Fact file: Chevrolet Spark
A Bright New Spark
- Segment: mini
- In model range since: 2010
Chevrolet's city car challenges the conventional wisdom that little cars are either trendy or practical, either premium or good value. Spark changes the rules. It is as much about fun and fashion as it is about functionality. It offers style and all the latest in-car entertainment features as well as practicality, low consumption and low emissions. And it is great value for money.
From the outset, Spark was engineered and designed to be edgy and expressive as well as to offer exceptional levels of space and practicality. There are not many cars with such a small footprint that offer the benefits of five doors, five seats and a usable luggage area.
Much of the Spark's appeal comes from its styling. The exterior of the Spark features a 'wheels-out, body-in' stance, its single-arc roofline accentuated by strong, clean body sides free of cladding. The appearance is sleek, bold, and unmistakably more up-market than some of its mini car rivals.
In select European markets, customers can order the Spark Bubble as of autumn 2013. This special edition of the popular city car carries a sporty bumper, side rocker moldings, 15-inch white painted alloy wheels as well as frisky white or pink Bubble decals on the front fenders.
The interior design of the Spark is as edgy as the exterior. All the controls are backlit by ice-blue lighting when the headlights are turned on, further proof of Spark's ability to put the fun back into function. In-car entertainment is a matter of choice and Spark customers can enjoy their favorites on radio, CD, MP3 or USB keys or by plugging in their portable systems via USB or Aux-in sockets. Bluetooth radio connectivity is standard on most trim levels.
However, it is not just its edgy styling that makes Spark at home in the city. Spark's size, handling and maneuverability are perfectly in tune with urban life. Chevrolet's mini comes in a compact package: at only 3640 mm long and 1597 mm wide, it will easily squeeze into tight city spaces. It has advanced dynamics and taut, responsive handling characteristics, at the heart of which is a very stiff integral body frame structure, designed to aid the car's dynamic performance and provide the driver with a heightened sense of stability, solidity and confident road command.
Electronic Stability Control is standard on all trim levels, providing outstanding safety and control benefits, with electronic brake and traction control capabilities that ensure precise anti-lock braking performance, as well as exceptional yaw stability.
Two engines are on offer – both petrol units with displacements of 1.0 and 1.2 liters. They are closely related and use a cast-iron block and alloy head, with a double overhead camshaft and four valves per cylinder. They feature multi-port fuel injection and are both Euro V emissions compliant. Both engines come with a five-speed manual gearbox.
The Spark may not be very big on the outside, but its clever design means it is able to make the most out of its available space. Front-seat passengers enjoy up to 1067 mm of available legroom (893 mm in the rear), while shoulder space of 1295 mm (1255 mm rear) and headroom of 1010 mm (947 mm) are also rated among the best in the segment, proving that even when a car is small, it doesn't need to be cramped.
With five doors and five available seats, the Spark is one of the most space-efficient cars in the mini segment.
Status: November 2013