2022 Chevrolet Spark

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2022 Chevrolet Spark Review: City Slicker

These days, it seems like cars are just getting bigger and bigger, with the exception of tiny city tykes like the Chevy Spark. The current BMW 3 Series is bigger than the first 5 Series was, and with the masses flocking to crossovers and SUVs, it's only natural for manufacturers to produce even bigger cars in order to keep up with the competition. However, some people still need something small, light, and easy to park, and the Spark fits the bill perfectly. It's got a 1.4-liter naturally aspirated engine that doesn't even produce 100 horsepower or 100 lb-ft of torque, instead offering up just 98 hp and 94 lb-ft; but, in a subcompact that just needs to be easily maneuverable in the city and light on gas, this is perfect. Still, it's difficult to ignore slightly bigger alternatives, especially considering their better performance. So, is the Spark a relic or does it still belong with us? There's only one way to find out.

Read in this review:

  • Exterior Design 6 /10
  • Performance 6 /10
  • Fuel Economy 9 /10
  • Interior & Cargo 6 /10
  • Infotainment & Features 8 /10
  • Reliability 8 /10
  • Safety 7 /10
  • Value For Money 6 /10
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2022 Chevrolet Spark Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2021 Spark?

Just like last year, Chevrolet has hardly changed a thing on the aging Spark and the model has been soldiering on mostly unchanged since its comprehensive refresh in 2019. Three new paint colors - Crimson, Blue Glow, and Nitro Yellow - join the palette this year, and three others - Passion Fruit, Caribbean Blue, and Toasted Marshmallow - fall away. Other than that, it's business as usual for the 2022 Spark.

Pros and Cons

  • Affordable price
  • Easily maneuverable
  • Light on gas
  • Striking styling
  • Options are cheap
  • All but top trim are seriously under-equipped
  • Engine is underpowered
  • CVT is indecisive

What's the Price of the 2022 Chevrolet Spark?

The cheapest model in the lineup is the manual LS, which has an MSRP of $13,600 before a $995 destination charge. The next trim, the 1LT, has a base price of $15,500. The Activ retails for $16,600 while the top 2LT trim has an asking price of $17,000. Opting for the CVT over the five-speed manual adds $1,100 to any trim. Fully loaded, the most expensive Chevrolet Spark has a price of around $22,000.

Best Deals on 2022 Chevrolet Spark

2022 Chevrolet Spark Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
1.4L Inline-4 Gas
5-Speed Manual
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
1.4L Inline-4 Gas
5-Speed Manual
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
1.4L Inline-4 Gas
5-Speed Manual
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
1.4L Inline-4 Gas
5-Speed Manual
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
See All 2022 Chevrolet Spark Trims and Specs

Handling and Driving Impressions

What the Chevy Spark lacks in power and torque, it makes up for with low weight and a short wheelbase. The steering is light at low speeds - which, let's be honest, is always - but well-weighted, with surprisingly high levels of feedback and communication, making it great for parking and inspiring confidence on the freeway. The brakes are also full of feel and easy to modulate and stopping power is adequate for the weight of the car. But what about ride quality? The suspension is comfortable and compliant enough, but because this is a small car with tiny tires, mid-corner bumps can unsettle it. Overall, it's comfortable enough, smooth enough, and agile enough for the city. However, at highway speeds, there's plenty of drone from the little motor. That is more down to the cost-saving, narrow, lightly insulated door panels and cabin than an overly harsh engine, but it's the only real complaint to note - it's also to be expected for a car that is more suited to city driving than high revs. Thus, if you're going to do a lot of freeway stuff, it's worth going for a test drive in this little automobile to see if you can live with the intrusive noise.

Verdict: Is the 2022 Chevrolet Spark A Good car?

Considering the Spark's pricing, it's not a bad car and does exactly what it's meant to. It's ideal for student drivers and those residing in congested cities, but for pretty much anyone else in the USA, the Spark is outclassed by most of the competition. It's possibly a little too small to be anything more than a runabout, the CVT is frustratingly annoying and indecisive, and the engine is severely underpowered. The car's low curb weight helps, but the tin-can feeling never really leaves you, especially when the car hasn't been fully rated by any local crash-test agency. Another drawback is the lack of advanced driver aids and the nonsensical decision to limit those that are available to the most expensive trim. It's not bad to drive, it looks cool, and the infotainment system is pretty good. But for anyone looking for something more than just self-propelled transportation, the Spark falls short. However, there's not much else in this segment, and considering the Mitsubishi Mirage is similarly priced, the Chevy Spark gets a rating as the best of a bad bunch.

What Chevrolet Spark Model Should I Buy?

If you're going to get a cheap car like this, you may as well maximize safety and comfort by opting for the top trim. Obviously, this requires more than just paying for the standard configuration, as the abovementioned assistance package is optional and forces you to pay an additional $1,100 for the CVT automatic transmission to get it. However, as a bonus on the 2LT, you get leatherette upholstery, proper alloy wheels, keyless entry and ignition, heated power mirrors, SiriusXM satellite radio, and an upgraded driver info display. Along with rear parking sensors, this is the best version of the Spark.

2022 Chevrolet Spark Comparisons

Mitsubishi Mirage Mitsubishi
Nissan Versa Sedan CarBuzz

2022 Chevrolet Spark vs Mitsubishi Mirage

The Mitsubishi Mirage proves that you can do worse in this class. Starting at $14,295, it's more expensive than the Spark and in exchange for the price premium, it offers better fuel efficiency and a class-leading 10-year/100,000-mile drivetrain warranty. However, packing only 78 hp, progress is glacial and its lack of power and high levels of noise and vibration make it a city-only car that is unsuitable for highway use. Add to that all the cheap plastics and tinny construction and there is very little to recommend the Mirage. It matches the Spark's infotainment offering and offers a reasonable level of standard features and surprising cargo-carrying ability, but that is not enough to make up for the lackluster performance and unrefined driving experience.

See Mitsubishi Mirage Review

2022 Chevrolet Spark vs Nissan Versa Sedan

It's not a hatchback, but the Nissan Versa offers surprising value for money by being much more spacious than the Spark and having a proper trunk, for not much more money. Starting at less than $15,000, the far more powerful 122-hp 1.6-liter engine is a major draw card, as are the driver-assistance features that include cruise control, forward-collision warning, pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, rear automatic braking, and high-beam assist - all standard on the base S spec. Add to that a very useful 14.7-cu-ft trunk and the Nissan adds up to a lot more car for not a lot more money. Unless you absolutely must have a pint-sized hatchback, the Versa takes this one.

See Nissan Versa Sedan Review
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