The Spark is the newest and smallest offering from General Motors' biggest brand: Chevrolet. The Spark is a five-door city car intended to deliver fun and value to the minicar segment, while also offering more space than similarly priced rides.
For the latest year, the Spark lineup expands with the addition of an all-electric Spark EV model.
The Spark does battle with other minicars like the Fiat 500, smart fortwo and Scion iQ, but it features a five-door configuration more common in the next segment up in terms of size, the subcompact segment. Still, Spark is more than a foot shorter than Sonic, even if it does stretch about three feet longer than the diminutive fortwo.
Because of its small size, Spark is able to get by with the smallest engine offering in a GM-produced passenger car in the U.S., an 85-horsepower 1.2-liter dual overhead cam four-cylinder engine equipped with variable valve timing and either a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic transmission.
Although 85 horsepower may not seem like much, it's about par for the class. With the standard stick, the Spark returns an impressive 32 mpg in the city, though the sub-optimal aerodynamic efficiency of its short and tall dimensions holds highway mileage to 38 mpg. Efficiency drops to 28 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the freeway with the automatic.
Underneath its sheetmetal, the Spark features a MacPherson strut front suspension, standard ABS and stability control, electric power steering and vented front/rear drum brakes.
Trim Level Breakdown
The Spark will be offered in three trim levels: LS, 1LT and 2LT.
Despite being the entry-level model, the Spark LS comes standard with A/C, power windows, 15-inch alloy wheels, an auxiliary input jack and Onstar.
The mid-grade 1LT trim adds a seven-inch color touchscreen for the audio system, Bluetooth connectivity, steering wheel audio controls, a USB port and Sirius XM Radio. Also included are power door locks with remote keyless entry, a theft deterrent system, outside power mirrors, floor mats, visor mirrors and cruise control.
The top-spec 2LT dresses up the exterior with sport fascias front and rear, additional chrome trim and unique 15-inch wheels. Leatherette upholstery, heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and fog lamps are also included.
1LT and 2LT models also come standard with Chevrolet's MyLink infotainment system, which combines entertainment and Bluetooth-based connectivity functions into a single seven-inch touchscreen mounted on the dashboard. The setup enables hands-free phone calls, streaming audio via Pandora radio and Stitcher SmartRadio, and even navigation through a downloadable BringGo app.
MyLink also incorporates Apple's Siri Eyes Free system, which uses the Soark's steering wheel-mounted controls to access the Siri function of any iPhone equipped with iOS 6. Once linked, drivers can use voice commands to perform actions like make phone calls, play songs from iTunes, listen and compose text messages and add appointments to their calendars.
In order to minimize distractions, the iPhone's screen remains blank while in Eyes Free mode.
Like its larger Sonic and Cruze siblings, the Sparks comes from the factory with 10 airbags, including front knee airbags, side seat airbags and side curtain airbags. Traction and stability control systems are also standard.
Those looking for modestly-priced transportation like the Spark can also consider competitors such as more diminutive smart fortwo and Scion iQ as well as the more expensive Fiat 500.