The 2022 Chevrolet Bolt is now on sale. This new generation comes about five years from the first deliveries in December 2016. The Bolt doesn’t have more range, it doesn’t have more power, and it is about as identical to the first generation as any two cars can possible be. So What changed, and why should shoppers looking for an affordable battery-electric car care?
First Things First – What Did Not Change On the Bolt?
The satisfying driving experience, outstanding torque, and low ownership cost for the Bolt have not changed. We’ve tested the first-generation Bolt multiple times for weeks at a stretch. The Bolt is a very fun car to drive if you like compact, zippy vehicles. The Bolt’s feeling of solidity and low center of gravity pair up to make the car fun in just about any situation. Thankfully, none of these important attributes of the Bolt have changed.
2022 Chevrolet Bolt Change Number One – Wireless Android Auto and Apple Car Play
The ‘22 Bolt has wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Wireless is a big deal if you make many short trips. No more unplugging, plugging back in, rinse and repeat all day. No more stringing that cord around the shifter. No more pulling the cord out from under your passenger’s butt when y’all get into the vehicle. Added charge for all this? Nothing. It’s standard.
Android Auto and Apple Car Play provide up-to-the-minute navigation with real-time traffic info, real-time public charger info, and a car that knows where you likely want to go when you enter it. Couple that with the best voice commands on the market and the ability to hear texts and use voice command replies and you have yourself a pretty sweet setup that automakers have fallen on their faces trying to mimic – always at a cost with four digits to the consumer. If you use your phone to listen to music you’re crazy not to use Android Auto or Apple CarPlay.
2022 Chevrolet Bolt Change Two – Chevy Heard the Cries of Owners About the Bar Stools
Owners of Bolts are fanatically in love with these cars, but almost all of them complain about the lousy seats. GM listened. No more lousy seats for ‘22. The new seats are different, and the driver’s side gets power controls. We drove about 300 miles in the Bolt and the seats seemed just fine to our fannies.
2022 Chevrolet Bolt Change Three – New Styling
GM changed up the front fascia and headlight design. The old one didn’t hurt our eyes, but new is nice, and the general consensus is the redesigned front is better. Who are we to argue?
2022 Chevrolet Bolt Change Four- Chevy Improved the Infotainment System
The screen is now larger, and owners who have seen both the old and new say the new one is more intuitive. We found the infotainment system in the ‘22 Bolt to be ideal for its price point and mission. Chevy’s three-number range predictor is the best in the business, and during our test range miles equaled travel miles.
Sort of a Change – All of the Bolts Now Have DC Fast Charging
The ‘22 Bolt has DC Fast charging (DCFC) standard. Not all of the first-gen ones did. The CCS connection is now the standard.
What’s Still Missing?
Like nearly all EVs, GM stole the spare in the Bolt, and it didn’t put one back for 2022. However, the standard tires are puncture-self-sealing. At least GM doesn’t pretend a can of goo is a solution.
What Was Our Week-Long Bolt Test Like?
During our week with the Bolt, we took it on a road trip of about 200 miles, drove back-country mountain roads, and used it as a local runabout. The Bolt shines in all of these roles. We charged it on a DC Fast charger in New Hampshire a stone’s throw from the GM-Trucks.com global HQ. We used our inexpensive ($199) home charger to charge at a rate of about 10 miles adder per hour on the charger. Overall, we found the Bolt a joy to drive and very easy to live with.
2022 Chevrolet Bolt Pricing
Normally, we just list the “as-tested price” of the vehicles we test. For our 2022 Bolt 2LT in Cherry Red Tintcoat that price is $36,660. However, EV shopping is not “normal.” In Massachusetts, shoppers who want a Bolt like our tester end up paying about $28K after the math is done. That includes zero help from the federal government in the way of tax breaks.
Just prior to the ‘22 Bolt’s arrival, cars with the same trim level were costing consumers under $20K – new. So the new ‘22 Bolt combined with the crazy market situation means that Bolt buyers are paying a lot more today than they were in March. The sweet $129 per month lease deals are also gone. At $28K, the Bolt has a handful of worthy competitors. At the old price of $19K it had none. We’d keep an eye on the discounts and see what happens after this gold rush economy settles back to some sense of normalcy. We suspect the sweet Bolt deals may return in early 2022.
Bonus! GM Will Help Pay For Your Home Charger
Presently, Chevy is running a promotion that helps you pay for a home charger setup. New owners are posting up pictures of their new in-home chargers and report that the program worked seamlessly for them. Others discover that their panel needs updating. Either way, it is great that GM recognizes just how important a home charger is to happily live electric.
The new Bolt is solid a refresh of a car that we think is the best affordable compact vehicle in the market. If your state supports EV adoption with EV rebates and public chargers, and you like small zippy cars that are affordable to buy and run, the Bolt is a car that can’t be ignored.