I don’t get to test drive many vehicles but I had a chance to hop in Chevy’s new electric Bolt EUV. It’s a little bigger than the “regular” Bolt EV. The EUV stands for electric utility vehicle. I don’t generally write reviews and the story I wrote for Forbes.com is more of a look at the Bolt EUV from a marketing angle. But since I have this space available, I thought it would fun to add some other thoughts. Oh, you want a review? The short-short very is, if it’s comfortable, drives smoothly, the controls are sensibly placed and easy to use, the cup holders are the right size to prevent my large Tim Hortons coffee from tipping and the sound system isn’t tinny, that’s pretty much all I need.
Oh yeah…lotsa technology. In some vehicles that’s a catch-all term for stuff you paid for but will never bother to learn to operate. When I bought a 2019 Subaru Ascent SUV two years ago it had more screens than my neighborhood multiplex…and the cup holders were smartly snug. I actually spent three days devouring the owners manual to figure out what all the buttons, switches and screens did. Every so often I have to dive back in to remind me what a button is for if I haven’t used it in a long time. I must admit, there are some buttons I’ve never touched because the manual said I’d be safer if I just let them on. I suppose if I wanted to be less safe for some reason I’d flip the switch to “off” but then again if I did that I wouldn’t be using something for which I paid, even though I didn’t request it.
So back to the Bolt EUV. I liked it. The seat was comfortable and for a pretty short guy, I was happy my feet reached the pedals without having to shove my seat up so far the steering wheel was pressed against my chest. As is usual with an electric vehicle, you get instant torque to the wheels since you don’t have to move up through the gears as you do in a car with a gasoline engine and traditional transmission. Hit the pedal, car moves, quickly.
I also like the quietness of an EV because when I sing along with the radio I don’t have to scream at a level that makes the guy in the next car think I spilled my hot coffee in my crotch.
I did think it was curious that when I turned on the radio it was tuned to Howard Stern’s show. Since I ditched my satellite radio subscription after I retired and no long commuted I never really listened to Stern. Now I know why. For about 10 miles I endured some guy crabbing in the most foul language that someone accused him of eating Froot Loops. Why that would upset someone, I have no clue, but he was royally pissed and Stern kept egging him on and thereby pumping up the guy’s profanity. I stayed with it because I just wanted to know how this moron would wrap up his beef, but I had a good laugh imagining the Froot Loops toucan feeling insulted and biting of the guy’s pecker…before I changed stations to 60’s on 6 in a satisfying attempt to recall the years I spent having my severe acne treated by a sadistic dermatologist who took more than casual joy at popping every pimple with something that looked like an shoemakers awl.
It was easy to have such a sophomoric thoughts about Froot Loops guy because I was taking advantage of the Bolt EUV’s coolest technology, the Super Cruise driver assist feature. Previously only available on expensive Cadillacs Super Cruise is available as an option on the Bolt EUV for about $2,200. When you’re on a road compatible with Super Cruise, you engage adaptive cruise control, center the car in its lane and wait for the little light to glow telling you it’s OK to engage Super Cruise. Then you hit another button and the top of the steering wheel glows green when Super Cruise is ready for action. Then you can let go of the wheel and take your feet off the pedals and Super Cruise will take over. You have to pay attention or Super Cruise gets pissed and starts blinking lights and making noises until you take back control. Watch my demo of Super Cruise in the video below.
Super Cruise not only reduces a lot of fatigue when you’re on a long, boring drive, it’s huge fun to pull along someone, make quick eye contact then let go of the wheel and watch the guy’s cheeseburger drop from his mouth. It’s honestly terrific technology and gives you the first taste of what it might be light to cruise in a self-driving vehicle. I should point out, Super Cruise is not a toy to be used to scare the crap out of fellow motorists, but rather an extremely useful tool that helps keep drivers fresh and engaged. If I was buying a Bolt EUV I’d definitely spring for Super Cruise.
Besides, it would leave my hands free for when I get a little hungry…and crave a tangy, sugary bowl of Froot Loops. And I wouldn’t care who knew it.