Bolt in, diagnosed and repaired the problem, and we've had no further issues. April was relatively uneventful and our Bolt trundled along cheerfully enough through the daily abuse of an L.A. commute. For the full story, read Dan Edmunds' write-up; Bolt owners and prospective buyers will want to know these details.
What Kind of Fuel Economy Did It Get?
Our Bolt drove a little more than 1,000 miles in April, and over that distance our efficiency improved a bit compared to March. Our average consumption is down to 26.7 kWh/100 miles, which is better than Chevy's stated estimate of 28 kWh/100 miles combined. The Bolt continues to impress with its efficiency, even if we've had some reliability issues.
Average lifetime mpg: 26.7 kWh/100
EPA mpg rating: 28 kWh/100 combined (26 city/31 highway)
Best fill mpg: 18.3 kWh/100
Best range: 334.3 miles
Current odometer: 16,475 miles
Maintenance and Upkeep
"Our Bolt rides much better than the Model 3. I spent the past weekend driving the Model 3 so it was fresh in my mind. Where the Model 3 is harsh over bumps, the Bolt feels more comfortable and composed." — Ron Montoya, senior consumer advice editor
"Have I mentioned the Bolt's light gray dashboard? If not, I am. It's too light in color. This is a problem because sunlight (or even a gas station's bright overhead light at night) creates a reflection of the dashboard on the inside of the windshield. This completely washes out the view forward and it's why dashboards are, or should always be, black. GM has only been making cars for 110 years so we'll cut them some slack for not knowing this." — Jason Kavanagh, senior road test engineer
"In the past I've noticed the driver's seat creaking a bit on occasion. It is definitely getting worse." — Mike Schmidt, senior manager, vehicle testing
"I enjoy driving the Chevy Bolt and I've recommended it to more than a few people who were considering buying an EV. The one area that would give me pause as a potential buyer is interior space, specifically cargo volume. As a hatchback, the Bolt makes the most of its size, but it's on the low side of sufficient for what I'd want in hatchback utility. I've thought, 'If only it were Volt-size, it would be perfect.'
"Well, I did a spec check just now and found something surprising: The Bolt actually has 6.3 more cubic feet of cargo space than the larger Chevy Volt (not to mention more rear legroom and headroom). I don't recall the trunk of our long-term Volt being small at all, but the numbers would disagree. Whatever the case, a slightly bigger Bolt (the Jolt?) would make me very happy." — Jonathan Elfalan, senior road test editor
"It's Friday afternoon at 4:45 p.m. and I'm merging onto the freeway. I'm not alone. This 40-mile commute home will ultimately suck two-and-a-half hours of life from me, but it's going to earn me some EV street cred. Everybody needs that. I left our parking garage with the Bolt's meter showing 271 miles of range. When I pulled into my driveway, it still showed 271 miles. Thank you to regenerative braking, everyone on the 405 freeway and the Academy for making this accomplishment possible. I've lost my mind." — Mike Schmidt