2020 Chevrolet Bolt Pros vs Cons. Should You Buy?
The 2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV pushes boundaries. As an all-electric car, it has great range, and it's affordably priced to make it attractive to the average consumer. Does it have all the features it takes to be a smart buy? There are certainly many advantages to driving a Bolt EV, but not everything is perfect on the vehicle.
What's New for 2020?
Since the Bolt EV exclusively runs on electric power, its range is an important feature. Previously, a Bolt could travel approximately 238 miles on a single charge. The 2020 model year can drive up to 259 miles before requiring a stop for charging. Considering the market is becoming a bit more crowded, this minor increase in range turns out to be pretty significant if anyone is comparison shopping.
On the exterior, there are two new color options: Orange Metallic and Oasis Blue. These bold hues are fitting, considering the modern feel the car has. There's also a re-designed front grille that has angles and lines that match the rest of the vehicle's shape.
Inside the 2020 Chevrolet Bolt, there is now a high-definition rearview camera, and the surround-view system gets high-definition cameras as well. This allows for better clarity when drivers are trying to back up or park in a tight spot.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2020 Chevrolet Bolt – The Pros
1. A Powerful Motor
The electric motor on the 2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV provides more than one might expect. Horsepower is 200, and there is 266 pound-feet of torque. This gives the car good acceleration. Many people feel that the Bolt drives similar to how a traditional car would drive.
2. A Range of Charging Options
Anyone can charge a Bolt EV at any standard outlet, and this would be referred to as Level 1 charging. In about 12 hours, the battery can be charged to provide just under 50 miles of range. All it takes is a 120-volt portable charge cord and a three-prong outlet.
The battery can be charged much more quickly if one takes advantage of the upgraded options. Level 2 charging is available for home and public use. It requires the professional installation of a 240-volt charging unit, and the result is a charging speed that's up to five times faster than Level 1 charging. Each hour of charging can translate to 25 miles of driving.
DC Fast Charging, which is Level 3 charging, is only found at public charging stations. The good news is that these stations are becoming more commonplace, especially in busy metropolitan areas. DC Fast Charging can provide 90 miles of range in only half an hour. It's ideal for anyone running errands around town, stopping by a shopping centers for a few hours, or going on a longer trip that requires a quick "fill-up" of battery power.
With any of these options, people can charge the full battery in one sitting or top off the power reserve. The whole process is designed to be convenient and efficient. Many dealerships take the extra step to assist their local customers in finding certified electricians who can install their at-home equipment.
3. Good Cargo Capacity
For a compact vehicle, the 2020 Chevrolet Bolt has enviable cargo capacity. Behind the second row of seats, there is 16.9 cubic feet of storage space. This is more than what many sedans have, thanks to the Bolt's hatchback design. If more room is needed to accommodate larger items, the back row can be folded down. This exposes 56.6 cubic feet in the cargo area.
The higher trims have an adjustable cargo floor to make the area more versatile. The standard position would be great for storing taller items, while the higher position would create a floor that's flush with the folded rear seats. This would make sense if heavy items need to be slid across the cargo floor.
4. Advanced Infotainment System
The infotainment system on the 2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV runs through a 10.2-inch touchscreen. This size is generous and similar to what one might see on luxury vehicles. The touchscreen has user-friendly controls and a sensitive screen, making it simple to access various controls. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility are standard, giving people easy ways to stay connected to their smartphones while they're on the road.
5. Available Upgrades Inside the Cabin
While the base model feels pretty average in terms of its materials and design, there's the opportunity to add a Comfort and Convenience package. This comes with heated front seats and a heated steering wheel, both of which can make people feel extra cozy in the winter.
The Premier trim comes with additional elements, such as ambient interior lighting and leather seats. In the Premier, back-seat passengers also get to enjoy the luxury of having heated seats.
6. Easy Access
The 2020 Chevrolet Bolt comes standard with keyless entry and push-button start. Key fobs can stay securely hidden in a pocket or purse, even while driving.
What's great about the Bolt EV is that remote start is also a standard feature. This means that people can warm things up or cool things down, depending on the season, before they get in the vehicle. If the car is plugged in while the remote start is engaged, it will draw energy from the external power source instead of burning through its own battery power.
7. Wi-Fi Hotspot
The car can act as a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, providing drives and passengers with a fast and secure way to connect to the internet. This gives people the chance to use tablets and other devices that wouldn't otherwise be able to send and receive data.
8. It Can Watch Out for Teen Drivers
Teen drivers sometimes need someone to watch over them to make sure they're making good decisions. With the 2020 Chevrolet Bolt, adults can set up the Teen Driver system. This system can limit certain things (like music volume) and can automatically turn on certain safety features when the car detects a particular key fob. At the end of a driving session, a report card can be issued so that everyone knows how well the teen has driven.
9. Regenerative Braking
With regenerative braking, the battery can get recharged as the vehicle slows down. It does so by capturing energy from the vehicle's momentum.
How does it affect performance and feel? When the driver takes his or her foot off the gas pedal, regenerative braking will automatically occur. The result is that the car will gradually slow down, a bit more quickly than it would without a regenerative braking system in place. This mechanism improves efficiency and range, and it reduces wear on the brake rotors.
10. Little Need for the Brake PedalTaking the regenerative braking system a step further is the "Regen on Demand" system. It consists of a paddle behind the steering wheel that can be adjusted in order to increase or decrease regenerative braking. When Regen on Demand is pushed to its maximum, the vehicle can potentially come to a stop on its own, without the driver applying any pressure on the brake pedal. Of course, drivers should always be ready to brake in emergency situations. The nice thing about this on-demand system is that people can adjust it to a setting they're comfortable with.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2020 Chevrolet Bolt – The Cons
1. No Gas Power
The all-electric capability of the 2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV makes the car noteworthy. To some consumers, this capability could be considered a disadvantage. It limits the car to taking shorter trips or staying close to charging station. For instance, people wouldn't be able to take the Bolt on a 350-mile road trip into the mountains or out to the countryside unless there's a sure-fire charging opportunity. Not all hotels and gas stations have charging stations, leaving people on their own when it comes to finding outlets.
2. Cramped Quarters
The 2020 Chevrolet Bolt is small, and while this may be okay for regular city commutes, it wouldn't be ideal in some situations. Larger passengers could start to quickly feel uncomfortable in the second row, which has 36.5 inches of leg room. Up front, things are a little better, with 41.6 inches of leg room.
3. Lackluster Exterior Style
Running on 17-inch wheels and having a compact shape, the Bolt EV isn't the most attractive of vehicles. It has basic elements, like black side mirrors instead of body-color or chrome ones, and this might leave some people wanting more.
4. No Frills Interior
Without any added packages, the Chevy Bolt EV has cloth seats that are manually adjustable. Given what's available in the higher sectors of the industry, these interior elements aren't anything notable.
How It Stacks Up to the Competition:
Arguably the biggest draw to the Bolt EV is it's all-electric range. With adjustments to the design of the vehicle, the 2020 Bolt EV beats out competitors such as the Nissan Leaf Plus, BMW i3, and Kia Niro Electric. The Bolt EV has a good price point that's close to many of its comparable electric vehicles and considerably less than that of the BMW i3.
For those who want to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels, purchasing an electric vehicle can be the way forward. The 2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV stands out because of its relatively affordability and driving range. It has adequate power, so it feels like a tradition vehicle in many regards. It's a smart purchase for anyone looking for a modern vehicle that eliminates trips to the gas station.
• Why buy a 2019 Chevrolet Bolt? w/ pros vs cons