The Chevrolet Spark is a small city car that offers a lot of technology and safety for not a whole lot of financial outlay. Completely redesigned in 2016, it dropped the electric powertrain option in 2017 and other than minor modifications to trim offerings it enters 2018 largely unchanged.
The interior is cheerful and basic although much improved over the pre-2016 version. Occupants in both the front and rear rows will find adequate head and legroom although the rear is best suited for shorter passengers on longer trips. Cargo space is smaller than on most competitors although the seats do fold down. The high level of standard and available technology items are class-leading and while the cabin can’t be accused of being opulent the quality of the plastics and switchgear is good and at least on par with other competitors in this class.
The Spark offers a decent level of entertainment from behind the wheel, its tiny dimensions and sharp responses also make it ideal for city driving. The brakes are sharp and the steering is accurate without becoming fidgety at faster speeds. The ride can be a bit bouncy over rougher surfaces and the cabin does allow a fair amount of engine and road noise through but this is most apparent in highway driving and other small hatchbacks exhibit similar traits. It remains at its best in the city where its tight turning circle and eager nature make it a great daily commuter.
The Spark is available with a 1.4-liter 4-cylinder engine, it produces 98 horsepower and 94 lb-ft of torque which goes to the front wheels through either a 5-speed manual or continuously variable transmission (CVT). The average consumption figures using either transmission are very similar with both claiming an average consumption figure of 33 mpg. The CVT transmission also offers two settings that simulate either low or high gear ratios.
Acceleration is enthusiastic between traffic lights but it tapers of sharply as speeds rise and 60 mph takes around 12-seconds. Highway overtaking maneuvers will need some pre-planning to be carried out successfully but this car is not intended for long distance cruising.
The Chevrolet Spark is available in LS, 1LT, 2LT and Activ trim configurations with the CVT automatic available on all.
The LS comes equipped with a rearview camera, W-Fi hotspot, 7-inch MyLink Infotainment with USB and Bluetooth connectivity and a 4-speaker audio system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. A full complement of airbags, traction control, hill start assist and a tire pressure monitoring system are also included.
1LT trim adds keyless entry, cruise control, Sirius satellite radio, fog lamps, steering wheel controls, theft deterrent system, upgraded 6-speaker audio system and alloy wheels instead of the standard steel items found on the LS.
2LT trim includes all of the 1LT items and offers a 3-spoke leather-wrapped steering wheel, chrome moldings, heated front seats, rear park assist and an enhanced driver information display center.
A power sunroof is available on 1LT and 2LT trim levels and a Driver Confidence Package can be optioned on the 2LT automatic which includes forward collision alert and lane departure warning
The Activ Trim includes 1LT trim items and adds a luggage rack, 3-spoke leather-trimmed steering wheel, unique 15-inch alloy wheels and leatherette seats with heating for driver and front passenger. It also features unique exterior body moldings and fascia.
The Chevy Spark offers a high level of safety and technology options and copes with the demands of tight city streets and narrow parking spaces with ease. Interior space is good up front although trunk space trails the competition. Safety levels are bolstered with 10 airbags and available collision warning systems making the Spark a strong competitor in its segment.