It is small, safe, somewhat roomy and surprisingly “Cool”!
Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG
- Sept. 20, 2012
2013 Chevrolet Spark – Just $12,245 to start and a 32/38 mpgUS city/highway rating with the 5-speed stick.
While Chevrolet is calling its new to the US Spark a Mini, at 86.3 cu. ft of interior passenger volume, it is solidly in line with many of the current “Big names” in the B-Segment. That would include the Ford Fiesta and Toyota Yaris at 85 cu. ft. respectively and the Kia Rio at 88 cu. ft. When looking at the true mini’s, the Fiat 500 and Scion iQ have just enough passenger volume to call them cars at just 76 and 74 cu. ft. respectively.
In any case, Chevrolet states the segment is being wrongfully characterized and the misconceptions can be refuted relatively easily. having driven the Spark on a recent regional in Chicago, you bet they can refute them.
Here’s how Spark is taking on any and all comers when they question its size, capabilities and even safety.
: Mini cars aren’t Safe
: Well the Spark is and I bet it receives 5-stars on the NHTSA to prove it thanks in part to a number of class leading features. The Spark is not scheduled to be crash tested this year by the DOT.
The Spark features 10 standard air bags
, the same number and locations that helped earn 5-stars on the NHTSA foe both the Sonic and Cruze. These include dual-stage front, side, side curtain, knee and outward rear seat side airbags. In addition, the Spark is made of more than 62 percent High Strength Steel underneath and 42 percent above.
: Mini cars are cramped and uncomfortable
: Spark’s interior is spacious with room to fit four adults comfortably. While tight, you can fit four albeit hopefully not for to long?
2013 Chevrolet Spark Passenger and Cargo Volume
F&R room for a 6 + ft driver/rear seat passenger.
The Spark’s cargo capacity of 11.4 cubic feet behind the rear seat is 20 percent more the Fiat 500 and 225 percent more than the Scion IQ. Yeah, those two are truly minis!
With the rear seats folded down, drivers have 31.2 cubic feet of space.
Enough to fit a hot “girl in the trunk”
: The smaller the vehicle the better the aerodynamics
: Mini-cars are not as aerodynamic as they appear
Mini’s are not as aerodynamic due to the short and tall design that creates higher aerodynamic drag.
On the other hand, they park darn well within inner city confines!
: Mini cars handling and vehicle performance leaves something to be desired
: Spark doesn’t just look fun to drive, it actually kind of is.
It is somewhat tightly suspended providing minimal body roll for what appears to be a top heavy car. The Spark can also turn on a dime with turning diameter of just 32.5 feet. U-Turn on a tight city street? Been there, done that. The Spark can. Most others cannot.
: The design and features of mini cars are boring
: Spark dares to stand out in a crowd with the newest color trends and latest technology. Besides color, the interior while not a D-segment luxury offering is youthful with design touches that will out and out make you think this cannot be a < $13K car! One of its highpoints in fact!
The available colors includes Salsa Red (it’s red too), Jalapeno, Denim, Lemonade (it is as green as you can imagine) and Techno Pink (yup, even that
), it does attract attention which you cannot say about other < $13K cars. Oh wait, there is only one other < $13K car and it’s the current homely Versa. It is not this good lucking by a long shot. The upcoming 2013 should remedy that but it will probably not be a $13K car anymore either?
The Spark is the first Chevy without a factory-installed CD player, which was finally dumped in favor of the Chevrolet MyLink system – standard on 1LT and 2LT models. The MyLink system is designed to integrate with the driver’s Smartphone via Bluetooth or USB. Once connected, the system becomes an extension of the user’s device, giving them access to stored music and applications such as Pandora internet radio, Tune-In and Stitcher.
Inside is well done yet not expensive interior.
MyLink also includes the recently introduced and Kick @$$!!! inexpensive NAVI solution called BringGo that holds the App map data on your smartphone.
While it will not set the B-segment or mini-segment sales charts on fire, it is a lot better than the $13K it arrives at suggests.
This is a fun small car and the colors will attract attention if you want it or not