2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV Hatchback

2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV
Save up to $5,089
2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV
Save up to $5,089

Pros

  • Impressive 238 miles of range
  • Cabin is spacious
  • Power and handling make it enjoyable to drive
  • Big touchscreen

Cons

  • Lackluster carpet and interior panel quality
  • Touchscreen has no built-in navigation maps, relies on paired smartphone
  • Seats feel small and lack depth of cushioning
  • Ride comfort loses its polish on rougher roads


Which Bolt EV does Edmunds recommend?

There's no difference in range or drivability between the two trim levels, but we think the Premier is worth the moderate price bump. It comes with interior upgrades such as a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a trunk storage compartment, and more active driver safety features that you'll appreciate as an owner. It also has access to more optional upgrades should you want them. For either Bolt trim level, make sure to get the DC fast-charging option since it makes long-distance driving more of a reality.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

8.3 / 10

Just last year, the Chevrolet Bolt hit the scene and crushed the electric vehicle competition with its huge range, spacious interior and enjoyable driving characteristics. But this year the competition is fighting back. The Tesla Model 3 is finally trickling into customers' driveways, the Nissan Leaf is new with 151 miles of range, and the BMW i3 is sportier. Plus, Kia's promising us a long-range Niro EV. So now the question is: Is the 2018 Chevrolet Bolt still worth checking out? Short answer: Yep.

With more than 200 miles of range, plenty of space for people and cargo, a surprisingly fun driving experience, and a friendly price tag, the Bolt is a mainstream electric car that makes ditching gasoline seem possible. It can certainly fill the needs of most commuters, though its bargain-bin interior quality still disappoints.

The primary alternative you'll want to consider is the new Model 3. It boasts all the Tesla mystique and drivability, along with a futuristic, minimalist interior and access to Tesla's Supercharger network. However, supply is still short as of our review's publication time, and it's worth keeping in mind that Chevrolet has a nationwide dealer network that can quickly and easily provide service should anything go wrong.

The electric car segment is only going to get more competitive, especially with the promise of new battery technologies just around the corner. Chevy got a good head start, and the 2018 Bolt remains a compelling example of what the electric car can be.

Notably, we picked the 2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV as one of Edmunds' Best Electric Cars for this year.

2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV configurations

The 2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV is an all-electric four-door hatchback that is offered in just two trim levels: LT and Premier. Both share the same mechanical running gear, including the 200-horsepower electric motor and the large 60-kWh underfloor battery that is good for about 238 miles on a full charge.

With the LT, you'll get a 7.2-kWh onboard charger, 17-inch alloy wheels, xenon headlights, LED daytime running lights, a rearview camera, and keyless ignition and entry. Inside, you'll find height-adjustable cloth seats, 60/40-split folding rear seats, a configurable gauge cluster display, automatic climate control, a 10.2-inch touchscreen, OnStar communications (with a 4G LTE connection and a Wi-Fi hotspot), Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, and a six-speaker sound system with two USB ports.

Options for the LT include the Comfort and Convenience package, which consists of heated front seats, an automatic heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. The Driver Confidence I package brings in blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and rear parking sensors. Another noteworthy LT option is a cargo area floor cover for extra storage capability.

Step up to the Premier and you'll get everything described above, including the LT options. You'll also get cargo roof rails, leather seats, ambient interior lighting, heated rear seats, a center rear armrest, a top-down parking camera system, and an upgraded, camera-based rearview mirror.

Premier options include the Infotainment package, which has a seven-speaker Bose audio system, wireless smartphone charging and two charge-only USB ports for rear passengers. There's also the Driver Confidence II package, which consists of a forward collision warning system with pedestrian detection and low-speed automatic emergency braking, a lane departure warning and intervention system, and automatic high-beam headlamp dimming.

The only significant option that's common to both trim levels is DC fast-charging capability, which allows the car to use SAE Combo 400-volt Level 3 charge stations that can fill the battery to 80 percent in little more than an hour. We consider this option to be essential for a car with as much range as the Bolt because, as more of these stations get built, DC fast charging will open the door to interstate travel.

Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV Premier Hatchback.

NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the current Bolt has received some revisions, including only very minor equipment changes. Our findings remain broadly applicable to this year's Bolt.

Driving

8.5
We were surprised by how much we enjoyed driving the Bolt. Its 200-horsepower electric motor delivers a healthy dose of thrust; its low-slung battery helps to make it feel sure-footed; and the steering and brakes are more than just predictable and smooth — they're engaging.

Acceleration

8.0
You'll find plenty of oomph when you press the Bolt's accelerator. It merges onto freeways with ease, and there's a good deal of reserve power for passing on two-lane roads. Our test car accelerated to 60 mph in 6.8 seconds at the track, a fine showing for a family car, much less an electric one.

Braking

9.0
The Bolt is unique among EVs because it relies on standard friction brakes in D mode, which is why they feel so consistent and easy to modulate. It stops from 60 mph in an impressive 116 feet, too. Put the lever in L mode for strong regenerative braking and improved range.

Steering

8.5
Turn the wheel and the Bolt responds smoothly, with a just-right level of response that's neither too darty nor too dead. There's also good feel and feedback as you dial in more steering. And on the freeway it has good straight-ahead stability that doesn't demand a lot of driver attention.

Handling

9.0
The Bolt feels nimble, coordinated and sure-footed when the road gets curvy. And it doesn't roll much either. Credit the large underfloor battery pack because it gives the Bolt a very low center of mass and makes it less nose-heavy than it would be if it had a traditional gas engine.

Drivability

10.0
It is hard to imagine how it could drive better. The electric motor is utterly smooth, and the single-speed direct-drive transmission never shifts. We especially like the one-pedal lift-throttle braking available in L mode, with extra slowing available by squeezing the left-hand steering paddle.

Comfort

7.5
On balance, the Bolt comes across as comfortable. Like any EV, its cabin is exceedingly quiet. But two apparent cost- and weight-saving decisions hold it back. The simplistic rear suspension doesn't cope with rough roads as well as other types might, and the all-business seats feel a bit chairlike.

Seat comfort

7.0
The Bolt's seats feel supportive and offer height adjustability, but they lack a feeling of plushness. And they feel small, as if you're sitting on them instead of in them. The latter may matter most to larger folks, but it's worth sitting in one and making sure before you sign any papers.

Ride comfort

7.0
It doesn't float or wallow much at highway speeds, so in that sense the Bolt feels steady and smooth. It soaks up simple bumps readily, too. But the ride can get clunky, a likely result of its unsophisticated rear suspension design, when the surface is pocked with cracks, fractures and sharp edges.

Noise & vibration

9.0
The lack of engine noise, accessory drive belts and the absence of shifting give the Bolt a huge leg up compared to a regular car. We never were bothered by excessive wind noise either. A bit of tire noise makes its way up from the road, but it's nicely muted.

Climate control

8.0
The Bolt's cabin warms up quickly because electric heat doesn't have to wait for an engine to warm up, and if the car is plugged in, it can be preheated with no range impact. When you're underway, maximize range by dialing down the heat and relying on the Premier's standard heated seats instead.

Interior

8.5
The Bolt's interior is functional, with simple-to-understand controls, plenty of room in the front and the back, and easy entry and exit. The main letdown is the apparent quality of the materials used, which is most obvious when it comes to the carpet and the interior panel plastics.

Ease of use

9.0
The controls are thoughtfully arranged and separated by function, with a handy volume knob and tune buttons below the touchscreen. Climate controls are also prominent and self-explanatory. The instrument panel can be configured three ways; we like the Enhanced setting's range-coaching features.

Getting in/getting out

9.0
All four of the Bolt's doors open wide, and the roofline is tall all the way to the rear hatch. And the seats themselves are in the Goldilocks zone for height; they're neither too high nor too low.

Driving position

8.0
A range of our drivers found it easy to settle in behind the wheel thanks to the Bolt's height-adjustable driver's seat and the generous adjustment range of its telescoping steering wheel.

Roominess

9.0
The Bolt feels much bigger inside than you'd suspect after looking at it from outside. There's plenty of head- and legroom, and that extends to the rear seats. Our 6-foot-2-inch tester was able to adjust the front seat to his liking and then move to the rear seat with no trouble.

Visibility

9.0
You can easily see out of the Bolt. Peekaboo windows up front help you see past the front roof pillars, and the low window sill makes it easy to see out the sides. Mirror coverage is good, and the rear blind spot isn't large. We do wish the standard rearview camera worked better in low light.

Quality

6.0
Chevy's desire to save weight and cost with the interior is obvious. The carpet feels thin, and the easily dirtied left footrest is unprotected. The interior panels don't even attempt to disguise that they're made of hard plastic. For a car in the Bolt's price range, it's disappointing.

Utility

8.5
As a ground-up design, the Bolt EV does well in this area because of its tall profile and the underfloor position of its big drive battery, a position that has no negative repercussions for either passenger or cargo space.

Small-item storage

8.0
Considering its size, the Bolt doesn't disappoint in this area. The front door pockets are good-size, the center console and glovebox are adequate, and the main cupholders are well-positioned. There's also an open bin for a purse and a couple of extra cubbies perfect for phone storage.

Cargo space

8.0
At 16.9 cubic feet with all seats in use, the Bolt's cargo area is usefully sized. The available floor panel cover can either be left in place for hidden basement storage or removed to carry bulkier items. Fold one or both parts of the 60/40-split back seat to open up a bigger space.

Child safety seat accommodation

9.0
LATCH anchors and top tethers cover all three rear seat positions, and you can choose to fit one car seat in the middle or a pair in the outer seats. The anchors are easy to reach, and the door opening is adequately large and doesn't slope down much. There's enough space for bulky rear-facing seats.

Technology

7.5
The Bolt handles smartphones well, with up to four USB ports. But built-in navigation is oddly unavailable. Apple CarPlay and Android will let you echo your phone's map on the main screen, but you have to own one of those phones, have a sufficient data plan, and be in an area with data coverage.

Audio & navigation

6.0
The Bolt's touchscreen is big, but menu response can be slow. We like the fixed volume knob and the volume paddle behind the right steering spoke. Oddly, navigation is absent unless you use Apple CarPlay or Android Auto to display your phone's map on the big screen — provided you have a signal.

Smartphone integration

8.5
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard. Bluetooth is available for those who can't or prefer not to use these interfaces. There are two front-seat USB ports in the LT. If you get a Premier and opt for the Infotainment package, you'll get two more charge-only ports for the back seat.

Driver aids

7.5
Our Premier came standard with rear parking sonar and rear cross-traffic and blind-spot monitoring, all of which are optional on LT. Additional systems that are optional on the Premier (not available on LT) include forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking and lane keeping assistance.

Voice control

8.0
The standard voice controls work well, and if you have CarPlay or Android Auto active, you can hold the button longer to access Siri and Google Voice, which opens the door to even more voice-activated data possibilities.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

Taking the Plunge
Lee B -Georgia,04/14/2018
Ok so to give you some context this is the second electric car I have ever owned/ leased and the first American car I have ever purchased. I have mostly been a Toyota/ Lexus user ( mainly hybrids) and very suspicious of GM and/or American cars in general. I leased a leaf in 2012 and while it was a fun car to drive the Range was horrible and by the time I handed the lease in I was gettting 65-70 miles. I almost purchased a Volt a few years ago but consumer reports ratings around quality made me decide not to move forward. I have only owned the Bolt for less than a month but it is probably the most enjoyable car I have ever owned. It's really fun to drive so if you are a frusterated hybrid owner (like me) looking for something a little more fun to drive,this is the ticket. The Range is outstanding. I am getting anywhere from 230-280 per single charge so no range anxiety. I do agree that GM could have spent more on the interior however one of the things I really enjoy about the Bolt is that it really feels roomy ( unlike the Volt) and you sit up like you are driving an SUV or a crossover. The technology is very easy to use and GM provides you with a ton of metrics on how to improve your driving to maximize your range.. If you get the Premier there are a number of great safety features including blind spot and pedestrian detection. The regeneration braking is a great feature and something GM does better than the Tesla. This maximizes your energy so you can really get a ton of mileage on a single charge. You essentially can drive this car using one pedal as the braking starts as soon as you take your foot off the gas which than regenerates the battery. The only down side to the Bolt is GM has not invested in a charging Network like Tesla so long road trips over 300 miles can be a challenge but not impossible. If you want to try and use this car for long road trips and use public charging options, make sure you get the fast charging included in your final purchase. It is NOT specific to what trim you purchase and it is only a factory option. Also for best results get a level 2 charger ( 25 miles per hour) installed in your home because it will take for ever to charge on a 120v plug. Initially I was a bit nervous after I made the purchase but I love this car right now and would purchase it again in heart beat. I have had no issues but I also understand that I am an early adopter so I am not naive that I could run into issues down the road and that's ok. I am having a blast driving this car and don't miss the boring drive and great reliability of my Toyota Camry Hybrid.
Bolt Premier both packages, DCFC
M A,03/26/2018
Really enjoy the car, have had no problems with the seats. Lights are fine but many cars “flash” me when dims are on. Interior dash could be a touch nicer for $40k car. Look at Bolt EV forums about range and limitations thereof, particularly in winter climates and decreased range with heat. Also, fast charging - especially in winter - will rarely ever be Chevy’s 90 miles in 30 minutes (more like 60-65 in NJ in winter). And the next 90 miles will take much longer as it tapers the charge rate. This isn’t unique to the Bolt but buyers should know, again, the limitations for 200+ mile road trips. Overall, I knew most of this going in and still absolutely love the car. We did get 250+ miles in early fall with lots of city driving, so a lot depends on your driving conditions/weather. Great little car with surprising amount of space inside and nice features.
The only range anxiety is exceeding my lease limit
Tone,06/06/2018
The lease deals on this car were too good to miss so i decided to try an EV but keep my 15 year old clunker as backup; my mistake, the clunker hasn't been required in months and ironically its battery keeps draining from lack of use. The Bolt is an awesome vehicle; accelerates and handles more like a sports car, has interior space comparable to a *UV but costs less to run than an econobox. One pedal driving is addictive, the brake pedal becomes just a foot rest for stop lights. The interior is elegant though not really refined, but the front seats can be uncomfortably narrow (I'm skinny, my nickname is "Bones", and the side bolsters pinch my legs so I'm not really sure who they were designed for). Outside visibility is great except for rear quarter views where the C/D pillars cause large blind spots so make sure to get the blind spot monitor option. Around town mileage is normally around 5 miles/KWh giving a calculated range of over 300 miles on a full charge, but it drops considerably at speed (often to less than 3 miles/KWh at 70mph) and long distance freeway trips need to be planned accordingly. The Fast charger option is a MUST if you have any aspirations to travel more than 50 miles from home, I'm not sure why they even sell the car without it ? A/C uses about 5% of the battery and heating 20%, the heated steering wheel and seats can mitigate this slightly but I'm not sure it'd be a viable car for cold climates. iPhone integration (and presumably Android too) for maps, traffic and music is seamless, but the car itself has no GPS awareness and can't tell if it's at home or not. This is a problem if you have the car set to charge only overnight and plug into a public charger ... unless you remember to press the "override" option it will sit dumbly and you'll come back from lunch with no more charge but possibly have been billed if there's a minimum connection fee.
Volt to Bolt
Alan Gilreath,07/10/2018
Range is excellent. I drove a 2013 Volt for 6 years and hated to give it up at 135k miles but the lure of all electric won out. My 2018 Bolt gives no range anxiety whatsoever. I did a weekend trip to San Diego which was 178 miles down there and the battery indicator said I had 98 miles left. After a full charge the next day came home and still had 82 miles remaining after a much more uphill drive. My daily round trip to work is 108 miles and I get to charge on 110 while there. Never using more than 12 kw in either direction. Great technology. Seats aren’t the most comfortable I’ve sat in but nowhere near what all of the naysayers are saying. Interior is very nice for a great commuter car. Quick, comfortable and stylish and a good quality build. I love driving by the gas stations with varying daily prices and laugh. My car is loaded and is a blast to drive. It has so many driving features that make my long commute enjoyable Great Vehicle and the biggest selling point was my excellent experience with my ‘13 Volt. Low cost to maintain.
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2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV video

[MUSIC PLAYING] DAN EDMUNDS: What we have here are three electric vehicles that are well known, perhaps because each is a dedicated EV that has no gasoline counterpart. Chevrolet has plugged everything they learned from their Bolt plug-in hybrid into the Bolt EV. JASON KAVANAGH: The Model 3 represents Tesla's first foray into a more accessible EV. CALVIN KIM: And the Nissan LEAF, the first widely available electric vehicle in the United States, is now in its second generation. And while they're all mainstream offerings, they're not true direct competitors. JASON KAVANAGH: Today, we're going to explore the differences and similarities among these three popular EVs. Well, the Tesla Model 3 has a lot of power, actually. I mean, there's no complaints that I have with the acceleration in this. And like all EVs, it has that instant torque. You can punch around cars on the freeway pretty much instantly. I mean, you dip your foot down on the accelerator, and there's just an instant reaction from the car. That's one of the things that EVs and in particular, the Tesla does really well. DAN EDMUNDS: One of the things I like about the Bolt is it's quick. I'm just rolling into the throttle, not really laying into it hard at all. And it's up to speed and in a short order. And I am having no problem getting around folks. People think these things are golf carts. Uh-uh. CALVIN KIM: The Nissan LEAF has what sounds like a low number-- 146 horsepower. But it's the torque that really gives it the beans. It's got about 236, possibly the torque. Don't quote me on that. But 236 is a lot for a small car like this. The car weighs about 3,500 pounds. So it's well in line. I mean, basically, it'd be equivalent to a bigger engine in a compact car. Needless to say, acceleration is easy and brisk. JASON KAVANAGH: Well, compared to the Bolt or the LEAF, the Tesla Model 3 is definitely the most powerful. It's the most capable. It's also the most expensive. It's also the only rear-wheel drive EV of the three. The other two are front-wheel drive. And that affects the driving dynamics in a beneficial way for the Model 3. The Model 3 has the best steering and handling of the bunch by far. It's just a more grown-up feeling car in the way it goes down the road. The steering feel is really good. It corners flat. It picks up its speed well over bumps. In terms of steering and handling, the other two don't touch the Tesla Model 3. DAN EDMUNDS: The Bolt handles great. I mean, you wouldn't think so to look at it. It's tall and skinny. But the battery pack is low and underneath the floor, so that keeps the center of gravity low. And that makes it feel more like a go-cart than an SUV or something like that. The steering is also nicely weighted. It's immediate, but not darty. It's just what you want to kind of maneuver around in traffic. JASON KAVANAGH: Now, the range in the Model 3 is kind of its trump card. We got the long-range version, which has a 310-mile max range in normal mode, which is what Tesla recommends you use on a day-to-day basis. This will do 279 miles, which is still really impressive. It's still more range than the other two. In fact, it's the longest range EV you could buy currently. CALVIN KIM: This face-lift of LEAF-- you get 150 miles of claimed range. Wonderfully for us, if you put it in ECO mode and enable e-Pedal, you can get a lot more than that. With our long-term LEAF, we've been able to drive it a little bit already. And we've routinely gotten over 150 miles with those features enabled. That's great news for commuters, especially those that drive a little bit longer distances. So they can go a week without charging. Now, for EV owners, the best way to do it is to charge every night. But, hey, if you're going to go visit a friend's house, or maybe go across town to hang out somewhere, it's nice to have that option. DAN EDMUNDS: The Model 3 has a higher range rating than this one. But I don't really think that at actual practice that would be the case. Because I've had a really hard time getting close to the Model 3's rating. And yet, with this car, which is rated at 238, I've gone 334. That's almost 100 miles more than the rating. And if I'm paying for more battery than I need, then that's a big part of the price of the car. And this car could be cheaper if it had a 150-mile range or a 175-mile range. CALVIN KIM: One of the best advantages of electric vehicles is the ability to regenerate, which is regenerative braking. That means you can use an electric motor that propels you to help slow you down. And one thing that they did very cleverly, though, is give you a switch right on the center console here called e-Pedal. And just by clicking the switch, you immediately engage that regenerative braking. Nissan says you can break as much as 2/10 of a "g," which doesn't sound like a lot, but from our testing, it's plenty. JASON KAVANAGH: And in the Model 3, the regenerative effect is strong. You can basically one-pedal drive this thing most of the time. DAN EDMUNDS: Now, the Bolt is especially good in this regard, better than I think any other car that you can buy, any other EV. Because when it's in drive, like it is now, I toggle using this here. When it's in drive, there's no regenerative braking. It's all pads and rotors, so the brake feels utterly natural. A lot of cars-- EVs and hybrids use something-- a computer that kind of decides whether it's going to be regenerative or brake pedal, based on demand. And so then the brakes feel weird. This never feels weird, indeed. And then when you put it in L, there's so much regenerative braking that the brake lights come on. And you can actually execute a stop all the way down to zero without ever touching the brake pedal. You just modulate the throttle. Compared to the Model 3 and the LEAF, I like the Bolt's setup much better. Click it into L. You've got all the regen you want. Put it in D. You've got the brake pedal feel you want, if you want that. The Model 3-- it's poke through the touchscreen. And the LEAF requires you to flip a switch, and you may not remember to do it. And it's not where you think it should be. This is really intuitive, really easy, and very effective. CALVIN KIM: Inside the Nissan LEAF, you'll find a pretty much traditional car. The materials are good. There's not a lot of busyness with the colors and design choices. We're in the top SL model, so the seats are this nice leather with microsuede inserts. The controls-- again, easy to use, well laid out. Again, it's more like a regular car, instead of maybe a science project, or a sci-fi set you'll find in some of the other EVs. DAN EDMUNDS: The one thing that really disappoints me more than anything else about the Chevy Bolt is the quality of the interior materials. It's just hard plastic which would be OK if it was attractive. But there's just a lot of weird lines. And this color scheme is kind of hard to take. I mean, I would trade away some battery capacity and range to get a better interior. I mean, it doesn't help that we've got the light-colored interior here. I think that really does not show it in its best light. A darker color might mask some of this stuff, even like the reflections of the dashtop or in the windshield. Everywhere I go at just about any light condition. And that's kind of annoying, because the visibility as a car is great otherwise. This car is probably the least well equipped of the three when it comes to active driver aids. It has a Lane Keeping Assist System. It has a Forward Collision warning, but it doesn't have Adaptive Cruise. It has nothing like Autopilot or Nissan's ProPILOT Assist. That's not bad because you're not paying for it. But at the same time, it does lag behind. And you couldn't get those things if you wanted them. JASON KAVANAGH: The design of the Model 3's interior is pretty unusual. There's not a whole lot of stuff in it. I mean, it's a wide-open space with a big touchscreen in the middle, and that's about it. I mean, you could even go and say that maybe this is a little generic looking. But what you can't say is that it's cluttered or crowded. It feels really breezy and airy in here. There's a lot of space. If you need anything, you have to go to the touchscreen. Or you've got a couple of controls on the steering wheel, and that's about it. A good amount of headroom for me. I'm over 6 feet tall. It does have this panoramic sunroof arrangement up here, which gives you a little bit extra headroom. Compared to the Bolt and the LEAF's interior, or the Model 3's cabin-- is definitely a departure. And some people really love it. And some people-- they're maybe going to have to warm up to it a little bit. In terms of material quality, the Model 3 does pretty well there. The seats are this synthetic leather, which feels pretty convincing, and looks like the real thing. There's this synthetic suede on the headliner and on the door panels. There's also this wood applique on the dashboard. Overall, the materials look pretty good at a glance. If you look closer at the Model 3, though, you'll notice some build quality issues here and there-- cheap plastics, things that don't fit quite right. We've had some issues with things falling off our car. But it is built to a higher price point, certainly than the Bolt or the LEAF is. CALVIN KIM: The Nissan LEAF is a hatchback which means, obviously, it's got a big hatch. A lot of interior cargo room with the seats folded up. The rear seats do fold 60/40. You'll find that once you do fold them up, there is a bit of a shelf from the seatback to the cargo floor. But I'd say that between its comp competitors, this general cargo area is very useful-- the low-loading height, and the nice, deep floor, and the tall ceiling height. So you can fit taller cargo, bulkier cargo in a little bit easier. DAN EDMUNDS: Of the three, the Bolt does have the least cargo-carrying capacity on paper. But it is very flexible, because of the way the seats fold, the way the floor can be set into two positions. And because you can put roof racks on it. JASON KAVANAGH: The Model 3 might look like a hatchback from the outside, but surprise, it's a sedan, which means it has a traditional sedan trunk. But that's no bad thing, because the Model 3's cargo space is pretty huge. Not only is the trunk really deep and a good width, there's extra bonus storage in the floor of the trunk and an additional trunk at the front of the car. So you're not hurting for cargo space at all in this. Another thing it has is a 60/40 folding backseat, which goes basically completely flat. You could sleep in the back of the Model 3 if you fold the seats down. That's how much space there is. CALVIN KIM: Compared to its competitors, the LEAF prices pretty well. Now, in this SL trim with the Pro-PILOT Assist and everything like that, that'll set you back a little over $37,000. That's a little bit less than the Bolt Obviously, a lot less than the Model 3. And the federal tax credit is still available for this car, so you can get out the door for a lot less than that. You do get a lot of car for your money. The biggest attractor, though, will be the range. Both the Bolt and the Tesla Model 3 have a lot more range than the LEAF does. Now, for those that are truly range conscious that really do want to go on longer trips, rumor has it that the Nissan LEAF-- bringing out a higher range LEAF next year-- one with a 60-kilowatt battery that cracks the 200 barrier. Even if you're on the fence about that, this standard range LEAF with 150 miles is nothing to sneeze at. DAN EDMUNDS: The thing about this car is you can buy it with a premium package, or you can get the lower-priced base model that does everything as far as the driving experience. It just doesn't have as many bells and whistles for a lot less money. The Model 3-- right now, the mythical $35,000 one doesn't exist. It's vaporware. Certainly, this is a lot less money than the Model 3. If the $35,000 one ever comes out, well, we may have to re-evaluate that. JASON KAVANAGH: When the Model 3 was launched, it was purported to be the $35,000 entry-level Tesla. While that might be the case, Tesla is not shipping the $35,000 variant of the Model 3. They're only shipping a long-range variance. And once you have even a bare minimum of options like this one-- I mean, this one's sticker price is $55,000. So we're in a totally different segment than the other two cars, which are substantially less expensive than this one. Tesla's Autopilot system makes Nissan Pro-PILOT Assist look like it's in diapers. And in a way, it is. It's Nissan's first attempt at a semi-autonomous driving mode, whereas Tesla has had several years now of real-world use of Autopilot. And they've accumulated a lot of data. With that said, it's not a perfect system. We've discovered some issues with it in the past. But the continual software updates are a means to address limitations, not just in Autopilot, but in any system in the car. So again, pros and cons with being at the leading edge of things. CALVIN KIM: Definitely one of the coolest features of the LEAF is Pro-PILOT Assist. Now, it's not an autonomous driving system. What it is, though, is a very, very connected driver-assist system. Now, just one button push on the steering wheel enables the system. And then to turn it on, you just activate your cruise control. Now, what that gives you is adaptive cruise control, which keeps the distance from ourselves and the car in front. It does lane centering to-- keeps the car in the center of the road. And it'll even bring you to a complete stop. It's not a self-driving car. All it's doing is just keeping it in the center and at a safe distance from the car in front. In an interesting twist of fate, this system actually works pretty darn good, even alongside the Tesla's Autopilot system. Now, the Tesla has the advantage of a GPS and a connected system, where it knows road conditions to a certain extent. The Nissan does not have that feature set. But considering the price premium that Autopilot has and that Tesla has, we believe Pro-PILOT is a fantastic addition to the Nissan LEAF. DAN EDMUNDS: The thing about the Bolt EV is while I like the way it drives, I'd trade some of its range for a nicer interior and better seats. JASON KAVANAGH: Yeah. And while the Model 3 is definitely the best driving, most capable EV here, you're going to pay for the privilege. The least expensive Model 3 you can get is $50,000. The $36,000 version just doesn't exist yet. CALVIN KIM: Speaking of price, that's the Nissan LEAF's forte. It's the least expensive. But it's also one of the more comfortable out of the three, which begs the question, which of these three EVs is the right one for you guys? DAN EDMUNDS: Well, for me, 151 miles of range is enough. And I do like those seats, so yeah, the LEAF. JASON KAVANAGH: Yeah. For me, the cost is the single overriding factor. And while I don't think the Nissan LEAF is necessarily the best driving one here, its price point is really attractive. So that's the one for me. CALVIN KIM: Well, we're unanimous. It's the LEAF for me also, thanks to its price and practicality. DAN EDMUNDS: But I do reserve the right to change my mind when the $36,000 Tesla Model 3 becomes available. For more videos, click Subscribe. [MUSIC PLAYING]

EV Comparison Test - Chevy Bolt v. Nissan Leaf v. Tesla Model 3

As battery electric vehicles become an established part of our automotive landscape, we took this opportunity to put the three most popular EVs - Chevrolet's Bolt, Nissan's Leaf and Tesla's Model 3 - through testing to re-examine each model's strengths and weaknesses. As a group, how have electric vehicles changed from when they first hit the road? Which is the best all-around EV? Watch to find out about the latest crop of battery electric cars.

Features & Specs

MSRP
$36,620
MPG
128 city / 110 hwy
Seats 5
1-speed direct drive
Electric
200 hp @ 0 rpm
MSRP
$40,905
MPG
128 city / 110 hwy
Seats 5
1-speed direct drive
Electric
200 hp @ 0 rpm
See all 2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV Hatchback features & specs

Safety

Our experts’ favorite Bolt EV safety features:

Forward Collision Alert
Scans the road ahead and warns the driver of potential rear-end collisions in case the driver hasn't already identified the risks.
Low-Speed Forward Automatic Braking
Applies the brakes in cases where the driver has not responded to avoid or minimize the severity of certain impacts.
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

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall4 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat4 / 5
  • Rollover
    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
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Good
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Good
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Good
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV Hatchback for Sale

Chevrolet Bolt EV 2018 LT 4dr Hatchback (electric DD)
New 2018
Chevrolet Bolt EV
LT
(2)
Jerry's Leesburg Chevrolet
6.1 mi away
MSRP$39,355
Est.Loan: $655/mo
Great Deal!Great Deal!
View Details
Dealer Notes
Black Metallic 2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV LT FWD 1-Speed Automatic Electric Drive Unit 2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV LT In Black Metallic.128110 CityHighway MPGAwards: * Ward's 10 Best Engines
Chevrolet Bolt EV 2018 LT 4dr Hatchback (electric DD)
New 2018
Chevrolet Bolt EV
LT
(5)
Fitzgerald Chevrolet
26.8 mi away
MSRP$38,930
Est.Loan: $648/mo
Fair Deal!Fair Deal!
View Details
Chevrolet Bolt EV 2018 LT 4dr Hatchback (electric DD)
New 2018
Chevrolet Bolt EV
LT
(1)
AutoNation Chevrolet Timonium
54.4 mi away
MSRP$39,295
Est.Loan: $654/mo
Great Deal!Great Deal!
View Details
Dealer Notes
DC FAST CHARGING,COMFORT AND CONVENIENCE PACKAGE,DRIVER CONFIDENCE PACKAGE,Keyless Start,Bluetooth Connection,DARK GALVANIZED/SKY COOL GRAY; DELUXE CLOTH SEAT TRIM,ELECTRIC DRIVE UNIT; (200 HP [150 KW] 266 LB-FT OF TORQUE [360 N-M]),EMISSIONS; CALIFORNIA ZEV,EMISSIONS; CONNECTICUT; DELAWARE; MAINE; MARYLAND; MASSACHUSETTS; NEW JERSEY; NEW YORK; OREGON; PENNSYLVANIA; RHODE ISLAND; VERMONT AND WASHINGTON STATE REQUIREMENTS,ENGINE; NONE,GRILLE; DARK SILVER,LICENSE PLATE BRACKET; FRONT MOUNTING,LT PREFERRED EQUIPMENT GROUP,MOSAIC BLACK METALLIC,STEERING WHEEL; 3-SPOKE LEATHER-WRAPPED,TIRES; P215/50R17 ALL-SEASON BLACKWALL; MICHELIN SELFSEAL PUNCTURE-SEALING,WHEELS; 17 (43.2 CM) PAINTED ALUMINUM

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More about the 2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV

The 2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV is a practical and surprisingly fun electric vehicle that offers an astounding 238 miles of electric range. This much roaming capability puts Chevy's electric car in the same league as the Tesla Model 3. But the Bolt comes with a friendly price tag and access to a pre-existing nationwide network of dealers.

There aren't many tough decisions to make when buying a Bolt EV. There are only two trim levels, and both share the same 200-horsepower electric motor, large 60-kWh battery, 17-inch wheels and tires, and other mechanical bits that make the 2018 Bolt a pleasure to drive.

The LT comes with cloth seats yet is chock-full of useful gear such as xenon headlights, LED daytime-running accent lights, keyless entry with push-button start, automatic climate control, and a large touchscreen audio system that supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The first of two option packages lets you add a heated leather steering wheel and heated front seats, and a second one offers blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and parking sonar.

Move to the Premier and you'll get all of that — including the LT option packages — plus dressier wheels, roof rails and turn-signal mirrors. Inside, you'll find leather upholstery and heated rear seats. And you should start with the Premier if you want to add options such as a Bose premium audio system with a subwoofer and extra USB power jacks or a higher level of active safety gear such as forward collision alert, automated emergency braking or lane keeping assistance.

Neither version is terribly expensive when considering the size of the battery and the amount of available driving range. The 238-mile range vaulted the Bolt EV ahead of the pack when it launched last year. While it has a few more competitors for 2018, we still think it's one of the most appealing mass-market electric cars.

And don't forget that, like all EVs, a new Bolt will wind up being more affordable than its sticker price suggests because it qualifies for a significant $7,500 federal credit, with the additional possibility of state credits or rebates. On the flip side, even though the Bolt comes with a 120-volt charge cord, an EV with this much battery makes it advisable for any potential owner to consider installing 240-volt charge equipment at home. Chevrolet dealers that sell the Bolt can almost certainly help arrange that, with the cost possibly built into the financing. Or you can buy the charging equipment yourself from one of several online sources and work with an electrician to have it installed.

The Chevy Bolt is a compelling electric vehicle that has enough range to make the fear of running out a relic of the past. Whether you intend to buy or lease — an option to consider because the technology is continually evolving — check out Edmunds' configuration and shopping tools to sort through the details and find a 2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV near you.

2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV Hatchback Overview

The 2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV Hatchback is offered in the following styles: LT 4dr Hatchback (electric DD), and Premier 4dr Hatchback (electric DD).

What do people think of the 2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV Hatchback?

Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV Hatchback and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2018 Bolt EV Hatchback 5 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 2018 Bolt EV Hatchback.

Edmunds Expert Reviews

Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV Hatchback and all model years in our database. Our rich analysis includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2018 Bolt EV Hatchback featuring deep dives into trim levels including LT, Premier, etc. with careful analysis around pricing, features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving and performance. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

Read our full review of the 2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV Hatchback here.

Edmunds Scorecard

Overall8.3 / 10

Driving

8.5 / 10

Acceleration8.0 / 10
Braking9.0 / 10
Steering8.5 / 10
Handling9.0 / 10
Drivability10.0 / 10

Comfort

7.5 / 10

Seat comfort7.0 / 10
Ride comfort7.0 / 10
Noise & vibration9.0 / 10
Climate control8.0 / 10

Interior

8.5 / 10

Ease of use9.0 / 10
Getting in/getting out9.0 / 10
Driving position8.0 / 10
Roominess9.0 / 10
Visibility9.0 / 10
Quality6.0 / 10

Utility

8.5 / 10

Small-item storage8.0 / 10
Cargo space8.0 / 10

Technology

7.5 / 10

Audio & navigation6.0 / 10
Smartphone integration8.5 / 10
Driver aids7.5 / 10
Voice control8.0 / 10
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 2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV Hatchback?
2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV Hatchback LT 4dr Hatchback (electric DD)

The 2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV Hatchback LT 4dr Hatchback (electric DD) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $39,210. The average price paid for a new 2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV Hatchback LT 4dr Hatchback (electric DD) is trending $5,089 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $5,089 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is$34,121.

The average savings for the 2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV Hatchback LT 4dr Hatchback (electric DD) is13% below the MSRP.

Available Inventory:

We are showing 2 2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV Hatchback LT 4dr Hatchback (electric DD) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburnarea.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on new cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which 2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV Hatchbacks are available in my area?

2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV Hatchback Listings and Inventory

There are currently 10 new 2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV Hatchbacks listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $38,310 and mileage as low as 0 miles. Simply research the type of used car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap used cars for sale near you. Once you have identified a vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV Hatchback. Then select Edmunds special offers, perks, deals, and incentives to contact the dealer of your choice and save up to $6,388 on a new, used or CPO 2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV Hatchback available from a dealership near you.

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV Hatchback for sale near you.

Can't find a new 2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV Bolt EV Hatchback you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a new Chevrolet Bolt EV for sale - 11 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $17,977.

Find a new Chevrolet for sale - 1 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $12,940.

Why trust Edmunds?

Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including all models of the 2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV Hatchback and all available trim types: LT, Premier. Rich, trim-level features & specs and options data tracked for the 2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV Hatchback include (but are not limited to): MSRP, available incentives and deals, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (interior and exterior color, upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, cruise control, parking assistance, lane sensing, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy and MPG (city, highway, and combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (interior cabin space, vehicle length and width, seating capacity, cargo space). Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds expert review, safety rating, and color.

Should I lease or buy a 2018 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