2017 Chevrolet Bolt Gets Top Safety Pick from the IIHS Despite One Poor Result

Only days after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration published the results for the Tesla Model X electric SUV, another battery-powered A-lister is put through its paces, this time by the IIHS.
2017 Chevrolet Bolt IIHS crash test 4 photos
Photo: YouTube screenshot
2017 Chevrolet Bolt IIHS crash test2017 Chevrolet Bolt IIHS crash test2017 Chevrolet Bolt IIHS crash test
The Model X came out as the safest vehicle ever tested by the government organization, which is the result Tesla officials were at least hoping for, if not even expecting. Being one of the few purposely-built EVs out there meant that the Model X could make use of the space vacated by removing the engine and turn it into effective crumple zones.

The lower position of the battery which is sandwiched inside the floor gives rigidity to the frame, while also increasing the vehicle's stability. This layout is going to be reproduced on all further EVs, and there is one on the market that already does it.

General Motors built up the hype around its 2017 Chevrolet Bolt ahead of its launch so much, we were starting to fear it wouldn't live up to expectations. However, with a maximum range of 238 miles, decent dynamic performance, and a practical hatchback design, the bowtie electron eater delivered everything that was promised. Except for the high volumes, maybe.

Independent reviews covered pretty much everything there was to know about the Bolt, but nobody could actually afford to spare a few cars and have them trashed in the name of safety. Not to mention missing the necessary equipment.

The IIHS was more than happy to oblige, and so it put the newly launched EV to the test. The Bolt came out victorious earning "good ratings" in all five of the Institute's crashworthiness tests - small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraints.

Since the Bolt also has a front crash prevention system, that meant it came out of the trials with a TOP SAFETY PICK rating. The only thing standing between itself and a TOP SAFETY PICK+ were, believe it or not, its poor headlights. The report says that "the Bolt is available only with poor-rated headlights. They provide fair to good visibility but produce excessive glare for oncoming drivers."

In the end, it's a favorable result for GM's electric hatchback, and one that can be turned into a TOP SAFETY PICK+ with ease if Chevrolet decides to give the Bolt a facelift. A new headlight design should take care of it.

Small overlap:

Moderate overlap:

Side crash:

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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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