So I got my Bolt a few days ago! Those of you that checked out my blog may already know this, but now that I've spent a few days with it, I am posting my initial thoughts. Since the Bolt is similar in shape and size to a C-Max (bit smaller all around exterior wise), I figure some of you may be interested in how it stacks up. Will start off with some exterior shots:
Regen in L is HUGE! Way stronger than L in any other plug-in I've driven to date (G1/G2 Volt, C-Max, Spark EV). I noticed that a lot of the time I don't even need to use the regen paddle to make the Bolt come to a complete stop...it's that strong. Despite the powerful regen, at higher speeds it is tuned down appropriately so it doesn't slam you forward like you just jumped on the brakes. L + regen paddle = no touching the brake pedal except for sudden/emergency braking situations.
Interior space is....spacey! I am 6' tall, and with the driver's seat set at a comfortable level, I have at least 4-5 inches of headroom to spare. The Bolt's front seats sit very similar to a C-Max (higher up than say a Volt) despite the subcompact footprint. GM definitely maximized interior passenger space in the Bolt.
The flat floor makes the rear seating area very spacious as well....again, very similar to the slightly larger C-Max. No hump of any kind back there thanks to the skateboard battery design, and a "real" 5th seat. Sitting 3 adults in the back would still be tight however. I found with 2 booster seats in the rear, I could squeeze my 190 pound self in the middle, though that would not be pleasant for any long distance drive. Moving a car seat to the middle should make a trip much more pleasant for an adult sitting in the rear, however.
Positioning the driver's seat at comfortable position and then hopping in the rear, I found I still had a good 2-3 inches of leg room. I have a 32" inseam FWIW. However the complaints about the front seats being uncomfortable....I know what people are talking about. I don't find them bothersome, but definitely noticeable. I can feel the plastic shell through the cushion with my left thigh, but I've already gotten used to it. Someone such as HUGH JAZZ may find them troublesome, though.
You can easily squeal the tires off the line, even when at an extremely low SOC and with propulsion power reduced mode engaged (which happens when the SOC drops below 10%)!
Ride is very solid...very similar to a Volt to those of you who have driven one. No getting bounced around a rough road like in an i3 with its bicycle tires. The batteries all being in the floor help keep the Bolt planted even in sharp turns.
Getting into a Bolt it no problem, as you just slide in horizontally compared to say dropping in with a Volt.
Interior of a loaded Bolt is definitely cheaper than a loaded C-Max (and possibly even a base C-Max) Lots of hard plastics found in the interior, but I don't care too much about that TBH. The 10.2" main display is very nice, and is a tech nerd's dream.
Hatch space is deceptively bigger than you would think. Depth is pretty similar to an Energi as well as the hatch height, but if you remove the optional false floor, the hatch area is much deeper than an Energi. I was able to fit two 28-32 inch tall luggage pieces in the Bolt's hatch (too big to carry on), and could have easily fit another. I may have been able to fit 4 of the 28 inch pieces. I don't think I could have fit those pieces vertically in an Energi.
The wireless phone charging slot. I shoved my Moto Droid Z Play (no case, 5.5" screen) in there, and it fit snuggly. Anything bigger than a 5.5" phone likely won't fit. Wasn't actually able to test the wireless charging feature since my phone needs some accessory to enable wireless charging.
My Bolt has some kind of HUD for the Forward Collision Alert/Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB). The FCA activated one time when I was rapidly approaching some cars slowing on the highway. Red lights lit up in the lower left corner of the windshield along with rapid, audible beeps. A button on the left side of the steering wheel lets you adjust how sensitive the FCA is (has 3 settings to choose from). In the vehicle menu, there are options you can select for FCA/AEB, to include "off", "Alerts on, AEB off", and "Alerts on, AEB on".
There is a "following distance" display you can choose that tells you how many seconds ahead the car directly in front of you is. I guess it's useful if you want to know exactly how far behind you are someone?
If you don't use the turn signal and drift towards the painted lane dividers on the highway, the Bolt will nudge you back towards the center of the lane. I wanted to see how long the Bolt would play ping-pong between the lanes, but the wife yelled at me to stop screwing around after she realized what I was doing.
There are no sensors that trigger audible beeps to clue you in on how close the front of the Bolt is to a car or wall when parking (like in my '12 Volt with that feature), but the birdseye camera + front camera give you plenty of info to see exactly how far away from a car/wall you are. I guess GM decided having front parking sensors would have been overkill?
Rear cross traffic alert system activated once when a car was approaching from the right when I was getting ready to reverse out of a parking spot. So it works I guess.
Haven't tested the front pedestrian braking system yet. If someone is in the Central MD area and wants to be a guinea pig, let me know. You'll have to sign a waiver that says it's not my fault if my Bolt runs you over and kills you though.
And last but not least, range! Suffice to say, the range is ginormous....estimated 217 miles on the first full charge, and that is before the Bolt adapts to my usual conservative driving style. Compared to the Energi's 19-21 mile range.....yeah, nuff said.
For anyone that liked the C-Max but wished it had more range and a more spirited drive, the Bolt EV may be just the car for you. If you can live without an ICE, that is. ;)
- jzchen, fotomoto, RubyMax and 6 others like this