New & Used Chevrolet Spark: In Depth
Shopping for a new Chevrolet Spark?
GET A FREE PRICE QUOTE
The smallest car that GM sells in the U.S., its Chevrolet Spark is more sophisticated than you would likely expect from a hatchback minicar that's more than a foot shorter than the subcompact Chevy Sonic.
The Spark competes with the Mitsubishi Mirage, the three-door Fiat 500 and MINI Cooper, and the tiny Smart ForTwo and Scion iQ. Other inexpensive three-door hatchbacks may be on the list as well, just due to small size and low price: Honda CR-Z, Hyundai Veloster, and Scion tC. The five-door Spark, though, is far more usable in a far wider array of circumstances than the Scion or Smart--and almost as easy to park. Possibly there's even some comparison tot he Kia Soul "tall wagon" for its cool image and digital connectivity options.
Because it's a five-door hatchback, entry and exit is easier with the Chevrolet Spark--despite its small door openings--than it would be for the even-tinier rear seats of the three-door MINI or Fiat. You can fit four adults into the Spark, though they will sit upright, close, and with the knees of back-seat riders touching the slim front seats. But passengers ride high, so there's little of the vulnerable feeling of more low-slung small cars.
The dashboard is simple, but the Spark comes standard with the Chevrolet MyLink connectivity system, offering apps for Pandora internet radio and Stitcher Smart Radio..
Setting it apart from the tiny Smart ForTwo and Scion iQ, the Spark comes in an array of colors, including several sherbert ice-cream shades: yellow, pink, lime green, and sky blue. For buyers who aren't impressed by size--who want minimal but cheerful wheels to use mostly around town--the little Chevy occupies a niche almost its own.
One note of warning to buyers, however: The first year of Spark, the 2013 model, offered a simple four-speed automatic transmission as a $925 option--but it's so slow that we don't recommend it. If you must have a small car that shifts for you, the continuously variable transmission (CVT) offered for 2014 and later is by far the better choice. The five-speed manual version of the Chevy Spark is the most fun to drive, though.
Chevy offers the Spark in three trim levels, starting at about $13,000. The base LS model comes standard with air conditioning, power windows, rear wiper, trip computer, 15-inch alloy wheels, a flip-forward 60/40 split folding rear seat, and Onstar built in.
The mid-level 1LT model includes power locks, power mirrors, cruise control, an audio system with a 7-inch color touch screen, steering-wheel audio controls, Bluetooth pairing, and satellite radio. The top-of-the-line 2LT level adds different alloy wheels, trim upgrades, and even heated seats. Chevrolet plans to add the GogoLink embedded navigation and real-time traffic application later in the model year.
The 2014 Chevy Spark EV is what our sister site Green Car Reports calls a "compliance car"--an electric car built to satisfy coming California clear-air regulations that either require automakers to sell battery-powered electric cars, or to stop doing business in the state. That means that while you may see a disproportionate volume of media and advertising on the all-electric Spark, you shouldn't pay it a great deal of attention. It's by far the most powerful Spark, and its lack of a transmission delivers the electric power in one single rush of acceleration, but volumes are very low--only about 100 cars a month.