It was inevitable that the Chevrolet Bolt electric hatchback would eventually spawn a more SUV-like variant such as the 2022 Bolt EUV (that’s short for electric utility vehicle). The regular Bolt model, which also refreshed for 2022, is a proven small, affordable EV with competitive range. The Bolt’s tall-hatch design already gave off faint whiffs of the utilitarian vibe that today’s consumers gravitate to, but the EUV version takes it a step further with a larger footprint and more SUV-like styling.
To be clear: The EUV isn’t drastically different from the regular Bolt. Both ride on the Bolt’s BEV2 platform and have an electric motor powering the front wheels. Think Bolt plus as the EUV still seems a bit small and narrow for a compact crossover. Six inches are added to the standard Bolt’s overall length and about three inches to its wheelbase, which can be seen in the length of the rear doors and the increased rear-seat legroom. The rear seat is now accommodating enough to be useful for adults on a regular basis, even if they still won’t be able to cross their legs and may complain about the lack of air vents. Overall width, height, and track also are up a smidge, although the EUV’s 16 cubic feet of cargo space is strangely less than the Bolt EV’s 17.
The EUV’s styling is inoffensive and borrows heavily from the Bolt and Chevy’s larger Blazer and Trailblazer. What truly separates the EUV from the Bolt (and its non-Tesla competitors) is the available hands-free Super Cruise driver-assistance package—General Motors’s first EV and the first non-Cadillac vehicle to offer the system. Aside from a handful of fully loaded Launch Edition models, the feature is limited to the EUV’s top Premier trim as a $2200 option and includes three years of OnStar service. OnStar is required for the system to operate, so after three years you’d be paying for a monthly subscription if you want to keep Super Cruising.
Chevy structured our short, mostly highway drive to showcase the Super Cruise system, which remains impressive in its ability to stay in its lane and to cover long stretches of divided highway with no driver input, provided the driver-facing camera and infrared sensors determine you’re paying attention to the road. Look away for too long and the system starts beeping, the lights in the top of the steering wheel rim begin to flash, and with the help of OnStar telematics, the car will eventually activate its hazard lights and pull to a stop. Due to the Bolt’s older electrical architecture versus GM’s more advanced EVs, such as the upcoming GMC Hummer and Cadillac Lyriq, the EUV’s Super Cruise setup doesn’t support automatic, one-touch lane changes. But we imagine the capability of the basic system will be a draw for many potential EUV buyers.
We’ve yet to drive the 2022 Bolt EV, so we can’t say how differently the EUV goes down the road, if at all. Its brake pedal is pleasantly firm, the action of its steering is linear if devoid of feel, and its relatively low center of gravity lends it a secure, planted feel around corners. Motivation comes from a familiar electric motor rated for 200 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque that is fed electricity from a 65.0-kWh battery pack. Weighing about 100 pounds more than the standard Bolt, we estimate the 3700-pound EUV should get to 60 mph in about 7.0 seconds. The electric motor’s low-end pull is strong, which allows it to surge away from stoplights and overtake slower traffic on the highway with more verve than its 200 horses suggest. We particularly like the EUV’s regenerative-braking setup, which allows its driver to choose between very little regen by default, an on-demand paddle on the steering wheel that can bring the car to a stop, or full one-pedal operation via a button on the center console that remains active between startup cycles.
The Bolt EUV’s cabin is easy to see out of and fairly quiet at speed. We could feel and hear impacts from suburban Detroit’s larger frost heaves and pavement seams, but overall ride comfort is good. Poke around the new-if-somewhat-sober interior and you’ll notice that Chevy has replaced the previous Bolt’s funky electronic joystick shifter with a row of simpler shift buttons. There’s also a new 8.0-inch information display in the gauge cluster and a central 10.2-inch touchscreen, both of which are nicely rendered and intuitive to navigate.
Wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity are standard, as is an inductive-charging pad that’s optional on the regular Bolt. But you’ll have to pay extra for heated and ventilated front seats and heated outboard rear seats, which is something you want considering how much electricity turning on the heat requires. Active-safety-wise, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, and lane-departure warning and assist all are included. Rear cross-traffic alert, a surround-view camera system, and adaptive cruise control are available, depending on the model.
GM estimates the Bolt EUV’s range at 250 miles, which is nine miles short of the distance it quotes for the smaller hatchback. We have found that the Bolt’s EPA range is quite accurate. Plugged into a 240-volt outlet, the battery is said to take seven hours to fully recharge from a fully discharged state. Both ’22 Bolt models feature standard DC fast-charging capability, with the 55-kW maximum charge rate able to replenish the EUV with up to 95 miles of range in 30 minutes. For comparison, both the Hyundai Kona Electric and Kia Niro EV can recoup electrons at a faster rate (up to 100 kW), but they also cost considerably more than the EUV’s base price of $33,995. The EUV’s price is some $3500 less than the $37,495 starting price of the 2020 Bolt hatchback. The 2022 Bolt’s price is down to $32,990.
In addition to its recent tie-up with EVgo to expand the nation’s public charging network, GM is hoping to entice more buyers into the EV fold by offering to cover some of the initial installation costs of installing a Level 2 connection in the home for eligible buyers of either 2022 Chevy Bolt model. Which seems like a worthwhile benefit considering a Super Cruise-equipped EUV will top $40,000. The Bolt EUV may not be the crab-walking, 1000-hp Hummer EV that many are excited for GM to deliver, but it brings the Bolt closer to having mainstream appeal.
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