Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

A silver 2020 Chevy Bolt EV, one of the electric Chevy cars, is driving with a city in the distance.

Why You Should Buy a Chevy Bolt

When looking at Chevy’s lineup, there’s one vehicle that stands out: the Chevy Bolt. The Bolt stands out for many reasons, such as its incredible warranty and class-leading 259-mile all-electric range. So if you are looking at Chevy cars and are wondering which model might be the best for your lifestyle, the Chevy Bolt emerges as one of the more interesting options on the market. The more you look into it, the more interesting it becomes. It competes well with the Tesla 3 in all areas. It’s eligible for single-occupant carpool-lane access. It has a lot of instant power. And it’s eligible for a federal tax credit and other incentives. But let’s take a look and see if this technology is right for your lifestyle. Eventually, all of us will be making the leap from gas-powered vehicles to more environmentally friendly vehicles; some of us are just ahead of our time.

Before buying a Chevy Bolt, you will want to make sure you have a 240-volt outlet to recharge it. Luckily, the batteries last much longer than your cell phone, so most likely, you won’t have to charge your Bolt every day. Now that it has a class-leading 259-mile range, you won’t have to charge too often; maybe every few days, you will need to plug it in. If you consider that American commuters commonly drive about 40 miles per day, you might only need to charge once a week. As opposed to stopping at a gas station once a week, this will be a breeze. You can even do laundry while you “fill up” your Bolt. But let’s get into more specifics that make this Chevy car so unique.

A silver 2020 Chevy Bolt EV is plugged into a modern home.

What’s it Like to Drive a Bolt?

The 2020 Chevy Bolt runs on batteries as opposed to a traditional gasoline engine. It’s quick and quiet, and it can go 0 to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds. That’s fast, and with the heavy batteries providing a low center of gravity and exceptional balance, the Bolt handles well too. It’s a joy to drive. You will be surprised just how sporty the Chevy Bolt is. While it might look like just any compact commuter car, it’s not: it is a blast to drive. Its 200-hp powertrain, which turns 266 lb-ft of torque via an electric transmission selector, is powerful. That’s an extraordinary amount of power for a vehicle this size.

Shift into low gear and put the Bolt in Sport mode, and you can drive with one pedal. This employs the regenerative braking system, whereas you lift your foot off the accelerator, the system brakes. Press down on the pedal, and it accelerates. There is also a paddle on the left side of the steering wheel for increased braking. The regenerative braking system recharges the battery as you lift off the accelerator. When driving in this mode, you can drive without ever having to touch the brake pedal. The feeling of driving this way is exhilarating as the acceleration is quick as you put your foot on the pedal, and deceleration is prompt as you lift your foot off the pedal to a full stop.

The 2020 Chevy Bolt is powered by an AC synchronous electric motor with a 66-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. This allows for excellent horsepower and exceptional torque. This setup also returns an efficiency rating of 127/108 MPGe, which translates to about 119 miles per gallon equivalent in combined city/highway driving. This is really good and is just slightly less than the Tesla Model 3. For the price, the Chevy Bolt outperforms the Model 3. The 2020 Chevy Bolt actually has a longer range than the similarly priced Model 3. Another great thing about the Chevy Bolt is the excellent warranty that the lithium-ion battery and electric components come with 8 years or 100,000 miles. That’s incredible peace of mind.

If you are wondering about recharging and how long it takes to recharge the Chevy Bolt, there are a couple of options. On a DC fast charger, the Chevy Bolt takes about 30 minutes to get about 100 miles of range. For the more common 240-volt outlet, the Bolt takes about 9 hours for a full charge. This means you can plug in when you get home, and it will be ready and fully charged in the morning.

Lots of Standard Tech

With the 2020 Chevy Bolt only coming in two trim levels, you can expect that many features are included in the first trim level as standard. The base model—the LT trim—includes a 10.2-inch touch-screen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot, LED headlights and taillights, and cruise control. That’s a great deal of value for a base model. And the other trim level adds even more value: heated front and rear seats, heated steering wheel, blind-spot monitoring, and a rear camera mirror. This trim level—the Premier trim—also includes a leather-wrapped steering wheel, fancier wheels, and roof-mounted side rails. The rear camera mirror is one of the highlights as it transforms the Bolt’s rearview mirror into a digital display, giving an unobstructed view of what’s behind the Bolt.

Interior Space is Abundant

Despite its subcompact size, the 2020 Chevy Bolt is surprisingly spacious. The hatchback design helps, as there is lots of headroom for both tall drivers and passengers. There is also a good amount of cargo space. The Chevy Bolt has 16.9 cu.ft. of space behind the rear seats, which is as much as a full-size sedan. With the rear seats folded, the Bolt’s maximum capacity is 56.6 cu.ft. That’s a lot of space for a subcompact, making the Bolt an extremely useful vehicle for weekend adventures. The rear seats also fold in a 60/40 split. In all, the Bolt seats five passengers. This makes the Bolt just as practical as a small crossover, with enough cargo space for five carry-on bags behind the rear seats and space to comfortably seat all five passengers.

The dashboard and tech features are shown in a 2020 Chevy Bolt EV.

Safety First

The 2020 Chevy Bolt is often recognized as one of the safest vehicles on the road. The Bolt features many available safety features to give you peace of mind on the road. Forward-collision warning with low-speed automatic braking is optional on both trims. This system warns of a potential collision and can apply the brakes to prevent a crash. Blind-spot monitoring is another safety feature available on both trim levels, and this monitors side blind spots and can also warn of cross-traffic when backing up. Lane-departure warning and lane-keep assist is another excellent feature available on both models. This system warns you if you drift in your lane and helps to keep you centered.

A Versatile Electric Vehicle

The 2020 Chevy Bolt can do it all. With lots of cargo and passenger space, class-leading electric range, a powerful and engaging ride, standard tech and convenience features, and incredible efficiency, the Bolt is a car that everyone should have on their list. When you consider the warranty and the money to be saved on fuel and incentives and rebates, there really is no reason to look elsewhere. Plus, it’s a blast to drive. What more could you ask for? The Chevy Bolt offers a glimpse of the future, and the future is bright.