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2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV first drive review: Bolt, upgraded

Improving on an already successful formula is tough. You have to consider how to address what needs tweaking while fine-tuning the car’s strengths. Chevrolet was in this exact position with the original Bolt EV being a strong contender in its segment. How do you build on that goodness? You add a second version that’s roomier, more refined, and give it General Motors’ advanced semi-autonomous driving assistance technology. Enter the 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV, the Bolt EV’s slightly larger and techier sibling.

2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV differences

2022 Chevrolet BoltEUV 005
Bolt EUV vs. Bolt EV – Photo credit: Chevrolet

The biggest difference between the 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV and the Bolt EV is size. At 169.5 inches in length, the Bolt EUV is 6.3 inches longer than the Bolt EV. In terms of height and width, the Bolt EUV is 0.2 inches wider and taller and has a 2.9-inch longer wheelbase.

Certain variants of the Bolt EUV get features that you can’t get on the Bolt EV like a panoramic sunroof and ventilated front seats. There are also 3.1 inches more rear-seat legroom in the Bolt EUV at 39.1 inches. A tall adult can sit behind another comfortably while the flat floor adds extra foot room. You lose a smidgen of cargo volume, though. The Bolt EUV has 16.3 cubic feet with all seats up and 56.9 cubic feet with the 60/40 split-folding rear seats dropped and two-level cargo floor in its lowest position, a drop of 0.3 and 0.1 cubic feet respectively versus the Bolt EV.

Quite possibly the highlight of the Bolt EUV is the availability of Super Cruise, GM’s hands-free semi-autonomous driving assist. The system combines automated steering, adaptive cruise control, and lane-keeping assist and will work as long as the driver pays attention to the road ahead. A sensor mounted on the gauge cluster monitors you and will warn you if you’re not paying attention. Should you keep looking away, Super Cruise will deactivate and remain unusable for some time, requiring you to take over.

How does Super Cruise work? Beautifully. We tested the system when traffic was heaviest in Los Angeles and found that it’s one of the best of its type. If there’s a gap ahead of you, Super Cruise immediately closes it or falls back to the point of your set distance via precise acceleration and braking. It’ll even prompt you to take control if dividers aren’t clear or when driving through onramps. Exceptionally smooth steering inputs and well-picked driving lines enable the Bolt EUV to take turns nicely, including successive ones, while still keeping you centered. The only time Super Cruise got thrown off was when a huge box truck cut us off, causing it to alert the driver to take control and apply the brakes.

2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV similarities

For 2022, both the Chevrolet Bolt EUV and Bolt EV have a grille-free look and cool tiered headlights and taillights. Inside, Chevrolet has added a new interior layout, more comfortable and better-padded seats that can support a broader range of body types. People with larger frames will fit better thanks to the wider seat backs. Fit and finish are also significantly improved; there are lots of soft surfaces and padding, and everything you interact with has a reassuring feel.

Both cars get GM’s latest infotainment system featuring a 10.2-inch touch screen with crisp graphics and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The pre-refresh Bolt EV’s user interface was already a cinch to use but this new one is even easier despite the addition of efficiency-related menus. Responses are quick and the layout is straightforward. GM also kept physical buttons and knobs, cutting the UI’s learning curve.

Charging times are the same between both Bolt models. A level 3 DC charger will get you 100 miles in 30 minutes since it charges the battery at a 55-kW rate. Using a level 2/240-volt charger will get you a full charge in 7 hours.

2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV driving impressions

2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV front 01 1
Photo credit: Stefan Ogbac / EV Pulse

Pleasant is the best description for the Bolt EUV’s road manners. Harsh impacts aren’t as noticeable because road imperfections are filtered out nicely. Even with the torsion beam rear suspension, the Bolt EUV doesn’t skitter around over successive ruts and bumps. The low center of gravity, which is achieved by placing the battery under the passenger cabin, contributes to the car’s poised handling. Minimal body roll and accurate steering allow the Bolt EUV to corner and execute emergency maneuvers confidently. Extra sound deadening would help the Bolt EUV’s driving experience because there’s a significant amount of wind noise entering the cabin.

Like the Bolt EV, the 2022 Bolt EUV gets the same 65-kWh lithium-ion battery and an electric motor with 200 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque. You get instant power delivery when you put your foot down on the accelerator, allowing for easy passing and hill-climbing. One-pedal driving is accessed via a button on the center console, allowing you to come to a complete stop by easing off the throttle. Transitions between regenerative and mechanical braking are imperceptible, giving the car a natural feel. You won’t get jolted if you have to suddenly mash the brake pedal.

2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV pricing

The base 2022 Bolt EUV LT starts at $33,995. A range-topping Premier trim costs $38,495. The Sun & Sound package costs $2,495 while Super Cruise is an extra $2,200. With both packages, a Bolt EUV Premier will cost $43,190. Launch Edition models, which start at $43,495, get special alloy wheels, an illuminated charging port, and special badges. The 2022 Bolt EUV is eligible for state incentives.

Initial verdict

2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV group shot 03 1
Photo credit: Stefan Ogbac / EV Pulse

There wasn’t much wrong with the original Chevrolet Bolt EV. With generous range, space, good driving dynamics, and user-friendly technology, it was easy to live with. The 2022 Bolt EUV builds on that goodness and addresses the quibbles with the pre-refresh Bolt. Yes, the Bolt EUV’s range is down 9 miles versus the Bolt EV (250 miles versus 259 miles) and it’s slightly noisy. However, the additional passenger space, refinement, and extra features make up for that. The fact that the Bolt EUV is also affordable makes it even more enticing.

At a glance

  • Year: 2022
  • Make: Chevrolet
  • Model: Bolt EUV
  • Trim: Premier Launch Edition
  • Type: 4-door compact hatchback
  • Horsepower: 200 hp
  • Torque: 266 lb-ft
  • Range: 250 miles
  • Pros: Excellent tech features, great road manners
  • Cons: Wind noise at highway speeds, slightly less range than Bolt EV
  • Base: $33,995
  • Price as tested: $43,495
Written by Stefan Ogbac
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