2017 Chevrolet Bolt

2017 Chevrolet Bolt

Episode 3637
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

While last year saw Tesla attract plenty of press and hoopla over their compact Model 3, it is still months away from hitting the streets. But, what has already been hitting the streets for months now, is the Chevrolet Bolt EV. It does just about everything the Model 3 promises, for a whole lot less money.  Score one for the bowtie boys! 

We’re sure you’ve already heard plenty about this 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV from us and others, but this is the first chance we’ve had to spend an extended amount of time with one.  

As you probably also know, the Bolt EV is the first to achieve the “EV holy grail” of traveling over 200-miles on a single charge and cost under 30-grand, with federal incentives of course.

The Bolt EV uses a 60kWh battery pack from LG that weighs 946-lbs. It powers a 150kW high capacity electric motor with a robust 266 lb-ft. of torque. 

Range is rated at 238-miles; that’s further than any EV not made by Tesla. The Bolt EV earns a 119-Combined MPGe rating, and a near perfect Energy Impact Score, burning just 0.2-barrels of oil annually with no CO2 emissions. 

Both the batteries and the motor are liquid-cooled, and can bolt this EV to 60 in just 6.5-seconds. That’s about as fast as a Mercedes-Benz C300 Coupe. But to make sure you don’t get too crazy, top speed is limited to 92 miles-per-hour. 

And, if you’ve replaced your “range anxiety” with “battery anxiety”, just relax. Like most EVs and hybrids, the battery pack is covered by an 8-year/100,000-mile warranty.

You’ll probably want a Level 2, 240 Volt charger at home to juice it up, however. With that, it takes about 9-hours to fully charge; verses the almost 60 with standard 120. Even faster Level 3 charging is an option.

Setting aside the environmental benefits, as we’ve learned the more time we spend in the Bolt EV, it really is a great everyday car. 

Unlike many subcompacts, it never feels underpowered. In fact it’s enormously peppy off the line, even throwing you back in your seat. It does settle down as you get up to speed, while providing more than enough capability, and is even mildly sporty in corners. 

You can also play with regen braking, dialing up enough to barely have to touch the brake pedal in normal driving.

Overall, the interior is great, with fit and finish among the best from GM, though the piano white trim can cause some glares and reflections on sunny days. The front seating positions are also higher than a typical compact car. 

There’s plenty of head and leg room for the rear seat too, and it really can accommodate three across. Even then, there’s ample cargo space at 16.9 cu-ft. That’s more than many subcompact crossovers. For more, the seatbacks fold almost completely flat.   

It even has that small crossover look, with no obvious EV elements whatsoever. Being fully “in the now”, Chevy not only applied the “floating roof” treatment to the rear pillars, but to the front ones as well. 

And, wherever we went, the Bolt EV attracted quite a bit of attention. We even got a few thumbs up from petrol drivers. 

On that under 30G price, once you factor in $7,500 worth of federal tax credits, you’re left with $29,995. State credits may lower it more. Up level Premier trim, with heated leather seats front and rear, and a host of other niceties, can be yours for $34,280. 

The bad news for some, is that the Bolt EV isn’t available everywhere yet. That will take till the end of summer, and even then not all Chevy dealers will have made the upgrades required to sell and service it. Also, looking at it from a pure penny pinching standpoint, many 40 MPG subcompact cars are available for much less money.

So, while it’s impossible to predict success of the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV, as fuel prices more than anything else will ultimately make or break its fortunes, it’s easy to recognize when the game has been changed. It may not offer the performance or cache of a Tesla, but the Bolt EV has clearly set a new standard for mass market electric vehicles; a real car that can be used by just about everybody, every day. In other words, the future has arrived, and it’s built in Detroit.   


  • Torque: 266 lb-ft.
  • 0-60 mph: 6.5 seconds
  • Energy Impact: 0.2 barrels of oil/yr
2024 PHEV Roundup 1

2024 PHEV Roundup

You Don’t Have To Go Full EV To Live The EV Lifestyle

Episode 4338
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

You’ve heard us say many times that PHEVs– plug-in hybrid electrics– rather than BEVs– pure battery electrics– are a sound choice for many folks thinking about owning an electric vehicle. Well, buyers do seem to have gotten the message, as while recent sales of all-electric BEVs are down, PHEVs are suddenly skyrocketing. So, we thought we’d give you a close look at the range of PHEVs that are available today.

An EV when you want it, a fuel-efficient hybrid when you don’t; that’s the reason that PHEVs are so appealing, and why we feel they’re the perfect starter vehicle for this time of transition from internal combustion to all-electric. So, buckle up for an alphabetical rundown of all the mainstream PHEVs that are currently available.

BMW has many plug-in options, starting around $46,000 with the 2.0-liter I4-based 330e sedan and its 22 miles of EV range. There’s also a 750e sedan with more than 30 miles of EV range, and an xDrive50e X5 utility with closer to 40 miles of EV range, plus a high-performance XM with 738 horsepower. For partner Mini, a small 1.5-liter I4-based setup is available in the Cooper SE Countryman ALL4 utility with 18 miles of EV range, going for around $42,000.

Ford has been in the plug-in game for some time, and currently gets a great 37 miles of EV range out of their 2.5-liter I4-based setup which is available in both the Escape for about $36,000, and in its upscale Lincoln Corsair counterpart which goes for around $55,000.

Hyundai offers a pair of plug-in SUVs, the Santa Fe priced at around $43,000 and the Tucson which goes for about $40,000; both use a 1.6-liter I4 turbo engine. It shares with their corporate cousins over at Kia. The Sorento, which starts around $51,000, and the Sportage, beginning at $40,000, along with Kia’s Niro at $35,000. All get more than 30 miles of EV Range.

For the high-rollers, Land Rover has a six-cylinder P550e plug-in option for both the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport with 51 miles of range, starting around $119,000.

Mazda is very new to the plug-in game, with their inline-six based setup just recently becoming available in the new CX-70 and CX-90 SUVs, both with 26 miles of electric-only range, starting at $41,000.

Mercedes-Benz has offered quite a few PHEVs over the years, though currently their lineup only consists of the $70,000 GLE450e SUV with a 2.0-liter I4 and 48 miles of EV range; and a $128,000 3.0-liter I6 S580e sedan with 46 miles of range. Though a high-performance 671 horsepower AMG C 63 S E Performance will be blasting onto the scene soon.

We’re very familiar with this second-gen Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, having had both generations as part of our long-term fleet. The current Outlander PHEV goes for $41,000 and gets 38 miles of EV range from its 2.4-liter I4-based setup.

Stellantis has a wide array of PHEVs available across their many brands, starting with the 3.6-liter V6 Pentastar-packing Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid. It arrived way back in 2017 and currently delivers 32 miles of EV range for $40,000.

More recently, they’ve added the technology to the Jeep brand with 4Xe versions of the Jeep Wrangler for $52,000 and the Grand Cherokee at $61,000. And their most recent setup has just arrived in the compact crossover segment with 33 miles of battery in both the $45,000 Alfa Romeo Tonale and the $42,000 Dodge Hornet R/T.

All of this started with the Toyota Prius of course, which you can now get a Prime version of for $34,000 with a 2.0-liter I4 and 40 miles of range. The RAV4 Prime goes for $45,000 getting 42 miles. Plus, there’s a trio of Lexus PHEV’s rolling with bigger batteries on board, the NX450h+, the RX450h+, and the TX550h+, starting around $58,000.

Volkswagen PHEVs stick to their premium brands, starting with the $58,000 2.0-liter I4-based Audi Q5 55TFSI e quattro SUV with 22 miles of battery range.

Bentley adds electric-motor assistance to a 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 for both the $206,000 Bentayga SUV, which gets 18 miles of EV range, and the $217,000 Flying Spur sedan, which stretches it to 21 miles. That same setup is available at Porsche in E-hybrid versions of both the $93,000 Cayenne SUV and $110,000 Panamera sedan, getting up to 19 miles on battery power.

Finally, Volvo has had a plug-in version of their turbocharged 2.0-liter I4 since the T8 arrived with the XC90 back in 2016. Now with a Recharge label, an updated version is available in just about every vehicle in their lineup; the S60 and S90 sedans, XC60 and XC90 SUVS, and yes even in the V60 wagon, starting around $53,000 with up to 40 EV miles.

So, there you have it, the Bs-to-Vs of PHEVs. They really are an easy way to live the EV lifestyle today, without going all the way.