Expert Reviews

2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV Premier Review

AutoTrader SCORE
This score is awarded by our team of expert reviewers after extensive testing of the car
  • Safety

Okay, let’s get this out of the way: just as a two-seat sports car can’t haul a nuclear family, an electric vehicle (EV) isn’t for everyone – at least not at this point.

But if one is on your radar, you need to look at my tester, the 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV, which is shorthand for “electric utility vehicle.”

The Bolt hatchback was redesigned for 2022, while the EUV is a new addition for the model year. It comes in two trims, starting with the LT at $41,998, including a non-negotiable delivery fee of $1,800. I drove the upper-level Premier at $45,498, plus options that took it to $51,003. The price will be reduced by applicable tax rebates at the federal and provincial levels where they're offered.

Styling: 8/10

The Bolt got a redesign for 2022, including a new hood, front and rear fascias and new exterior lighting, and the Bolt EUV shares all of it. The Bolt’s interior also got a major makeover and it’s miles ahead of the previous design, which was extremely plastic-heavy and used an odd mid-air centre stack. In contrast, this interior is handsomely conventional, with soft-touch materials and just enough brightwork – although I’d prefer less of the gloss-black finish, which is nothing more than a magnet for dust and fingerprints.

Both EUV trims get 17-inch wheels, with a fancier design on the Premier. My tester was equipped with an optional panoramic sunroof, and with a $495 coat of Ice Blue Metallic paint.

Safety: 8/10

The Bolt EUV hasn’t been crash-rated at the time of this writing by the United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), which affects its score here. Standard equipment on both trims includes 10 airbags, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, lane-keep assist, automatic high-beam control, emergency front braking, and a high-definition version of the back-up camera that’s mandatory on all new vehicles. The Premier further adds adaptive cruise control and surround-view monitoring.

Features: 8.5/10

The features list on both trims includes automatic climate control, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, 10.2-inch infotainment screen, eight-inch configurable gauge cluster, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, wireless phone charger, cargo privacy cover, and heated front seats and steering wheel.

The Premier further adds rain-sensing wipers, heated rear seats, ventilated front seats, leather upholstery, and ambient lighting. The top trim can also be optioned with hands-free functionality for the adaptive cruise, as mine was for $2,495. While it isn’t a fully autonomous system, it can be used on pre-mapped divided highways – right now about 24,000 km of them in Canada, and 297,000 in the U.S. When you’re on an applicable stretch, the top of the steering wheel lights up green and you can take your hands off it. It works very well, but you still have to pay attention, with a camera on the steering column watching your eyes to make sure you do.

User Friendliness: 9/10

For all the technology here, everything is easy to use. Climate functions are handled by toggle switches, and the infotainment system has simple menus, a volume dial, and a hard button to access the home screen – handy when jumping back to the main display from, say, Apple CarPlay.

The instrument cluster is also easy to configure using controls on the steering wheel. I dislike push-button gear selectors, as the Bolt EUV has, but such setups are better than electronic push-pull levers. The Super Cruise option is also very easy to operate, simply requiring a button push after the adaptive cruise control is set, and then waiting for the green light to indicate when you can let it take over.

Practicality: 8/10

The Bolt EUV has all the inherent practicality of a hatchback, although it has slightly less cargo space than the Bolt with its rear seat up – 462 L in the EUV versus 470 L in the Bolt, since most of its extra length is dedicated to rear-seat legroom. The rear 60/40 seat folds down for larger cargo. Since there’s no spare tire under the cargo floor – a spare adds weight and so you get a mobility repair kit instead – there’s a false floor that can hide items under it, or  it can be flipped up or removed for larger items. Small-item storage includes an open compartment under the centre console.

Comfort: 8.5/10

The Bolt EUV’s front-seat legroom is identical to that of the Bolt – and both are more generous than that of the Nissan Leaf, Kia Niro EV, or Hyundai Kona EV – but those in the rear seats get 976 mm (38.4 in) of legroom, versus 915 mm (36 in) in the Bolt.

The seats are supportive on longer drives, and the Premier includes heated and ventilated front seats, and heated rear seats. The ride is smooth and comfortable as well. My only complaint is that a vehicle topping $40,000 should include dual-zone climate control, not single-zone.

Power: 8.5/10

The Bolt EUV contains an electric motor producing 200 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque, fed by a 65-kWh battery and exclusively driving the front wheels. It’s surprisingly peppy when you ask for quick acceleration or highway passing, and will actually squeal the tires if you stomp the throttle. However, it isn’t intended as a sports machine, and it has excellent everyday-driving manners, with smooth and linear acceleration under moderate throttle.

Driving Feel: 9/10

With its heavy battery under the floor, the Bolt EUV has a low centre of gravity that offsets its height, so it takes curves with a minimum of body roll. The steering is light but responsive, and it’s very pleasant to drive.

In addition to charging from an external plug, the battery also captures energy through regenerative braking when decelerating. There’s a one-pedal driving button that automatically increases regeneration to the point that the Bolt will slow and stop whenever you take your foot off the throttle, without needing to use the brake pedal. If you prefer to manually control it each time, there’s a paddle on the steering wheel for increasing the regeneration. A gauge in the cluster shows how much power you’re using when driving, and how much is returned to the battery during regeneration.

Fuel Economy: 9/10

The Bolt EUV is officially rated by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) for 397 km on a full charge. That’s less than the smaller Bolt at 417 km or the Hyundai Kona EV at 415 km, but more than the Kia Niro EV at 385 km, and the Nissan Leaf at 240 to 349 km, depending on the model. Actual range depends on a number of factors, of course, and the Bolt EUV includes a gauge that estimates the maximum under ideal conditions, and the minimum for tougher ones.

Energy consumption estimates stand at 16.8 kWh/100 km in city driving, 20.1 on the highway, and 18.3 in combined driving. On a 240-volt charger, the battery takes about seven hours to charge, while a public DC fast-charger can add about 160 km of range in 30 minutes.

Value: 8/10

Even without its available rebates, the Bolt EUV and its price tag of $41,998 to $45,498 stacks up favourably to its rivals. A Nissan Leaf is approximately $41,000 to $49,698; a Kia Niro EV runs from $46,790 to $56,490; and the Hyundai Kona EV is $46,224 to $51,324 – all prices with freight included.

The Bolt EUV carries a comprehensive warranty of three years/60,000 km, but the battery and electrical propulsion components are covered for eight years/160,000 km.

The Verdict

I really like the 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV. It’s fun to drive, comfortable, has good range, and its controls are easy to use. It’s a great little car for downtown commuting but can handle a day’s drive out beyond the city limits, and it’s intelligently priced in comparison to its competition. If your plans are for plug-in, this one should definitely be on your list.

Engine Displacement Electric Motor
Engine Cylinders Single motor, 65.0 kWh battery
Peak Horsepower 200 hp
Peak Torque 266 lb-ft
Fuel Economy 1.9 / 2.3 / 2.1 Le/100 km, 16.8 / 20.1 / 18.3 kWh/100 km cty/hwy/cmb; 397 km est. range
Cargo Space 462 / 1,611 L seats up/down
Model Tested 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV Premier
Base Price $43,698
A/C Tax $100
Destination Fee $1,800
Price as Tested $45,598 ($51,103 before rebates)
Optional Equipment
$5,505 – Ice Blue Metallic paint, $495; Super Cruise Package, $2,495; Sun & Sound Package of panoramic sunroof, premium stereo and navigation, $2,495; Front licence bracket, $20