2021 Chevy Bolt Premier Is The Best BEV Value In America, But Only At This Price
Chevrolet’s marking description for the 2021 Bolt battery-electric vehicle (BEV) is “Affordable Electric Car.” That statement is both true and also false. At its sticker price, the Bolt is among the worst vehicle deals in America. However, after the steep discounts Chevy and its dealers are offering, it is hands-down the best BEV value one can buy today. Maybe the best value period under $26K.
Why We Love The Bolt
We are testing a new Chevy Bolt today and there are many things we love about the Bolt. We love 2021 Chevy Bolt for its real-world range of around 200 miles in winter. This usable range is on par with the customer cost of a new Mustang Mach-E or a new Standard Range Tesla Model Y.
The Bolt is also a blast to drive in suburban, urban, and even highway settings. We’ve tested the Bolt many times since its launch in 2016, and today, in 2021, the Bolt is still a great compact hatchback car. Its abundant torque can spin its tires in dry cold weather when underway. The Chevy Bolt feels zippy, not too tippy, and we love the ride.
The Chevy Bolt also feels “biggish” inside when you are the driver or a front seat passenger. There is room for a college move-in if you drop the back seats, and the rear seats work fine for two kids. The Bolt is a well-laid out vehicle in all regards.
We also think the Bolt Premier’s infotainment system is one of the best on the market at its discounted price point. Its driver information display is perfect. It gives you what you need, is easy to adjust, and it keeps your eyes forward. No looking down and to the right like in a Model 3. Would we like a full-color head-up display like the one in the RAV4 Prime? Sure, but do we want to pay for it? Nope.
The center display is also perfect. Large, clear, and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay work perfectly. Do we wish it was a wireless system? Sure, but do we want to pay for it? Nope. Add in fantastic headlights and high beams and the content of the Bolt is competitive with anything in the sub-30K category. But the Bolt’s MSRP is over $44K! So let’s talk about price in some detail.
Chevy Bolt Real-World Pricing and Discounts
The Bolt Premier offers two pricey options packages, The Infotainment Package and the Driver Confidence II Package. Click those boxes and throw in a fun color, and the Bolt Premier has a sticker price including destination fees of $44,180. That price is well into the range of the SR Tesla Model Y and base Mustang Mach-E (after its federal tax incentive). Suffice it to say, we don’t see the Bolt Premier at $44K as a “good value.” In fact, that price is what one might call laughable given today’s other BEV options.
However, Chevy isn’t actually charging people $44K to drive home in new Bolt Premiers. The discounting is absolutely crazy. For example, we configured a Bolt Premier on Chevy’s configurator a few times, and “Total Cash Allowances” of $5K or more were popping up. This is while you are home in your PJs just flirting with the idea of buying a Bolt. The actual discounts at dealers in my area are literally triple what GM is offering.
The best deal on a new Bolt Premier we found with about 1 minute of looking was at Quirk Chevrolet. The customer cost was just $23,735! In New England, searching for new EV deals is easy on the Green Energy Consumers Alliance Drive Green webpage. The discount was an astounding $20,000 including the state rebate. Pull out the rebate, and the discount is still a whopping $17,500. That is a breathtaking amount of discounting for a vehicle of any type. Three other dealers in the Boston Metro area have Bolt Premiers with a customer cost around $26K. This is before you even negotiate.
At $26K, the Bolt Premier is the best battery-electric vehicle deal in America. Maybe the best deal on any BEV ever offered anyplace on Earth. We can’t overstate how much car this is for $26K. Factor in the savings on energy and maintenance you can expect from a BEV, and the Bolt simply crushes the total cost of ownership models for cars like the ICE-powered Corolla, Civic, and Elantra.
The 2021 Bolt Premier still feels new, modern, and cool when we drive it. “Cool” in perspective. What other car its size and with its capabilities is cooler at this cost point? We can’t name a single one.
Chevy’s “all-electric future is now” campaign started over a year ago. So far, it has been press releases, teaser images, promises of things to come, and zero new battery-electric vehicles for American market shoppers. However, if you want an “affordable” battery-electric vehicle right now, the Chevy Bolt is hands-down the best value. If your price point for a new BEV is under $26K why are you still reading? Go buy one!
John Goreham is a long-time New England Motor Press Association member and recovering engineer. Following his engineering program, John also completed a marketing program at Northeastern University and worked with automotive component manufacturers. In addition to Torque News, John's work has appeared in print in dozens of American newspapers and he provides reviews to many vehicle shopping sites. You can follow John on Twitter, and view his credentials at Linkedin