TAYLOR, me. – For the first time in a long time, the sun was shining and the snow was starting to melt when we first looked at the Chevrolet Bolt EUV 2022 in person. Less than two weeks later the revealing We were invited by the slightly larger sibling of the redesigned Bolt EV for a short ride that would highlight one of the most important and interesting features: Super Cruise.
The Bolt EUV is the first non-Cadillac vehicle to feature GM’s advanced driver assistance system, which allows the driver to take their hands off the steering wheel in certain scenarios. Super Cruise was impressive enough to win AutoblogAward for Technology of the Year 2019, but it was improved since those early days with about 70,000 more miles of roads to operate on, as well as improvements to the driver attention system. However, this isn’t the new generation of Super Cruise that does automatic lane changes with the push of a button – this system will be launched on the 2021 Cadillac Escalade.
The version of Super Cruise in the Bolt EUV combines adaptive cruise control with lane following / centering technology to steer the car (which is common enough these days) and then adds a crucial layer of security with its driver monitoring system, a camera on the steering column, which tracks the driver’s face and eyes to make sure his attention is still on the road. On divided highways with restricted access, previously used with lidar technology, and when lane markings are clearly visible, the driver initiates Super Cruise by pressing a button on the steering wheel so that the car can brake, accelerate and steer.
A light bar on the upper part of the steering wheel turns green when Super Cruise is active and prompts the driver to remove hands and feet from the controls. As long as the conditions are met (known and permitted roads, clear lane markings, attentive driver), the vehicle drives forward at the set speed, slows down in slower traffic and steers the car through the curves. The light bar turns blue when the driver takes control of the steering without loosening – for example when changing lanes – and returns to green when the system takes over steering control again. The light will turn red and the system will beep if you need to take control immediately. It’s a lot more confident and even relaxing than you think.
Before we set off, we had a few brief moments to locate the Bolt EUV. Was of particular curiosity the back seat. The EUV has three inches more wheelbase than the regular Bolt, which corresponds to an almost equal increase in legroom at the rear. What a difference does it make. While there is not enough headroom in the back seat, a 6-foot boat that sits behind a 6-foot boat offers plenty of room to stretch your legs. Overall, the EUV is 6 inches longer than its smaller sibling.
There are some new controls in the cockpit. Unlike the unusual joystick shifter on the old Bolt EV, both 2021 Bolt models have a number of buttons to choose from park, reverse, neutral, drive and, new for 2021, single-pedal drive mode. We love that the bolt remembers whether this was on or off when the car was turned off, and that it maintains the same setting when you come back and start the car again. We also enjoyed recording a camera feed in the rearview mirror. It can be toggled to a standard reflection with the flick of the lever below, but we preferred the digital view, which isn’t compromised by the backseat headrests and the size of the rear window.
Our time in the car was limited so we connected our phone via bluetooth, turned on ple CarPlay and added Google Ms to our route for a caravan with other gathered press and Chevy engineers. Our route would be mostly on the freeway, but we had a few miles through Taylor’s industrial streets before we reached our driveway.
After driving like a normal car for a few minutes, we started pedaling. This was an uncomplicated yet complex modulation of the accelerator pedal to increase the speed and slow it down. It is our preferred way of driving most electric vehicles most of the time. The full take off provided a lot of regenerative braking feel to slow us down in time for a red light, but this without the immediate jarring feeling of falling forward in our seat. Chevy really found a good balance in the feel of that single-pedal drive, which probably shouldn’t be surprising given that the brand has been offering it since the first Volt plug-in hybrid a decade ago.
If you’ve driven the original version of the Chevy Bolt, the Bolt EUV will look familiar. It shares the standard Bolt’s electric powertrain with the same 65-kilowatt-hour battery that offers 250 miles of range (nine less than the 2021 standard Bolt EV) and a single motor that produces 200 horsepower and 266 pounds of power. Foot torque forward sends wheels. It’s a lot of twist for a small hatchback (or, as Chevy would lead you to believe, a crossover more like that EUV than the Bolt EV), and the wheels are hpy for breaking traction and making a joyful squeak as you splash away from a stop sign. It feels positively upbeat in the city and this solid acceleration carries over to the motorway entrance.
After merging with expressway, I hired Super Cruise. The light on the steering wheel turned green and I took my hands off the steering wheel and my feet off the pedals. Not long after that, the green light bar began to flash for a few seconds before turning red and handing steering control back to human hands. Everything looked fine. The lane markings were clear and we weren’t at an intersection so I hit the button again. Solid green light that crosses and then flashes again before we take command again. I tried a third time, with the same sequence of events.
It turns out that this is another Covid-19 issue: I still had my mask on when I checked in. I took it off, hired Super Cruise one more time, and enjoyed many miles of smooth sailing. A small experiment showed that the camera facing the driver could tolerate the mask if the sunglasses were removed, or that sunglasses and a bushy beard were perfectly acceptable.
There was a more frequent and less 2021-specific retreat that we saw at freeway junctions. Changing lanes to an exit would turn Super Cruise off until we were on the next freeway. What is even more interesting, however, is that it would come off at an intersection where the lanes separated from the main road, even if we continued straight ahead. For example, if you were to take the left three lanes on I-75 North, Super Cruise would disengage with the right two lanes diverging at 275. As soon as you have passed the transfer area, Super Cruise can be disengaged again.
You can relax with the car’s driver assistance system, which handles the most stressful parts of the journey, which is easier in the EUV than in the last generation Bolt. For one, the front seats are much more comfortable than the uncompromisingly thin parts of the original stud (this was a space-saving measure to maximize rear legroom, where this stud EUV is abundant). There is some road and wind noise, but no more than a similar class of internal combustion vehicles – without the engine’s drone, of course.
We look forward to spending more time with the Bolt EUV to see how much we enjoy living with the car for more than a few hours and in more driving scenarios. So far, the Bolt EUV has impressed. It takes most of what we already love about the bolt and improves it with a little more interior space and comfort. We’re also excited to see how it compares to that New Bolt EV – which we haven’t tested yet – for a more direct comparison. It’s hard to believe we’d choose the redesigned Bolt EV over the new EUV, even though the base price of the EUV is $ 2,000 higher. The added convenience and available technology make the EUV more noisy. In particular, Super Cruise is not available in the standard Bolt EV.
The Bolt EUV starts at $ 33,995 inclusive of the destination, but you must opt for the Premier Gear ($ 38,495) or the Launch Edition ($ 43,495) to get Super Cruise. The basic bolt EUV LT is supplied as standard with CarPlay and Android Auto, a charger for mobile phones and a two-stage charging cable. Chevy even pays to upgrade your electrical system and install a 240-volt electrical outlet in your home to take advantage of level 2 charging. Premier has leather seats, the rearview mirror, a parking camera with surround view and additional cruise control. Super Cruise is a $ 2,000 option to the Premier and is included in the price of the Launch Edition. Unfortunately, GM electric vehicles are no longer eligible for the $ 7,500 tax credit.
In all honesty, the idea of adding both the Bolt EV and the Bolt EUV to the lineup seems mystifying. Why offer two screws when you consider that the extended and more comfortable EUV resolves important customer complaints with minimal degradation in range? Tony Johnson, Marketing Manager at Chevy, admits that Chevy doesn’t know what the Bolt and Bolt EUV sales mix will be, but he believes that apart from their differences in size and price, both have their own unique strengths. For example, the EUV offers more technology (Super Cruise), while the cheaper Bolt EV is a more basic vehicle with an additional 14 km range. “We’ll see how it shakes out,” he says.
Basically we have to wait until the market reacts and clarifies the advantages of the two-bolt approach. However, we can now tell that there is a vastly improved offering compared to yesterday’s Single Bolt, adding a bigger back seat and a bigger Super Cruise.