2018 Chevrolet Bolt Pros vs Cons. Should You Buy?
What's New for 2018?
While definite information has not yet been released for the 2018 Chevrolet Bolt, revisions are expected to be minor since this was a brand-new model for 2017. Still, industry experts predict that updates to the Bolt for 2018 could include an even longer drive range, the addition of smart driver assistance tech, and revised color options and equipment packages.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2018 Chevrolet Bolt – The Pros
1. Best-in-Class Driving Range
Prior to the introduction of the Bolt in 2017, 100 miles was typically the maximum distance an electric car could travel on a single charge. The Bolt blew those numbers out of the water with a single-charge range of up to 238 miles; this number may even increase with the 2018 Chevrolet Bolt. If you power up at a fast-charging station for just 30 minutes, you can travel up to 90 miles.
2. Expansive Infotainment Tech
There are few more modern cars on the market than the 2018 Chevrolet Bolt. The lower of the two available trims, the LT, is decked out with a massive 10.2-inch touchscreen integrated with Bluetooth as well as smartphone streaming through either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. The base model also includes two USB ports and a wireless hotspot, making it one of the most connected small cars on the market. The large touchscreen is paired with an eight-inch driver information screen. If you choose the Premier trim, you can add an infotainment package that includes wireless charging and two additional rear-seat USB ports, ideal if you have teens who are glued to their devices.
3. Unprecedented Comfort and Convenience
While electric cars tend toward the utilitarian, that's far from the case for the 2018 Chevrolet Bolt. In the base model, you'll enjoy high-end appointments like voice recognition technology, satellite radio, and a proximity key. Jump up to the Premier for leather upholstery and heated seats throughout the cabin at a lower price than BMW's competing electric car.
4. Extensive Driver Assistance Options
If you want a vehicle that adds safety and convenience with high-tech driving automation, the 2018 Chevrolet Bolt is an outstanding choice. The base model is equipped with a standard rearview camera and can be upgraded with a Driver Assistance package that comprises rear parking sensors, rear cross traffic and lane change alerts, and blind spot monitoring. With the high-end model, all of those features are standard (though the rearview camera is replaced with a 360-degree parking camera). You can upgrade this trim with the Driver Assistance II package that includes forward collision and lane departure warning, smart high beams, pedestrian detection, and automatic emergency braking capabilities.
5. Fun-to-Drive Acceleration and Handling
The 2018 Chevrolet Bolt provides much more zip than most electric cars on the market. The 200-horsepower electric motor offers 266-pound-feet of torque for brisk acceleration (a reported zero-to-60 time of six seconds) and impressive highway driving. The Bolt is more than agile enough for its small size, navigating crowded city streets with ease as well thanks to sharp, accurate steering.
6. Expansive Passenger Space
Despite its small profile, the Bolt boasts an airy interior that has enough rear-row passenger space for even the tallest adults. Two sets of child safety seat LATCH connectors are well-placed and easy to use.
7. Standard Teen Driver System
If you have young teens, they'll be standing in line at the DMV for that driving test before you know it. Protect your peace of mind with the Bolt's Teen Driver system, which allows parents to set speed and volume limits associated with a specific key fob as well as receive a post-trip report card.
8. Above-Average Cargo Space
While most electric cars have limited cargo space, the 2018 Chevrolet Bolt ranks near the head of the class with 56.6 cubic feet of cargo space behind the 60/40 split-folding rear seats. With the Premier trim, you can hide items out of site with a unique false cargo floor.
9. Exceptional Crash Test Scores
The 2018 Chevrolet Bolt is expected to meet or exceed the excellent safety scores of last year's model, which is a Top Safety Pick of the Insurance Institute on Highway Safety.
10. Easily Accessible Driving Data
Even if you're new to electric cars, it's easy to remain in the loop with the Bolt's useful driver information screen. You'll find key data like battery life as well as suggestions to extend your range.
Reasons Not to Buy a 2018 Chevrolet Bolt – The Cons
1. Low-End Cabin Materials
Though the 2018 Chevrolet Bolt has the technology and convenience of a luxury car, that inspiration doesn't extend to the materials. The cabin is mostly appointed with the hard plastics of an economy car, and some reviewers note that the seats aren't as plush as they should be at this price point.
2. Comparably High Price Tag
The 2018 Chevrolet Bolt will take a much bigger dent out of your budget than rivals like the Leaf. However, the long battery range and extensive high-tech features make the Bolt a great value for those who want a truly futuristic vehicle.
How it Measures Up to the Competition
The 2018 Chevrolet Bolt is by far the front-runner among electric cars in its price range; while it's more expensive than rivals like the Nissan Leaf, it by far surpasses its competition in both driving range and high-tech amenities. The closest rival to the Bolt is the Tesla Model S, which starts at about $30,000 more than the Bolt's comparably affordable price tag.
U.S. News and World Report ranks the Chevy Bolt as the best compact car overall and the best hybrid or electric vehicle for families. If you're thinking of dipping your toe into the electric car universe, this is the one to test drive.
• Why buy a 2017 Chevrolet Bolt? w/ pros vs cons