2023 Chevrolet Bolt EUV Review and Test Drive

A Bolt EV with a slightly different look, a higher price, and less range.

2023 Chevrolet Bolt EUVThom Blackett

Review QuickTakes:

The four-door Chevrolet Bolt EV debuted for the 2017 model year and received an update for 2022. That same year, the Chevrolet Bolt EUV joined the party.

What is the Chevrolet Bolt EUV?

The "EUV" part of the name stands for electric utility vehicle, which may give the impression of a spacious, all-wheel-drive (AWD) crossover. In reality, it is a slightly restyled rendition of the Bolt EV electric car riding on the same front-wheel-drive (FWD) platform but with a stretched wheelbase to create a back seat that’s more comfortable for adults. The "utility" part is especially confusing since the Chevy Bolt EUV also offers almost identical cargo capacity as the Chevy Bolt EV. However, the EUV is less efficient, so in that respect, it's like other utility vehicles.

More importantly, the 2023 Chevrolet Bolt EUV is just one component of a much larger plan created by Chevy's parent company, General Motors. By the middle of this decade, the automaker expects to sell one million EVs worldwide and will convert Buick to an EV brand by 2030. Similar GM initiatives call for its lineup of light-duty vehicles to produce zero emissions by 2035 and for the company to be carbon neutral by 2040.

2023 Chevrolet Bolt EUVThom Blackett

For this plan to work, models like the 2023 Bolt EUV, representing Chevrolet's take on the relatively affordable EV, must successfully attract buyers and help transition them out of their gas-powered cars. It is part of a Chevy EV plan that soon will include electric versions of the Blazer, Equinox, and Silverado.

The 2023 Chevrolet Bolt EUV comes in LT and Premier trim levels, and base prices range from the high $20,000s to the mid-$30,000s, including the $995 destination charge to ship the car from the Lake Orion, Mich., factory that builds it to your local dealership. Chevy dropped 2023 Bolt EUV prices by more than $6,000 compared to 2022 to remain competitive against rival models. In addition, in 2023, Chevy electric vehicles are once again eligible for a federal tax credit.

For this Bolt EUV review, I test-drove a Premier trim in southern Maine. It came with a Sun & Sound package, a Super Cruise semi-autonomous driving system, and a new-for-2023 Redline Edition package, bringing the manufacturer's suggested retail price to $37,885, including the $995 destination charge. Chevy provided the vehicle for this Bolt EUV review.

2023 Chevrolet Bolt EUV Review: The Design

In my opinion, the 2023 Bolt EUV is one of the best-looking small cars Chevy has ever built. It has the small crossover shape accented by sleek front LED running lights, attractive styling that isn’t overdone, and just enough black plastic on the wheel wells, rocker panels, and lower doors to gain entry to the crossover club. The silver panels below the bumpers resemble skid plates and suggest the car may be suited for some dusty trails. In reality, they're plastic, and this EV's adventurous side is only skin deep.

With the Premier, you get some nice exterior upgrades, including stylish 17-inch alloy wheels, a body-color center grille, chrome window trim, and silver door moldings. But the Redline Edition package offers the best presentation of the Bolt EUV, with red-striped black alloy wheels, a thin red stripe on the mirrors, and red accents on the badges. It's a less-is-more approach that works very well.

2023 Chevrolet Bolt EUVThom Blackett

Inside, my test car kept the theme going with red stitching and black perforated leather, which paired nicely with piano black trim and silver accents. The upholstery felt like quality material, as did the soft-touch surfaces on the upper dashboard and door panels. Chevrolet smartly reserved the hard plastics for the center console and lower sections of the doors and dashboard. Overall, I knew I wasn't driving a Cadillac, but collectively, all the bits and pieces made a positive impression.

The same is true for the interior layout, particularly for the driver. Once seated, I faced a leather-wrapped, flat-bottom steering wheel with manual tilt/telescopic adjustments. In the center of the dash is a large infotainment touchscreen and below that is a full assortment of climate controls.

There's also a "Heat" button. I couldn't remember the last time I'd seen one of those, if ever, so I did a little digging to learn why it was there. EVs are notorious for using lots of battery power in extreme environments, as the heating or air-conditioning system works hard to reach and maintain your preferred temperature. Unfortunately, your comfort comes at the expense of driving range. The Heat button allows you to turn that power-zapping system off and instead snuggle up with the relatively efficient heated front seats and steering wheel. Rear-seat passengers might want to dress in layers.

2023 Chevrolet Bolt EUVThom Blackett

Speaking of comfort, one of the Bolt EUV's main reasons for being is the extra three inches of rear legroom it offers compared to the Bolt EV. That's not saying much. Standing at 5 feet, 8 inches, I'm not tall, yet I felt cramped back there. To its credit, the Bolt EUV provided ample leg and foot room. However, headroom was limited, the lower seat cushion was short, and Chevy made the door panels out of hard plastic.

The driver's seat was much more inviting, though it also felt a little confining. Multiple power adjustments were available, and the heating and ventilation features worked quickly and effectively. Best of all was the leather-wrapped heated steering wheel, which I greatly appreciated on a few December days here in New England.

2023 Chevrolet Bolt EUVThom Blackett

Since Chevrolet labels the Bolt EUV a utility vehicle, let's look at how the interior delivers. The center armrest is useful if a bit narrow, and the two center cupholders are not adjustable. You may be out of luck if you're a Big Gulp drinker. There are other cubbies for storage, as well as a 16.3 cubic-foot cargo area. The trunk floor was higher than I expected, and the space filled up quickly with a week's worth of groceries for myself and my dogs, but folding the split rear seat expanded the cargo area to 56.9 cu-ft.

2023 Chevrolet Bolt EUV Review: The Technology

When talking about technology and the Chevrolet Bolt EUV, chances are your mind first goes specifically to the electric drivetrain components. But this is a car built for everyday driving, so Chevy includes many of the creature comforts and safety systems shoppers might expect.

My Premier test car with the Sun & Sound package included a panoramic sunroof, a Bose premium sound system, and a 10.2-inch infotainment system with clear icons for 3D navigation, radio, and more. I was pleased to find a separate power/volume button, but my fingerprints left many unsightly marks on the shiny piano-black trim and touchscreen. This is so common among all new cars that I now carry my eyeglass cleaning kit to wipe away all the smudges.

2023 Chevrolet Bolt EUVThom Blackett

Smartphone connectivity is simple. I quickly paired my iPhone with the car's Bluetooth system in seconds, wirelessly linking me to Apple CarPlay. (Android Auto is also available.) Once connected, I tested the functionality of the infotainment system's voice-recognition capabilities and discovered that it covered the basics and little more. Some have accused me of mumbling more than once, so when the system misinterpreted my requests for a specific genre of music, I didn't place all the blame on the Bolt EUV. Interestingly, the navigation system quickly responded when prompted for directions to Daytona International Speedway (about 1,300 miles from my location) but didn't recognize the name of a restaurant roughly 10 miles away.

On that same subject, Chevy could use some input from other OEMs or Apple's Siri. Instead of a pleasant voice asking how it could help, the Bolt EUV responded with "Yes?" when prompted with a question. Asked for directions to Starbucks, the system responded with multiple options and instructed me to tap the screen for my selection when I was ready. There was no offer to direct me to the nearest Starbucks or any follow-up. Perhaps I've been spoiled by Alexa and Siri.

It's worth taking a moment to touch on the car's power outlets. My test car had two easily accessible USB ports for rear-seat passengers. Up front, the Premier provided a 12-volt outlet, a wireless smartphone charger, and additional USB ports, but those were located deep within a cubby, making them somewhat difficult to reach.

2023 Chevrolet Bolt EUVThom Blackett

Shifting attention to safety, the 2023 Chevrolet Bolt EUV earned the highest-possible five-star overall crash-test rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has yet to publish results for the EUV.

The 2023 Bolt EUV Premier has a suite of standard safety features. Thankfully, most of them go unnoticed. That said, lane-keeping assist with lane-departure warning was the most apparent system at work during my test drive. On properly marked roads, this technology senses that you're starting to drift and helps steer you back toward the center of your lane. When evaluating this feature, I was surprised by how close the car would get to a painted lane marker before the system intervened. But it always worked, which is comforting here in Maine, where some narrow roads leave little room for error.

As its name implies, lane centering works to keep a vehicle in the center of its travel lane and was included with my test car's optional Super Cruise hands-free driving system. On well-marked sections of Interstate 95 in southern Maine, I used the button on the steering wheel to activate it and set my desired speed. When functioning, a green light displays on the upper section of the steering wheel, and you become a passenger, albeit one who needs to keep your hands close and ready to take over in an emergency.

Traffic was moving quickly during my test drive, so I hung out in the right-most lane for roughly 30 miles, though I occasionally sped up to make a pass. I quickly learned this version of Super Cruise does not include lane-change assist; I had to actively initiate a pass from start to finish.

Super Cruise gets a little nervous when passing on- and off-ramps, where the outside painted line deviates from its usual path. It was seamless otherwise, though it left me with mixed feelings. When passing another car, I tended to place my hands closer to the wheel, imagining how I'd feel if I saw a disengaged driver going by. I noticed that, without driving being my sole responsibility, I became fidgety as my mind looked for other things on which to focus. For those interested in this technology, Super Cruise works exceptionally well.

2023 Chevrolet Bolt EUVThom Blackett

2023 Chevrolet Bolt EUV Review: The Drive

Despite its somewhat sporty appearance, my Premier test car with the Redline Edition package came with the same hardware you'll find on every other 2023 Chevrolet Bolt EUV. All are FWD and use a powertrain that consists of a permanent magnetic-drive electric motor, a 65-kWh lithium-ion battery pack, and a single-speed automatic transmission. According to Chevy, the complete system produces 200 hp and 266 lb.-ft. of torque.

Those are stout figures for a small car, and they help the Bolt EUV perform sufficiently in daily duty. I never had any issues or concerns when pulling into fast-moving traffic, merging onto the highway, or making a back-road pass at first sight of a dotted yellow line. Acceleration was adequate, but at no time did the Bolt EUV feel fast. There is a Sport mode that slightly changes the weight of the steering and the throttle response, although I wonder if I would've recognized any difference if I hadn't activated it myself.

2023 Chevrolet Bolt EUVThom Blackett

I'd expected little from the Bolt EUV's road manners. That was a mistake. My test drive included a mix of highway and secondary roads of varying quality (determined by the number of potholes and frost heaves), all of which the suspension handled without becoming unsettled. The ride was surprisingly smooth and composed, the steering nicely weighted but not communicative, and I'll admit I enjoyed gently tossing the car into corners. But overall, the 2023 Bolt EUV isn't a vehicle that gets the go-fast synapses firing in your brain.

Efficiency, on the other hand, is what this car is all about. According to the EPA, the Bolt EUV has a maximum range of 247 miles and uses energy at a rate of 29 kWh/100 miles. As the saying goes, your results may vary. To help drivers keep track, Chevy offers two display settings for the gauge cluster, neither showing the battery's current percentage of charge. One of them does show the estimated range (how far you can travel before recharging) accompanied by minimum and maximum values. These figures suggest what you might see under ideal or worst-case scenarios.

2023 Chevrolet Bolt EUVThom Blackett

In addition, tapping the center touchscreen's leaf icon will show you a historical view of energy used and how your actions affect the vehicle's range — keen readers will note that the picture above was taken prior to completing my test drive loop and has slightly different numbers. In my case, my driving technique had improved it by 33.5 miles, the terrain I was covering dropped it by 11.5 miles, my use of climate controls at the height of a Maine winter decreased it by 89.2 miles, and the outside temperature lowered it by another 40.5 miles. In total, those less-than-ideal conditions consumed 107.7 miles of range.

As I started my test drive, the Bolt EUV showed 158 miles of range. After 69 miles, I stopped to check the numbers and discovered that the range had dropped by 94 miles. That 25-mile discrepancy didn't instill a lot of confidence, especially since I was in an area where deer-tagging stations likely outnumbered EV charging stations 100 to 0. At that point, I started using the heat infrequently and turned on the heated steering wheel and driver's seat when needed. I also hit the switch on the center console to activate one-pedal driving, which dials up the responsiveness of the regenerative braking system when you lift your foot from the accelerator. In effect, you're recapturing energy that recharges the battery and extends the range.

2023 Chevrolet Bolt EUVThom Blackett

At the 137.7-mile mark of my trip, I noticed that the display had changed. Where I'd last seen 10 miles of range, I now saw Low. Unsure of how many miles I had left — and being close to a charging station — I stopped to plug in. I'd started with 158 miles of range, traveled about 138 miles, and had roughly 10 miles left at the last reading. By my math, the Bolt EUV's original range was optimistic to the tune of 10 miles. Also, during my drive I used energy at a rate of 31.25 kWh/100 miles, which means the Bolt failed to meet the EPA's estimate.

Chevy claims the 2023 Bolt EUV can add up to 95 miles of range when connected to a fast charger for 30 minutes, though that depends on factors such as outside temperature. With the thermometer reading 37 degrees Fahrenheit, I could charge the car's battery from Low to 86 miles in 30 minutes. That charging station showed the battery's percentage of charge, so when I plugged in again I saw that I was starting at 33 percent, and I stayed until the battery had reached 80 percent.

2023 Chevrolet Bolt EUVThom Blackett

The session spanned a long 66 minutes. According to multiple sources, the Bolt EUV's charge rate maxes out at a relatively slow 55 kW, though the DC fast-charging station was capable of 150 kW. If you recharge nightly at home using a 240-volt charger, this is of little consequence, but for those who use public charging stations, the extra minutes spent sitting in a parking lot add up quickly.

Is the 2023 Chevrolet Bolt EUV a Good EV?

As a compact crossover, the 2023 Chevrolet Bolt EUV brings a lot to the table. It's a stylish ride stuffed with technology and makes for a comfortable cruiser. But it's not without its shortcomings, most notably when compared to its stablemate, the Bolt EV.

Granted, the Bolt EUV has more rear legroom, but other interior dimensions are very similar, and the Bolt EV provides a little more cargo space. On top of that, the Bolt EV offers more EPA-rated range, and its price is about $1,500 less than the Bolt EUV.

2023 Chevrolet Bolt EUVThom Blackett

The charge rate is arguably more significant. At 55 kW, the Bolt EUV betters the Nissan Leaf but trails most others and points to one area where Chevy could improve considerably. Nevertheless, if you’re looking for an affordable EV, the Bolt EUV is among the handful that qualify as one.

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Thom Blackett
Everyone needs a few things to be passionate about in life. For me, cars are near the top of the list. I’m constantly searching the classifieds for that bargain-priced, one-owner Datsun 240Z barn find. I’m always up for seemingly endless conversations about the cars we wish our parents had kept, the benefits of EVs versus the lure of a thumping V8, or which reliable crossover SUV best suits your family and your dogs. Needless to say, I feel fortunate to spend my work hours analyzing vehicle data, test-driving the latest all-new or updated models, and sharing the knowledge and insights I’ve gained with readers.