The Buick Velite 7 and the upcoming 2022 Chevy Bolt EUV have much in common. They’re both all-electric crossovers of almost identical size. They’re both built on the EV-specific BEV2 platform. And there were developed as sibling projects by GM. When it launches this summer, at the same time as the refreshed 2022 Chevy Bolt EV, the Bolt EUV will be sold in North America, Brazil and South Korea. By contrast, the Velite 7 is sold only in China, where it is also built. Despite the fact that the two vehicles are reskinned versions of each other, there are many differences in their design, as we will explore in today’s GM Authority side-by-side comparison.
The most prominent gesture at the front of the Velite 7 is the sizing of its Tri-Shield emblem, which is larger than the Bow Tie on the Bolt EUV. In all other ways, the Buick is more subdued that the Chevy.
The light bar is narrower, the air intakes and supplementary lights at either side are much thinner, and the treatment above the lower front intake is more conservative. Of the two vehicles, the Chevrolet is the one with more visual flair, at lest at the front.
From the front three-quarter view, it becomes apparent that the lower front fascia of the Buick juts forward noticeably compared with the Chevy. But as we will see shortly, the figures do not support this. Instead, the effect is created by the fact that the other elements at the front of the Velite 7 draw back from its leading edge. On the Bolt EUV, it is almost as if each part of the car is trying to be further forward than all the others, with the result that none of them dominates to the extent found on the Buick.
Side profile views show that both models have the same general shape of their greenhouses. The door creasing is more pronounced on the Buick, particularly on the rear door. Despite the rear door windows being the same shape, the C-pillar treatment on the Velite 7 strongly emphasizes the shape of the window, which the Chevy attempts to hide. That’s also true of the C-pillar treatment: though both the Buick and the Chevy have a floating roof design, the execution is completely different. There’s also the matter of the DLO (window trim): it’s black on the Bolt EUV, and chrome on the Velite 7. Finally, the side profile also shows that the lower rear fascia is more prominent on the EUV.
The general effect of this, plus the front fascia design mentioned earlier, seems to make the Buick look longer than the Chevy, and for the Chevy to look taller than the Buick. In reality, the vehicles are almost exactly the same height (Buick 63.7 inches, Chevy 63.6 inches), and the Bolt EUV is 1.7 inches longer, at 169.5 inches compared with 167.8 inches for the Buick Velite 7. Since the two cars have an identical wheelbase of 105.3 inches, the length discrepancy is accounted for entirely by the Chevy’s bumper cover treatment.
The rear three-quarter view once again emphasizes the Buick’s more extreme door creasing / surface treatment, once again making it look both longer and lower than the Chevy. Several elements allow this to happen: the narrow light bar spanning the entire width of the rear end, the much wider black cladding area under the liftgate, and the fact that the liftgate itself does not contain the license plate. In contrast, the liftgate of the Chevy has been designed to carry the license plate.
Furthermore, the C-pillar treatment mentioned earlier draws attention to the top of the rear window, while that of the Buick takes the eye away from it. Also check out the differences in surface treatment of the liftgate. Meanwhile, the Chevy has a visible (faux) skid plate, while the Buick does not.
In general, the Chevy design seems to “push up” the tail end of the car by adding many verticals missing on the Buick. It’s worth repeating here that the vehicles in fact differ in height by only one tenth of an inch.
The greater modesty of the Buick design once again becomes clear at the tail end, where the Velite 7 has what can be described as a “simpler” design than the Bolt EUV. Both aesthetics look practical, but that of the Chevrolet seems to be more driven by a sense of style.