Weeks before it shows up at dealerships, the Chevrolet Bolt was just named the 2017 Car of the Year by Motor Trend.
Pam Fletcher, General Motors’ electric vehicle chief, and North American President Alan Batey, took the award during a ceremony marking the start of the annual Los Angeles Auto Show.
Other finalist for the 2017 Car of the Year were: Audi A4, Cadillac CT6, Chrysler Pacifica, Genesis G90, Jaguar XE, Porsche 91, Tesla Model S 60/75, and Volvo S90.
The Bolt has been recognized by Motor Trend for a set of features, with one of them being its EPA rating of 238 miles per charge, which is nearly three times the range of most all-electric vehicles on the market. The only exceptions for now are the Tesla Model S and Model X for longer range until the Model 3 comes to market in about a year. The Bolt is also being recognized for its low cost for the long range – with a base prices of $37,495 before factoring in a $7,500 federal tax credit and state incentives as available.
The Bolt would have been a strong contender even if it didn’t have a long-range battery propulsion system, according to Motor Trend’s jury. Motor Trend thinks that it’s a world-class small car that offers smoothness, quietness, and instant-on torque provided by the electric motor. “The ride is firm and sporty, but transmitted road noise is very well damped,” according to Motor Trend.
In other award categories, Motor Trend named the new Mercedes-Benz GLC as SUV of the Year. The newly redesigned Ford Super Duty picked up a trophy as Motor Trend’s Truck of the Year.
As for past plug-in winners acknowledged by Motor Trend, the Tesla Model S took Car of the Year for 2013 and the Chevrolet Volt took the top honor for 2011.
This morning, the Bolt was named one of the top three finalists for the 2017 North American Car of the Year award, which will be presented in January. The Bolt has also been nominated as one of five finalists for Green Car Journal’s Green Car of the Year award. The winner will be announced Thursday morning at the L.A. Auto Show.