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We were a bit surprised when Chevy decided to kill the Bolt EV. The 2023 Bolt EV seemed to check a lot of the right boxes for an inexpensive EV. It’s comfy, full of new tech, has a solid electric range, and for 2022 it’s even more comfortable. Now, in its final year, it’s also finally getting praise from one important rating agency that may make this swan song EV a good choice.

Who picked it as a winner?

Every year, the Automobile Club of Southern California’s Automotive Research Center ranks cars on 13 criteria. The rankings are included in the 2023 AAA Car Guide. The 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV in 2LT trim outscored the rest in the small car category for 2023. It outscored much more expensive cars like the Audi A3, Subaru BRZ, and even the new 2023 Acura A-Spec Tech. The Bolt EV 2LT came out on top of AAA’s overall ranking for small cars for 2023.

The 2023 AAA Car Guide says the Bolt scored the best for a variety of reasons.  It scored highly for its fuel efficiency, handling, ease of entry and exit, and low interior noise levels. The car was dinged for its small cargo area, which is just over 16 cubic feet. The Bolt EV also uses efficient but harsh EV tires that are noisy and lack grip, which also contributes to a rough ride. Though the Bolt EV has a DC fast charger, it’s among the slowest of the fast chargers.

Others have named it a great car for the money.

AAA prefers the 2LT trim

Silver Chevy Bolt EV Parked in front of a house - GM is deleting the Bolt EV and EUV in favor of the new Chevy Silverado EV and GMC Sierra EV
Chevy Bolt EV | Chevrolet

AAA specifically mentions the 2LT trim of the Bolt EV. It’s the most expensive version of the 2023 Chevy Bolt and starts at $30,695. The 1LT version starts at $27,495 and remains one of the cheapest EVs you can buy.

It’s no wonder that the 2Lt gets more love. The version has leather seats, an HD Surround Vision camera for parking, and lane change alert. Overall, the interior gets several extra trim bits that help it feel more like a premium car compared to the 1LT version.

Why is Chevy discontinuing the Bolt?

Jet Black leather interior is available on both LT and Premier trims of the 2023 Chevrolet Bolt EUV Redline Edition.

GM has a history of getting cars right, and then killing them. The Bolt EV is likely one of those.

General Motors CEO Mary Barra said in an earnings call that the company will end production of the Bolt by the end of the year. GM is ramping up production on two trucks, the GMC Sierra EV and the Chevy Silverado EV, and it simply needs the production capacity to make those to electric trucks. Just as Chevy got the car right, it ended production. The 2023 Bolt has a newer interior design that added a more intuitive shifter, better seats, and nicer materials. Ohh, and the company also has (presumably) fixed all of the problems in the car that caused several fires and two crippling recalls.

Is the Chevy Bolt reliable?

The 2020 version is the last year that J.D. Power rated a Bolt EV. In that report, the car saw an average reliability rating. However, recalls that have likely been fixed by now likely dragged down the rating. According to Kelley Blue Book, however, the 202 as a reliability score of 4.6 out of five. It also ranks highly at KBB for value, quality, performance comfort and styling.