Chevy Bolt EV Forum banner

1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Well the Bolt is been in the stable for a week, replacing a 2011 Mini Countryman All4, now somewhere in the Carmax fleet of used vehicles. This is my wife's car; my car is a 2015 Cadillac CTS V-sport. As far as we know, it's one of two Bolt's in Middle Tennessee. Here are my early impressions:

1. The car is smooth, solid and quiet. Always a good start. Acceleration is good and range appears to be in line with expected norms. Given my wife's job's has free charging stations, I doubt we'll be using the Juicebox in our garage much at all. It was costing us $120-$150 a month to put premium fuel in the Mini. We used $7 of electricity charging the Bolt in week 1 and we hadn't even had my wife using the charging stations at work until end of the day Friday when we figured out how she was supposed to access it.

2. The seats are hard and not very comfy to me. it's ok for running about town but I can't see doing a long trip in this car, not that it's what we bought the car for anyway (the Mini lever left Greater Nashville). The seats also could use to be wider by another half to one inch. I haven't heard my wife complain about them though. But the Mini's seats (which were never great) are downright soft and luxurious by comparison. Maybe after a few months of break-in they will feel somewhat better.

3. The driver's side door armrest is not the same hard plastic as the rest of the dash (this is a Chevy after all) but it's still not soft enough for regular use.

4. The extreme cab forward design plus the extremely short hood is making parking a little challenging in the garage until we get used to the dimensions. By comparison, the Mini's hood now seems like my grandmother's 1976 Caddy Deville.

5. The panel in the rear cargo area to give the seats a completely flat floor when folded seems pretty cheap by comparison to the one we had in the Mini. I know the car has lots of tricks to reduce mass but I think this panel could be a little more solid.

6. The rear seats fold flat even when the front seats are all the way back. This was a problem in the Mini (and for me driving) when I needed to fold the seats in order to carry cargo (which was a typical weekend problem when I packed the rear to take our recycling to the reclamation center).

7. I miss the magnetic shocks in my Cadillac. Not that the Bolt has a lousy suspension...it doesn't but the trick shocks in my car are obvious. I'm a little surprised that this technology has filtered down to more GM cars. But after 20+ years, it's still not even standard on all Cadillacs.

8. The car is attracting attention. I took it to the local "Cars and Coffee" over the weekend where it got looked over by many who recognized that it wasn't something they'd seen before but had heard about. And I returned to my car at Costoco to find someone looking at it (and then we spent the next five minutes answering questions :) ).

9. Requests for future cars: AWD option, sunroof. And using this as a platform in other divisions (Buick, Cadillac)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,931 Posts
Glad you're enjoying your new Bolt Seven!

Till you get used to the short hood... turn on the front camera while parking (if you don't already), and use the overhead view too- it's the best invention they've ever come up with for precision parking!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Glad you're enjoying your new Bolt Seven!

Till you get used to the short hood... turn on the front camera while parking (if you don't already), and use the overhead view too- it's the best invention they've ever come up with for precision parking!
The front camera and overhead are on and do help. It's very conservative in its estimate (a good thing) so we've found that usually when we think we're at the right spot that we actually have another foot of clearance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,931 Posts
^ noticed the same thing regarding the fish eye lens on the front cam.
The overhead view is the best thing available for curb side parking!.. hopefully I'll never scuff another rim :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
355 Posts
The front camera and overhead are on and do help. It's very conservative in its estimate (a good thing) so we've found that usually when we think we're at the right spot that we actually have another foot of clearance.

I use lock-tite glue in a caulk tube and place a piece of 2"X4" wood on the floor in front of both tires after making sure the car is in the perfect spot and drive up to and touch the wood after the glue has dried properly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,031 Posts
I use lock-tite glue in a caulk tube and place a piece of 2"X4" wood on the floor in front of both tires after making sure the car is in the perfect spot and drive up to and touch the wood after the glue has dried properly.
Now that is a genius idea that I must utilize in the garage. The spouse always ends up touching the front end to the tool box... literally, always.

I've also seen people do the tennis ball idea where you hang it from the top somewhere and when it touches the windshield, you're close enough.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
989 Posts
I back mine in. The rear camera works very well for getting close to the wall.
Plus you can use the sensor display and stop when it turns red. This gives you another 12 inches before contact.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,796 Posts
I've also seen people do the tennis ball idea where you hang it from the top somewhere and when it touches the windshield, you're close enough.
The tennis ball works great. I hang one in my garage so that when I'm perfectly parked it's just above the joint on my driver's side wiper arm. That way I get perfect fore/aft and left/right placement, and I can throw my doors open without any worry that they'll hit something.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
I do the tennis ball on a string thing in my garage as well. I had to recalibrate it for the Bolt since I was previously parking a '98 Honda Accord.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
787 Posts
We also replaced a 2011 Countryman (non-S, non-ALL4) with the Bolt. We never bothered to put premium gas in the car while we owned it. Always ran fine with regular.

The Mini was my wife's car. I always found the seats to be a bit claustrophobic. Not what I would call uncomfortable, but a but restrictive. Since I rarely drove the car or was in it, it was not a big issue. My wife liked the seats in the Mini, and she likes the Bolt's seats just fine as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,486 Posts
Great week 1 review! At the rate you're charging, your monthly "fuel" bill for the Bolt is going to be a very cheap $35 if not less.
And I may be a bit envious of your Cadillac CTS V-sport, looks like a beauty.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,931 Posts
We also replaced a 2011 Countryman (non-S, non-ALL4) with the Bolt. We never bothered to put premium gas in the car while we owned it. Always ran fine with regular.
My bro in-law is a mechanic, he told me modern cars have knock sensors which will retard the spark advance when/if pinging is detected. So, when you use 87 octane in a 91/93 recommended octane vehicle you won't damage it (burn a hole in the pistons, etc..)... you just get slightly diminished performance. Unless you're a very aggressive driver or driving up large mountains- you would probably never even notice the performance drop off. We use 87 in both of my kids 3-Series and have never noticed any performance issues either.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
I use lock-tite glue in a caulk tube and place a piece of 2"X4" wood on the floor in front of both tires after making sure the car is in the perfect spot and drive up to and touch the wood after the glue has dried properly.
Not a bad idea...

Now that is a genius idea that I must utilize in the garage. The spouse always ends up touching the front end to the tool box... literally, always.

I've also seen people do the tennis ball idea where you hang it from the top somewhere and when it touches the windshield, you're close enough.
Low tech and easy to do.

I back mine in. The rear camera works very well for getting close to the wall.
Plus you can use the sensor display and stop when it turns red. This gives you another 12 inches before contact.
Too many variables to get wrong with such little clearance on all sides. That's a good way to ding something or take out a mirror.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
My bro in-law is a mechanic, he told me modern cars have knock sensors which will retard the spark advance when/if pinging is detected. So, when you use 87 octane in a 91/93 recommended octane vehicle you won't damage it (burn a hole in the pistons, etc..)... you just get slightly diminished performance. Unless you're a very aggressive driver or driving up large mountains- you would probably never even notice the performance drop off. We use 87 in both of my kids 3-Series and have never noticed any performance issues either.
This is true to a certain point but I wouldn't make a habit of it. The knock sensors are meant to avoid engine damage yes. But some engines are built for higher octane fuel, period. My Caddy CTS Vsport is a 420 HP twin turbo sleeper and I'd never consider putting anything in it other than the recommended 91+ octane fuel (and we have 93 in my neck of the woods).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Great week 1 review! At the rate you're charging, your monthly "fuel" bill for the Bolt is going to be a very cheap $35 if not less.
And I may be a bit envious of your Cadillac CTS V-sport, looks like a beauty.
Much less. Free charging at work means my wife can charge every other day and I doubt the level 2 charger we installed at home is going to get much use.

And the CTS V-sport is my mid-life crisis car. Fastest car I've ever owned and since it looks like most other CTS's, most people don't know there is a 420 HP hot-rod underneath the hood. And it's so much fun around the curves.

One additional observation on the Bolt is that the upgraded radio in the Premier still isn't all that powerful. But when you don't have an internal combustion engine to compete with, you don't really need as much amp power. My CTS Vsport engine is a "growler"....fun to listen to but the radio has a lot more to compete with.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
We also replaced a 2011 Countryman (non-S, non-ALL4) with the Bolt. We never bothered to put premium gas in the car while we owned it. Always ran fine with regular.

The Mini was my wife's car. I always found the seats to be a bit claustrophobic. Not what I would call uncomfortable, but a but restrictive. Since I rarely drove the car or was in it, it was not a big issue. My wife liked the seats in the Mini, and she likes the Bolt's seats just fine as well.
I hope you had better luck with the Mini than we did. After a failed turbo, two high pressure fuel pumps, the original brakes recall issue, a major coolant leak, leaking valve seals and finally a terrible dealer, we washed our hands of Mini.

The Mini was a lot of fun driving and in snow and ice, the ALL4 was a like a little mountain goat. But the service issues couldn't be overlooked.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
787 Posts
I hope you had better luck with the Mini than we did. After a failed turbo, two high pressure fuel pumps, the original brakes recall issue, a major coolant leak, leaking valve seals and finally a terrible dealer, we washed our hands of Mini.

The Mini was a lot of fun driving and in snow and ice, the ALL4 was a like a little mountain goat. But the service issues couldn't be overlooked.
We had the non-turbo model, so a lot of the problems you had we didn't have. I think the biggest issue we had was a fuel gauge sending issue (resulting in my wife running out of gas once), passenger seat sensor issue. Brakes were fine. Went through tires a bit faster than we wanted. But nothing like you described. We sold the Mini to friends at 58K miles. Had a full service done before selling it, no signs of impending issues at that time. New owners love car.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
787 Posts
This is true to a certain point but I wouldn't make a habit of it. The knock sensors are meant to avoid engine damage yes. But some engines are built for higher octane fuel, period. My Caddy CTS Vsport is a 420 HP twin turbo sleeper and I'd never consider putting anything in it other than the recommended 91+ octane fuel (and we have 93 in my neck of the woods).
We had the non-turbo model, so we were okay running 87 octane as per the manual. If we had had the turbo model, we would've ran mid-grade or premium in it, again as per the manual.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
We had the non-turbo model, so a lot of the problems you had we didn't have. I think the biggest issue we had was a fuel gauge sending issue (resulting in my wife running out of gas once), passenger seat sensor issue. Brakes were fine. Went through tires a bit faster than we wanted. But nothing like you described. We sold the Mini to friends at 58K miles. Had a full service done before selling it, no signs of impending issues at that time. New owners love car.
The passenger seat sensor was extremely sensitive. That was a clear design flaw. You couldn't lay a cell phone on the seat without it complaining about the seat belt not being fastened. I'm not sure how that issue got to production.

Ours finally went to CarMax at 86K miles. The valve seal issue was the last straw which caused the tailpipe to eject white smoke (oil) when the car was cold. And despite my mechanic saying it wasn't a serious issue, we found out that it was a rapidly deteriorating situation which made the car unsellable for a private sale. So either we could try to fix it and then put it back on the market, or punt and let CarMax deal with it.

One thing for sure....the Bolt is our first electric vehicle but given my wife's PhD degree (environmental sustainability), the Mini was probably her last ICE car.
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top