Chevy Bolt EV Forum banner

1 - 20 of 40 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm in the market for an EV and the Bolt Premier looks really nice. I've had a couple hybrids; 2005 Prius and 2010 Lexus CT200h and they were quite noisy. Mostly road noise. I rented a Ford Fusion Hybrid that had active noise cancellation which was incredibly quiet. How quiet is the Bolt?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
You'll find that people of this forum aren't very helpful in their replies.

I find the Bolt to be extremely quiet, but I've not driven anything with active noise canceling. Didn't even know that was a thing. Road noise is going to depend on the tires a fair bit too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
342 Posts
I've had quite a few cars in my time and the Bolt seems to be one of the quietest. I owned a 2017 Volt before the Bolt and the Volt had a lot more road noise. The Bolt is very quiet in comparison to the Volt. I think you should test drive one though because I suspect different types of noise bother different people. I'm particularly sensitive to wind noise for example: the Volt had a lot of that. Not a hint of it in the Bolt. The Volt also had tons more "inverter noise" (George Jetson spaceship noise) on full throttle. The Bolt doesn't. Some people like that noise or think it's cool. I'm not one of them.

Mike
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,811 Posts
I test drove a Bolt for 1hr and recall thinking it was very quiet. Then again, my Prius and Acura TSX are fairly noisy cars. Also, I inflate my tires above factory spec, and that adds quite a lot of extra noise. Finally, I never broke about 50 miles per hour, as the entire drive was on the surface streets of Portland.

The Fusion hybrid is among my favorite vehicles and I'm constantly recommending it to people, and among the strengths is being extremely smooth and quiet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
The Bolt powertrain is incredibly quiet even for an EV. Just a slight bit of humming on acceleration and regen.

There is very little wind noise.

There is a moderate amount of road noise. It's quite good for a car of its size and category, and better than Priuses I've driven, but it can't compete with larger and more luxurious cars. In terms of road noise I'd rank my recent cars like this:

08 Lexus LS 460
16 Toyota Highlander Hybrid (current)
11 Lexus LX 570
(big gap)
19 Bolt (current)
09 Pontiac G8
16 Ford C-Max Energi
(gap)
13 Subaru Forester
95 Acura Legend (current)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
110 Posts
As was pointed out, noise sensitivity is very subjective. On the other hand, I don't see why noise can't be tested quantitatively but putting cars in a noise 'test box' and subjecting the vehicles to standardized noise. They could also put the car on various rollers to simulate different roads. I just googled it and there are companies that do this kind of work. I suspect it's just not worth it in general for this kind of testing.

I find my Bolt to be noisy and louder than my BMW (328iC) and Honda minivan. But both these cars have better suspension and wider tires. To me, the Bolt is noisy and reminds me of my early days with less expensive cars from Honda/Toyota/Kia. And the driving experience is comparative. So, I can't really say I get a lot of pleasure from the driving experience EXCEPT for the acceleration which is awesome. But, I didn't buy the car really for a long distance commute vehicle. It's an 'around the town' car and I'll put up with road noise for the benefits of not polluting, not paying for gas (I have solar), and for the acceleration.

I agree that the best thing you can do is drive a test car. I have the Premier and the sound system is excellent so maybe turn up the volume on your favorite tunes just a wee bit and you won't notice the road noise. I suspect the Tesla is quieter but you'll pay a premium for that quietude.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
I noticed that it's pretty hard to find a critical note on this forum, since most people here have bought the car with their own money and find it hard to admit it's flaws.

I'm not biased, since it's a company car and doesn't cost me a penny, but I consider both road- and wind noise of the Bolt (Opel Ampera-e in my case) above average. To overcome that, I just cranck up the Bose sound system (which to me is the strongest point of the car) a bit.

The car is so cheaply built that a lot was saved on sound insulation.
Road noise will depend on the tires you mount, but the standard Michelins mine is on, are definitely not the quietest.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
418 Posts
I will chime in with a more critical yet very subjective answer and comparing it to other GM cars I have had my Top list (Quelietest to most Noisy).
1. 1995 Chevy Lumina 6cyl (I recall lots of soundproofing as stock)
2. 2017 Chevy Bolt (power train less noisy but some hum sounds from electric motor) more tire noises over rough surfaces. If You take time to visually inspect car You can see gaps in interior. I should probably take photos to prove it. They could have done a better job soundproofing but it might have cost another $100 and weighted the car down another 40-50 pounds...
3. 2003 olds Alero GX auto.
4. 1997 Saturn SC2 - lots of noise from manual transmission.
5. 1980s Pontiac j2000. Sunroof leaked buckets.
6. 1980s Chevy chevette / T1000 with these names do I really need to say more???
7. And very last on the list for MOST overall noises in my recollection 1980s Chevy Sprint 2 door 3 speed auto and 3cyl! Good fuel mileage though.
There are other GM cars I had experiences with just not thousands of miles for me to rank them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
342 Posts
I think all these replies are just a testament that you should really drive it. Even your previous experiences with other cars will shape your definition of "quiet". For example, before I got into PHEV (Volt), I was into nothing but performance cars. I owned (going recent to older) a 5th gen Corvette, 6th gen Corvette, two Dodge Challenger SRT's, Mustangs, Camaros, Trans Ams, and some family vehicles to supplement like a Yukon Denali, Acadia Denali, Cadillac Escalade, and even a few little road runners during the gas crisis like a Honda Civic Hybrid and new Beetle. All over many years.

But since the most recent cars before my move to electric were performance cars like the Vettes and Challengers, those made so much noise by design that there's no comparison. So once I went from those to electric drive, it was so quiet that I could never go back to the droning of an ICE engine and bumping of ICE transmissions no matter how "luxurious". The Volt seemed quiet at first due to the deletion of engine/exhaust noise but after a while the tire, wind and inverter noise got to me a bit and I'd consider the Volt very noisy. In comparison, the Bolt is very quiet with the majority of noticeable noise (for me) being tire noise which is inherent to high efficiency tires.

Bottom line: test drive it. Noise to some is music to others. ;)

Mike
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
425 Posts
No question that the Bolt is not insulated well from road noise. When the road is smooth and in good shape, the car is virtually silent. Drive it on a rough or "corrugated" road, and it does transmit a lot of noise. I think when they designed the car they did a good job of eliminating internal noise. Not so good with the external noise of poor roads. So, if you want to do a test drive to evaluate for yourself, be sure to seek out various types of road surfaces, and note the difference...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
736 Posts
Like everybody else said, go drive one. To me, on my roads, its quiet. The ride quality is a completely separate issue when you're talking normal roads, although I can see how the two could be interrelated on roads rough enough like John says. It doesn't exactly float over imperfections like a Deville Fleetwood.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
490 Posts
I find the Bolt to have an annoying amount of road noise on Oregon's rough-surfaced roads, even with quiet tires.
GM used very little sound insulation and the doors and fenders are thin aluminum in the Bolt to save weight, all of which lets in a lot of tire noise and noise from vehicles around you.
I'm comparing it to my most recent previous cars - a Mini Cooper S, a Volvo C30, a BMW 1M.
OTOH, there is very little motor noise so on smooth new top-coated pavement the Bolt is remarkably quiet.
My partial solutions to the noise level are to use thick carpet mats on floor and trunk, and dynamat in the doors and trunk floor, which all of which mutes the road noise somewhat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
My first impulse is to write that the Bolt has a lot of road and wind noise at speed, but on second thought I can hear my music much more clearly, suggesting that I expect the Bolt to be quieter and it isn't that ideal quiet. At city speeds and good pavement even my mom volunteers it's a quiet car (and she hates Chevys).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,385 Posts
...which takes us right back to the first response by Droidish that was to "...visit your friendly neighborhood Chevy Bolt dealer and road test one..."

Odd that it was quickly deemed "unhelpful", when pretty much everyone else has since agreed with it...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
114 Posts
Road noise is average for a modern car, what you don't get, good or bad, is vibration from the (non-existent) engine, nice because it's smooth, bad because you can speed unintentionally very easily.

I came from a Dodge Challenger R/T (among C3-C4 corvettes, Miata's, Fiero) the cabin noise was less, and the interior was like a plush leather la-z-boy recliner, but stupid me deleted the cats, sounded MEAN, droned like an SOB- bad call when 80% of my drive is on the highway.

And while I loved the ROAR of a big ol'e Murican V8, I am becoming fond of the futuristic harmonic singing of the electric motor, especially on a regen stop, reminds me of back to the future!

First Gen Volts were quieter on the road than the Bolt, however, once that engine kicked on, I find it annoying.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
342 Posts
Road noise is average for a modern car, what you don't get, good or bad, is vibration from the (non-existent) engine, nice because it's smooth, bad because you can speed unintentionally very easily.

I came from a Dodge Challenger R/T (among C3-C4 corvettes, Miata's, Fiero) the cabin noise was less, and the interior was like a plush leather la-z-boy recliner, but stupid me deleted the cats, sounded MEAN, droned like an SOB- bad call when 80% of my drive is on the highway.

And while I loved the ROAR of a big ol'e Murican V8, I am becoming fond of the futuristic harmonic singing of the electric motor, especially on a regen stop, reminds me of back to the future!

First Gen Volts were quieter on the road than the Bolt, however, once that engine kicked on, I find it annoying.
Funny, I came from a 2015 Challenger SRT, got a Volt, kept that 2 years, and went to the Bolt. I accelerate faster in both the Volt and Bolt than I did most of the time in the Challenger because even the stock exhaust on that car would wake the dead and draw dirty looks. I find the silent under-the-radar acceleration a lot more rewarding now. In fact, I still like the sound of a good ol' V8 but not long term (while driving/riding). Driving with engine sounds now tends to give me an instant headache.

Mike
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
378 Posts
I'll echo that the Bolt EV has a reasonable level of road noise for the car of its class. You will be more aware of it because the motor is nearly silent and thus does nothing to drown the noise out. For me, the wind noise was tad high after going past ~110 km/h (~70 mph), so I tend to drive a bit slower than that. Better for my ears and energy efficiency.

The silent, yet responsive acceleration / deceleration offered by the L mode and the 150kW motor is something of a marvel. It feels more like a computer simulation than a real car. One problem with that is that my wife often doesn't realize that she's speeding.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,248 Posts
I have similar experience to @Blue Wyvern but had a Gen 2 Volt prior to my 2017 Bolt. The Gen 2 Volt was much quieter in electric mode than my Bolt regarding road noise. Road noise intrusion to the Bolt cabin was the first thing I noticed when I got it.

Also like @Blue Wyvern, any EV you become used to the lack of vibration and you do accidentally speed quite a bit. ;-)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,755 Posts
The silent, yet responsive acceleration / deceleration offered by the L mode and the 150kW motor is something of a marvel. It feels more like a computer simulation than a real car. One problem with that is that my wife often doesn't realize that she's speeding.
Yeah, having to keep an eagle eye on the speedometer is one of the relatively few downsides of owning a Bolt...
 
1 - 20 of 40 Posts
Top