Best & Worst Chevrolet Bolt Years

I've analyzed every Chevrolet Bolt from the year it was launched (2017) until the current model and categorized the best & worst years in this guide.

In this comprehensive article, I’ll break down all Chevrolet Bolt generations, revealing the best Chevrolet Bolt years to buy and the worst Bolt years to avoid.

Drawing on insights from authoritative sources like the NHTSA, Consumer Reports, and Edmunds, we’ve meticulously compiled data to guide you through Bolt’s highs and lows.

Our analysis is grounded in real-world feedback, safety ratings, owner satisfaction scores, common problems, recalls, and average resale values of each Chevrolet Bolt model year, ensuring you receive informed and balanced advice.

Let’s dive right in!

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Table of ContentsShow

Chevrolet Bolt Generations

The Chevrolet Bolt marked its debut as a beacon of innovation in the electric vehicle (EV) landscape. Launched with the 2017 model year, it promised a revolution with its impressive range, spacious interior for its class, and user-friendly technology.

This vehicle set a new standard for affordable EVs, aiming to make electric transportation accessible to a wider audience.

Here are all the Chevrolet Bolt Generations from 2017 to the present.

1st generation2017-Present

Understanding the changes and enhancements between generations is crucial. Especially for a model like the Bolt, these shifts can significantly influence a buyer’s decision.

Chevrolet Bolt Best, Neutral, and Worst Years

When determining the Chevrolet Bolt’s best, neutral, and worst years, we dive deep into various factors. These include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Owner-reported reliability (surveys)
  • Annual maintenance costs
  • Safety ratings
  • Consumer Reports reliability scores
  • Consumer Reports owner satisfaction scores
  • NHTSA recalls, investigations, and complaints
  • Edmunds owner ratings
  • JD Power owner ratings
  • Kelley Blue Book (KBB) owner ratings
  • VehicleHistory owner ratings
  • owner ratings

Here’s a glance at a graph showcasing combined ratings from the mentioned sources, illustrating the highs and lows across Bolt’s lifecycle.

Chevrolet Bolt Car Smite Score Combined Overall Score

Next up, a table breaks down the Chevrolet Bolt model years into the best, neutral, and worst categories based on our analysis.

GenerationBest YearsNeural YearsWorst Years
1st generation2017

By “Neutral Years,” we mean model years that didn’t particularly shine or falter significantly in our criteria, thus not listed here for the Chevrolet Bolt.

Factors such as NHTSA recalls play a significant role in our rankings. The more complaints and recalls a car has the more its reliability dips.

Let’s dig into the specifics of the best, neutral, and worst years for the Chevrolet Bolt.

Best & Worst Years for Chevrolet Bolt 1st Generation (2017-Present)

Since its introduction in 2017, the first-generation Chevrolet Bolt has made significant waves as a trailblazing electric vehicle (EV). It was designed to offer an appealing blend of long-range electric mobility, practical usability, and accessible technology.

2017, 2018, 2022, and 2023 are the best years for the first-generation Chevrolet Bolt, while the years to avoid span between 2019 and 2021.

The Best Years: 2017, 2018, 2022, 2023

The best years for the Chevrolet Bolt, namely 2017, 2018, 2022, and 2023, are distinguished by their impressive combination of performance, reliability, and technological advancements.

The 2017 and 2018 Chevy Bolt models introduced a potent electric motor delivering 200 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque. It provides instant acceleration with a single-speed transmission that translates to a seamless driving experience.

Notably, the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt boasted an EPA-estimated range of 238 miles on a single charge, which improved up to 260 miles in the 2023 model.

The trim levels offered a variety of technological and safety features, including an intuitive infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, autonomous emergency braking, and lane-keeping assist.

By 2022 and 2023, the Bolt benefited from interior enhancements, a more sophisticated infotainment system with better connectivity, and improvements in battery technology that not only maintained its range but also improved charging efficiency.

Despite its innovative strides, early models like the 2017 faced issues such as battery defects and steering rack failures.

The Worst Years: 2019, 2020, 2021

The years 2019, 2020, and 2021 are marked as the worst for the first-generation Chevrolet Bolt primarily due to significant safety concerns.

These models were notably impacted by recalls related to potential high-voltage battery fires when charging to full or nearly full capacity, a critical issue that affected consumer confidence and the model’s overall safety perception.

The 2019 Bolt, in particular, faced additional challenges with a recall for insufficient coating on the rear brake caliper pistons, which could diminish braking performance and increase the risk of accidents.

The recurrence of such serious issues over these years not only highlighted potential reliability concerns but also emphasized the importance of rigorous quality control and the need for swift manufacturer response to ensure customer safety and satisfaction.

See NHTSA 2019, 2020, 2021 Chevrolet Bolt recalls and complaints.

Chevrolet Bolt Resale Values

Here’s a snapshot of the Chevrolet Bolt’s average resale values over the years in a concise graph.

Chevrolet Bolt Average List Price


As we wrap up our exploration of the Chevrolet Bolt, it’s clear that the 2017, 2018, 2022, and 2023 models stand out as the most reliable and feature-rich model years, offering the best blend of performance, technology, and safety.

Conversely, due to their recall history and safety concerns, the 2019 to 2021 Chevrolet Bolt models are the worst years to avoid.

Do you own a Chevrolet Bolt, and if so, what has your experience been like?

Share your thoughts in the comments!

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Jonathan Eckert

Jonathan is an ASE-certified mechanic with over 22 years of hands-on experience in the automotive industry. His expertise spans a wide range of vehicles, but he specializes in diagnosing and repairing Japanese cars. His previous workplace highly commended his meticulous attention to detail, and that's exaclty what he uses at Car Smite to craft the best guides for each purpose.