2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV First Drive: Calm Charging Commuter

2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV Premier first drive review highlights:

  • The 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV packs the Bolt’s FWD electric powertrain in a larger SUV-like body
  • Driving the 2022 Bolt EUV around Chicago reveals that it’s a composed commuter car with more than enough range for urban use
  • It’s not the sportiest electric crossover, but it’s reasonably priced and easy to use, which are boons for first-time EV owners

Effortless internal combustion-beating speed has quickly become an electric car calling card, even for non-performance EVs. But in packed cities like Chicago, where I live, mind-numbing amounts of traffic make acceleration and high-speed handling almost irrelevant. Yet that’s also where some of the other advantages EVs possess over ICE cars come into play. And if you live and work around a city, the 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV might just convince you to make the electric switch.

The 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV is the electric hatchback’s roomier, taller, SUV (crossover) sibling

2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV
Motor arrangementFront-mounted permanent-magnet AC electric motor
Horsepower200 hp
Torque266 lb-ft
Battery capacity65 kWh
Claimed range247 miles
0-60 mph time7.0 seconds
Price$37,500 (base)
$43,190 (as tested)

When Chevrolet updated the Bolt hatchback for 2022, it also gave it a bigger sibling—literally. Like one of its main rivals, the Mustang Mach-E, the 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV is technically a crossover, not an SUV. But semantics aside, it’s basically a Bolt with a taller ride height, slightly different styling, and a stretched platform. And that stretching gives it more interior space for passengers and cargo.

Because it uses the Bolt’s single-motor electric powertrain, the 2022 Bolt EUV doesn’t offer AWD. Also, because the electric motor is under the hood where the engine in a gas-powered Chevy crossover would be, the Bolt EUV doesn’t have a frunk. However, that’s not an oversight. A Chevrolet spokesperson told me that it “allows for better access and it also allows us to maximize the interior space of the vehicle.” Plus, it makes the EV feel like a gas-powered car, which, as I’ll explain, is part of its mission.

Besides the extra space and taller ride, the 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV offers standard roof rails and an optional panoramic sunroof over the Bolt hatchback. Also, while the Bolt has 1LT and 2LT trims, the Bolt EUV’s equivalents are LT and Premier. The latter trim costs $4500 more, but it adds things like leather-appointed seats, heated and ventilated front seats, adaptive cruise control, and Rear Park Assist. Furthermore, only the Premier offers GM’s Super Cruise semi-autonomous suite, albeit as an option.

It’s not a sports SUV, but the 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV can zip along just fine

The rear 3/4 view of a light-blue 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV Premier in a forest parking lot
2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV Premier rear 3/4 | Matthew Skwarczek, MotorBiscuit

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On paper, the 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV isn’t that fast, though it’s also not supposed to be. But it’s not slow, either. For one, Car and Driver beat Chevrolet’s 0-60 claims, doing the deed in 6.8 seconds in its Bolt EUV Premier. And two, the hallmark of an EV is maximum torque at zero rpm and no need to shift. Even if you don’t go into Sport Mode, this electric SUV/crossover might surprise you with how easily and smoothly it pulls away from a stoplight.

Also, you read correctly: the 2022 Bolt EUV has a Sport Mode. It doesn’t dramatically transform the driving experience, but it does make the accelerator pedal more responsive. And it injects the steering with more weight, better reflexes, and more feedback. Add in the floor-mounted battery pack and a surprisingly minimal amount of body roll and you’ve got a decent-handling machine.

Keep in mind, though, that those seats aren’t that well-bolstered. But they do provide plenty of legroom, especially for the driver and front passenger. And while the sloping roofline does limit rear headroom, you can genuinely fit five adults in the Bolt EUV. Plus, the Premier has standard heated rear seats.

You go from road rage to road Zen commuting in a 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV

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Speedy corner carving, though, isn’t what the Bolt EUV is about. It shines in stop-and-go traffic which maximizes the One-Pedal Driving Mode’s regenerative braking return. With how effective and well-calibrated it is, it’s no wonder EVs’ physical brakes rust—with OPD, you almost don’t need them. But if you’re not used to it, press one button to deactivate it.

This ease of use permeates everywhere in the 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV. The push-button ‘shifter,’ for example, doesn’t just use buttons. Reverse and Drive are pull tabs, which means you don’t need to look down to use them. In addition, while the 10.2” touchscreen infotainment system is responsive and easy to use, it has physical knobs, too. The HVAC controls are physical as well. And using Super Cruise, which we’ll cover separately, is basically a three-step process.

But you don’t need it to appreciate the 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV’s other strengths. The ride, though slightly firm, smooths over even Chicago potholes. Also, though the steering is almost too light in Normal Mode, that’s fine for heavy traffic. Plus, the accelerator’s gentle calibration means you aren’t thrown backward every time you set off. Also, you don’t realize how much noise engines make until your car doesn’t have one. And the circle in the digital gauge cluster glowing green when you’re saving energy encourages you to drive gently.

No, the 2022 Bolt EUV won’t set your hair on fire or get your heart thumping. But not every car or trip needs to do that. And it was genuinely nice getting out of a car feeling more relaxed than when you got in. Yes, even in gridlock.

Will this My FirstTM EV SUV suit your needs?

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Since Chevrolet is giving the Bolt EUV a price cut for the 2023 model year, getting a 2022 one might seem pointless. However, if you do buy a 2022 Bolt EUV or Bolt, Chevrolet will throw in a free Level 2 home charging station—installation included. That should make life even easier for new EV adopters. And considering charging on a Level 1 socket only added about 30 miles in 13 hours, I’d say the Level 2 station is worth getting.

On that note, it’s worth noting that I didn’t take the Bolt EUV on extended highway trips. Car and Driver, though, recorded a 190-mile range during its 75-mph highway test. But in the city and suburbs, where I imagine Bolt EUVs will spend most of their time, this crossover has more than enough range. I actually beat the EPA’s city rating by 40 mpg-e.

There are other electric crossovers, like the Hyundai Ioniq 5, that offer even more range and space than the 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV. However, those EVs cost more, too, even before adding some features Chevy includes as standard. And while the Bolt EUV doesn’t have the wildest styling or the most gimmicks, that also makes it easier to familiarize yourself with it.

If you want a straightforward electric commuter vehicle, especially if you’re new to EV life, the 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV is a solid, stress-free option.

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