05 Jan Chevrolet Bolt 2017 First Glace
By Lacey Elliott
Electric vehicles are officially becoming a part of our real world. They are no longer the future of cars. This is the current state of vehciles available to consumers. People are waiting for something that is more affordable and has a longer electric range. After expereincing some range anxiety in the last EV I had I am looking forward to a week with the Chevrolet Bolt. Billed as the “world’s first affordable, long-range all-electric vehicle,” I am hoping that it will satisfy affordabllity and less range anxiety.
The Chevrolet Bolt has a compact hatchback design so it offers decent room for all passengers and of course, lots of extra stuff in the back. I think it looks great. The rear seats split 60/40. When both seats are folded down, it gives you just over 1600L of space. This is means you can carry golf clubs, or suitcases or even large items from IKEA. There is an available false cargo floor that provides additional space and keeps items neatly hidden and stowed away.
The front end of this EV is enclosed because batteries don’t need air. A design element that looks weird at first. As we see more and more electric vehicles we will get used to the missing grille. This, along with the flat under body not only adds to the aesthetic appeal but it streamlines the airflow and helps to improve aerodynamics. Several exterior colours from bright ‘Orange Burst’ to a neutral ‘Nightfall Grey’ are available so that you can get the vehicle that is unique and you really love the look of.
Even though it is classed as compact, the cabin feels open and airy. Adequate leg, shoulder and head space. The dash is modern looking yet the layout is simple and intuitive. Nice touches of chrome are sprinkled throughout. If you upgrade to the Premier Trim the leather seats look and feel fantastic. The Premier trim also gets you a heated leather steering wheel; my new must have feature for cold Canadian winters.
The front console has a ton of useable space with a sliding arm rest and cupholders large enough to accommodate my shaker bottles and coffee cups.
The touch screen is 10.2 inches diagonally; its huge! I was acutally worried that it would be too big and act as a distraction. This changed quickly as I began to appriciate how easy it is to see the needed information. This is the screen that displays your ‘normal’ car information as well as specific information needed for the electric part of this car. The ‘Energy Details’ screen brakes down the percent of energy that has been used while you drive including climate control, heated seats or charging your phone.
Big guys should have lots of leg room in the back seat but I think it might feel a bit narrow. A small complaint is that Chevrolet made the actual cushion on the seat backs thinner to allow for more space. Because of this, I found them to be uncomfortable. Keep in mind that because it is electric, it’s not the vehicle you would buy if you take a lot of long road trips with the family anyways. It would be a rare occasion that I had anyone sit in the back seat for a long raod trip. An uncomfortable back seat wouldn’t influence my choice to buy the Bolt.