Chevy Beat Tesla in the Race to Get 200 Miles of Range Without Breaking the Bank

If you're in the market for a car, there are some good reasons not to buy Chevrolet's new Bolt EV. Maybe you insist on leather seats, take long road trips to the middle of nowhere or have a boat to tow around. If not, GM's new long-range electric vehicle will be at the very least entirely sufficient for your needs. At best, it will be a giddy surprise.It wasn't supposed to be this way. The first affordable electric car to top 200 miles on a single charge was expected to be a vehicle of compromise, a bundle of "buts." Indeed, the most impressive things about the Bolt are the attributes it lacks. The car is not tiny, boring or slow. And it handily topped its goal, coming in with an EPA-estimated 238-mile range, almost exactly the distance between New York and Boston or Washington, D.C.It is not, however, a looker. "Pragmatic" is probably the best adjective to describe the car. It looks like a stubby pod, cluttered by a smattering of busy design cues — swooping creases, bits of black plastic, and too many lights. The odd design works like clown-car magic on the interior, however. Chevy managed to peg the driver's seat high for a commanding view of the road, while leaving plenty of headroom for tall people in the front seats and in back.The Bolt's design is neither futuristic nor timeless, but that's likely the point. GM has boldly designed electric cars in the past, and it didn't go so well. The Bolt simply looks like a lot of other contemporary cars — a little Buick Encore, a little Honda HR-V and a dash of BMW i3. The shape grows on you. It's athletic — small without being wimpy, sturdy without being bloated.  Continue reading...

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