As more EVs roll off production lines, we’re seeing much lower prices than before. Each year seems to bring lower MSRPs. The Chevy Bolt is one EV that not only offers plenty of useful features but is also highly affordable.
According to Car and Driver, which tested 11 models for its 2021 EV of the Year award, one stands above the rest, but it isn’t the Bolt. That might not be a surprise given all the other excellent EVs on the market, but the Bolt wasn’t even a contender. What happened?
Which vehicle won the 2021 Car and Driver EV of the Year?
The win went to the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E. C/D’s editors believe the Mach-E offers something for everyone. You can use it for grocery runs and hauling kids to their activities. All in all, it’s an ideal daily driver.
However, it’s more than just a family car. It’s fun and entertaining to drive, Car and Driver reports. This EV performs just as well as a gas-powered vehicle. The ride is smooth, but that doesn’t affect its speed. The Mach-E can zip from 0 to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds.
As for driving range, the Mustang Mach-E doesn’t disappoint. Expect to get 270 miles on a full charge of the 88-kWh battery. However, Car and Driver managed 250 when running at a constant 75 mph. Still, it performed well. The starting price is $43,995, which isn’t too bad if you snag the $7,500 federal tax credit.
The other contenders, minus the Chevy Bolt
Despite losing to the Ford Mustang Mach-E, some of the other contenders performed well. The Kia Niro isn’t exactly the most stylish-looking EV, nor does it have the poshest cabin, but C/D noted that it excels thanks to its powertrain. For a small EV, that’s saying a lot. The Niro EV runs on a 201-hp electric motor that can push the compact SUV from 0 to 60 mph in 6.2 seconds, which isn’t all that far off from the Mach E’s acceleration.
Another surprise, the Nissan Leaf, did the opposite. This model impressed critics when it debuted, but it has slowly gone downhill. But it still has some benefits, such as its 6.7-second 0-to-60-mph acceleration time and 215-mile driving range. However, the Chevy Bolt surpasses that with 259 miles on a full charge.
As for why the Bolt isn’t on the list: C/D said Chevrolet didn’t send one to test. Despite testing the latest model a month earlier, Car and Driver couldn’t snag it for this evaluation because Chevy “didn’t have the engineering signoffs to allow a car out of its sight for three weeks.” The automaker also didn’t have an available 2022 model and didn’t want to release a 2021 model.
What does the 2022 Chevy Bolt offer?
According to Chevrolet, the Bolt’s responsive acceleration can take this compact car from 0 to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds, which is faster than some of the other models on C/D’s list. And now, the 2022 Bolt offers a sport driving mode for a more thrilling ride.
This model also has one-pedal driving, which allows you to speed up and slow down using only one pedal. The Bolt uses regenerative braking to lower its speed, and it can come to a complete stop when needed.
As for technology, the Bolt will please almost any kind of driver. The infotainment center offers in-car data, from previous driving sessions to its battery range. It also comes with seamless connectivity and wireless Apple CarPlay capability. You’ll also get Chevy Safety Assist, a suite of features to help build confidence in the vehicle. As for the price, it’s still an affordable $36,500.
Though the Mustang Mach-E is Car and Driver’s best EV of 2021, it’s not the only one that impresses with its performance. The Bolt can outperform many EVs even though it’s not the most attractive-looking vehicle. It could’ve been a contender — if only it were allowed to compete.