Chevy Bolt Review From BMW i3 Owner (Test Drive Review)

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I recently came across an interesting account of a BMW i3 owner’s test drive of a Chevy Bolt EV. It’s not the most generous review that I’ve read of the Bolt EV by any stretch of the imagination, and most of the “negatives” seem to be the sort of thing that you would expect someone who seemingly likes BMWs to say about a Chevy. Not all of the complaints relate to the use of plastic, though. …

Rather than paraphrase, here’s the core rundown (from “Sungas” on the BMW i Forum):

The Good:
The range, the camera in the rear view mirror, the planted ride, the instrumentation, the steering wheel is much better and heated, blind spot indicator and flasher, lane departure warning, the peppiness although with tire squeal from the front. Rear seats were easier to fold down.

The Bad:
Really cheap interior plastics, uninspiring looks, (cheap imitation of the i3) front wheel drive that pushes when pressed, no nav but can hook up to cellphone, was expecting a larger and wider car, felt like the same size as an i3, less rear storage. Steering is numb, DCFC is extra, seats were not comfortable, regen and paddle regen, they’re just not in the same league as BMW, bland driving.

Some interesting points. The lack of DC fast-charging capability as a standard feature is a complaint that a lot of people have about the model (I don’t disagree), as are the general looks and the limited storage room (but a bit surprising that it seems even more limited than an i3’s storage space).

Speaking personally, though, I’ll say that the Chevy Bolt just looks like a “normal” hatchback to me — it doesn’t have the “look at me” quality to the design that the Nissan LEAF has (or for that matter that the BMW i3 has), so I don’t really see what the complaints are about.

The comment about the steering being numb is really interesting, though, as it’s something that I had yet to hear. Have any of those reading this who have driven the Bolt had a similar reaction to the steering? Any complaints?

Back to the main subject of the article — the test drive review quoted above was concluded with this bit:

“Bottom line, if you need the range and are excepting [sic] of average performance and handling, generic looks, The Bolt is a great car.

“If you want a sportier tighter drive that handles much better, much higher level of quality all around especially the interior (best in the world) and don’t need the greater range, the BMW i3 is just awesome.

“So for us its [sic] most likely going to be keeping the 2014 Electronaut version of the i3 for our second car. We have a beautiful long range car.”

For those who have driven the Bolt EV (and perhaps also the i3), how much do you agree with the test drive review?

Photos by Kyle Field | CleanTechnica

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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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