Immediately what any owner will notice is the amount of space included all throughout passenger and cargo areas. 94.4 cubic feet of passenger volume ensures that just about anyone can get comfortable regardless of who you are. Chevrolet`s focus on ride sharing influenced this part. While there are little to no complaints on space, the thin-foam construction mentioned in the next point is getting mixed feedback.
Fat man seat check: I am bigger than the bottom seat (as is true for many cars I sit in). Yet it was quite drivable and not too uncomfortable. It should be just fine for the daily commute and EV-style duties. The jury is out for long-road-trip comfort; I suspect some pinching would occur along the outer left side. The seats _are_ quite firm, as suspected, but are still OK in my book. I could see if I was just a little smaller (or otherwise precisely put the edge of the seat in the wrong spot) how this could be different. Since dealers are getting test-drive models in it's best to go do your own butt-check.
Legroom: For me it was wonderful. I could even fully stretch out my left leg without whanging the brake pedal when I needed to. I have a short inseam though (I'm all torso), so YMMV.
- Tugrik: Got to test drive the Bolt today in San JoseCockpit space: Cupholders are a little small and a little oddly positioned, but workable. Drink bottle (tilted) holder in the door. Armrest slides forwards and backwards for more support, but not sure how I like that. Only one 12V socket dangling against the firewall, which is going to lead to a weird arrangement of wires thanks to the huge 'open bucket' space (the salesman called it the 'wife's purse spot') in front of the center console. I think Chevy really missed out not putting a spare 12V socket inside the center console bin itself. There are divots to run cables into console, but again, only after it dangles across the open gap. And huge disappointment: the 'built in wireless charging' pocket will NOT fit an iPhone 7+ or the larger Android phablets. The odd front-pocket will, but that really keeps the phone out of reach. Maybe that's their point, to encourage less potential driving-use. I'm going to buy a ProClipUSA holder once they release their Bolt version anyways; I have those in every one of my vehicles so I can use Waze properly
The Thin-Foam Construction Trade-Off...
Saving space and weight might by using a thin layer of foam might come at a cost here depending who you ask. The real test will be a large enough sample size of owners driving these day in and day out, something we look forward to in the coming months.
- Paul S: Kinetic Blue Metallic Premier DFWAutoShowThe seats are going to be an issue for a lot of people I think. Question is, for an around town car, can you live with some discomfort? Understand we have had two Volts (2011 and now ending lease in March 2014). We also both had no issues piling our fat butts in the seats in our 2014 Smart ED for it's two year lease. They were thin cloth seats and there wasn't a lot of room as the doors were RIGHT THERE!! We also have 2012 Ford Focus EV that we got used this year and the seats are firm leather, but plenty wide. We are ok with the Volt on 100-150 mile each way trips, but have never taken one on many hundreds of miles. We would likely rent a good road cruising car/suv for that if we were to ever do that.
Love the seating position of the seats in the Bolt. They are less likely to put stress on the same areas of your legs as the Volt as they sit higher. But, there seems to be a pretty large gap between the door and the seat on the Bolt. They could have done another 1/4 to 1/2 inch. Also, the center console is pretty wide and there is no gap between the seat and center console. So, if your a good size person, your butt will be touching the center console. Doesn't make it fun to put on seat belt. Now, certainly there are other cars with narrow seats, but the sides here are done with hard metal that you can feel with a little pressure on the seat. We were hoping (and it does make some difference) that the leather seats would be a little better than cloth in the Bolt. You press on the cloth seat and it gives you no resistance all the way to the metal. Having now sat in the Premier for the first time, they seems a little better, but still concerned. Also just like Gen 2 Volts, no Homelink, but that is what it is..
GM has had skin in the EV game long enough to ensure a product like the Bolt can offer some of what its name suggests. Publications and some owners have reported off the line power is surprisingly fun putting a good chunk of its 266 lb.ft of torque to use.
- Tugrik: Got to test drive the Bolt today in San JosePerformance-wise it was definitely better than the Leaf and slightly better than the Kia Soul EV. It likes to leap off the line plenty fine, thankyouverymuch.
The acceleration in normal mode is great for aggressive highway merging, tested on 87 South during rush-hour. The full-regen (L mode plus paddle) is just about perfect; you can use it in almost any normal braking situation, and you only have to hit the real brake pedal if something surprises you. U-turns were on par with the Leaf and the Kia Soul EV, radius- and effort-wise. It felt just about as 'planted' as the Leaf, moreso than the taller Kia, and only barely more heavy. It hides the weight of its larger battery pack quite well.
Other than that... it was a car. A nice normal semi-compact little commuter car. Nothing that screams "OMG freaky EV car!", nothing luxo-barge, nothing too weird or too compromised. For people who just want a nice, accessible, capable commute vehicle this will work quite perfectly. By the time I was done with my test drive loops I was left feeling how nicely normal the car was. Maybe just a tiiiiny bit disappointed at the lack of whiz-bang, but I couldn't tell you what would fixed that. This is probably for the best; the world needs a solid, long-range, affordable daily driver, and the Bolt is definitely that.
Light & Quick Steering
Throwing the Bolt EV around right turns, over taking other vehicles, switching lanes, etc. has proven to be fun from the reviews currently out. Combining that with its off the line power, suddenly the words boring and EV start to move further away.
- NY Daily NewsSteering is quick with light effort. Road feel from the column-mounted electrically boosted steering is minimal, but the Bolt obediently goes where it’s pointed with little or no correction needed. Electro-hydraulic 4-wheel-disc brakes provide crisp top-of-pedal response, but depending on which transmission drive mode you select you can drive the car without using the brake pedal a great deal of the time.
One Pedal Driving
Feedback on one pedal driving has been mixed and its something we hope to hear more about as seat time increasing among the community here.
- LeftieBiker: Ordered a Bolt Premier last nightOne pedal driving (maximum automatic Regeneration) is best used in stop and go traffic, areas with lots of roundabouts, and similar situations in cities. Regeneration loses about 60% of the energy lost in braking, so coasting is always more efficient when it's possible. Some Leaf drivers shift into "Neutral" on downgrades for best coasting, but that's not always wise.
- TotaledJetta: Ordered a Bolt Premier last nightTest drove a Bolt Today at Fremont Chevrolet and then put a thousand down on an order for a Premier. Learned a few things in the process.
1. They expect delivery for the "public" to be in February.
2. The expectation is that the price will be MSRP, not a surprise with the limited supply
3. The space in the hatchback area under the "false floor is only about 6 or 8 inches high and the fake floor piece is very light weight plastic.
4. The privacy screen that can be hooked up looks like an after thought.
5. The car feels really solid on the road.
6. The one pedal driving mode did not appeal to me.
7. The normal mode combined with the hand lever that applies regenerative drag seemed like it would work well.
8. Fremont Chevy says they are number 1 in the bay area in Volt sales and hope to get their share of Bolts.
9. Time will tell, but I am looking forward to going all electric and donated my totaled but operable Jetta.
- NY Daily NewsShift the lever into Low, however, and welcome yourself to the world of one-pedal driving. In Low, the accelerator pedal effectively performs as an accelerator and brake. Back off just a bit and the Bolt starts decelerating. Lift off the accelerator completely at speed and the car slows significantly, up to 0.3g of retardation and right to a full stop. In this mode, backing off the accelerator triggers the brake lights so cars following behind can brake accordingly. You have to train your right foot to get the hang of it, but once mastered you can negotiate a lot of stop and go city traffic without depressing the actual brake pedal. The retardation is so pronounced that you might have to reapply the accelerator a bit just to make it to the stoplight.
You can also brake the Bolt using the regen-on-demand paddle behind the left side of the steering wheel, which acts like an electric hand brake. Or you can combine the two, driving in Low and using the left paddle for maximum regeneration.