I drove one of the cheapest electric SUVs on the market. There are 4 reasons the Chevrolet Bolt EUV is a good buy, but 3 ways it falls short.

·4 min read
The 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV.
The 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV.Tim Levin/Insider
  • The 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV is a great electric SUV for commuters and small families.

  • It offers good range, a low starting price, and Super Cruise, which enables hands-free highway driving.

  • But the Bolt EUV can't charge as quickly as rivals and doesn't have all-wheel drive.

Battery fires forced General Motors to put its newest electric car on hold for several months. But now the 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV has arrived.

A slightly larger version of Chevy's Bolt EV hatchback, the Bolt EUV is an excellent choice for those looking for a compact, reasonably affordable electric SUV. But the Bolt EUV has a few drawbacks that could be deal breakers for some.

Pro: Accessible cost

The 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV.
The 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV.Tim Levin/Insider

The $33,500 Bolt EUV ($34,495 with a destination fee) is among the cheapest electric cars you can buy today, which is especially welcome as inflation sends electric vehicle prices through the roof.

It'll be even more appealing starting later this year. The 2023 Bolt EUV is getting a major price cut, dropping its retail price to $28,195 with fees.

The Bolt EUV Chevrolet loaned me had a bunch of extra options and came out to $43,190, including a destination fee.

Pro: Available Super Cruise works like a charm

The 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV.
The 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV.Tim Levin/Insider

The Bolt EUV is the first non-Cadillac to get Super Cruise, GM's fabulous hands-free driving-assistance feature. Super Cruise performed admirably in my experience, following lane lines and maintaining a set gap to the car ahead for long stretches without any human input.

It isn't perfect by any means, but it may reduce driving fatigue should you decide to take your Bolt EUV on a long, monotonous trip.

Pro: Unexpectedly comfy and fun to drive

The 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV.
The 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV.

The 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV.Tim Levin/Insider

On the road, the EUV doesn't feel like your typical economy car. It accelerates smoothly, soaks up bumps in the road, and rides quietly. While it isn't Tesla quick, its 200-horsepower motor and ample torque lets you dart away from a stop light or make quick passes on the highway.

Pro: Solid range

The 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV.
The 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV.

The 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV.Tim Levin/Insider

The Bolt EUV can travel 247 miles on a full battery, the Environmental Protection Agency estimates. That's 12 miles less than the Bolt EV hatchback, but it's still competitive with rivals like the Kia Niro EV (239 miles), the Volkswagen ID.4 (260 miles), and the Hyundai Kona Electric (258 miles).

All those models have higher sticker prices.

Con: Not as cool looking as other EVs

The 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV.
The 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV.

The 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV.Tim Levin/Insider

The Bolt EUV looks good. It's sleek. But it largely blends in with the new gas-powered SUVs on the road. If you're looking for something flashier, consider the Hyundai Ioniq 5, Kia EV6, or Ford Mustang Mach-E.

Con: Doesn't charge all that fast

The 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV.
The 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV.

The 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV.Tim Levin/Insider

The Bolt EUV can DC fast-charge at a rate of 55 kilowatts, allowing it to add roughly 95 miles of range in 30 minutes, Chevrolet says. Most electric cars can charge much more quickly, at a rate of 100 kilowatts or more.

A Hyundai Ioniq 5 can use 350-kilowatt chargers, allowing it to recoup 200 miles of range in roughly 18 minutes.

One big boon on the charging front: Chevrolet will pay for Bolt EUV customers to install a Level 2 charger at home, which offers more power than a regular household outlet.

Con: Lacks "utility"

The 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV.
The 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV.

The 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV.Tim Levin/Insider

Despite the added "U" in its name, the Bolt EUV doesn't offer that much extra utility over its hatchback sibling, the Bolt EV. The EUV is 6.3 inches longer than the EV and offers extra legroom for rear passengers, making it more practical.

But it doesn't have all-wheel drive and its cargo area is, strangely, less roomy than the Bolt EV's.

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