2019 Chevrolet Bolt Review

Test driving the 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV for this review was a bit of a transformational experience for me.  It was my first time behind the wheel of a Bolt EV and I was literally thrown back into my seat from the torque.

I know all journalists like me talk-up the serious torque electric cars have by nature.  But, I hadn’t experienced it first hand for myself – until now and, wow!

Electric vehicles have been increasing in popularity for a number of years and that trend is going to continue.  If you’re thinking EV then the 2019 Chevy Bolt EV has got to be at the top of your list.

I recently picked up a 2019 Chevy Bolt EV from our friends at Martin Chevrolet in Torrance, California.  If you’re thinking of buying a Bolt, or any Chevrolet, you have to hear Martin Chevy’s General Manager, Lewis Cook on the car buying process!

2019 Chevy Bolt EV | Top-3:
1) Power – super-quick!
2) Range – 238 miles.
3) Space – 56.6 cu. ft.

Click play below to hear my podcast or continue reading.  Either way, enjoy the pictures including the crazy fluorescent yellow color that Chevy is appropriately calling ‘Shock!’

Gray 2019 Chevy Bolt EV pictured as part of iDriveSoCal Podcast 172 Review banner

March 25, 2019

2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV Trim Levels

When it comes to trim options, Chevy keeps it simple with its 2019 Bolt EV.  You have two trims to choose from but you can still accessorize both nicely.

Shock Yellow 2019 Chevy Bolt EV front badge

The color screams electric vehicle!

There’s the base model LT with the manufacturer’s suggested retail price starting at $37,495.

And there’s line-topping 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV Premier with a starting MSRP at $41,895.

Shock Yello 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV passenger side front

You guessed it – it’s the Shock (yellow) color!

As always, don’t worry MSRP’s; for a few reasons in this case:

  • First, you need to get your Bolt equipped to your liking and that will impact your price.
  • Second, with the Chevrolet Bolt being an electric vehicle, you have a federal tax credit and state EV incentives that could come into play.
  • Third, and most importantly, our friends at Martin Chevrolet are guaranteed to give you the best deal and overall experience on any vehicle that suits your needs.

Silver 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV passenger profile

A bit more tranquil in silver.Email me and I’ll personally connect you Tom [at] iDriveSoCal [dot] com.

Or just walk into Martin Chevy and say hi to General Manager Lewis Cook and his entire team.

Chevy Bolt EV Engine and Transmission

Whether you go with the LT or Premier trim you’re Bolt will have the same electric drive unit.  And a powerful unit at that as it delivers 200-horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque.

Under the Hood 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV

2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV under the hood!

And that power is felt 100%.  During my test drive, the first time checked what kind of power the Bolt had to offer, my head snapped back to the headrest instantaneously.

What’s more remarkable is that I was going uphill at the time.  And, I wasn’t even flooring-it I’d say I was two-thirds throttle at the time.  That’s when the Bolt really got my attention.

2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV shifter console

’19 Bolt EV – shifter

Now, my friends at Martin Chevrolet gave me a top-of-the-line Premier 2019 Bolt EV to test drive.  And because it was the top-of-the-line, and I didn’t research heavily prior to my drive, I would have sworn that my test-drive model was all-wheel drive.  But it wasn’t.  In fact, Chevrolet only offers the 2019 Bolt in front-wheel drive.

Driving the 2019 Chevy Bolt EV

More on driving the 2019 Chevy Bolt EV; it has a rather upright seating position in relation to the road.  More like a truck or crossover SUV than a typical sedan.

Silver 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV passenger side rear

2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV passenger side rear.

But the Bolt isn’t high off the ground like a truck or crossover SUV.  Making it very comfortable to get in and out of.

Also, the Chevy Bolt EV was super-quick with all that torque.  It was a blast to drive.
Silver 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV passenger front

’19 Chevrolet Bolt EV passenger front.

During my test drive, the Bolt EV was so responsive that, I wondered what the 0-60 mph was.  And simply researching a little more I see Chevrolet, is likely so proud that they, post it on their website.

The 2019 Chevy Bolt EV is rated to go from 0 to 60 in a highly respectable 6.5-seconds!

Very nimble.  Easy to navigate tight spots.  Both in traffic and parking situations.  And it has a great turning radius.

Silver 2019 Chevy Bolt EV driver profile

2019 Chevy Bolt EV driver profile.

My guess is that the sure-footed-ness in driving the 2019 Chevrolet Bolt comes from all of the above.  But also, a big nod of thanks probably needs to go to Chevy engineers.

I’ll bet the picked the perfect spot for the electric vehicle’s heavy battery pack when designing the car.  And that likely balances out everything.

238-Miles on a Full Charge!

There’s no doubt that the most common concern with EV buyers is whether or not they can get far enough without needing to recharge.  And then when you do need to recharge, where does that happen?

2019 Chevy Bolt EV charge screen

2019 Chevy Bolt EV charge screen.

But with the 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV delivering 238-miles on a full charge, range anxiety is pretty much a non-issue.

That’s basically a battery in an electric vehicle that pretty well matches with an average car on a full tank of gas.  And that’s the benchmark most all EVs have been shooting for.

Silver 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV charging input

2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV charging input.

And in addition to having great charging capacity, the Bolt EV offers three different ways to be charged.

Level 1 Charging
There’s Level 1 charging which is the most basic.  It uses a portable 120-volt charging cord and plugs into any 3-prong outlet.  Charing this way will take you a while though as every hour of charging delivers about 4-miles of driving distance.

Level 2 Charging 
The recommended 240-volt, Level 2 charging is the fastest way to charge at home.  That will give you 25-miles of driving distance for every hour of charging.  In this case, the charging unit does need to be professionally installed at your house.

Level 3 Charging 
Though it’s only available at public charging stations, DC Fash Charging is the quickest fix for your charging needs.  These intense sessions will give you about 90-miles of driving distance in a mere 30-minutes!  And you can easily locate these charging stations through apps like the My-Chevrolet-Mobile app.

Maximizing Bolt Range

And if the 238-mile range and many convenient options for charging weren’t enough.  Chevrolet has also equipped the 2019 Bolt EV with additional functionality to maximize the battery’s charge and total range.

Digital screen close up 2019 Chevy Bolt EV dash.

2019 Chevy Bolt EV charge and regen indicators.

Battery Monitoring

You can monitor and control how your Bolt EV’s charge is being used through different in-dash displays that measure driving behavior, climate settings and accessories being used.

By monitoring and adjusting those during use you can extend your range or maximize your battery consumption accordingly.

Regenerative Battery Charging

The Bolt EV even includes different ways to recharge its own battery through normal vehicle use.

Gray 2019 Chevy Bolt EV cockpit

2019 Chevy Bolt EV cockpit.

One-Pedal Driving
By shifting into Low (L) gear that activates what Chevy refers to as One-Pedal Driving.  And that allows the driver to use only the accelerator pedal to both go and stop.  To go, you simply depress the accelerator pedal as normal.  And to stop you lightly come-off the accelerator bring the vehicle to a gradual stop.

Regen on Demand
The Chevrolet Bolt EV can also regenerate it’s battery when you pull and hold a single the gradually slow and stop the vehicle.  The paddle is located on the left backside of the steering wheel.   Chevy calls it Regen on Demand, and like One Pedal Driving, it’s designed to generate electricity which goes back into the battery.

Shock yellow 2019 Chevy Bolt EV rear badge

Bolt Electric Vehicle

With either One Pedal driving or Regen on Demand, you may still need to use the normal brake pedal if you need to quickly stop.  But Chevy thinks these range-extending measures are pretty smart.  And I’d have to agree.

2019 Chevy Bolt EV Exterior

On the outside, the Bolt is sporty and compact.  It looks sharp, with great lines.  I wouldn’t quite call it’s styling futuristic,

But, I would say that it looks pretty technically inclined.  And it ought to as this car is loaded with tech.

Shock Yellow 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV driver side front

2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV Shock driver front.

All new cars these days are computers on wheels but the Chevy Bolt EV is a club member for sure.  And hats off to Chevy for going there.

They not only did a fully electric vehicle but they did it very well.  They even have that fluorescent yellow color they call Shock that seems to brag about their accomplishment with the bolt.

Shock Yellow 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV front

2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV Shock front.

Combine all that and you might think you’d be left with a vehicle that hardly resembles what we’ve come to know as a Chevrolet but just the opposite.

This is definitely a Chevy – I think most fairly educated car people could make that call from a football field away.

Silver 2019 Chevy Bolt EV front

And all that wrapped up in a vehicle that the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave a 5-star overall vehicle score too.  Nice.

2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV Interior

When I touched on the upright seating position earlier I didn’t elaborate on the spaciousness for all passengers and what has to be class-leading cargo capacity.

Gray 2019 Chevy Bolt EV back seat

2019 Chevy Bolt EV back seat.

The Bolt EV is very comfortable inside.

Front seats and back have ample headroom, legroom and are plenty wide for us broad-shoulder fellas.

Gray 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV trunk

2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV trunk w/ a seat down.

With the back seats folded down, you’re given a generous 56.6 cu.-ft of nearly flat cargo space.

Gray 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV trunk compartment

And speaking of space, the Bolt offers great driver visibility in the front, back, and sides.

Bolt EV Technology & Comfort

If all the electric vehicle technology wasn’t enough the Bolt EV offers a heated steering wheel, heated front, and rear seats, 10.2-inch color touch screen, wireless phone charging USB ports, and more.

2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV cockpit dashboard view.

2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV cockpit dashboard view.

Interestingly, I think another smart move, is the Bolt does not offer navigation.  Instead, they focus on Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

I think that’s a great reallocation of resources on Chevy’s manufacturing side and savings for the customer.

Close up, 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV center display screen

2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV center display screen.

Who really uses their car’s navigation system anymore?  One of my cars has a real-time (supposed to be anyway – definitely not always accurate) traffic indicator on the navigation screen but other than that, I’m using Waze.

I do use my navigation in the car as a backup – but it’s always secondary.

Bolt EV Safety Tech Features

The 2019 Chevy Bolt offers a number of noteworthy available safety tech features including:

  • Forward Collision Alert – notifies you of potential contact.
  • Front Pedestrian Braking – mitigates or avoids pedestrian contact.
  • Low-Speed Forward Automatic Braking – under 50 mph contact mitigation or avoidance.
  • Lane Keep Assist – with lane departure warning.
  • Rear Vision Camera – with guidelines when backing up.

…continued after picture…

Close up 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV birdseye view display

2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV birds-eye view display.

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  • Rear Cross-Traffic Alert – uses radar sensors to monitor and alert you.
  • Lane Change Alert – w/ blind zone alert for contact mitigation and avoidance.
  • Rear Park Assist – sensors monitor stationary objects.
  • Rear Camera Mirror – video enhanced rearview mirror.
  • Surround Vision – Simulated 360-degree view surrounding the vehicle.

2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV | Top-3

Here are the Top-3 things I like about the 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV in detail:

  1. Power – Great torque and 0-60 in 6.5-seconds.
  2. Range – 238-miles on a full charge is very impressive.
  3. Space – Very comfortable, loved the upright seating position 56.6 cu.-ft. for cargo.

Overall, hats off to Chevy on their home run with the 2019 Chevy Bolt EV.

This is a well done electric vehicle for Chevy to continue improving on for years to come.  And even at full MSRP pricing, this vehicle is a tremendous value.  (But again, don’t worry about MSRP, go see my friends at Martin Chevrolet in Torrance, CA!)

Silver 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV rear

2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV rear.

My thanks again to my friend Lewis Cook, General Manager at Martin Chevrolet for helping us bring this report to you!

Martin Chevrolet is on Hawthorne Boulevard in Torrance, California and at MartinChevrolet.com.  Chevrolet!  Find New Roads!