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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I just got to test drive the Bolt (Premiere + options) at the Huntington Beach dealership.

There was a line for test driving - so I didn't get a chance to play with the interior as much as I wanted to (I brought a USB drive with music to test out audio, but never got to play). The dealer pulled the car out, and then we swapped seats.

PROs
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Seats were more comfortable than I thought they'd be after reading forum posts. It was the premiere, so it had leather seats. Definitely felt the metal side bars when getting out (not in though), as you tend to slide to the side when you get out. Once in the center of the seat it felt very comfortable. I'm 6'1", 220 lbs, and no complaints from me on comfort.

There is SOOOO much room in this thing. I'm used to having to put the seat all the way back in my friends cars, but in the Bolt I had to pull it forward. And there was several inches above my head. I also get why people say it feels like an SUV in that it rides high. I had to put the seat down to its lowest setting to feel more like my sports sedan. While the seats were in a comfortable position for me in the front, I sat in the back and had a good amount of room. Not much - about 1-2" of space ahead of my knees - but that's plenty.

The shifter was not a problem for me - I've read others have issues shifting. Felt a lot like the BMW shifter - hold down the side button and pull the shifter in the direction on the label - easy as pie.

The rear-view mirror was a good size. I've been in so many compact cars these days where there's not much viewing angle out the back window, so it's difficult to see clearly out of the mirror. The Bolt had a good viewing profile and I didn't feel I was missing anything that could sneak up behind me.

The electronic dash was great - the amount of information and the ability to customize the dash to show different information was great. Felt like playing with your cell phone home screen (those on Android).

The center console was nice, but I didn't get a chance to play with it much. The few things I tried were easy to find and use. Some interfaces (*cough* BMW *cough*) make things so cumbersome and non-intuitive to find, that the Bolt seemed refreshingly easy - with just the few screens I played with.

The car moves... I loved that part. Felt faster than a turbo 4, and could likely smoke an inline or v6. Definitely not a gutless wonder.

It was a smooth ride. I've read some people say it's a stiff ride, more like a sports car or like the Mini Cooper. I didn't get that feeling at all. It wasn't luxury either. Just felt nice and smooth.

I get why Motor Trend said if it had grippier tires it would be able to corner like a rally car. This thing has a low center, and you can feel it when you corner.

The surround-view backup was awesome. Every car should have that!
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CONs
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Center arm rest area seemed less thought-out. Cup holders were small. Storage area was small. Will definitely be a challenge to get all the crap from my car's center into the Bolt.

Doors are light, meaning you have to be committed when closing them. Many weighed-down doors in cars these days will close on momentum with just a little force to start. The Bolt I felt needed continued force, or more speed to get the doors to close completely.

The privacy screen in the boot is exactly what people have said - an after thought. Kinda cheesy - probably wouldn't use it myself.

The false floor cover is really light. It's either plastic, or hollow particle board. I will definitely get a custom wood cover made to replace it, as I'm thinking about putting a subwoofer in that extra space, then putting an 8 or 10" hole with a grill into the floor cover. And I'd just be nervous putting anything heavy onto the light-weight stock cover.

The rear-view mirror camera was odd. Definitely had to get used to it. The problem being that my eyes had to refocus when looking up at it, then refocus when looking back out the windshield. I'm also curious how it will look at night.
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That's about it for my test drive. As I said - there was a line waiting.

Speaking of line waiting - the guy behind me was interesting. I barely had it parked in the stall - hit the power button to shut it off and he was already pulling the open the hatchback. So much for giving someone a minute to just sit and enjoy the car...

Then, as I'm getting out of the car I say something like "You like the car?" as he's looking over the exterior. He says, "There's so many problems". I say, "What have you heard?" He says, "How much time do you have? You should follow me on the forums." I say, "Seriously, this car has problems?" He says, "No, there's no problems, it's just *way* overpriced."

I found it interesting that he found the car *way* overpriced, but was still taking time out of his day to go to a dealership, wait in line, and test drive a car he'll never buy. He must have found something interesting about the car. I also got the impression he was comparing it to a Tesla, expecting it to have all the features of a Model S for less than $40K that Chevy was charging.

Given the Bloomberg report I read, GM stands to lose $8000-9000 per Bolt sold. So if it's overpriced, in this guy's mind, what the ****?!? (source)
 

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Good write up. Some people are really weird and just don't think things through. Tesla has set the bar high as to what a BEV should be. Some people now think all subsequent BEVs should be just like a Tesla, only cheaper. Way cheaper. There's not of lot of reality in that thinking.

There also seems to be a lot of disappointment in the lease rates. Much more so than the purchase price. In the leasing case, the compliance cars have set the bar really low. The lease rates are set crazy low on those to just get rid of them, but now many think that that is what a BEV lease should look like. In addition, the Bolt is barely out and supposed hot property, so of course there are no deals for now.
 

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The rear-view mirror camera was odd. Definitely had to get used to it. The problem being that my eyes had to refocus when looking up at it, then refocus when looking back out the windshield. I'm also curious how it will look at night.
Yeah I do not really use the camera review mirror and at night it's pretty worthless. I also find that fact that only the center part of the mirror dims and leaves a non-dimmed border around the outside a little distracting.
 

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When you say the cup holders were small, how small are they exactly? Like.. can fit a medium McDonalds cup but not a large kind of thing? Can it fit regular pop bottles?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
When you say the cup holders were small, how small are they exactly? Like.. can fit a medium McDonalds cup but not a large kind of thing? Can it fit regular pop bottles?
I got the impression they wouldn't hold a large or extra large drink. They would hold a soda can, or small/medium bottle of water.
 

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Great review! The listed Cons for the Bolt won't really be a deterrent to anyone who's looking to buy a Bolt. I actually prefer lighter doors as I'm prone to slamming cars doors too hard, habit I've picked up after have driven around with doors that weren't closed properly.

Was the cubby under the armrest really tiny?
 

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Ugh... sorry, cup holders are a big thing for me as I get thirsty often lol. But that was a great review, very detailed on your thoughts. The cup holders aren't a deal breaker, but now I know not to order an extra large and try to fit it in only to find out I'll need to stick it in a tray and leave it on the passenger floor lol
 

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Regarding the cup holders, I am always surprised at how OEM's can struggle with cupholder designs.If you have a good design it does get mentioned in reviews and if you don't it often seems to set the tone for a negative review. I have a 2012 Mitsubishi i-miev which we will keep a while longer considering it's almost worthless for a trade. But that car for me has one of the best cup holder designs of any car I ever bought. It has a large and a small cup holder in the center console. In addition it has a two cup holders that fold out in front of the air vents on each side of the dash near the side window. These hold small cups or cell phones or whatever. If you don't need them just fold them back into the dash.
 

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Regarding the cup holders, I am always surprised at how OEM's can struggle with cupholder designs.If you have a good design it does get mentioned in reviews and if you don't it often seems to set the tone for a negative review. I have a 2012 Mitsubishi i-miev which we will keep a while longer considering it's almost worthless for a trade. But that car for me has one of the best cup holder designs of any car I ever bought. It has a large and a small cup holder in the center console. In addition it has a two cup holders that fold out in front of the air vents on each side of the dash near the side window. These hold small cups or cell phones or whatever. If you don't need them just fold them back into the dash.
Agreed. Cupholders are fact of car design now. They are not a new fangled idea anymore. Every car maker has made successful cupholders. Why is it so hard to just keep replicating those good designs again and again? Also, two cupholders in the front is not really enough, because I find that the console cupholders often get used up for things other than cups. At least that's the case in my wife's car.

I'll likely do OK with the Bolt's cupholders because I can get by with just two cupholders up front because I don't like my car cluttered with crap and clean it out every time I get out of it. I did notice that the Bolt's cupholders are small, but that will work for me as what I drink most often comes in smaller cans and bottles. However, those that like Big Gulps and large sized fountain drinks are going to be hosed.

My impression was that the Bolt is lacking in cupholders and also I thought the storage compartments were too small. Again, it will work for me, but those that like to carry around all kinds of crap in their cars will be disappointed.
 

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The back up camera at night and raining is not too good. So far I like driving mine.
That's typical of back up cameras on any car. Water drops get on the lens and distorts the image. Add to that lights from other car, or street lights and you get crazy lens flares. Just a fact of life with back up cameras.
 

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I did notice that the Bolt's cupholders are small, but that will work for me as what I drink most often comes in smaller cans and bottles. However, those that like Big Gulps and large sized fountain drinks are going to be hosed.
The solution to this is to carry your own cup and get one of those that can hold a lot but has a small bottom:

 

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I'm pretty sure wiping it down with rain-X or something should help, but I'm not too sure how much it'll help.. it may just bead up on the camera..
 

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Is there some kind of water repellent we can spray onto the rear camera so water just beads off?
The rear camera (at least the one that drives the rear view mirror) has a washer nozzle which I assume sprays at the same time that the nozzle for the rear window does.
 

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Let us know how that goes and if you tested out that wash nozzle. There's so many features in the Bolt, I just keep learning more about it every day.
 
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