First Drive

First Drive: 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV is the best car if you have a highway-heavy commute

The Chevrolet Bolt EUV enters the market for the 2022 model year.

Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

Traffic is back. During the height of lockdown last year the roads were empty and it was smooth sailing wherever you needed to go, but that's over (thank goodness).

While I missed traffic for a while, I'm thinking that was an anomaly. Now, it's an annoyance again — but General Motors (GM) has the answer. It's called Super Cruise, and it's been around for a few years but on a very limited basis: namely, in the Cadillac CT6.

That's Cadillac's flagship sedan, which GM doesn't sell terribly many of and it's been a waiting game to see which vehicles Super Cruise would head to next. First was the new 2021 Cadillac Escalade, which has been heavily advertised but also costs more than $100,000 (and Super Cruise has extremely limited availability because of production and supplier issues).

2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUVThe 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV has more cargo space and rear-seat legroom than the Bolt EV. Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

But now there's the new 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV, which is a new version of the Bolt EV that I drove last year, complete with a longer wheelbase, refreshed look, and that commuter killer app: Super Cruise.

Forget the car for a minute and let's talk Super Cruise. Standard adaptive or radar cruise control uses cameras and a radar sensor to determine the speed of the car in front of you and your distance to it. With that information, the car can automatically slow to match the speed of that car and keep you from driving into it.

The advantage here is that you don't need to use the pedals at all when adaptive cruise is activated - all you need to do is steer. This is great for stop-and-go traffic, because the car handles all the tedious braking and accelerating, while you can focus on your true crime podcast or whatever and just steer the car. But, you still have to steer. That's where Super Cruise comes in.

2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUVThe 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV has Super Cruise as an option. Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

GM has taken laser-scans of just about all of the limited-access highways (think roads with exit ramps and without stoplights) in the United States. With that information, its cars fitted with the Super Cruise feature can actually STEER THEMSELVES down the highway. That's right, you don't have to touch the steering wheel at all when you're driving (unless the system has an issue like bad weather or particularly bad sun glare).

It really works, too. I tested it in the new 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV on the highways around Los Angeles last week and it was magnificent.

When you're on an eligible highway (basically all interstates plus some other major thoroughfares), a tiny steering wheel image illuminates on the dash indicating that the system is ready to go. Press a button on the steering wheel and... you're off. A large strip at the top of the wheel illuminates green when the system is operating and you can take your hands off the wheel entirely.

It steers for you, keeping you centered in your lane while the adaptive cruise control maintains speed. It's the only system on the market today that offers true hands-free driving.

2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUVThe cabin of the 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV is spacious. Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

Now this isn't "self-driving" or "autonomous" driving. You're still required to pay attention to what's going on and no watching Harry Potter on your phone while you do it. There's a small sensor that looks at your eyes to make sure you're keeping them on the road at all times. No napping allowed!

But the car takes over 85 percent of the work of actually getting you down the road and you just keep an eye on anything weird that might be going on up ahead. Super Cruise can't do anything about deer wandering in front of you, nor will it handle people moving into your lane from the side — it only looks forward, so you're on your own for weird things like that.

But the system really, truly works and that means the Chevrolet Bolt EUV is by far the best car on the market for driving to work if you have a highway-heavy commute. Oh, and it's all-electric and should get somewhere around 250 miles of range, all for around $43,000 (the federal tax credit is gone for all GM vehicles, unfortunately).

Though my concerns about on-the-go charging remain (see my review of the Chevy Bolt EV last year for more), as a second car or commuter car, the Bolt EUV is the best option on the market simply because of how good Super Cruise is. It's a game changer, and I'm thrilled that it's coming to more cars.

By the way, Super Cruise is coming to theGMC Sierra for 2022, too.

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The Denali Ultimate trim is new for 2023.

GMC

The GMC Yukon has always been a luxurious family hauler with beefy capability, but it moved even more upmarket in recent years with added tech and upscale interior materials. GMC just announced an even cushier version of the SUV for the 2023 model year. The Yukon Ultimate Denali gets unique styling touches and upgrades that take the already plush SUV to another level.

2023 GMC Yukon Denali Ultimate22-inch wheels are standard GMC

The Denali Ultimate gets exclusive upgrades over other trims that include 22-inch wheels and chrome accents outside. The full-size SUV just got a complete redesign for 2021, which brought updated boxy styling, and a sleek look, so there are no additional exterior changes for 2023.

GMC offers three engines in the standard Yukon, but only two make it into the Ultimate. The standard powertrain includes a 6.2-liter V8 that produces 420 horsepower. A 3.0-liter turbodiesel is also available that makes 277 horsepower and a whopping 460 pound-feet of torque. A ten-speed automatic transmission is standard for all engines, and four-wheel drive is available.

Inside, the Ultimate comes with Alpine Umber full-grain leather upholstery with 16-way power front seats and massaging. Trim-exclusive contrast stitching and aluminum trim accent the space, and the top model gets an 18-speaker Bose audio system with stainless steel speaker grilles.

2023 GMC Yukon Denali UltimateGrained leather upholstery and upscale interior finishes are standard. GMC

A 10.2-inch infotainment touchscreen comes standard, and offers Google services built in. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also standard, along with wireless phone charging. A Wi-Fi hotspot and Amazon Alexa functionality are available. GMC also offers Super Cruise hands-free driving system in the Denali Ultimate.

GMC hasn’t detailed pricing for the new SUV yet, but we expect it to start at a premium over the standard Denali, which starts at just over $70,000.

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The Z06 isn't on sale yet, but it's already raising money for charities.

Chevrolet

Just a couple years ago, the Chevrolet Corvette got a major overhaul that completely changed its design, personality, and performance. The car moved to a mid-engine layout for the first time, and its V8 produces thundering performance at a reasonable price. As it has always done with the Corvette, Chevy's laying out special editions for the car, and one of the first in the new generation will be the 2023 Corvette Z06. An early Z06 sold at a Barrett-Jackson auction this weekend to raise money for charity, and the final dollar amount crested the $1 million mark.

2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06The car raised $1 million at the Palm Beach Auction. Chevrolet

The car crossed the block at the Palm Beach Auction, which took place on April 9. It's the first production model of the car, which builds on the mid-engine eighth-generation Corvette. It's powered by a 670-horsepower 5.5-liter flat plane-crank V8, which sends its power to the rear wheels through an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The engine revs much higher than a standard V8 and features a distinct sound. Chevy says the Z06's engine offers the most horsepower of any naturally aspirated V8 on sale.

2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06Rick Hendrick was the winning bidder for the car. 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06

The car's $1 million price tag raised money for the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. The organization supports training of educators at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and Predominantly Black Institutions (PBI). This auction, together with the first retail version of the car auctioned earlier this year, brings the Corvette's total charity haul to $4.6 million in 2022.

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