2019 Volkswagen e-Golf vs. 2019 Chevrolet Bolt

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Volkswagen e-Golf are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Chevrolet Bolt doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

The e-Golf has standard whiplash protection, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the whiplash protection system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Bolt doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The e-Golf has a standard Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Bolt doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The e-Golf SEL Premium has standard Maneuver Braking that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Bolt doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

Both the e-Golf and the Bolt have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

The e-Golf’s corrosion warranty is 6 years and unlimited miles longer than the Bolt’s (12/unlimited vs. 6/100,000).

Reliability

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Volkswagen vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Volkswagen 7 places higher in reliability than Chevrolet.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the e-Golf’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Bolt:

e-Golf

Bolt

Front Rotors

11.3 inches

10.9 inches

Rear Rotors

10.7 inches

10.4 inches

The e-Golf stops much shorter than the Bolt:

e-Golf

Bolt

70 to 0 MPH

175 feet

185 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

122 feet

132 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

The e-Golf has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the Bolt; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

For superior ride and handling, the Volkswagen e-Golf has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Chevrolet Bolt has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

The e-Golf has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the e-Golf flat and controlled during cornering. The Bolt’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

The e-Golf has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Bolt doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the e-Golf’s wheelbase is 1.1 inches longer than on the Bolt (103.5 inches vs. 102.4 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the e-Golf is 1.7 inches wider in the front and .4 inches wider in the rear than on the Bolt.

The e-Golf SE handles at .86 G’s, while the Bolt LT pulls only .78 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis

The design of the Volkswagen e-Golf amounts to more than styling. The e-Golf has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .27 Cd. That is significantly lower than the Bolt (.31) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the e-Golf get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

The e-Golf has 1.3 inches more front shoulder room, .2 inches more rear headroom and 1.1 inches more rear shoulder room than the Bolt.

Cargo Capacity

The e-Golf has a much larger trunk with its rear seat up than the Bolt with its rear seat up (22.8 vs. 16.9 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

The e-Golf’s front and rear power windows all open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Bolt’s passenger windows don’t close automatically.

If the windows are left open on the e-Golf the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows with the driver’s door power window switch. The driver of the Bolt can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The e-Golf’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Bolt’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the e-Golf SEL Premium has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Bolt doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The e-Golf’s standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The Bolt doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

Both the e-Golf and the Bolt offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the e-Golf has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Bolt doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

The e-Golf SEL Premium’s Parking Steering Assistant can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Bolt doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations

The Golf was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 13 of the last 13 years. The Bolt hasn’t been picked since 2017.

Motor Trend selected the Golf as their 2015 Car of the Year. The Bolt has never been chosen.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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