Reviews

2017 Chevrolet Bolt Driving Impressions


One thing about GM’s electric cars is their awesome torque. To add to the Bolt’s 200 horsepower (150 kilowatts), the motor makes 266 pound-feet (360 Newton-meters) of torque. You won’t find a vehicle that small with that much torque, this side of a tractor. The Bolt can leap like a spider away from stoplights, and jump like a cockroach into holes in city traffic.

Even with four adults inside, the Bolt accelerates with authority, and can even chirp the inside front tire out of a turn.

It corners fairly flat on 17-inch alloy wheels, with steering that has a nice positive self-centering action.

The brake feel was consistent enough that we didn’t feel any transitions between regenerative and friction braking. As for the Low mode that relies on regenerative braking, with regen-on-demand stalk on the steering column, Tesla calls it one-pedal driving. Some like it, some don’t. One thing is, you have to unlearn the smooth style you’ve come to know. You can’t just lift the throttle and glide gradually to reduce speed or stop. When you lift the throttle, the car puts on the brakes, so you have to run up closer to a stop sign before you back off. Some automotive journalists say that’s a smoother, calmer, and easier way to drive. But any graph of speed changes in traffic would indicate otherwise.

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