That’s a click-baity title. But seriously I bought a Chevy Bolt without ever driving one. However, I had ridden in one and it seemed perfectly fine. It also met all of my criteria:
- Is it all-electric? Yes ✅
- Does it have a good range? Yes ✅
- Does it look like a normal car? Yes ✅
Great! I’m sure whatever other quirks it has I can get used to. Even with an open battery recall, I think it’s a fantastic car.
I got a great deal on a new 2021 Bolt from an out-state dealer, and they just dropped it off at my house. My first “test drive” was picking my daughter up at school. After driving it for a couple of months I’ve gotten used to it. The number of settings that you can configure is rather daunting, so I put this reference together 😎
My list of settings isn’t exhaustive, but one of the best resources for all things Chevy Bolt is here: https://allev.info/2020/02/chevy-bolt-most-frequently-asked-questions/
You can get to these options by going to the Settings icon from the all-icons menu.
Rear seat reminder: off. This is probably useful if you’re traveling with small kids or pets.
- Auto volume: medium-low. This setting seemed the most natural to me where I didn’t notice the volume actively going up and down with the vehicle speed.
Remote lock / unlock / start
- Passive lock / unlock: on
At first I wasn’t sure if I liked this setting. Mostly because my alarm was blaring when I was trying to get in the car. Later I realized it was from unplugging the charge cord before unlocking the vehicle (see charge cord theft alert below).
I’ve since gotten used to keeping the key fob in my pocket and pressing the door handle button to unlock the car.
The car locking on it’s own after I get out is mostly convenient, but sometimes the car locks while I’m getting out and walking to the other side to get something out of the back seat. No worries, just press the unlock button on the passenger side.
Energy settings are always accessible at the bottom of the screen. Energy settings are kind of weird. You may want to turn location based charging on while you’re parked at home. Once your home location is set you can have separate options for home and away. To configure the away options, you’ll want to set them while you’re away from your home.
- Location based charging: on
- Charge cord theft alert: off. I turned this off in case I’m at a charging station and someone else needs to charge. Otherwise the alarm will honk when you unplug it before the car is unlocked.
Make these settings changes after you’ve set the home location, and while you’re there.
- Charge mode: Departure
- Portable cord limit: 12 Amps. Setting this to 12 Amps will only save if location-based charging is on. Make sure you’re on a 20-amp circuit or on a 15-amp circuit with no other loads.
- Target charge level: 80% (the recall letter I received suggests 90%)
- Charge mode: Immediate
- Target charge level: 100% (this is currently not recommended until the battery recall has been performed).
This car is great. Even with the battery recall I would still buy one. Heck now would be a great time to buy a used Bolt (privately) because it’s going to get a brand new battery with a 100k mile warranty.
Several people on the r/BoltEV subreddit complain about the GM experience. Sure the dealerships aren’t as clean or well lit as the others, but does that matter? I bought my car over the phone because I don’t like going into any dealerships – no matter how nice they are 😱 My sales guy was great, I knew what I was getting in to, and he helped me get the best deal possible.
I’ve taken several road trips (post upcoming) and it’s been a pleasure to drive. Cheap and cheerful, would recommend.