Every week, wheels.ca selects a new vehicle and takes a good look at its entry-level trim. If we find it worthy of your consideration, we'll let you know. If not, we'll recommend one - or the required options - that earns a passing grade.
With our federal Transport Minister recently decreeing that all new cars and light-duty trucks sold in the country must be zero-emission vehicles by calendar year 2035, we thought it an appropriate opportunity to include a recently revamped electric vehicle in the Base Camp conversation.
For 2022, Chevrolet has chosen to build two distinct variants of its all-electric car. Called the Bolt and Bolt EUV, we'll focus on the latter since it wears a vaguely crossover-ish shape that is preferred by the majority of shoppers in today's marketplace. Its entry-level trim is the LT, and has a sticker price of $40,198. This permits it to qualify for the various and sundry EV rebates across our nation, both federal and provincial. Depending where you live, up to $10,000 is on the table for machines like the Bolt EUV.
Its electric drive unit makes 200 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque, good for an acceleration run to highway speeds from rest in about seven seconds. The battery pack is sufficiently robust to provide nearly 400 km of all-electric driving range, a distance which should banish all thoughts of range anxiety for the vast majority of EV shoppers. A one-pedal driving mode can harvest a lot of energy through regenerative braking, suggesting a smart use of that feature could yield more range than is advertised.
The LT gives up nothing in terms of mechanicals to the top-tier Premier trim, though various and sundry driving aids like adaptive cruise control and a surround vision camera system are absent on LT. Heated rear seats and leather upholstery are also part of the deal on Premier, which is a $3,500 walk from the base car. Still, the LT comes with all the comforts one expects these days, such as a 10.2-inch infotainment touchscreen, wireless device charging, and heated front chairs.
Your friends will need a keen eye to visually tell you've selected the cheaper model. Save for chrome slivers on the door handles and rocker sills, plus slightly different wheels, the two trims are virtually indistinguishable. The only two no charge (pun intended) paint options are Summit White and Silver Flare; since such shades are fashionable for electric cars these days, it's of little matter (though your author does like the Cherry Red option).
What We'd Choose
For the first time in Base Camp history, we're going to make a lateral move and gently suggest a completely different model. The standard Chevrolet Bolt (not the EUV), packs the same powertrain in a slightly smaller package, resulting in an electric vehicle that's quicker and can go farther on a single charge - a rated 417 km.
It gives up nothing in terms of amenities compared to the Bolt EUV in LT trim yet is priced $2000 lower. This means that, in some provinces, it is a machine that can occupy your driveway for less than thirty-grand. As a bonus, GM is currently offering up to $1,500 towards electrical work required to install a Level 2 charger in your home. While the Bolt EUV Premier is available with too-cool options like GM's Super Cruise and does have extra rear-seat legroom compared to its smaller brother, the Bolt LT makes a great case for itself in terms of affordable all-electric motoring.