Overview & Reviews
There was a time when enticing Americans with any kind of subcompact car -- much less an urban runabout with a footprint at the starting end of the Environmental Protection Agency's definition of "subcompact" -- was a hopeless task for Detroit's automakers. People in a nation of big spaces, big roads, big parking lots and cheap gasoline just weren't interested. But times change, as the arrival of the Chevrolet Spark certainly shows.
Based on a Korean-developed model that once would have been considered simply too small for American drivers, the Chevy Spark makes plenty of sense today for post-recession households and young buyers lucky enough to land that first real job. Chevrolet's entry-level hatchback is stingy with fuel, and its city-friendly dimensions are in tune with our increasingly urban-centric times. Moreover, although it weighs barely more than a ton and is one of the least expensive new cars available, the Spark has the "real car" driving characteristics and feature content that inexpensive economy cars of the past almost universally lacked.
Current Chevrolet Spark
The Chevrolet Spark comes only as a four-door hatchback with front-wheel drive. It's sold in just three trim levels -- LS, 1LT and 2LT -- with almost no stand-alone options (save for an automatic transmission). The base Spark LS provides niceties such as air-conditioning, power windows, a tilt steering wheel, four-speaker audio and a height-adjustable driver seat, as well as safety features that include stability control and knee airbags for front-seat occupants.
Going to the midlevel 1LT brings enticing items like cruise control, remote keyless entry, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, a six-speaker audio system and a 7-inch touchscreen interface with Chevy's MyLink smartphone integration. The top 2LT trim adds exterior and interior cosmetic upgrades plus leather-like upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and heated front seats.
As the starting point of the Chevrolet lineup, the Spark has the brand's smallest engine, a 1.2-liter four-cylinder that generates 84 horsepower and 83 pound-feet of torque. The standard transmission is a five-speed manual, with a continuously variable automatic (CVT) available as an option. Fuel economy approaches 40 mpg on the highway with either transmission, an impressive rating that a few rivals nonetheless exceed.
In reviews of the Chevrolet Spark, we've lauded its appealingly modern design and straightforward controls. Motorcycle-inspired gauges, a conceptual hand-me-down from the larger Sonic, give the Spark an extra injection of style inside. The available 7-inch MyLink touchscreen is a surprisingly high-tech touch for this segment, giving smartphone users all the connectivity they could ask for. Seat comfort is adequate in front, though rear passengers may complain unless they're subcompact themselves.
On the road, the Spark's modest engine output is apparent, but acceleration is generally sufficient to keep up with traffic. Drivers who want a bit more punch are advised to check out a used turbocharged Sonic. In terms of handling, the Spark's minimal weight, short wheelbase and light-touch power steering make for a nimble partner in the cut-and-thrust of city and suburban traffic. Even better, its suspension can soak up a fair amount of abuse before the ride gets jarring or noisy. Braking is confident, too.
Used Chevrolet Spark Models
The current, first-generation Chevrolet Spark debuted for the 2013 model year with a different optional transmission: a four-speed conventional automatic. We found this transmission to be fixated on fuel economy and thus reluctant to downshift unless we floored it. The manual Spark still managed to be a bit more fuel-efficient. In performance testing, the automatic needed about 1.5 more seconds to reach 60 mph, so even with the pedal to the metal, it gave up considerable ground. The CVT replaced it for 2014.
User Reviews:Showing 1 through 10 of 80.00
I have had it for 5 years! - 2015 Chevrolet Spark
By Jim - May 27 - 5:32 pm
I thought I might give a more sensible review as I've now had the car 5 years. I bought a brand new 2015 LS. That's the basic model with a manual transmission. There were several reasons why. I had done a lot of reading and research at the time I was 68 years old. I'm not old old but I'm not young either. I also tend to keep my cars like10 years. So as I age more this car will keep me more mentally alert as I drive. That's an important factor for me. Also I knew what I was fine it's a small basic what I call City car or little work car commuter car. About 70% of the time it's just me in the car. The remaining time there are two adults. I would not recommend the car for a family perhaps if you have one child. At the time when I bought it I worked and I drove it back and forth to work which was only 15 miles each way. I live in South Florida traffic is very chaotic down here it's nice to be able to zip around traffic and find a great parking space because the Chevy spark is so small. I will have the car 6 years in October 2021. I only have 38,000 miles on it and that includes a 3,000 mile road trip. The only repairs I've done I bought a new battery at Walmart which I put in myself I think I paid $79 for that. I replace the tires after 4 years. The tires are not easy to find because they are small I ordered them online and had a local dealer put them in. Tires in South Florida are difficult anyway because of the heat. Other than that the car has been great! When I took it on the road trip on the highway I was kidding over 50 miles an hour I was not using the AC as it was the fall of the year. But great over the road mileage. The paint the hardware has held up pretty good no complaints from me I do keep it waxed because of the sun and the heat down here. I put air in the tires and I changed the oil as needed. If you want a small City car or a commuter car this is the one to get. Sure you could get a little Toyota I know that they're made better they perhaps they last longer they're also about 8,000 more dollars. I just don't think they're worth it I got this thing out the door tax everything for about 10,800. That was in 2015 they're only about a thousand more dollars now. You can't beat it for the value. I would buy again
I love my 2020 Chevrolet Spark - 2020 Chevrolet Spark
By ed campini - April 21 - 5:10 pm
I have the 2020 LS Manual model, have had it for more than a year, and I absolutely love it. It is fun to drive, gets great mileage, and has not caused me any problems at all. I also have a Town Car and and an F350, and believe it or not the Spark is the only vehicle I have that does not require me to have the seat all the way back like my Town Car and Truck. I pull the Spark 4 wheels down behind my motorhome, and I use it to drive around town. This car is an awesome value, I get 38 mpg driving around town, I rarely take it on the highway, but have done that a few times as well, no problems driving at 75 mph. It is a small car, if you want a large car don’t complain the car is small after having bought it. It is a much better value than anything from Toyota, Fiat, Mitsubishi, Honda, or any other small car.
Love it! - 2020 Chevrolet Spark
By sarah gilmer - September 23 - 7:06 pm
My fiance bought this for my birthday for me since I need something reliable to get to my dr appointments. I absolutely love it! I went from a 2000 ford taurus to this. My only thing I dont like is that is dosent like going over 85 mph. Im thankful to have a reliable car
awesome car! - 2015 Chevrolet Spark
By kristen - December 9 - 7:44 pm
I owned a chevy spark for a couple of months i loved it. I was recently in a car accident going 45 i was t-boned, the called rolled a couple times and then flipped upside down. I walked away with a couple scratches, the car was totaled. I would recommend this car to any one looking for a low cost full-efficient and safe car.
Grape Spark Named Vylette - 2015 Chevrolet Spark
By Vylettes owner - November 30 - 10:34 am
I first got the 2013 standard spark in pink almost 3 years ago. When I say standard thats an understatement. The thing didnt have power locks no curse control or usb port. I love the car over all. In the past 2 weeks i upgraded to the grape spark lt and it has all the features I was missing from the pink one. it seems roomier then the 2013. The only problems I have with the 2015 is that the acceleration seems to delay when I press the gas pedel and the usb port keeps changing the settings on my Iphone and when i hit the skip/seek bottle on the stering wheel it changes the radio station that i was on before plugging my phone in. Oh and the bluetooth takes a very long time to sync with my phone. Other then that I love it!
Love my Spark - 2015 Chevrolet Spark
By Kim - November 25 - 11:20 am
This was my first brand new car purchase. I didnt want a car payment, but was tired of having to out money into repairs. I figured if I bought a decent used car I would be paying around $6000 for a car with high mileage. So I started looking for an affordable new car. After a few weeks of research I found the Spark. Great little car. I do a lot of driving, gas mileage is amazing. I average 36-40 mpg. Ive put 11k miles on car in 7 months. No mechanical issues. I did receive a factory recal for the radio but didnt get around to get it done. Its not a race car but it does seem peppy for a little car. I dont romp on it so that probably helps mpg. Took it on 800 mile trip. It was decent ride, the seats are comfortable and the cab room is bigger than what it seems. The back seat is also roomy and comfy for short rides. I did miss cruise control. But I used less than $60 in gas. Bonus. I was concerned about the safety of this small car. But reading reviews it seemed it was good. Ten airbags. Im writing this review after being t-boned at 55mph. Im absolutely astonished how well the Spark held up. Although the car is totaled, its saftey features more than likely saved my life. I will definitely be getting another one.
Lime Green Scream Machine! - 2015 Chevrolet Spark
By Kathy Cowan - November 20 - 8:48 pm
I have owned so many cars, I have lost count. For my money, this one tops the list. Drove like a Ferrari on a long road trip, great gas mileage, and 5 speed is just fun! I have had more people ask me about this car than any other. Very pleased!
the car has no spare tire - 2013 Chevrolet Spark
By James nesbeak - November 17 - 8:42 am
They want five hundred bucks for a spare kit. Got a flat? Wait 90 minutes for a tow truck. If you have the air conditioner on and need to go up a hill you have no power [non-permissible content removed]. Do not buy.
I Love My Spark!!!!!!!! - 2015 Chevrolet Spark
By Meleanor - November 15 - 12:45 am
So Ive only had very used cars in the past, and traded my 2000 Volkswagon Jetta in and bought the Spark, and I Love It!! It drives great, and looks great too. I would recommend this vehicle to anyone.
dont but this car, good gift for a young driver - 2013 Chevrolet Spark
By chris - November 6 - 7:56 pm
very small gas tank, not a lot of room behind a tall driver, hard to drive when windy out, poor acceleration but once up to speed goes good, going up hills is tough on the car, had to have a new engine at 21000 miles on it, but very easy to drive in citiy type settings, easy to park, definetly made for city driving avoid the freeway if possible, i usually take the backroads when i can, oh yeah no trunk space and if you want to fold the back seats down you better be a short person cause if you are not you wont be able to put the seat down behind the driverseat, wish i thought about it before i bought it, stay clear of this car if possible