2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV Hatchback
- Driver Confidence II package now optional on LT models
- Part of the first Bolt generation introduced for 2017
Pros & Cons
- Impressive 238 miles of range (or more)
- Cabin is spacious
- Power and handling make it enjoyable to drive
- Big touchscreen
- Interior looks and feels cheaper than most
- Seats feel small and lack cushion depth
- Ride comfort loses its polish on rougher roads
- Touchscreen has no built-in navigation maps, relies on a paired smartphone
Which Bolt EV does Edmunds recommend?
Edmunds' Expert Review
Overall rating7.9 / 10
As automotive manufacturers slowly develop their EV portfolios, vehicles such as the 2019 Chevrolet Bolt bridge the gap between yesteryear's low-range city cars and the fully electric future. The Bolt is one of two cars — the other being the Tesla Model 3 — that offers more than 200 miles of range at a relatively affordable price. Its long range, combined with an ever-expanding network of fast-charging stations, means the Bolt is one of the few electric vehicles realistically capable of long-distance travel.
If you typically stick closer to home, the Bolt's 238 miles of range mean you won't have to plug in every night, which is a reality for many EV owners. You also don't have to plan too far ahead if you decide to head out of town on a day trip. And while the EPA rates the Bolt at 238 miles, we've easily surpassed that during our long-term test of a Bolt (the record on a single charge at the time of publication stands at 334 miles).
A long range and low price mean that cost savings had to come from somewhere, and the Bolt's interior materials are below average, even for a compact car. Most of the interior panels are hard plastic, and trim pieces on our long-term vehicle started to loosen after just 15,000 miles. The front seats are also fairly uncomfortable, so you might not actually want to take the Bolt on the long-distance road trips it's capable of.
Now, the Tesla Model 3 is more comfortable, sportier and capable of a longer range. But long-term reliability is a question mark, and it's unlikely that Tesla will be building many (or even any) of the promised sub-$40,000 versions for the 2019 model year. So, realistically, the Bolt is the lone member of the long-range, low-price EV category.
2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV models
The 2019 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 electric motor (200 horsepower, 266 pound-feet of torque) and the large 60-kWh battery that is good for an estimated 238 miles on a full charge.
With the LT, you'll get a 7.2-kWh onboard charger, 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic xenon headlights, LED daytime running lights, heated mirrors, a rearview camera, remote start, and keyless entry and start. Inside, you'll find automatic climate control, height-adjustable front seats, cloth upholstery, 60/40-split folding rear seats, a cargo cover, ambient interior lighting, a configurable gauge cluster display, a 10.2-inch touchscreen, OnStar communications (with a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot), Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, and a six-speaker sound system with two USB ports, an auxiliary audio jack and satellite radio.
Options for the LT include the Comfort and Convenience package, which consists of heated front seats, a heated leather-wrapped steering wheel and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. The Driver Confidence package adds 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 roof rails, leather seats, additional ambient lights, heated rear seats, a center rear armrest, a top-down parking camera system, and a camera-based rearview mirror function.
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.
Optional on both trim levels is 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 lane keeping system, and automatic high beams.
Another 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.
|Overall||7.9 / 10|
Noise & vibration8.5
Ease of use9.0
Getting in/getting out9.0
Child safety seat accommodation8.5
Sponsored cars related to the Bolt EV
Trending topics in reviews
- fuel efficiency
- reliability & manufacturing quality
- handling & steering
- climate control
- driving experience
- wheels & tires
- road noise
- infotainment system
- emission system
- steering wheel
- electrical system
- maintenance & parts
- sound system
Most helpful consumer reviews
After driving Audis for more than 16 years, I decided I wanted to do something enviro-friendly. I had my name on the list for a Tesla 3, but it was taking so long, and my Audi lease was up. I went to test-drive a Chevy Volt, but the salesman suggested I try the Bolt. On first look, I thought it would be too small, but was surprised how spacious it was inside - there is no traditional engine, of course, so all of that extra space goes to the passengers. Then I drove it, and was surprised by how powerful and what fun it is to drive - really zips around. The handling is also great because the center of gravity is much better than a traditional gas engine car. The battery accounts for the majority of the weight and is centered at the bottom of the vehicle, where in traditional cars, that weight is in the front. My family was skeptical about the car but soon fell in love with it. When the lease on our minivan is up in a year, we plan to get a second Bolt. We plug in the car in a normal wall plug in our garage every night, and have not had the need for a more expensive charger. Normal mileage is 40-50 miles a day which the car handles fine - with a 250 mile range, we've never had an issue. Since we have a solar powered house, our electricity bill, including the car charge is about $10!! I must stress though that all the environmental benefits of the car, although cool, are not the most important reason I drive it. I drive it because I love driving the car. It's a terrific piece of engineering, and I know when the world gets the benefits of all-electric cars they will never go back to gas dinosaurs again. The problem is that many still don't know the difference between hybrids and all-electrics, and hybrids can be sluggish as they are carrying the weight of two engines - the traditional gas and the electric motor. Electric cars are really powerful as they have just one electric motor. This is the future, folks!
I finally had it with repairs and maintenance on our German auto and figured that perhaps it was time to look at an electric vehicle. I admit it is early in the game but so far my wife and I are really enjoying our new Chevy Bolt. The interior is rather aster but it's comfortable and extraordinarily roomy but, there are interior amenities we would love to see (ie dual climate control, power seats, sun roof). There is plenty of power and get-up and go, and we love the fact that there's no gas, no oil, and little to no maintenance. The onboard tech info is useful and seems to cover anything you might want to know. At the moment, I have no interest in another European money pit. Thank goodness electrical vehicles are making themselves a good, rational alternative.
Earlier Bolts were criticized for having poor headlights, GM must have listened. These 2019 lights are the best I’ve ever experienced in almost 60 years of driving. I also love the auto-dimming feature. I don’t typically drive more than 50 miles a day and on just household current the car fully charges overnight with time to spare — you don’t need to bother with a 240 volt installation unless you drive a whole lot more than I do. I hated the ride of my Nissan Leaf which constantly tossed me around over even small road irregularities— thankfully the Bolt rides much better, absorbs the road and its motions are extremely well damped. My only complaint is the car has so many capabilities, the learning curve is steep. I spent a lot of time sitting in the car, reading the Owners Manual in order to learn how to work everything. However, I love gadgets and this Bolt is the ultimate gadget! 7/16/2019 Still love this car. Its ease of acceleration, quickness make it a pleasure to drive. 1/17/20 Still in love.
So I wanted a Tesla, but could afford one (or couldn't get spousal agreement). Test drove many options and was thoroughly impressed with this. I will drive 50K miles this year, so I needed a car I could rely on, had range and I have no backup plan - so I'm all in. I have previously had some wonderful little Japanese cars that were a true joy to drive. The good - fun to drive, wicked cheap to run, little range anxiety so far, well built, decent cockpit design, one pedal driving, quiet. The okay - rides a little high and definitely not sport tuned like a traditional car, design (once you get through the first two days of realizing how cheap it looks) it grows on you. The bad - seats are not that comfortable, stereo uninspiring for sound quality, charges slowly - but they all do if you are on a road trip. Overall, I have truly loved driving this car so far and will never go back to a traditional car based purely on handling and costs. I will be happy when charging improves, but it is not something that causes me stress yet (my closest EVGO station is 100 miles away!). For anyone in indecision, test drive the car to see the difference. Then do some research on resale values of these and old teslas - they are holding values way better than anyone expected for good reason. Even better, reach out and talk to an owner - they will espouse virtues - because for the most part - the salespeople are clueless because there are not nearly enough of these every hanging out at the dealerships. Depending on driving style, how and climate there is a range of 150 - 300 miles - this should be more than enough for most people.
2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV videoChevrolet Bolt EV vs. Hyundai Kona Electric: Which Is the Best Affordable Long-Range EV?
Chevrolet Bolt EV vs. Hyundai Kona Electric: Which Is the Best Affordable Long-Range EV?
[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.
Until now, the Chevrolet Bolt EV and its 238 miles of range had a lock on the affordable long-range electric vehicle market. But now Hyundai has introduced the Kona Electric, a similarly sized EV that packs 258 miles of range for about the same price. We put them through the wringer to see which one is best.
Features & Specs
|LT 4dr Hatchback|
|MPG||128 city / 110 hwy|
|Transmission||1-speed direct drive|
|Horsepower||200 hp @ 0 rpm|
|Premier 4dr Hatchback|
|MPG||128 city / 110 hwy|
|Transmission||1-speed direct drive|
|Horsepower||200 hp @ 0 rpm|
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.
- 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 5 out of 5 stars
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
|Frontal Barrier Crash Rating||Rating|
|Overall||4 / 5|
|Driver||5 / 5|
|Passenger||4 / 5|
|Side Crash Rating||Rating|
|Overall||5 / 5|
|Side Barrier Rating||Rating|
|Overall||5 / 5|
|Driver||5 / 5|
|Passenger||4 / 5|
|Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings||Rating|
|Front Seat||5 / 5|
|Back Seat||4 / 5|
|Rollover||5 / 5|
|Dynamic Test Result||No Tip|
|Risk Of Rollover||9.7%|
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 Test||Not Tested|
|Moderate Overlap Front Test|
Chevrolet Bolt vs. the competition
Chevrolet Bolt vs. Chevrolet Volt
Though they sound nearly identical when spoken aloud, the Chevrolet Bolt and Volt are very different cars. While the Bolt is a pure electric vehicle, the Volt is a plug-in hybrid. The Volt offers 53 miles of all-electric range, which is more than any other plug-in hybrid on the market. Once the electricity runs out, it fires up a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine to keep going. If you're worried about owning a fully electric car, the Volt is a nice compromise. For more information, read Edmunds' long-term road test of the Chevrolet Volt.
Chevrolet Bolt vs. Nissan Leaf
The Nissan Leaf was the first truly successful electric vehicle, and the redesigned model delivers even more refinement. The interior is nicely appointed, and its predecessor's awkward exterior has been shunned in favor of a typical hatchback design. It can't match the Bolt's range, but as long as you aren't planning on taking long road trips, the Leaf should suit most needs. For more information, read Edmunds' long-term road test of the Nissan Leaf.
Chevrolet Bolt vs. Tesla Model 3
The Tesla Model 3 is the Bolt's closest rival. The Model 3's 310-mile range eclipses the Bolt's 238 miles by a healthy margin, and Tesla's coast-to-coast Supercharger network is more developed than the DC fast-charging network. The Tesla also has a much nicer interior with better materials, but we've noticed shoddy fit and finish in our long-term Model 3. Without a short-range version available in the foreseeable future, the Tesla is also much more expensive. For more information, read Edmunds' long-term road test of the Tesla Model 3.
Is the Chevrolet Bolt EV a good car?
What's new in the 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV?
According to Edmunds’ car experts, here’s what’s new for the 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV:
- Driver Confidence II package now optional on LT models
- Part of the first Bolt generation introduced for 2017
Is the Chevrolet Bolt EV reliable?
Is the 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV a good car?
How much should I pay for a 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV?
The least-expensive 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV is the 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV LT 4dr Hatchback (electric DD). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $36,620.
Other versions include:
- LT 4dr Hatchback (electric DD) which starts at $36,620
- Premier 4dr Hatchback (electric DD) which starts at $41,020
What are the different models of Chevrolet Bolt EV?
More about the 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV
The 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV is a practical and surprisingly fun electric vehicle that offers an astounding 238 miles of estimated electric range — or even more, as we've discovered. 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, access to a pre-existing dealer network, and no wait list.
There aren't many tough decisions to make when buying a Bolt EV. It comes in 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 2019 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 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 rear parking sensors.
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 a Bose premium audio system and extra USB power ports. Both trims can now be had with a higher level of active safety gear that includes forward collision alert, automated emergency braking and 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. Even though the small-EV market is more crowded than when the Bolt debuted, 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 of juice 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 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV near you.
2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV Hatchback Overview
The 2019 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 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV Hatchback?
Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV Hatchback and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2019 Bolt EV Hatchback 4.1 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 2019 Bolt EV Hatchback.
Edmunds Expert Reviews
Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV Hatchback and all model years in our database. Our rich analysis includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2019 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 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV Hatchback here.
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 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV Hatchback?
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 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV Hatchbacks are available in my area?
2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV Hatchback Listings and Inventory
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 AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV Hatchback.
Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2019 [object Object] Bolt EV Hatchback for sale near you.
Can't find a new 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV Hatchback Bolt EV Hatchback you want in your area? Consider a broader search.
Find a new Chevrolet Bolt EV for sale - 8 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $12,828.
Find a new Chevrolet for sale - 6 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $18,765.
Why trust Edmunds?
Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including all models of the 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV Hatchback and all available trim types: LT, Premier. Rich, trim-level features & specs and options data tracked for the 2019 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 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV Hatchback?
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