2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV

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2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV Review: The Eager Electric

by Deiondre van der Merwe

While Tesla may have laid claim to creating the world's first mass-accessible electric car with the Model 3, the Chevrolet Bolt managed to land the first punch, providing a genuine circa-$35,000 electric car with a usable range and a high level of features. In the three years since it debuted, the Bolt has grown from strength to strength, now boasting a 259-mile range, and still proudly upholding high levels of safety and convenience, as well as enticing driving dynamics. But, as the world rapidly surges towards fast-charging and regenerative braking as the primary means of refueling, competitors are quickly emerging. While the Nissan Leaf and BMW i3 might not be at the same level as the Bolt, the Hyundai Kona Electric makes a strong case for itself as well. Some say plug-in hybrids are stepping stones to an all-electric future, but the Chevrolet Bolt says the future's already here.

Read in this review:

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2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2019 Bolt EV?

Silently entering 2020, the Bolt arrives with subtle, but meaningful, changes. The electrical range has increased by 21 miles to a total of 259 miles on a full charge - a single mile more than the Hyundai Kona Electric. Two new exterior colors have been added as options and both the standard rearview and optional surround-view cameras have been upgraded with higher definition cameras for extra clarity.

Pros and Cons

  • Good range gets even better for the new year
  • Great infotainment system
  • Impressive safety features on the higher trim
  • Handles well
  • Comfortable ride
  • High price tag
  • Cabin quality lacking for the price
  • Compact dimensions limit practicality

What's the Price of the 2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV?

The base-level Bolt has a starting price that is higher than certain rivals at $36,620 and is considerably more expensive than the Nissan Leaf at base level. An entry-level Nissan Leaf has an MSRP of $31,600, while the BMW i3 is vastly more expensive with a starting MSRP of $44,450, which is even more costly than the top-level Bolt Premier trim that starts at $41,020. A destination and handling fee of $875 is applicable to your purchase of a Chevrolet Bolt. An $8,500 cash incentive is standard from Chevrolet, and the EV enjoys some state-specific incentives like HOV lane use.

Best Deals on 2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV

2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
Single Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
Single Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
See All 2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV Trims and Specs

2020 Bolt EV Exterior

2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV Front View Chevrolet
2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV Side View Chevrolet
2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV Front View 1 Chevrolet
See All 2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV Exterior Photos


  • Length 164.0 in
  • Wheelbase 102.4 in
  • Height 62.8 in
  • Max Width 69.5 in
  • Front Width 59.1 in
  • Rear Width 59.1 in
  • Curb Weight 3,563.0 lbs

2020 Bolt EV Performance

2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV Front View 2 Chevrolet
2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV Right Rear Angle In Motion Chevrolet
2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV Charge Port Chevrolet

Engine and Transmission

  • Engine
  • Transmission
    Single Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrain

Handling and Driving Impressions

The Chevy Bolt does a great job of challenging the norms associated with electric vehicles and offers admirable handling for the segment. Clever placement of the battery pack allows for a low center of gravity and weight located between the axles, which mitigates a lot of body roll when you're taking the Bolt in and out of bends. But tire grip isn't an obvious strong point for the EV, which means you'll need to exercise some willpower and not take advantage of the instantaneous power it offers in a turn if you want to keep it in one piece.

Steering is responsive and the little EV boasts a neat turning circle, giving it some great maneuverability, even if it feels a little simulated. As for comfort, the Bolt doesn't disappoint and maintains composure over all kinds of lumps and bumps when driving in the city. It maintains the same confidence on the highway, and the Chevy is unlikely to disappoint when it comes down to ride quality. Perhaps its only downfall would be the slightly unnatural feel of the brakes. You have the option of driving almost entirely without the brakes thanks to the regenerative action of the electric motor. This is aided even further by a paddle that allows the driver to control regeneration levels at will.

2020 Bolt EV Interior

2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV Dashboard Chevrolet
2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV Infotainment System Chevrolet
2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV Front Seats Chevrolet
See All 2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

  • Seating capacity
  • Front Leg Room 41.6 in
  • Front Head Room 39.7 in
  • Rear Leg Room 36.5 in
  • Rear Head Room 37.9 in

2020 Bolt EV Trunk and Cargo Space

2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV Interior Overview Chevrolet
2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV Gear Shifter Chevrolet
2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV Luggage Space Chevrolet
  • Trunk Volume
    16.9 ft³

2020 Bolt EV Safety and Reliability


  • Warranty Note:
    Preliminary 2020 Warranty Note \ 
  • Basic:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain Note:
    Qualified Fleet Purchases: 5 Years \ 100,000 Miles
  • Rust-Through:
    6 Years \ 100,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles
  • Hybrid/Electric Components:
    8 Years \ 100,000 Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Roadside Assistance Note:
    Qualified Fleet Purchases: 5 Years \ 100,000 Miles
  • Maintenance Note:
    1 Year \ 1 Visit

US NHTSA Crash Test Result

  • Overall Rating
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
  • Side Crash Rating
  • Rollover Rating

Verdict: Is the 2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV A Good car?

The Chevrolet Bolt is a great choice if you're shopping for an EV, though we aren't huge fans of its base level trim. Opting for the higher trim level welcomes leather upholstery, a significant number of extra safety features, and additional features like heated seats. Still, at a base level, the Bolt offers an excellent infotainment system and a fully digital cabin, though the interior is somewhat let down by Chevrolet's overly-liberal use of cheap, hard plastics for the dash and the doors. The interior is saved by the abundance of space that the Bolt offers, though it has a small trunk that is outshined by almost all of its rivals. The Chevy shines where it matters and offers more range on a full charge than many of its rivals, even ones that come at a higher price. Tesla might be the hot name on everyone's lips, but the sensible money in the affordable EV game has to go the way of the Bolt.

What Chevrolet Bolt EV Model Should I Buy?

We'd recommend opting for the Premier trim and adding the Infotainment and Driver Confidence II packages for a full-house EV with leather upholstery and heated seats, along with the upgraded seven-speaker sound system and wireless charging. A huge bump up in safety features would be the main reason to opt for this model, as it gets the Driver Confidence Package as standard, and allows for the further addition of the Driver Confidence II package. It then boasts safety features inclusive of blind-spot monitoring, lane change alert, pedestrian monitoring, automatic high beams, and forward collision alert, as well as automatic high beams.

2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV Comparisons

Nissan Leaf Nissan
Toyota Prius Toyota
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Chevrolet Bolt EV200 hp131/109 mpg$26,500
Nissan Leaf 147 hp123/99 mpg$28,040
Toyota Prius 121 hp58/53 mpg$25,075

2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV vs Nissan Leaf

The Chevrolet is about $5,000 more expensive than the Nissan Leaf in base form, but offers vastly more range thanks to an upgraded battery enabling a 259-mile range compared to the maximum 226-mile range in the Leaf Plus. Also superior is the Bolt's handling capabilities thanks to some smart battery pack positioning aiding a lower center of gravity, and its standard features suite is generous. The Leaf offers an interior with more premium-looking materials, but lacks the fully digital feel of the Bolt's cabin. What the Leaf offers is a budget-friendly purchase and a quick recharge (though it's still slower than the Bolt), but its limited range and cramped rear seats might be an issue if you're prone to taking long road trips. It also lacks the handling abilities and engaging drive offered by the Bolt. More power is offered by the Bolt, and though the Nissan Leaf is a good entry-level EV, the Chevy is the better buy with more standard tech and range on offer.

See Nissan Leaf Review

2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV vs Toyota Prius

The Prius has been the posterchild of electrification for years now, a hybrid stepping stone on the way to full electrification. It's an incredibly appealing option, too with upwards of 50 mpg available and no need to recharge for hours at a time. But it still burns gasoline, which is a big no-no for those serious about EV ownership. The Bolt manages 259 miles on electric power alone, and thanks to fast-charging, 100 miles of range can be recouped in as little as 30 minutes. But the Prius saves you $12,000 in base form, and has a generous trunk and higher quality materials than the Bolt. However, the Chevrolet is entertaining to drive, packs in loads of features, and has better infotainment. There are now better hybrid vehicles around than the Prius, but at its price point, the Bolt reigns supreme in the affordable EV stakes. The time for stepping stones is long gone, you should get the Bolt.

See Toyota Prius Review
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