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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is my daughters car but I have been driving it for six weeks until she gets her license in February. My overall impression is the Bolt is a fantastic vehicle and my daughter absolutely loves it. She finds it way easier to drive as she is learning that anything else she has been in. Compared to similar vehicles including ICE it is an 8.5 out of 10. I really love this car. Likes and dislikes ignore the fact this is an EV. We have three EVs in the garage so just focusing on car form and function.

Likes
It looks cool for a small car. The styling all the way around is excellent. It has pretty big and wide wheels for a car of this size and even the LT model wheels look sweet. The car looks clean and well proportioned. Daughter comment I second; the slant of the windows makes them huge and provides really great visibility. The mirrors sit low so you have very little view obstruction and the hood slants aggressively so you can't see it. Love the non wide angle mirrors, great field of vision and unobstructed view. Hate wide angle "fish eye" mirrors. Interior is huge, hatchback it very large as well. It feels like the entirety of the car is passenger compartment. The interior is very clean and well laid out, the center screen is integrated into the dash well and easy to reach. We have the white so the interior has a really cool white accent around the dash that looks like snow. It makes the interior very bright. There are still buttons and knobs which I don't like but there only a few and the controls are laid out ergonomically. The two screens are bright and have some customization. The design team was on the same page, nothing seems out of place. This is a very well designed car aesthetically. Really like regen braking in low or the option to stay in drive and have more "coast". Not being able to go back to drive once put in low unless you stop is a head scratcher.

Dislikes
Please let me know if there are things I dislike but the cars actually does, I have only been driving it for six weeks. Dislikes number one through about 17 is the dealership. My first two EV purchases were entirely online and after that, I would prefer to never visit a dealership again. I have been hounded for two months to buy OnStar and I can not see any value at all for $200 a year. My sales guy called me twice to subscribe during the 60 day free period and I had to block the OnStar emails. I'm pre-recall so I have scheduled the software update. (Just making the appointment was a pain in the a). I physically have to drive to a dealership and wait 2 hours for a software update. Manufacturers like GM and Toyota that think customers are going to pay for apps or updates that provide little to no benefit will be left behind. I see zero value in the dealership model. Dealerships may be the anchor that sinks legacy manufacturers.

I have the basic Chevy app but I did look at functionality in the OnStar premium version and the additional features seem useless. But so it the basic Chevy app. You can lock/unlock with the Chevy app but can't drive the car. The only two features that seem useful are "where is my car" so I can track my daughter and charge status. I can use "find my phone" for the former and any of the charging company's apps (i.e. ChargePoint) for the later.

Locking/unlocking, starting and putting into drive. OK seriously I hate this part of the car. Hate the useless fob or any other $350 piece of ($#!T) plastic. The theft protecting RFID chip costs $0.20. You have to hit the button on the door or on the fob to unlock (or in the app but you can't drive with the app), why not just auto unlock? The car freaks out and blares three staccato horn honks if you leave the fob in the car. Yes car, I know I left the fob, I meant to leave the fob, I'm an adult with free will in possession of an otherwise useless phone app that can unlock the car if it somehow locks itself which is impossible since the car DOES NOT AUTOMATICALY LOCK. You have to push a button to start and then another button on the gearshift lever to move the shifter. It takes 10 seconds for the car to connect to your phone and you have to select your phone from a list but after connection, you need to wait another few seconds because the notice that your phone connected is OVER the button to connect. It makes me want to punch a baby. (I know you can select a default phone but I needed to vent).

The infotainment system is extremely limited. I have played around with all the screens and there is some very useful energy information. The radio interface is fine and the call interface is OK but everything else you need to use your phone to control. You cast maps and music apps from your phone. No native Spotify etc in the car and the on-screen functionality is almost non existent. You can play and pause, that's it. As a dad, I freaking hate that because I don't want my daughter looking at her phone while driving. The final straw is there is no place to put your phone.

The final issue is sort of big but is kind of not really because of my expectations. The Bolt AWD is not great in snow. I have lived in Colorado all my driving life and driven world class AWD vehicles. The Bolt is average in comparison to Audi's etc. costing twice as much. I have a model 3 and it has done some amazing stuff over Vail pass in blizzard conditions surpassing any AWD I have ever driven until it it hits it's limited clearance. With the Bolt you have to learn the technique to keep power to the wheels as they begin to lose traction. Going up a snowy hill when the wheels lose traction, the Bolt just keeps slowing down trying to gain traction. You can flutter the accelerator and fool the traction control to keep power going to the wheels. For corners you need to slow down excessively before the corner so you can keep power to the drivetrain or it just slides out.

The final analyses is I think the Bolt is an awesome, well designed car. Getting a teenage girl to think it is super cool is an amazing accomplishment and the annoying drawbacks are just annoying. The Bolt is such a great car.
 

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...You have to hit the button on the door or on the fob to unlock (or in the app but you can't drive with the app), why not just auto unlock?...
So Chevy apparently defines passive door unlocking as pressing the button on the handle (the assumption being that you have to put your hand on the handle anyway, so pressing the button doesn't require an extra step). Those preferences are in Settings -> Vehicle -> Remote Lock / Unlock / Start -> Passive Door Unlock

...The car freaks out and blares three staccato horn honks if you leave the fob in the car...
That preference can be changed in Settings -> Vehicle -> Remote Lock / Unlock / Start -> Remote Left in Vehicle Alert

...car DOES NOT AUTOMATICALY LOCK...
It can. If you set the preference in the settings, it will automatically lock the doors if you remove a key fob and close the door. It's available from Settings -> Vehicle -> Remote Lock / Unlock / Start -> Passive Door Lock

...It takes 10 seconds for the car to connect to your phone and you have to select your phone from a list but after connection, you need to wait another few seconds because the notice that your phone connected is OVER the button to connect. It makes me want to punch a baby. (I know you can select a default phone but I needed to vent)...
Please don't punch any babies. ;) Many Bolt owners prefer connecting their phone to the Bolt through a USB cable (instead of relying on bluetooth), which also enables Android Auto or Apple CarPlay. See below...

...The infotainment system is extremely limited. I have played around with all the screens and there is some very useful energy information. The radio interface is fine and the call interface is OK but everything else you need to use your phone to control. You cast maps and music apps from your phone. No native Spotify etc in the car and the on-screen functionality is almost non existent. You can play and pause, that's it. As a dad, I freaking hate that because I don't want my daughter looking at her phone while driving...
The built-in infotainment system is limited, yes, but connecting the phone and using Android Auto or Apple CarPlay is a much better experience. You won't need to look at the phone - you'll see a customized interface on the Bolt's infotainment screen that will allow the use of apps like Spotify. To activate, connect the phone to the car's USB port with a USB cable, then hold the physical Home button (below the infotainment screen) down for a couple of seconds.

...The Bolt AWD is not great in snow....
The Bolt actually isn't AWD, it's only FWD, and the factory tires are not good in snow. However, many Bolt owners report much better handling in snow with either snow tires or good all-season tires. The Bolt's factory tires are designed for low resistance which is great for range, but not so good for gripping in snow (or heavy rain, for that matter).
 

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Not being able to go back to drive once put in low unless you stop is a head scratcher.
What V8 said. It is not intuitive, but you just pull back on the lever to go from P to L, and from L back to D.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Than
So Chevy apparently defines passive door unlocking as pressing the button on the handle (the assumption being that you have to put your hand on the handle anyway, so pressing the button doesn't require an extra step). Those preferences are in Settings -> Vehicle -> Remote Lock / Unlock / Start -> Passive Door Unlock


That preference can be changed in Settings -> Vehicle -> Remote Lock / Unlock / Start -> Remote Left in Vehicle Alert


It can. If you set the preference in the settings, it will automatically lock the doors if you remove a key fob and close the door. It's available from Settings -> Vehicle -> Remote Lock / Unlock / Start -> Passive Door Lock


Please don't punch any babies. ;) Many Bolt owners prefer connecting their phone to the Bolt through a USB cable (instead of relying on bluetooth), which also enables Android Auto or Apple CarPlay. See below...


The built-in infotainment system is limited, yes, but connecting the phone and using Android Auto or Apple CarPlay is a much better experience. You won't need to look at the phone - you'll see a customized interface on the Bolt's infotainment screen that will allow the use of apps like Spotify. To activate, connect the phone to the car's USB port with a USB cable, then hold the physical Home button (below the infotainment screen) down for a couple of seconds.


The Bolt actually isn't AWD, it's only FWD, and the factory tires are not good in snow. However, many Bolt owners report much better handling in snow with either snow tires or good all-season tires. The Bolt's factory tires are designed for low resistance which is great for range, but not so good for gripping in snow (or heavy rain, for that matter).
Thank you so much for your informative and helpful post. I just made the adjustments and can confirm they all work. The horn blaring almost gives me a heart attack at times. I agree with the usb phone plug-in and that comment was sort of unfair because you can designate a preferred device and don't have to go in each time and manually select. My daughter's phone is the preferred device. It really is not a huge issue.

There are some features available in the native app not available in Auto or CarPlay. in Spotify you can fast forward in 15 second intervals and the Auto version just fast forwards. Again not big issues and the Bolt is so awesome. I did know it was FWD, not sure what I was thinking. We got our first snow in Colorado of the entire year two Fridays ago. It was my first time driving it in the snow and it was not great. We had our second snow 5 days later and I had legit snow tires by then. Snow tires and some experience driving in the snow made the experience MUCH better.

Thanks for your helpful post. I'll say it again, such a great car.
 

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Nope, you are wrong. Can't go to D from L while driving.
I have a 2020 Bolt Premier and definitely can switch from D to L and back. That being said, the 2022 switched to push buttons and perhaps the shift logic is different? Believe the 2021 was still supporting back/forth tho as it was only cosmetically different vs my 2020 which does do back/forth.
 

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LOL...the Bolt is absolutely not an AWD car. I don't know who sold you that idea!

That said, put four snow tires on it. I like the Michelin x-ice. With front wheel drive and a lot of weight the Bolt handles snow about as well as my wife's Crosstrek. You just have to not be stupid like trying to cross a big berm or something. I drive my Bolt to the ski area just about every day of the season.
 

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Sometimes my car will give the three quick horn blasts for no good reason. No fob in the car. It's turned off when the car is exited. But it's not consistent, so I have no idea what's triggering it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
LOL...the Bolt is absolutely not an AWD car. I don't know who sold you that idea!

That said, put four snow tires on it. I like the Michelin x-ice. With front wheel drive and a lot of weight the Bolt handles snow about as well as my wife's Crosstrek. You just have to not be stupid like trying to cross a big berm or something. I drive my Bolt to the ski area just about every day of the season.
Agreed, snow tires are a big help and some experience as well. It did freak me out going up a big hill by my house when the Bolt just kept slowing down. Fluttering the accelerator helped keep traction and power to the wheels.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Sometimes my car will give the three quick horn blasts for no good reason. No fob in the car. It's turned off when the car is exited. But it's not consistent, so I have no idea what's triggering it.
The Bolt has a sense of humor like my kids. They think it is hilarious to leap out around a corner and scare the crap out of people. I think my Bolt thinks it is hysterical to blast it's horn at 5:00 am waking up all the neighbors. I think that personality is one of the things I love about my car.
 

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GJetson's got it right. Don't push the stick forward, pull it back. The stick toggles between L and D every time you pull it back. It took me a while to figure it out as it's not intuitive at all. Now that I know I like it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
GJetson's got it right. Don't push the stick forward, pull it back. The stick toggles between L and D every time you pull it back. It took me a while to figure it out as it's not intuitive at all. Now that I know I like it.
As I think about it, that functionality makes sense kind of so you are not trying to shift into Park from D which it wont do while driving and having to look down at the shifter to see what is wrong. Just takes some getting used to like any car.
 

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Go into vehicle settings in the center screen, and turn off everything you don't like.
There's no way to disable that which works. I recall a "Remote Left in Vehicle Alert" from page 149 of https://my.gm.ca/content/dam/gmowne...?evar25=ch_bolt-recall_owners-manuals_bolt-ev. I've shut that off already and checked it. It doesn't help. Have gone thru this many times (e.g. checking that the setting is off and turn it on then exiting then back off then exiting)

If you know of a setting that works, let me know.

I don't recall the exact repro steps but it's along the lines of with fob in pocket, turn off car. Exit car via driver's door and maybe close it (don't lock anything and I don't have passive locking or unlocking enabled). Re-enter from driver's side w/fob in pocket. Upon closing driver's door you may get the triple quick braps of the horn.
 

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@zharris Welcome to the forum.

I have used all season tires for almost 4 years on my Bolt, commuting between Monument and Thornton. I was able to adjust my schedule and work from home on bad weather days, but have had my share of snow and ice. My only advice is avoid L in slick conditions, the acceleration seems to spin less in D, but deceleration is good in L as long as you feather the accelerator and don't abruptly slow the car. For an inexperienced driver, I would suggest D in dicy weather and use the friction brakes, I mean they do need some love too.

Fortunately, even though we are yet to hit heavy snow season, (which for those outside of the state, begins in March and runs through April and into May around here), the roads clear pretty quickly. I find snow tires are not worth it in my situation, but might be more inclined to go that route for an inexperienced kid.
 

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We get snow sometimes in Central Ohio (not much this year tho). Our first winter I thought the Bolt did better than our previous Fusion Energi on the roads using the OEM tires. We actually never felt nervous driving it. Definitely not for wading in deep snow but in a few inches felt safe enough…
 
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