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2022 Bolt EUV test drive: Slick electric SUV with truly hands-free driving (unlike Teslas)

Look, Ma: No fingers, no toes, and no gasoline!

As I drove the 2022 Bolt EUV, Chevrolet’s new all-electric SUV, throughout Los Angeles from the seashore to rolling hills in hands-free mode, my first response was…ahhhh! I’ve owned a 2017 Bolt EV, the primary of its form, for greater than three years, however I’ve by no means pushed a automotive that steers itself. Watching the wheel flip by itself because the automotive snaked via windy sections of a freeway by no means bought outdated throughout my 60-mile spherical journey.

With my fingers in my lap and my foot off the pedals, I wasn’t certain what to do with myself. I used to be caught between making an attempt to calm down however nonetheless take note of the street; the EUV isn’t a totally self-driving automobile (no vehicles on the market are, not even Teslas), which implies you continue to need to be ready to take the wheel and slam on the brake. After I lastly bought used to the motive force help options formally often known as Tremendous Cruise with Automated Cruise Management, I discovered myself staring ahead on the street however zoning out, forgetting to take a look at Google Maps within the shiny 10.2-inch middle display. There have been just a few occasions I nearly missed an exit. The EUV’s Tremendous Cruise will not change lanes or observe instructions for you, so it’s important to keep watch over the place it’s essential go. 

“It takes some getting used to,” Brandon Bloss, the EUV’s lead improvement engineer stated, including that he loves going hands-free on street journeys with his household from Michigan to Tennessee of their Cadillac, GM’s first brand to get Super Cruise. “It permits you to get to your location a lot extra relaxed.” The EUV’s model of Tremendous Cruise takes among the considering out of driving by conserving you in a lane and managing your velocity and house behind one other automotive. Nevertheless, the EUV would not have essentially the most in depth driving help options on the market. Its Tremendous Cruise is extra restricted than that of the Cadillacs, however the EUV’s talents are higher than nothing. Certainly, once I needed to drive house on a number of busy freeways in my 2017 Bolt sans Tremendous Cruise, my stress ranges jumped. 

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In case you’re available in the market for a Bolt, which 2022 mannequin you select — the unique design, aka EV, or the SUV, aka EUV — will rely upon whether or not you need Tremendous Cruise and the SUV look, which solely come with the EUV. Chevy expects it to be a 60-40 cut up, with the EUV being the extra standard selection when each fashions can be found someday this summer time, Bloss stated. 

The front of the 2022 Bolt EUV has a new stylized

The entrance of the 2022 Bolt EUV has a brand new stylized “grille.”

Picture: Brittany Levine Beckman / Mashable

The back of the 2022 Bolt EUV.

The again of the 2022 Bolt EUV.

Picture: Brittany Levine Beckman / mashable

Fingers-free and pedal-free driving is the largest promoting level for the Bolt EUV. Apart from that and an extra six inches of size (most of that felt within the second seat’s three additional inches of legroom), a smoother journey, and the SUV look with bells and whistles, the Bolt EUV is mostly just like its barely cheaper EV older sister. 

The 2022 EV comes with a much bigger vary: 259 miles on a single cost in comparison with the EUV’s 250 miles. However that’s a minor hole particularly since vary is an estimate that fluctuates relying on how briskly you drive and whether or not you’re blasting the AC. The 2022 EV has the identical vary because the 2021 mannequin, however my 2017 Bolt solely will get 238 miles, so it’s a little bit of a lift throughout from what I’m used to. Each 2022 Bolts have a 65 kwh lithium-ion battery.  

The 2022 Bolt EV begins at $31,995 with the Bolt EUV beginning at $33,995. Each are cheaper than the 2021 Bolt EV, which begins at $36,500. GM not qualifies for federal tax rebates on electric vehicles. 

The EUV’s Tremendous Cruise activates with the press of a button and works on 200,000 miles of freeway and freeway within the U.S. and Canada. In case you attempt to flip it on the place it isn’t suitable, you may get a nope within the type of a notification beneath your speedometer. GM makes use of a mixture of the automotive’s inside maps, GPS satellites, and tower-based directional methods to inform the automotive the place it will possibly activate the help options. I may use Tremendous Cruise on a lot of my freeway-bound drive and skilled a seamless slow-down a number of occasions as visitors stalled on busy LA freeways, which had been nonetheless crowded regardless of the pandemic. The primary few occasions I observed visitors stopping, I instinctively grabbed the wheel and hit the brake, turning off Tremendous Cruise. 

You’ll be able to take your fingers off the wheel with Tremendous Cruise due to eye-tracking digicam tech… With all Teslas, that is a no-no.

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“It’ll brake, but when somebody slams on the brakes and also you’re going 70, you’re gonna need to brake,” Bloss stated.

The EUV’s Tremendous Cruise is just like Tesla’s Autopilot, that firm’s commonplace driver help system. Like Tremendous Cruise, Autopilot steers in a lane and retains up with visitors. When in comparison with Teslas with elective “Full Self-Driving Capability,” a sophisticated driver help system that prices $10,000 and regardless of the identify isn’t fully self-driving, the EUV’s Tremendous Cruise trails behind. However the EUV has an essential bonus. 

Tesla’s superior driver help system will change lanes on highways for you, park your automotive, and features on some metropolis and residential streets. However, and this can be a large however: You’ll be able to take your fingers off the wheel with Tremendous Cruise due to eye-tracking digicam tech (that works even once you put on glasses). With all Teslas, that is a no-no since Tesla solely has wheel sensors to ensure you’re being attentive to the street. In case you see movies of hands-free Tesla drivers, they’re flouting Tesla’s guidelines. Chevrolet is increasing the place Tremendous Cruise works each a number of weeks, however don’t count on metropolis streets to be suitable any time quickly. “I can’t say we’ll by no means have streets,” Bloss stated, however he couldn’t say Tremendous Cruise for certain would, both. 

Tremendous Cruise additionally received’t work on freeway on and off ramps and within the exit lane or typically if two freeways are merging or splitting. When it turns itself off, the automotive will beep and a inexperienced gentle on the high of the steering wheel that’s on whereas in Tremendous Cruise will flip pink. The sunshine turns blue once you flick on a blinker to modify lanes and can return to inexperienced when you’ve centered your self within the new lane, letting you understand you’ll be able to take your fingers off. (See Chevy’s video under for a peek on the EUV’s Tremendous Cruise in motion.) The Cadillac 2023 Lyriq, one other all-electric automotive from GM, will have Tremendous Cruise that may change lanes for you, a characteristic already within the Cadillac CT4, CT5, and Escalade. Nevertheless, the 2023 Lyriq is predicted to be almost twice as expensive as the EUV coming in under $60,000.

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Whereas in Tremendous Cruise throughout my demo, there was one time the automotive jerked over because the lane on a freeway widened right into a V-shape. The automotive veered proper to match up with the widening line, however doing so made me really feel like I used to be heading for some bollards on the passenger aspect. I ended up taking the wheel. It in all probability would have been advantageous, however I couldn’t assist myself. 

One other draw back to Tremendous Cruise was that when it turns off — by urgent the brake or going into an exit lane, for instance — and then you definitely flip it again on when it’s obtainable, it’ll begin up at your final clocked velocity. That made me jolt just a few occasions once I was going 65 mph previous to stopping after which 45 mph once I began it once more. You’ll be able to modify this simply earlier than you flip Tremendous Cruise again on utilizing a knob on the steering wheel, however it’s important to keep in mind to make the change. The automotive evens out the velocity primarily based on the automotive forward of you after just a few seconds if you’re going slower than beforehand, however the leap on the high was nerve-racking for me. 

Tremendous Cruise will provide you with a warning and switch off should you’re not paying consideration.

Tremendous Cruise can even provide you with a warning and switch off should you’re not paying consideration. It makes use of an infrared digicam to ensure you’re trying ahead. Don’t fear, you’re not being recorded and the digicam isn’t truly capturing your face. It may possibly solely sense the tiny, imperceptible infrared lights (Bloss in contrast it to a doll flashlight) being beamed at you from the steering wheel. Relying on velocity, should you look away for wherever between roughly 3 seconds and 15 seconds, it’ll begin beeping, and the steering wheel will flash pink, prompting you to take over. I examined this just a few occasions whereas driving round 65 mph, however by the point I counted to 5, I needed to look again on the street. I by no means seemed away lengthy sufficient for the sensor to go off. 

What the Super Cruise and Adaptive Cruise Control buttons look like on the 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV.

What the Tremendous Cruise and Adaptive Cruise Management buttons appear like on the 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV.

Regardless of trying greater, the EUV is barely a skosh taller than the EV. Whereas driving it, I didn’t really feel any larger up than in my 2017 automotive. Nevertheless, the EUV does have an improved suspension, that means the drive was much less bumpy on LA’s beat-up freeways. Those that skew extra in the direction of the princess and the pea aspect of the spectrum might discover the suspension adjustments greater than others. It didn’t click on with me till I drove house in my very own automotive.

The front seat of the 2022 Bolt EUV. The seats are slightly wider than in previous Bolts.

The entrance seat of the 2022 Bolt EUV. The seats are barely wider than in earlier Bolts.

Picture: Brittany Levine Beckman / Mashable

The second seat of the EUV has about three more inches of legroom than the EV version. And the sunroof is paired with a shade for if it gets too bright.

The second seat of the EUV has about three extra inches of legroom than the EV model. And the sunroof is paired with a shade for if it will get too brilliant.

Picture: Brittany Levine Beckman / Mashable

The trunk of the 2022 Bolt EUV is basically the same size as the 2022 EV's trunk, but there's more space when you fold the second row of seats down due to the extra legroom there.

The trunk of the 2022 Bolt EUV is principally the identical dimension because the 2022 EV’s trunk, however there’s extra space once you fold the second row of seats down because of the additional legroom there.

Picture: Brittany Levine Beckman / Mashable

Surprisingly, the SUV model will solely be obtainable in front-wheel drive. After I requested why all-wheel drive wasn’t obtainable, I used to be informed not all SUVs have all-wheel drive. True, however nonetheless. If I used to be going to get an SUV, I’d like the choice. All-wheel drive probably isn’t within the playing cards for future EUVs both, Bloss stated. The Tesla Mannequin Y Lengthy-Vary SUV has all-wheel drive, but it surely’s way more costly than the EUV. The Mannequin Y begins at $48,990 and has 326 miles of vary.

A number of different cool odds and ends within the EUV: It connects wirelessly to your telephone for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (yay no extra having to plug in your telephone to get Google Maps and hearken to podcasts!), it has wi-fi charging (however you want a telephone with that characteristic to make the most of the perk), Level 3 fast-charging comes commonplace (I needed to pay additional for that again in 2017), and Chevy will cowl the price of putting in a Stage 2 charger at EUV consumers’ houses. That would prevent wherever from roughly $1,000 to $2,000 (some cities like LA already provide rebates should you set up an electric automotive charger at house). Like different Bolts, it has one-pedal driving, which is able to mechanically gradual the automotive down and cease as you’re taking your foot off the accelerator. However a cool trick on the EUV is it’ll keep on in your subsequent drive. Once you get again within the automotive, it’ll keep in mind you had been in one-pedal drive mode earlier than. 

Would I purchase the EUV? Effectively, I’m one among many Chevy prospects irritated by the November recall of sure 2017-2019 Bolts which have batteries prone to catching hearth. Since then, prospects have gotten a software program replace to scale back battery cost to 90 %, however not a lot else. For somebody with range anxiety, lowering battery capability for months is distressing. Engineers are nonetheless engaged on a everlasting repair, and count on to have that by April. However who is aware of in the event that they’ll meet that focus on date, and till then, prospects have gotten a blended bag of responses after they name Chevrolet customer support, from “We’re engaged on it” to “We could possibly get you a loaner as you wait” to doable trade-in or buyback provides. Piecing collectively the drip-drip-drop of data from customer support calls and Chevy boards on Reddit and elsewhere has been irritating. (Disclosure: I’ve a case open to find out my choices, however particulars have been scant.) Bolts have an 8-year, 100,000-mile guarantee for the battery, which was a clincher for me once I purchased my automotive.

On the finish of the day, I loved my EUV demo. Tremendous Cruise received me over, and I might adore it much more with automated lane adjustments. Whether or not I might purchase one other Bolt will depend on how for much longer this battery recall situation drags out. Chevy wants to indicate prospects that it’ll go above and past for its EV early adopters, after which I’d really feel extra comfy standing behind its first EUV. 

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