2017 Chevrolet Bolt: Monthly Update for August 2017
by Mike Schmidt, Senior Manager, Vehicle Testing Operations
Where Did We Drive It?
August was another low-mileage month for our 2017 Chevrolet Bolt, but it was not without some drama. We spent the past four weeks using the Chevy to get to and from the office and as a city runabout. Never far from a charging station, the range envelope was not really pushed. Despite the lack of miles, there was still some excitement.
The Bolt spent a portion of the month out of commission with a flat tire. More precisely, flat tires. It went to three different tire shops and rode on the back of a flatbed tow truck. And it sent us on a seemingly wild goose chase in search of a replacement tire. In the end, the experience served as a frustrating reminder of what it's like to own a car without a spare tire.
What Kind of Fuel Economy Did It Get?
We traveled just 806 miles in the month of August. Coincidentally, that is almost exactly how far we went last month. We averaged a conservative 85 miles between plug-ins this month, which is below our lifetime average of 105 miles.
With many drivers and varying schedules, it seems we can't get up the nerve to push the range to its limit for any period of time. The typical owner isn't going to have this issue. So far we are 8,917 miles into our test, and our max range so far is 248.6 miles. Seems to me like we're overdue for a serious range test on this thing.
Maintenance and Upkeep
On the maintenance front, this month was irksome but educational. We learned a lot about the intricacies of getting a flat tire on the Bolt. The quick summary is that we are not sold on self-sealing tire technology. Replacement tires are hard to come by. And some shops don't even know how to repair them.
Total cost: $60
Total freebies: 1 Michelin Energy Saver A/S tire ($150 value)
Total days out of service: 4
"Acceleration (of course) is fantastic. Push Sport and you can scoot into tight spots in traffic with nary a second thought. ... I wish it had adaptive cruise control. I realize it is supposed to come in 2018, but in L.A. traffic it can't come soon enough. On a full charge in L (which is my favorite way to drive it — hooray for one-pedal driving!), the gauge said I could get as much as 300 miles! Mind you, I haven't had the Bolt up past 50 miles per hour because of traffic, but it's a fun little car." — Abigail Bassett, senior director video & social media
"The Bolt's infotainment screen is tilted at an odd angle. It sits too far back to my eyes. From where I sit, the right of the steering wheel cuts off the left of the screen. I'm guessing this was done to reduce glare, but it has made it less ergonomic." — Ron Montoya, senior consumer advice editor
"I had four people in the vehicle over the weekend, two of which were well over 6 foot, and both could sit comfortably [in the second row] with luggage behind the back seat." — Abigail Bassett
"I really like the interior styling. The white latticed door tops and dash are a really subtle but nice touch." — Abigail Bassett
"The Bolt is fantastic. It's as close to a 'future vehicle' as I think you can get on a mass production car. ... All in, this is the one modern car that I would absolutely consider buying. Sure it looks doofy, but I kind of love the dorkiness of it." — Abigail Bassett